Anxiety and depression are associated with altered communication within global brain networks and between these networks and the amygdala. Functional connectivity studies demonstrate an effect of anxiety and depression on four critical brain networks involved in top-down attentional control (fronto-parietal network; FPN), salience detection and error monitoring (cingulo-opercular network; CON), bottom-up stimulus-driven attention (ventral attention network; VAN), and default mode (default mode network; DMN). However, structural evidence on the white matter (WM) connections within these networks and between these networks and the amygdala is lacking. The current study in a large healthy sample (n = 483) observed that higher trait anxiety-depression predicted lower WM integrity in the connections between amygdala and specific regions of the FPN, CON, VAN, and DMN. We discuss the possible consequences of these anatomical alterations for cognitive-affective functioning and underscore the need for further theory-driven research on individual differences in anxiety and depression on brain structure.
Brain Imaging and Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 15, 2016
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