Large-scale Network Con guration Before and After Stress Exposure in Anxious and in Resilient Individuals

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Stress plays an important role in the development of psychopathologies and stress-related disorders, such as anxiety, are becoming an increasingly larger problem for individuals and society worldwide. However, protective factors may keep individuals from developing mental health problems after stress exposure, which is known as resilience. Previous studies have found stress-induced connectivity changes within and between large-scale brain networks in the general population, but the exact mechanisms in individuals with trait anxiety or higher than average levels of resilience are less clear. To assess whether a person's resilience can be predicted from their stress-induced functional connectivity and to nd out whether similar associations can be made from the level of trait anxiety, 47 individuals at risk for developing stress-related mental health problems were exposed to the ScanSTRESS task. In a preceding and following resting-state scan, functional connectivity changes of the executive control network (ECN), the salience network (SN), and the default mode network (DMN) were assessed. Stress induction resulted in decreased ECN connectivity, decreased SN connectivity, and decreased as well as increased DMN connectivity in the whole sample. Following that, participants were divided into a high or low anxiety and a high or low resilience group. There were di erences in DMN - middle frontal gyrus and DMN - posterior cingulate gyrus connectivity between high vs. low anxious individuals, and a di erence in ECN - superior frontal gyrus connectivity in high vs. low resilient individuals. In the SN, there was higher connectivity with the middle frontal gyrus in low resilient individuals, irrespective of stress. Based on these di erences in resting-state functional connectivity in the resilience groups, it may be possible to predict a person's level of resilience at a later timepoint whereas a person's trait anxiety score does not seem to be a good predictor of resilience.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen