Intrinsic Network Abnormalities in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Research Directions for the Next Decade

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Studying the brain during a relaxed, resting state may allow for the detection of shifts in core brain networks such as the default mode network (DMN) undetectable with task-dependent study designs and may thus provide new opportunities to elucidate the neural correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To date, several investigations of DMN connectivity alterations in both acutely and chronically traumatized subjects have been carried out. Here we review the evidence for disorder-specific DMN alterations in patients suffering from PTSD and discuss their putative relationship to PTSD symptomatology such as autobiographical memory recall and altered emotion processing. We list six research approaches which may further our understanding of the role DMN alterations play in the onset and maintenance of PTSD.

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