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Several functional MRI (fMRI) activation studies have highlighted specific differences in brain response in social anxiety disorder (SAD) patients. Little is known, so far, about the changes in the functional architecture of resting state networks (RSNs) in SAD during resting state. We investigated statistical differences in RSNs on 20 SAD and 20 controls using independent component analysis. A diffuse impact on widely distributed RSNs and selective changes of RSN intrinsic functional connectivity were observed in SAD. Functional connectivity was decreased in the somato-motor (primary and motor cortices) and visual (primary visual cortex) networks, increased in a network including medial prefrontal cortex which is thought to be involved in self-referential processes, and increased or decreased in the default mode network (posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, bilateral inferior parietal gyrus, angular gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, and superior and medial frontal gyrus) which has been suggested to be involved in episodic memory, and self-projection, the dorsal attention network (middle and superior occipital gyrus, inferior and superior parietal gyrus, and middle and superior frontal gyrus) which is thought to mediate goal-directed top-down processing, the core network (insula-cingulate cortices) which is associated with task control function, and the central-executive network (fronto-parietal cortices). A relationship between functional connectivity and disease severity was found in specific regions of RSNs, including medial and lateral prefrontal cortex, as well as parietal and occipital regions. Our results might supply a novel way to look into neuro-pathophysiological mechanisms in SAD patients.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1549 - 1558


Brain, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nerve Net, Rest, Social Behavior Disorders, Young Adult