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Poster B1

Cognitive-Behavioral Predictors of Individual Variability of Functional Connectivity in Healthy Young Adults

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Colin Hawco1,2 (, Julia Gallucci1,2, Justin Ng1,2, Teodora Secara1,2, Ju-Chi Yu1; 1University of Toronto, 2Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

While stable patterns of fMRI task-evoked brain activity and functional connectivity (FC) exist at the population level, a growing body of research emphasizes that variability exists across individuals. It is these differences which define the critical differences in cognition and behavior across individuals that make us unique. We examined a range of cognitive-behavioral predictors of heterogeneity of FC in a large sample of young adults. Resting state fMRI from the 987 participants (ages 22 to 37) from the Human Connectome Project young adults. Functional connectivity was calculated between the 360 regions. Variability was defined using mean correlational distance (MCD) between participants, a measure of how far each individual is from the ‘average’ connectivity pattern. Hierarchical regression was used to determine potential predictors of variability in FC, including demographics, motion, cognition (crystalized and fluid cognitive scores), emotional valiance, personality variables, and fitness. The final model explained 11.8% of variance in FC variability, included cognition, emotional valiance, and personality. Low variability was associated with higher BMI, greater crystallized cognitive scores, more positive emotional valence, and Neo Agreeableness. Greater variability was associated with age, brain volume, and Neo Extroversion. Model residuals were non-normal, as the model underestimated variability in the most variable participants. These results suggested benefits for a connectivity pattern which is more similar to the group average, raising the possibility that the group average represented the ‘optimal’ connectivity pattern.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions


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April 13–16  |  2024