Accumulating evidence indicates important roles of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and rostral limbic regions such as the anterior insula, in regulating stress-related affective responses and negative affect states in general. However, research is lacking in simultaneously assessing the inter-relations between trait and state affective responses to stress, and the functional connectivity between the subgenual anterior cingulate and anterior insula. This preliminary research involved matched healthy participants with high (N = 10) and low (N = 10) self-reported trait stress resilience, and assessed their affective and subgenual anterior cingulate-anterior insula resting-state functional connectivity patterns before and after a psychosocial stress task. We found that while the low-resilience group displayed higher trait negative affect and perceived greater task-related stress, only the high-resilience group showed increase of negative affect, along with greater decrease of left subgenual anterior cingulate-right anterior insula connectivity, following stress induction. Moreover, the functional connectivity change mediated group difference in affect change following stress task. We speculate that the contingent increase of negative affect, and the associated temporary decoupling of subgenual anterior cingulate-insula circuitry, may represent a normative and adaptive stress response underpinned by adaptive and dynamic interplay between the default mode and salience networks. Such findings, if consolidated, have important implications for promoting stress resilience and reducing risk for stress-related affective disorders. Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier Inc.
CitationShao, R., Lau, W. K. W., Leung, M.-K., & Lee, T. M. C. (2018). Subgenual anterior cingulate-insula resting-state connectivity as a neural correlate to trait and state stress resilience. Brain and Cognition, 124, 73-81. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2018.05.001
- Subgenual anterior cingulate
- Anterior insula
- Resting-state functional connectivity
- Stress resilience
- Affective processing