A large-scale perspective on stress-induced alterations in resting-state networks

Adi Maron-Katz, Sharon Vaisvaser, Tamar Lin, Talma Hendler*, Ron Shamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Stress is known to induce large-scale neural modulations. However, its neural effect once the stressor is removed and how it relates to subjective experience are not fully understood. Here we used a statistically sound data-driven approach to investigate alterations in large-scale resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) induced by acute social stress. We compared rsfMRI profiles of 57 healthy male subjects before and after stress induction. Using a parcellation-based univariate statistical analysis, we identified a large-scale rsFC change, involving 490 parcel-pairs. Aiming to characterize this change, we employed statistical enrichment analysis, identifying anatomic structures that were significantly interconnected by these pairs. This analysis revealed strengthening of thalamo-cortical connectivity and weakening of cross-hemispheral parieto-temporal connectivity. These alterations were further found to be associated with change in subjective stress reports. Integrating report-based information on stress sustainment 20 minutes post induction, revealed a single significant rsFC change between the right amygdala and the precuneus, which inversely correlated with the level of subjective recovery. Our study demonstrates the value of enrichment analysis for exploring large-scale network reorganization patterns, and provides new insight on stress-induced neural modulations and their relation to subjective experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21503
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2016


FundersFunder number
U.S. Department of DefenseW81XWH-11-2-0008
Israel Science Foundation317/13
Israeli Centers for Research Excellence
Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel


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