Similarity and stability of face network across populations and throughout adolescence and adulthood
Neuroimage. 2021 Sep 21;244:118587. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118587. Online ahead of print.
The ability to extract cues from faces is fundamental for social animals, including humans. An individual's profile of functional connectivity across a face network can be shaped by common organizing principles, stable individual traits, and time-varying mental states. In the present study, we used data obtained with functional magnetic resonance imaging in two cohorts, IMAGEN (N = 534) and ALSPAC (N = 465), to investigate - both at group and individual levels - the consistency of the regional profile of functional connectivity across populations (IMAGEN, ALSPAC) and time (Visits 1 to 3 in IMAGEN; age 14 to 22 years). At the group level, we found a robust canonical profile of connectivity both across populations and time. At the individual level, connectivity profiles deviated from the canonical profile, and the magnitude of this deviation related to the presence of psychopathology. These findings suggest that the brain processes faces in a highly stereotypical manner, and that the deviations from this normative pattern may be related to the risk of mental illness.