Brain intrinsic network connectivity in individuals with frequent tanning behavior

Ariel Ketcherside, Francesca M. Filbey, Pamela M. Aubert, John P. Seibyl, Julianne L. Price, Bryon Adinoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Emergent studies suggest a bidirectional relationship between brain functioning and the skin. This neurocutaneous connection may be responsible for the reward response to tanning and, thus, may contribute to excessive tanning behavior. To date, however, this association has not yet been examined. Objectives: To explore whether intrinsic brain functional connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) is related to indoor tanning behavior. Methods: Resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) was obtained in twenty adults (16 females) with a history of indoor tanning. Using a seed-based [(posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)] approach, the relationship between tanning severity and FC strength was assessed. Tanning severity was measured with symptom count from the Structured Clinical Interview for Tanning Abuse and Dependence (SITAD) and tanning intensity (lifetime indoor tanning episodes/years tanning). Results: rsFC strength between the PCC and other DMN regions (left globus pallidus, left medial frontal gyrus, left superior frontal gyrus) is positively correlated with tanning symptom count. rsFC strength between the PCC and salience network regions (right anterior cingulate cortex, left inferior parietal lobe, left inferior temporal gyrus) is correlated with tanning intensity. Conclusion: Greater connectivity between tanning severity and DMN and salience network connectivity suggests that heightened self-awareness of salient stimuli may be a mechanism that underlies frequent tanning behavior. These findings add to the growing evidence of brain-skin connection and reflect dysregulation in the reward processing networks in those with frequent tanning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-677
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2018


  • Striatum
  • posterior cingulate cortex
  • resting state functional connectivity
  • reward
  • tanning
  • ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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