Switching between executive and default mode networks in posttraumatic stress disorder: Alterations in functional connectivity

Judith Daniels, Alexander McFarlane, Robyn Bluhm, Kathryn Moores, Christopher Clark, Marnie Shaw, Peter Williamson, Maria Densmore, Ruth Lanius

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    137 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Working memory processing and resting-state connectivity in the default mode network are altered in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Because the ability to effortlessly switch between concentration on a task and an idling state during rest is implicated in both these alterations, we undertook a functional magnetic resonance imaging study with a block design to analyze task-induced modulations in connectivity. Methods: We performed a working memory task and psychophysiologic interaction analyses with the posterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex as seed regions during fixation in 12 patients with severe, chronic PTSD and 12 healthy controls. Results: During the working memory task, the control group showed significantly stronger connectivity with areas implicated in the salience and executive networks, including the right inferior frontal gyrus and the right inferior parietal lobule. The PTSD group showed stronger connectivity with areas implicated in the default mode network, namely enhanced connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex and the right superior frontal gyrus and between the medial prefrontal cortex and the left parahippocampal gyrus. Limitations: Because we were studying alterations in patients with severe, chronic PTSD, we could not exclude patients taking medication. The small sample size may have limited the power of our analyses. To avoid multiple testing in a small sample, we only used 2 seed regions for our analyses. Conclusion: The different patterns of connectivity imply significant group differences with task-induced switches (i.e., engaging and disengaging the default mode network and the central-executive network).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)258-266
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
    Volume35
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

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  • Cite this

    Daniels, J., McFarlane, A., Bluhm, R., Moores, K., Clark, C., Shaw, M., Williamson, P., Densmore, M., & Lanius, R. (2010). Switching between executive and default mode networks in posttraumatic stress disorder: Alterations in functional connectivity. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 35(4), 258-266. https://doi.org/10.1503/jpn.090010