Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


College education as a modulator of the aging brain

What makes some human brains more resilient to aging than others? In an Article in Nature Aging, Chan et al. provide evidence that brain connectomes in older adults are altered by a college education — an environmental factor that might be an advantageous modulator of brain reserve during aging.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Theoretical diagrams of network segregation and integration in the aging brain.


  1. Chan, M. Y. et al. Nat. Aging (2021).

  2. Xu, W. et al. Mol. Neurobiol. 53, 3113–3123 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Stern, Y. Neuropsychologia 47, 2015–2028 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bullmore, E. & Sporns, O. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186–198 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Yu, M., Sporns, O. & Saykin, A. J. Nat. Rev. Neurol 17, 545–563 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Sepulcre, J. et al. Nat. Med. 24, 1910–1918 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Guzmán-Vélez, E. et al. Preprint in (2021).

  8. Costumero, V. et al. Distance disintegration delineates the brain connectivity failure of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiol. Aging 88, 51–60 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jorge Sepulcre.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sepulcre, J. College education as a modulator of the aging brain. Nat Aging 1, 980–981 (2021).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing