Anxiety Mood.  2018 Oct;14(2):63-70. 10.24986/anxmod.2018.14.2.63.

Recent Advances on Resting State Functional Abnormalities of the Default Mode Network in Social Anxiety Disorder

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 2Premedical Science, Chosun University College of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea.


It has been suggested that aberrant self-referential processing (SRP) is one of the important components of the explanatory models of social anxiety disorder (SAD). The default mode network (DMN), which reflects intrinsic brain functions, is known to play a critical role in SRP. Recently, resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research on the functional connectivity in the brain network has gained greater attention as a tool to elucidate the neurobiological basis of various psychiatric disorders. We reviewed resting state fMRI studies that investigated the resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the DMN in SAD. Despite of the heterogeneity of the analytic methods and occasional negative findings, most studies consistently reported abnormalities of RSFC within the DMN, suggesting that the DMN may be significant neural correlates of aberrant SRP in SAD. Also, changes in RSFC of the DMN are associated with clinical improvements of therapeutic interventions. Moreover, emerging findings provide the basis for potential use of RSFC as a complementary method in diagnosis of SAD. Ongoing and future research to investigate RSFC of the DMN could broaden our understanding regarding the neurobiological basis of SAD, and contribute to the development of novel treatments for SAD.


Social anxiety disorder; Default mode network; Resting state functional connectivity; Self-referential processing
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