Evaluation of vmpfc-amygdala resting state functional connectivity as a transdiagnostic moderator of momentary sadness and rumination
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Rumination has been identified as a transdiagnostic feature of emotional distress disorders that exacerbates symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is thought that rumination may be due in part to heightened resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC) in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala. Though past fMRI research has linked in-lab self-report measures of emotional distress to vmPFC-amygdala rs-FC, few have examined its relation to symptoms of distress using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). This proposed study utilized EMA to examine vmPFC-amygdala rs-FC as a moderator of momentary rumination and sadness. The sample consisted of 27 women who met criteria for anxiety, depression, and/or borderline personality disorder. Participants completed a 6-minute resting state scan and were administered multiple prompts every day for 14 days. Multilevel models were used to assess the moderating influence of vmPFC-amygdala rsFC on the relationship of momentary- and day-level sadness and rumination. Results showed that though vmPFC-amygdala rsFC did not significantly interact with concurrent and lagged momentary rumination to predict momentary sadness, it did significantly moderate the relationship between concurrent day-level rumination and sadness such that individuals with higher rsFC experienced a stronger relationship between sadness and rumination. This study utilized novel methods to offer vmPFC-amygdala rsFC as a potential influencing factor on the relationship between rumination and sadness people experience in daily life.