Intrinsic functional connectivity of the anterior cingulate cortex is associated with tolerance to distress

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The ability to adapt under significant adversity, defined as psychological resilience, is instrumental in preventing stress-related disorders. An important aspect of resilience is the capacity to endure affective distress when in pursuit of goals, also known as distress tolerance. Evidence that links intrinsic baseline interactions within large-scale functional networks with performance under distress remains missing. We hypothesized that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) may engage in distress tolerance because of its involvement in attention and emotion regulation. Accordingly, we tested whether behavioral performance under distress is associated with baseline resting-state ACC functional connectivity (FC). Distress tolerance was measured in 97 participants using the behavioral indicator of resiliency to distress (BIRD) task. Analyses contrasted participants who quit the task before its designated termination (n = 51) with those who persisted throughout it (n = 46). Seedbased FC analysis indicated greater connectivity between the ACC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in subjects who persisted throughout the task, along with greater FC between the ACC and the precentral gyrus in those who quit before its termination. The results shed light on the mechanisms underlying interindividual differences in the ability to handle distress.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberENEURO.0277-21.2021
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • ACC
  • Distress tolerance
  • Functional connectivity
  • Functional networks
  • Resilience


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