Functional Connectivity and Aging: Comodulation and Coherence Differences

David A. Kaiser


Introduction. Misconceptions about coherence and comodulation has hindered their simultaneous use in assessing electroencephalography (EEG). Coherence refers to phase synchrony, whereas comodulation refers to magnitude synchrony. Child and adult EEG data were analyzed for age functions to demonstrate coherence and comodulation differences. Method. Eyes closed resting EEG was analyzed for 101 children and adults between ages of 5 and 35 years (34 female, 67 male; M age=17.5 years). Spectral analysis focused on site-centered connectivity of 10 frequency bands. Site-centered connectivity refers to averaged coherence or comodulation associated with a site, an estimate of its network traffic. Results. Site-centered coherence and comodulation increased with age for frequencies below 30 Hz in most sites. Age-related changes in anterior connectivity occurred for adults but not for children. The strongest age function was found for alpha comodulation at electrode site T5. Differences in coherence and comodulation results are also reported. Conclusion. Functional connectivity increases steadily with age. Anterior EEG connectivity increased during adulthood but not during childhood. This finding parallels previous research on anterior callosal myelination and suggests that EEG connectivity measures may in part reflect myelination patterns. A model that associates coherence and comodulation with feedforward and feedback activity of the brain is proposed. A Periodicity Table for creating new and potentially relevant psychophysiological coefficients was described.

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