Elevated integration within the reward network underlies vulnerability to distress

Stas Kozak, Or Dezachyo, William Stanford, Yair Bar-Haim, Nitzan Censor, Eran Dayan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Distress tolerance (DT), the capability to persist under negative circumstances, underlies a range of psychopathologies. It has been proposed that DT may originate from the activity and connectivity in diverse neural networks integrated by the reward system. To test this hypothesis, we examined the link between DT and integration and segregation in the reward network as derived from resting-state functional connectivity data. DT was measured in 147 participants from a large community sample using the Behavioral Indicator of Resiliency to Distress task. Prior to DT evaluation, participants underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan. For each participant, we constructed a whole-brain functional connectivity network and calculated the degree of reward network integration and segregation based on the extent to which reward network nodes showed functional connections within and outside their network. We found that distress-intolerant participants demonstrated heightened reward network integration relative to the distress-tolerant participants. In addition, these differences in integration were higher relative to the rest of the brain and, more specifically, the somatomotor network, which has been implicated in impulsive behavior. These findings support the notion that increased integration in large-scale brain networks may constitute a risk for distress intolerance and its psychopathological correlates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5797-5807
Number of pages11
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 May 2023


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation526/17


    • distress tolerance
    • network integration
    • reward network
    • somatomotor network


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