Aberrant Intrinsic Brain Network Functional Connectivity During a Face-Matching Task in Women Diagnosed With Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Inbal Reuveni, Rotem Dan, Laura Canetti, Atira S. Bick, Ronen Segman, Moria Azoulay, Carmel Kalla, Omer Bonne*, Gadi Goelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is characterized by affective, cognitive, and physical symptoms, suggesting alterations at the brain network level. Women with PMDD demonstrate aberrant discrimination of facial emotions during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and altered reactivity to emotional stimuli. However, previous studies assessing emotional task-related brain reactivity using region-of-interest or whole-brain analysis have reported conflicting findings. Therefore, we utilized both region-of-interest task-reactivity and seed-voxel functional connectivity (FC) approaches to test for differences in the default mode network, salience network, and central executive network between women with PMDD and control participants during an emotional-processing task that yields an optimal setup for investigating brain network changes in PMDD. Methods: Twenty-four women with PMDD and 27 control participants were classified according to the Daily Record of Severity of Problems. Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scans while completing the emotional face-matching task during the midfollicular and late-luteal phases of their menstrual cycle. Results: No significant between-group differences in brain reactivity were found using region-of-interest analysis. In the FC analysis, a main effect of diagnosis was found showing decreased default mode network connectivity, increased salience network connectivity, and decreased central executive network connectivity in women with PMDD compared with control participants. A significant interaction between menstrual cycle phase and diagnosis was found in the central executive network for right posterior parietal cortex and left inferior lateral occipital cortex connectivity. A post hoc analysis revealed stronger FC during the midfollicular than the late-luteal phase of PMDD. Conclusions: Aberrant FC in the 3 brain networks involved in PMDD may indicate vulnerability to experience affective and cognitive symptoms of the disorder.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)492-500
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Society of Biological Psychiatry


  • Central executive network (CEN)
  • Default mode network (DMN)
  • Face-matching task
  • Functional imaging
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Salience network (SN)


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