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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: J.A. DiGangi, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. digangi@psych.uic.edu.

J.A. DiGangi and A. Tadayyon contributed equally to this work.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the National Institutes of Health.


Research Funding:

This research study was supported by a Veterans Affairs Merit Review Program Award (to KLP) issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development.

This work was also supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH093679 to HK).


  • Combat
  • DMN
  • PTSD
  • Rest
  • Trauma
  • fMRI
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
  • War-Related Injuries
  • Young Adult

Reduced default mode network connectivity following combat trauma


Journal Title:

Neuroscience Letters


Volume 615


, Pages 37-43

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Recent studies show decreased functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) in PTSD; however, few have directly examined combat trauma specifically. There is limited understanding of how combat itself may affect the DMN. Some literature suggests that trauma exposure, rather than PTSD, can disrupt the DMN. To further elucidate the effect of trauma and PTSD on the DMN, we investigated DMN functional connectivity during the resting-state in veterans with PTSD, combat-exposed controls, and never-traumatized healthy controls. Results revealed that DMN connectivity was reduced in veterans exposed to combat trauma with and without PTSD compared to healthy civilian controls. Specifically, both groups of veterans demonstrated weaker connectivity within a network involving the precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and right superior parietal lobule regardless of whether the mPFC or precuneus was chosen as a seed region. Findings suggest that the experience of trauma, rather than the pathology of PTSD, may be related to DMN changes.

Copyright information:

© 2016 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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