An Effect of Chronic Stress on Prospective Memory via Alteration of Resting-State Hippocampal Subregion Functional Connectivity

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 23;9(1):19698. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56111-9.


The alteration of hippocampal function by chronic stress impairs higher order cognitive functions such as prospective memory (PM). However, how chronic stress affects hippocampal subregions related to PM remains largely unknown. In this study, the altered functional network of hippocampal subregions related to PM in chronic stress was explored. College students (N = 21) completed PM tasks and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans one month prior to (baseline) and during the final examination week (chronic stress). Hippocampal subregions' seed-based functional connectivity (FC) and PM were compared between baseline and chronic stress. PM performance declined in chronic stress. The FC of the cornu ammonis 2, 3 and dentate gyrus (CA23DG) with the bilateral caudate and precuneus was increased in chronic stress, while the FC of the subicular complex (SUBC) with the left middle frontal gyrus, the left inferior parietal gyrus and the right supramarginal gyrus was decreased. There was a negative correlation between PM performance and the FC of hippocampal subregions. We found chronic stress impairs PM by decreasing the FC of SUBC and increasing the FC of CA23DG. These findings suggest functional changes in hippocampal subregion networks as a mechanism underlying the impairment of PM in chronic stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / diagnostic imaging
  • CA1 Region, Hippocampal / physiopathology
  • CA2 Region, Hippocampal / diagnostic imaging
  • CA2 Region, Hippocampal / physiopathology
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / diagnostic imaging
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Connectome / psychology
  • Dentate Gyrus / diagnostic imaging
  • Dentate Gyrus / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Functional Neuroimaging
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory, Episodic*
  • Rest / physiology
  • Rest / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnostic imaging
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult