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Trends Neurosci. 2014 Jun;37(6):304-14. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Apr 21.

Dynamic adaptation of large-scale brain networks in response to acute stressors.

Author information

1
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, 6525 EN, The Netherlands; Department for Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, 6525 EN, The Netherlands. Electronic address: erno.hermans@donders.ru.nl.
2
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, 6525 EN, The Netherlands; Department of Translational Neuroscience, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Translational Neuroscience, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.
4
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, 6525 EN, The Netherlands; Department for Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, 6525 EN, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Stress initiates an intricate response that affects diverse cognitive and affective domains, with the goal of improving survival chances in the light of changing environmental challenges. Here, we bridge animal data at cellular and systems levels with human work on brain-wide networks to propose a framework describing how stress-related neuromodulators trigger dynamic shifts in network balance, enabling an organism to comprehensively reallocate its neural resources according to cognitive demands. We argue that exposure to acute stress prompts a reallocation of resources to a salience network, promoting fear and vigilance, at the cost of an executive control network. After stress subsides, resource allocation to these two networks reverses, which normalizes emotional reactivity and enhances higher-order cognitive processes important for long-term survival.

PMID:
24766931
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2014.03.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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