Early life stress is associated with greater default network deactivation during working memory in healthy controls: A preliminary report

Noah S. Philip, Lawrence H. Sweet, Audrey R. Tyrka, Lawrence H. Price, Linda L. Carpenter, Yuliya I. Kuras, Uraina S. Clark, Raymond S. Niaura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Early life stress (ELS) is a common risk factor for psychopathology, but there are few functional neuroimaging studies investigating its effects. In this preliminary study, we investigated the correlates of ELS exposure on the default network (DN) through measurements of task-associated DN deactivation. Data were analyzed from 19 subjects without psychiatric illness (10 with ELS). Subjects performed the working memory (WM) N-back task (including a 2-back WM and 0-back control condition) while undergoing functional MRI. We compared brain responses in the two groups across 5 bilateral DN regions using an a priori region of interest (ROI) analysis. The ELS group demonstrated significantly greater DN deactivation, observed in the right posterior cingulate cortex PCC, bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, left middle/superior frontal gyrus and right middle temporal region. These preliminary results indicate subjects with ELS demonstrate greater DN deactivations to WM challenges compared to non-ELS controls, potentially reflecting a biomarker of long-term effects of ELS exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-212
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Default network
  • Early life stress
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Working memory
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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