Long-term stress and trait anxiety alter brain network balance in dynamic decisions during working memory [article]

Liangying Liu, Jianhu Wu, Haiyang Geng, Chao Liu, Yuejia Luo, Jing Luo, Shaozheng Qin
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Long-term stress has a profound impact on the human brain and cognition, and trait anxiety influences stress-induced adaptive and maladaptive effects. However, the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying long-term stress and trait anxiety interactions remain elusive. Here we investigated how long-term stress and trait anxiety interact to affect dynamic decisions during working-memory (WM) by altering functional brain network balance. In comparison to controls, male participants under long-term
more » ... ss experienced higher psychological distress and exhibited faster evidence accumulation but had a lower decision-threshold during WM. This corresponded with hyper-activation in the anterior insula, less WM-related deactivation in the default-mode network, and stronger default-mode network decoupling with the frontoparietal network. Critically, high trait anxiety under long-term stress led to slower evidence accumulation through higher WM-related frontoparietal activity, and increased decoupling between the default-mode and frontoparietal networks. Our findings provide neurocognitive evidence for long-term stress and trait anxiety interactions on executive functions with (mal)adaptive changes.
doi:10.1101/2021.05.07.442883 fatcat:bomq7gjgwnghlbr75vbj2rrof4