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Dayan Figure PNAS

Alerted connectivity in brain networks may turn them more sensitive to environmental insults and disease. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) PhD student William Stanford, and BRIC member Eran Dayan investigated if brain resilience accounts for differences in cognitive function in healthy aging. This was achieved by perturbing brain networks through simulated attacks, and evaluating the resilience of core connectivity within the brain to these attacks. Stanford and colleagues found that a resilient core topology positively influenced the relationship between age and cognitive function. These results reveal that core resilience in the brain could serve as a neuroprotective mechanism against cognitive decline in healthy aging. Additional collaborators included Peter Mucha from Dartmouth College.