EEG-based brain network analysis of psychosocial stress

Psychosocial stress, defined as stress induced by unpredictable, uncontrollable or novel stimuli in a social context, has consistently been linked to a multitude of health complications such as increased risks for heart disease and depression. Three major brain networks, the default mode network (DMN), Salience network (SN) and the central executive network (CEN), are involved in the stress response to psychosocial stress. These networks are defined using fMRI and have been studied extensively, but no EEG-based brain network analyses have been conducted yet. In this project, healthy participants are exposed to both validated as well as novel psychosocial stressors while EEG is collected concurrently, and EEG source modelling is used to investigate how these networks are affected by psychosocial stress, giving novel insights in both within- and between-network interactions related to psychosocial stress exposure. This project is a collaboration between the MEDISIP and Ghent Experimental Psychiatry (GHEP) research groups at Ghent University.

Fig 1: analysis steps of this project. (Adapted from: Joshi, A et al. (2017), ‘A Whole Brain Atlas with Sub-parcellation of Cortical Gyri using Resting fMRI’, SPIE Medical Imaging, 101330O-101330O-9.; Leitgeb, E. P., et al. (2020). The brain as a complex network: assessment of EEG‐based functional connectivity patterns in patients with childhood absence epilepsy. Epileptic Disorders, 22(5), 519-530.)

Contact: Gert Vanhollebeke