Dynamic adaptation of large-scale brain networks in response to acute stressors

Erno J. Hermans*, Marloes J. A. G. Henckens, Marian Joels, Guillen Fernandez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

391 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stress initiates an intricate response that affects diverse cognitive and affective domains, with the goal of improving survival chances in the light of changing environmental challenges. Here, we bridge animal data at cellular and systems levels with human work on brain-wide networks to propose a framework describing how stress-related neuromodulators trigger dynamic shifts in network balance, enabling an organism to comprehensively reallocate its neural resources according to cognitive demands. We argue that exposure to acute stress prompts a reallocation of resources to a salience network, promoting fear and vigilance, at the cost of an executive control network. After stress subsides, resource allocation to these two networks reverses, which normalizes emotional reactivity and enhances higher-order cognitive processes important for long-term survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-314
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in neurosciences
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • GLUCOCORTICOID-RECEPTOR ACTIVATION
  • INTRINSIC CONNECTIVITY NETWORKS
  • CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING-FACTOR
  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • ENHANCE MEMORY CONSOLIDATION
  • ACUTE PSYCHOSOCIAL STRESS
  • MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • HEALTHY-YOUNG MEN
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • LOCUS-COERULEUS

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