Hippocampal connectivity in the aftermath of acute social stress

Jingjing Chang, Rongjun Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The hippocampus is a core brain region that responds to stress. Previous studies have found a dysconnectivity between hippocampus and other brain regions under acute and chronic stress. However, whether and how acute social stress influences the directed connectivity patterns from and to the hippocampus remains unclear. In this study, using a within-subject design and Granger causal analysis (GCA), we investigated the alterations of resting state effective connectivity from and to hippocampal subregions after an acute social stressor (the Trier Social Stress Test). Participants were engaged in stress and control conditions spaced approximately one month apart. Our findings showed that stress altered the information flows in the thalamus-hippocampus-insula/midbrain circuit. The changes in this circuit could also predict with high accuracy the stress and control conditions at the subject level. These hippocampus-related brain networks have been documented to be involved in emotional information processing and storage, as well as habitual responses. We speculate that alterations of the effective connectivity between these brain regions may be associated with the registering and encoding of threatening stimuli under stress. Our investigation of hippocampal functional connectivity at a subregional level may help elucidate the functional neurobiology of stress-related psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100195
JournalNeurobiology of Stress
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

User-Defined Keywords

  • Granger causal analysis
  • Hippocampus
  • Insula
  • Midbrain
  • Stress
  • Thalamus


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