Peiying Liu1, Andrew C. Hebrank2, Karen M. Rodrigue2, Kristen M. Kennedy2, Denise C. Park2, Hanzhang Lu1
1Advanced Imaging Research Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States; 2Center for Vital Longevity, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX, United States
Cognitive aging studies using BOLD fMRI have revealed a wealth of information about the aging brain. However, few previous studies have considered the decline of brain vascular health with age as confounding factor. We conducted the first cognitive aging study in lifespan that interpreted fMRI findings in the context of vascular changes. Our observations provide strong evidence of a need to re-examine previous fMRI aging literature and suggest that previous studies may have over-estimated age-related decline while under-estimating the extent of compensatory over-recruitment. The reactivity-corrected fMRI data suggested no evidence of age-related decline in neural activity under similar task performance.