Attentional control abnormalities in posttraumatic stress disorder: Functional, behavioral, and structural correlates

Negar Fani, Tricia Z. King, Cherita Clendinen, Raven A. Hardy, Sindhuja Surapaneni, James R. Blair, Stuart F. White, Abigail Powers, Tim D. Ely, Tanja Jovanovic, Kerry J. Ressler, Bekh Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Attentional disruptions are common in PTSD, but findings across neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have been variable. Few PTSD studies have investigated abnormalities in attention networks using a multi-modal imaging approach and attentional tasks that include emotionally-salient images. This study combined a behavioral task that included these images (emotional Stroop)with functional and structural neuroimaging (fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging; DTI)methods to comprehensively investigate attentional control abnormalities in a highly-traumatized civilian sample. Methods: 48 traumatized women with and without PTSD received clinical assessments, fMRI and DTI. During fMRI, the Affective Stroop (AS), an attentional control task that includes emotionally-salient distractor images (trauma-relevant, positive, neutral)and variable task demands, was administered. Results: In response to more difficult AS trials, participants with PTSD demonstrated lower activation in the dorsal and rostral anterior cingulate cortex and greater activation in the insula. This group also showed comparatively poorer performance on positive AS distractor trials, even after adjusting for trauma exposure. Performance on these trials inversely correlated with structural integrity of the cingulum bundle and uncinate fasciculus. Conclusions: Even after adjusting for trauma exposure, participants with PTSD showed worse performance on an attentional control task in the context of emotional stimuli. They also showed relatively lower cognitive control network activation and greater salience network activation. Fronto-parietal and fronto-limbic white matter connectivity corresponded with AS performance. Our findings indicate that attentional control impairments in PTSD are most evident in the context of emotional cues, and are related to decrements in function and structure of cognitive control and salience networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-351
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume253
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

Fingerprint

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Wounds and Injuries
Functional Neuroimaging
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Gyrus Cinguli
Neuroimaging
Cognition
Cues

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • DTI
  • PTSD
  • Stroop
  • Structure
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Attentional control abnormalities in posttraumatic stress disorder : Functional, behavioral, and structural correlates. / Fani, Negar; King, Tricia Z.; Clendinen, Cherita; Hardy, Raven A.; Surapaneni, Sindhuja; Blair, James R.; White, Stuart F.; Powers, Abigail; Ely, Tim D.; Jovanovic, Tanja; Ressler, Kerry J.; Bradley, Bekh.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 253, 15.06.2019, p. 343-351.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fani, N, King, TZ, Clendinen, C, Hardy, RA, Surapaneni, S, Blair, JR, White, SF, Powers, A, Ely, TD, Jovanovic, T, Ressler, KJ & Bradley, B 2019, 'Attentional control abnormalities in posttraumatic stress disorder: Functional, behavioral, and structural correlates', Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 253, pp. 343-351. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.098
Fani, Negar ; King, Tricia Z. ; Clendinen, Cherita ; Hardy, Raven A. ; Surapaneni, Sindhuja ; Blair, James R. ; White, Stuart F. ; Powers, Abigail ; Ely, Tim D. ; Jovanovic, Tanja ; Ressler, Kerry J. ; Bradley, Bekh. / Attentional control abnormalities in posttraumatic stress disorder : Functional, behavioral, and structural correlates. In: Journal of Affective Disorders. 2019 ; Vol. 253. pp. 343-351.
@article{8175e191421a4c3981150faa46b5f3f8,
title = "Attentional control abnormalities in posttraumatic stress disorder: Functional, behavioral, and structural correlates",
abstract = "Background: Attentional disruptions are common in PTSD, but findings across neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have been variable. Few PTSD studies have investigated abnormalities in attention networks using a multi-modal imaging approach and attentional tasks that include emotionally-salient images. This study combined a behavioral task that included these images (emotional Stroop)with functional and structural neuroimaging (fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging; DTI)methods to comprehensively investigate attentional control abnormalities in a highly-traumatized civilian sample. Methods: 48 traumatized women with and without PTSD received clinical assessments, fMRI and DTI. During fMRI, the Affective Stroop (AS), an attentional control task that includes emotionally-salient distractor images (trauma-relevant, positive, neutral)and variable task demands, was administered. Results: In response to more difficult AS trials, participants with PTSD demonstrated lower activation in the dorsal and rostral anterior cingulate cortex and greater activation in the insula. This group also showed comparatively poorer performance on positive AS distractor trials, even after adjusting for trauma exposure. Performance on these trials inversely correlated with structural integrity of the cingulum bundle and uncinate fasciculus. Conclusions: Even after adjusting for trauma exposure, participants with PTSD showed worse performance on an attentional control task in the context of emotional stimuli. They also showed relatively lower cognitive control network activation and greater salience network activation. Fronto-parietal and fronto-limbic white matter connectivity corresponded with AS performance. Our findings indicate that attentional control impairments in PTSD are most evident in the context of emotional cues, and are related to decrements in function and structure of cognitive control and salience networks.",
keywords = "Attention, Cognition, DTI, PTSD, Stroop, Structure, fMRI",
author = "Negar Fani and King, {Tricia Z.} and Cherita Clendinen and Hardy, {Raven A.} and Sindhuja Surapaneni and Blair, {James R.} and White, {Stuart F.} and Abigail Powers and Ely, {Tim D.} and Tanja Jovanovic and Ressler, {Kerry J.} and Bekh Bradley",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.098",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "253",
pages = "343--351",
journal = "Journal of Affective Disorders",
issn = "0165-0327",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attentional control abnormalities in posttraumatic stress disorder

