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Connectome-based prediction of decreased trust propensity in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: A resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

NeuroImage 2024 April 13
Trust propensity (TP) relies more on social than economic rationality to transform the perceived probability of betrayal into positive reciprocity expectations in older adults with normal cognition. While deficits in social rationality have been observed in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), there is limited research on TP and its associated resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) mechanisms in this population. To measure TP and related psychological functions (affect, motivation, executive cognition, and social cognition), MCI (n=42) and normal healthy control (NHC, n=115) groups completed a one-shot trust game and additional assessments of related psychological functions. RSFC associated with TP was analyzed using connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) and lesion simulations. Our behavioral results showed that the MCI group trusted less (i.e., had lower TP) than the NHC group, with lower TP associated with higher sensitivity to the probability of betrayal in the MCI group. In the MCI group, only negative CPM models (RSFC negatively correlated with TP) significantly predicted TP, with a high salience network (SN) contribution. In contrast, in the NHC group, positive CPM models (RSFC positively correlated with TP) significantly predicted TP, with a high contribution from the default mode network (DMN). In addition, the total network strength of the NHC-specific positive network was lower in the MCI group than in the NHC group. Our findings demonstrated a decrease in TP in the MCI group compared to the NHC group, which is associated with deficits in social rationality (social cognition, associated with DMN) and increased sensitivity to betrayal (affect, associated with SN) in a trust dilemma. In conclusion, our study contributes to understanding MCI-related alterations in trust and their underlying neural mechanisms.

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