Brain network dysfunctions in addiction: a meta-analysis of resting-state functional connectivity

Serenella Tolomeo*, Rongjun Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) provides novel insights into variabilities in neural networks associated with the use of addictive drugs or with addictive behavioral repertoire. However, given the broad mix of inconsistent findings across studies, identifying specific consistent patterns of network abnormalities is warranted. Here we aimed at integrating rsFC abnormalities and systematically searching for large-scale functional brain networks in substance use disorder (SUD) and behavioral addictions (BA), through a coordinate-based meta-analysis of seed-based rsFC studies. A total of fifty-two studies are eligible in the meta-analysis, including 1911 SUD and BA patients and 1580 healthy controls. In addition, we performed multilevel kernel density analysis (MKDA) for the brain regions reliably involved in hyperconnectivity and hypoconnectivity in SUD and BA. Data from fifty-two studies showed that SUD was associated with putamen, caudate and middle frontal gyrus hyperconnectivity relative to healthy controls. Eight BA studies showed hyperconnectivity clusters within the putamen and medio-temporal lobe relative to healthy controls. Altered connectivity in salience or emotion-processing areas may be related to dysregulated affective and cognitive control-related networks, such as deficits in regulating elevated sensitivity to drug-related stimuli. These findings confirm that SUD and BA might be characterized by dysfunctions in specific brain networks, particularly those implicated in the core cognitive and affective functions. These findings might provide insight into the development of neural mechanistic biomarkers for SUD and BA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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