Psychiatry Investig.  2015 Jul;12(3):372-380. 10.4306/pi.2015.12.3.372.

Analysis of Altered Baseline Brain Activity in Drug-Naive Adult Patients with Social Anxiety Disorder Using Resting-State Functional MRI

  • 1Mental Health Center, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China.
  • 2Depression Treatment Center, Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, PR China.
  • 3Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, PR China.
  • 4Department of Radiology, Huaxi MR Research Center (HMRRC), West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Hangzhou Seventh People Hospital, Hangzhou, PR China.


We hypothesize that the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) is involved in the altered regional baseline brain function in social anxiety disorder (SAD). The aim of the study was to analyze the altered baseline brain activity in drug-naive adult patients with SAD.
We investigated spontaneous and baseline brain activities by obtaining the resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 20 drug-naive adult SAD patients and 19 healthy controls. Voxels were used to analyze the ALFF values using one- and two-sample t-tests. A post-hoc correlation of clinical symptoms was also performed.
Our findings show decreased ALFF in the bilateral insula, left medial superior frontal gyrus, left precuneus, left middle temporal gyrus, right middle temporal pole, and left fusiform gyrus of the SAD group. The SAD patients exhibited significantly increased ALFF in the right inferior temporal gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus, bilateral middle occipital gyrus, orbital superior frontal gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, right medial superior frontal gyrus, and left parahippocampal gyrus. Moreover, the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale results for the SAD patients were positively correlated with the mean Z values of the right middle occipital and right inferior occipital but showed a negative correlation with the mean Z values of the right superior temporal gyrus and right medial superior frontal gyrus.
These results of the altered regional baseline brain function in SAD suggest that the regions with abnormal spontaneous activities are involved in the underlying pathophysiology of SAD patients.


Social anxiety disorder; Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations; Default mode network

MeSH Terms

Anxiety Disorders*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
Parahippocampal Gyrus
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