Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Trait Anxiety: A Conceptual Replication Study

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: Trait anxiety, a stable personality attribute, has previously been associated with alternations in brain functional connectivity. We use resting-state functional MRI data from a large sample of high anxious individuals to conceptually replicate selected studies with seed-based methods and network-based methods. Seed regions included comprised the lateral amygdala subnuclei (basolateral, centromedial and superficial), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and anterior insula. We investigated anxietyrelated alternations in within-network connectivity in the default mode network, salience network and executive control network. The basolateral and centromedial amygdala showed anxiety-related alternations in baseline connectivity. Trait anxiety was further negatively correlated with the functional connectivity of the basolateral amygdala and regions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, ventral anterior cingulate cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. The centromedial amygdala exhibited a stronger functional coupling with regions in the primary somatosensory cortex and premotor cortex with higher levels of trait anxiety. In this regard, we could replicate frequently reported findings to some extend as well as less common results in a large non-clinical sample with elevated trait anxiety. Finally, trait anxiety was not correlated with the functional coupling of the anterior insula and BNST at rest. There was further no effect of trait anxiety on within-network connectivity for all resting-state networks. Keywords: trait anxiety, functional connectivity, amygdala, insula, prefrontal, anterior cingulate cortex, resting-state networks
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