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Donofry, Shannon D. (2018) FUNCTIONAL NETWORK ARCHITECTURE IN OBESITY: COMPARISON OF TASK-EVOKED AND RESTING STATE CONNECTIVITY. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Functional alterations of the neural networks that support reward valuation and reward-driven decision making may be related to obesity. In support of this hypothesis, obesity is associated with differences in task-evoked and intrinsic functional connectivity. However, few studies have used a hypothesis-driven multimodal approach to compare obesity-related differences in functional network organization evoked by high calorie food cues and in the absence of externally-guided information processing demands. The sample included 122 adults (78% female; age M = 44.43, SD = 8.67) with body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range (BMI M = 31.28, SD = 3.92) assessed prior to a behavioral weight loss intervention. Participants completed a functional MRI scan that included a resting period followed by a visual food cue task in which participants viewed alternating blocks of high and low-calorie foods and neutral non-food items. A seed-based approach was used, with seeds being located in regions including the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Whole-brain functional connectivity analyses were conducted to examine seed-to-voxel signal covariation during the presentation of high calorie food and at rest. For all seeds selected for analysis, obesity was associated with stronger functional connectivity during the presentation of high calorie food, but weaker functional connectivity at rest. While regions located in the default mode network (e.g., mPFC, posterior cingulate cortex) exhibited BMI-dependent modulation of signal coherence in the presence of palatable food cues, regions involved in reward processing (e.g., basal ganglia) exhibited BMI-dependent modulation of signal coherence at rest. These data provide evidence that obesity predicts stronger functional connectivity between regions involved in reward valuation, self-directed thinking, memory, and emotion processing during the presentation of high calorie food cues, but weaker intrinsic functional connectivity in reward processing regions. These dissociable patterns of functional network organization are suggestive of separate mechanisms potentially contributing to variation in functioning in distinct cognitive, psychological, or behavioral domains. This may have implications for understanding individual differences in obesity.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Donofry, Shannon D.sdd14@pitt.eduSDD14
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoecklein, Kathryn A.kroeck@pitt.edukroeck
Committee MemberErickson, Kirk I.kiericks@pitt.edukiericks
Committee MemberManuck, Stephen B.manuck@pitt.edumanuck
Committee MemberWildes, Jennifer
Committee MemberVerstynen,
Date: 26 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 July 2017
Approval Date: 26 September 2018
Submission Date: 31 July 2017
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 118
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Obesity, functional connectivity, reward, default mode network, frontostriatal network
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 23:36
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2023 05:15


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