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Sample records for amygdala mediates eyes-closed

  1. Eyes wide shut: amygdala mediates eyes-closed effect on emotional experience with music.

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    Lerner, Yulia; Papo, David; Zhdanov, Andrey; Belozersky, Libi; Hendler, Talma

    2009-07-15

    The perceived emotional value of stimuli and, as a consequence the subjective emotional experience with them, can be affected by context-dependent styles of processing. Therefore, the investigation of the neural correlates of emotional experience requires accounting for such a variable, a matter of an experimental challenge. Closing the eyes affects the style of attending to auditory stimuli by modifying the perceptual relationship with the environment without changing the stimulus itself. In the current study, we used fMRI to characterize the neural mediators of such modification on the experience of emotionality in music. We assumed that closed eyes position will reveal interplay between different levels of neural processing of emotions. More specifically, we focused on the amygdala as a central node of the limbic system and on its co-activation with the Locus Ceruleus (LC) and Ventral Prefrontal Cortex (VPFC); regions involved in processing of, respectively, 'low', visceral-, and 'high', cognitive-related, values of emotional stimuli. Fifteen healthy subjects listened to negative and neutral music excerpts with eyes closed or open. As expected, behavioral results showed that closing the eyes while listening to emotional music resulted in enhanced rating of emotionality, specifically of negative music. In correspondence, fMRI results showed greater activation in the amygdala when subjects listened to the emotional music with eyes closed relative to eyes open. More so, by using voxel-based correlation and a dynamic causal model analyses we demonstrated that increased amygdala activation to negative music with eyes closed led to increased activations in the LC and VPFC. This finding supports a system-based model of perceived emotionality in which the amygdala has a central role in mediating the effect of context-based processing style by recruiting neural operations involved in both visceral (i.e. 'low') and cognitive (i.e. 'high') related processes of emotions.

  2. Dopamine in the medial amygdala network mediates human bonding.

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    Atzil, Shir; Touroutoglou, Alexandra; Rudy, Tali; Salcedo, Stephanie; Feldman, Ruth; Hooker, Jacob M; Dickerson, Bradford C; Catana, Ciprian; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2017-02-28

    Research in humans and nonhuman animals indicates that social affiliation, and particularly maternal bonding, depends on reward circuitry. Although numerous mechanistic studies in rodents demonstrated that maternal bonding depends on striatal dopamine transmission, the neurochemistry supporting maternal behavior in humans has not been described so far. In this study, we tested the role of central dopamine in human bonding. We applied a combined functional MRI-PET scanner to simultaneously probe mothers' dopamine responses to their infants and the connectivity between the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), the amygdala, and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), which form an intrinsic network (referred to as the "medial amygdala network") that supports social functioning. We also measured the mothers' behavioral synchrony with their infants and plasma oxytocin. The results of this study suggest that synchronous maternal behavior is associated with increased dopamine responses to the mother's infant and stronger intrinsic connectivity within the medial amygdala network. Moreover, stronger network connectivity is associated with increased dopamine responses within the network and decreased plasma oxytocin. Together, these data indicate that dopamine is involved in human bonding. Compared with other mammals, humans have an unusually complex social life. The complexity of human bonding cannot be fully captured in nonhuman animal models, particularly in pathological bonding, such as that in autistic spectrum disorder or postpartum depression. Thus, investigations of the neurochemistry of social bonding in humans, for which this study provides initial evidence, are warranted.

  3. A genetically mediated bias in decision making driven by failure of amygdala control.

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    Roiser, Jonathan P; de Martino, Benedetto; Tan, Geoffrey C Y; Kumaran, Dharshan; Seymour, Ben; Wood, Nicholas W; Dolan, Raymond J

    2009-05-06

    Genetic variation at the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) is associated with altered amygdala reactivity and lack of prefrontal regulatory control. Similar regions mediate decision-making biases driven by contextual cues and ambiguity, for example the "framing effect." We hypothesized that individuals hemozygous for the short (s) allele at the 5-HTTLPR would be more susceptible to framing. Participants, selected as homozygous for either the long (la) or s allele, performed a decision-making task where they made choices between receiving an amount of money for certain and taking a gamble. A strong bias was evident toward choosing the certain option when the option was phrased in terms of gains and toward gambling when the decision was phrased in terms of losses (the frame effect). Critically, this bias was significantly greater in the ss group compared with the lala group. In simultaneously acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging data, the ss group showed greater amygdala during choices made in accord, compared with those made counter to the frame, an effect not seen in the lala group. These differences were also mirrored by differences in anterior cingulate-amygdala coupling between the genotype groups during decision making. Specifically, lala participants showed increased coupling during choices made counter to, relative to those made in accord with, the frame, with no such effect evident in ss participants. These data suggest that genetically mediated differences in prefrontal-amygdala interactions underpin interindividual differences in economic decision making.

  4. Lhx6 delineates a pathway mediating innate reproductive behaviors from the amygdala to the hypothalamus.

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    Choi, Gloria B; Dong, Hong-Wei; Murphy, Andrew J; Valenzuela, David M; Yancopoulos, George D; Swanson, Larry W; Anderson, David J

    2005-05-19

    In mammals, innate reproductive and defensive behaviors are mediated by anatomically segregated connections between the amygdala and hypothalamus. This anatomic segregation poses the problem of how the brain integrates activity in these circuits when faced with conflicting stimuli eliciting such mutually exclusive behaviors. Using genetically encoded and conventional axonal tracers, we have found that the transcription factor Lhx6 delineates the reproductive branch of this pathway. Other Lhx proteins mark neurons in amygdalar nuclei implicated in defense. We have traced parallel projections from the posterior medial amygdala, activated by reproductive or defensive olfactory stimuli, respectively, to a point of convergence in the ventromedial hypothalamus. The opposite neurotransmitter phenotypes of these convergent projections suggest a "gate control" mechanism for the inhibition of reproductive behaviors by threatening stimuli. Our data therefore identify a potential neural substrate for integrating the influences of conflicting behavioral cues and a transcription factor family that may contribute to the development of this substrate.

  5. Serotonin neurons in the dorsal raphe mediate the anticataplectic action of orexin neurons by reducing amygdala activity.

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    Hasegawa, Emi; Maejima, Takashi; Yoshida, Takayuki; Masseck, Olivia A; Herlitze, Stefan; Yoshioka, Mitsuhiro; Sakurai, Takeshi; Mieda, Michihiro

    2017-04-25

    Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder caused by the loss of orexin (hypocretin)-producing neurons and marked by excessive daytime sleepiness and a sudden weakening of muscle tone, or cataplexy, often triggered by strong emotions. In a mouse model for narcolepsy, we previously demonstrated that serotonin neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) mediate the suppression of cataplexy-like episodes (CLEs) by orexin neurons. Using an optogenetic tool, in this paper we show that the acute activation of DRN serotonin neuron terminals in the amygdala, but not in nuclei involved in regulating rapid eye-movement sleep and atonia, suppressed CLEs. Not only did stimulating serotonin nerve terminals reduce amygdala activity, but the chemogenetic inhibition of the amygdala using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs also drastically decreased CLEs, whereas chemogenetic activation increased them. Moreover, the optogenetic inhibition of serotonin nerve terminals in the amygdala blocked the anticataplectic effects of orexin signaling in DRN serotonin neurons. Taken together, the results suggest that DRN serotonin neurons, as a downstream target of orexin neurons, inhibit cataplexy by reducing the activity of amygdala as a center for emotional processing.

  6. Presynaptic CRF1 Receptors Mediate the Ethanol Enhancement of GABAergic Transmission in the Mouse Central Amygdala

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    Zhiguo Nie

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF is a 41-amino-acid neuropeptide involved in stress responses initiated from several brain areas, including the amygdala formation. Research shows a strong relationship between stress, brain CRF, and excessive alcohol consumption. Behavioral studies suggest that the central amygdala (CeA is significantly involved in alcohol reward and dependence. We recently reported that the ethanol augmentation of GABAergic synaptic transmission in rat CeA involves CRF1 receptors, because both CRF and ethanol significantly enhanced the amplitude of evoked GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs in CeA neurons from wild-type (WT and CRF2 knockout (KO mice, but not in neurons of CRF1 KO mice. The present study extends these findings using selective CRF receptor ligands, gene KO models, and miniature IPSC (mIPSC analysis to assess further a presynaptic role for the CRF receptors in mediating ethanol effects in the CeA. In whole-cell patch recordings of pharmacologically isolated GABAAergic IPSCs from slices of mouse CeA, both CRF and ethanol augmented evoked IPSCs in a concentration-dependent manner, with low EC50s. A CRF1 (but not CRF2 KO construct and the CRF1-selective nonpeptide antagonist NIH-3 (LWH-63 blocked the augmenting effect of both CRF and ethanol on evoked IPSCs. Furthermore, the new selective CRF1 agonist stressin1, but not the CRF2 agonist urocortin 3, also increased evoked IPSC amplitudes. Both CRF and ethanol decreased paired-pulse facilitation (PPF of evoked IPSCs and significantly enhanced the frequency, but not the amplitude, of spontaneous miniature GABAergic mIPSCs in CeA neurons of WT mice, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. The PPF effect of ethanol was abolished in CeA neurons of CRF1 KO mice. The CRF1 antagonist NIH-3 blocked the CRF- and ethanol-induced enhancement of mIPSC frequency in CeA neurons. These data indicate that presynaptic CRF1 receptors play a critical role in permitting

  7. Basomedial amygdala mediates top–down control of anxiety and fear

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    Adhikari, Avishek; Lerner, Talia N.; Finkelstein, Joel; Pak, Sally; Jennings, Joshua H.; Davidson, Thomas J.; Ferenczi, Emily; Gunaydin, Lisa A.; Mirzabekov, Julie J.; Ye, Li; Kim, Sung-Yon; Lei, Anna; Deisseroth, Karl

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety-related conditions are among the most difficult neuropsychiatric diseases to treat pharmacologically, but respond to cognitive therapies. There has therefore been interest in identifying relevant top-down pathways from cognitive control regions in medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Identification of such pathways could contribute to our understanding of the cognitive regulation of affect, and provide pathways for intervention. Previous studies have suggested that dorsal and ventral mPFC subregions exert opposing effects on fear, as do subregions of other structures. However, precise causal targets for top-down connections among these diverse possibilities have not been established. Here we show that the basomedial amygdala (BMA) represents the major target of ventral mPFC in amygdala in mice. Moreover, BMA neurons differentiate safe and aversive environments, and BMA activation decreases fear-related freezing and high-anxiety states. Lastly, we show that the ventral mPFC–BMA projection implements top-down control of anxiety state and learned freezing, both at baseline and in stress-induced anxiety, defining a broadly relevant new top-down behavioural regulation pathway. PMID:26536109

  8. 15. Amygdala pain mechanisms

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    Neugebauer, Volker

    2015-01-01

    A limbic brain area the amygdala plays a key role in emotional responses and affective states and disorders such as learned fear, anxiety and depression. The amygdala has also emerged as an important brain center for the emotional-affective dimension of pain and for pain modulation. Hyperactivity in the laterocapsular division of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeLC, also termed the “nociceptive amygdala”) accounts for pain-related emotional responses and anxiety-like behavior. Abnormally enhanced output from the CeLC is the consequence of an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms. Impaired inhibitory control mediated by a cluster of GABAergic interneurons in the intercalated cell masses (ITC) allows the development of glutamate- and neuropeptide-driven synaptic plasticity of excitatory inputs from the brainstem (parabrachial area) and from the lateral-basolateral amygdala network (LA-BLA, site of integration of polymodal sensory information). BLA hyperactivity also generates abnormally enhanced feedforward inhibition of principal cells in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a limbic cortical area that is strongly interconnected with the amygdala. Pain-related mPFC deactivation results in cognitive deficits and failure to engage cortically driven ITC-mediated inhibitory control of amygdala processing. Impaired cortical control allows the uncontrolled persistence of amygdala pain mechanisms. PMID:25846623

  9. [(35)S]-GTPgammaS autoradiography reveals alpha(2) adrenoceptor-mediated G-protein activation in amygdala and lateral septum.

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    Newman-Tancredi, A; Chaput, C; Touzard, M; Millan, M J

    2000-04-03

    alpha(2)-adrenoceptor-mediated G-protein activation was examined by [(35)S]-GTPgammaS autoradiography. In alpha(2)-adrenoceptor-rich regions (amygdala, lateral septum), noradrenaline stimulated [(35)S]-GTPgammaS binding. These actions were abolished by the selective alpha(2) antagonist, atipamezole. Conversely, in caudate nucleus, which expresses few alpha(2) receptors, noradrenaline-induced stimulation was not inhibited by atipamezole, suggesting that it is not mediated by alpha(2)-adrenoceptors.

  10. TRH and TRH receptor system in the basolateral amygdala mediate stress-induced depression-like behaviors.

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    Choi, Juli; Kim, Ji-eun; Kim, Tae-Kyung; Park, Jin-Young; Lee, Jung-Eun; Kim, Hannah; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Han, Pyung-Lim

    2015-10-01

    Chronic stress is a potent risk factor for depression, but the mechanism by which stress causes depression is not fully understood. To investigate the molecular mechanism underlying stress-induced depression, C57BL/6 inbred mice were treated with repeated restraint to induce lasting depressive behavioral changes. Behavioral states of individual animals were evaluated using the forced swim test, which measures psychomotor withdrawals, and the U-field test, which measures sociability. From these behavioral analyses, individual mice that showed depression-like behaviors in both psychomotor withdrawal and sociability tests, and individuals that showed a resiliency to stress-induced depression in both tests were selected. Among the neuropeptides expressed in the amygdala, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) was identified as being persistently up-regulated in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in individuals exhibiting severe depressive behaviors in the two behavior tests, but not in individuals displaying a stress resiliency. Activation of TRH receptors by local injection of TRH in the BLA in normal mice produced depressive behaviors, mimicking chronic stress effects, whereas siRNA-mediated suppression of either TRH or TRHR1 in the BLA completely blocked stress-induced depressive symptoms. The TRHR1 agonist, taltirelin, injection in the BLA increased the level of p-ERK, which mimicked the increased p-ERK level in the BLA that was induced by treatment with repeated stress. Stereotaxic injection of U0126, a potent inhibitor of the ERK pathway, within the BLA blocked stress-induced behavioral depression. These results suggest that repeated stress produces lasting depression-like behaviors via the up-regulation of TRH and TRH receptors in the BLA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The amygdala, reward and emotion.

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    Murray, Elisabeth A

    2007-11-01

    Recent research provides new insights into amygdala contributions to positive emotion and reward. Studies of neuronal activity in the monkey amygdala and of autonomic responses mediated by the monkey amygdala show that, contrary to a widely held view, the amygdala is just as important for processing positive reward and reinforcement as it is for negative. In addition, neuropsychological studies reveal that the amygdala is essential for only a fraction of what might be considered 'stimulus-reward processing', and that the neural substrates for emotion and reward are partially nonoverlapping. Finally, evidence suggests that two systems within the amygdala, operating in parallel, enable reward-predicting cues to influence behavior; one mediates a general, arousing effect of reward and the other links the sensory properties of reward to emotion.

  12. Amygdala mu-opioid receptors mediate the motivating influence of cue-triggered reward expectations.

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    Lichtenberg, Nina T; Wassum, Kate M

    2017-02-01

    Environmental reward-predictive stimuli can retrieve from memory a specific reward expectation that allows them to motivate action and guide choice. This process requires the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but little is known about the signaling systems necessary within this structure. Here we examined the role of the neuromodulatory opioid receptor system in the BLA in such cue-directed action using the outcome-specific Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT) test in rats. Inactivation of BLA mu-, but not delta-opioid receptors was found to dose-dependently attenuate the ability of a reward-predictive cue to selectively invigorate the performance of actions directed at the same unique predicted reward (i.e. to express outcome-specific PIT). BLA mu-opioid receptor inactivation did not affect the ability of a reward itself to similarly motivate action (outcome-specific reinstatement), suggesting a more selective role for the BLA mu-opioid receptor in the motivating influence of currently unobservable rewarding events. These data reveal a new role for BLA mu-opioid receptor activation in the cued recall of precise reward memories and the use of this information to motivate specific action plans. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Angiotensin II and CRF Receptors in the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala Mediate Hemodynamic Response Variability to Cocaine in Conscious Rats

    OpenAIRE

    Watanabe, Mari A.; Kucenas, Sarah; Bowman, Tamara A.; Ruhlman, Melissa; Knuepfer, Mark M.

    2009-01-01

    Stress or cocaine evokes either a large increase in systemic vascular resistance (SVR) or a smaller increase in SVR accompanied by an increase in cardiac output (designated vascular and mixed responders, respectively) in Sprague-Dawley rats. We hypothesized that the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) mediates this variability. Conscious, freely-moving rats, instrumented for measurement of arterial pressure and cardiac output and for drug delivery into the CeA, were given cocaine (5 mg/kg, ...

  14. Basolateral amygdala GABA-A receptors mediate stress-induced memory retrieval impairment in rats.

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    Sardari, Maryam; Rezayof, Ameneh; Khodagholi, Fariba; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2014-04-01

    The present study was designed to investigate the involvement of GABA-A receptors of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in the impairing effect of acute stress on memory retrieval. The BLAs of adult male Wistar rats were bilaterally cannulated and memory retrieval was measured in a step-through type passive avoidance apparatus. Acute stress was evoked by placing the animals on an elevated platform for 10, 20 and 30 min. The results indicated that exposure to 20 and 30 min stress, but not 10 min, before memory retrieval testing (pre-test exposure to stress) decreased the step-through latency, indicating stress-induced memory retrieval impairment. Intra-BLA microinjection of a GABA-A receptor agonist, muscimol (0.005-0.02 μg/rat), 5 min before exposure to an ineffective stress (10 min exposure to stress) induced memory retrieval impairment. It is important to note that pre-test intra-BLA microinjection of the same doses of muscimol had no effect on memory retrieval in the rats unexposed to 10 min stress. The blockade of GABA-A receptors of the BLA by injecting an antagonist, bicuculline (0.4-0.5 μg/rat), 5 min before 20 min exposure to stress, prevented stress-induced memory retrieval. Pre-test intra-BLA microinjection of the same doses of bicuculline (0.4-0.5 μg/rat) in rats unexposed to 20 min stress had no effect on memory retrieval. In addition, pre-treatment with bicuculline (0.1-0.4 μg/rat, intra-BLA) reversed muscimol (0.02 μg/rat, intra-BLA)-induced potentiation on the effect of stress in passive avoidance learning. It can be concluded that pre-test exposure to stress can induce memory retrieval impairment and the BLA GABA-A receptors may be involved in stress-induced memory retrieval impairment.

  15. Long-term social recognition memory is mediated by oxytocin-dependent synaptic plasticity in the medial amygdala.

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    Gur, Rotem; Tendler, Alex; Wagner, Shlomo

    2014-09-01

    Recognition of specific individuals is fundamental to mammalian social behavior and is mediated in most mammals by the main and accessory olfactory systems. Both these systems innervate the medial amygdala (MeA), where activity of the neuropeptide oxytocin is thought to mediate social recognition memory (SRM). The specific contribution of the MeA to SRM formation and the specific actions of oxytocin in the MeA are unknown. We used the social discrimination test to evaluate short-term and long-term SRM in adult Sprague-Dawley male rats (n = 38). The role of protein synthesis in the MeA was investigated by local application of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin (n = 11). Synaptic plasticity was assessed in vivo by recording the MeA evoked field potential responses to stimulation of the main (n = 21) and accessory (n = 56) olfactory bulbs before and after theta burst stimulation. Intracerebroventricular administration of saline, oxytocin, or oxytocin receptor antagonist was used to measure the effect of oxytocin on synaptic plasticity. Anisomycin application to the MeA prevented the formation of long-term SRM. In addition, the responses of MeA neurons underwent long-term depression (LTD) after theta burst stimulation of the accessory olfactory bulb, but not the main accessory bulb, in an oxytocin-dependent manner. No LTD was found in socially isolated rats, which are known to lack long-term SRM. Finally, accessory olfactory bulb stimulation before SRM acquisition blocked long-term SRM, supporting the involvement of LTD in the MeA in formation of long-term SRM. Our results indicate that long-term SRM in rats involves protein synthesis and oxytocin-dependent LTD in the MeA. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. LSD alters eyes-closed functional connectivity within the early visual cortex in a retinotopic fashion.

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    Roseman, Leor; Sereno, Martin I; Leech, Robert; Kaelen, Mendel; Orban, Csaba; McGonigle, John; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin L

    2016-08-01

    The question of how spatially organized activity in the visual cortex behaves during eyes-closed, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-induced "psychedelic imagery" (e.g., visions of geometric patterns and more complex phenomena) has never been empirically addressed, although it has been proposed that under psychedelics, with eyes-closed, the brain may function "as if" there is visual input when there is none. In this work, resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) data was analyzed from 10 healthy subjects under the influence of LSD and, separately, placebo. It was suspected that eyes-closed psychedelic imagery might involve transient local retinotopic activation, of the sort typically associated with visual stimulation. To test this, it was hypothesized that, under LSD, patches of the visual cortex with congruent retinotopic representations would show greater RSFC than incongruent patches. Using a retinotopic localizer performed during a nondrug baseline condition, nonadjacent patches of V1 and V3 that represent the vertical or the horizontal meridians of the visual field were identified. Subsequently, RSFC between V1 and V3 was measured with respect to these a priori identified patches. Consistent with our prior hypothesis, the difference between RSFC of patches with congruent retinotopic specificity (horizontal-horizontal and vertical-vertical) and those with incongruent specificity (horizontal-vertical and vertical-horizontal) increased significantly under LSD relative to placebo, suggesting that activity within the visual cortex becomes more dependent on its intrinsic retinotopic organization in the drug condition. This result may indicate that under LSD, with eyes-closed, the early visual system behaves as if it were seeing spatially localized visual inputs. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3031-3040, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Fear potentiated startle increases phospholipase D (PLD) expression/activity and PLD-linked metabotropic glutamate receptor mediated post-tetanic potentiation in rat amygdala.

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    Krishnan, Balaji; Scott, Michael T; Pollandt, Sebastian; Schroeder, Bradley; Kurosky, Alexander; Shinnick-Gallagher, Patricia

    2016-02-01

    Long-term memory (LTM) of fear stores activity dependent modifications that include changes in amygdala signaling. Previously, we identified an enhanced probability of release of glutamate mediated signaling to be important in rat fear potentiated startle (FPS), a well-established translational behavioral measure of fear. Here, we investigated short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in FPS involving metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and associated downstream proteomic changes in the thalamic-lateral amygdala pathway (Th-LA). Aldolase A, an inhibitor of phospholipase D (PLD), expression was reduced, concurrent with significantly elevated PLD protein expression. Blocking the PLD-mGluR signaling significantly reduced PLD activity. While transmitter release probability increased in FPS, PLD-mGluR agonist and antagonist actions were occluded. In the unpaired group (UNP), blocking the PLD-mGluR increased while activating the receptor decreased transmitter release probability, consistent with decreased synaptic potentials during tetanic stimulation. FPS Post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) immediately following long-term potentiation (LTP) induction was significantly increased. Blocking PLD-mGluR signaling prevented PTP and reduced cumulative PTP probability but not LTP maintenance in both groups. These effects are similar to those mediated through mGluR7, which is co-immunoprecipitated with PLD in FPS. Lastly, blocking mGluR-PLD in the rat amygdala was sufficient to prevent behavioral expression of fear memory. Thus, our study in the Th-LA pathway provides the first evidence for PLD as an important target of mGluR signaling in amygdala fear-associated memory. Importantly, the PLD-mGluR provides a novel therapeutic target for treating maladaptive fear memories in posttraumatic stress and anxiety disorders. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Optogenetic dissection of amygdala functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eLalumiere

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Studies of amygdala functioning have occupied a significant place in the history of understanding how the brain controls behavior and cognition. Early work on the amygdala placed this small structure as a key component in the regulation of emotion and affective behavior. Over time, our understanding of its role in brain processes has expanded, as we have uncovered amygdala influences on memory, reward behavior, and overall functioning in many other brain regions. Studies have indicated that the amygdala has widespread connections with a variety of brain structures, from the prefrontal cortex to regions of the brainstem, that explain its powerful influence on other parts of the brain and behaviors mediated by those regions. Thus, many optogenetic studies have focused on harnessing the powers of this technique to elucidate the functioning of the amygdala in relation to motivation, fear, and memory as well as to determine how the amygdala regulates activity in other structures. For example, studies using optogenetics have examined how specific circuits within amygdala nuclei regulate anxiety. Other work has provided insight into how the basolateral and central amygdala nuclei regulate memory processing underlying aversive learning. Many experiments have taken advantage of optogenetics’ ability to target either genetically distinct subpopulations of neurons or the specific projections from the amygdala to other brain regions. Findings from such studies have provided evidence that particular patterns of activity in basolateral amygdala glutamatergic neurons are related to memory consolidation processes, while other work has indicated the critical nature of amygdala inputs to the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in regulating behavior dependent on those downstream structures. This review will examine the recent discoveries on amygdala functioning made through experiments using optogenetics, placing these findings in the context of the major

  19. Amygdala Functional Connectivity is Reduced After the Cold Pressor Task

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    Clewett, David; Schoeke, Andrej; Mather, Mara

    2013-01-01

    The amygdala forms a crucial link between central pain and stress systems. There is much evidence that psychological stress affects amygdala activity, but it is less clear how painful stressors influence subsequent amygdala functional connectivity. In the present study, we used pulsed arterial spin labeling (PASL) to investigate differences in healthy male adults’ resting-state amygdala functional connectivity following a cold pressor versus control task, with the stressor and control conditions conducted on different days. During the period of peak cortisol response to acute stress (approximately fifteen to thirty minutes after stressor onset), participants were asked to rest for six minutes with their eyes closed during a PASL scanning sequence. The cold pressor task led to reduced resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdalae and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), which occurred irrespective of cortisol release. The stressor also induced greater inverse connectivity between the left amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), a brain region implicated in the down-regulation of amygdala responsivity. Furthermore, the degree of post-stressor left amygdala decoupling with the lateral OFC varied according to self-reported pain intensity during the cold pressor task. These findings indicate that the cold pressor task alters amygdala interactions with prefrontal and ACC regions 15–30 minutes after the stressor, and that these altered functional connectivity patterns are related to pain perception rather than cortisol feedback. PMID:23645370

  20. Anxiolytic-like effects after vector-mediated overexpression of neuropeptide Y in the amygdala and hippocampus of mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Søren Hofman Oliveira; Olesen, Mikkel Vestergaard; Gøtzsche, Casper René

    2014-01-01

    , injections of rAAV-NPY caused significant anxiolytic-like effect in the open field, elevated plus maze, and light-dark transition tests. In the hippocampus, rAAV-NPY treatment was associated with anxiolytic-like effect only in the elevated plus maze. No additive effect was observed after combined r....... Using a recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vector, we addressed this idea by testing effects on anxiolytic- and depression-like behaviours in adult mice after overexpression of NPY transgene in the amygdala and/or hippocampus, two brain regions implicated in emotional behaviours. In the amygdala......AAV-NPY injection into both the amygdala and hippocampus where anxiolytic-like effect was found in the elevated plus maze and light-dark transition tests. Antidepressant-like effects were not detected in any of the rAAV-NPY injected groups. Immobility was even increased in the tail suspension and forced swim tests...

  1. Eyes-Closed Single-Limb Balance is Not Related to Hypermobility Status in Dancers.

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    Marulli, Tiffany A; Harmon-Matthews, Lindsay E; Davis-Coen, J Hope; Willigenburg, Nienke W; Hewett, Timothy E

    2017-06-15

    Hypermobility may be associated with decreased lower extremity proprioception, which in turn may increase injury risk. The prevalence of hypermobility in dancers varies across studies, but joint hypermobility appears to be more common in dancers than in the general population. The purpose of this study was to determine how hypermobility affects eyes-closed single-limb balance as an indirect measure of proprioception in dancers. The secondary aim was to compare hypermobility and balance across dancer affiliation groups. Data were collected from 45 professional dancers, 11 collegiate modern dancers, 227 student dancers, and 15 pre-professional dancers during routine dance screens. Dancer hypermobility status was assessed via an eight-point Beighton-Horan Laxity test. Single-limb balance time, in seconds, was assessed in parallel position with the eyes closed. Hypermobile (HM) and non-hypermobile (NHM) dancers showed very similar balance times (HM median: 36.5 seconds; NHM median: 33.0 seconds; p = 0.982). Hypermobility was not significantly different between dancer affiliation groups (p = 0.154): 47% in ballet academy students, 27% in collegiate modern dancers, 62% in pre-professional dancers, and 36% in professional dancers. The student, pre-professional, and professional ballet dancers all demonstrated longer balance times than the collegiate modern dancers; however, this difference was only significant between the professional ballet dancers and collegiate modern dancers (p = 0.026). Dancers demonstrated a higher prevalence of hypermobility than what has been reported for the general population. Joint hypermobility did not affect eyes-closed single-limb balance time. Future studies are needed to determine if joint hypermobility affects more sensitive measures of proprioception and risk of injury.

  2. COMT Val158Met polymorphism influences the susceptibility to framing in decision-making: OFC-amygdala functional connectivity as a mediator.

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    Gao, Xiaoxue; Gong, Pingyuan; Liu, Jinting; Hu, Jie; Li, Yue; Yu, Hongbo; Gong, Xiaoliang; Xiang, Yang; Jiang, Changjun; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2016-05-01

    Individuals tend to avoid risk in a gain frame, in which options are presented in a positive way, but seek risk in a loss frame, in which the same options are presented negatively. Previous studies suggest that emotional responses play a critical role in this "framing effect." Given that the Met allele of COMT Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680) is associated with the negativity bias during emotional processing, this study investigated whether this polymorphism is associated with individual susceptibility to framing and which brain areas mediate this gene-behavior association. Participants were genotyped, scanned in resting state, and completed a monetary gambling task with options (sure vs risky) presented as potential gains or losses. The Met allele carriers showed a greater framing effect than the Val/Val homozygotes as the former gambled more than the latter in the loss frame. Moreover, the gene-behavior association was mediated by resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and bilateral amygdala. Met allele carriers showed decreased RSFC, thereby demonstrating higher susceptibility to framing than Val allele carriers. These findings demonstrate the involvement of COMT Val158Met polymorphism in the framing effect in decision-making and suggest RSFC between OFC and amygdala as a neural mediator underlying this gene-behavior association. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1880-1892, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Neurofascin Knock Down in the Basolateral Amygdala Mediates Resilience of Memory and Plasticity in the Dorsal Dentate Gyrus Under Stress.

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    Saha, Rinki; Kriebel, Martin; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal; Albrecht, Anne

    2018-02-05

    Activation of the amygdala is one of the hallmarks of acute stress reactions and a central element of the negative impact of stress on hippocampus-dependent memory and cognition. Stress-induced psychopathologies, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, exhibit a sustained hyperactivity of the amygdala, triggered at least in part by deficits in GABAergic inhibition that lead to shifts in amygdalo-hippocampal interaction. Here, we have utilized lentiviral knock down of neurofascin to reduce GABAergic inhibition specifically at the axon initial segment (AIS) of principal neurons within the basolateral amygdala (BLA) of rats. Metaplastic effects of such a BLA modulation on hippocampal synaptic function were assessed using BLA priming prior to the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) on dentate gyrus synapses in anesthetized rats in vivo. The knock down of neurofascin in the BLA prevented a priming-induced impairment on LTP maintenance in the dentate gyrus. At the behavioral level, a similar effect was observable, with neurofascin knock down preventing the detrimental impact of acute traumatic stress on hippocampus-dependent spatial memory retrieval in a water maze task. These findings suggest that reducing GABAergic inhibition specifically at the AIS synapses of the BLA alters amygdalo-hippocampal interactions such that it attenuates the adverse impact of acute stress exposure on cognition-related hippocampal functions.

  4. NMDA receptors in the avian amygdala and the premotor arcopallium mediate distinct aspects of appetitive extinction learning.

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    Gao, Meng; Lengersdorf, Daniel; Stüttgen, Maik C; Güntürkün, Onur

    2018-05-02

    Extinction learning is an essential mechanism that enables constant adaptation to ever-changing environmental conditions. The underlying neural circuit is mostly studied with rodent models using auditory cued fear conditioning. In order to uncover the variant and the invariant neural properties of extinction learning, we adopted pigeons as an animal model in an appetitive sign-tracking paradigm. The animals firstly learned to respond to two conditioned stimuli in two different contexts (CS-1 in context A and CS-2 in context B), before conditioned responses to the stimuli were extinguished in the opposite contexts (CS-1 in context B and CS-2 in context A). Subsequently, responding to both stimuli was tested in both contexts. Prior to extinction training, we locally injected the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist 2-Amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) in either the amygdala or the (pre)motor arcopallium to investigate their involvement in extinction learning. Our findings suggest that the encoding of extinction memory required the activation of amygdala, as visible by an impairment of extinction acquisition by concurrent inactivation of local NMDARs. In contrast, consolidation and subsequent retrieval of extinction memory recruited the (pre)motor arcopallium. Also, the inactivation of arcopallial NMDARs induced a general motoric slowing during extinction training. Thus, our results reveal a double dissociation between arcopallium and amygdala with respect to acquisition and consolidation of extinction, respectively. Our study therefore provides new insights on the two key components of the avian extinction network and their resemblance to the data obtained from mammals, possibly indicating a shared neural mechanism underlying extinction learning shaped by evolution. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Glutamate Receptors in the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala Mediate Cisplatin-Induced Malaise and Energy Balance Dysregulation through Direct Hindbrain Projections.

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    Alhadeff, Amber L; Holland, Ruby A; Nelson, Alexandra; Grill, Harvey J; De Jonghe, Bart C

    2015-08-05

    Cisplatin chemotherapy is used commonly to treat a variety of cancers despite severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and anorexia that compromise quality of life and limit treatment adherence. The neural mechanisms mediating these side effects remain elusive despite decades of clinical use. Recent data highlight the dorsal vagal complex (DVC), lateral parabrachial nucleus (lPBN), and central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) as potential sites of action in mediating the side effects of cisplatin. Here, results from immunohistochemical studies in rats identified a population of cisplatin-activated DVC neurons that project to the lPBN and a population of cisplatin-activated lPBN calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP, a marker for glutamatergic neurons in the lPBN) neurons that project to the CeA, outlining a neuroanatomical circuit that is activated by cisplatin. CeA gene expressions of AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor subunits were markedly increased after cisplatin treatment, suggesting that CeA glutamate receptor signaling plays a role in mediating cisplatin side effects. Consistent with gene expression results, behavioral/pharmacological data showed that CeA AMPA/kainate receptor blockade attenuates cisplatin-induced pica (a proxy for nausea/behavioral malaise in nonvomiting laboratory rodents) and that CeA NMDA receptor blockade attenuates cisplatin-induced anorexia and body weight loss in addition to pica, demonstrating that glutamate receptor signaling in the CeA is critical for the energy balance dysregulation caused by cisplatin treatment. Together, these data highlight a novel circuit and CGRP/glutamatergic mechanism through which cisplatin-induced malaise and energy balance dysregulation are mediated. To treat cancer effectively, patients must follow prescribed chemotherapy treatments without interruption, yet most cancer treatments produce side effects that devastate quality of life (e.g., nausea, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss). Although hundreds of

  6. Glutamate Receptors in the Central Nucleus of the Amygdala Mediate Cisplatin-Induced Malaise and Energy Balance Dysregulation through Direct Hindbrain Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhadeff, Amber L.; Holland, Ruby A.; Nelson, Alexandra; Grill, Harvey J.

    2015-01-01

    Cisplatin chemotherapy is used commonly to treat a variety of cancers despite severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and anorexia that compromise quality of life and limit treatment adherence. The neural mechanisms mediating these side effects remain elusive despite decades of clinical use. Recent data highlight the dorsal vagal complex (DVC), lateral parabrachial nucleus (lPBN), and central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) as potential sites of action in mediating the side effects of cisplatin. Here, results from immunohistochemical studies in rats identified a population of cisplatin-activated DVC neurons that project to the lPBN and a population of cisplatin-activated lPBN calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP, a marker for glutamatergic neurons in the lPBN) neurons that project to the CeA, outlining a neuroanatomical circuit that is activated by cisplatin. CeA gene expressions of AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor subunits were markedly increased after cisplatin treatment, suggesting that CeA glutamate receptor signaling plays a role in mediating cisplatin side effects. Consistent with gene expression results, behavioral/pharmacological data showed that CeA AMPA/kainate receptor blockade attenuates cisplatin-induced pica (a proxy for nausea/behavioral malaise in nonvomiting laboratory rodents) and that CeA NMDA receptor blockade attenuates cisplatin-induced anorexia and body weight loss in addition to pica, demonstrating that glutamate receptor signaling in the CeA is critical for the energy balance dysregulation caused by cisplatin treatment. Together, these data highlight a novel circuit and CGRP/glutamatergic mechanism through which cisplatin-induced malaise and energy balance dysregulation are mediated. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT To treat cancer effectively, patients must follow prescribed chemotherapy treatments without interruption, yet most cancer treatments produce side effects that devastate quality of life (e.g., nausea, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss

  7. Directionality of large-scale resting-state brain networks during eyes open and eyes closed conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Delong; Liang, Bishan; Wu, Xia; Wang, Zengjian; Xu, Pengfei; Chang, Song; Liu, Bo; Liu, Ming; Huang, Ruiwang

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined directional connections in the brain among resting-state networks (RSNs) when the participant had their eyes open (E0) or had their eyes closed (EC). The resting state fMRI data were collected from 20 healthy participants (9 males, 20.17 +/- 2.74 years) under the EO and EC

  8. Testosterone reduces amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex coupling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wingen, Guido; Mattern, Claudia; Verkes, Robbert Jan; Buitelaar, Jan; Fernández, Guillén

    2010-01-01

    Testosterone influences various aspects of affective behavior, which is mediated by different brain regions within the emotion circuitry. Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that testosterone increases neural activity in the amygdala. To investigate whether this could be due to altered

  9. Influence of spontaneous nystagmus with eyes closed on computerized vestibular exam of patients with chronic peripheral

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    Shin, Elizabeth

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The spontaneous nystagmus with eyes closed (NEOF can modify the results obtained during some evidence of vestibular, leading to erroneous conclusions. Objective: To characterize the patients and the type of influence on the evidence of NEOF vectonystagmography digital. Method: Retrospective study based on survey charts of patients with the presence of NEOF vectonystagmography digital, in the Outpatient Equilibriometria UNIFESP-EPM, in the years 2000 to 2007. Comparisons were made between genders, ages, direction, angular velocity of NEOF, completion of entrance examination and its influence on the results of caloric testing. Results: We found 73.7% of the population was female, mean age of 55.08 years; NEOF prevalence of horizontal and angular velocity smaller than 7o/s in 86.7%. 59% had some kind of influence caused by the caloric test NEOF as inversion, hyporeflexia, hyperreflexia, nystagmus directional preponderance (NDP and labyrinthine preponderance (LP changed. The most prevalent findings were normal vestibular tests (EVN and bilateral irritative peripheral vestibular syndrome (BIPVS. 38.7% caloric ice and realized these cases it was possible to reach a conclusion in 79%. Conclusion: The NEOF most common was the horizontal type, with VACL less than 7o/s, influencing the majority of examinations and only the results of caloric testing the air, with reversal of post-caloric nystagmus, hyperreflexia and hyporeflexia, NDP and PL altered; the findings were more prevalent and BIPVS EVN, and the caloric test the influence of ice withdrew NEOF in most individuals, enabling to reach a final conclusion.

