Resting-state functional connectivity as a biomarker of aggression in mild traumatic brain injury

Natalie S. Dailey, Ryan Smith, John R. Vanuk, Adam C. Raikes, William D.S. Killgore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can alter the structure of the brain and result in a range of symptoms, including elevated aggression. Neurological damage associated with mTBI is traditionally viewed as transient, yet a growing number of studies suggest long-lasting psychological and neurological changes following mTBI. However, research examining the neural basis of emotion processing in the chronic stage of mTBI recovery remains sparse. In the current study, we utilized resting state functional MRI to explore the association between default mode network connectivity and aggression in 17 healthy controls and 17 adults at least 6 months post-mTBI. The association between within-network connectivity and aggression was examined using general linear models, controlling for the effects of depression. Increased connectivity between the right hippocampus and midcingulate cortex was associated with elevated aggression in adults with mTBI, but not in healthy controls. The results provide evidence for a link between intrinsic functional network disruptions and the manifestation of postconcussive symptoms within chronic stages of recovery following mTBI. These findings expand upon the current research, providing evidence for the use of resting state functional connectivity as a potential biomarker of postconcussive aggression in chronic mTBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1413-1417
Number of pages5
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 7 2018


  • aggression
  • default mode network
  • functional connectivity
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • postconcussive symptoms
  • resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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