Document Type



Early life stress (ELS) can be very harmful to an individual’s wellbeing and brain development. It is well established that childhood maltreatment is a significant risk factor for depression. ELS is positively correlated with depressive symptoms both in major depression disorder patients and healthy individuals, but the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying this association are still unclear. In the present study, we calculate the within/between-network connectivity in 528 college students, and Pearson correlation was performed to investigate the relationship between network measures and ELS. Additionally, the same method was applied to verify these results in another sample. Finally, mediation analysis was performed to explore the cognitive and neural mechanisms regarding the association between ELS and depression. Correlation analysis indicated that ELS was positively correlated with the within-network connectivity of the ventral attention network (VAN), the dorsal attention network (DAN), the salience network (SN), the somatosensory network (SMN) and the between-network connectivity of ventral attention network-dorsal attention network (VAN-DAN), ventral attention network- somatosensory network (VAN-SMN), and ventral attention network-visual network (VAN-VN). Validation results indicated that ELS is associated with the within-network connectivity of VAN and DAN. Mediation analysis revealed that attention bias and the within-network connectivity of VAN could mediated the relationship between ELS and depression. Both behavioral and neural evidence emphasize ELS’s influence on individual’s emotion attention. Furthermore, the present study also provides two possible mediation models to explain the potential mechanisms behind the relationship between ELS and depression.

Publication Date

January 2020

Publication Title

Scientific Reports



Included in

Education Commons