  10. CRF1-R activation of the dynorphin/kappa opioid system in the mouse basolateral amygdala mediates anxiety-like behavior.

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    Michael R Bruchas

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Stress is a complex human experience and having both rewarding and aversive motivational properties. The adverse effects of stress are well documented, yet many of underlying mechanisms remain unclear and controversial. Here we report that the anxiogenic properties of stress are encoded by the endogenous opioid peptide dynorphin acting in the basolateral amygdala. Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, we found that the anxiogenic-like effects of Corticotropin Releasing Factor (CRF were triggered by CRF(1-R activation of the dynorphin/kappa opioid receptor (KOR system. Central CRF administration significantly reduced the percent open-arm time in the elevated plus maze (EPM. The reduction in open-arm time was blocked by pretreatment with the KOR antagonist norbinaltorphimine (norBNI, and was not evident in mice lacking the endogenous KOR ligand dynorphin. The CRF(1-R agonist stressin 1 also significantly reduced open-arm time in the EPM, and this decrease was blocked by norBNI. In contrast, the selective CRF(2-R agonist urocortin III did not affect open arm time, and mice lacking CRF(2-R still showed an increase in anxiety-like behavior in response to CRF injection. However, CRF(2-R knockout animals did not develop CRF conditioned place aversion, suggesting that CRF(1-R activation may mediate anxiety and CRF(2-R may encode aversion. Using a phosphoselective antibody (KORp to identify sites of dynorphin action, we found that CRF increased KORp-immunoreactivity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA of wildtype, but not in mice pretreated with the selective CRF(1-R antagonist, antalarmin. Consistent with the concept that acute stress or CRF injection-induced anxiety was mediated by dynorphin release in the BLA, local injection of norBNI blocked the stress or CRF-induced increase in anxiety-like behavior; whereas norBNI injection in a nearby thalamic nucleus did not. The intersection of stress-induced CRF and the dynorphin/KOR system in the BLA was

  11. Identification of a dopamine receptor-mediated opiate reward memory switch in the basolateral amygdala-nucleus accumbens circuit.

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    Lintas, Alessandra; Chi, Ning; Lauzon, Nicole M; Bishop, Stephanie F; Gholizadeh, Shervin; Sun, Ninglei; Tan, Huibing; Laviolette, Steven R

    2011-08-03

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA), ventral tegmental area (VTA), and nucleus accumbens (NAc) play central roles in the processing of opiate-related associative reward learning and memory. The BLA receives innervation from dopaminergic fibers originating in the VTA, and both dopamine (DA) D1 and D2 receptors are expressed in this region. Using a combination of in vivo single-unit extracellular recording in the NAc combined with behavioral pharmacology studies, we have identified a double dissociation in the functional roles of DA D1 versus D2 receptor transmission in the BLA, which depends on opiate exposure state; thus, in previously opiate-naive rats, blockade of intra-BLA D1, but not D2, receptor transmission blocked the acquisition of associative opiate reward memory, measured in an unbiased conditioned place preference procedure. In direct contrast, in rats made opiate dependent and conditioned in a state of withdrawal, intra-BLA D2, but not D1, receptor blockade blocked opiate reward encoding. This functional switch was dependent on cAMP signaling as comodulation of intra-BLA cAMP levels reversed or replicated the functional effects of intra-BLA D1 or D2 transmission during opiate reward processing. Single-unit in vivo extracellular recordings performed in neurons of the NAc confirmed an opiate-state-dependent role for BLA D1/D2 transmission in NAc neuronal response patterns to morphine. Our results characterize and identify a novel opiate addiction switching mechanism directly in the BLA that can control the processing of opiate reward information as a direct function of opiate exposure state via D1 or D2 receptor signaling substrates.

  12. Enhancement of striatum-dependent memory by conditioned fear is mediated by beta-adrenergic receptors in the basolateral amygdala

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    Travis D. Goode

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Emotional arousal can have a profound impact on various learning and memory processes. For example, unconditioned emotional stimuli (e.g., predator odor or anxiogenic drugs enhance dorsolateral striatum (DLS-dependent habit memory. These effects critically depend on a modulatory role of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA. Recent work indicates that, like unconditioned emotional stimuli, exposure to an aversive conditioned stimulus (CS (i.e., a tone previously paired with shock can also enhance consolidation of DLS-dependent habit memory. The present experiments examined whether noradrenergic activity, particularly within the BLA, is required for a fear CS to enhance habit memory consolidation. First, rats underwent a fear conditioning procedure in which a tone CS was paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus. Over the course of the next five days, rats received training in a DLS-dependent water plus-maze task, in which rats were reinforced to make a consistent body-turn response to reach a hidden escape platform. Immediately after training on days 1–3, rats received post-training systemic (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 administration of the β-adrenoreceptor antagonist, propranolol. Immediately after drug administration, half of the rats were re-exposed to the tone CS in the conditioning context (without shock. Post-training CS exposure enhanced consolidation of habit memory in vehicle-treated rats, and this effect was blocked by peripheral (Experiment 1 or intra-BLA (Experiment 2 propranolol administration. The present findings reveal that noradrenergic activity within the BLA is critical for the enhancement of DLS-dependent habit memory as a result of exposure to conditioned emotional stimuli.

  13. Glaucoma in Patients with Eyes Close to Areas Affected by Port-wine Stain has Lateral and Gender Predilection

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    Yue Wu

    2017-01-01

    Conclusions: High glaucoma incidence was observed in patients with eyes close to PWS. More attention should be paid to glaucoma screening for right lateral and bilateral PWS patients. The predominance of males in Sturge–Weber syndrome (SWS early-onset glaucoma patients might be due to the limitation of the case number; however, it might also provide us a new clue of potential relationship between SWS and PCG.

  14. Angiotensin II and CRF receptors in the central nucleus of the amygdala mediate hemodynamic response variability to cocaine in conscious rats.

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    Watanabe, Mari A; Kucenas, Sarah; Bowman, Tamara A; Ruhlman, Melissa; Knuepfer, Mark M

    2010-01-14

    Stress or cocaine evokes either a large increase in systemic vascular resistance (SVR) or a smaller increase in SVR accompanied by an increase in cardiac output (designated vascular and mixed responders, respectively) in Sprague-Dawley rats. We hypothesized that the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) mediates this variability. Conscious, freely-moving rats, instrumented for measurement of arterial pressure and cardiac output and for drug delivery into the CeA, were given cocaine (5 mg/kg, iv, 4-6 times) and characterized as vascular (n=15) or mixed responders (n=10). Subsequently, we administered cocaine after bilateral microinjections (100 nl) of saline or selective agents in the CeA. Muscimol (80 pmol), a GABA(A) agonist, or losartan (43.4 pmol), an AT(1) receptor antagonist, attenuated the cocaine-induced increase in SVR in vascular responders, selectively, such that vascular responders were no longer different from mixed responders. The corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) antagonist, alpha-helical CRF(9-41) (15.7 pmol), abolished the difference between cardiac output and SVR in mixed and vascular responders. We conclude that greater increases in SVR observed in vascular responders are dependent on AT(1) receptor activation and, to a lesser extent on CRF receptors. Therefore, AT(1) and CRF receptors in the CeA contribute to hemodynamic response variability to intravenous cocaine.

  15. Glucocorticoid receptors in the basolateral amygdala mediated the restraint stress-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking behaviors in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taslimi, Zahra; Sarihi, Abdolrahman; Haghparast, Abbas

    2018-04-21

    Methamphetamine (METH) addiction is a growing epidemic worldwide. It is a common psychiatric disease and stress has an important role in the drug seeking and relapse behaviors. The involvement of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in effects of stress on the reward pathway has been discussed in several studies. In this study, we tried to find out the involvement of glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in the BLA in stress-induced reinstatement of the extinguished METH-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in rats. The CPP paradigm was done in eighty-one adult male Wistar rats weighing 220-250 g. The animals received a daily injection of methamphetamine (0.5 mg/kg), during the conditioning phase. In extinction phase, the rats were put in the CPP box for 30 min per day for 8 days. After the extinction, the animals were exposed to acute restraint stress (ARS), 3 h before subcutaneous administration of sub-threshold dose of methamphetamine (0.125 mg/kg), based on our previous study, in reinstatement phase. In separated groups, the rats were exposed to chronic restraint stress (CRS) for 1 h each day during the extinction phase. To block the GRs in BLA, the animals unilaterally received RU38486 as GRs antagonist (10, 30 and 90 ng/0.3 μl DMSO) in all ARS groups on reinstatement day. In separated experiments, RU38486 (3, 10 and 30 ng/0.3 μl DMSO) was microinjected into the BLA in CRS groups prior to exposure to stress every day in extinction phase. The results revealed that intra-BLA RU38486 in ARS (90 ng) and CRS (10 and 30 ng) groups significantly prevented the stress-induced reinstatement. It can be proposed that stress partially exerts its effect on the reward pathway via GRs in the BLA. This effect was not quite similar in acute and chronic stress conditions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Pain-related increase of excitatory transmission and decrease of inhibitory transmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala are mediated by mGluR1

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    Neugebauer Volker

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Neuroplasticity in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA, particularly its latero-capsular division (CeLC, is an important contributor to the emotional-affective aspects of pain. Previous studies showed synaptic plasticity of excitatory transmission to the CeLC in different pain models, but pain-related changes of inhibitory transmission remain to be determined. The CeLC receives convergent excitatory inputs from the parabrachial nucleus in the brainstem and from the basolateral amygdala (BLA. In addition, feedforward inhibition of CeA neurons is driven by glutamatergic projections from the BLA area to a cluster of GABAergic neurons in the intercalated cell masses (ITC. Using patch-clamp in rat brain slices we measured monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs and polysynaptic inhibitory currents (IPSCs that were evoked by electrical stimulation in the BLA. In brain slices from arthritic rats, input-output functions of excitatory synaptic transmission were enhanced whereas inhibitory synaptic transmission was decreased compared to control slices from normal untreated rats. A non-NMDA receptor antagonist (NBQX blocked the EPSCs and reduced the IPSCs, suggesting that non-NMDA receptors mediate excitatory transmission and also contribute to glutamate-driven feed-forward inhibition of CeLC neurons. IPSCs were blocked by a GABAA receptor antagonist (bicuculline. Bicuculline increased EPSCs under normal conditions but not in slices from arthritic rats, which indicates a loss of GABAergic control of excitatory transmission. A metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1 (mGluR1 antagonist (LY367385 reversed both the increase of excitatory transmission and the decrease of inhibitory transmission in the arthritis pain model but had no effect on basal synaptic transmission in control slices from normal rats. The inhibitory effect of LY367385 on excitatory transmission was blocked by bicuculline suggesting the involvement of a GABAergic

  17. Stress hormones receptors in the amygdala mediate the effects of stress on the consolidation, but not the retrieval, of a non aversive spatial task.

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    Amir Segev

    Full Text Available This study examined the effects of the arousal level of the rat and exposure to a behavioral stressor on acquisition, consolidation and retrieval of a non-aversive hippocampal-dependent learning paradigm, the object location task. Learning was tested under two arousal conditions: no previous habituation to the experimental context (high novelty stress/arousal level or extensive prior habituation (reduced novelty stress/arousal level. Results indicated that in the habituated rats, exposure to an out-of-context stressor (i.e, elevated platform stress impaired consolidation and retrieval, but not acquisition, of the task. Non-habituated animals under both stressed and control conditions did not show retention of the task. In habituated rats, RU-486 (10 ng/side, a glucocorticoid receptor (GR antagonist, or propranolol (0.75 µg/side, a beta-adrenergic antagonist, injected into the basolateral amygdala (BLA, prevented the impairing effects of the stressor on consolidation, but not on retrieval. The CB1/CB2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN, 5 µg/side microinjected into the BLA did not prevent the effects of stress on either consolidation or retrieval. Taken together the results suggest that: (i GR and β-adrenergic receptors in the BLA mediate the impairing effects of stress on the consolidation, but not the retrieval, of a neutral, non-aversive hippocampal-dependent task, (ii the impairing effects of stress on hippocampal consolidation and retrieval are mediated by different neural mechanisms (i.e., different neurotransmitters or different brain areas, and (iii the effects of stress on memory depend on the interaction between several main factors such as the stage of memory processing under investigation, the animal's level of arousal and the nature of the task (neutral or aversive.

  18. Stress hormones receptors in the amygdala mediate the effects of stress on the consolidation, but not the retrieval, of a non aversive spatial task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segev, Amir; Ramot, Assaf; Akirav, Irit

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the effects of the arousal level of the rat and exposure to a behavioral stressor on acquisition, consolidation and retrieval of a non-aversive hippocampal-dependent learning paradigm, the object location task. Learning was tested under two arousal conditions: no previous habituation to the experimental context (high novelty stress/arousal level) or extensive prior habituation (reduced novelty stress/arousal level). Results indicated that in the habituated rats, exposure to an out-of-context stressor (i.e, elevated platform stress) impaired consolidation and retrieval, but not acquisition, of the task. Non-habituated animals under both stressed and control conditions did not show retention of the task. In habituated rats, RU-486 (10 ng/side), a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist, or propranolol (0.75 µg/side), a beta-adrenergic antagonist, injected into the basolateral amygdala (BLA), prevented the impairing effects of the stressor on consolidation, but not on retrieval. The CB1/CB2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN, 5 µg/side) microinjected into the BLA did not prevent the effects of stress on either consolidation or retrieval. Taken together the results suggest that: (i) GR and β-adrenergic receptors in the BLA mediate the impairing effects of stress on the consolidation, but not the retrieval, of a neutral, non-aversive hippocampal-dependent task, (ii) the impairing effects of stress on hippocampal consolidation and retrieval are mediated by different neural mechanisms (i.e., different neurotransmitters or different brain areas), and (iii) the effects of stress on memory depend on the interaction between several main factors such as the stage of memory processing under investigation, the animal's level of arousal and the nature of the task (neutral or aversive).

  19. The basolateral amygdala can mediate the effects of fear memory on sleep independently of fear behavior and the peripheral stress response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E; Hallum, Olga Y; Sutton, Amy M; Williams, Brook L; Sanford, Larry D

    2017-01-01

    Fear conditioning associated with inescapable shock training (ST) and fearful context re-exposure (CR) alone can produce significant behavioral fear, a stress response and alterations in subsequent REM sleep. These alterations may vary among animals and are mediated by the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). Here, we used the GABA A agonist, muscimol (Mus), to inactivate BLA prior to CR and examined the effects on sleep, freezing and stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH). Wistar rats (n=28) were implanted with electrodes for recording sleep, data loggers for recording core body temperature, and with cannulae aimed bilaterally into BLA. After recovery, the animals were habituated to the injection procedure and baseline sleep was recorded. On experimental day 1, rats received ST (20 footshocks, 0.8mA, 0.5s duration, 60s interstimulus interval). On experimental day 7, the rats received microinjections (0.5μl) into BLA of either Mus (1.0μM; n=13) or vehicle (Veh; n=15) prior to CR (CR1). On experimental day 21, the animals experienced a second CR (CR2) without Mus. For analysis, the rats were separated into 4 groups: (Veh-vulnerable (Veh-Vul; n=8), Veh-resilient (Veh-Res; n=7), Mus-vulnerable (Mus-Vul; n=7), and Mus-resilient (Mus-Res; n=6)) based on whether or not REM was decreased, compared to baseline, during the first 4h following ST. Pre-CR1 inactivation of BLA did not alter freezing or SIH, but did block the reduction in REM in the Mus-Vul group compared to the Veh-Vul group. These data indicate that BLA is an important region for mediating the effects of fearful memories on sleep. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The amygdala: securing pleasure and avoiding pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anushka B P Fernando

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala has traditionally been associated with fear, mediating the impact of negative emotions on memory. However, this view does not fully encapsulate the function of the amygdala, nor the impact that processing in this structure has on the motivational limbic corticostriatal circuitry of which it is an important structure. Here we discuss the interactions between different amygdala nuclei with cortical and striatal regions involved in motivation; interconnections and parallel circuitries that have become increasingly understood in recent years. We review the evidence that the amygdala stores memories that allow initially motivationally neutral stimuli to become associated through pavlovian conditioning with motivationally relevant outcomes which, importantly, can be either appetitive (e.g. food or aversive (e.g. electric shock. We also consider how different psychological processes supported by the amygdala such as conditioned reinforcement and punishment, conditioned motivation and suppression, and conditioned approach and avoidance behavior, are not only psychologically but also neurobiologically dissociable, being mediated by distinct yet overlapping neural circuits within the limbic corticostriatal circuitry. Clearly the role of the amygdala goes beyond encoding aversive stimuli to also encode the appetitive, requiring an appreciation of the amygdala’s mediation of both appetitive and fearful behavior through diverse psychological processes.

  1. Oxytocin mediates rodent social memory within the lateral septum and the medial amygdala depending on the relevance of the social stimulus: male juvenile versus female adult conspecifics.

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    Lukas, Michael; Toth, Iulia; Veenema, Alexa H; Neumann, Inga D

    2013-06-01

    Brain oxytocin (OXT) plays an important role in short-term social memory in laboratory rodents. Here we monitored local release of OXT and its functional involvement in the maintenance and retrieval of social memory during the social discrimination test. We further assessed, if the local effects of OXT within the medial amygdala (MeA) and lateral septum (LS) on social discrimination abilities were dependent on the biological relevance of the social stimulus, thus comparing male juvenile versus adult female conspecifics. OXT release was increased in the LS of male rats during the retrieval, but not during the acquisition or maintenance, of social memory for male juvenile stimuli. Blockade of OXT activity by intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of a specific OXT receptor antagonist (OXTR-A, rats: 0.75 μg/5 μl, mice: 2 μg/2 μl) immediately after acquisition of social memory impaired the maintenance of social memory, and consequently discrimination abilities during retrieval of social memory. In contrast, ICV OXTR-A was without effect when administered 20 min prior to retrieval of social memory in both species. Non-social memory measured in the object discrimination test was not affected by ICV OXTR-A in male mice, indicating that brain OXT is mainly required for memory formation in a social context. The biological relevance of the social stimulus seems to importantly determine social memory abilities, as male rats recognized a previously encountered female adult stimulus for at least 2h (versus 60 min for male juveniles), with a region-dependent contribution of endogenous OXT; while bilateral administration of OXTR-A into the MeA (0.1 μg/1 μl) impaired social memory for adult females only, administration of OXTR-A into the LS via retrodialysis (10 μg/ml, 1.0 μl/min) impaired social memory for both male juveniles and female adults. Overall, these results indicate that brain OXT is a critical mediator of social memory in male rodents and that, depending

  2. Individual Differences in Animal Stress Models: Considering Resilience, Vulnerability, and the Amygdala in Mediating the Effects of Stress and Conditioned Fear on Sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E; Hallum, Olga Y; Sutton, Amy M; Williams, Brook L; Sanford, Larry D

    2016-06-01

    To examine the REM sleep response to stress and fearful memories as a potential marker of stress resilience and vulnerability and to assess the role of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in mediating the effects of fear memory on sleep. Outbred Wistar rats were surgically implanted with electrodes for recording EEG and EMG and with bilateral guide cannulae directed at the BLA. Data loggers were placed intraperitoneally to record core body temperature. After recovery from surgery, the rats received shock training (ST: 20 footshocks, 0.8 mA, 0.5-s duration, 60-s interstimulus interval) and afterwards received microinjections of the GABAA agonist muscimol (MUS; 1.0 μM) to inactivate BLA or microinjections of vehicle (VEH) alone. Subsequently, the rats were separated into 4 groups (VEH-vulnerable (VEH-Vul; n = 14), VEH-resilient (VEH-Res; n = 13), MUS-vulnerable (MUS-Vul; n = 8), and MUS-resilient (MUS-Res; n = 11) based on whether or not REM was decreased, compared to baseline, during the first 4 h following ST. We then compared sleep, freezing, and the stress response (stress-induced hyperthermia, SIH) across groups to determine the effects of ST and fearful context re-exposure alone (CTX). REM was significantly reduced on the ST day in both VEH-Vul and MUS-Vul rats; however, post-ST MUS blocked the reduction in REM on the CTX day in the MUS-Vul group. The VEH-Res and MUS-Res rats showed similar levels of REM on both ST and CTX days. The effects of post-ST inactivation of BLA on freezing and SIH were minimal. Outbred Wistar rats can show significant individual differences in the effects of stress on REM that are mediated by BLA. These differences in REM can be independent of behavioral fear and the peripheral stress response, and may be an important biomarker of stress resilience and vulnerability. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  3. Effects of treadmill training with the eyes closed on gait and balance ability of chronic stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong-Wook; Moon, Sung-Jun

    2015-09-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of treadmill walking with the eyes closed and open on the gait and balance abilities of chronic stroke patients. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty patients with chronic stroke participated in this study. The treadmill gait training for each group lasted 40 minutes, and sessions were held 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Gait ability was measured using a Biodex Gait Trainer Treadmill System. Balance ability was measured using a Biodex Balance System. [Results] After the treadmill training' the treadmill training with eyes closed (TEC) group showed significant improvements in walking distance' step length' coefficient of variation' and limit of stability (overall' lateral affected' forward lateral unaffected) compared to the treadmill training with eyes open (TEO) group. [Conclusion] The walking and balance abilities of the TEC participants showed more improvement after the treadmill walking sessions than those of the TEO participants. Therefore' treadmill walking with visual deprivation may be useful for the rehabilitation of patients with chronic stroke.

  4. Contributions of the Nucleus Accumbens Shell in Mediating the Enhancement in Memory Following Noradrenergic Activation of Either the Amygdala or Hippocampus

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    Erin C. Kerfoot

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The nucleus accumbens shell is a site of converging inputs during memory processing for emotional events. The accumbens receives input from the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS regarding changes in peripheral autonomic functioning following emotional arousal. The shell also receives input from the amygdala and hippocampus regarding affective and contextual attributes of new learning experiences. The successful encoding of affect or context is facilitated by activating noradrenergic systems in either the amygdala or hippocampus. Recent findings indicate that memory enhancement produced by activating NTS neurons, is attenuated by suppressing accumbens functioning after learning. This finding illustrates the significance of the shell in integrating information from the periphery to modulate memory for arousing events. However, it is not known if the accumbens shell plays an equally important role in consolidating information that is initially processed in the amygdala and hippocampus. The present study determined if the convergence of inputs from these limbic regions within the nucleus accumbens contributes to successful encoding of emotional events into memory. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received bilateral cannula implants 2 mm above the accumbens shell and a second bilateral implant 2 mm above either the amygdala or hippocampus. The subjects were trained for 6 days to drink from a water spout. On day 7, a 0.35 mA footshock was initiated as the rat approached the spout and was terminated once the rat escaped into a white compartment. Subjects were then given intra-amygdala or hippocampal infusions of PBS or a dose of norepinephrine (0.2 μg previously shown to enhance memory. Later, all subjects were given intra-accumbens infusion of muscimol to functionally inactivate the shell. Muscimol inactivation of the accumbens shell was delayed to allow sufficient time for norepinephrine to activate intracellular cascades that lead to long-term synaptic

  5. Contributions of the Nucleus Accumbens Shell in Mediating the Enhancement in Memory Following Noradrenergic Activation of Either the Amygdala or Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerfoot, Erin C; Williams, Cedric L

    2018-01-01

    The nucleus accumbens shell is a site of converging inputs during memory processing for emotional events. The accumbens receives input from the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) regarding changes in peripheral autonomic functioning following emotional arousal. The shell also receives input from the amygdala and hippocampus regarding affective and contextual attributes of new learning experiences. The successful encoding of affect or context is facilitated by activating noradrenergic systems in either the amygdala or hippocampus. Recent findings indicate that memory enhancement produced by activating NTS neurons, is attenuated by suppressing accumbens functioning after learning. This finding illustrates the significance of the shell in integrating information from the periphery to modulate memory for arousing events. However, it is not known if the accumbens shell plays an equally important role in consolidating information that is initially processed in the amygdala and hippocampus. The present study determined if the convergence of inputs from these limbic regions within the nucleus accumbens contributes to successful encoding of emotional events into memory. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received bilateral cannula implants 2 mm above the accumbens shell and a second bilateral implant 2 mm above either the amygdala or hippocampus. The subjects were trained for 6 days to drink from a water spout. On day 7, a 0.35 mA footshock was initiated as the rat approached the spout and was terminated once the rat escaped into a white compartment. Subjects were then given intra-amygdala or hippocampal infusions of PBS or a dose of norepinephrine (0.2 μg) previously shown to enhance memory. Later, all subjects were given intra-accumbens infusion of muscimol to functionally inactivate the shell. Muscimol inactivation of the accumbens shell was delayed to allow sufficient time for norepinephrine to activate intracellular cascades that lead to long-term synaptic modifications

  6. Amygdala and hippocampus enlargement during adolescence in autism.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, W.B.; Teluij, M.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Tendolkar, I.

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The amygdala and hippocampus are key components of the neural system mediating emotion perception and regulation and are thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of autism. Although some studies in children with autism suggest that there is an enlargement of amygdala and hippocampal

  7. Amygdala and Hippocampus Enlargement during Adolescence in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groen, Wouter; Teluij, Michelle; Buitelaar, Jan; Tendolkar, Indira

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The amygdala and hippocampus are key components of the neural system mediating emotion perception and regulation and are thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of autism. Although some studies in children with autism suggest that there is an enlargement of amygdala and hippocampal volume, findings in adolescence are sparse.…

  8. Antisense-mediated isoform switching of steroid receptor coactivator-1 in the central nucleus of the amygdala of the mouse brain

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    Zalachoras Ioannis

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Antisense oligonucleotide (AON-mediated exon skipping is a powerful tool to manipulate gene expression. In the present study we investigated the potential of exon skipping by local injection in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA of the mouse brain. As proof of principle we targeted the splicing of steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1, a protein involved in nuclear receptor function. This nuclear receptor coregulator exists in two splice variants (SRC-1a and SRC-1e which display differential distribution and opposing activities in the brain, and whose mRNAs differ in a single SRC-1e specific exon. Methods For proof of principle of feasibility, we used immunofluorescent stainings to study uptake by different cell types, translocation to the nucleus and potential immunostimulatory effects at different time points after a local injection in the CeA of the mouse brain of a control AON targeting human dystrophin with no targets in the murine brain. To evaluate efficacy we designed an AON targeting the SRC-1e-specific exon and with qPCR analysis we measured the expression ratio of the two splice variants. Results We found that AONs were taken up by corticotropin releasing hormone expressing neurons and other cells in the CeA, and translocated into the cell nucleus. Immune responses after AON injection were comparable to those after sterile saline injection. A successful shift of the naturally occurring SRC-1a:SRC-1e expression ratio in favor of SRC-1a was observed, without changes in total SRC-1 expression. Conclusions We provide a proof of concept for local neuropharmacological use of exon skipping by manipulating the expression ratio of the two splice variants of SRC-1, which may be used to study nuclear receptor function in specific brain circuits. We established that exon skipping after local injection in the brain is a versatile and useful tool for the manipulation of splice variants for numerous genes that are relevant

  9. H1-histamine receptors in the amygdala are involved in emotional memory but do not mediate anxiety-related behaviors in mice submitted to EPM testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serafim, K R; Gianlorenço, A C L; Daher, F P; Mattioli, R

    2012-10-01

    This study investigated the role of amygdala H(1) receptors in state-dependent memory deficits induced by l-histidine (LH). Tests using an elevated plus-maze (EPM) were performed on two consecutive days: Trial 1 (T1) and Trial 2 (T2). Before each trial, mice were intraperitoneally (IP) injected with LH (500mg/kg). Two hours later, they were microinjected with the H(1) receptor antagonist, chlorpheniramine (CPA 0.016, 0.052, or 0.16 nmol/0.1μl), or saline (SAL) into the amygdala and submitted to the EPM. LH-CPA did not affect trial 1 performances in the EPM, which indicated that these drugs did not affect anxiety. Emotional memory, as revealed by a reduction in open arm exploration between both trials, was present in the SAL-SAL groups as well as in the SAL-CPA groups for the lower doses of CPA (0.016 and 0.052nmol). On the contrary, neither the LH-SAL group nor the LH-CPA groups exhibited this decrease in open arm activity between both trials, which reveals that LH impaired emotional memory. While intra-amygdalar CPA did not interact with LH effect, it impaired per se the emotional memory performances at the highest dose (0.16nmol). No significant changes were observed in the number of enclosed arm entries (EAE), an EPM index of general exploratory activity. These results may be attributed to a combined effect in the different nucleus of the amygdala. Taken together, these results suggest that the H(1) receptors in the amygdala are not implicated in anxiety-like behaviors but are involved in emotional states induced by the T1/T2 EPM protocol in mice. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Aberrant functional connectivity between the amygdala and the temporal pole in drug-free generalized anxiety disorder

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    Wei Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC play important roles in emotion dysregulation, which has a profound impact on etiologic research of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD. The present study analyzed both eyes-open and eyes-closed resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI of 43 subjects (21 GAD patients with medicine free and 22 matched healthy controls. The amygdala and the DLPFC were defined as regions of interest (ROI to analyze functional connectivity (FC in GAD patients compared with healthy controls. The main findings revealed GAD patients had increased FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole compared to healthy controls, which was found in both eyes-open and eyes-closed rs-fMRI. And altered FC between the ROIs and brain regions that mainly belonged to the default mode network (DMN were found. These findings suggest that the abnormal FC between the amygdala and the temporal pole may contribute to the pathophysiology of GAD, and provide insights into the current understanding of the emotion dysregulation of anxiety disorders.

  11. Age-related changes and sex differences in postural control adaptability in children during periodic floor oscillation with eyes closed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiwara, Katsuo; Kiyota, Takeo; Mammadova, Aida; Yaguchi, Chie

    2011-01-01

    We investigated age-related changes and sex differences in adaptability of anticipatory postural control in children. Subjects comprised 449 children (4-12 years old) and 109 young adults (18-29 years old). Subjects stood with eyes closed on a force-platform fixed to a floor oscillator. We conducted five trials of 1-minute oscillation (0.5 Hz frequency, 2.5 cm amplitude) in the anteroposterior direction. Postural steadiness was quantified as the mean speed of the center of pressure in the anteroposterior direction (CoPy). In young adults, CoPy speed decreased rapidly until the third trial for both sexes. Adaptability was evaluated by changes in steadiness. The adaptability of children was categorized as "good," "moderate," and "poor," compared with a standard variation of the mean CoPy speed regression line between the first and fifth trials in young adults. Results were as follows: (1) anticipatory postural control adaptability starts to develop from age 6 in boys and 5 in girls, and greatly improves at age 7-8 in boys and 6 in girls; (2) the adaptability of children at age 11-12 (74% of boys and 63% of girls were categorized as "good") has not yet reached the same level as for young adults; (3) the adaptability at age 11-12 for girls is temporarily disturbed due to early puberty.

  12. Disorganized Attachment in Infancy Predicts Greater Amygdala Volume in Adulthood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons-Ruth, K.; Pechtel, P.; Yoon, S.A.; Anderson, C.M.; Teicher, M.H.

    2016-01-01

    Early life stress in rodents is associated with increased amygdala volume in adulthood. In humans, the amygdala develops rapidly during the first two years of life. Thus, disturbed care during this period may be particularly important to amygdala development. In the context of a 30-year longitudinal study of impoverished, highly stressed families, we assessed whether disorganization of the attachment relationship in infancy was related to amygdala volume in adulthood. Amygdala volumes were assessed among 18 low-income young adults (8M/10F, 29.33±0.49 years) first observed in infancy (8.5±5.6 months) and followed longitudinally to age 29. In infancy (18.58±1.02 mos), both disorganized infant attachment behavior and disrupted maternal communication were assessed in the standard Strange Situation Procedure (SSP). Increased left amygdala volume in adulthood was associated with both maternal and infant components of disorganized attachment interactions at 18 months of age (overall r = .679, p attachment disturbance in adolescence, were not significantly related to left amygdala volume. Left amygdala volume was further associated with dissociation and limbic irritability in adulthood. Finally, left amygdala volume mediated the prediction from attachment disturbance in infancy to limbic irritability in adulthood. Results point to the likely importance of quality of early care for amygdala development in human children as well as in rodents. The long-term prediction found here suggests that the first two years of life may be an early sensitive period for amygdala development during which clinical intervention could have particularly important consequences for later child outcomes. PMID:27060720

  13. Frequency-Dependent Modulation of Regional Synchrony in the Human Brain by Eyes Open and Eyes Closed Resting-States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xiaopeng; Zhou, Shuqin; Zhang, Yi; Liu, Yijun; Zhu, Huaiqiu; Gao, Jia-Hong

    2015-01-01

    The eyes-open (EO) and eyes-closed (EC) states have differential effects on BOLD-fMRI signal dynamics, affecting both the BOLD oscillation frequency of a single voxel and the regional homogeneity (ReHo) of several neighboring voxels. To explore how the two resting-states modulate the local synchrony through different frequency bands, we decomposed the time series of each voxel into several components that fell into distinct frequency bands. The ReHo in each of the bands was calculated and compared between the EO and EC conditions. The cross-voxel correlations between the mean frequency and the overall ReHo of each voxel's original BOLD series in different brain areas were also calculated and compared between the two states. Compared with the EC state, ReHo decreased with EO in a wide frequency band of 0.01-0.25 Hz in the bilateral thalamus, sensorimotor network, and superior temporal gyrus, while ReHo increased significantly in the band of 0-0.01 Hz in the primary visual cortex, and in a higher frequency band of 0.02-0.1 Hz in the higher order visual areas. The cross-voxel correlations between the frequency and overall ReHo were negative in all the brain areas but varied from region to region. These correlations were stronger with EO in the visual network and the default mode network. Our results suggested that different frequency bands of ReHo showed different sensitivity to the modulation of EO-EC states. The better spatial consistency between the frequency and overall ReHo maps indicated that the brain might adopt a stricter frequency-dependent configuration with EO than with EC.

  14. Regulation of the fear network by mediators of stress: Norepinephrine alters the balance between Cortical and Subcortical afferent excitation of the Lateral Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke R Johnson

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Pavlovian auditory fear conditioning crucially involves the integration of information about and acoustic conditioned stimulus (CS and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA. The auditory CS reaches the LA subcortically via a direct connection from the auditory thalamus and also from the auditory association cortex itself. How neural modulators, especially those activated during stress, such as norepinephrine (NE, regulate synaptic transmission and plasticity in this network is poorly understood. Here we show that NE inhibits synaptic transmission in both the subcortical and cortical input pathway but that sensory processing is biased towards the subcortical pathway. In addition binding of NE to β-adrenergic receptors further dissociates sensory processing in the LA. These findings suggest a network mechanism that shifts sensory balance towards the faster but more primitive subcortical input.

  15. Chemosensory function of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Castellanos, Nicolás; Martínez-Marcos, Alino; Martínez-García, Fernando; Lanuza, Enrique

    2010-01-01

    The chemosensory amygdala has been traditionally divided into two divisions based on inputs from the main (olfactory amygdala) or accessory (vomeronasal amygdala) olfactory bulbs, supposedly playing different and independent functional roles detecting odors and pheromones, respectively. Recently, there has been increased anatomical evidence of convergence inputs from the main and accessory bulbs in some areas of the amygdala, and this is correlated with functional evidence of interrelationships between the olfactory and the vomeronasal systems. This has lead to the characterization of a third division of the chemosensory amygdala, the mixed chemosensory amygdala, providing a new perspective of how chemosensory information is processed in the amygdaloid complex, in particular in relation to emotional behaviors. In this chapter, we analyze the anatomical and functional organization of the chemosensory amygdala from this new perspective. Finally, the evolutionary changes of the chemosensory nuclei of the mammalian amygdala are discussed, paying special attention to the case of primates, including humans. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Stepping in Place While Voluntarily Turning Around Produces a Long-Lasting Posteffect Consisting in Inadvertent Turning While Stepping Eyes Closed

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    Stefania Sozzi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Training subjects to step in place on a rotating platform while maintaining a fixed body orientation in space produces a posteffect consisting in inadvertent turning around while stepping in place eyes closed (podokinetic after-rotation, PKAR. We tested the hypothesis that voluntary turning around while stepping in place also produces a posteffect similar to PKAR. Sixteen subjects performed 12 min of voluntary turning while stepping around their vertical axis eyes closed and 12 min of stepping in place eyes open on the center of a platform rotating at 60°/s (pretests. Then, subjects continued stepping in place eyes closed for at least 10 min (posteffect. We recorded the positions of markers fixed to head, shoulder, and feet. The posteffect of voluntary turning shared all features of PKAR. Time decay of angular velocity, stepping cadence, head acceleration, and ratio of angular velocity after to angular velocity before were similar between both protocols. Both postrotations took place inadvertently. The posteffects are possibly dependent on the repeated voluntary contraction of leg and foot intrarotating pelvic muscles that rotate the trunk over the stance foot, a synergy common to both protocols. We propose that stepping in place and voluntary turning can be a scheme ancillary to the rotating platform for training body segment coordination in patients with impairment of turning synergies of various origin.

  17. Oxytocin increases amygdala reactivity to threatening scenes in females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lischke, Alexander; Gamer, Matthias; Berger, Christoph; Grossmann, Annette; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Heinrichs, Markus; Herpertz, Sabine C; Domes, Gregor

    2012-09-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) is well known for its profound effects on social behavior, which appear to be mediated by an OT-dependent modulation of amygdala activity in the context of social stimuli. In humans, OT decreases amygdala reactivity to threatening faces in males, but enhances amygdala reactivity to similar faces in females, suggesting sex-specific differences in OT-dependent threat-processing. To further explore whether OT generally enhances amygdala-dependent threat-processing in females, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a randomized within-subject crossover design to measure amygdala activity in response to threatening and non-threatening scenes in 14 females following intranasal administration of OT or placebo. Participants' eye movements were recorded to investigate whether an OT-dependent modulation of amygdala activity is accompanied by enhanced exploration of salient scene features. Although OT had no effect on participants' gazing behavior, it increased amygdala reactivity to scenes depicting social and non-social threat. In females, OT may, thus, enhance the detection of threatening stimuli in the environment, potentially by interacting with gonadal steroids, such as progesterone and estrogen. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Involvement of the amygdala in memory storage: Interaction with other brain systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGaugh, James L.; Cahill, Larry; Roozendaal, Benno

    1996-01-01

    There is extensive evidence that the amygdala is involved in affectively influenced memory. The central hypothesis guiding the research reviewed in this paper is that emotional arousal activates the amygdala and that such activation results in the modulation of memory storage occurring in other brain regions. Several lines of evidence support this view. First, the effects of stress-related hormones (epinephrine and glucocorticoids) are mediated by influences involving the amygdala. In rats, lesions of the amygdala and the stria terminalis block the effects of posttraining administration of epinephrine and glucocorticoids on memory. Furthermore, memory is enhanced by posttraining intra-amygdala infusions of drugs that activate β-adrenergic and glucocorticoid receptors. Additionally, infusion of β-adrenergic blockers into the amygdala blocks the memory-modulating effects of epinephrine and glucocorticoids, as well as those of drugs affecting opiate and GABAergic systems. Second, an intact amygdala is not required for expression of retention. Inactivation of the amygdala prior to retention testing (by posttraining lesions or drug infusions) does not block retention performance. Third, findings of studies using human subjects are consistent with those of animal experiments. β-Blockers and amygdala lesions attenuate the effects of emotional arousal on memory. Additionally, 3-week recall of emotional material is highly correlated with positron-emission tomography activation (cerebral glucose metabolism) of the right amygdala during encoding. These findings provide strong evidence supporting the hypothesis that the amygdala is involved in modulating long-term memory storage. PMID:8942964

  19. Basolateral amygdala and stress-induced hyperexcitability affect motivated behaviors and addiction

    OpenAIRE

    Sharp, B M

    2017-01-01

    The amygdala integrates and processes incoming information pertinent to reward and to emotions such as fear and anxiety that promote survival by warning of potential danger. Basolateral amygdala (BLA) communicates bi-directionally with brain regions affecting cognition, motivation and stress responses including prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and hindbrain regions that trigger norepinephrine-mediated stress responses. Disruption of intrinsic amygdala and BLA regulatory neuro...

  20. Differential serotonergic innervation of the amygdala in bonobos and chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimpson, Cheryl D; Barger, Nicole; Taglialatela, Jared P; Gendron-Fitzpatrick, Annette; Hof, Patrick R; Hopkins, William D; Sherwood, Chet C

    2016-03-01

    Humans' closest living relatives are bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), yet these great ape species differ considerably from each other in terms of social behavior. Bonobos are more tolerant of conspecifics in competitive contexts and often use sexual behavior to mediate social interactions. Chimpanzees more frequently employ aggression during conflicts and actively patrol territories between communities. Regulation of emotional responses is facilitated by the amygdala, which also modulates social decision-making, memory and attention. Amygdala responsiveness is further regulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin. We hypothesized that the amygdala of bonobos and chimpanzees would differ in its neuroanatomical organization and serotonergic innervation. We measured volumes of regions and the length density of serotonin transporter-containing axons in the whole amygdala and its lateral, basal, accessory basal and central nuclei. Results showed that accessory basal nucleus volume was larger in chimpanzees than in bonobos. Of particular note, the amygdala of bonobos had more than twice the density of serotonergic axons than chimpanzees, with the most pronounced differences in the basal and central nuclei. These findings suggest that variation in serotonergic innervation of the amygdala may contribute to mediating the remarkable differences in social behavior exhibited by bonobos and chimpanzees. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Pulvinar projections to the striatum and amygdala

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    Jonathan D Day-Brown

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Visually-guided movement is possible in the absence of conscious visual perception, a phenomenon referred to as blindsight. Similarly, fearful images can elicit emotional responses in the absence of their conscious perception. Both capabilities are thought to be mediated by pathways from the retina through the superior colliculus (SC and pulvinar nucleus. To define potential pathways that underlie behavioral responses to unperceived visual stimuli, we examined the projections from the pulvinar nucleus to the striatum and amygdala in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri, a species considered to be a protypical primate. The tree shrew brain has a large pulvinar nucleus that contains two SC-recipient subdivisions; the dorsal (Pd and central (Pc pulvinar both receive topographic (specific projections from SC, and Pd receives an additional nontopographic (diffuse projection from SC (Chomsung et al., 2008; JCN 510:24-46. Anterograde and retrograde tract tracing revealed that both Pd and Pc project to the caudate and putamen, and Pd, but not Pc, additionally projects to the lateral amygdala. Using immunocytochemical staining for substance P (SP and parvalbumin (PV to reveal the patch/matrix organization of tree shrew striatum, we found that SP-rich/PV-poor patches interlock with a PV-rich/SP-poor matrix. Confocal microscopy revealed that tracer-labeled pulvinostriatal terminals preferentially innervate the matrix. Electron microscopy revealed that the postsynaptic targets of tracer-labeled pulvino-striatal and pulvino-amygdala terminals are spines, demonstrating that the pulvinar nucleus projects to the spiny output cells of the striatum matrix and the lateral amygdala, potentially relaying: 1 topographic visual information from SC to striatum to aid in guiding precise movements, and 2 nontopographic visual information from SC to the amygdala alerting the animal to potentially dangerous visual images.

  2. Glutamate Receptor GluA1 Subunit Is Implicated in Capsaicin Induced Modulation of Amygdala LTP but Not LTD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebhardt, Christine; Albrecht, Doris

    2018-01-01

    Capsaicin has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity in various brain regions including the amygdala. Whereas in the lateral amygdala the modulatory effect of capsaicin on long-term potentiation (LA-LTP) is mediated by TRPV1 channels, we have recently shown that capsaicin-induced enhancement of long term depression (LA-LTD) is mediated by…

  3. 杏仁核内去甲肾上腺素在应激激素调控记忆保持过程中的作用%Role of amygdala norepinephrine in mediating stress hormone regu-lation of memory storage

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Barbara FERRY; James L McGAUGH

    2000-01-01

    There is extensive evidence indicating that the noradrenergic system of the amygdala, particularly the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA), is involved in memory consolidation. This article reviews the central hypothesis that stress hormones released during emotionally arousing experiences activate noradrenergic mechanisms in the BLA, resulting in enhanced memory for those events. Findings from expenments using rats have shown that the memory-modulatory effects of the adrenocortical stress hormones epinephrine and glucocorficoids involve activation of β-adrenoceptors in the BLA. In addition, both behavioral and microdialysis studies have shown that the noradrenergic system of the BLA also mediates the influences of other neuromodulatory systems such as opioid peptidergic and GABAergic systems on memory storage. Other findings indicate that this stress hormone-induced activation of noradrenergic mechanisms in the BLA regulates memory storage in other brain regions.

  4. Stress, memory and the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roozendaal, Benno; McEwen, Bruce S; Chattarji, Sumantra

    2009-06-01

    Emotionally significant experiences tend to be well remembered, and the amygdala has a pivotal role in this process. But the efficient encoding of emotional memories can become maladaptive - severe stress often turns them into a source of chronic anxiety. Here, we review studies that have identified neural correlates of stress-induced modulation of amygdala structure and function - from cellular mechanisms to their behavioural consequences. The unique features of stress-induced plasticity in the amygdala, in association with changes in other brain regions, could have long-term consequences for cognitive performance and pathological anxiety exhibited in people with affective disorders.

  5. Evidence that NMDA-dependent limbic neural plasticity in the right hemisphere mediates pharmacological stressor (FG-7142)-induced lasting increases in anxiety-like behavior: study 3--the effects on amygdala efferent physiology of block of NMDA receptors prior to injection of FG-7142 and its relationship to behavioral change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamec, R E

    1998-01-01

    The findings of this study support the hypothesis that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors mediate the initiation of long-term potentiation (LTP) and behavioral changes induced by the anxiogenic beta-carboline, FG-7142. Unlike previous work, this study examined the effects of FG-7142 on LTP of amygdala efferents in both hemispheres. 7-amino-phosphono-heptanoic acid (AP7), a competitive NMDA receptor blocker, given prior to administration of FG-7142, prevented LTP in amygdala efferent transmission to the medial hypothalamus and periacqueductal gray (PAG). When given FG-7142 alone, cats showed lasting behavioral changes accompanied by LTP in all pathways studied. Duration of LTP, and its relationship to behavioral change, depended on the pathway and the hemisphere of the pathway. Correlation and covariance analyses indicate that LTP in the left amygdalo-ventromedial hypothalamic pathway mediates initiation, but not maintenance, of increased defensiveness. This finding replicates previous work. A new finding is that increased local excitability in the right basal amygdala (reduced threshold for evoked response), and LTP in the right amygdalo-PAG pathway, may be important for maintenance of increases in defensive behavior. Furthermore, the effects of flumazenil, a benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, on behavior and physiology single out the importance of right amygdalo-PAG LTP as a critical mediator of increased defensiveness. Flumazenil reversed the increase in defensiveness produced by FG-7142 in a drug-dependent manner as described in Adamec (1998a). Moreover, flumazenil reversed LTP only in the right amygdalo-PAG pathway. The findings of the present study suggest that response to FG-7142 may be a useful model of the effects of traumatic stressors on limbic system function in anxiety, especially in view of the recent data in humans implicating right hemispheric function in persisting negative affective states.

  6. Evidence that NMDA-dependent limbic neural plasticity in the right hemisphere mediates pharmacological stressor (FG-7142)-induced lasting increases in anxiety-like behavior. Study 1--Role of NMDA receptors in efferent transmission from the cat amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamec, R E

    1998-01-01

    The anxiogenic beta-carboline, FG-7142, produces intense anxiety in humans and anxiety-like behavior in animals. FG-7142 also mimics the effects of exogenous stressors. In cats, FG-7142 lastingly changes defensive and aggressive behavior. Long-term potentiation (LTP) of neural transmission between limbic structures known to modulate feline defensive response to threat accompany behavioral changes. A series of three reports describes experiments designed to test the hypothesis that behavioral changes depend upon an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-based LTP of efferent transmission from the amygdala. This first study characterizes the dose and time effects of injection of the NMDA receptor blocker 7-amino-phosphono-heptanoic acid (AP7) on efferent transmission from the cat amygdala to the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). Effects of doses of 0.5-10mg/kg (i.v.) of AP7 on potentials evoked in the VMH by single pulse stimulation of the basal amygdala were examined. In order to localize the action of the drug, concurrent measurements were taken of potentials evoked in the VMH by stimulation of the efferent fibers from the amygdala to the VMH (ventral amygdalofugal pathway, VAF). There was a dose-dependent reduction in the amygdalo-VMH evoked potential. The greatest reduction occurred at 5 mg/kg. Effects peaked at 10 min, and persisted for at least 1 h after injection. In contrast, AP7 increased the VAF-VMH-evoked potential at 10 min after injection, with a maximal increase at 5mg/kg. The data suggest that NMDA receptors intrinsic to the amygdala modulate excitatory efferent transmission from amygdala to VMH in the cat. It is speculated that a glutamatergic projection to gamma-aminobutyric acid tonic inhibitory systems in the VMH accounts for the VAF-VMH results.

  7. Amygdala subsystems and control of feeding behavior by learned cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrovich, Gorica D; Gallagher, Michela

    2003-04-01

    A combination of behavioral studies and a neural systems analysis approach has proven fruitful in defining the role of the amygdala complex and associated circuits in fear conditioning. The evidence presented in this chapter suggests that this approach is also informative in the study of other adaptive functions that involve the amygdala. In this chapter we present a novel model to study learning in an appetitive context. Furthermore, we demonstrate that long-recognized connections between the amygdala and the hypothalamus play a crucial role in allowing learning to modulate feeding behavior. In the first part we describe a behavioral model for motivational learning. In this model a cue that acquires motivational properties through pairings with food delivery when an animal is hungry can override satiety and promote eating in sated rats. Next, we present evidence that a specific amygdala subsystem (basolateral area) is responsible for allowing such learned cues to control eating (override satiety and promote eating in sated rats). We also show that basolateral amygdala mediates these actions via connectivity with the lateral hypothalamus. Lastly, we present evidence that the amygdalohypothalamic system is specific for the control of eating by learned motivational cues, as it does not mediate another function that depends on intact basolateral amygdala, namely, the ability of a conditioned cue to support new learning based on its acquired value. Knowledge about neural systems through which food-associated cues specifically control feeding behavior provides a defined model for the study of learning. In addition, this model may be informative for understanding mechanisms of maladaptive aspects of learned control of eating that contribute to eating disorders and more moderate forms of overeating.

  8. Psilocybin modulates functional connectivity of the amygdala during emotional face discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, O; Kraehenmann, R; Preller, K H; Seifritz, E; Vollenweider, F X

    2018-04-24

    Recent studies suggest that the antidepressant effects of the psychedelic 5-HT2A receptor agonist psilocybin are mediated through its modulatory properties on prefrontal and limbic brain regions including the amygdala. To further investigate the effects of psilocybin on emotion processing networks, we studied for the first-time psilocybin's acute effects on amygdala seed-to-voxel connectivity in an event-related face discrimination task in 18 healthy volunteers who received psilocybin and placebo in a double-blind balanced cross-over design. The amygdala has been implicated as a salience detector especially involved in the immediate response to emotional face content. We used beta-series amygdala seed-to-voxel connectivity during an emotional face discrimination task to elucidate the connectivity pattern of the amygdala over the entire brain. When we compared psilocybin to placebo, an increase in reaction time for all three categories of affective stimuli was found. Psilocybin decreased the connectivity between amygdala and the striatum during angry face discrimination. During happy face discrimination, the connectivity between the amygdala and the frontal pole was decreased. No effect was seen during discrimination of fearful faces. Thus, we show psilocybin's effect as a modulator of major connectivity hubs of the amygdala. Psilocybin decreases the connectivity between important nodes linked to emotion processing like the frontal pole or the striatum. Future studies are needed to clarify whether connectivity changes predict therapeutic effects in psychiatric patients. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  9. The amygdala and basal forebrain as a pathway for motivationally guided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Christopher J; Salzman, C Daniel

    2014-10-08

    Visual stimuli associated with rewards attract spatial attention. Neurophysiological mechanisms that mediate this process must register both the motivational significance and location of visual stimuli. Recent neurophysiological evidence indicates that the amygdala encodes information about both of these parameters. Furthermore, the firing rate of amygdala neurons predicts the allocation of spatial attention. One neural pathway through which the amygdala might influence attention involves the intimate and bidirectional connections between the amygdala and basal forebrain (BF), a brain area long implicated in attention. Neurons in the rhesus monkey amygdala and BF were therefore recorded simultaneously while subjects performed a detection task in which the stimulus-reward associations of visual stimuli modulated spatial attention. Neurons in BF were spatially selective for reward-predictive stimuli, much like the amygdala. The onset of reward-predictive signals in each brain area suggested different routes of processing for reward-predictive stimuli appearing in the ipsilateral and contralateral fields. Moreover, neurons in the amygdala, but not BF, tracked trial-to-trial fluctuations in spatial attention. These results suggest that the amygdala and BF could play distinct yet inter-related roles in influencing attention elicited by reward-predictive stimuli. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413757-11$15.00/0.

  10. The interplay of attention and emotion: top-down attention modulates amygdala activation in psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Christine L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Stout, Daniel M; Balderston, Nicholas L; Curtin, John J; Schultz, Douglas H; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P

    2013-12-01

    Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence has demonstrated that fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention, but to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopathy-related differences in amygdala activation appear and disappear as a function of goal-directed attention. Specifically, decreased amygdala activity was observed in psychopathic offenders only when attention was engaged in an alternative goal-relevant task prior to presenting threat-relevant information. Under this condition, psychopaths also exhibited greater activation in selective-attention regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) than did nonpsychopaths, and this increased LPFC activation mediated psychopathy's association with decreased amygdala activation. In contrast, when explicitly attending to threat, amygdala activation did not differ in psychopaths and nonpsychopaths. This pattern of amygdala activation highlights the potential role of LPFC in mediating the failure of psychopathic individuals to process fear and other important information when it is peripheral to the primary focus of goal-directed attention.

  11. Brain spontaneous fluctuations in sensorimotor regions were directly related to eyes open and eyes closed: evidences from a machine learning approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bishan eLiang

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have demonstrated that the difference between resting-state brain activations depends on whether the subject was eyes open (EO or eyes closed (EC. However, whether the spontaneous fluctuations are directly related to these two different resting states are still largely unclear. In the present study, we acquired resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 24 healthy subjects (11 males, 20.17 ± 2.74 years under the EO and EC states. The amplitude of the spontaneous brain activity in low-frequency band was subsequently investigated by using the metric of fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (fALFF for each subject under each state. A support vector machine (SVM analysis was then applied to evaluate whether the category of resting states could be determined from the brain spontaneous fluctuations. We demonstrated that these two resting states could be decoded from the identified pattern of brain spontaneous fluctuations, predominantly based on fALFF in the sensorimotor module. Specifically, we observed prominent relationships between increased fALFF for EC and decreased fALFF for EO in sensorimotor regions. Overall, the present results indicate that a SVM performs well in the discrimination between the brain spontaneous fluctuations of distinct resting states and provide new insight into the neural substrate of the resting states during EC and EO.

  12. Involvement of the amygdala in memory storage: Interaction with other brain systems

    OpenAIRE

    McGaugh, James L.; Cahill, Larry; Roozendaal, Benno

    1996-01-01

    There is extensive evidence that the amygdala is involved in affectively influenced memory. The central hypothesis guiding the research reviewed in this paper is that emotional arousal activates the amygdala and that such activation results in the modulation of memory storage occurring in other brain regions. Several lines of evidence support this view. First, the effects of stress-related hormones (epinephrine and glucocorticoids) are mediated by influences involving ...

  13. From circuits to behaviour in the amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janak, Patricia H.; Tye, Kay M.

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala has long been associated with emotion and motivation, playing an essential part in processing both fearful and rewarding environmental stimuli. How can a single structure be crucial for such different functions? With recent technological advances that allow for causal investigations of specific neural circuit elements, we can now begin to map the complex anatomical connections of the amygdala onto behavioural function. Understanding how the amygdala contributes to a wide array of behaviours requires the study of distinct amygdala circuits. PMID:25592533

  14. Sex differences in the functional connectivity of the amygdalae in association with cortisol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogler, Lydia; Müller, Veronika I; Seidel, Eva-Maria; Boubela, Roland; Kalcher, Klaudius; Moser, Ewald; Habel, Ute; Gur, Ruben C; Eickhoff, Simon B; Derntl, Birgit

    2016-07-01

    Human amygdalae are involved in various behavioral functions such as affective and stress processing. For these behavioral functions, as well as for psychophysiological arousal including cortisol release, sex differences are reported. Here, we assessed cortisol levels and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of left and right amygdalae in 81 healthy participants (42 women) to investigate potential modulation of amygdala rsFC by sex and cortisol concentration. Our analyses revealed that rsFC of the left amygdala significantly differed between women and men: Women showed stronger rsFC than men between the left amygdala and left middle temporal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, postcentral gyrus and hippocampus, regions involved in face processing, inner-speech, fear and pain processing. No stronger connections were detected for men and no sex difference emerged for right amygdala rsFC. Also, an interaction of sex and cortisol appeared: In women, cortisol was negatively associated with rsFC of the amygdalae with striatal regions, mid-orbital frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus, middle and superior frontal gyri, supplementary motor area and the parietal-occipital sulcus. Contrarily in men, positive associations of cortisol with rsFC of the left amygdala and these structures were observed. Functional decoding analyses revealed an association of the amygdalae and these regions with emotion, reward and memory processing, as well as action execution. Our results suggest that functional connectivity of the amygdalae as well as the regulatory effect of cortisol on brain networks differs between women and men. These sex-differences and the mediating and sex-dependent effect of cortisol on brain communication systems should be taken into account in affective and stress-related neuroimaging research. Thus, more studies including both sexes are required. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Glucocorticoid Effects on Memory Consolidation Depend on Functional Interactions between the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Basolateral Amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roozendaal, Benno; McReynolds, Jayme R.; Van der Zee, Eddy A.; Lee, Sangkwan; McGaugh, James L.; McIntyre, Christa K.

    2009-01-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) interacts with efferent brain regions in mediating glucocorticoid effects on memory consolidation. Here, we investigated whether glucocorticoid influences on the consolidation of memory for emotionally arousing

  16. Emotion, decision making, and the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Ben; Dolan, Ray

    2008-06-12

    Emotion plays a critical role in many contemporary accounts of decision making, but exactly what underlies its influence and how this is mediated in the brain remain far from clear. Here, we review behavioral studies that suggest that Pavlovian processes can exert an important influence over choice and may account for many effects that have traditionally been attributed to emotion. We illustrate how recent experiments cast light on the underlying structure of Pavlovian control and argue that generally this influence makes good computational sense. Corresponding neuroscientific data from both animals and humans implicate a central role for the amygdala through interactions with other brain areas. This yields a neurobiological account of emotion in which it may operate, often covertly, to optimize rather than corrupt economic choice.

  17. Impairment of fear memory consolidation in maternally stressed male mouse offspring: evidence for nongenomic glucocorticoid action on the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun Jeong; Son, Gi Hoon; Chung, Sooyoung; Lee, Sukwon; Kim, Jeongyeon; Choi, Sukwoo; Kim, Kyungjin

    2011-05-11

    The environment in early life elicits profound effects on fetal brain development that can extend into adulthood. However, the long-lasting impact of maternal stress on emotional learning remains largely unknown. Here, we focus on amygdala-related learning processes in maternally stressed mice. In these mice, fear memory consolidation and certain related signaling cascades were significantly impaired, though innate fear, fear memory acquisition, and synaptic NMDA receptor expression in the amygdala were unaltered. In accordance with these findings, maintenance of long-term potentiation (LTP) at amygdala synapses, but not its induction, was significantly impaired in the maternally stressed animals. Interestingly, amygdala glucocorticoid receptor expression was reduced in the maternally stressed mice, and administration of glucocorticoids (GCs) immediately after fear conditioning and LTP induction restored memory consolidation and LTP maintenance, respectively, suggesting that a weakening of GC signaling was responsible for the observed impairment. Furthermore, microinfusion of a membrane-impermeable form of GC (BSA-conjugated GC) into the amygdala mimicked the restorative effects of GC, indicating that a nongenomic activity of GC mediates the restorative effect. Together, these findings suggest that prenatal stress induces long-term dysregulation of nongenomic GC action in the amygdala of adult offspring, resulting in the impairment of fear memory consolidation. Since modulation of amygdala activity is known to alter the consolidation of emotionally influenced memories allocated in other brain regions, the nongenomic action of GC on the amygdala shown herein may also participate in the amygdala-dependent modulation of memory consolidation.

  18. Amygdala functional connectivity, HPA axis genetic variation, and life stress in children and relations to anxiety and emotion regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliaccio, David; Luby, Joan L; Bogdan, Ryan; Agrawal, Arpana; Gaffrey, Michael S; Belden, Andrew C; Botteron, Kelly N; Harms, Michael P; Barch, Deanna M

    2015-11-01

    Internalizing pathology is related to alterations in amygdala resting state functional connectivity, potentially implicating altered emotional reactivity and/or emotion regulation in the etiological pathway. Importantly, there is accumulating evidence that stress exposure and genetic vulnerability impact amygdala structure/function and risk for internalizing pathology. The present study examined whether early life stress and genetic profile scores (10 single nucleotide polymorphisms within 4 hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genes: CRHR1, NR3C2, NR3C1, and FKBP5) predicted individual differences in amygdala functional connectivity in school-age children (9- to 14-year-olds; N = 120). Whole-brain regression analyses indicated that increasing genetic "risk" predicted alterations in amygdala connectivity to the caudate and postcentral gyrus. Experience of more stressful and traumatic life events predicted weakened amygdala-anterior cingulate cortex connectivity. Genetic "risk" and stress exposure interacted to predict weakened connectivity between the amygdala and the inferior and middle frontal gyri, caudate, and parahippocampal gyrus in those children with the greatest genetic and environmental risk load. Furthermore, amygdala connectivity longitudinally predicted anxiety symptoms and emotion regulation skills at a later follow-up. Amygdala connectivity mediated effects of life stress on anxiety and of genetic variants on emotion regulation. The current results suggest that considering the unique and interacting effects of biological vulnerability and environmental risk factors may be key to understanding the development of altered amygdala functional connectivity, a potential factor in the risk trajectory for internalizing pathology. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Amygdala functional connectivity, HPA axis genetic variation, and life stress in children and relations to anxiety and emotion regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliaccio, David; Luby, Joan L.; Bogdan, Ryan; Agrawal, Arpana; Gaffrey, Michael S.; Belden, Andrew C.; Botteron, Kelly N.; Harms, Michael P.; Barch, Deanna M.

    2015-01-01

    Internalizing pathology is related to alterations in amygdala resting state functional connectivity, potentially implicating altered emotional reactivity and/or emotion regulation in the etiological pathway. Importantly, there is accumulating evidence that stress exposure and genetic vulnerability impact amygdala structure/function and risk for internalizing pathology. The present study examined whether early life stress and genetic profile scores (10 single nucleotide polymorphisms within four hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genes: CRHR1, NR3C2, NR3C1, and FKBP5) predicted individual differences in amygdala functional connectivity in school-age children (9–14 year olds; N=120). Whole-brain regression analyses indicated that increasing genetic ‘risk’ predicted alterations in amygdala connectivity to the caudate and postcentral gyrus. Experience of more stressful and traumatic life events predicted weakened amygdala-anterior cingulate cortex connectivity. Genetic ‘risk’ and stress exposure interacted to predict weakened connectivity between the amygdala and the inferior and middle frontal gyri, caudate, and parahippocampal gyrus in those children with the greatest genetic and environmental risk load. Furthermore, amygdala connectivity longitudinally predicted anxiety symptoms and emotion regulation skills at a later follow-up. Amygdala connectivity mediated effects of life stress on anxiety and of genetic variants on emotion regulation. The current results suggest that considering the unique and interacting effects of biological vulnerability and environmental risk factors may be key to understanding the development of altered amygdala functional connectivity, a potential factor in the risk trajectory for internalizing pathology. PMID:26595470

  20. Stress, memory and the amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roozendaal, Benno; McEwen, Bruce S.; Chattarji, Sumantra

    Emotionally significant experiences tend to be well remembered, and the amygdala has a pivotal role in this process. But the efficient encoding of emotional memories can become maladaptive - severe stress often turns them into a source of chronic anxiety. Here, we review studies that have identified

  1. Central amygdala, stress and adaption

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roozendaal, Benno

    1992-01-01

    In this thesis the results were presented of studies that were designed to provide more insight in the role of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA) in the adaptation to environmental demands. The experiments were performed in several situations, in which rats react either directly to aversive

  2. Amygdala hyperactivation during symptom provocation in obsessive–compulsive disorder and its modulation by distraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Simon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety disorders have been linked to a hyperactivated cortico-amygdalar circuitry. Recent findings highlight the amygdala's role in mediating elevated anxiety in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD. However, modulation of amygdala hyperactivation by attentional distraction – an effective emotion regulation strategy in healthy individuals – has not yet been examined. While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging twenty-one unmedicated OCD patients and 21 controls performed an evaluation and a distraction task during symptom provocation with individually tailored OCD-relevant pictures. To test the specificity of responses, additional aversive and neutral stimuli were included. Significant group-by-picture type interactions were observed within fronto–striato–limbic circuits including the amygdala. In these regions patients showed increased BOLD responses during processing of OCD triggers relative to healthy controls. Amygdala hyperactivation was present across OCD symptom dimensions indicating that it represents a common neural correlate. During distraction, we observed dampening of patients' amygdala hyperactivity to OCD-relevant stimuli. Augmented amygdala involvement in patients during symptom provocation, present across OCD symptom dimensions, might constitute a correlate of fear expression in OCD linking it to other anxiety disorders. Attentional distraction seemed to dampen emotional processing of disorder-relevant stimuli via amygdala downregulation. The clinical impact of this strategy to manage anxiety in OCD should be further elucidated.

  3. Posttraumatic stress disorder: the role of medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenigs, Michael; Grafman, Jordan

    2009-10-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by recurrent distressing memories of an emotionally traumatic event. In this review, the authors present neuroscientific data highlighting the function of two brain areas--the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)--in PTSD and related emotional processes. A convergent body of human and nonhuman studies suggests that the amygdala mediates the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear and the enhancement of emotional memory, whereas the vmPFC mediates the extinction of conditioned fear and the volitional regulation of negative emotion. It has been theorized that the vmPFC exerts inhibition on the amygdala, and that a defect in this inhibition could account for the symptoms of PTSD. This theory is supported by functional imaging studies of PTSD patients, who exhibit hypoactivity in the vmPFC but hyperactivity in the amygdala. A recent study of brain-injured and trauma-exposed combat veterans confirms that amygdala damage reduces the likelihood of developing PTSD. But contrary to the prediction of the top-down inhibition model, vmPFC damage also reduces the likelihood of developing PTSD. The putative roles of the amygdala and the vmPFC in the pathophysiology of PTSD, as well as implications for potential treatments, are discussed in light of these results.

  4. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubry, Antonio V; Serrano, Peter A; Burghardt, Nesha S

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.

  5. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation Within the Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Aubry

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by which stress affects the amygdala and amygdala-dependent fear memories remain unclear. Here we review the literature on the enhancing effects of acute and chronic stress on the acquisition and/or consolidation of a fear memory, as measured by auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning, and discuss potential mechanisms by which these changes occur in the amygdala. We hypothesize that stress-mediated activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR and norepinephrine release within the amygdala leads to the mobilization of AMPA receptors to the synapse, which underlies stress-induced increases in fear memory. We discuss the implications of this hypothesis for evaluating the effects of stress on extinction and for developing treatments for anxiety disorders. Understanding how stress-induced changes in glucocorticoid and norepinephrine signaling might converge to affect emotional learning by increasing the trafficking of AMPA receptors and enhancing amygdala excitability is a promising area for future research.

  6. Distinct Roles for the Amygdala and Orbitofrontal Cortex in Representing the Relative Amount of Expected Reward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saez, Rebecca A; Saez, Alexandre; Paton, Joseph J; Lau, Brian; Salzman, C Daniel

    2017-07-05

    The same reward can possess different motivational meaning depending upon its magnitude relative to other rewards. To study the neurophysiological mechanisms mediating assignment of motivational meaning, we recorded the activity of neurons in the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) of monkeys during a Pavlovian task in which the relative amount of liquid reward associated with one conditioned stimulus (CS) was manipulated by changing the reward amount associated with a second CS. Anticipatory licking tracked relative reward magnitude, implying that monkeys integrated information about recent rewards to adjust the motivational meaning of a CS. Upon changes in relative reward magnitude, neural responses to reward-predictive cues updated more rapidly in OFC than amygdala, and activity in OFC but not the amygdala was modulated by recent reward history. These results highlight a distinction between the amygdala and OFC in assessing reward history to support the flexible assignment of motivational meaning to sensory cues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Amygdala activity associated with social choice in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihara, Takuma; Mensah-Brown, Kobina; Sobota, Rosanna; Lin, Robert; Featherstone, Robert; Siegel, Steven J

    2017-08-14

    Studies suggest that the amygdala is a key region for regulation of anxiety, fear and social function. Therefore, dysfunction of the amygdala has been proposed as a potential mechanism for negative symptoms in schizophrenia. This may be due to NMDA receptor-mediated hypofunction, which is thought to be related to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. In this study, electroencephalographic amygdala activity was assessed in mice during the three-chamber social test. This activity was also evaluated following exposure to the NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine. Vehicle-treated mice spent significantly more time in the social than the non-social chamber. This social preference was eliminated by ketamine. However, ketamine-treated mice spent significantly less time in the social chamber and significantly more time in the nonsocial chamber than vehicle-treated mice. There were no significant differences in induced powers between social and non-social chamber entries in vehicle-treated mice, except for theta frequencies, which featured greater induced theta power during non-social chamber entry. Ketamine eliminated differences in induced theta power between social and non-social chamber entries. Moreover, ketamine increased the induced gamma power during social chamber entry compared to that of vehicle-treated mice. All other frequency ranges were not significantly influenced by zone or drug condition. All significant findings were upon entry to chambers not during interaction. Results suggest that impaired function of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamate transmission can induce social impairments and amygdala dysfunction, similar to the pattern in schizophrenia. Future studies will utilize this method to evaluate mechanisms of social dysfunction and development of treatments of social impairments in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Fluoxetine Facilitates Fear Extinction Through Amygdala Endocannabinoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunduz-Cinar, Ozge; Flynn, Shaun; Brockway, Emma; Kaugars, Katherine; Baldi, Rita; Ramikie, Teniel S; Cinar, Resat; Kunos, George; Patel, Sachin; Holmes, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Pharmacologically elevating brain endocannabinoids (eCBs) share anxiolytic and fear extinction-facilitating properties with classical therapeutics, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. There are also known functional interactions between the eCB and serotonin systems and preliminary evidence that antidepressants cause alterations in brain eCBs. However, the potential role of eCBs in mediating the facilitatory effects of fluoxetine on fear extinction has not been established. Here, to test for a possible mechanistic contribution of eCBs to fluoxetine's proextinction effects, we integrated biochemical, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral techniques, using the extinction-impaired 129S1/Sv1mJ mouse strain. Chronic fluoxetine treatment produced a significant and selective increase in levels of anandamide in the BLA, and an associated decrease in activity of the anandamide-catabolizing enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase. Slice electrophysiological recordings showed that fluoxetine-induced increases in anandamide were associated with the amplification of eCB-mediated tonic constraint of inhibitory, but not excitatory, transmission in the BLA. Behaviorally, chronic fluoxetine facilitated extinction retrieval in a manner that was prevented by systemic or BLA-specific blockade of CB1 receptors. In contrast to fluoxetine, citalopram treatment did not increase BLA eCBs or facilitate extinction. Taken together, these findings reveal a novel, obligatory role for amygdala eCBs in the proextinction effects of a major pharmacotherapy for trauma- and stressor-related disorders and anxiety disorders. PMID:26514583

  9. Fear extinction deficits following acute stress associate with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroun, Mouna; Ioannides, Pericles J; Bergman, Krista L; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Holmes, Andrew; Wellman, Cara L

    2013-08-01

    Stress-sensitive psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder are characterized by deficits in fear extinction and dysfunction of corticolimbic circuits mediating extinction. Chronic stress facilitates fear conditioning, impairs extinction, and produces dendritic proliferation in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a critical site of plasticity for extinction. Acute stress impairs extinction, alters plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex-to-BLA circuit, and causes dendritic retraction in the medial prefrontal cortex. Here, we examined extinction learning and basolateral amygdala pyramidal neuron morphology in adult male rats following a single elevated platform stress. Acute stress impaired extinction acquisition and memory, and produced dendritic retraction and increased mushroom spine density in basolateral amygdala neurons in the right hemisphere. Unexpectedly, irrespective of stress, rats that underwent fear and extinction testing showed basolateral amygdala dendritic retraction and altered spine density relative to non-conditioned rats, particularly in the left hemisphere. Thus, extinction deficits produced by acute stress are associated with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, the finding that conditioning and extinction as such was sufficient to alter basolateral amygdala morphology and spine density illustrates the sensitivity of basolateral amygdala morphology to behavioral manipulation. These findings may have implications for elucidating the role of the amygdala in the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  10. Fear extinction deficits following acute stress associate with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maroun, Mouna; Ioannides, Pericles J.; Bergman, Krista L.; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Holmes, Andrew; Wellman, Cara L.

    2013-01-01

    Stress-sensitive psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder are characterized by deficits in fear extinction and dysfunction of corticolimbic circuits mediating extinction. Chronic stress facilitates fear conditioning, impairs extinction, and produces dendritic proliferation in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a critical site of plasticity for extinction. Acute stress impairs extinction, alters plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex-to-BLA circuit, and causes dendritic retraction in the medial prefrontal cortex. Here, we examined extinction learning and basolateral amygdala pyramidal neuron morphology in adult male rats following a single elevated platform stress. Acute stress impaired extinction acquisition and memory, and produced dendritic retraction and increased mushroom spine density in basolateral amygdala neurons in the right hemisphere. Unexpectedly, irrespective of stress, rats that underwent fear and extinction testing showed basolateral amygdala dendritic retraction and altered spine density relative to non-conditioned rats, particularly in the left hemisphere. Thus, extinction deficits produced by acute stress are associated with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala pyramidal neurons. Furthermore, the finding that conditioning and extinction as such was sufficient to alter basolateral amygdala morphology and spine density illustrates the sensitivity of basolateral amygdala morphology to behavioral manipulation. These findings may have implications for elucidating the role of the amygdala in the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders. PMID:23714419

  11. Role of anxiety in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome: importance of the amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent Myers

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A common characteristic of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS is that symptoms, including abdominal pain and abnormal bowel habits, are often triggered or exacerbated during periods of stress and anxiety. However, the impact of anxiety and affective disorders on the gastrointestinal (GI tract is poorly understood and may in part explain the lack of effective therapeutic approaches to treat IBS. The amygdala is an important structure for regulating anxiety with the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA facilitating the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA axis and the autonomic nervous system in response to stress. Moreover, chronic stress enhances function of the amygdala and promotes neural plasticity throughout the amygdaloid complex. This review outlines the latest findings obtained from human studies and animal models related to the role of the emotional brain in the regulation of enteric function, specifically how increasing the gain of the amygdala to induce anxiety-like behavior using corticosterone (CORT or chronic stress increases responsiveness to both visceral and somatic stimuli in rodents. A focus of the review is the relative importance of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR and glucocorticoid receptor (GR-mediated mechanisms within the amygdala in the regulation of anxiety and nociceptive behaviors that are characteristic features of IBS. This review also discusses several outstanding questions important for future research on the role of the amygdala in the generation of abnormal GI function that may lead to potential targets for new therapies to treat functional bowel disorders such as IBS.

  12. Amygdala functional connectivity as a longitudinal biomarker of symptom changes in generalized anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makovac, Elena; Watson, David R; Meeten, Frances; Garfinkel, Sarah N; Cercignani, Mara; Critchley, Hugo D; Ottaviani, Cristina

    2016-11-01

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worry, autonomic dysregulation and functional amygdala dysconnectivity, yet these illness markers have rarely been considered together, nor their interrelationship tested longitudinally. We hypothesized that an individual's capacity for emotion regulation predicts longer-term changes in amygdala functional connectivity, supporting the modification of GAD core symptoms. Sixteen patients with GAD (14 women) and individually matched controls were studied at two time points separated by 1 year. Resting-state fMRI data and concurrent measurement of vagally mediated heart rate variability were obtained before and after the induction of perseverative cognition. A greater rise in levels of worry following the induction predicted a stronger reduction in connectivity between right amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and enhanced coupling between left amygdala and ventral tegmental area at follow-up. Similarly, amplified physiological responses to the induction predicted increased connectivity between right amygdala and thalamus. Longitudinal shifts in a distinct set of functional connectivity scores were associated with concomitant changes in GAD symptomatology over the course of the year. Results highlight the prognostic value of indices of emotional dysregulation and emphasize the integral role of the amygdala as a critical hub in functional neural circuitry underlying the progression of GAD symptomatology. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press.

  13. Impact of sleep quality on amygdala reactivity, negative affect, and perceived stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Aric A; Bogdan, Ryan; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2013-05-01

    Research demonstrates a negative impact of sleep disturbance on mood and affect; however, the biological mechanisms mediating these links are poorly understood. Amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli has emerged as one potential pathway. Here, we investigate the influence of self-reported sleep quality on associations between threat-related amygdala reactivity and measures of negative affect and perceived stress. Analyses on data from 299 participants (125 men, 50.5% white, mean [standard deviation] age = 19.6 [1.3] years) who completed the Duke Neurogenetics Study were conducted. Participants completed several self-report measures of negative affect and perceived stress. Threat-related (i.e., angry and fearful facial expressions) amygdala reactivity was assayed using blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Global sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Amygdala reactivity to fearful facial expressions predicted greater depressive symptoms and higher perceived stress in poor (β values = 0.18-1.86, p values .05). In sex-specific analyses, men reporting poorer global sleep quality showed a significant association between amygdala reactivity and levels of depression and perceived stress (β values = 0.29-0.44, p values sleep quality or in women, irrespective of sleep quality. This study provides novel evidence that self-reported sleep quality moderates the relationships between amygdala reactivity, negative affect, and perceived stress, particularly among men.

  14. The amygdala and decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Rupa; Koscik, Timothy R; Bechara, Antoine; Tranel, Daniel

    2011-03-01

    Decision-making is a complex process that requires the orchestration of multiple neural systems. For example, decision-making is believed to involve areas of the brain involved in emotion (e.g., amygdala, ventromedial prefrontal cortex) and memory (e.g., hippocampus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). In this article, we will present findings related to the amygdala's role in decision-making, and differentiate the contributions of the amygdala from those of other structurally and functionally connected neural regions. Decades of research have shown that the amygdala is involved in associating a stimulus with its emotional value. This tradition has been extended in newer work, which has shown that the amygdala is especially important for decision-making, by triggering autonomic responses to emotional stimuli, including monetary reward and punishment. Patients with amygdala damage lack these autonomic responses to reward and punishment, and consequently, cannot utilize "somatic marker" type cues to guide future decision-making. Studies using laboratory decision-making tests have found deficient decision-making in patients with bilateral amygdala damage, which resembles their real-world difficulties with decision-making. Additionally, we have found evidence for an interaction between sex and laterality of amygdala functioning, such that unilateral damage to the right amygdala results in greater deficits in decision-making and social behavior in men, while left amygdala damage seems to be more detrimental for women. We have posited that the amygdala is part of an "impulsive," habit type system that triggers emotional responses to immediate outcomes. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Mediatization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjarvard, Stig

    2017-01-01

    Mediatization research shares media effects studies' ambition of answering the difficult questions with regard to whether and how media matter and influence contemporary culture and society. The two approaches nevertheless differ fundamentally in that mediatization research seeks answers...... to these general questions by distinguishing between two concepts: mediation and mediatization. The media effects tradition generally considers the effects of the media to be a result of individuals being exposed to media content, i.e. effects are seen as an outcome of mediated communication. Mediatization...... research is concerned with long-term structural changes involving media, culture, and society, i.e. the influences of the media are understood in relation to how media are implicated in social and cultural changes and how these processes come to create new conditions for human communication and interaction...

  16. Effects of early life stress on amygdala and striatal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fareri, Dominic S; Tottenham, Nim

    2016-06-01

    Species-expected caregiving early in life is critical for the normative development and regulation of emotional behavior, the ability to effectively evaluate affective stimuli in the environment, and the ability to sustain social relationships. Severe psychosocial stressors early in life (early life stress; ELS) in the form of the absence of species expected caregiving (i.e., caregiver deprivation), can drastically impact one's social and emotional success, leading to the onset of internalizing illness later in life. Development of the amygdala and striatum, two key regions supporting affective valuation and learning, is significantly affected by ELS, and their altered developmental trajectories have important implications for cognitive, behavioral and socioemotional development. However, an understanding of the impact of ELS on the development of functional interactions between these regions and subsequent behavioral effects is lacking. In this review, we highlight the roles of the amygdala and striatum in affective valuation and learning in maturity and across development. We discuss their function separately as well as their interaction. We highlight evidence across species characterizing how ELS induced changes in the development of the amygdala and striatum mediate subsequent behavioral changes associated with internalizing illness, positing a particular import of the effect of ELS on their interaction. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of early life stress on amygdala and striatal development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominic S. Fareri

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Species-expected caregiving early in life is critical for the normative development and regulation of emotional behavior, the ability to effectively evaluate affective stimuli in the environment, and the ability to sustain social relationships. Severe psychosocial stressors early in life (early life stress; ELS in the form of the absence of species expected caregiving (i.e., caregiver deprivation, can drastically impact one’s social and emotional success, leading to the onset of internalizing illness later in life. Development of the amygdala and striatum, two key regions supporting affective valuation and learning, is significantly affected by ELS, and their altered developmental trajectories have important implications for cognitive, behavioral and socioemotional development. However, an understanding of the impact of ELS on the development of functional interactions between these regions and subsequent behavioral effects is lacking. In this review, we highlight the roles of the amygdala and striatum in affective valuation and learning in maturity and across development. We discuss their function separately as well as their interaction. We highlight evidence across species characterizing how ELS induced changes in the development of the amygdala and striatum mediate subsequent behavioral changes associated with internalizing illness, positing a particular import of the effect of ELS on their interaction.

  18. The Amygdala: An Agent of Change in Adolescent Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherf, K. Suzanne; Smyth, Joshua M.; Delgado, Mauricio R.

    2013-01-01

    A unique component of adolescent development is the need to master new developmental tasks in which peer interactions become primary (for the purposes of becoming autonomous from parents, forming intimate friendships, and romantic/sexual partnerships). Previously, it has been suggested that the ability to master these tasks requires an important re-organization in the relation between perceptual, motivational, affective, and cognitive systems in a very general and broad way that is fundamentally influenced by the infusion of sex hormones during pubertal development (Scherf et al., 2012). Herein, we extend this argument to suggest that the amygdala, which is vastly connected with cortical and subcortical regions and contains sex hormone receptors, may lie at the heart of this re-organization. We propose that during adolescent development there is a shift in the attribution of relevance to existing stimuli and contexts that is mediated by the amygdala (e.g., heightened relevance of peer faces, reduced relevance of physical distance from parents). As a result, amygdala inputs to existing stable neural networks are re-weighted (increased or decreased), which destabilizes the functional interactions among regions within these networks and allows for a critical restructuring of the network functional organization. This process of network re-organization enables processing of qualitatively new kinds of social information and the emergence of novel behaviors that support mastery of adolescent-specific developmental tasks. PMID:23756154

  19. Effects of early life stress on amygdala and striatal development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fareri, Dominic S.; Tottenham, Nim

    2016-01-01

    Species-expected caregiving early in life is critical for the normative development and regulation of emotional behavior, the ability to effectively evaluate affective stimuli in the environment, and the ability to sustain social relationships. Severe psychosocial stressors early in life (early life stress; ELS) in the form of the absence of species expected caregiving (i.e., caregiver deprivation), can drastically impact one’s social and emotional success, leading to the onset of internalizing illness later in life. Development of the amygdala and striatum, two key regions supporting affective valuation and learning, is significantly affected by ELS, and their altered developmental trajectories have important implications for cognitive, behavioral and socioemotional development. However, an understanding of the impact of ELS on the development of functional interactions between these regions and subsequent behavioral effects is lacking. In this review, we highlight the roles of the amygdala and striatum in affective valuation and learning in maturity and across development. We discuss their function separately as well as their interaction. We highlight evidence across species characterizing how ELS induced changes in the development of the amygdala and striatum mediate subsequent behavioral changes associated with internalizing illness, positing a particular import of the effect of ELS on their interaction. PMID:27174149

  20. MRI Amygdala Volume in Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitao, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Sampaio, Cassandra; Vasconcelos, Cristiana; Fernandez, Montse; Garayzabal, Elena; Shenton, Martha E.; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2011-01-01

    One of the most intriguing characteristics of Williams Syndrome individuals is their hypersociability. The amygdala has been consistently implicated in the etiology of this social profile, particularly given its role in emotional and social behavior. This study examined amygdala volume and symmetry in WS individuals and in age and sex matched…

  1. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genetic variation and early stress moderates amygdala function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Iorio, Christina R; Carey, Caitlin E; Michalski, Lindsay J; Corral-Frias, Nadia S; Conley, Emily Drabant; Hariri, Ahmad R; Bogdan, Ryan

    2017-06-01

    Early life stress may precipitate psychopathology, at least in part, by influencing amygdala function. Converging evidence across species suggests that links between childhood stress and amygdala function may be dependent upon hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. Using data from college-attending non-Hispanic European-Americans (n=308) who completed the Duke Neurogenetics Study, we examined whether early life stress (ELS) and HPA axis genetic variation interact to predict threat-related amygdala function as well as psychopathology symptoms. A biologically-informed multilocus profile score (BIMPS) captured HPA axis genetic variation (FKBP5 rs1360780, CRHR1 rs110402; NR3C2 rs5522/rs4635799) previously associated with its function (higher BIMPS are reflective of higher HPA axis activity). BOLD fMRI data were acquired while participants completed an emotional face matching task. ELS and depression and anxiety symptoms were measured using the childhood trauma questionnaire and the mood and anxiety symptom questionnaire, respectively. The interaction between HPA axis BIMPS and ELS was associated with right amygdala reactivity to threat-related stimuli, after accounting for multiple testing (empirical-p=0.016). Among individuals with higher BIMPS (i.e., the upper 21.4%), ELS was positively coupled with threat-related amygdala reactivity, which was absent among those with average or low BIMPS. Further, higher BIMPS were associated with greater self-reported anxious arousal, though there was no evidence that amygdala function mediated this relationship. Polygenic variation linked to HPA axis function may moderate the effects of early life stress on threat-related amygdala function and confer risk for anxiety symptomatology. However, what, if any, neural mechanisms may mediate the relationship between HPA axis BIMPS and anxiety symptomatology remains unclear. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Testosterone increases amygdala reactivity in middle-aged women to a young adulthood level.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wingen, G.A. van; Zylicz, S.A.; Pieters, S.; Mattern, C.; Verkes, R.J.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Fernandez, G.S.E.

    2009-01-01

    Testosterone modulates mood and sexual function in women. However, androgen levels decline with age, which may relate to the age-associated change in sexual functioning and the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders. These effects of testosterone are potentially mediated by the amygdala. In the

  3. Testosterone increases amygdala reactivity in middle-aged women to a young adulthood level

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Wingen, Guido A.; Zylicz, Staś A.; Pieters, Sara; Mattern, Claudia; Verkes, Robbert Jan; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Fernández, Guillén

    2009-01-01

    Testosterone modulates mood and sexual function in women. However, androgen levels decline with age, which may relate to the age-associated change in sexual functioning and the prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders. These effects of testosterone are potentially mediated by the amygdala. In the

  4. Sleep deprivation affects fear memory consolidation: bi-stable amygdala connectivity with insula and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Pan; Becker, Benjamin; Zheng, Yong; Feng, Tingyong

    2018-02-01

    Sleep plays an important role for successful fear memory consolidation. Growing evidence suggests that sleep disturbances might contribute to the development and the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorders characterized by dysregulations in fear learning mechanisms, as well as exaggerated arousal and salience processing. Against this background, the present study examined the effects of sleep deprivation (SD) on the acquisition of fear and the subsequent neural consolidation. To this end, the present study assessed fear acquisition and associated changes in fMRI-based amygdala-functional connectivity following 24 h of SD. Relative to non-sleep deprived controls, SD subjects demonstrated increased fear ratings and skin conductance responses (SCR) during fear acquisition. During fear consolidation SD inhibited increased amygdala-ventromendial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) connectivity and concomitantly increased changes in amygdala-insula connectivity. Importantly, whereas in controls fear indices during acquisition were negatively associated with amygdala-vmPFC connectivity during consolidation, fear indices were positively associated with amygdala-insula coupling following SD. Together the findings suggest that SD may interfere with vmPFC control of the amygdala and increase bottom-up arousal signaling in the amygdala-insula pathway during fear consolidation, which might mediate the negative impact of sleep disturbances on PSTD symptomatology.

  5. vlPFC-vmPFC-Amygdala Interactions Underlie Age-Related Differences in Cognitive Regulation of Emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvers, Jennifer A; Insel, Catherine; Powers, Alisa; Franz, Peter; Helion, Chelsea; Martin, Rebecca E; Weber, Jochen; Mischel, Walter; Casey, B J; Ochsner, Kevin N

    2017-07-01

    Emotion regulation is a critical life skill that develops throughout childhood and adolescence. Despite this development in emotional processes, little is known about how the underlying brain systems develop with age. This study examined emotion regulation in 112 individuals (aged 6-23 years) as they viewed aversive and neutral images using a reappraisal task. On "reappraisal" trials, participants were instructed to view the images as distant, a strategy that has been previously shown to reduce negative affect. On "reactivity" trials, participants were instructed to view the images without regulating emotions to assess baseline emotional responding. During reappraisal, age predicted less negative affect, reduced amygdala responses and inverse coupling between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala. Moreover, left ventrolateral prefrontal (vlPFC) recruitment mediated the relationship between increasing age and diminishing amygdala responses. This negative vlPFC-amygdala association was stronger for individuals with inverse coupling between the amygdala and vmPFC. These data provide evidence that vmPFC-amygdala connectivity facilitates vlPFC-related amygdala modulation across development. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. AMYGDALA MICROCIRCUITS CONTROLLING LEARNED FEAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvarci, Sevil; Pare, Denis

    2014-01-01

    We review recent work on the role of intrinsic amygdala networks in the regulation of classically conditioned defensive behaviors, commonly known as conditioned fear. These new developments highlight how conditioned fear depends on far more complex networks than initially envisioned. Indeed, multiple parallel inhibitory and excitatory circuits are differentially recruited during the expression versus extinction of conditioned fear. Moreover, shifts between expression and extinction circuits involve coordinated interactions with different regions of the medial prefrontal cortex. However, key areas of uncertainty remain, particularly with respect to the connectivity of the different cell types. Filling these gaps in our knowledge is important because much evidence indicates that human anxiety disorders results from an abnormal regulation of the networks supporting fear learning. PMID:24908482

  7. Comparative distribution of relaxin-3 inputs and calcium-binding protein-positive neurons in rat amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio N Santos

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The neural circuits involved in mediating complex behaviors are being rapidly elucidated using various newly developed and powerful anatomical and molecular techniques, providing insights into the neural basis for anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and dysfunctional social behaviors. Many of these behaviors and associated physiological processes involve the activation of the amygdala in conjunction with cortical and hippocampal circuits. Ascending subcortical projections provide modulatory inputs to the extended amygdala and its related nodes (or ‘hubs’ within these key circuits. One such input arises from the nucleus incertus (NI in the tegmentum, which sends amino acid- and peptide-containing projections throughout the forebrain. Notably, a distinct population of GABAergic NI neurons expresses the highly-conserved neuropeptide, relaxin-3, and relaxin-3 signaling has been implicated in the modulation of reward/motivation and anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in rodents via actions within the extended amygdala. Thus, a detailed description of the relaxin-3 innervation of the extended amygdala would provide an anatomical framework for an improved understanding of NI and relaxin-3 modulation of these and other specific amygdala-related functions. Therefore, in this study, we examined the distribution of NI projections and relaxin-3-positive elements (axons/fibers/terminals within the amygdala, relative to the distribution of neurons expressing the calcium-binding proteins, parvalbumin, calretinin and/or calbindin. Anterograde tracer injections into the NI revealed a topographic distribution of NI efferents within the amygdala that was near identical to the distribution of relaxin-3-immunoreactive fibers. Highest densities of anterogradely-labeled elements and relaxin-3-immunoreactive fibers were observed in the medial nucleus of the amygdala, medial divisions of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST and in the endopiriform

  8. Maladaptive social information processing in childhood predicts young men's atypical amygdala reactivity to threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Daniel Ewon; Shaw, Daniel S; Forbes, Erika E

    2015-05-01

    Maladaptive social information processing, such as hostile attributional bias and aggressive response generation, is associated with childhood maladjustment. Although social information processing problems are correlated with heightened physiological responses to social threat, few studies have examined their associations with neural threat circuitry, specifically amygdala activation to social threat. A cohort of 310 boys participated in an ongoing longitudinal study and completed questionnaires and laboratory tasks assessing their social and cognitive characteristics the boys were between 10 and 12 years of age. At age 20, 178 of these young men underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging and a social threat task. At age 22, adult criminal arrest records and self-reports of impulsiveness were obtained. Path models indicated that maladaptive social information-processing at ages 10 and 11 predicted increased left amygdala reactivity to fear faces, an ambiguous threat, at age 20 while accounting for childhood antisocial behavior, empathy, IQ, and socioeconomic status. Exploratory analyses indicated that aggressive response generation - the tendency to respond to threat with reactive aggression - predicted left amygdala reactivity to fear faces and was concurrently associated with empathy, antisocial behavior, and hostile attributional bias, whereas hostile attributional bias correlated with IQ. Although unrelated to social information-processing problems, bilateral amygdala reactivity to anger faces at age 20 was unexpectedly predicted by low IQ at age 11. Amygdala activation did not mediate associations between social information processing and number of criminal arrests, but both impulsiveness at age 22 and arrests were correlated with right amygdala reactivity to anger facial expressions at age 20. Childhood social information processing and IQ predicted young men's amygdala response to threat a decade later, which suggests that childhood social

  9. Amygdala reactivity and negative emotionality: divergent correlates of antisocial personality and psychopathy traits in a community sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, Luke W; Byrd, Amy L; Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth; Hariri, Ahmad R; Manuck, Stephen B

    2014-02-01

    Previous studies have emphasized that antisocial personality disorder (APD) and psychopathy overlap highly but differ critically in several features, notably negative emotionality (NEM) and possibly amygdala reactivity to social signals of threat and distress. Here we examined whether dimensions of psychopathy and APD correlate differentially with NEM and amygdala reactivity to emotional faces. Testing these relationships among healthy individuals, dimensions of psychopathy and APD were generated by the profile matching technique of Lynam and Widiger (2001), using facet scales of the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised, and amygdala reactivity was measured using a well-established emotional faces task, in a community sample of 103 men and women. Higher psychopathy scores were associated with lower NEM and lower amygdala reactivity, whereas higher APD scores were related to greater NEM and greater amygdala reactivity, but only after overlapping variance in APD and psychopathy was adjusted for in the statistical model. Amygdala reactivity did not mediate the relationship of APD and psychopathy scores to NEM. Supplemental analyses also compared other measures of factors within psychopathy in predicting NEM and amygdala reactivity and found that Factor 2 psychopathy was positively related to NEM and amygdala reactivity across measures of psychopathy. The overall findings replicate seminal observations on NEM in psychopathy by Hicks and Patrick (2006) and extend this work to neuroimaging in a normative population. They also suggest that one critical way in which APD and psychopathy dimensions may differ in their etiology is through their opposing levels of NEM and amygdala reactivity to threat. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  10. Relation between Amygdala Structure and Function in Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalmar, Jessica H.; Wang, Fei; Chepenik, Lara G.; Womer, Fay Y.; Jones, Monique M.; Pittman, Brian; Shah, Maulik P.; Martin, Andres; Constable, R. Todd; Blumberg, Hilary P.

    2009-01-01

    Adolescents with bipolar disorder showed decreased amygdala volume and increased amygdala response to emotional faces. Amygdala volume is inversely related to activation during emotional face processing.

  11. Control of Amygdala Circuits by 5-HT Neurons via 5-HT and Glutamate Cotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Ayesha; Bocchio, Marco; Bannerman, David M; Sharp, Trevor; Capogna, Marco

    2017-02-15

    The serotonin (5-HT) system and the amygdala are key regulators of emotional behavior. Several lines of evidence suggest that 5-HT transmission in the amygdala is implicated in the susceptibility and drug treatment of mood disorders. Therefore, elucidating the physiological mechanisms through which midbrain 5-HT neurons modulate amygdala circuits could be pivotal in understanding emotional regulation in health and disease. To shed light on these mechanisms, we performed patch-clamp recordings from basal amygdala (BA) neurons in brain slices from mice with channelrhodopsin genetically targeted to 5-HT neurons. Optical stimulation of 5-HT terminals at low frequencies (≤1 Hz) evoked a short-latency excitation of BA interneurons (INs) that was depressed at higher frequencies. Pharmacological analysis revealed that this effect was mediated by glutamate and not 5-HT because it was abolished by ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists. Optical stimulation of 5-HT terminals at higher frequencies (10-20 Hz) evoked both slow excitation and slow inhibition of INs. These effects were mediated by 5-HT because they were blocked by antagonists of 5-HT 2A and 5-HT 1A receptors, respectively. These fast glutamate- and slow 5-HT-mediated responses often coexisted in the same neuron. Interestingly, fast-spiking and non-fast-spiking INs displayed differential modulation by glutamate and 5-HT. Furthermore, optical stimulation of 5-HT terminals did not evoke glutamate release onto BA principal neurons, but inhibited these cells directly via activation of 5-HT 1A receptors and indirectly via enhanced GABA release. Collectively, these findings suggest that 5-HT neurons exert a frequency-dependent, cell-type-specific control over BA circuitry via 5-HT and glutamate co-release to inhibit the BA output. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The modulation of the amygdala by serotonin (5-HT) is important for emotional regulation and is implicated in the pathogenesis and treatment of affective disorders

  12. Structural Connectivity of the Developing Human Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saygin, Zeynep M.; Osher, David E.; Koldewyn, Kami; Martin, Rebecca E.; Finn, Amy; Saxe, Rebecca; Gabrieli, John D.E.; Sheridan, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    A large corpus of research suggests that there are changes in the manner and degree to which the amygdala supports cognitive and emotional function across development. One possible basis for these developmental differences could be the maturation of amygdalar connections with the rest of the brain. Recent functional connectivity studies support this conclusion, but the structural connectivity of the developing amygdala and its different nuclei remains largely unstudied. We examined age related changes in the DWI connectivity fingerprints of the amygdala to the rest of the brain in 166 individuals of ages 5-30. We also developed a model to predict age based on individual-subject amygdala connectivity, and identified the connections that were most predictive of age. Finally, we segmented the amygdala into its four main nucleus groups, and examined the developmental changes in connectivity for each nucleus. We observed that with age, amygdalar connectivity becomes increasingly sparse and localized. Age related changes were largely localized to the subregions of the amygdala that are implicated in social inference and contextual memory (the basal and lateral nuclei). The central nucleus’ connectivity also showed differences with age but these differences affected fewer target regions than the basal and lateral nuclei. The medial nucleus did not exhibit any age related changes. These findings demonstrate increasing specificity in the connectivity patterns of amygdalar nuclei across age. PMID:25875758

  13. Awareness of Emotional Stimuli Determines the Behavioral Consequences of Amygdala Activation and Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapate, R. C.; Rokers, B.; Tromp, D. P. M.; Orfali, N. S.; Oler, J. A.; Doran, S. T.; Adluru, N.; Alexander, A. L.; Davidson, R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Conscious awareness of negative cues is thought to enhance emotion-regulatory capacity, but the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are unknown. Using continuous flash suppression (CFS) in the MRI scanner, we manipulated visual awareness of fearful faces during an affect misattribution paradigm, in which preferences for neutral objects can be biased by the valence of a previously presented stimulus. The amygdala responded to fearful faces independently of awareness. However, when awareness of fearful faces was prevented, individuals with greater amygdala responses displayed a negative bias toward unrelated novel neutral faces. In contrast, during the aware condition, inverse coupling between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex reduced this bias, particularly among individuals with higher structural connectivity in the major white matter pathway connecting the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Collectively, these results indicate that awareness promotes the function of a critical emotion-regulatory network targeting the amygdala, providing a mechanistic account for the role of awareness in emotion regulation. PMID:27181344

  14. Amygdala EphB2 Signaling Regulates Glutamatergic Neuron Maturation and Innate Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiao-Na; Liu, Xian-Dong; Zhuang, Hanyi; Henkemeyer, Mark; Yang, Jing-Yu; Xu, Nan-Jie

    2016-09-28

    The amygdala serves as emotional center to mediate innate fear behaviors that are reflected through neuronal responses to environmental aversive cues. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the initial neuron responses is poorly understood. In this study, we monitored the innate defensive responses to aversive stimuli of either elevated plus maze or predator odor in juvenile mice and found that glutamatergic neurons were activated in amygdala. Loss of EphB2, a receptor tyrosine kinase expressed in amygdala neurons, suppressed the reactions and led to defects in spine morphogenesis and fear behaviors. We further found a coupling of spinogenesis with these threat cues induced neuron activation in developing amygdala that was controlled by EphB2. A constitutively active form of EphB2 was sufficient to rescue the behavioral and morphological defects caused by ablation of ephrin-B3, a brain-enriched ligand to EphB2. These data suggest that kinase-dependent EphB2 intracellular signaling plays a major role for innate fear responses during the critical developing period, in which spinogenesis in amygdala glutamatergic neurons was involved. Generation of innate fear responses to threat as an evolutionally conserved brain feature relies on development of functional neural circuit in amygdala, but the molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. We here identify that EphB2 receptor tyrosine kinase, which is specifically expressed in glutamatergic neurons, is required for the innate fear responses in the neonatal brain. We further reveal that EphB2 mediates coordination of spinogenesis and neuron activation in amygdala during the critical period for the innate fear. EphB2 catalytic activity plays a major role for the behavior upon EphB-ephrin-B3 binding and transnucleus neuronal connections. Our work thus indicates an essential synaptic molecular signaling within amygdala that controls synapse development and helps bring about innate fear emotions in the postnatal

  15. Pattern of distribution of serotonergic fibers to the amygdala and extended amygdala in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linley, Stephanie B; Olucha-Bordonau, Francisco; Vertes, Robert P

    2017-01-01

    As is well recognized, serotonergic (5-HT) fibers distribute widely throughout the forebrain, including the amygdala. Although a few reports have examined the 5-HT innervation of select nuclei of the amygdala in the rat, no previous report has described overall 5-HT projections to the amygdala in the rat. Using immunostaining for the serotonin transporter, SERT, we describe the complete pattern of distribution of 5-HT fibers to the amygdala (proper) and to the extended amygdala in the rat. Based on its ontogenetic origins, the amygdala was subdivided into two major parts, pallial and subpallial components, with the pallial component further divided into superficial and deep nuclei (Olucha-Bordonau et al. 2015). SERT + fibers were shown to distributed moderately to densely to the deep and cortical pallial nuclei, but, by contrast, lightly to the subpallial nuclei. Specifically, 1) of the deep pallial nuclei, the lateral, basolateral, and basomedial nuclei contained a very dense concentration of 5-HT fibers; 2) of the cortical pallial nuclei, the anterior cortical and amygdala-cortical transition zone rostrally and the posteromedial and posterolateral nuclei caudally contained a moderate concentration of 5-HT fibers; and 3) of the subpallial nuclei, the anterior nuclei and the rostral part of the medial (Me) nuclei contained a moderate concentration of 5-HT fibers, whereas caudal regions of Me as well as the central nuclei and the intercalated nuclei contained a sparse/light concentration of 5-HT fibers. With regard to the extended amygdala (primarily the bed nucleus of stria terminalis; BST), on the whole, the BST contained moderate numbers of 5-HT fibers, spread fairly uniformly throughout BST. The findings are discussed with respect to a critical serotonergic influence on the amygdala, particularly on the basal complex, and on the extended amygdala in the control of states of fear and anxiety. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:116-139, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Framing effect following bilateral amygdala lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmi, Deborah; Hurlemann, René; Patin, Alexandra; Dolan, Raymond J

    2010-05-01

    A paradigmatic example of an emotional bias in decision making is the framing effect, where the manner in which a choice is posed--as a potential loss or a potential gain--systematically biases an ensuing decision. Two fMRI studies have shown that the activation in the amygdala is modulated by the framing effect. Here, contrary to an expectation based on these studies, we show that two patients with Urbach-Wiethe (UW) disease, a rare condition associated with congenital, complete bilateral amygdala degeneration, exhibit an intact framing effect. However, choice preference in these patients did show a qualitatively distinct pattern compared to controls evident in an increased propensity to gamble, indicating that loss of amygdala function does exert an overall influence on risk-taking. These findings suggest either that amygdala does contribute to decision making but does not play a causal role in framing, or that UW is not a pure lesion model of amygdala function. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Fear processing and social networking in the absence of a functional amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Benjamin; Mihov, Yoan; Scheele, Dirk; Kendrick, Keith M; Feinstein, Justin S; Matusch, Andreas; Aydin, Merve; Reich, Harald; Urbach, Horst; Oros-Peusquens, Ana-Maria; Shah, Nadim J; Kunz, Wolfram S; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Zilles, Karl; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    2012-07-01

    The human amygdala plays a crucial role in processing social signals, such as face expressions, particularly fearful ones, and facilitates responses to them in face-sensitive cortical regions. This contributes to social competence and individual amygdala size correlates with that of social networks. While rare patients with focal bilateral amygdala lesion typically show impaired recognition of fearful faces, this deficit is variable, and an intriguing possibility is that other brain regions can compensate to support fear and social signal processing. To investigate the brain's functional compensation of selective bilateral amygdala damage, we performed a series of behavioral, psychophysiological, and functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments in two adult female monozygotic twins (patient 1 and patient 2) with equivalent, extensive bilateral amygdala pathology as a sequela of lipoid proteinosis due to Urbach-Wiethe disease. Patient 1, but not patient 2, showed preserved recognition of fearful faces, intact modulation of acoustic startle responses by fear-eliciting scenes, and a normal-sized social network. Functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that patient 1 showed potentiated responses to fearful faces in her left premotor cortex face area and bilaterally in the inferior parietal lobule. The premotor cortex face area and inferior parietal lobule are both implicated in the cortical mirror-neuron system, which mediates learning of observed actions and may thereby promote both imitation and empathy. Taken together, our findings suggest that despite the pre-eminent role of the amygdala in processing social information, the cortical mirror-neuron system may sometimes adaptively compensate for its pathology. Copyright © 2012 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Impact of Sleep Quality on Amygdala Reactivity, Negative Affect, and Perceived Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, Aric A.; Bogdan, Ryan; Ahmad R. Hariri, PhD

    2013-01-01

    Objective Research demonstrates a negative impact of sleep disturbance on mood and affect; however, the biological mechanisms mediating these links are poorly understood. Amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli has emerged as one potential pathway. Here, we investigate the influence of self-reported sleep quality on associations between threat-related amygdala reactivity and measures of negative affect and perceived stress. Methods Analyses on data from 299 participants (125 men, 50.5% white, mean [standard deviation] age = 19.6 [1.3] years) who completed the Duke Neurogenetics Study were conducted. Participants completed several self-report measures of negative affect and perceived stress. Threat-related (i.e., angry and fearful facial expressions) amygdala reactivity was assayed using blood oxygen level–dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Global sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Results Amygdala reactivity to fearful facial expressions predicted greater depressive symptoms and higher perceived stress in poor (β values = 0.18–1.86, p values .05). In sex-specific analyses, men reporting poorer global sleep quality showed a significant association between amygdala reactivity and levels of depression and perceived stress (β values = 0.29–0.44, p values < .05). In contrast, no significant associations were observed in men reporting good global sleep quality or in women, irrespective of sleep quality. Conclusions This study provides novel evidence that self-reported sleep quality moderates the relationships between amygdala reactivity, negative affect, and perceived stress, particularly among men. PMID:23592753

  19. Developmental exposure to an environmental PCB mixture delays the propagation of electrical kindling from the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandara, Suren B; Sadowski, Renee N; Schantz, Susan L; Gilbert, Mary E

    2017-01-01

    Developmental PCB exposure impairs hearing and induces brainstem audiogenic seizures in adult offspring. The degree to which this enhanced susceptibility to seizure is manifest in other brain regions has not been examined. Thus, electrical kindling of the amygdala was used to evaluate the effect of developmental exposure to an environmentally relevant PCB mixture on seizure susceptibility in the rat. Female Long-Evans rats were dosed orally with 0 or 6mg/kg/day of the PCB mixture dissolved in corn oil vehicle 4 weeks prior to mating and continued through gestation and up until postnatal day (PND) 21. On PND 21, pups were weaned, and two males from each litter were randomly selected for the kindling study. As adults, the male rats were implanted bilaterally with electrodes in the basolateral amygdala. For each animal, afterdischarge (AD) thresholds in the amygdala were determined on the first day of testing followed by once daily stimulation at a standard 200μA stimulus intensity until three stage 5 generalized seizures (GS) ensued. Developmental PCB exposure did not affect the AD threshold or total cumulative AD duration, but PCB exposure did increase the latency to behavioral manifestations of seizure propagation. PCB exposed animals required significantly more stimulations to reach stage 2 seizures compared to control animals, indicating attenuated focal (amygdala) excitability. A delay in kindling progression in the amygdala stands in contrast to our previous finding of increased susceptibility to brainstem-mediated audiogenic seizures in PCB-exposed animals in response to a an intense auditory stimulus. These seemingly divergent results are not unexpected given the distinct source, type, and mechanistic underpinnings of these different seizure models. A delay in epileptogenesis following focal amygdala stimulation may reflect a decrease in neuroplasticity following developmental PCB exposure consistent with reductions in use-dependent synaptic plasticity that

  20. Guanfacine modulates the emotional biasing of amygdala-prefrontal connectivity for cognitive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Kurt P; Clerkin, Suzanne M; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Fan, Jin

    2014-09-01

    Functional interactions between amygdala and prefrontal cortex provide a cortical entry point for emotional cues to bias cognitive control. Stimulation of α2 adrenoceptors enhances the prefrontal control functions and blocks the amygdala-dependent encoding of emotional cues. However, the impact of this stimulation on amygdala-prefrontal interactions and the emotional biasing of cognitive control have not been established. We tested the effect of the α2 adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine on psychophysiological interactions of amygdala with prefrontal cortex for the emotional biasing of response execution and inhibition. Fifteen healthy adults were scanned twice with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an emotional go/no-go task following administration of oral guanfacine (1mg) and placebo in a double-blind, counterbalanced design. Happy, sad, and neutral faces served as trial cues. Guanfacine moderated the effect of face emotion on the task-related functional connectivity of left and right amygdala with left inferior frontal gyrus compared to placebo, by selectively reversing the functional co-activation of the two regions for response execution cued by sad faces. This shift from positively to negatively correlated activation for guanfacine was associated with selective improvements in the relatively low accuracy of responses to sad faces seen for placebo. These results demonstrate the importance of functional interactions between amygdala and inferior frontal gyrus to both bottom-up biasing of cognitive control and top-down control of emotional processing, as well as for the α2 adrenoceptor-mediated modulation of these processes. These mechanisms offer a possibile method to address the emotional reactivity that is common to several psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  1. Amygdala lesions disrupt modulation of functional MRI activity evoked by facial expression in the monkey inferior temporal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadj-Bouziane, Fadila; Liu, Ning; Bell, Andrew H.; Gothard, Katalin M.; Luh, Wen-Ming; Tootell, Roger B. H.; Murray, Elisabeth A.; Ungerleider, Leslie G.

    2012-01-01

    We previously showed that facial expressions modulate functional MRI activity in the face-processing regions of the macaque monkey’s amygdala and inferior temporal (IT) cortex. Specifically, we showed that faces expressing emotion yield greater activation than neutral faces; we term this difference the “valence effect.” We hypothesized that amygdala lesions would disrupt the valence effect by eliminating the modulatory feedback from the amygdala to the IT cortex. We compared the valence effects within the IT cortex in monkeys with excitotoxic amygdala lesions (n = 3) with those in intact control animals (n = 3) using contrast agent-based functional MRI at 3 T. Images of four distinct monkey facial expressions—neutral, aggressive (open mouth threat), fearful (fear grin), and appeasing (lip smack)—were presented to the subjects in a blocked design. Our results showed that in monkeys with amygdala lesions the valence effects were strongly disrupted within the IT cortex, whereas face responsivity (neutral faces > scrambled faces) and face selectivity (neutral faces > non-face objects) were unaffected. Furthermore, sparing of the anterior amygdala led to intact valence effects in the anterior IT cortex (which included the anterior face-selective regions), whereas sparing of the posterior amygdala led to intact valence effects in the posterior IT cortex (which included the posterior face-selective regions). Overall, our data demonstrate that the feedback projections from the amygdala to the IT cortex mediate the valence effect found there. Moreover, these modulatory effects are consistent with an anterior-to-posterior gradient of projections, as suggested by classical tracer studies. PMID:23184972

  2. The central amygdala circuits in fear regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo

    The amygdala is essential for fear learning and expression. The central amygdala (CeA), once viewed as a passive relay between the amygdala complex and downstream fear effectors, has emerged as an active participant in fear conditioning. However, how the CeA contributes to the learning and expression of fear remains unclear. Our recent studies in mice indicate that fear conditioning induces robust plasticity of excitatory synapses onto inhibitory neurons in the lateral subdivision of CeA (CeL). In particular, this plasticity is cell-type specific and is required for the formation of fear memory. In addition, sensory cues that predict threat can cause activation of the somatostatin-positive CeL neurons, which is sufficient to drive freezing behavior. Here I will report our recent findings regarding the circuit and cellular mechanisms underlying CeL function in fear processing.

  3. Impaired Emotional Declarative Memory Following Unilateral Amygdala Damage

    OpenAIRE

    Adolphs, Ralph; Tranel, Daniel; Denburg, Natalie

    2000-01-01

    Case studies of patients with bilateral amygdala damage and functional imaging studies of normal individuals have demonstrated that the amygdala plays a critical role in encoding emotionally arousing stimuli into long-term declarative memory. However, several issues remain poorly understood: the separate roles of left and right amygdala, the time course over which the amygdala participates in memory consolidation, and the type of knowledge structures it helps consolidate. We investigated thes...

  4. The amygdala complex: multiple roles in associative learning and attention.

    OpenAIRE

    Gallagher, M; Holland, P C

    1994-01-01

    Although certain neurophysiological functions of the amygdala complex in learning seem well established, the purpose of this review is to propose that an additional conceptualization of amygdala function is now needed. The research we review provides evidence that a subsystem within the amygdala provides a coordinated regulation of attentional processes. An important aspect of this additional neuropsychology of the amygdala is that it may aid in understanding the importance of connections bet...

  5. FKBP5 and emotional neglect interact to predict individual differences in amygdala reactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, M G; Bogdan, R; Fisher, P M; Muñoz, K E; Williamson, D E; Hariri, A R

    2012-10-01

    Individual variation in physiological responsiveness to stress mediates risk for mental illness and is influenced by both experiential and genetic factors. Common polymorphisms in the human gene for FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5), which is involved in transcriptional regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, have been shown to interact with childhood abuse and trauma to predict stress-related psychopathology. In the current study, we examined if such gene-environment interaction effects may be related to variability in the threat-related reactivity of the amygdala, which plays a critical role in mediating physiological and behavioral adaptations to stress including modulation of the HPA axis. To this end, 139 healthy Caucasian youth completed a blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging probe of amygdala reactivity and self-report assessments of emotional neglect (EN) and other forms of maltreatment. These individuals were genotyped for 6 FKBP5 polymorphisms (rs7748266, rs1360780, rs9296158, rs3800373, rs9470080 and rs9394309) previously associated with psychopathology and/or HPA axis function. Interactions between each SNP and EN emerged such that risk alleles predicted relatively increased dorsal amygdala reactivity in the context of higher EN, even after correcting for multiple testing. Two different haplotype analyses confirmed this relationship as haplotypes with risk alleles also exhibited increased amygdala reactivity in the context of higher EN. Our results suggest that increased threat-related amygdala reactivity may represent a mechanism linking psychopathology to interactions between common genetic variants affecting HPA axis function and childhood trauma. © 2012 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  6. A common polymorphism in a Williams syndrome gene predicts amygdala reactivity and extraversion in healthy adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Johnna R.; Waller, Rebecca; Bogdan, Ryan; Knodt, Annchen R.; Sabhlok, Aditi; Hyde, Luke W.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2015-01-01

    Background Williams syndrome (WS), a genetic disorder resulting from hemizygous microdeletion of chromosome 7q11.23, has emerged as a model for identifying the genetic architecture of socioemotional behavior. Recently, common polymorphisms in GTF2I, which is found within the WS microdeletion, have been associated with reduced social anxiety in the general population. Identifying neural phenotypes affected by these polymorphisms will help advance our understanding not only of this specific genetic association but also the broader neurogenetic mechanisms of variability in socioemotional behavior. Methods Through an ongoing parent protocol, the Duke Neurogenetics Study, we measured threat-related amygdala reactivity to fearful and angry facial expressions using functional MRI (fMRI), assessed trait personality using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, and imputed GTF2I rs13227433 from saliva-derived DNA using custom Illumina arrays. Participants included 808 non-Hispanic Caucasian, African American, and Asian university students. Results The GTF2I rs13227433 AA genotype, previously associated with lower social anxiety, predicted decreased threat-related amygdala reactivity. An indirect effect of GTF2I genotype on the warmth facet of extraversion was mediated by decreased threat-related amygdala reactivity in women but not men. Conclusions A common polymorphism in the WS gene GTF2I associated with reduced social anxiety predicts decreased threat-related amygdala reactivity, which mediates an association between genotype and increased warmth in women. These results are consistent with reduced threat-related amygdala reactivity in WS and suggest that common variation in GTF2I contributes to broader variability in socioemotional brain function and behavior, with implications for understanding the neurogenetic bases of WS as well as social anxiety. PMID:26853120

  7. Post-Acquisition Release of Glutamate and Norepinephrine in the Amygdala Is Involved in Taste-Aversion Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman-Ramos, Kioko; Osorio-Gomez, Daniel; Moreno-Castilla, Perla; Bermudez-Rattoni, Federico

    2012-01-01

    Amygdala activity mediates the acquisition and consolidation of emotional experiences; we have recently shown that post-acquisition reactivation of this structure is necessary for the long-term storage of conditioned taste aversion (CTA). However, the specific neurotransmitters involved in such reactivation are not known. The aim of the present…

  8. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation within the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Aubry, Antonio V.; Serrano, Peter A.; Burghardt, Nesha S.

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by w...

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Stress-Induced Increases in Fear Memory Consolidation Within the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Antonio Aubry; Antonio Aubry; Peter Serrano; Peter Serrano; Nesha Burghardt; Nesha Burghardt

    2016-01-01

    Stress can significantly impact brain function and increase the risk for developing various psychiatric disorders. Many of the brain regions that are implicated in psychiatric disorders and are vulnerable to the effects of stress are also involved in mediating emotional learning. Emotional learning has been a subject of intense investigation for the past 30 years, with the vast majority of studies focusing on the amygdala and its role in associative fear learning. However, the mechanisms by...

  10. Ensemble coding of context-dependent fear memory in the amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Orsini, Caitlin A.; Yan, Chen; Maren, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    After fear conditioning, presenting the conditioned stimulus (CS) alone yields a context-specific extinction memory; fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in any other context. The context-dependence of extinction is mediated by a brain circuit consisting of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In the present work, we sought to determine at what level of this circuit context-dependent representations of the CS emerge. To explore this question, we used cellula...

  11. FMRI connectivity analysis of acupuncture effects on an amygdala-associated brain network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Baixiao

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recently, increasing evidence has indicated that the primary acupuncture effects are mediated by the central nervous system. However, specific brain networks underpinning these effects remain unclear. Results In the present study using fMRI, we employed a within-condition interregional covariance analysis method to investigate functional connectivity of brain networks involved in acupuncture. The fMRI experiment was performed before, during and after acupuncture manipulations on healthy volunteers at an acupuncture point, which was previously implicated in a neural pathway for pain modulation. We first identified significant fMRI signal changes during acupuncture stimulation in the left amygdala, which was subsequently selected as a functional reference for connectivity analyses. Our results have demonstrated that there is a brain network associated with the amygdala during a resting condition. This network encompasses the brain structures that are implicated in both pain sensation and pain modulation. We also found that such a pain-related network could be modulated by both verum acupuncture and sham acupuncture. Furthermore, compared with a sham acupuncture, the verum acupuncture induced a higher level of correlations among the amygdala-associated network. Conclusion Our findings indicate that acupuncture may change this amygdala-specific brain network into a functional state that underlies pain perception and pain modulation.

  12. The participation of cortical amygdala in innate, odor-driven behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, Cory M.; Denny, Christine A.; Hen, René; Axel, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Innate behaviors are observed in naïve animals without prior learning or experience, suggesting that the neural circuits that mediate these behaviors are genetically determined and stereotyped. The neural circuits that convey olfactory information from the sense organ to the cortical and subcortical olfactory centers have been anatomically defined1-3 but the specific pathways responsible for innate responses to volatile odors have not been identified. We have devised genetic strategies that demonstrate that a stereotyped neural circuit that transmits information from the olfactory bulb to cortical amygdala is necessary for innate aversive and appetitive behaviors. Moreover, we have employed the promoter of the activity-dependent gene, arc, to express the photosensitive ion channel, channelrhodopsin, in neurons of the cortical amygdala activated by odors that elicit innate behaviors. Optical activation of these neurons leads to appropriate behaviors that recapitulate the responses to innate odors. These data indicate that the cortical amygdala plays a critical role in the generation of innate odor-driven behaviors but do not preclude the participation of cortical amygdala in learned olfactory behaviors. PMID:25383519

  13. Extending the amygdala in theories of threat processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Andrew S.; Oler, Jonathan A.; Tromp, Do P.M.; Fudge, Julie L.; Kalin, Ned H.

    2015-01-01

    The central extended amygdala is an evolutionarily conserved set of interconnected brain regions that play an important role in threat processing to promote survival. Two core components of the central extended amygdala, the central nucleus of the amygdala (Ce) and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) are highly similar regions that serve complimentary roles by integrating fear- and anxiety-relevant information. Survival depends on the central extended amygdala's ability to rapidly integrate and respond to threats that vary in their immediacy, proximity, and characteristics. Future studies will benefit from understanding alterations in central extended amygdala function in relation to stress-related psychopathology. PMID:25851307

  14. Noradrenergic enhancement of amygdala responses to fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Onur, Oezguer A; Walter, Henrik; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Rehme, Anne K; Schmidt, Christoph; Keysers, Christian; Maier, Wolfgang; Hurlemann, René

    Multiple lines of evidence implicate the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the noradrenergic (norepinephrine, NE) system in responding to stressful stimuli such as fear signals, suggesting hyperfunction of both in the development of stress-related pathologies including anxiety disorders. However, no

  15. Amygdala Contributions to Stimulus–Reward Encoding in the Macaque Medial and Orbital Frontal Cortex during Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averbeck, Bruno B.

    2017-01-01

    Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala mediate stimulus–reward learning, but the mechanisms through which they interact are unclear. Here, we investigated how neurons in macaque OFC and MFC signaled rewards and the stimuli that predicted them during learning with and without amygdala input. Macaques performed a task that required them to evaluate two stimuli and then choose one to receive the reward associated with that option. Four main findings emerged. First, amygdala lesions slowed the acquisition and use of stimulus–reward associations. Further analyses indicated that this impairment was due, at least in part, to ineffective use of negative feedback to guide subsequent decisions. Second, the activity of neurons in OFC and MFC rapidly evolved to encode the amount of reward associated with each stimulus. Third, amygdalectomy reduced encoding of stimulus–reward associations during the evaluation of different stimuli. Reward encoding of anticipated and received reward after choices were made was not altered. Fourth, amygdala lesions led to an increase in the proportion of neurons in MFC, but not OFC, that encoded the instrumental response that monkeys made on each trial. These correlated changes in behavior and neural activity after amygdala lesions strongly suggest that the amygdala contributes to the ability to learn stimulus–reward associations rapidly by shaping encoding within OFC and MFC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Altered functional interactions among orbital frontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala are thought to underlie several psychiatric conditions, many related to reward learning. Here, we investigated the causal contribution of the amygdala to the development of neuronal activity in macaque OFC and MFC related to rewards and the stimuli that predict them during learning. Without amygdala inputs, neurons in both OFC and MFC showed decreased encoding of stimulus–reward associations. MFC also

  16. Amygdala Contributions to Stimulus-Reward Encoding in the Macaque Medial and Orbital Frontal Cortex during Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudebeck, Peter H; Ripple, Joshua A; Mitz, Andrew R; Averbeck, Bruno B; Murray, Elisabeth A

    2017-02-22

    Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala mediate stimulus-reward learning, but the mechanisms through which they interact are unclear. Here, we investigated how neurons in macaque OFC and MFC signaled rewards and the stimuli that predicted them during learning with and without amygdala input. Macaques performed a task that required them to evaluate two stimuli and then choose one to receive the reward associated with that option. Four main findings emerged. First, amygdala lesions slowed the acquisition and use of stimulus-reward associations. Further analyses indicated that this impairment was due, at least in part, to ineffective use of negative feedback to guide subsequent decisions. Second, the activity of neurons in OFC and MFC rapidly evolved to encode the amount of reward associated with each stimulus. Third, amygdalectomy reduced encoding of stimulus-reward associations during the evaluation of different stimuli. Reward encoding of anticipated and received reward after choices were made was not altered. Fourth, amygdala lesions led to an increase in the proportion of neurons in MFC, but not OFC, that encoded the instrumental response that monkeys made on each trial. These correlated changes in behavior and neural activity after amygdala lesions strongly suggest that the amygdala contributes to the ability to learn stimulus-reward associations rapidly by shaping encoding within OFC and MFC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Altered functional interactions among orbital frontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala are thought to underlie several psychiatric conditions, many related to reward learning. Here, we investigated the causal contribution of the amygdala to the development of neuronal activity in macaque OFC and MFC related to rewards and the stimuli that predict them during learning. Without amygdala inputs, neurons in both OFC and MFC showed decreased encoding of stimulus-reward associations. MFC also showed

  17. The Emotional Gatekeeper: A Computational Model of Attentional Selection and Suppression through the Pathway from the Amygdala to the Inhibitory Thalamic Reticular Nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullock, Daniel; Barbas, Helen

    2016-01-01

    In a complex environment that contains both opportunities and threats, it is important for an organism to flexibly direct attention based on current events and prior plans. The amygdala, the hub of the brain's emotional system, is involved in forming and signaling affective associations between stimuli and their consequences. The inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) is a hub of the attentional system that gates thalamo-cortical signaling. In the primate brain, a recently discovered pathway from the amygdala sends robust projections to TRN. Here we used computational modeling to demonstrate how the amygdala-TRN pathway, embedded in a wider neural circuit, can mediate selective attention guided by emotions. Our Emotional Gatekeeper model demonstrates how this circuit enables focused top-down, and flexible bottom-up, allocation of attention. The model suggests that the amygdala-TRN projection can serve as a unique mechanism for emotion-guided selection of signals sent to cortex for further processing. This inhibitory selection mechanism can mediate a powerful affective ‘framing’ effect that may lead to biased decision-making in highly charged emotional situations. The model also supports the idea that the amygdala can serve as a relevance detection system. Further, the model demonstrates how abnormal top-down drive and dysregulated local inhibition in the amygdala and in the cortex can contribute to the attentional symptoms that accompany several neuropsychiatric disorders. PMID:26828203

  18. The Emotional Gatekeeper: A Computational Model of Attentional Selection and Suppression through the Pathway from the Amygdala to the Inhibitory Thalamic Reticular Nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yohan J John

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In a complex environment that contains both opportunities and threats, it is important for an organism to flexibly direct attention based on current events and prior plans. The amygdala, the hub of the brain's emotional system, is involved in forming and signaling affective associations between stimuli and their consequences. The inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN is a hub of the attentional system that gates thalamo-cortical signaling. In the primate brain, a recently discovered pathway from the amygdala sends robust projections to TRN. Here we used computational modeling to demonstrate how the amygdala-TRN pathway, embedded in a wider neural circuit, can mediate selective attention guided by emotions. Our Emotional Gatekeeper model demonstrates how this circuit enables focused top-down, and flexible bottom-up, allocation of attention. The model suggests that the amygdala-TRN projection can serve as a unique mechanism for emotion-guided selection of signals sent to cortex for further processing. This inhibitory selection mechanism can mediate a powerful affective 'framing' effect that may lead to biased decision-making in highly charged emotional situations. The model also supports the idea that the amygdala can serve as a relevance detection system. Further, the model demonstrates how abnormal top-down drive and dysregulated local inhibition in the amygdala and in the cortex can contribute to the attentional symptoms that accompany several neuropsychiatric disorders.

  19. Activity alterations in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and amygdala during threat anticipation in generalized anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buff, Christine; Brinkmann, Leonie; Bruchmann, Maximilian; Becker, Michael P I; Tupak, Sara; Herrmann, Martin J; Straube, Thomas

    2017-11-01

    Sustained anticipatory anxiety is central to Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). During anticipatory anxiety, phasic threat responding appears to be mediated by the amygdala, while sustained threat responding seems related to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST). Although sustained anticipatory anxiety in GAD patients was proposed to be associated with BNST activity alterations, firm evidence is lacking. We aimed to explore temporal characteristics of BNST and amygdala activity during threat anticipation in GAD patients. Nineteen GAD patients and nineteen healthy controls (HC) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a temporally unpredictable threat anticipation paradigm. We defined phasic and a systematic variation of sustained response models for blood oxygen level-dependent responses during threat anticipation, to disentangle temporally dissociable involvement of the BNST and the amygdala. GAD patients relative to HC responded with increased phasic amygdala activity to onset of threat anticipation and with elevated sustained BNST activity that was delayed relative to the onset of threat anticipation. Both the amygdala and the BNST displayed altered responses during threat anticipation in GAD patients, albeit with different time courses. The results for the BNST activation hint towards its role in sustained threat responding, and contribute to a deeper understanding of pathological sustained anticipatory anxiety in GAD. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  20. Oxytocin reduces amygdala activity, increases social interactions, and reduces anxiety-like behavior irrespective of NMDAR antagonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobota, Rosanna; Mihara, Takuma; Forrest, Alexandra; Featherstone, Robert E; Siegel, Steven J

    2015-08-01

    Standard dopamine therapies for schizophrenia are not efficacious for negative symptoms of the disease, including asociality. This reduced social behavior may be due to glutamatergic dysfunction within the amygdala, leading to increased fear and social anxiety. Several studies have demonstrated the prosocial effects of oxytocin in schizophrenia patients. Therefore, this study evaluates the effect of subchronic oxytocin on EEG activity in amygdala of mice during performance of the three-chamber social choice and open field tests following acute ketamine as a model of glutamatergic dysfunction. Oxytocin did not restore social deficits introduced by ketamine but did significantly increase sociality in comparison to the control group. Ketamine had no effect on time spent in the center during the open field trials, whereas oxytocin increased overall center time across all groups, suggesting a reduction in anxiety. Amygdala activity was consistent across all drug groups during social and nonsocial behavioral trials. However, oxytocin reduced overall amygdala EEG power during the two behavioral tasks. Alternatively, ketamine did not significantly affect EEG power throughout the tasks. Decreased EEG power in the amygdala, as caused by oxytocin, may be related to both reduced anxiety and increased social behaviors. Data suggest that separate prosocial and social anxiety pathways may mediate social preference. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Effects of electroconvulsive therapy on amygdala function in major depression - a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redlich, R; Bürger, C; Dohm, K; Grotegerd, D; Opel, N; Zaremba, D; Meinert, S; Förster, K; Repple, J; Schnelle, R; Wagenknecht, C; Zavorotnyy, M; Heindel, W; Kugel, H; Gerbaulet, M; Alferink, J; Arolt, V; Zwanzger, P; Dannlowski, U

    2017-09-01

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most effective treatments for severe depression. However, little is known regarding brain functional processes mediating ECT effects. In a non-randomized prospective study, functional magnetic resonance imaging data during the automatic processing of subliminally presented emotional faces were obtained twice, about 6 weeks apart, in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) before and after treatment with ECT (ECT, n = 24). Additionally, a control sample of MDD patients treated solely with pharmacotherapy (MED, n = 23) and a healthy control sample (HC, n = 22) were obtained. Before therapy, both patient groups equally showed elevated amygdala reactivity to sad faces compared with HC. After treatment, a decrease in amygdala activity to negative stimuli was discerned in both patient samples indicating a normalization of amygdala function, suggesting mechanisms potentially unspecific for ECT. Moreover, a decrease in amygdala activity to sad faces was associated with symptomatic improvements in the ECT sample (r spearman = -0.48, p = 0.044), and by tendency also for the MED sample (r spearman = -0.38, p = 0.098). However, we did not find any significant association between pre-treatment amygdala function to emotional stimuli and individual symptom improvement, neither for the ECT sample, nor for the MED sample. In sum, the present study provides first results regarding functional changes in emotion processing due to ECT treatment using a longitudinal design, thus validating and extending our knowledge gained from previous treatment studies. A limitation was that ECT patients received concurrent medication treatment.

  2. Fear extinction requires infralimbic cortex projections to the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloodgood, Daniel W; Sugam, Jonathan A; Holmes, Andrew; Kash, Thomas L

    2018-03-06

    Fear extinction involves the formation of a new memory trace that attenuates fear responses to a conditioned aversive memory, and extinction impairments are implicated in trauma- and stress-related disorders. Previous studies in rodents have found that the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (IL) and its glutamatergic projections to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and basomedial amygdala (BMA) instruct the formation of fear extinction memories. However, it is unclear whether these pathways are exclusively involved in extinction, or whether other major targets of the IL, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) also play a role. To address this outstanding issue, the current study employed a combination of electrophysiological and chemogenetic approaches in mice to interrogate the role of IL-BLA and IL-NAc pathways in extinction. Specifically, we used patch-clamp electrophysiology coupled with retrograde tracing to examine changes in neuronal activity of the IL and prelimbic cortex (PL) projections to both the BLA and NAc following fear extinction. We found that extinction produced a significant increase in the intrinsic excitability of IL-BLA projection neurons, while extinction appeared to reverse fear-induced changes in IL-NAc projection neurons. To establish a causal counterpart to these observations, we then used a pathway-specific Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD) strategy to selectively inhibit PFC-BLA projection neurons during extinction acquisition. Using this approach, we found that DREADD-mediated inhibition of PFC-BLA neurons during extinction acquisition impaired subsequent extinction retrieval. Taken together, our findings provide further evidence for a critical contribution of the IL-BLA neural circuit to fear extinction.

  3. Framing effect following bilateral amygdala lesion

    OpenAIRE

    Talmi, Deborah; Hurlemann, Ren?; Patin, Alexandra; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2010-01-01

    A paradigmatic example of an emotional bias in decision making is the framing effect, where the manner in which a choice is posed ? as a potential loss or a potential gain ? systematically biases an ensuing decision. Two fMRI studies have shown that the activation in the amygdala is modulated by the framing effect. Here, contrary to an expectation based on these studies, we show that two patients with Urbach-Wiethe (UW) disease, a rare condition associated with congenital, complete bilateral ...

  4. Amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis circuitry: Implications for addiction-related behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamatakis, Alice M; Sparta, Dennis R; Jennings, Joshua H; McElligott, Zoe A; Decot, Heather; Stuber, Garret D

    2014-01-01

    Complex motivated behavioral processes, such as those that can go awry following substance abuse and other neuropsychiatric disorders, are mediated by a distributive network of neurons that reside throughout the brain. Neural circuits within the amygdala regions, such as the basolateral amygdala (BLA), and downstream targets such as the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), are critical neuroanatomical structures for orchestrating emotional behavioral responses that may influence motivated actions such as the reinstatement of drug seeking behavior. Here, we review the functional neurocircuitry of the BLA and the BNST, and discuss how these circuits may guide maladaptive behavioral processes such as those seen in addiction. Thus, further study of the functional connectivity within these brain regions and others may provide insight for the development of new treatment strategies for substance use disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'NIDA 40th Anniversary Issue'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Organization of Valence-Encoding and Projection-Defined Neurons in the Basolateral Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Beyeler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala (BLA mediates associative learning for both fear and reward. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that different BLA projections distinctly alter motivated behavior, including projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc, medial aspect of the central amygdala (CeM, and ventral hippocampus (vHPC. Although there is consensus regarding the existence of distinct subsets of BLA neurons encoding positive or negative valence, controversy remains regarding the anatomical arrangement of these populations. First, we map the location of more than 1,000 neurons distributed across the BLA and recorded during a Pavlovian discrimination task. Next, we determine the location of projection-defined neurons labeled with retrograde tracers and use CLARITY to reveal the axonal path in 3-dimensional space. Finally, we examine the local influence of each projection-defined populations within the BLA. Understanding the functional and topographical organization of circuits underlying valence assignment could reveal fundamental principles about emotional processing.

  6. Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Increased Ghrelin Receptor Signaling in the Amygdala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten; Ratner, Cecilia; Rudenko, Olga

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Besides the well-known effects of ghrelin on adiposity and food intake regulation, the ghrelin system has been shown to regulate aspects of behavior including anxiety and stress. However, the effect of virus-mediated overexpression of the ghrelin receptor in the amygdala has...... not previously been addressed directly. METHOD: First, we examined the acute effect of peripheral ghrelin administration on anxiety- and depression-like behavior using the open field, elevated plus maze, forced swim and tail suspension tests. Next, we examined the effect of peripheral ghrelin administration...... and ghrelin receptor deficiency on stress in a familiar and social environment using the Intellicage system. Importantly, we also used a novel approach to study ghrelin receptor signaling in the brain by overexpressing the ghrelin receptor in the amygdala. We examined the effect of ghrelin receptor...

  7. [MR spectroscopy of amygdala: investigation of methodology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hehan; Yue, Qiang; Gong, Qiyong

    2013-08-01

    This study was aimed to optimize the methods of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to improve its quality in amygdala. Forty-three volunteers were examined at right and left amygdala using stimulated-echo acquisition mode (STEAM), and point-resolved spectroscopy series (PRESS) with and without saturation bands. The Cr-SNR, water-suppression level, water full width at half maximum (FWHM) and RMS noise of three sequences were compared. The results showed that (1) the Cr-SNR and water-suppression lelvel of PRESS with saturation bands were better than that of PRESS without saturation bands and STEAM (P<0.001); (2) the left and right RMS noise was significantly different both using PRESS with saturation bands and using STEAM (P<0.05); (3) there was a positive, significant correlation between Cr-SNR and voxel size (P<0.05). Therefore, PRESS with saturation bands is better than PRESS without saturation bands or STEAM for the spectroscopy of amygdala. It is also useful to make the voxel as big as possible to improve the spectral quality.

  8. Amygdala damage eliminates monetary loss aversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Martino, Benedetto; Camerer, Colin F; Adolphs, Ralph

    2010-02-23

    Losses are a possibility in many risky decisions, and organisms have evolved mechanisms to evaluate and avoid them. Laboratory and field evidence suggests that people often avoid risks with losses even when they might earn a substantially larger gain, a behavioral preference termed "loss aversion." The cautionary brake on behavior known to rely on the amygdala is a plausible candidate mechanism for loss aversion, yet evidence for this idea has so far not been found. We studied two rare individuals with focal bilateral amygdala lesions using a series of experimental economics tasks. To measure individual sensitivity to financial losses we asked participants to play a variety of monetary gambles with possible gains and losses. Although both participants retained a normal ability to respond to changes in the gambles' expected value and risk, they showed a dramatic reduction in loss aversion compared to matched controls. The findings suggest that the amygdala plays a key role in generating loss aversion by inhibiting actions with potentially deleterious outcomes.

  9. Amygdala lesions in rhesus macaques decrease attention to threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dal Monte, Olga; Costa, Vincent D.; Noble, Pamela L.; Murray, Elisabeth A.; Averbeck, Bruno B.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from animal and human studies has suggested that the amygdala plays a role in detecting threat and in directing attention to the eyes. Nevertheless, there has been no systematic investigation of whether the amygdala specifically facilitates attention to the eyes or whether other features can also drive attention via amygdala processing. The goal of the present study was to examine the effects of amygdala lesions in rhesus monkeys on attentional capture by specific facial features, as well as gaze patterns and changes in pupil dilation during free viewing. Here we show reduced attentional capture by threat stimuli, specifically the mouth, and reduced exploration of the eyes in free viewing in monkeys with amygdala lesions. Our findings support a role for the amygdala in detecting threat signals and in directing attention to the eye region of faces when freely viewing different expressions. PMID:26658670

  10. Disruption of amygdala-entorhinal-hippocampal network in late-life depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Stephanie L; Noche, Jessica A; Murray, Elizabeth A; Yassa, Michael A

    2017-04-01

    Episodic memory deficits are evident in late-life depression (LLD) and are associated with subtle synaptic and neurochemical changes in the medial temporal lobes (MTL). However, the particular mechanisms by which memory impairment occurs in LLD are currently unknown. We tested older adults with (DS+) and without (DS-) depressive symptoms using high-resolution fMRI that is capable of discerning signals in hippocampal subfields and amygdala nuclei. Scanning was conducted during performance of an emotional discrimination task used previously to examine the relationship between depressive symptoms and amygdala-mediated emotional modulation of hippocampal pattern separation in young adults. We found that hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG)/CA3 activity was reduced during correct discrimination of negative stimuli and increased during correct discrimination of neutral items in DS+ compared to DS- adults. The extent of the latter increase was correlated with symptom severity. Furthermore, DG/CA3 and basolateral amygdala (BLA) activity predicted discrimination performance on negative trials, a relationship that depended on symptom severity. The impact of the BLA on depressive symptom severity was mediated by the DG/CA3 during discrimination of neutral items, and by the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) during false recognition of positive items. These results shed light on a novel mechanistic account for amygdala-hippocampal network changes and concurrent alterations in emotional episodic memory in LLD. The BLA-LEC-DG/CA3 network, which comprises a key pathway by which emotion modulates memory, is specifically implicated in LLD. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Surface morphology of amygdala is associated with trait anxiety.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuyu Li

    Full Text Available Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested a role of amygdala in trait anxiety level, in which amygdala was typically treated as a whole. To date, it remains unknown whether the morphology of specific subregions of amygdala are associated with trait anxiety. Here, we employed a shape analysis approach to locate the association between its morphology and trait anxiety on the surface of amygdala. 24 healthy young participants were included. The boundary of amygdala for each subject was first manually outlined using high-resolution magnetic resonance (MR image, followed by 3D surface reconstruction and parameterization using spherical harmonic description. Two point-wise metrics, direct displacement between the individual surface and atlas surface and its normal projection, were used to quantify the surface morphology of amygdala. Statistical analysis revealed significant correlations between the two surface metrics and trait anxiety levels, which were located around the lateral and central nucleus of right amygdala. Our results provided localized information for the association between amygdala and trait anxiety, and suggested a central role of the lateral and central nucleus of right amygdala on trait anxiety.

  12. Impact of family history and depression on amygdala volume.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Saleh, Karim

    2012-07-30

    Family history of depression significantly impacts life-long depression risk. Family history could impact the stress and emotion regulation system that involves the amygdala. This study\\'s purpose was to investigate family history\\'s effect on amygdala volumes, and differences in first degree relatives with and without major depressive disorder (MDD). Participants, aged 18-65, were healthy volunteers (N=52) with (n=26) and without (n=26) first degree family history, and patients with MDD (N=48) with (n=27) and without (n=21)first-degree family history recruited for structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Participants underwent clinical assessment followed by manual amygdala tracing. Patients with MDD without family history showed significantly larger right amygdala without a family history of MDD. These effects had larger right amygdala than healthy controls without MDD family history. These effects were pronounced in females. Family history and gender impacted amygdala volumes in all participants, providing a rationale for the inconsistent results in MDD amygdala studies. Higher familial risk in depression seems to be associated with smaller amygdala volumes, whereas depression alone is associated with larger amygdala volumes. Ultimately, these findings highlight consideration of family history and gender in research and treatment strategies.

  13. Amygdala Hyperactivity at Rest in Paranoid Individuals With Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkham, Amy E; Liu, Peiying; Lu, Hanzhang; Kriegsman, Michael; Simpson, Claire; Tamminga, Carol

    2015-08-01

    The amygdala's role in threat perception suggests that increased activation of this region may be related to paranoid ideation. However, investigations of amygdala function in paranoid individuals with schizophrenia, compared with both healthy individuals and nonparanoid individuals with schizophrenia, have consistently reported reduced task-related activation. The reliance of blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional MRI on a contrast between events and baseline, and the inability to quantitatively measure this baseline, may account for these counterintuitive findings. The present study tested for differences in baseline levels of amygdala activity in paranoid and nonparanoid individuals with schizophrenia using arterial spin labeling perfusion MRI. Resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) and task-related activation of the amygdala were measured in 25 healthy individuals, 16 individuals with schizophrenia who were actively paranoid at the time of scanning, and 16 individuals with schizophrenia who were not paranoid. Analysis of relative CBF values extracted from the amygdala bilaterally revealed significantly increased activity in the left amygdala in paranoid patient volunteers compared with healthy comparison subjects and nonparanoid patient volunteers. Increased CBF was also evident in the right amygdala but did not reach the level of statistical significance. Paranoid volunteers also showed significantly decreased task-related activation of the amygdala compared with the two other groups. These findings suggest that amygdala hyperactivation may underlie paranoia in schizophrenia. Additionally, the reported differences between paranoid and nonparanoid patient volunteers emphasize the importance of considering symptom-based subgroups and baseline levels of activity in future investigations of neural activation in schizophrenia.

  14. Delta Subunit-Containing Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid A Receptor Disinhibits Lateral Amygdala and Facilitates Fear Expression in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-Peng; He, Qing-Hai; Pan, Han-Qing; Xu, Xiao-Bin; Chen, Wen-Bing; He, Ye; Zhou, Jin; Zhang, Wen-Hua; Zhang, Jun-Yu; Ying, Xiao-Ping; Han, Ren-Wen; Li, Bao-Ming; Gao, Tian-Ming; Pan, Bing-Xing

    2017-06-15

    Maintaining gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) inhibition in the amygdala within a physiological range is critical for the appropriate expression of emotions such as fear and anxiety. The synaptic GABA type A receptor (GABA A R) is generally known to mediate the primary component of amygdala inhibition and prevent inappropriate expression of fear. However, little is known about the contribution of the extrasynaptic GABA A R to amygdala inhibition and fear. By using mice expressing green fluorescent protein in interneurons (INs) and lacking the δ subunit-containing GABA A R (GABA A (δ)R), which is exclusively situated in the extrasynaptic membrane, we systematically investigated the role of GABA A (δ)R in regulating inhibition in the lateral amygdala (LA) and fear learning using the combined approaches of immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and behavior. In sharp contrast to the established role of synaptic GABA A R in mediating LA inhibition, we found that either pharmacological or physiological recruitment of GABA A (δ)R resulted in the weakening of GABAergic transmission onto projection neurons in LA while leaving the glutamatergic transmission unaltered, suggesting disinhibition by GABA A (δ)R. The disinhibition arose from IN-specific expression of GABA A (δ)R with its activation decreasing the input resistance of local INs and suppressing their activation. Genetic deletion of GABA A (δ)R attenuated its role in suppressing LA INs and disinhibiting LA. Importantly, the GABA A (δ)R facilitated long-term potentiation in sensory afferents to LA and permitted the expression of learned fear. Our findings suggest that GABA A (δ)R serves as a brake rather than a mediator of GABAergic inhibition in LA. The disinhibition by GABA A (δ)R may help to prevent excessive suppression of amygdala activity and thus ensure the expression of emotion. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Dysfunctional amygdala activation and connectivity with the prefrontal cortex in current cocaine users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crunelle, C.L.; Kaag, A.M.; van den Munkhof, H.E.; Reneman, L.; Homberg, J.R.; Sabbe, B.; van den Brink, W.; van Wingen, G.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Stimulant use is associated with increased anxiety and a single administration of dexamphetamine increases amygdala activation to biologically salient stimuli in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate how current cocaine use affects amygdala activity and amygdala connectivity with the

  16. Dysfunctional amygdala activation and connectivity with the prefrontal cortex in current cocaine users

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crunelle, Cleo L.; Kaag, Anne Marije; van den Munkhof, Hanna E.; Reneman, Liesbeth; Homberg, Judith R.; Sabbe, Bernard; van den Brink, Wim; van Wingen, Guido

    2015-01-01

    Stimulant use is associated with increased anxiety and a single administration of dexamphetamine increases amygdala activation to biologically salient stimuli in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate how current cocaine use affects amygdala activity and amygdala connectivity with the prefrontal

  17. Reciprocal activation/inactivation of ERK in the amygdala and frontal cortex is correlated with the degree of novelty of an open-field environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanguedo, Frederico Velasco; Dias, Caio Vitor Bueno; Dias, Flavia Regina Cruz; Samuels, Richard Ian; Carey, Robert J; Carrera, Marinete Pinheiro

    2016-03-01

    Phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) has been used to identify brain areas activated by exogenous stimuli including psychostimulant drugs. Assess the role of the amygdala in emotional responses. Experimental manipulations were performed in which environmental familiarity was the variable. To provide the maximal degree of familiarity, ERK was measured after removal from the home cage and re-placement back into the same cage. To maximize exposure to an unfamiliar environment, ERK was measured following placement into a novel open field. To assess whether familiarity was the critical variable in the ERK response to the novel open field, ERK was also measured after either four or eight placements into the same environment. ERK quantification was carried out in the amygdala, frontal cortex, and the nucleus accumbens. After home cage re-placement, ERK activation was found in the frontal cortex and nucleus accumbens but was absent in the amygdala. Following placement in a novel environment, ERK activation was more prominent in the amygdala than the frontal cortex or nucleus accumbens. In contrast, with habituation to the novel environment, ERK phosphors declined markedly in the amygdala but increased in the frontal cortex and nucleus accumbens to the level observed following home cage re-placement. The differential responsiveness of the amygdala versus the frontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens to a novel versus a habituated environment is consistent with a reciprocal interaction between these neural systems and points to their important role in the mediation of behavioral activation to novelty and behavioral inactivation with habituation.

  18. Lifespan anxiety is reflected in human amygdala cortical connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ye; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The amygdala plays a pivotal role in processing anxiety and connects to large‐scale brain networks. However, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) between amygdala and these networks has rarely been examined in relation to anxiety, especially across the lifespan. We employed resting‐state functional MRI data from 280 healthy adults (18–83.5 yrs) to elucidate the relationship between anxiety and amygdala iFC with common cortical networks including the visual network, somatomotor network, dorsal attention network, ventral attention network, limbic network, frontoparietal network, and default network. Global and network‐specific iFC were separately computed as mean iFC of amygdala with the entire cerebral cortex and each cortical network. We detected negative correlation between global positive amygdala iFC and trait anxiety. Network‐specific associations between amygdala iFC and anxiety were also detectable. Specifically, the higher iFC strength between the left amygdala and the limbic network predicted lower state anxiety. For the trait anxiety, left amygdala anxiety–connectivity correlation was observed in both somatomotor and dorsal attention networks, whereas the right amygdala anxiety–connectivity correlation was primarily distributed in the frontoparietal and ventral attention networks. Ventral attention network exhibited significant anxiety–gender interactions on its iFC with amygdala. Together with findings from additional vertex‐wise analysis, these data clearly indicated that both low‐level sensory networks and high‐level associative networks could contribute to detectable predictions of anxiety behaviors by their iFC profiles with the amygdala. This set of systems neuroscience findings could lead to novel functional network models on neural correlates of human anxiety and provide targets for novel treatment strategies on anxiety disorders. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1178–1193, 2016. © 2015 The Authors Human Brain Mapping

  19. Impaired Prefrontal-Amygdala Pathway, Self-Reported Emotion, and Erection in Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction Patients With Normal Nocturnal Erection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhuai Chen

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the prefrontal cortex and amygdala play an important role in sexual arousal (SA. However, little is known about the interactions between the prefrontal and cortex amygdala, which mediate the cognitive regulation of emotion and SA.Objective: We seek to determine whether nocturnal erection of psychogenic erectile dysfunction (pED patients are normal and whether there are changes of topological organization in the prefrontal-amygdala pathway of brain network in pED. In addition, whether there are correlations between network property changes and self-reported emotion and erection.Design, setting, and participants: We used the RigiScan device to evaluate erectile function of patients and employed diffusion MRI and graph theory to construct brain networks of 21 pED patients and 24 healthy controls.Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: We considered four nodal metrics and their asymmetry scores, and nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT parameters, to evaluate the topological properties of brain networks of pED and their relationships with the impaired self-reported emotion and erection.Results and limitations: All the pED patients showed normal nocturnal penile erection, however impaired self-reported erection and negative emotion. In addition, patients showed lower connectivity degree and strength in the left prefrontal-amygdala pathway. We also found that pED exhibited lower leftward asymmetry in the inferior frontal gyrus. Furthermore, patients showed more hub regions and fewer pivotal connections. Moreover, the degree of the left amygdala of pED showed significantly negative correlation with the self-reported erection and positive correlation with the self-reported negative emotion.Conclusions: Together, these results suggest normal nocturnal erection in pED. However, abnormalities of brain network organization in pED, particularly in the left prefrontal-amygdala pathway, are associated

  20. Is there a link between childhood trauma, cognition, and amygdala and hippocampus volume in first-episode psychosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aas, Monica; Navari, Serena; Gibbs, Ayana; Mondelli, Valeria; Fisher, Helen L; Morgan, Craig; Morgan, Kevin; MacCabe, James; Reichenberg, Abraham; Zanelli, Jolanta; Fearon, Paul; Jones, Peter B; Murray, Robin M; Pariante, Carmine M; Dazzan, Paola

    2012-05-01

    Patients with psychosis have higher rates of childhood trauma, which is also associated with adverse effects on cognitive functions such as attention, concentration and mental speed, language, and verbal intelligence. Although the pathophysiological substrate for this association remains unclear, these cognitive deficits may represent the functional correlate of changes observed in relation to trauma exposure in structures such as the amygdala and the hippocampus. Interestingly, these structures are often reported as altered in psychosis. This study investigated the association between childhood trauma, cognitive function and amygdala and hippocampus volume, in first-episode psychosis. We investigated 83 patients with first-episode psychosis and 63 healthy controls. All participants underwent an MRI scan acquired with a GE Sigma 1.5-T system, and a standardized neuropsychological assessment of general cognition, memory, processing speed, executive function, visuo-spatial abilities, verbal intelligence, and language. In a subsample of the patients (N=45) information on childhood trauma was collected with the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire (CECA.Q). We found that amygdala, but not hippocampus, volume was significantly smaller (p=0.001) in patients compared to healthy controls. There was a trend level interaction for hippocampus volume between group and sex (p=0.056). A history of childhood trauma was associated with both worse cognitive performance and smaller amygdala volume. This smaller amygdala appeared to mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and performance on executive function, language and verbal intelligence in patients with psychosis. This points to a complex relationship between childhood trauma exposure, cognitive function and amygdala volume in first-episode psychosis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Impaired Prefrontal-Amygdala Pathway, Self-Reported Emotion, and Erection in Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction Patients With Normal Nocturnal Erection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jianhuai; Chen, Yun; Gao, Qingqiang; Chen, Guotao; Dai, Yutian; Yao, Zhijian; Lu, Qing

    2018-01-01

    Background: Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the prefrontal cortex and amygdala play an important role in sexual arousal (SA). However, little is known about the interactions between the prefrontal and cortex amygdala, which mediate the cognitive regulation of emotion and SA. Objective: We seek to determine whether nocturnal erection of psychogenic erectile dysfunction (pED) patients are normal and whether there are changes of topological organization in the prefrontal-amygdala pathway of brain network in pED. In addition, whether there are correlations between network property changes and self-reported emotion and erection. Design, setting, and participants: We used the RigiScan device to evaluate erectile function of patients and employed diffusion MRI and graph theory to construct brain networks of 21 pED patients and 24 healthy controls. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: We considered four nodal metrics and their asymmetry scores, and nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) parameters, to evaluate the topological properties of brain networks of pED and their relationships with the impaired self-reported emotion and erection. Results and limitations: All the pED patients showed normal nocturnal penile erection, however impaired self-reported erection and negative emotion. In addition, patients showed lower connectivity degree and strength in the left prefrontal-amygdala pathway. We also found that pED exhibited lower leftward asymmetry in the inferior frontal gyrus. Furthermore, patients showed more hub regions and fewer pivotal connections. Moreover, the degree of the left amygdala of pED showed significantly negative correlation with the self-reported erection and positive correlation with the self-reported negative emotion. Conclusions: Together, these results suggest normal nocturnal erection in pED. However, abnormalities of brain network organization in pED, particularly in the left prefrontal-amygdala pathway, are associated with the

  2. Amygdala temporal dynamics: temperamental differences in the timing of amygdala response to familiar and novel faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelton Richard C

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inhibited temperament - the predisposition to respond to new people, places or things with wariness or avoidance behaviors - is associated with increased risk for social anxiety disorder and major depression. Although the magnitude of the amygdala's response to novelty has been identified as a neural substrate of inhibited temperament, there may also be differences in temporal dynamics (latency, duration, and peak. We hypothesized that persons with inhibited temperament would have faster responses to novel relative to familiar neutral faces compared to persons with uninhibited temperament. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the temporal dynamics of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD response to both novel and familiar neutral faces in participants with inhibited or uninhibited temperament. Results Inhibited participants had faster amygdala responses to novel compared with familiar faces, and both longer and greater amygdala response to all faces. There were no differences in peak response. Conclusion Faster amygdala response to novelty may reflect a computational bias that leads to greater neophobic responses and represents a mechanism for the development of social anxiety.

  3. Connections of the corticomedial amygdala in the golden hamster. II. Efferents of the ''olfactory amygdala''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kevetter, G.A.; Winans, S.S.

    1981-01-01

    The anterior cortical (C1) and posterolateral cortical (C2) nuclei of the amygdala are designated the ''olfactory amygdala'' because they each receive direct projections from the main olfactory bulb. The efferents of these nuclei were traced after stereotaxic placement of 1-5 muCi tritiated proline in the corticomedial amygdala of the male golden hamsters. Following survival times of 12, 24, or 48 hours, 20 micron frozen sections of the brains were processed for light microscopic autoradiography. Efferents from C2 terminate in layers II and III of the olfactory tubercle and in layer Ib of pars ventralis and pars medialis of the anterior olfactory nucleus. Fibers from this nucleus also project to layers I and II of the infralimbic cortex and to the molecular layer of the agranular insular cortex. More posteriorly, fibers from C2 terminate in layer I of the dorsolateral entorhinal cortex, and in the endopiriform nucleus. From C1, efferent fibers travel in the stria terminalis and terminate in the precommissural bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and in the mediobasal hypothalamus. Efferents from C1 also innervate the molecular layer of C2, the amygdalo-hippocampal area, and the adjacent piriform cortex. Neurons in both C1 and C2 project to the molecular layer of the medial amygdaloid nucleus and the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala, the plexiform layer of the ventral subiculum, and the molecular layer of the lateral entorhinal cortex

  4. Ventral striatum and amygdala activity as convergence sites for early adversity and conduct disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boecker-Schlier, Regina; Buchmann, Arlette F.; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Baumeister, Sarah; Plichta, Michael M.; Cattrell, Anna; Schumann, Gunter; Esser, Günter; Schmidt, Martin; Buitelaar, Jan; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Banaschewski, Tobias; Brandeis, Daniel; Laucht, Manfred

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Childhood family adversity (CFA) increases the risk for conduct disorder (CD) and has been associated with alterations in regions of affective processing like ventral striatum (VS) and amygdala. However, no study so far has demonstrated neural converging effects of CFA and CD in the same sample. At age 25 years, functional MRI data during two affective tasks, i.e. a reward (N = 171) and a face-matching paradigm (N = 181) and anatomical scans (N = 181) were acquired in right-handed currently healthy participants of an epidemiological study followed since birth. CFA during childhood was determined using a standardized parent interview. Disruptive behaviors and CD diagnoses during childhood and adolescence were obtained by diagnostic interview (2–19 years), temperamental reward dependence was assessed by questionnaire (15 and 19 years). CFA predicted increased CD and amygdala volume. Both exposure to CFA and CD were associated with a decreased VS response during reward anticipation and blunted amygdala activity during face-matching. CD mediated the effect of CFA on brain activity. Temperamental reward dependence was negatively correlated with CFA and CD and positively with VS activity. These findings underline the detrimental effects of CFA on the offspring's affective processing and support the importance of early postnatal intervention programs aiming to reduce childhood adversity factors. PMID:27694318

  5. Ventral striatum and amygdala activity as convergence sites for early adversity and conduct disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holz, Nathalie E; Boecker-Schlier, Regina; Buchmann, Arlette F; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Baumeister, Sarah; Plichta, Michael M; Cattrell, Anna; Schumann, Gunter; Esser, Günter; Schmidt, Martin; Buitelaar, Jan; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Banaschewski, Tobias; Brandeis, Daniel; Laucht, Manfred

    2017-02-01

    Childhood family adversity (CFA) increases the risk for conduct disorder (CD) and has been associated with alterations in regions of affective processing like ventral striatum (VS) and amygdala. However, no study so far has demonstrated neural converging effects of CFA and CD in the same sample. At age 25 years, functional MRI data during two affective tasks, i.e. a reward (N = 171) and a face-matching paradigm (N = 181) and anatomical scans (N = 181) were acquired in right-handed currently healthy participants of an epidemiological study followed since birth. CFA during childhood was determined using a standardized parent interview. Disruptive behaviors and CD diagnoses during childhood and adolescence were obtained by diagnostic interview (2-19 years), temperamental reward dependence was assessed by questionnaire (15 and 19 years).CFA predicted increased CD and amygdala volume. Both exposure to CFA and CD were associated with a decreased VS response during reward anticipation and blunted amygdala activity during face-matching. CD mediated the effect of CFA on brain activity. Temperamental reward dependence was negatively correlated with CFA and CD and positively with VS activity. These findings underline the detrimental effects of CFA on the offspring's affective processing and support the importance of early postnatal intervention programs aiming to reduce childhood adversity factors. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Unsatisfied relatedness, not competence or autonomy, increases trait anger through the right amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yinan; Kong, Feng; Kong, Xiangzhen; Zhao, Yuanfang; Lin, Danhua; Liu, Jia

    2017-10-01

    Anger is a common negative emotion in social life. Behavioral research suggests that unsatisfied relatedness, autonomy, and competence are related to anger. However, it remains unclear whether these unsatisfied needs all contribute to anger or just a particular unsatisfied need is the main source of anger. In addition, little is known about the neural substrate between unsatisfied needs and anger. To address these two questions, we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to explore the neural substrate underlying the relation between unsatisfied needs and trait anger. Behaviorally, we found that although all three unsatisfied needs were correlated with trait anger, unsatisfied relatedness was the only factor that was uniquely related to trait anger. Neurally, the gray matter volume of the right amygdala was correlated with trait anger, which fits nicely with the role of the amygdala as a core region for processing anger. Importantly, the right amygdala mediated the total effect of unsatisfied relatedness on trait anger, even after controlling for general personality dispositions. Our results contribute to the theoretical conceptualization of anger by elucidating the unique role of unsatisfied relatedness in anger and the neural substrate underlying such relation.

  7. GABAergic Synapses at the Axon Initial Segment of Basolateral Amygdala Projection Neurons Modulate Fear Extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Rinki; Knapp, Stephanie; Chakraborty, Darpan; Horovitz, Omer; Albrecht, Anne; Kriebel, Martin; Kaphzan, Hanoch; Ehrlich, Ingrid; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2017-01-01

    Inhibitory synaptic transmission in the amygdala has a pivotal role in fear learning and its extinction. However, the local circuits formed by GABAergic inhibitory interneurons within the amygdala and their detailed function in shaping these behaviors are not well understood. Here we used lentiviral-mediated knockdown of the cell adhesion molecule neurofascin in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) to specifically remove inhibitory synapses at the axon initial segment (AIS) of BLA projection neurons. Quantitative analysis of GABAergic synapse markers and measurement of miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in BLA projection neurons after neurofascin knockdown ex vivo confirmed the loss of GABAergic input. We then studied the impact of this manipulation on anxiety-like behavior and auditory cued fear conditioning and its extinction as BLA related behavioral paradigms, as well as on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the ventral subiculum-BLA pathway in vivo. BLA knockdown of neurofascin impaired ventral subiculum-BLA-LTP. While this manipulation did not affect anxiety-like behavior and fear memory acquisition and consolidation, it specifically impaired extinction. Our findings indicate that modification of inhibitory synapses at the AIS of BLA projection neurons is sufficient to selectively impair extinction behavior. A better understanding of the role of distinct GABAergic synapses may provide novel and more specific targets for therapeutic interventions in extinction-based therapies.

  8. Neurons in the Amygdala with Response-Selectivity for Anxiety in Two Ethologically Based Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dong V.; Wang, Fang; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Lu; Wang, Zhiru; Lin, Longnian

    2011-01-01

    The amygdala is a key area in the brain for detecting potential threats or dangers, and further mediating anxiety. However, the neuronal mechanisms of anxiety in the amygdala have not been well characterized. Here we report that in freely-behaving mice, a group of neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) fires tonically under anxiety conditions in both open-field and elevated plus-maze tests. The firing patterns of these neurons displayed a characteristic slow onset and progressively increased firing rates. Specifically, these firing patterns were correlated to a gradual development of anxiety-like behaviors in the open-field test. Moreover, these neurons could be activated by any impoverished environment similar to an open-field; and introduction of both comfortable and uncomfortable stimuli temporarily suppressed the activity of these BLA neurons. Importantly, the excitability of these BLA neurons correlated well with levels of anxiety. These results demonstrate that this type of BLA neuron is likely to represent anxiety and/or emotional values of anxiety elicited by anxiogenic environmental stressors. PMID:21494567

  9. Neurons in the amygdala with response-selectivity for anxiety in two ethologically based tests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong V Wang

    Full Text Available The amygdala is a key area in the brain for detecting potential threats or dangers, and further mediating anxiety. However, the neuronal mechanisms of anxiety in the amygdala have not been well characterized. Here we report that in freely-behaving mice, a group of neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA fires tonically under anxiety conditions in both open-field and elevated plus-maze tests. The firing patterns of these neurons displayed a characteristic slow onset and progressively increased firing rates. Specifically, these firing patterns were correlated to a gradual development of anxiety-like behaviors in the open-field test. Moreover, these neurons could be activated by any impoverished environment similar to an open-field; and introduction of both comfortable and uncomfortable stimuli temporarily suppressed the activity of these BLA neurons. Importantly, the excitability of these BLA neurons correlated well with levels of anxiety. These results demonstrate that this type of BLA neuron is likely to represent anxiety and/or emotional values of anxiety elicited by anxiogenic environmental stressors.

  10. Roles of the basolateral amygdala and hippocampus in social recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gispen, W.H.; Maaswinkel, H.; Baars, A.M.; Spruijt, B.M.

    1996-01-01

    Lesions of the amygdala or hippocampus have a large impact on social behavior of rats. In this study we investigated whether a social recognition test was also affected by those lesions. An NMDA-induced lesion of the basolateral amygdala did not impair the ability to distinguish a familiar from an

  11. Amygdala reactivity to fearful faces correlates positively with impulsive aggression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Cunha-Bang, Sofi; Fisher, Patrick M; Hjordt, Liv V

    2018-01-01

    Facial expressions robustly activate the amygdala, a brain structure playing a critical role in aggression. Whereas previous studies suggest that amygdala reactivity is related to various measures of impulsive aggression, we here estimate a composite measure of impulsive aggression and evaluate...

  12. Synapse-specific astrocyte gating of amygdala-related behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Fernandez, Mario; Jamison, Stephanie; Robin, Laurie M; Zhao, Zhe; Martin, Eduardo D; Aguilar, Juan; Benneyworth, Michael A; Marsicano, Giovanni; Araque, Alfonso

    2017-11-01

    The amygdala plays key roles in fear and anxiety. Studies of the amygdala have largely focused on neuronal function and connectivity. Astrocytes functionally interact with neurons, but their role in the amygdala remains largely unknown. We show that astrocytes in the medial subdivision of the central amygdala (CeM) determine the synaptic and behavioral outputs of amygdala circuits. To investigate the role of astrocytes in amygdala-related behavior and identify the underlying synaptic mechanisms, we used exogenous or endogenous signaling to selectively activate CeM astrocytes. Astrocytes depressed excitatory synapses from basolateral amygdala via A 1 adenosine receptor activation and enhanced inhibitory synapses from the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala via A 2A receptor activation. Furthermore, astrocytic activation decreased the firing rate of CeM neurons and reduced fear expression in a fear-conditioning paradigm. Therefore, we conclude that astrocyte activity determines fear responses by selectively regulating specific synapses, which indicates that animal behavior results from the coordinated activity of neurons and astrocytes.

  13. Time-dependent effects of corticosteroids on human amygdala processing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Henckens, M.J.A.G.; van Wingen, G.A.; Joëls, M.; Fernández, G.

    2010-01-01

    Acute stress is associated with a sensitized amygdala. Corticosteroids, released in response to stress, are suggested to restore homeostasis by normalizing/desensitizing brain processing in the aftermath of stress. Here, we investigated the effects of corticosteroids on amygdala processing using

  14. Medial Amygdala and Aggressive Behavior : Interaction Between Testosterone and Vasopressin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koolhaas, J.M.; Roozendaal, B.; Boorsma, F.; Van Den Brink, T.H.C.

    1990-01-01

    This paper considers the functional significance of the testosterone-dependent vasopressinergic neurons of the medial amygdala (Ame) in intermale aggressive behavior of rats. Local microinfusion of vasopressin into the medial amygdala causes an increase in offensive behavior both in gonadally intact

  15. Neural responses to threat and reward interact to predict stress-related problem drinking: A novel protective role of the amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Research into neural mechanisms of drug abuse risk has focused on the role of dysfunction in neural circuits for reward. In contrast, few studies have examined the role of dysfunction in neural circuits of threat in mediating drug abuse risk. Although typically regarded as a risk factor for mood and anxiety disorders, threat-related amygdala reactivity may serve as a protective factor against substance use disorders, particularly in individuals with exaggerated responsiveness to reward. Findings We used well-established neuroimaging paradigms to probe threat-related amygdala and reward-related ventral striatum reactivity in a sample of 200 young adult students from the ongoing Duke Neurogenetics Study. Recent life stress and problem drinking were assessed using self-report. We found a significant three-way interaction between threat-related amygdala reactivity, reward-related ventral striatum reactivity, and recent stress, wherein individuals with higher reward-related ventral striatum reactivity exhibit higher levels of problem drinking in the context of stress, but only if they also have lower threat-related amygdala reactivity. This three-way interaction predicted both contemporaneous problem drinking and problem drinking reported three-months later in a subset of participants. Conclusions These findings suggest complex interactions between stress and neural responsiveness to both threat and reward mediate problem drinking. Furthermore, they highlight a novel protective role for threat-related amygdala reactivity against drug use in individuals with high neural reactivity to reward. PMID:23151390

  16. Amygdala and ventral striatum make distinct contributions to reinforcement learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Vincent D.; Monte, Olga Dal; Lucas, Daniel R.; Murray, Elisabeth A.; Averbeck, Bruno B.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Reinforcement learning (RL) theories posit that dopaminergic signals are integrated within the striatum to associate choices with outcomes. Often overlooked is that the amygdala also receives dopaminergic input and is involved in Pavlovian processes that influence choice behavior. To determine the relative contributions of the ventral striatum (VS) and amygdala to appetitive RL we tested rhesus macaques with VS or amygdala lesions on deterministic and stochastic versions of a two-arm bandit reversal learning task. When learning was characterized with a RL model relative to controls, amygdala lesions caused general decreases in learning from positive feedback and choice consistency. By comparison, VS lesions only affected learning in the stochastic task. Moreover, the VS lesions hastened the monkeys’ choice reaction times, which emphasized a speed-accuracy tradeoff that accounted for errors in deterministic learning. These results update standard accounts of RL by emphasizing distinct contributions of the amygdala and VS to RL. PMID:27720488

  17. Amygdala signals subjective appetitiveness and aversiveness of mixed gambles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gelskov, Sofie V.; Henningsson, Susanne; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard

    2015-01-01

    People are more sensitive to losses than to equivalent gains when making financial decisions. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to illuminate how the amygdala contributes to loss aversion. The blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response of the amygdala was mapped while healthy...... individuals were responding to 50/50 gambles with varying potential gain and loss amounts. Overall, subjects demanded twice as high potential gain as loss to accept a gamble. The individual level of loss aversion was expressed by the decision boundary, i.e., the gain-loss ratio at which subjects accepted...... and rejected gambles with equal probability. Amygdala activity increased the more the gain-loss ratio deviated from the individual decision boundary showing that the amygdala codes action value. This response pattern was more strongly expressed in loss aversive individuals, linking amygdala activity...

  18. Salivary testosterone and a trinucleotide (CAG) length polymorphism in the androgen receptor gene predict amygdala reactivity in men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manuck, Stephen B; Marsland, Anna L; Flory, Janine D; Gorka, Adam; Ferrell, Robert E; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2010-01-01

    In studies employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), reactivity of the amygdala to threat-related sensory cues (viz., facial displays of negative emotion) has been found to correlate positively with interindividual variability in testosterone levels of women and young men and to increase on acute administration of exogenous testosterone. Many of the biological actions of testosterone are mediated by intracellular androgen receptors (ARs), which exert transcriptional control of androgen-dependent genes and are expressed in various regions of the brain, including the amygdala. Transactivation potential of the AR decreases (yielding relative androgen insensitivity) with expansion a polyglutamine stretch in the N-terminal domain of the AR protein, as encoded by a trinucleotide (CAG) repeat polymorphism in exon 1 of the X-chromosome AR gene. Here we examined whether amygdala reactivity to threat-related facial expressions (fear, anger) differs as a function of AR CAG length variation and endogenous (salivary) testosterone in a mid-life sample of 41 healthy men (mean age=45.6 years, range: 34-54 years; CAG repeats, range: 19-29). Testosterone correlated inversely with participant age (r=-0.39, p=0.012) and positively with number of CAG repeats (r=0.45, p=0.003). In partial correlations adjusted for testosterone level, reactivity in the ventral amygdala was lowest among men with largest number of CAG repeats. This inverse association was seen in both the right (r(p)=-0.34, pleft (r(p)=-0.32, pdifferences in salivary testosterone, also in right (r=0.40, pleft (r=0.32, pdifferences in salivary testosterone also predicted dorsal amygdala reactivity and did so independently of CAG repeats, it is suggested that androgenic influences within this anatomically distinct region may be mediated, in part, by non-genomic or AR-independent mechanisms.

  19. Basolateral amygdala and stress-induced hyperexcitability affect motivated behaviors and addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, B M

    2017-08-08

    The amygdala integrates and processes incoming information pertinent to reward and to emotions such as fear and anxiety that promote survival by warning of potential danger. Basolateral amygdala (BLA) communicates bi-directionally with brain regions affecting cognition, motivation and stress responses including prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens and hindbrain regions that trigger norepinephrine-mediated stress responses. Disruption of intrinsic amygdala and BLA regulatory neurocircuits is often caused by dysfunctional neuroplasticity frequently due to molecular alterations in local GABAergic circuits and principal glutamatergic output neurons. Changes in local regulation of BLA excitability underlie behavioral disturbances characteristic of disorders including post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and stress-induced relapse to drug use. In this Review, we discuss molecular mechanisms and neural circuits that regulate physiological and stress-induced dysfunction of BLA/amygdala and its principal output neurons. We consider effects of stress on motivated behaviors that depend on BLA; these include drug taking and drug seeking, with emphasis on nicotine-dependent behaviors. Throughout, we take a translational approach by integrating decades of addiction research on animal models and human trials. We show that changes in BLA function identified in animal addiction models illuminate human brain imaging and behavioral studies by more precisely delineating BLA mechanisms. In summary, BLA is required to promote responding for natural reward and respond to second-order drug-conditioned cues; reinstate cue-dependent drug seeking; express stress-enhanced reacquisition of nicotine intake; and drive anxiety and fear. Converging evidence indicates that chronic stress causes BLA principal output neurons to become hyperexcitable.

  20. Medial amygdala lesions selectively block aversive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret Grace McCue

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Pavlovian conditioned stimuli (CSs play an important role in the reinforcement and motivation of instrumental active avoidance (AA. Conditioned threats can also invigorate ongoing AA responding (aversive Pavlovian-instrumental transfer or PIT. The neural circuits mediating AA are poorly understood, although lesion studies suggest that lateral, basal and central amygdala nuclei, as well as infralimbic prefrontal cortex, make key, and sometimes opposing, contributions. We recently completed an extensive analysis of brain c-Fos expression in good vs. poor avoiders following an AA test (Martinez et al 2013, Learning and Memory. This analysis identified medial amygdala (MeA as a potentially important region for Pavlovian motivation of instrumental actions. MeA is known to mediate defensive responding to innate threats as well as social behaviors, but its role in mediating aversive Pavlovian-instrumental interactions is unknown. We evaluated the effect of MeA lesions on Pavlovian conditioning, Sidman two-way AA conditioning (shuttling and aversive PIT in rats. Mild footshocks served as the unconditioned stimulus in all conditioning phases. MeA lesions had no effect on AA but blocked the expression of aversive PIT and 22 kHz ultrasonic vocalizations in the AA context. Interestingly, MeA lesions failed to affect Pavlovian freezing to discrete threats but reduced freezing to contextual threats when assessed outside of the AA chamber. These findings differentiate MeA from lateral and central amygdala, as lesions of these nuclei disrupt Pavlovian freezing and aversive PIT, but have opposite effects on AA performance. Taken together, these results suggest that MeA plays a selective role in the motivation of instrumental avoidance by general or uncertain Pavlovian threats.

  1. Localization of deformations within the amygdala in individuals with psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yaling; Raine, Adrian; Narr, Katherine L; Colletti, Patrick; Toga, Arthur W

    2009-09-01

    Despite the repeated findings of impaired fear conditioning and affective recognition in psychopathic individuals, there has been a paucity of brain imaging research on the amygdala and no evidence suggesting which regions within the amygdala may be structurally compromised in individuals with psychopathy. To detect global and regional anatomical abnormalities in the amygdala in individuals with psychopathy. Cross-sectional design using structural magnetic resonance imaging. Participants were recruited from high-risk communities (temporary employment agencies) in the Los Angeles, California, area and underwent imaging at a hospital research facility at the University of Southern California. Twenty-seven psychopathic individuals as defined by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised and 32 normal controls matched on age, sex, and ethnicity. Amygdala volumes were examined using traditional volumetric analyses and surface-based mesh modeling methods were used to localize regional surface deformations. Individuals with psychopathy showed significant bilateral volume reductions in the amygdala compared with controls (left, 17.1%; right, 18.9%). Surface deformations were localized in regions in the approximate vicinity of the basolateral, lateral, cortical, and central nuclei of the amygdala. Significant correlations were found between reduced amygdala volumes and increased total and facet psychopathy scores, with correlations strongest for the affective and interpersonal facets of psychopathy. Results provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of focal amygdala abnormalities in psychopathic individuals and corroborate findings from previous lesion studies. Findings support prior hypotheses of amygdala deficits in individuals with psychopathy and indicate that amygdala abnormalities contribute to emotional and behavioral symptoms of psychopathy.

  2. Resilience and amygdala function in older healthy and depressed adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leaver, Amber M; Yang, Hongyu; Siddarth, Prabha; Vlasova, Roza M; Krause, Beatrix; St Cyr, Natalie; Narr, Katherine L; Lavretsky, Helen

    2018-04-25

    Previous studies suggest that low emotional resilience may correspond with increased or over-active amygdala function. Complementary studies suggest that emotional resilience increases with age; older adults tend to have decreased attentional bias to negative stimuli compared to younger adults. Amygdala nuclei and related brain circuits have been linked to negative affect, and depressed patients have been demonstrated to have abnormal amygdala function. In the current study, we correlated psychological resilience measures with amygdala function measured with resting-state arterial spin-labelled (ASL) and blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in older adults with and without depression. Specifically, we targeted the basolateral, centromedial, and superficial nuclei groups of the amygdala, which have different functions and brain connections. High levels of psychological resilience correlated with lower basal levels of amygdala activity measured with ASL fMRI. High resilience also correlated with decreased connectivity between amygdala nuclei and the ventral default-mode network independent of depression status. Instead, lower depression symptoms were associated with higher connectivity between the amygdalae and dorsal frontal networks. Future multi-site studies with larger sample size and improved neuroimaging technologies are needed. Longitudinal studies that target resilience to naturalistic stressors will also be a powerful contribution to the field. Our results suggest that resilience in older adults is more closely related to function in ventral amygdala networks, while late-life depression is related to reduced connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal frontal regions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Neuronal Adaptations during Amygdala-Dependent Learning and Memory : Neuronale aanpassingen tijdens Amygdala-afhankelijk leren en geheugen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B.S. Hosseini (Behdokht)

    2016-01-01

    textabstractThe amygdala, a structure deep in the temporal lobe of the brain, is an essential region for emotional and fearful processing. Neuronal coding in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) endows the brain with the ability to acquire enduring aversive associations, physically represented

  4. Fear extinction deficits following acute stress associate with increased spine density and dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Maroun, Mouna; Ioannides, Pericles J.; Bergman, Krista L.; Kavushansky, Alexandra; Holmes, Andrew; Wellman, Cara L.

    2013-01-01

    Stress-sensitive psychopathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder are characterized by deficits in fear extinction and dysfunction of corticolimbic circuits mediating extinction. Chronic stress facilitates fear conditioning, impairs extinction, and produces dendritic proliferation in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a critical site of plasticity for extinction. Acute stress impairs extinction, alters plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex-to-BLA circuit, and causes dendritic retrac...

  5. Deep brain stimulation of the amygdala alleviates fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Li; Huang, SiJia; Peng, BinBin; Ren, Jie; Tian, FuYing; Wang, Yan

    2014-07-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the amygdala has been demonstrated to modulate hyperactivity of the amygdala, which is responsible for the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and thus might be used for the treatment of PTSD. However, the underlying mechanism of DBS of the amygdala in the modulation of the amygdala is unclear. The present study investigated the effects of DBS of the amygdala on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity at cortical inputs to the amygdala, which is critical for the formation and storage of auditory fear memories, and fear memories. The results demonstrated that auditory fear conditioning increased single-pulse-evoked field excitatory postsynaptic potentials in the cortical-amygdala pathway. Furthermore, auditory fear conditioning decreased the induction of paired-pulse facilitation and long-term potentiation, two neurophysiological models for studying short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity, respectively, in the cortical-amygdala pathway. In addition, all these auditory fear conditioning-induced changes could be reversed by DBS of the amygdala. DBS of the amygdala also rescued auditory fear conditioning-induced enhancement of long-term retention of fear memory. These findings suggested that DBS of the amygdala alleviating fear conditioning-induced alterations in synaptic plasticity in the cortical-amygdala pathway and fear memory may underlie the neuromodulatory role of DBS of the amygdala in activities of the amygdala.

  6. Altered Amygdala Development and Fear Processing in Prematurely Born Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cismaru, Anca Liliana; Gui, Laura; Vasung, Lana; Lejeune, Fleur; Barisnikov, Koviljka; Truttmann, Anita; Borradori Tolsa, Cristina; Hüppi, Petra S.

    2016-01-01

    Context: Prematurely born children have a high risk of developmental and behavioral disabilities. Cerebral abnormalities at term age have been clearly linked with later behavior alterations, but existing studies did not focus on the amygdala. Moreover, studies of early amygdala development after premature birth in humans are scarce. Objective: To compare amygdala volumes in very preterm infants at term equivalent age (TEA) and term born infants, and to relate premature infants’ amygdala volumes with their performance on the Laboratory Temperament Assessment Battery (Lab-TAB) fear episode at 12 months. Participants: Eighty one infants born between 2008 and 2014 at the University Hospitals of Geneva and Lausanne, taking part in longitudinal and functional imaging studies, who had undergone a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan at TEA enabling manual amygdala delineation. Outcomes: Amygdala volumes assessed by manual segmentation of MRI scans; volumes of cortical and subcortical gray matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) automatically segmented in 66 infants; scores for the Lab-TAB fear episode for 42 premature infants at 12 months. Results: Amygdala volumes were smaller in preterm infants at TEA than term infants (mean difference 138.03 mm3, p amygdala volumes were larger than left amygdala volumes (mean difference 36.88 mm3, p Amygdala volumes showed significant correlation with the intensity of the escape response to a fearsome toy (rs = 0.38, p = 0.013), and were larger in infants showing an escape response compared to the infants showing no escape response (mean difference 120.97 mm3, p = 0.005). Amygdala volumes were not significantly correlated with the intensity of facial fear, distress vocalizations, bodily fear and positive motor activity in the fear episode. Conclusion: Our results indicate that premature birth is associated with a reduction in amygdala volumes and white matter volumes at TEA, suggesting that altered amygdala development

  7. Differential Patterns of Amygdala and Ventral Striatum Activation Predict Gender-Specific Changes in Sexual Risk Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sansosti, Alexandra A.; Bowman, Hilary C.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2015-01-01

    Although the initiation of sexual behavior is common among adolescents and young adults, some individuals express this behavior in a manner that significantly increases their risk for negative outcomes including sexually transmitted infections. Based on accumulating evidence, we have hypothesized that increased sexual risk behavior reflects, in part, an imbalance between neural circuits mediating approach and avoidance in particular as manifest by relatively increased ventral striatum (VS) activity and relatively decreased amygdala activity. Here, we test our hypothesis using data from seventy 18- to 22-year-old university students participating in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. We found a significant three-way interaction between amygdala activation, VS activation, and gender predicting changes in the number of sexual partners over time. Although relatively increased VS activation predicted greater increases in sexual partners for both men and women, the effect in men was contingent on the presence of relatively decreased amygdala activation and the effect in women was contingent on the presence of relatively increased amygdala activation. These findings suggest unique gender differences in how complex interactions between neural circuit function contributing to approach and avoidance may be expressed as sexual risk behavior in young adults. As such, our findings have the potential to inform the development of novel, gender-specific strategies that may be more effective at curtailing sexual risk behavior. PMID:26063921

  8. Activity dependent protein degradation is critical for the formation and stability of fear memory in the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Jarome

    Full Text Available Protein degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome system [UPS] plays a critical role in some forms of synaptic plasticity. However, its role in memory formation in the amygdala, a site critical for the formation of fear memories, currently remains unknown. Here we provide the first evidence that protein degradation through the UPS is critically engaged at amygdala synapses during memory formation and retrieval. Fear conditioning results in NMDA-dependent increases in degradation-specific polyubiquitination in the amygdala, targeting proteins involved in translational control and synaptic structure and blocking the degradation of these proteins significantly impairs long-term memory. Furthermore, retrieval of fear memory results in a second wave of NMDA-dependent polyubiquitination that targets proteins involved in translational silencing and synaptic structure and is critical for memory updating following recall. These results indicate that UPS-mediated protein degradation is a major regulator of synaptic plasticity necessary for the formation and stability of long-term memories at amygdala synapses.

  9. Effects of environmental enrichment on the activity of the amygdala in micrencephalic rats exposed to a novel open field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuda, Wakoto; Ehara, Ayuka; Nakadate, Kazuhiko; Yoshimoto, Kanji; Ueda, Shuichi

    2018-01-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) mediates recovery from sensory, motor, and cognitive deficits and emotional abnormalities. In the present study, we examined the effects of EE on locomotor activity and neuronal activity in the amygdala in control and methylazoxymethanol acetate (MAM)-induced micrencephalic rats after challenge in a novel open field. Control rats housed in EE (CR) showed reduced locomotor activity compared to rats housed in a conventional cage (CC), whereas hyperactivity was seen in MAM rats housed in a conventional cage (MC) and in MAM rats housed in EE (MR). Novel open field exposure in both CC and MC resulted in a marked increase in Fos expression in the anterior and posterior parts of the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus, basomedial nucleus, and medial nucleus, whereas these increases in expression were not observed in CR. The effect of EE on Fos expression in the amygdala was different in MR exposed to a novel open field compared to CR. Furthermore, we observed a quite different pattern of Fos expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala between control and MAM rats. The present results suggest that neuronal activity in the amygdala that responds to anxiety is altered in MAM rats, especially when the rats are reared in EE. These alterations may cause behavioral differences between control and MAM rats. © 2017 Japanese Teratology Society.

  10. Neurons in the human amygdala selective for perceived emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Tudusciuc, Oana; Mamelak, Adam N.; Ross, Ian B.; Adolphs, Ralph; Rutishauser, Ueli

    2014-01-01

    The human amygdala plays a key role in recognizing facial emotions and neurons in the monkey and human amygdala respond to the emotional expression of faces. However, it remains unknown whether these responses are driven primarily by properties of the stimulus or by the perceptual judgments of the perceiver. We investigated these questions by recording from over 200 single neurons in the amygdalae of 7 neurosurgical patients with implanted depth electrodes. We presented degraded fear and happy faces and asked subjects to discriminate their emotion by button press. During trials where subjects responded correctly, we found neurons that distinguished fear vs. happy emotions as expressed by the displayed faces. During incorrect trials, these neurons indicated the patients’ subjective judgment. Additional analysis revealed that, on average, all neuronal responses were modulated most by increases or decreases in response to happy faces, and driven predominantly by judgments about the eye region of the face stimuli. Following the same analyses, we showed that hippocampal neurons, unlike amygdala neurons, only encoded emotions but not subjective judgment. Our results suggest that the amygdala specifically encodes the subjective judgment of emotional faces, but that it plays less of a role in simply encoding aspects of the image array. The conscious percept of the emotion shown in a face may thus arise from interactions between the amygdala and its connections within a distributed cortical network, a scheme also consistent with the long response latencies observed in human amygdala recordings. PMID:24982200

  11. Altered amygdala-prefrontal connectivity during emotion perception in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjorkquist, Olivia A; Olsen, Emily K; Nelson, Brady D; Herbener, Ellen S

    2016-08-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia evidence impaired emotional functioning. Abnormal amygdala activity has been identified as an etiological factor underlying affective impairment in this population, but the exact nature remains unclear. The current study utilized psychophysiological interaction analyses to examine functional connectivity between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during an emotion perception task. Participants with schizophrenia (SZ) and healthy controls (HC) viewed and rated positive, negative, and neutral images while undergoing functional neuroimaging. Results revealed a significant group difference in right amygdala-mPFC connectivity during perception of negative versus neutral images. Specifically, HC participants demonstrated positive functional coupling between the amygdala and mPFC, consistent with co-active processing of salient information. In contrast, SZ participants evidenced negative functional coupling, consistent with top-down inhibition of the amygdala by the mPFC. A significant positive correlation between connectivity strength during negative image perception and clinician-rated social functioning was also observed in SZ participants, such that weaker right amygdala-mPFC coupling during negative compared to neutral image perception was associated with poorer social functioning. Overall, results suggest that emotional dysfunction and associated deficits in functional outcome in schizophrenia may relate to abnormal interactions between the amygdala and mPFC during perception of emotional stimuli. This study adds to the growing literature on abnormal functional connections in schizophrenia and supports the functional disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Prenatal stress alters amygdala functional connectivity in preterm neonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheinost, Dustin; Kwon, Soo Hyun; Lacadie, Cheryl; Sze, Gordon; Sinha, Rajita; Constable, R Todd; Ment, Laura R

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to prenatal and early-life stress results in alterations in neural connectivity and an increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. In particular, alterations in amygdala connectivity have emerged as a common effect across several recent studies. However, the impact of prenatal stress exposure on the functional organization of the amygdala has yet to be explored in the prematurely-born, a population at high risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. We test the hypothesis that preterm birth and prenatal exposure to maternal stress alter functional connectivity of the amygdala using two independent cohorts. The first cohort is used to establish the effects of preterm birth and consists of 12 very preterm neonates and 25 term controls, all without prenatal stress exposure. The second is analyzed to establish the effects of prenatal stress exposure and consists of 16 extremely preterm neonates with prenatal stress exposure and 10 extremely preterm neonates with no known prenatal stress exposure. Standard resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and seed connectivity methods are used. When compared to term controls, very preterm neonates show significantly reduced connectivity between the amygdala and the thalamus, the hypothalamus, the brainstem, and the insula (p amygdala and the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the peristriate cortex (p amygdala connectivity associated with preterm birth. Functional connectivity from the amygdala to other subcortical regions is decreased in preterm neonates compared to term controls. In addition, these data, for the first time, suggest that prenatal stress exposure amplifies these decreases.

  13. Amygdala hyperactivation to angry faces in intermittent explosive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCloskey, Michael S; Phan, K Luan; Angstadt, Mike; Fettich, Karla C; Keedy, Sarah; Coccaro, Emil F

    2016-08-01

    Individuals with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) were previously found to exhibit amygdala hyperactivation and relatively reduced orbital medial prefrontal cortex (OMPFC) activation to angry faces while performing an implicit emotion information processing task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This study examines the neural substrates associated with explicit encoding of facial emotions among individuals with IED. Twenty unmedicated IED subjects and twenty healthy, matched comparison subjects (HC) underwent fMRI while viewing blocks of angry, happy, and neutral faces and identifying the emotional valence of each face (positive, negative or neutral). We compared amygdala and OMPFC reactivity to faces between IED and HC subjects. We also examined the relationship between amygdala/OMPFC activation and aggression severity. Compared to controls, the IED group exhibited greater amygdala response to angry (vs. neutral) facial expressions. In contrast, IED and control groups did not differ in OMPFC activation to angry faces. Across subjects amygdala activation to angry faces was correlated with number of prior aggressive acts. These findings extend previous evidence of amygdala dysfunction in response to the identification of an ecologically-valid social threat signal (processing angry faces) among individuals with IED, further substantiating a link between amygdala hyperactivity to social signals of direct threat and aggression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Connections of the corticomedial amygdala in the golden hamster. I. Efferents of the ''vomeronasal amygdala''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kevetter, G.A.; Winans, S.S.

    1981-01-01

    The medial (M) an posteromedial cortical (C3) amygdaloid nuclei and the nucleus of the accessory olfactory tract (NAOT) are designated the ''vomeronasal amygdala'' because they are the only components of the amygdala to receive a direct projection from the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). The efferents of M and C3 were traced after injections of 3 H-proline into the amygdala in male golden hamsters. Frozen sections of the brains were processed for autoradiography. The efferents of the ''vomeronasal amygdala'' are largely to areas which are primary and secondary terminal areas along the vomeronasal pathway, although the efferents from C3 and M terminate in different layers in these areas than do the projections from the vomeronasal nerve or the AOB. Specifically, C3 projects ipsilaterally to the internal granule cell layer of the AOB, the cellular layer of NAOT, and layer Ib of M. Additional fibers from C3 terminate in a retrocommissural component of the bed nucleus of the strain terminalis (BNST) bilaterally, and in the cellular layers of the contralateral C3. The medial nucleus projects to the cellular layer of the ipsilateral NAOT, layer Ib of C3, and bilaterally to the medial component of BNST. Projections from M to non-vomeronasal areas terminate in the medial preoptic area-anterior hypothalamic junction, ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, ventral premammillary nucleus and possibly in the ventral subiculum. These results demonstrate reciprocal connections between primary and secondary vomeronasal areas between the secondary areas themselves. They suggest that M, but not C3, projects to areas outside this vomeronasal network. The medial amygdaloid nucleus is therefore an important link between the vomeronasal organ and areas of the brain not receiving direct vomeronasal input

  15. Amygdala response to emotional faces in seasonal affective disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borgsted, Camilla; Ozenne, Brice; Mc Mahon, Brenda

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is characterized by seasonally recurring depression. Heightened amygdala activation to aversive stimuli is associated with major depressive disorder but its relation to SAD is unclear. We evaluated seasonal variation in amygdala activation in SAD......, we correlated change in symptom severity, assessed with The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression - Seasonal Affective Disorder version (SIGH-SAD), with change in amygdala activation. RESULTS: We found no season-by-group, season or group effect on our aversive contrast. Independent of season, SAD...... of the presence of depressive symptoms....

  16. Limbic justice--amygdala involvement in immediate rejection in the Ultimatum Game.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarina Gospic

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Imaging studies have revealed a putative neural account of emotional bias in decision making. However, it has been difficult in previous studies to identify the causal role of the different sub-regions involved in decision making. The Ultimatum Game (UG is a game to study the punishment of norm-violating behavior. In a previous influential paper on UG it was suggested that frontal insular cortex has a pivotal role in the rejection response. This view has not been reconciled with a vast literature that attributes a crucial role in emotional decision making to a subcortical structure (i.e., amygdala. In this study we propose an anatomy-informed model that may join these views. We also present a design that detects the functional anatomical response to unfair proposals in a subcortical network that mediates rapid reactive responses. We used a functional MRI paradigm to study the early components of decision making and challenged our paradigm with the introduction of a pharmacological intervention to perturb the elicited behavioral and neural response. Benzodiazepine treatment decreased the rejection rate (from 37.6% to 19.0% concomitantly with a diminished amygdala response to unfair proposals, and this in spite of an unchanged feeling of unfairness and unchanged insular response. In the control group, rejection was directly linked to an increase in amygdala activity. These results allow a functional anatomical detection of the early neural components of rejection associated with the initial reactive emotional response. Thus, the act of immediate rejection seems to be mediated by the limbic system and is not solely driven by cortical processes, as previously suggested. Our results also prompt an ethical discussion as we demonstrated that a commonly used drug influences core functions in the human brain that underlie individual autonomy and economic decision making.

  17. Evidence of an IFN-γ by early life stress interaction in the regulation of amygdala reactivity to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redlich, Ronny; Stacey, David; Opel, Nils; Grotegerd, Dominik; Dohm, Katharina; Kugel, Harald; Heindel, Walter; Arolt, Volker; Baune, Bernhard T; Dannlowski, Udo

    2015-12-01

    Since numerous studies have found that exposure to early life stress leads to increased peripheral inflammation and psychiatric disease, it is thought that peripheral immune activation precedes and possibly mediates the onset of stress-associated psychiatric disease. Despite early studies, IFNγ has received little attention relative to other inflammatory cytokines in the context of the pathophysiology of affective disorders. Neuroimaging endophenotypes have emerged recently as a promising means of elucidating these types of complex relationships including the modeling of the interaction between environmental factors and genetic predisposition. Here we investigate the GxE relationship between early-life stress and genetic variants of IFNγ on emotion processing. To investigate the impact of the relationship between genetic variants of IFNγ (rs1861494, rs2069718, rs2430561) and early life stress on emotion processing, a sample of healthy adults (n=409) undergoing an emotional faces paradigm in an fMRI study were genotyped and analysed. Information on early life stress was obtained via Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). A positive association between early life stress and amygdala reactivity was found. Specifically, the main effect of genotype of rs1861494 on amygdala reactivity indicates a higher neural response in C allele carriers compared to T homozygotes, while we did not find main effects of rs2069718 and rs2430561. Importantly, interaction analyses revealed a specific interaction between IFNγ genotype (rs1861494) and early life stress affecting amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, resulting from a positive association between CTQ scores and amygdala reactivity in C allele carriers while this association was absent in T homozygotes. Our findings indicate that firstly the genetic variant of IFNγ (rs1861494) is involved with the regulation of amygdala reactivity to emotional stimuli and secondly, that this genetic variant moderates effects of early life

  18. Associations between the size of the amygdala in infancy and language abilities during the preschool years in normally developing children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Mantilla, Silvia; Choe, Myong-sun; Flax, Judy; Grant, P Ellen; Benasich, April A

    2010-02-01

    Recently, structural MRI studies in children have been used to examine relations between brain volume and behavioral measures. However, most of these studies have been done in children older than 2 years of age. Obtaining volumetric measures in infants is considerably more difficult, as structures are less well defined and largely unmyelinated, making segmentation challenging. Moreover, it is still unclear whether individual anatomic variation across development, in healthy, normally developing infants, is reflected in the configuration and function of the mature brain and, as importantly, whether variation in infant brain structure might be related to later cognitive and linguistic abilities. In this longitudinal study, using T1 structural MRI, we identified links between amygdala volume in normally developing, naturally sleeping, 6-month infants and their subsequent language abilities at 2, 3 and 4 years. The images were processed and manually segmented using Cardviews to extract volumetric measures. Intra-rater reliability for repeated segmentation was 87.73% of common voxel agreement. Standardized language assessments were administered at 6 and 12 months and at 2, 3 and 4 years. Significant and consistent correlations were found between amygdala size and language abilities. Children with larger right amygdalae at 6 months had lower scores on expressive and receptive language measures at 2, 3, and 4 years. Associations between amygdala size and language outcomes have been reported in children with autism. The findings presented here extend this association to normally developing children, supporting the idea that the amygdalae might play an important but as yet unspecified role in mediating language acquisition. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Occupancy of serotonin transporters in the amygdala by paroxetine in association with attenuation of left amygdala activation by negative faces in major depressive disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruhe, Henricus G.; Koster, Michiel; Booij, Jan; van Herk, Marcel; Veltman, Dick J.; Schene, Aart H.

    2014-01-01

    Amygdala hyperactivation in major depressive disorder (MDD) might be attenuated by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRls), but the working mechanism remains unclear. We hypothesized that higher amygdala serotonin transporter (SERT) occupancy by paroxetine results in greater attenuation of

  20. Occupancy of serotonin transporters in the amygdala by paroxetine in association with attenuation of left amygdala activation by negative faces in major depressive disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruhé, Henricus G.; Koster, Michiel; Booij, Jan; van Herk, Marcel; Veltman, Dick J.; Schene, Aart H.

    2014-01-01

    Amygdala hyperactivation in major depressive disorder (MDD) might be attenuated by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but the working mechanism remains unclear. We hypothesized that higher amygdala serotonin transporter (SERT) occupancy by paroxetine results in greater attenuation of

  1. Altered task-based and resting-state amygdala functional connectivity following real-time fMRI amygdala neurofeedback training in major depressive disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kymberly D. Young

    2018-01-01

    Conclusions: Neurofeedback training to increase amygdala hemodynamic activity during positive AM recall increased amygdala connectivity with regions involved in self-referential, salience, and reward processing. Results suggest future targets for neurofeedback interventions, particularly interventions involving the precuneus.

  2. Hippocampus and amygdala volumes in patients with vaginismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atmaca, Murad; Baykara, Sema; Ozer, Omer; Korkmaz, Sevda; Akaslan, Unsal; Yildirim, Hanefi

    2016-06-22

    To compare hippocampus and amygdala volumes of patients with vaginismus with those of healthy control subjects. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed on ten patients with vaginismus and ten control subjects matched for age and gender. Volumes of the hippocampus and amygdala were blindly measured. We found that the mean right amygdala volume of patients with vaginismus were smaller than that of the healthy controls. With regard to hippocampus volumes, the mean left and right hippocampus volumes were smaller than those of the healthy controls. Our present findings suggest that there have been hippocampus and amygdala structural abnormalities in patients with vaginismus. These changes provide the notion that vaginismus may be a fear-related condition.

  3. Pre-treatment amygdala volume predicts electroconvulsive therapy response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Doesschate, Freek; van Eijndhoven, Philip; Tendolkar, Indira; van Wingen, Guido A.; van Waarde, Jeroen A.

    2014-01-01

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for patients with severe depression. Knowledge on factors predicting therapeutic response may help to identify patients who will benefit most from the intervention. Based on the neuroplasticity hypothesis, volumes of the amygdala and

  4. Amygdala Volume and Social Network Size in Humans

    OpenAIRE

    Bickart, Kevin C.; Wright, Christopher I.; Dautoff, Rebecca J.; Dickerson, Bradford C.; Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2010-01-01

    We demonstrated that amygdala volume (corrected for total intracranial volume) positively correlated with the size and complexity of social networks in adult humans ranging in age from 19 to 83 years. This relationship was specific to the amygdala as compared to other subcortical structures. An exploratory analysis of the entire cortical mantle also revealed an association between social network variables and cortical thickness in three cortical areas, two of which share dense connectivity wi...

  5. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aincy, Marianne; Meziane, Hamid; Herault, Yann; Humeau, Yann

    2018-06-08

    The amygdala is a part of the limbic circuit that has been extensively studied in terms of synaptic connectivity, plasticity and cellular organization since decades (Ehrlich et al., 2009; Ledoux, 2000; Maren, 2001). Amygdala sub-nuclei, including lateral, basolateral and central amygdala appear now as "hubs" providing in parallel and in series neuronal processing enabling the animal to elicit freezing or escaping behavior in response to external threats. In rodents, these behaviors are easily observed and quantified following associative fear conditioning. Thus, studies on amygdala circuit in association with threat/fear behavior became very popular in laboratories and are often used among other behavioral tests to evaluate learning abilities of mouse models for various neuropsychiatric conditions including genetically encoded intellectual disabilities (ID). Yet, more than 100 human X-linked genes - and several hundreds of autosomal genes - have been associated with ID in humans. These mutations introduced in mice can generate social deficits, anxiety dysregulations and fear learning impairments (McNaughton et al., 2008; Houbaert et al., 2013; Jayachandran et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2015). Noteworthy, a significant proportion of the coded ID gene products are synaptic proteins. It is postulated that the loss of function of these proteins could destabilize neuronal circuits by global changes of the balance between inhibitory and excitatory drives onto neurons. However, whereas amygdala related behavioral deficits are commonly observed in ID models, the role of most of these ID-genes in synaptic function and plasticity in the amygdala are only sparsely studied. We will here discuss some of the concepts that emerged from amygdala-targeted studies examining the role of syndromic and non-syndromic ID genes in fear-related behaviors and/or synaptic function. Along describing these cases, we will discuss how synaptic deficits observed in amygdala circuits could impact

  6. Human Amygdala Represents the Complete Spectrum of Subjective Valence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jingwen; Zelano, Christina; Gottfried, Jay A.

    2015-01-01

    Although the amygdala is a major locus for hedonic processing, how it encodes valence information is poorly understood. Given the hedonic potency of odor stimuli and the amygdala's anatomical proximity to the peripheral olfactory system, we combined high-resolution fMRI with pattern-based multivariate techniques to examine how valence information is encoded in the amygdala. Ten human subjects underwent fMRI scanning while smelling 9 odorants that systematically varied in perceived valence. Representational similarity analyses showed that amygdala codes the entire dimension of valence, ranging from pleasantness to unpleasantness. This unidimensional representation significantly correlated with self-reported valence ratings but not with intensity ratings. Furthermore, within-trial valence representations evolved over time, prioritizing earlier differentiation of unpleasant stimuli. Together, these findings underscore the idea that both spatial and temporal features uniquely encode pleasant and unpleasant odor valence in the amygdala. The availability of a unidimensional valence code in the amygdala, distributed in both space and time, would create greater flexibility in determining the pleasantness or unpleasantness of stimuli, providing a mechanism by which expectation, context, attention, and learning could influence affective boundaries for guiding behavior. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Our findings elucidate the mechanisms of affective processing in the amygdala by demonstrating that this brain region represents the entire valence dimension from pleasant to unpleasant. An important implication of this unidimensional valence code is that pleasant and unpleasant valence cannot coexist in the amygdale because overlap of fMRI ensemble patterns for these two valence extremes obscures their unique content. This functional architecture, whereby subjective valence maps onto a pattern continuum between pleasant and unpleasant poles, offers a robust mechanism by which context

  7. Growth hormone biases amygdala network activation after fear learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisabella, B; Farah, S; Peng, X; Burgos-Robles, A; Lim, S H; Goosens, K A

    2016-11-29

    Prolonged stress exposure is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder characterized by the 'over-encoding' of a traumatic experience. A potential mechanism by which this occurs is through upregulation of growth hormone (GH) in the amygdala. Here we test the hypotheses that GH promotes the over-encoding of fearful memories by increasing the number of neurons activated during memory encoding and biasing the allocation of neuronal activation, one aspect of the process by which neurons compete to encode memories, to favor neurons that have stronger inputs. Viral overexpression of GH in the amygdala increased the number of amygdala cells activated by fear memory formation. GH-overexpressing cells were especially biased to express the immediate early gene c-Fos after fear conditioning, revealing strong autocrine actions of GH in the amygdala. In addition, we observed dramatically enhanced dendritic spine density in GH-overexpressing neurons. These data elucidate a previously unrecognized autocrine role for GH in the regulation of amygdala neuron function and identify specific mechanisms by which chronic stress, by enhancing GH in the amygdala, may predispose an individual to excessive fear memory formation.

  8. Basolateral amygdala lesions abolish mutual reward preferences in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Lallement, Julen; van Wingerden, Marijn; Schäble, Sandra; Kalenscher, Tobias

    2016-01-01

    In a recent study, we demonstrated that rats prefer mutual rewards in a Prosocial Choice Task. Here, employing the same task, we show that the integrity of basolateral amygdala was necessary for the expression of mutual reward preferences. Actor rats received bilateral excitotoxic (n=12) or sham lesions (n=10) targeting the basolateral amygdala and were subsequently tested in a Prosocial Choice Task where they could decide between rewarding ("Both Reward") or not rewarding a partner rat ("Own Reward"), either choice yielding identical reward to the actors themselves. To manipulate the social context and control for secondary reinforcement sources, actor rats were paired with either a partner rat (partner condition) or with an inanimate rat toy (toy condition). Sham-operated animals revealed a significant preference for the Both-Reward-option in the partner condition, but not in the toy condition. Amygdala-lesioned animals exhibited significantly lower Both-Reward preferences than the sham group in the partner but not in the toy condition, suggesting that basolateral amygdala was required for the expression of mutual reward preferences. Critically, in a reward magnitude discrimination task in the same experimental setup, both sham-operated and amygdala-lesioned animals preferred large over small rewards, suggesting that amygdala lesion effects were restricted to decision making in social contexts, leaving self-oriented behavior unaffected. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Acute Stress Suppresses Synaptic Inhibition and Increases Anxiety via Endocannabinoid Release in the Basolateral Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Shi; Itoga, Christy A; Fisher, Marc O; Solomonow, Jonathan; Roltsch, Emily A; Gilpin, Nicholas W; Tasker, Jeffrey G

    2016-08-10

    Stress and glucocorticoids stimulate the rapid mobilization of endocannabinoids in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Cannabinoid receptors in the BLA contribute to anxiogenesis and fear-memory formation. We tested for rapid glucocorticoid-induced endocannabinoid regulation of synaptic inhibition in the rat BLA. Glucocorticoid application to amygdala slices elicited a rapid, nonreversible suppression of spontaneous, but not evoked, GABAergic synaptic currents in BLA principal neurons; the effect was also seen with a membrane-impermeant glucocorticoid, but not with intracellular glucocorticoid application, implicating a membrane-associated glucocorticoid receptor. The glucocorticoid suppression of GABA currents was not blocked by antagonists of nuclear corticosteroid receptors, or by inhibitors of gene transcription or protein synthesis, but was blocked by inhibiting postsynaptic G-protein activity, suggesting a postsynaptic nongenomic steroid signaling mechanism that stimulates the release of a retrograde messenger. The rapid glucocorticoid-induced suppression of inhibition was prevented by blocking CB1 receptors and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) synthesis, and it was mimicked and occluded by CB1 receptor agonists, indicating it was mediated by the retrograde release of the endocannabinoid 2-AG. The rapid glucocorticoid effect in BLA neurons in vitro was occluded by prior in vivo acute stress-induced, or prior in vitro glucocorticoid-induced, release of endocannabinoid. Acute stress also caused an increase in anxiety-like behavior that was attenuated by blocking CB1 receptor activation and inhibiting 2-AG synthesis in the BLA. Together, these findings suggest that acute stress causes a long-lasting suppression of synaptic inhibition in BLA neurons via a membrane glucocorticoid receptor-induced release of 2-AG at GABA synapses, which contributes to stress-induced anxiogenesis. We provide a cellular mechanism in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) for the rapid stress

  10. Amygdala's involvement in facilitating associative learning-induced plasticity: a promiscuous role for the amygdala in memory acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Lily S; Galvez, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the amygdala plays a critical role in acquisition and consolidation of fear-related memories. Some of the more widely employed behavioral paradigms that have assisted in solidifying the amygdala's role in fear-related memories are associative learning paradigms. With most associative learning tasks, a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS) is paired with a salient unconditioned stimulus (US) that elicits an unconditioned response (UR). After multiple CS-US pairings, the subject learns that the CS predicts the onset or delivery of the US, and thus elicits a learned conditioned response (CR). Most fear-related associative paradigms have suggested that an aspect of the fear association is stored in the amygdala; however, some fear-motivated associative paradigms suggest that the amygdala is not a site of storage, but rather facilitates consolidation in other brain regions. Based upon various learning theories, one of the most likely sites for storage of long-term memories is the neocortex. In support of these theories, findings from our laboratory, and others, have demonstrated that trace-conditioning, an associative paradigm where there is a separation in time between the CS and US, induces learning-specific neocortical plasticity. The following review will discuss the amygdala's involvement, either as a site of storage or facilitating storage in other brain regions such as the neocortex, in fear- and non-fear-motivated associative paradigms. In this review, we will discuss recent findings suggesting a broader role for the amygdala in increasing the saliency of behaviorally relevant information, thus facilitating acquisition for all forms of memory, both fear- and non-fear-related. This proposed promiscuous role of the amygdala in facilitating acquisition for all memories further suggests a potential role of the amygdala in general learning disabilities.

  11. Diazepam reduces excitability of amygdala and further influences auditory cortex following sodium salicylate treatment in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yu; Liu, Junxiu; Ma, Furong; Mao, Lanqun

    2016-12-01

    Diazepam can reduce the excitability of lateral amygdala and eventually suppress the excitability of the auditory cortex in rats following salicylate treatment, indicating the regulating effect of lateral amygdala to the auditory cortex in the tinnitus procedure. To study the spontaneous firing rates (SFR) of the auditory cortex and lateral amygdala regulated by diazepam in the tinnitus rat model induced by sodium salicylate. This study first created a tinnitus rat modal induced by sodium salicylate, and recorded SFR of both auditory cortex and lateral amygdala. Then diazepam was intraperitoneally injected and the SFR changes of lateral amygdala recorded. Finally, diazepam was microinjected on lateral amygdala and the SFR changes of the auditory cortex recorded. Both SFRs of the auditory cortex and lateral amygdala increased after salicylate treatment. SFR of lateral amygdala decreased after intraperitoneal injection of diazepam. Microinjecting diazepam to lateral amygdala decreased SFR of the auditory cortex ipsilaterally and contralaterally.

  12. Depression/anxiety disorder and amygdala

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    2007-01-01

    Described and discussed are neuro-imaging studies on the amygdala (Am) concerning its volume, neuro-active drug effect on it and its response to repulsive and attractive stress-evoked character/temperament tests in patients mainly with major depression (MD) and anxiety disorder (AD), by functional MRI (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). A recent trend of volumetry of Am is the voxel-based morphometry by MRI, of which results are still controversial in MD. In contrast, many studies by PET and fMRI using neuro-active drugs have revealed that Am activity in MD is stimulated, and this hyperactivity can be improved by anti-depressive drugs. In addition, difference of activities is suggested in Am left and right hemispheres. The hyperactivity in Am has been reported also in AD and phobic disorders, of which symptoms are conceivably expressed by the sensitivity changes in the cerebral limbic system involving Am. The author considers the central region responsible for the depressive mood is present around cortex of anteroinferior genu of corpus callosum where neuro-network with Am is dense. (R.T.)

  13. Short-term environmental enrichment is sufficient to counter stress-induced anxiety and associated structural and molecular plasticity in basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashokan, Archana; Hegde, Akshaya; Mitra, Rupshi

    2016-07-01

    Moderate levels of anxiety enable individual animals to cope with stressors through avoidance, and could be an adaptive trait. However, repeated stress exacerbates anxiety to pathologically high levels. Dendritic remodeling in the basolateral amygdala is proposed to mediate potentiation of anxiety after stress. Similarly, modulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor is thought to be important for the behavioral effects of stress. In the present study, we investigate if relatively short periods of environmental enrichment in adulthood can confer resilience against stress-induced anxiety and concomitant changes in neuronal arborisation and brain derived neurotrophic factor within basolateral amygdala. Two weeks of environmental enrichment countermanded the propensity of increased anxiety following chronic immobilization stress. Environmental enrichment concurrently reduced dendritic branching and spine density of projection neurons of the basolateral amygdala. Moreover, stress increased abundance of BDNF mRNA in the basolateral amygdala in agreement with the dendritic hypertrophy post-stress and role of BDNF in promoting dendritic arborisation. In contrast, environmental enrichment prevented stress-induced rise in the BDNF mRNA abundance. Gain in body weights and adrenal weights remained unaffected by exposure to environmental enrichment. These observations suggest that a short period of environmental enrichment can provide resilience against maladaptive effects of stress on hormonal, neuronal and molecular mediators of anxiogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Selective involvement of the amygdala in systemic lupus erythematosus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart J Emmer

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antibodies specifically affect the amygdala in a mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE. The aim of our study was to investigate whether there is also specific involvement of the amygdala in human SLE. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analyzed a group of 37 patients with neuropsychiatric SLE (NP-SLE, 21 patients with SLE, and a group of 12 healthy control participants with diffusion weighted imaging (DWI. In addition, in a subset of eight patients, plasma was available to determine their anti-NMDAR antibody status. From the structural magnetic resonance imaging data, the amygdala and the hippocampus were segmented, as well as the white and gray matter, and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC was retrieved. ADC values between controls, patients with SLE, and patients with NP-SLE were tested using analysis of variance with post-hoc Bonferroni correction. No differences were found in the gray or white matter segments. The average ADC in the amygdala of patients with NP-SLE and SLE (940 x 10(-6 mm2/s; p = 0.006 and 949 x 10(-6 mm2/s; p = 0.019, respectively was lower than in healthy control participants (1152 x 10(-6 mm2/s. Mann-Whitney analysis revealed that the average ADC in the amygdala of patients with anti-NMDAR antibodies (n = 4; 802 x 10(-6 mm2/s was lower (p = 0.029 than the average ADC of patients without anti-NMDAR antibodies (n = 4; 979 x 10(-6 mm2/s and also lower (p = 0.001 than in healthy control participants. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to our knowledge to observe damage in the amygdala in patients with SLE. Patients with SLE with anti-NMDAR antibodies had more severe damage in the amygdala compared to SLE patients without anti-NMDAR antibodies.

  15. Preferential amygdala reactivity to the negative assessment of neutral faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Giuseppe; Hariri, Ahmad R; Alce, Guilna; Taurisano, Paolo; Sambataro, Fabio; Das, Saumitra; Bertolino, Alessandro; Weinberger, Daniel R; Mattay, Venkata S

    2009-11-01

    Prior studies suggest that the amygdala shapes complex behavioral responses to socially ambiguous cues. We explored human amygdala function during explicit behavioral decision making about discrete emotional facial expressions that can represent socially unambiguous and ambiguous cues. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 43 healthy adults were required to make complex social decisions (i.e., approach or avoid) about either relatively unambiguous (i.e., angry, fearful, happy) or ambiguous (i.e., neutral) facial expressions. Amygdala activation during this task was compared with that elicited by simple, perceptual decisions (sex discrimination) about the identical facial stimuli. Angry and fearful expressions were more frequently judged as avoidable and happy expressions most often as approachable. Neutral expressions were equally judged as avoidable and approachable. Reaction times to neutral expressions were longer than those to angry, fearful, and happy expressions during social judgment only. Imaging data on stimuli judged to be avoided revealed a significant task by emotion interaction in the amygdala. Here, only neutral facial expressions elicited greater activity during social judgment than during sex discrimination. Furthermore, during social judgment only, neutral faces judged to be avoided were associated with greater amygdala activity relative to neutral faces that were judged as approachable. Moreover, functional coupling between the amygdala and both dorsolateral prefrontal (social judgment > sex discrimination) and cingulate (sex discrimination > social judgment) cortices was differentially modulated by task during processing of neutral faces. Our results suggest that increased amygdala reactivity and differential functional coupling with prefrontal circuitries may shape complex decisions and behavioral responses to socially ambiguous cues.

  16. Paradoxical facilitation of working memory after basolateral amygdala damage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barak Morgan

    Full Text Available Working memory is a vital cognitive capacity without which meaningful thinking and logical reasoning would be impossible. Working memory is integrally dependent upon prefrontal cortex and it has been suggested that voluntary control of working memory, enabling sustained emotion inhibition, was the crucial step in the evolution of modern humans. Consistent with this, recent fMRI studies suggest that working memory performance depends upon the capacity of prefrontal cortex to suppress bottom-up amygdala signals during emotional arousal. However fMRI is not well-suited to definitively resolve questions of causality. Moreover, the amygdala is neither structurally or functionally homogenous and fMRI studies do not resolve which amygdala sub-regions interfere with working memory. Lesion studies on the other hand can contribute unique causal evidence on aspects of brain-behaviour phenomena fMRI cannot "see". To address these questions we investigated working memory performance in three adult female subjects with bilateral basolateral amygdala calcification consequent to Urbach-Wiethe Disease and ten healthy controls. Amygdala lesion extent and functionality was determined by structural and functional MRI methods. Working memory performance was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III digit span forward task. State and trait anxiety measures to control for possible emotional differences between patient and control groups were administered. Structural MRI showed bilateral selective basolateral amygdala damage in the three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects and fMRI confirmed intact functionality in the remaining amygdala sub-regions. The three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects showed significant working memory facilitation relative to controls. Control measures showed no group anxiety differences. Results are provisionally interpreted in terms of a 'cooperation through competition' networks model that may account for the observed paradoxical

  17. Ensemble coding of context-dependent fear memory in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsini, Caitlin A; Yan, Chen; Maren, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    After fear conditioning, presenting the conditioned stimulus (CS) alone yields a context-specific extinction memory; fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in any other context. The context-dependence of extinction is mediated by a brain circuit consisting of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex (PFC) and amygdala. In the present work, we sought to determine at what level of this circuit context-dependent representations of the CS emerge. To explore this question, we used cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescent in situ hybridization (catFISH). This method exploits the intracellular expression profile of the immediate early gene (IEG), Arc, to visualize neuronal activation patterns to two different behavioral experiences. Rats were fear conditioned in one context and extinguished in another; 24 h later, they were sequentially exposed to the CS in the extinction context and another context. Control rats were also tested in each context, but were never extinguished. We assessed Arc mRNA expression within the basal amygdala (BA), lateral amygdala (LA), ventral hippocampus (VH), prelimbic cortex (PL) and infralimbic cortex (IL). We observed that the sequential retention tests induced context-dependent patterns of Arc expression in the BA, LA, and IL of extinguished rats; this was not observed in non-extinguished controls. In general, non-extinguished animals had proportionately greater numbers of non-selective (double-labeled) neurons than extinguished animals. Collectively, these findings suggest that extinction learning results in pattern separation, particularly within the BA, in which unique neuronal ensembles represent fear memories after extinction.

  18. Ensemble coding of context-dependent fear memory in the amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin A Orsini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available After fear conditioning, presenting the conditioned stimulus (CS alone yields a context-specific extinction memory; fear is suppressed in the extinction context, but renews in any other context. The context-dependence of extinction is mediated by a brain circuit consisting of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In the present work, we sought to determine at what level of this circuit context-dependent representations of the CS emerge. To explore this question, we used cellular compartment analysis of temporal activity by fluorescent in situ hybridization (catFISH. This method exploits the intracellular expression profile of the immediate early gene, Arc, to visualize neuronal activation patterns to two different behavioral experiences. Rats were fear conditioned in one context and extinguished in another; twenty-four hours later, they were sequentially exposed to the CS in the extinction context and another context. Control rats were also tested in each context, but were never extinguished. We assessed Arc mRNA expression within the basal amygdala (BA, lateral amygdala (LA, ventral hippocampus (VH, prelimbic cortex (PL and infralimbic cortex (IL. We observed that the sequential retention tests induced context-dependent patterns of Arc expression in the BA, LA, and IL of extinguished rats; this was not observed in non-extinguished controls. In general, non-extinguished animals had proportionately greater numbers of non-selective (double-labeled neurons than extinguished animals. Collectively, these findings suggest that extinction learning results in pattern separation, particularly within the BA, in which unique neuronal ensembles represent fear memories after extinction.

  19. Volumetric associations between uncinate fasciculus, amygdala, and trait anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baur Volker

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent investigations of white matter (WM connectivity suggest an important role of the uncinate fasciculus (UF, connecting anterior temporal areas including the amygdala with prefrontal-/orbitofrontal cortices, for anxiety-related processes. Volume of the UF, however, has rarely been investigated, but may be an important measure of structural connectivity underlying limbic neuronal circuits associated with anxiety. Since UF volumetric measures are newly applied measures, it is necessary to cross-validate them using further neural and behavioral indicators of anxiety. Results In a group of 32 subjects not reporting any history of psychiatric disorders, we identified a negative correlation between left UF volume and trait anxiety, a finding that is in line with previous results. On the other hand, volume of the left amygdala, which is strongly connected with the UF, was positively correlated with trait anxiety. In addition, volumes of the left UF and left amygdala were inversely associated. Conclusions The present study emphasizes the role of the left UF as candidate WM fiber bundle associated with anxiety-related processes and suggests that fiber bundle volume is a WM measure of particular interest. Moreover, these results substantiate the structural relatedness of UF and amygdala by a non-invasive imaging method. The UF-amygdala complex may be pivotal for the control of trait anxiety.

  20. Diverting attention suppresses human amygdala responses to faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen eMorawetz

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies disagree as to whether the processing of emotion-laden visual stimuli is dependent upon the availability of attentional resources or entirely capacity-free. Two main factors have been proposed to be responsible for the discrepancies: the differences in the perceptual attentional demands of the tasks used to divert attentional resources from emotional stimuli and the spatial location of the affective stimuli in the visual field. To date, no neuroimaging report addressed these two issues in the same set of subjects. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the effects of high and low attentional load as well as different stimulus locations on face processing in the amygdala using fMRI to provide further evidence for one of the two opposing theories. We were able for the first time to directly test the interaction of attentional load and spatial location. The results revealed a strong attenuation of amygdala activity when the attentional load was high. The eccentricity of the emotional stimuli did not affect responses in the amygdala and no interaction effect between attentional load and spatial location was found. We conclude that the processing of emotional stimuli in the amygdala is strongly dependent on the availability of attentional resources without a preferred processing of stimuli presented in the periphery and provide firm evidence for the concept of the attentional load theory of emotional processing in the amygdala.

  1. The amygdala in schizophrenia: a trimodal magnetic resonance imaging study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalus, Peter; Slotboom, Johannes; Gallinat, Jürgen; Wiest, Roland; Ozdoba, Christoph; Federspiel, Andrea; Strik, Werner K; Buri, Caroline; Schroth, Gerhard; Kiefer, Claus

    2005-03-03

    In schizophrenic psychoses, structural and functional alterations of the amygdala have been demonstrated by several neuroimaging studies. However, postmortem examinations on the brains of schizophrenics did not confirm the volume changes reported by volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. In order to address these contradictory findings and to further elucidate the possibly underlying pathophysiological process of the amygdala, we employed a trimodal MRI design including high-resolution volumetry, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and quantitative magnetization transfer imaging (qMTI) in a sample of 14 schizophrenic patients and 14 matched controls. Three-dimensional MRI volumetry revealed a significant reduction of amygdala raw volumes in the patient group, while amygdala volumes normalized for intracranial volume did not differ between the two groups. The regional diffusional anisotropy of the amygdala, expressed as inter-voxel coherence (COH), showed a marked and significant reduction in schizophrenics. Assessment of qMTI parameters yielded significant group differences for the T2 time of the bound proton pool and the T1 time of the free proton pool, while the semi-quantitative magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) did not differ between the groups. The application of multimodal MRI protocols is diagnostically relevant for the differentiation between schizophrenic patients and controls and provides a new strategy for the detection and characterization of subtle structural alterations in defined regions of the living brain.

  2. A specific role for the human amygdala in olfactory memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Tony W; Tranel, Daniel; Adolphs, Ralph

    2003-01-01

    The medial temporal lobe is known to play a role in the processing of olfaction and memory. The specific contribution of the human amygdala to memory for odors has not been addressed, however. The role of this region in memory for odors was assessed in patients with unilateral amygdala damage due to temporal lobectomy (n = 20; 11 left, 9 right), one patient with selective bilateral amygdala damage, and in 20 age-matched normal controls. Fifteen odors were presented, followed 1 h later by an odor-name matching test and an odor-odor recognition test. Signal detection analyses showed that both unilateral groups were impaired in their memory for matching odors with names, these patients were not significantly impaired on odor-odor recognition. Bilateral amygdala damage resulted in severe impairment in both odor-name matching as well as in odor-odor recognition memory. Importantly, none of the patients were impaired on an auditory verbal learning task, suggesting that these findings reflect a specific impairment in olfactory memory, and not merely a more general memory deficit. Taken together, the data provide neuropsychological evidence that the human amygdala is essential for olfactory memory.

  3. Acute effects of LSD on amygdala activity during processing of fearful stimuli in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, F; Lenz, C; Dolder, P C; Harder, S; Schmid, Y; Lang, U E; Liechti, M E; Borgwardt, S

    2017-04-04

    Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) induces profound changes in various mental domains, including perception, self-awareness and emotions. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the acute effects of LSD on the neural substrate of emotional processing in humans. Using a double-blind, randomised, cross-over study design, placebo or 100 μg LSD were orally administered to 20 healthy subjects before the fMRI scan, taking into account the subjective and pharmacological peak effects of LSD. The plasma levels of LSD were determined immediately before and after the scan. The study (including the a priori-defined study end point) was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov before study start (NCT02308969). The administration of LSD reduced reactivity of the left amygdala and the right medial prefrontal cortex relative to placebo during the presentation of fearful faces (PLSD-induced amygdala response to fearful stimuli and the LSD-induced subjective drug effects (PLSD modulates the engagement of brain regions that mediate emotional processing.

  4. CREB regulates spine density of lateral amygdala neurons: implications for memory allocation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derya eSargin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Neurons may compete against one another for integration into a memory trace. Specifically, neurons in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala with relatively higher levels of CREB seem to be preferentially allocated to a fear memory trace, while neurons with relatively decreased CREB function seem to be excluded from a fear memory trace. CREB is a ubiquitous transcription factor that modulates many diverse cellular processes, raising the question as to which of these CREB-mediated processes underlie memory allocation. CREB is implicated in modulating dendritic spine number and morphology. As dendritic spines are intimately involved in memory formation, we investigated whether manipulations of CREB function alter spine number or morphology of neurons at the time of fear conditioning. We used viral vectors to manipulate CREB function in the lateral amygdala principal neurons in mice maintained in their homecages. At the time that fear conditioning normally occurs, we observed that neurons with high levels of CREB had more dendritic spines, while neurons with low CREB function had relatively fewer spines compared to control neurons. These results suggest that the modulation of spine density provides a potential mechanism for preferential allocation of a subset of neurons to the memory trace.

  5. The Role of Ovarian Hormones and the Medial Amygdala in Sexual Motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holder, Mary K; Mong, Jessica A

    2017-12-01

    Although research into the neurobiology of sexual desire in women is active, relatively little is understood about the origins of sexual motivation in women. The purpose of our review is to discuss factors that influence a central sexual motivate state and generalized arousal as potential drivers of sexual motivation in women and female rats. Sexual motivation is the product of interactions of the central motive state and salient sexually-relevant cues. Ovarian hormones and generalized arousal influence the central motive state, and endogenous levels of estradiol and progesterone correlate with sexual motivation and behavior in women. The amygdala is a key integratory site for generalized arousal and sexual sensory stimulation, which could then increase sexual motivation through its downstream projections. Our model of enhanced female sexual motivation suggests that the combined effects of dopamine and progesterone receptor activation in the medial amygdala increases the incentive properties of a sexual stimulus. Further study into the interactions of ovarian hormones and mediators of generalized arousal on the processing of sexually-relevant cues informs our understanding of the neurobiology of female sexual motivation and could lead to the development of therapeutics to treat the dysfunctions of sexual desire in women.

  6. Oxytocin Promotes Facial Emotion Recognition and Amygdala Reactivity in Adults with Asperger Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domes, Gregor; Kumbier, Ekkehardt; Heinrichs, Markus; Herpertz, Sabine C

    2014-01-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin has recently been shown to enhance eye gaze and emotion recognition in healthy men. Here, we report a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that examined the neural and behavioral effects of a single dose of intranasal oxytocin on emotion recognition in individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS), a clinical condition characterized by impaired eye gaze and facial emotion recognition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether oxytocin would enhance emotion recognition from facial sections of the eye vs the mouth region and modulate regional activity in brain areas associated with face perception in both adults with AS, and a neurotypical control group. Intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin improved performance in a facial emotion recognition task in individuals with AS. This was linked to increased left amygdala reactivity in response to facial stimuli and increased activity in the neural network involved in social cognition. Our data suggest that the amygdala, together with functionally associated cortical areas mediate the positive effect of oxytocin on social cognitive functioning in AS. PMID:24067301

  7. Potentiation of amygdala AMPA receptor activity selectively promotes escalated alcohol self-administration in a CaMKII-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannady, Reginald; Fisher, Kristen R; Graham, Caitlin; Crayle, Jesse; Besheer, Joyce; Hodge, Clyde W

    2017-05-01

    Growing evidence indicates that drugs of abuse gain control over the individual by usurping glutamate-linked mechanisms of neuroplasticity in reward-related brain regions. Accordingly, we have shown that glutamate α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) activity in the amygdala is required for the positive reinforcing effects of alcohol, which underlie the initial stages of addiction. It is unknown, however, if enhanced AMPAR activity in the amygdala facilitates alcohol self-administration, which is a kernel premise of glutamate hypotheses of addiction. Here, we show that low-dose alcohol (0.6 g/kg/30 minutes) self-administration increases phosphorylation (activation) of AMPAR subtype GluA1 S831 (pGluA1 S831) in the central amygdala (CeA), basolateral amygdala and nucleus accumbens core (AcbC) of selectively bred alcohol-preferring P-rats as compared with behavior-matched (non-drug) sucrose controls. The functional role of enhanced AMPAR activity was assessed via site-specific infusion of the AMPAR positive modulator, aniracetam, in the CeA and AcbC prior to alcohol self-administration. Intra-CeA aniracetam increased alcohol-reinforced but not sucrose-reinforced responding and was ineffective following intra-AcbC infusion. Because GluA1 S831 is a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) substrate, we sought to determine if AMPAR regulation of enhanced alcohol self-administration is dependent on CaMKII activity. Intra-CeA infusion of the cell-permeable CaMKII peptide inhibitor myristolated autocamtide-2-related inhibitory peptide (m-AIP) dose-dependently reduced alcohol self-administration. A subthreshold dose of m-AIP also blocked the aniracetam-induced escalation of alcohol self-administration, demonstrating that AMPAR-mediated potentiation of alcohol reinforcement requires CaMKII activity in the amygdala. Enhanced activity of plasticity-linked AMPAR-CaMKII signaling in the amygdala may promote escalated alcohol use

  8. Evidence for smaller right amygdala volumes in posttraumatic stress disorder following childhood trauma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veer, I.M.; Oei, N.Y.L.; van Buchem, M.A.; Spinhoven, Ph.; Elzinga, B.M.; Rombouts, S.A.R.B.

