Poster F22, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Resting connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral anterior cingulate cortex is associated with sympathetic reactivity to a trauma reminder
Olena Kleshchova1,2, Jenna Rieder1,2, Mariann Weierich1,2; 1Hunter College, The City University of New York, 2The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
Trauma exposure is associated with sympathetic reactivity to affective information, including trauma-related cues, as well as to amygdala reactivity and abnormal functional connectivity during affective processing. However, we do not yet know if abnormal trauma-related amygdala connectivity persists in the absence of affective stimuli, nor if trauma-related connectivity is associated with sympathetic reactivity to trauma-related cues. Abnormal resting connectivity might be a stable marker of trauma exposure and vulnerability for PTSD symptoms. We hypothesized that trauma-related symptoms would be associated with sympathetic reactivity to a trauma reminder, indexed by salivary alpha-amylase (sAA). We also hypothesized that, compared to controls, trauma-exposed women would show greater resting amygdala connectivity with the salience network and weaker resting amygdala connectivity with prefrontal regulatory regions. Finally, we hypothesized that resting amygdala connectivity would be associated with sAA reactivity to a trauma reminder. Twenty-four trauma-exposed women and 20 no-trauma controls completed a resting-state fMRI scan and a clinical interview that covered traumatic events. To measure sAA reactivity to the trauma report/reminder, we collected saliva pre-interview and immediately post trauma report. Trauma-related symptoms were associated with sAA reactivity to the trauma reminder. Counter to our second hypothesis, trauma-exposed women showed greater resting connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC), a region implicated in affect regulation. Finally, resting amygdala-vACC connectivity was associated with sAA reactivity to the trauma reminder. These results suggest that greater resting cortico-limbic connectivity, linked to trauma-related symptoms and sympathetic hyperactivity, might be a stable marker of trauma exposure.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding