Reappraisal of Interpersonal Criticism in Social Anxiety Disorder: A Brain Network Hierarchy Perspective

Y. Jacob, O. Shany, P. R. Goldin, J. J. Gross, T. Hendler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Emotion regulation is thought to involve communication between and within large-scale brain networks that underlie emotion reactivity and cognitive control. Aberrant network interaction might therefore be a key neural feature of mental disorders that involve emotion dysregulation. Here we tested whether connectivity hierarchies within and between emotion reactivity and cognitive reappraisal networks distinguishes social anxiety disorder (SAD) patients (n = 70) from healthy controls (HC) (n = 25). To investigate network organization, we implemented a graph-theory method called Dependency Network Analysis. Participants underwent fMRI while watching or reappraising video clips involving interpersonal verbal criticism. During reappraisal, the reappraisal network exerted less influence on the reactivity network in SAD participants. Specifically, the influence of the right inferior frontal gyrus on both reappraisal and reactivity networks was significantly reduced in SAD compared with HC, and correlated negatively with negative emotion ratings among SAD participants. Surprisingly, the amygdala exhibited reduced influence on the reappraisal network in SAD relative to HC. Yet, during the watch condition, the left amygdala's influence on the reactivity network increased with greater social anxiety symptoms among SAD participants. These findings refine our understanding of network organization that contributes to efficient reappraisal or to disturbances in applying this strategy in SAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3154-3167
Number of pages14
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • cognitive reappraisal
  • emotional reactivity
  • fMRI
  • graph theory network analysis
  • social anxiety disorder


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