Age and sex modulate the variability of neural responses to engaging videos
Samantha Cohen1,2, Agustin Petroni1, Nicolas Langer1,3, Simon Henin1, Tamara Vanderwal5, Michael P. Milham3,6, Lucas C. Parra1; 1The City College of New York, 2The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 3Child Mind Institute, 4University of Zurich, 5Yale Child Study Center, 6Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
Neural development is generally marked by an increase in the efficiency and diversity of neural processes. In a large sample (N = 114) of human children and adults with ages ranging from 5 - 44 years, we investigated the neural responses to naturalistic video stimuli. Videos from both real-life classroom settings and Hollywood feature films were used to probe different aspects of attention and engagement. For all stimuli, older ages were marked by more variable neural responses. Variability was assessed by the inter-subject correlation of evoked electroencephalographic (EEG) responses. Young males also had less variable responses than young females. These results were replicated in an independent cohort (N = 303). When interpreted in the context of neural maturation, we conclude that neural function becomes more variable with maturity, at least during the passive viewing of real-world stimuli.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Development & aging