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Front Hum Neurosci. 2013 Oct 30;7:727. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00727. eCollection 2013.

Shifted intrinsic connectivity of central executive and salience network in borderline personality disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München Munich, Germany ; Department of Neuroradiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München Munich, Germany ; TUM-Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität München Munich, Germany ; Munich Center for Neurosciences - Brain and Mind, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Martinsried, Germany.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by "stable instability" of emotions and behavior and their regulation. This emotional and behavioral instability corresponds with a neurocognitive triple network model of psychopathology, which suggests that aberrant emotional saliency and cognitive control is associated with aberrant interaction across three intrinsic connectivity networks [i.e., the salience network (SN), default mode network (DMN), and central executive network (CEN)]. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether and how such triple network intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) is changed in patients with BPD. We acquired resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) data from 14 patients with BPD and 16 healthy controls. High-model order independent component analysis was used to extract spatiotemporal patterns of ongoing, coherent blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal fluctuations from rs-fMRI data. Main outcome measures were iFC within networks (intra-iFC) and between networks (i.e., network time course correlation inter-iFC). Aberrant intra-iFC was found in patients' DMN, SN, and CEN, consistent with previous findings. While patients' inter-iFC of the CEN was decreased, inter-iFC of the SN was increased. In particular, a balance index reflecting the relationship of CEN- and SN-inter-iFC across networks was strongly shifted from CEN to SN connectivity in patients. Results provide first preliminary evidence for aberrant triple network iFC in BPD. Our data suggest a shift of inter-network iFC from networks involved in cognitive control to those of emotion-related activity in BPD, potentially reflecting the persistent instability of emotion regulation in patients.


brain connectivity; brain networks; central executive network; default mode network; large-scale networks; resting-state functional connectivity; salience network; triple network hypothesis

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