Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dan Lloyd

Second Advisor

William Church

Third Advisor

Sarah Raskin


An understanding of the normal aging process across the lifespan is important for gaining an understanding the pathophysiological changes that occur in accelerated aging diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia (ADD) and Vascular Dementia (VaD). The present study cross-sectionally analyzed cortical thickness values derived from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images for two large cohorts: Human Connectome Project and the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. The 897 participants aged between 22-36 from the Human Connectome Project and the 801 participants aged between 52-92 from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging created a robust cohort of non-demented individuals across the lifespan. We found age effects in four out of five composite regions of interest (Sensorimotor Cortex, Parietal Lobe, Frontal Lobe, and Cingulate Gyrus) between both cohorts. As expected, the age effects were more significant in older individuals from the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. There were additionally sex effects within the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging cohort, but not in the Human Connectome Project. By showing significant sex effects within older individuals but not in younger individuals, there is likely a point beyond age 36 in which there exists a transitional period that sparks future sex-specific decline.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience.