Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Behavioral and Brain Functions






9 (1-16)


Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating disorder defined by the onset of intrusive, avoidant, negative cognitive or affective, and/or hyperarousal symptoms after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Previous voxel-based morphometry studies have provided insight into structural brain alterations associated with PTSD with notable heterogeneity across these studies. Furthermore, how structural alterations may be associated with brain function, as measured by task-free and task-based functional connectivity, remains to be elucidated.

Methods: Using emergent meta-analytic techniques, we sought to first identify a consensus of structural alterations in PTSD using the anatomical likelihood estimation (ALE) approach. Next, we generated functional profiles of identified convergent structural regions utilizing resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) and meta-analytic co-activation modeling (MACM) methods. Finally, we performed functional decoding to examine mental functions associated with our ALE, rsFC, and MACM brain characterizations.

Results: We observed convergent structural alterations in a single region located in the medial prefrontal cortex. The resultant rsFC and MACM maps identified functional connectivity across a widespread, whole-brain network that included frontoparietal and limbic regions. Functional decoding revealed overlapping associations with attention, memory, and emotion processes.

Conclusions: Consensus-based functional connectivity was observed in regions of the default mode, salience, and central executive networks, which play a role in the tripartite model of psychopathology. Taken together, these findings have important implications for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms associated with PTSD.


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (CC0 1.0) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Original Publication Citation

Pankey, B. S., Riedel, M. C., Cowan, I., Bartley, J. E., Pintos Lobo, R., Hill-Bowen, L. D., Salo, T., Musser, E. D., Sutherland, M. T., & Laird, A. R. (2022). Extended functional connectivity of convergent structural alterations among individuals with PTSD: A neuroimaging meta-analysis. Behavioral and Brain Functions, 18(1), 1-16, Article 9.

SupplementalInfoCowan.xlsx (15 kB)
Supplemental Information