T2 - Functional, behavioral, and structural correlates

AU - Fani, Negar

AU - King, Tricia Z.

AU - Clendinen, Cherita

AU - Hardy, Raven A.

AU - Surapaneni, Sindhuja

AU - Blair, James R.

AU - White, Stuart F.

AU - Powers, Abigail

AU - Ely, Tim D.

AU - Jovanovic, Tanja

AU - Ressler, Kerry J.

AU - Bradley, Bekh

PY - 2019/6/15

Y1 - 2019/6/15

N2 - Background: Attentional disruptions are common in PTSD, but findings across neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have been variable. Few PTSD studies have investigated abnormalities in attention networks using a multi-modal imaging approach and attentional tasks that include emotionally-salient images. This study combined a behavioral task that included these images (emotional Stroop)with functional and structural neuroimaging (fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging; DTI)methods to comprehensively investigate attentional control abnormalities in a highly-traumatized civilian sample. Methods: 48 traumatized women with and without PTSD received clinical assessments, fMRI and DTI. During fMRI, the Affective Stroop (AS), an attentional control task that includes emotionally-salient distractor images (trauma-relevant, positive, neutral)and variable task demands, was administered. Results: In response to more difficult AS trials, participants with PTSD demonstrated lower activation in the dorsal and rostral anterior cingulate cortex and greater activation in the insula. This group also showed comparatively poorer performance on positive AS distractor trials, even after adjusting for trauma exposure. Performance on these trials inversely correlated with structural integrity of the cingulum bundle and uncinate fasciculus. Conclusions: Even after adjusting for trauma exposure, participants with PTSD showed worse performance on an attentional control task in the context of emotional stimuli. They also showed relatively lower cognitive control network activation and greater salience network activation. Fronto-parietal and fronto-limbic white matter connectivity corresponded with AS performance. Our findings indicate that attentional control impairments in PTSD are most evident in the context of emotional cues, and are related to decrements in function and structure of cognitive control and salience networks.

AB - Background: Attentional disruptions are common in PTSD, but findings across neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have been variable. Few PTSD studies have investigated abnormalities in attention networks using a multi-modal imaging approach and attentional tasks that include emotionally-salient images. This study combined a behavioral task that included these images (emotional Stroop)with functional and structural neuroimaging (fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging; DTI)methods to comprehensively investigate attentional control abnormalities in a highly-traumatized civilian sample. Methods: 48 traumatized women with and without PTSD received clinical assessments, fMRI and DTI. During fMRI, the Affective Stroop (AS), an attentional control task that includes emotionally-salient distractor images (trauma-relevant, positive, neutral)and variable task demands, was administered. Results: In response to more difficult AS trials, participants with PTSD demonstrated lower activation in the dorsal and rostral anterior cingulate cortex and greater activation in the insula. This group also showed comparatively poorer performance on positive AS distractor trials, even after adjusting for trauma exposure. Performance on these trials inversely correlated with structural integrity of the cingulum bundle and uncinate fasciculus. Conclusions: Even after adjusting for trauma exposure, participants with PTSD showed worse performance on an attentional control task in the context of emotional stimuli. They also showed relatively lower cognitive control network activation and greater salience network activation. Fronto-parietal and fronto-limbic white matter connectivity corresponded with AS performance. Our findings indicate that attentional control impairments in PTSD are most evident in the context of emotional cues, and are related to decrements in function and structure of cognitive control and salience networks.

KW - Attention

KW - Cognition

KW - DTI

KW - PTSD

KW - Stroop

KW - Structure

KW - fMRI

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065843515&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85065843515&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.098

DO - 10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.098

M3 - Article

C2 - 31078834

AN - SCOPUS:85065843515

VL - 253

SP - 343

EP - 351

JO - Journal of Affective Disorders

JF - Journal of Affective Disorders

SN - 0165-0327

ER -