The functional connectome predicts feeling of stress on regular days and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Peiduo Liu, Wenjing Yang*, Kaixiang Zhuang, Dongtao Wei, Rongjun YU, Xiting Huang, Jiang Qiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Although many studies have explored the neural mechanism of the feeling of stress, to date, no effort has been made to establish a model capable of predicting the feeling of stress at the individual level using the resting-state functional connectome. Although individuals may be confronted with multidimensional stressors during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, their appraisal of the impact and severity of these events might vary. In this study, connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) with leave-one-out cross-validation was conducted to predict individual perceived stress (PS) from whole-brain functional connectivity data from 817 participants. The results showed that the feeling of stress could be predicted by the interaction between the default model network and salience network, which are involved in emotion regulation and salience attribution, respectively. Key nodes that contributed to the prediction model comprised regions mainly located in the limbic systems and temporal lobe. Critically, the CPM model of PS based on regular days can be generalized to predict individual PS levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a multidimensional, uncontrollable stressful situation. The stability of the results was demonstrated by two independent datasets. The present work not only expands existing knowledge regarding the neural mechanism of PS but also may help identify high-risk individuals in healthy populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100285
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Stress
Early online date17 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Connectome-based predictive modeling
  • COVID-19
  • Perceived stress
  • Perceived stress scale
  • Resting-state functional connectivity


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