Wig, Gagan S.

Permanent URI for this collectionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10735.1/4313

Gagan Wig holds a dual appointment as an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UTD and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is also a faculty member at the Center for Vital Longevity and director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory. Dr. Wig's research uses a combination of structural and functional imaging tools to understand the organization of large-scale human brain networks and how these networks change over the adult lifespan. He uses this information to guide studies related to memory and attention, with a particular focus on understanding the sources of individual differences in memory and attention, and how they may be affected by aging and disease.

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    Socioeconomic Status Moderates Age-Related Differences in the Brain's Functional Network Organization and Anatomy Across the Adult Lifespan
    Chan, Micaela Y.; Na, Jinkyung; Agres, Phillip F.; Savalia, Neil K.; Park, Denise C.; Wig, Gagan S.; 74141364 (Park, DC); Chan, Micaela Y.; Agres, Phillip F.; Savalia, Neil K.; Park, Denise C.; Wig, Gagan S.
    An individual's environmental surroundings interact with the development and maturation of their brain. An important aspect of an individual's environment is his or her socioeconomic status (SES), which estimates access to material resources and social prestige. Previous characterizations of the relation between SES and the brain have primarily focused on earlier or later epochs of the lifespan (i.e., childhood, older age). We broaden this work to examine the relationship between SES and the brain across a wide range of human adulthood (20-89 years), including individuals from the less studied middle-age range. SES, defined by education attainment and occupational socioeconomic characteristics, moderates previously reported age-related differences in the brain's functional network organization and whole-brain cortical structure. Across middle age (35-64 years), lower SES is associated with reduced resting-state system segregation (a measure of effective functional network organization). A similar but less robust relationship exists between SES and age with respect to brain anatomy: Lower SES is associated with reduced cortical gray matter thickness in middle age. Conversely, younger and older adulthood do not exhibit consistent SES-related difference in the brain measures. The SES-brain relationships persist after controlling for measures of physical and mental health, cognitive ability, and participant demographics. Critically, an individual's childhood SES cannot account for the relationship between their current SES and functional network organization. These findings provide evidence that SES relates to the brain's functional network organization and anatomy across adult middle age, and that higher SES may be a protective factor against age-related brain decline.
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    Decreased Segregation of Brain Systems across the Healthy Adult Lifespan
    (National Academy of Science) Chan, Micaela Y.; Park, Denise C.; Savalia, Neil K.; Petersen, Steven E.; Wig, Gagan S.; 0000 0000 0265 9301 (Park, DC); 92048764 (Park, DC); 74141364 (Park, DC)
    Healthy aging has been associated with decreased specialization in brain function. This characterization has focused largely on describing age-accompanied differences in specialization at the level of neurons and brain areas. We expand this work to describe systems-level differences in specialization in a healthy adult lifespan sample (n = 210; 20-89 y). A graph-theoretic framework is used to guide analysis of functional MRI resting-state data and describe systems-level differences in connectivity of individual brain networks. Young adults' brain systems exhibit a balance of within-and between-system correlations that is characteristic of segregated and specialized organization. Increasing age is accompanied by decreasing segregation of brain systems. Compared with systems involved in the processing of sensory input and motor output, systems mediating "associative" operations exhibit a distinct pattern of reductions in segregation across the adult lifespan. Of particular importance, the magnitude of association system segregation is predictive of long-term memory function, independent of an individual's age.

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