Moment-to-moment BOLD signal variability reflects regional changes in neural flexibility across the lifespan

Jason S. Nomi, Taylor S. Bolt, C. E. Chiemeka Ezie, Lucina Q. Uddin, Aaron S. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Variability of neuronal responses is thought to underlie flexible and optimal brain function. Because previous work investigating BOLD signal variability has been conducted within task-based fMRI contexts on adults and older individuals, very little is currently known regarding regional changes in spontaneous BOLD signal variability in the human brain across the lifespan. The current study used resting-state fMRI data from a large sample of male and female human participants covering a wide age range (6-85 years) across two different fMRI acquisition parameters (TR=0.645 and 1.4 s). Variability in brain regions including a key node of the salience network (anterior insula) increased linearly across the lifespan across datasets. In contrast, variability in most other large-scale networks decreased linearly over the lifespan. These results demonstrate unique lifespan trajectories of BOLD variability related to specific regions of the brain and add to a growing literature demonstrating the importance of identifying normative trajectories of functional brain maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5539-5548
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 31 2017


  • BOLD variability
  • Lifespan development
  • Mean square successive difference
  • Resting-state fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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