    2015-01-01

    Hippocampus and amygdala volumes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to childhood trauma are relatively understudied, albeit the potential importance to the disorder. Whereas some studies reported smaller hippocampal volumes, little evidence was found for abnormal amygdala volumes. Here

  9. Sex-related differences in amygdala functional connectivity during resting conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilpatrick, L A; Zald, D H; Pardo, J V; Cahill, L F

    2006-04-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have established a sex-related hemispheric lateralization of amygdala involvement in memory for emotionally arousing material. Here, we examine the possibility that sex-related differences in amygdala involvement in memory for emotional material develop from differential patterns of amygdala functional connectivity evident in the resting brain. Seed voxel partial least square analyses of regional cerebral blood flow data revealed significant sex-related differences in amygdala functional connectivity during resting conditions. The right amygdala was associated with greater functional connectivity in men than in women. In contrast, the left amygdala was associated with greater functional connectivity in women than in men. Furthermore, the regions displaying stronger functional connectivity with the right amygdala in males (sensorimotor cortex, striatum, pulvinar) differed from those displaying stronger functional connectivity with the left amygdala in females (subgenual cortex, hypothalamus). These differences in functional connectivity at rest may link to sex-related differences in medical and psychiatric disorders.

  10. Hippocampus and amygdala morphology in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plessen, Kerstin J; Bansal, Ravi; Zhu, Hongtu

    2006-01-01

    CONTEXT: Limbic structures are implicated in the genesis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by the presence of mood and cognitive disturbances in affected individuals and by elevated rates of mood disorders in family members of probands with ADHD. OBJECTIVE: To study the morphology...... of the hippocampus and amygdala in children with ADHD. DESIGN: A cross-sectional case-control study of the hippocampus and amygdala using anatomical magnetic resonance imaging. SETTINGS: University research institute. PATIENTS: One hundred fourteen individuals aged 6 to 18 years, 51 with combined-type ADHD and 63...... healthy controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Volumes and measures of surface morphology for the hippocampus and amygdala. RESULTS: The hippocampus was larger bilaterally in the ADHD group than in the control group (t = 3.35; P

  11. Stress enhances fear by forming new synapses with greater capacity for long-term potentiation in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suvrathan, Aparna; Bennur, Sharath; Ghosh, Supriya; Tomar, Anupratap; Anilkumar, Shobha; Chattarji, Sumantra

    2014-01-05

    Prolonged and severe stress leads to cognitive deficits, but facilitates emotional behaviour. Little is known about the synaptic basis for this contrast. Here, we report that in rats subjected to chronic immobilization stress, long-term potentiation (LTP) and NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses are enhanced in principal neurons of the lateral amygdala, a brain area involved in fear memory formation. This is accompanied by electrophysiological and morphological changes consistent with the formation of 'silent synapses', containing only NMDARs. In parallel, chronic stress also reduces synaptic inhibition. Together, these synaptic changes would enable amygdalar neurons to undergo further experience-dependent modifications, leading to stronger fear memories. Consistent with this prediction, stressed animals exhibit enhanced conditioned fear. Hence, stress may leave its mark in the amygdala by generating new synapses with greater capacity for plasticity, thereby creating an ideal neuronal substrate for affective disorders. These findings also highlight the unique features of stress-induced plasticity in the amygdala that are strikingly different from the stress-induced impairment of structure and function in the hippocampus.

  12. Context-dependent encoding of fear and extinction memories in a large-scale network model of the basal amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlachos, Ioannis; Herry, Cyril; Lüthi, Andreas; Aertsen, Ad; Kumar, Arvind

    2011-03-01

    The basal nucleus of the amygdala (BA) is involved in the formation of context-dependent conditioned fear and extinction memories. To understand the underlying neural mechanisms we developed a large-scale neuron network model of the BA, composed of excitatory and inhibitory leaky-integrate-and-fire neurons. Excitatory BA neurons received conditioned stimulus (CS)-related input from the adjacent lateral nucleus (LA) and contextual input from the hippocampus or medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We implemented a plasticity mechanism according to which CS and contextual synapses were potentiated if CS and contextual inputs temporally coincided on the afferents of the excitatory neurons. Our simulations revealed a differential recruitment of two distinct subpopulations of BA neurons during conditioning and extinction, mimicking the activation of experimentally observed cell populations. We propose that these two subgroups encode contextual specificity of fear and extinction memories, respectively. Mutual competition between them, mediated by feedback inhibition and driven by contextual inputs, regulates the activity in the central amygdala (CEA) thereby controlling amygdala output and fear behavior. The model makes multiple testable predictions that may advance our understanding of fear and extinction memories.

  13. Context-dependent encoding of fear and extinction memories in a large-scale network model of the basal amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioannis Vlachos

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The basal nucleus of the amygdala (BA is involved in the formation of context-dependent conditioned fear and extinction memories. To understand the underlying neural mechanisms we developed a large-scale neuron network model of the BA, composed of excitatory and inhibitory leaky-integrate-and-fire neurons. Excitatory BA neurons received conditioned stimulus (CS-related input from the adjacent lateral nucleus (LA and contextual input from the hippocampus or medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. We implemented a plasticity mechanism according to which CS and contextual synapses were potentiated if CS and contextual inputs temporally coincided on the afferents of the excitatory neurons. Our simulations revealed a differential recruitment of two distinct subpopulations of BA neurons during conditioning and extinction, mimicking the activation of experimentally observed cell populations. We propose that these two subgroups encode contextual specificity of fear and extinction memories, respectively. Mutual competition between them, mediated by feedback inhibition and driven by contextual inputs, regulates the activity in the central amygdala (CEA thereby controlling amygdala output and fear behavior. The model makes multiple testable predictions that may advance our understanding of fear and extinction memories.

  14. Juvenile obesity enhances emotional memory and amygdala plasticity through glucocorticoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boitard, Chloé; Maroun, Mouna; Tantot, Frédéric; Cavaroc, Amandine; Sauvant, Julie; Marchand, Alain; Layé, Sophie; Capuron, Lucile; Darnaudery, Muriel; Castanon, Nathalie; Coutureau, Etienne; Vouimba, Rose-Marie; Ferreira, Guillaume

    2015-03-04

    In addition to metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, obesity is associated with adverse cognitive and emotional outcomes. Its growing prevalence during adolescence is particularly alarming since recent evidence indicates that obesity can affect hippocampal function during this developmental period. Adolescence is a decisive period for maturation of the amygdala and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress axis, both required for lifelong cognitive and emotional processing. However, little data are available on the impact of obesity during adolescence on amygdala function. Herein, we therefore evaluate in rats whether juvenile high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity alters amygdala-dependent emotional memory and whether it depends on HPA axis deregulation. Exposure to HFD from weaning to adulthood, i.e., covering adolescence, enhances long-term emotional memories as assessed by odor-malaise and tone-shock associations. Juvenile HFD also enhances emotion-induced neuronal activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA), which correlates with protracted plasma corticosterone release. HFD exposure restricted to adulthood does not modify all these parameters, indicating adolescence is a vulnerable period to the effects of HFD-induced obesity. Finally, exaggerated emotional memory and BLA synaptic plasticity after juvenile HFD are alleviated by a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist. Altogether, our results demonstrate that juvenile HFD alters HPA axis reactivity leading to an enhancement of amygdala-dependent synaptic and memory processes. Adolescence represents a period of increased susceptibility to the effects of diet-induced obesity on amygdala function. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/354092-12$15.00/0.

  15. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, R J R

    2007-09-01

    Recent work has implicated the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and, when dysfunctional, psychopathy. This model proposes that the amygdala, through stimulus-reinforcement learning, enables the association of actions that harm others with the aversive reinforcement of the victims' distress. Consequent information on reinforcement expectancy, fed forward to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, can guide the healthy individual away from moral transgressions. In psychopathy, dysfunction in these structures means that care-based moral reasoning is compromised and the risk that antisocial behavior is used instrumentally to achieve goals is increased.

  16. A neuroplasticity hypothesis of chronic stress in the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Lara M

    2013-06-01

    Chronic stress plays a role in the etiology of several affective and anxiety-related disorders. Despite this, its mechanistic effects on the brain are still unclear. Of particular interest is the effect of chronic stress on the amygdala, which plays a key role in the regulation of emotional responses and memory consolidation. This review proposes a neuroplasticity model for the effects of chronic stress in this region, emphasizing the roles of glutamate and BDNF signaling. This model provides a review of recent discoveries of the effects of chronic stress in the amygdala and reveals pathways for future research.

  17. Memory Consolidation within the Central Amygdala Is Not Necessary for Modulation of Cerebellar Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Adam B.; Ng, Ka H.; Freeman, John H.

    2017-01-01

    Amygdala lesions impair, but do not prevent, acquisition of cerebellum-dependent eyeblink conditioning suggesting that the amygdala modulates cerebellar learning. Two-factor theories of eyeblink conditioning posit that a fast-developing memory within the amygdala facilitates slower-developing memory within the cerebellum. The current study tested…

  18. OCD-like behavior is caused by dysfunction of thalamo-amygdala circuits and upregulated TrkB/ERK-MAPK signaling as a result of SPRED2 deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullrich, M; Weber, M; Post, A M; Popp, S; Grein, J; Zechner, M; Guerrero González, H; Kreis, A; Schmitt, A G; Üçeyler, N; Lesch, K-P; Schuh, K

    2018-02-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common neuropsychiatric disease affecting about 2% of the general population. It is characterized by persistent intrusive thoughts and repetitive ritualized behaviors. While gene variations, malfunction of cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) circuits, and dysregulated synaptic transmission have been implicated in the pathogenesis of OCD, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here we show that OCD-like behavior in mice is caused by deficiency of SPRED2, a protein expressed in various brain regions and a potent inhibitor of Ras/ERK-MAPK signaling. Excessive self-grooming, reflecting OCD-like behavior in rodents, resulted in facial skin lesions in SPRED2 knockout (KO) mice. This was alleviated by treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine. In addition to the previously suggested involvement of cortico-striatal circuits, electrophysiological measurements revealed altered transmission at thalamo-amygdala synapses and morphological differences in lateral amygdala neurons of SPRED2 KO mice. Changes in synaptic function were accompanied by dysregulated expression of various pre- and postsynaptic proteins in the amygdala. This was a result of altered gene transcription and triggered upstream by upregulated tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB)/ERK-MAPK signaling in the amygdala of SPRED2 KO mice. Pathway overactivation was mediated by increased activity of TrkB, Ras, and ERK as a specific result of SPRED2 deficiency and not elicited by elevated brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels. Using the MEK inhibitor selumetinib, we suppressed TrkB/ERK-MAPK pathway activity in vivo and reduced OCD-like grooming in SPRED2 KO mice. Altogether, this study identifies SPRED2 as a promising new regulator, TrkB/ERK-MAPK signaling as a novel mediating mechanism, and thalamo-amygdala synapses as critical circuitry involved in the pathogenesis of OCD.

  19. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β in the basolateral amygdala is critical for the reconsolidation of cocaine reward memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ping; Xue, Yan-Xue; Ding, Zeng-Bo; Xue, Li-Fen; Xu, Chun-Mei; Lu, Lin

    2011-07-01

    Exposure to cocaine-associated conditioned stimuli elicits craving and increases the probability of cocaine relapse in cocaine users even after extended periods of abstinence. Recent evidence indicates that cocaine seeking can be inhibited by disrupting the reconsolidation of the cocaine cue memories and that basolateral amygdala (BLA) neuronal activity plays a role in this effect. Previous studies demonstrated that glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) plays a role in the reconsolidation of fear memory. Here, we used a conditioned place preference procedure to examine the role of GSK-3β in the BLA in the reconsolidation of cocaine cue memories. GSK-3β activity in the BLA, but not central amygdala (CeA), in rats that acquired cocaine (10 mg/kg)-induced conditioned place preference increased after re-exposure to a previously cocaine-paired chamber (i.e., a memory reactivation procedure). Systemic injections of the GSK-3β inhibitor lithium chloride after memory reactivation impaired the reconsolidation of cocaine cue memories and inhibited subsequent cue-induced GSK-3β activity in the BLA. Basolateral amygdala, but not central amygdala, injections of SB216763, a selective inhibitor of GSK-3β, immediately after the reactivation of cocaine cue memories also disrupted cocaine cue memory reconsolidation and prevented cue-induced increases in GSK-3β activity in the BLA. The effect of SB216763 on the reconsolidation of cocaine cue memories lasted at least 2 weeks and was not recovered by a cocaine priming injection. These results indicate that GSK-3β activity in the BLA mediates the reconsolidation of cocaine cue memories. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  20. Altered task-based and resting-state amygdala functional connectivity following real-time fMRI amygdala neurofeedback training in major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kymberly D; Siegle, Greg J; Misaki, Masaya; Zotev, Vadim; Phillips, Raquel; Drevets, Wayne C; Bodurka, Jerzy

    2018-01-01

    We have previously shown that in participants with major depressive disorder (MDD) trained to upregulate their amygdala hemodynamic response during positive autobiographical memory (AM) recall with real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf) training, depressive symptoms diminish. Here, we assessed the effect of rtfMRI-nf on amygdala functional connectivity during both positive AM recall and rest. The current manuscript consists of a secondary analysis on data from our published clinical trial of neurofeedback. Patients with MDD completed two rtfMRI-nf sessions (18 received amygdala rtfMRI-nf, 16 received control parietal rtfMRI-nf). One-week prior-to and following training participants also completed a resting-state fMRI scan. A GLM-based functional connectivity analysis was applied using a seed ROI in the left amygdala. We compared amygdala functional connectivity changes while recalling positive AMs from the baseline run to the final transfer run during rtfMRI-nf training, as well during rest from the baseline to the one-week follow-up visit. Finally, we assessed the correlation between change in depression scores and change in amygdala connectivity, as well as correlations between amygdala regulation success and connectivity changes. Following training, amygdala connectivity during positive AM recall increased with widespread regions in the frontal and limbic network. During rest, amygdala connectivity increased following training within the fronto-temporal-limbic network. During both task and resting-state analyses, amygdala-temporal pole connectivity decreased. We identified increased amygdala-precuneus and amygdala-inferior frontal gyrus connectivity during positive memory recall and increased amygdala-precuneus and amygdala-thalamus connectivity during rest as functional connectivity changes that explained significant variance in symptom improvement. Amygdala-precuneus connectivity changes also explain a significant amount of variance in neurofeedback

  1. Rescue of Impaired Fear Extinction and Normalization of Cortico-Amygdala Circuit Dysfunction in a Genetic Mouse Model by Dietary Zinc Restriction

    OpenAIRE

    Whittle, Nigel; Hauschild, Markus; Lubec, Gert; Holmes, Andrew; Singewald, Nicolas

    2010-01-01

    Fear extinction is impaired in neuropsychiatric disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder. Identifying drugs that facilitate fear extinction in animal models provides leads for novel pharmacological treatments for these disorders. Zinc (Zn) is expressed in neurons in a cortico-amygdala circuit mediating fear extinction, and modulates neurotransmitter systems regulating extinction. We previously found that the 129S1/SvImJ mouse strain (S1) exhibited a profound impairment in fear extin...

  2. Neuropeptide S interacts with the basolateral amygdala noradrenergic system in facilitating object recognition memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Ren-Wen; Xu, Hong-Jiao; Zhang, Rui-San; Wang, Pei; Chang, Min; Peng, Ya-Li; Deng, Ke-Yu; Wang, Rui

    2014-01-01

    The noradrenergic activity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) was reported to be involved in the regulation of object recognition memory. As the BLA expresses high density of receptors for Neuropeptide S (NPS), we investigated whether the BLA is involved in mediating NPS's effects on object recognition memory consolidation and whether such effects require noradrenergic activity. Intracerebroventricular infusion of NPS (1nmol) post training facilitated 24-h memory in a mouse novel object recognition task. The memory-enhancing effect of NPS could be blocked by the β-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol. Furthermore, post-training intra-BLA infusions of NPS (0.5nmol/side) improved 24-h memory for objects, which was impaired by co-administration of propranolol (0.5μg/side). Taken together, these results indicate that NPS interacts with the BLA noradrenergic system in improving object recognition memory during consolidation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Long-term potentiation in the amygdala: a cellular mechanism of fear learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurdsson, Torfi; Doyère, Valérie; Cain, Christopher K; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2007-01-01

    Much of the research on long-term potentiation (LTP) is motivated by the question of whether changes in synaptic strength similar to LTP underlie learning and memory. Here we discuss findings from studies on fear conditioning, a form of associative learning whose neural circuitry is relatively well understood, that may be particularly suited for addressing this question. We first review the evidence suggesting that fear conditioning is mediated by changes in synaptic strength at sensory inputs to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We then discuss several outstanding questions that will be important for future research on the role of synaptic plasticity in fear learning. The results gained from these studies may shed light not only on fear conditioning, but may also help unravel more general cellular mechanisms of learning and memory.

  4. Dexamethasone Treatment Leads to Enhanced Fear Extinction and Dynamic Fkbp5 Regulation in Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawamura, Takehito; Klengel, Torsten; Armario, Antonio; Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth D; Ressler, Kerry J; Andero, Raül

    2016-02-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is both a prevalent and debilitating trauma-related disorder associated with dysregulated fear learning at the core of many of its signs and symptoms. Improvements in the currently available psychological and pharmacological treatments are needed in order to improve PTSD treatment outcomes and to prevent symptom relapse. In the present study, we used a putative animal model of PTSD that included presentation of immobilization stress (IMO) followed by fear conditioning (FC) a week later. We then investigated the acute effects of GR receptor activation on the extinction (EXT) of conditioned freezing, using dexamethasone administered systemically which is known to result in suppression of the HPA axis. In our previous work, IMO followed by tone-shock-mediated FC was associated with impaired fear EXT. In this study, we administered dexamethasone 4 h before EXT training and then examined EXT retention (RET) 24 h later to determine whether dexamethasone suppression rescued EXT deficits. Dexamethasone treatment produced dose-dependent enhancement of both EXT and RET. Dexamethasone was also associated with reduced amygdala Fkbp5 mRNA expression following EXT and after RET. Moreover, DNA methylation of the Fkbp5 gene occurred in a dose-dependent and time course-dependent manner within the amygdala. Additionally, we found dynamic changes in epigenetic regulation, including Dnmt and Tet gene pathways, as a function of both fear EXT and dexamethasone suppression of the HPA axis. Together, these data suggest that dexamethasone may serve to enhance EXT by altering Fkbp5-mediated glucocorticoid sensitivity via epigenetic regulation of Fkbp5 expression.

  5. A Model of Differential Amygdala Activation in Psychopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moul, Caroline; Killcross, Simon; Dadds, Mark R.

    2012-01-01

    This article introduces a novel hypothesis regarding amygdala function in psychopathy. The first part of this article introduces the concept of psychopathy and describes the main cognitive and affective impairments demonstrated by this population; that is, a deficit in fear-recognition, lower conditioned fear responses and poor performance in…

  6. The Role of the Basolateral Amygdala in Punishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dit-Bressel, Philip Jean-Richard; McNally, Gavan P.

    2015-01-01

    Aversive stimuli not only support fear conditioning to their environmental antecedents, they also punish behaviors that cause their occurrence. The amygdala, especially the basolateral nucleus (BLA), has been critically implicated in Pavlovian fear learning but its role in punishment remains poorly understood. Here, we used a within-subjects…

  7. Amygdala activation for eye contact despite complete cortical blindness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burra, N.; Hervais-Adelman, A.; Kerzel, D.; Tamietto, M.; de Gelder, B.; Pegna, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    Cortical blindness refers to the loss of vision that occurs after destruction of the primary visual cortex. Although there is no sensory cortex and hence no conscious vision, some cortically blind patients show amygdala activation in response to facial or bodily expressions of emotion. Here we

  8. Association between neuroticism and amygdala responsivity emerges under stressful conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Everaerd, Daphne; Klumpers, Floris; van Wingen, Guido; Tendolkar, Indira; Fernández, Guillén

    2015-01-01

    Increased amygdala reactivity in response to salient stimuli is seen in patients with affective disorders, in healthy subjects at risk for these disorders, and in stressed individuals, making it a prime target for mechanistic studies into the pathophysiology of affective disorders. However, whereas

  9. Opposing Amygdala and Ventral Striatum Connectivity during Emotion Identification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satterthwaite, Theodore D.; Wolf, Daniel H.; Pinkham, Amy E.; Ruparel, Kosha; Elliott, Mark A.; Valdez, Jeffrey N.; Overton, Eve; Seubert, Janina; Gur, Raquel E.; Gur, Ruben C.; Loughead, James

    2011-01-01

    Lesion and electrophysiological studies in animals provide evidence of opposing functions for subcortical nuclei such as the amygdala and ventral striatum, but the implications of these findings for emotion identification in humans remain poorly described. Here we report a high-resolution fMRI study in a sample of 39 healthy subjects who performed…

  10. Corticosteroid Induced Decoupling of the Amygdala in Men

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Henckens, Marloes J. A. G.; van Wingen, Guido A.; Joëls, Marian; Fernández, Guillén

    2012-01-01

    The amygdala is a key regulator of vigilance and heightens attention toward threat. Its activity is boosted upon threat exposure and contributes to a neuroendocrine stress response via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Corticosteroids are known to control brain activity as well as HPA

  11. Deconstructing white matter connectivity of human amygdala nuclei with thalamus and cortex subdivisions in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abivardi, Aslan; Bach, Dominik R

    2017-08-01

    Structural alterations in long-range amygdala connections are proposed to crucially underlie several neuropsychiatric disorders. While progress has been made in elucidating the function of these connections, our understanding of their structure in humans remains sparse and non-systematic. Harnessing diffusion-weighted imaging and probabilistic tractography in humans, we investigate connections between two main amygdala nucleus groups, thalamic nuclei, and cortex. We first parcellated amygdala into deep (basolateral) and superficial (centrocortical) nucleus groups, and thalamus into six subregions, using previously established protocols based on connectivity. Cortex was parcellated based on T1-weighted images. We found substantial amygdala connections to thalamus, with different patterns for the two amygdala nuclei. Crucially, we describe direct subcortical connections between amygdala and paraventricular thalamus. Different from rodents but similar to non-human primates, these are more pronounced for basolateral than centrocortical amygdala. Substantial white-matter connectivity between amygdala and visual pulvinar is also more pronounced for basolateral amygdala. Furthermore, we establish detailed connectivity profiles for basolateral and centrocortical amygdala to cortical regions. These exhibit cascadic connections with sensory cortices as suggested previously based on tracer methods in non-human animals. We propose that the quantitative connectivity profiles provided here may guide future work on normal and pathological function of human amygdala. Hum Brain Mapp 38:3927-3940, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli is influenced by oral contraceptive use.

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    Petersen, Nicole; Cahill, Larry

    2015-09-01

    The amygdala is a highly interconnected region of the brain that is critically important to emotional processing and affective networks. Previous studies have shown that the response of the amygdala to emotionally arousing stimuli can be modulated by sex hormones. Because oral contraceptive pills dramatically lower circulating sex hormone levels with potent analogs of those hormones, we performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment to measure amygdala reactivity in response to emotional stimuli in women using oral contraceptives, and compared their amygdala reactivity with that of naturally cycling women. Here, we show that women who use oral contraceptive pills have significantly decreased bilateral amygdala reactivity in response to negatively valenced, emotionally arousing stimuli compared with naturally cycling women. We suggest that by modulating amygdala reactivity, oral contraceptive pills may influence behaviors that have previously been shown to be amygdala dependent-in particular, emotional memory. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. MRI Overestimates Excitotoxic Amygdala Lesion Damage in Rhesus Monkeys

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    Benjamin M. Basile

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Selective, fiber-sparing excitotoxic lesions are a state-of-the-art tool for determining the causal contributions of different brain areas to behavior. For nonhuman primates especially, it is advantageous to keep subjects with high-quality lesions alive and contributing to science for many years. However, this requires the ability to estimate lesion extent accurately. Previous research has shown that in vivo T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI accurately estimates damage following selective ibotenic acid lesions of the hippocampus. Here, we show that the same does not apply to lesions of the amygdala. Across 19 hemispheres from 13 rhesus monkeys, MRI assessment consistently overestimated amygdala damage as assessed by microscopic examination of Nissl-stained histological material. Two outliers suggested a linear relation for lower damage levels, and values of unintended amygdala damage from a previous study fell directly on that regression line, demonstrating that T2 hypersignal accurately predicts damage levels below 50%. For unintended damage, MRI estimates correlated with histological assessment for entorhinal cortex, perirhinal cortex and hippocampus, though MRI significantly overestimated the extent of that damage in all structures. Nevertheless, ibotenic acid injections routinely produced extensive intentional amygdala damage with minimal unintended damage to surrounding structures, validating the general success of the technique. The field will benefit from more research into in vivo lesion assessment techniques, and additional evaluation of the accuracy of MRI assessment in different brain areas. For now, in vivo MRI assessment of ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala can be used to confirm successful injections, but MRI estimates of lesion extent should be interpreted with caution.

  14. Spider phobia is associated with decreased left amygdala volume: a cross-sectional study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Evidence from animal and human studies imply the amygdala as the most critical structure involved in processing of fear-relevant stimuli. In phobias, the amygdala seems to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis and maintenance of the disorder. However, the neuropathology of specific phobias remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated whether patients with spider phobia show altered amygdala volumes as compared to healthy control subjects. Methods Twenty female patients with spider phobia and twenty age-matched healthy female controls underwent magnetic resonance imaging to investigate amygdala volumes. The amygdalae were segmented using an automatic, model-based segmentation tool (FSL FIRST). Differences in amygdala volume were investigated by multivariate analysis of covariance with group as between-subject factor and left and right amygdala as dependent factors. The relation between amygdala volume and clinical features such as symptom severity, disgust sensitivity, trait anxiety and duration of illness was investigated by Spearman correlation analysis. Results Spider phobic patients showed significantly smaller left amygdala volume than healthy controls. No significant difference in right amygdala volume was detected. Furthermore, the diminished amygdala size in patients was related to higher symptom severity, but not to higher disgust sensitivity or trait anxiety and was independent of age. Conclusions In summary, the results reveal a relation between higher symptom severity and smaller left amygdala volume in patients with spider phobia. This relation was independent of other potential confounders such as the disgust sensitivity or trait anxiety. The findings suggest that greater spider phobic fear is associated with smaller left amygdala. However, the smaller left amygdala volume may either stand for a higher vulnerability to develop a phobic disorder or emerge as a consequence of the disorder. PMID:23442196

  15. Multi-modal neuroimaging of adolescents with non-suicidal self-injury: Amygdala functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westlund Schreiner, Melinda; Klimes-Dougan, Bonnie; Mueller, Bryon A; Eberly, Lynn E; Reigstad, Kristina M; Carstedt, Patricia A; Thomas, Kathleen M; Hunt, Ruskin H; Lim, Kelvin O; Cullen, Kathryn R

    2017-10-15

    Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a significant mental health problem among adolescents. Research is needed to clarify the neurobiology of NSSI and identify candidate neurobiological targets for interventions. Based on prior research implicating heightened negative affect and amygdala hyperactivity in NSSI, we pursued a systems approach to characterize amygdala functional connectivity networks during rest (resting-state functional connectivity [RSFC)]) and a task (task functional connectivity [TFC]) in adolescents with NSSI. We examined amygdala networks in female adolescents with NSSI and healthy controls (n = 45) using resting-state fMRI and a negative emotion face-matching fMRI task designed to activate the amygdala. Connectivity analyses included amygdala RSFC, amygdala TFC, and psychophysiological interactions (PPI) between amygdala connectivity and task conditions. Compared to healthy controls, adolescents with NSSI showed atypical amygdala-frontal connectivity during rest and task; greater amygdala RSFC in supplementary motor area (SMA) and dorsal anterior cingulate; and differential amygdala-occipital connectivity between rest and task. After correcting for depression symptoms, amygdala-SMA RSFC abnormalities, among others, remained significant. This study's limitations include its cross-sectional design and its absence of a psychiatric control group. Using a multi-modal approach, we identified widespread amygdala circuitry anomalies in adolescents with NSSI. While deficits in amygdala-frontal connectivity (driven by depression symptoms) replicates prior work in depression, hyperconnectivity between amygdala and SMA (independent of depression symptoms) has not been previously reported. This circuit may represent an important mechanism underlying the link between negative affect and habitual behaviors. These abnormalities may represent intervention targets for adolescents with NSSI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Locus coeruleus to basolateral amygdala noradrenergic projections promote anxiety-like behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Jordan G; Siuda, Edward R; Bhatti, Dionnet L; Lawson, Lamley A; McElligott, Zoe A; Stuber, Garret D; Bruchas, Michael R

    2017-07-14

    Increased tonic activity of locus coeruleus noradrenergic (LC-NE) neurons induces anxiety-like and aversive behavior. While some information is known about the afferent circuitry that endogenously drives this neural activity and behavior, the downstream receptors and anatomical projections that mediate these acute risk aversive behavioral states via the LC-NE system remain unresolved. Here we use a combination of retrograde tracing, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry, electrophysiology, and in vivo optogenetics with localized pharmacology to identify neural substrates downstream of increased tonic LC-NE activity in mice. We demonstrate that photostimulation of LC-NE fibers in the BLA evokes norepinephrine release in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), alters BLA neuronal activity, conditions aversion, and increases anxiety-like behavior. Additionally, we report that β-adrenergic receptors mediate the anxiety-like phenotype of increased NE release in the BLA. These studies begin to illustrate how the complex efferent system of the LC-NE system selectively mediates behavior through distinct receptor and projection-selective mechanisms.

  17. Amygdala Signaling during Foraging in a Hazardous Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amir, Alon; Lee, Seung-Chan; Headley, Drew B; Herzallah, Mohammad M; Pare, Denis

    2015-09-23

    We recorded basolateral amygdala (BL) neurons in a seminaturalistic foraging task. Rats had to leave their nest to retrieve food in an elongated arena inhabited by a mechanical predator. There were marked trial-to-trial variations in behavior. After poking their head into the foraging arena and waiting there for a while, rats either retreated to their nest or initiated foraging. Before initiating foraging, rats waited longer on trials that followed failed than successful trials indicating that prior experience influenced behavior. Upon foraging initiation, most principal cells (Type-1) reduced their firing rate, while in a minority (Type-2) it increased. When rats aborted foraging, Type-1 cells increased their firing rates, whereas in Type-2 cells it did not change. Surprisingly, the opposite activity profiles of Type-1 and Type-2 units were also seen in control tasks devoid of explicit threats or rewards. The common correlate of BL activity across these tasks was movement velocity, although an influence of position was also observed. Thus depending on whether rats initiated movement or not, the activity of BL neurons decreased or increased, regardless of whether threat or rewards were present. Therefore, BL activity not only encodes threats or rewards, but is closely related to behavioral output. We propose that higher order cortical areas determine task-related changes in BL activity as a function of reward/threat expectations and internal states. Because Type-1 and Type-2 cells likely form differential connections with the central amygdala (controlling freezing), this process would determine whether movement aimed at attaining food or exploration is suppressed or facilitated. Significance statement: For decades, amygdala research has been dominated by pavlovian and operant conditioning paradigms. This work has led to the view that amygdala neurons signal threats or rewards, in turn causing defensive or approach behaviors. However, the artificial circumstances of

  18. The Role of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Amygdala Circuit in Stress Effects on the Extinction of Fear

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    Mouna Maroun

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Stress exposure, depending on its intensity and duration, affects cognition and learning in an adaptive or maladaptive manner. Studies addressing the effects of stress on cognitive processes have mainly focused on conditioned fear, since it is suggested that fear-motivated learning lies at the root of affective and anxiety disorders. Inhibition of fear-motivated response can be accomplished by experimental extinction of the fearful response to the fear-inducing stimulus. Converging evidence indicates that extinction of fear memory requires plasticity in both the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. These brain areas are also deeply involved in mediating the effects of exposure to stress on memory. Moreover, extensive evidence indicates that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA transmission plays a primary role in the modulation of behavioral sequelae resulting from a stressful experience, and may also partially mediate inhibitory learning during extinction. In this review, we present evidence that exposure to a stressful experience may impair fear extinction and the possible involvement of the GABA system. Impairment of fear extinction learning is particularly important as it may predispose some individuals to the development of posttraumatic stress disorder. We further discuss a possible dysfunction in the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala circuit following a stressful experience that may explain the impaired extinction caused by exposure to a stressor.

  19. Asymmetric Engagement of Amygdala and Its Gamma Connectivity in Early Emotional Face Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tai-Ying; Chen, Yong-Sheng; Hsieh, Jen-Chuen; Chen, Li-Fen

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala has been regarded as a key substrate for emotion processing. However, the engagement of the left and right amygdala during the early perceptual processing of different emotional faces remains unclear. We investigated the temporal profiles of oscillatory gamma activity in the amygdala and effective connectivity of the amygdala with the thalamus and cortical areas during implicit emotion-perceptual tasks using event-related magnetoencephalography (MEG). We found that within 100 ms after stimulus onset the right amygdala habituated to emotional faces rapidly (with duration around 20–30 ms), whereas activity in the left amygdala (with duration around 50–60 ms) sustained longer than that in the right. Our data suggest that the right amygdala could be linked to autonomic arousal generated by facial emotions and the left amygdala might be involved in decoding or evaluating expressive faces in the early perceptual emotion processing. The results of effective connectivity provide evidence that only negative emotional processing engages both cortical and subcortical pathways connected to the right amygdala, representing its evolutional significance (survival). These findings demonstrate the asymmetric engagement of bilateral amygdala in emotional face processing as well as the capability of MEG for assessing thalamo-cortico-limbic circuitry. PMID:25629899

  20. Cannabinoids prevent the differential long-term effects of exposure to severe stress on hippocampal- and amygdala-dependent memory and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoshan, Noa; Segev, Amir; Abush, Hila; Mizrachi Zer-Aviv, Tomer; Akirav, Irit

    2017-10-01

    Exposure to excessive or uncontrolled stress is a major factor associated with various diseases including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The consequences of exposure to trauma are affected not only by aspects of the event itself, but also by the frequency and severity of trauma reminders. It was suggested that in PTSD, hippocampal-dependent memory is compromised while amygdala-dependent memory is strengthened. Several lines of evidence support the role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system as a modulator of the stress response. In this study we aimed to examine cannabinoids modulation of the long-term effects (i.e., 1 month) of exposure to a traumatic event on memory and plasticity in the hippocampus and amygdala. Following exposure to the shock and reminders model of PTSD in an inhibitory avoidance light-dark apparatus rats demonstrated: (i) enhanced fear retrieval and impaired inhibitory extinction (Ext), (ii) no long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1, (iii) impaired hippocampal-dependent short-term memory in the object location task, (iv) enhanced LTP in the amygdala, and (v) enhanced amygdala-dependent conditioned taste aversion memory. The cannabinoid CB1/2 receptor agonist WIN55-212,2 (0.5mg/kg, i.p.) and the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597 (0.3mg/kg, i.p.), administered 2 hr after shock exposure prevented these opposing effects on hippocampal- and amygdala-dependent processes. Moreover, the effects of WIN55-212,2 and URB597 on Ext and acoustic startle were prevented by co-administration of a low dose of the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 (0.5mg/kg, i.p.), suggesting that the preventing effects of both drugs are mediated by CB1 receptors. Exposure to shock and reminders increased CB1 receptor levels in the CA1 and basolateral amygdala 1 month after shock exposure and this increase was also prevented by administering WIN55-212,2 or URB597. Taken together, these findings suggest the involvement of the eCB system, and specifically CB1

  1. MOLECULAR BASIS OF LEARNING IN THE HIPPOCAMPUS AND THE AMYGDALA

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    Łukasz BIJOCH

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus and the amygdala are structures of mammalian brain both involved in memorizing. However, they are responsible for different types of memory: the hippocampus is involved in creating and storing declarative engrams and the amygdala is engaged in some of non-declarative learning. During memorization, changes of synapses appear and it is believed that they encode information. Long-Term Potentiation (LTP and Long-Term Depression (LTD are two processes which provide to these changes which are called synaptic plasticity. LTP strengthens connections between neurons and because of that it is traditionally linked with learning. LTD as an opposite state is usually treated as forgetting. However, there are some evidences that it is true only for few types of non-declarative engrams. More sophisticated learning (like declarative learning requires cooperation of these processes. Review is focused on functions and detailed signaling pathways of processes of synaptic plasticity.

  2. Stress impairs reconsolidation of drug memory via glucocorticoid receptors in the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Yi; Zhao, Mei; Ghitza, Udi E; Li, Yan-Qin; Lu, Lin

    2008-05-21

    Relapse to drug taking induced by exposure to cues associated with drugs of abuse is a major challenge to the treatment of drug addiction. Previous studies indicate that drug seeking can be inhibited by disrupting the reconsolidation of a drug-related memory. Stress plays an important role in modulating different stages of memory including reconsolidation, but its role in the reconsolidation of a drug-related memory has not been investigated. Here, we examined the effects of stress and corticosterone on reconsolidation of a drug-related memory using a conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure. We also determined the role of glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in modulating the effects of stress on reconsolidation of this memory. We found that rats acquired morphine CPP after conditioning, and that this CPP was inhibited by stress given immediately after re-exposure to a previously morphine-paired chamber (a reconsolidation procedure). The disruptive effect of stress on reconsolidation of morphine related memory was prevented by inhibition of corticosterone synthesis with metyrapone or BLA, but not central amygdala (CeA), injections of the glucocorticoid (GR) antagonist RU38486 [(11,17)-11-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-17-hydroxy-17-(1-propynyl)estra-4,9-dien-3-one]. Finally, the effect of stress on drug related memory reconsolidation was mimicked by systemic injections of corticosterone or injections of RU28362 [11,17-dihydroxy-6-methyl-17-(1-propynyl)androsta-1,4,6-triene-3-one] (a GR agonist) into BLA, but not the CeA. These results show that stress blocks reconsolidation of a drug-related memory, and this effect is mediated by activation of GRs in the BLA.

  3. The CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 impairs reconsolidation of pavlovian fear memory in the rat basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratano, Patrizia; Everitt, Barry J; Milton, Amy L

    2014-10-01

    We have investigated the requirement for signaling at CB1 receptors in the reconsolidation of a previously consolidated auditory fear memory, by infusing the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251, or the FAAH inhibitor URB597, directly into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in conjunction with memory reactivation. AM251 disrupted memory restabilization, but only when administered after reactivation. URB597 produced a small, transient enhancement of memory restabilization when administered after reactivation. The amnestic effect of AM251 was rescued by coadministration of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline at reactivation, indicating that the disruption of reconsolidation was mediated by altered GABAergic transmission in the BLA. These data show that the endocannabinoid system in the BLA is an important modulator of fear memory reconsolidation and that its effects on memory are mediated by an interaction with the GABAergic system. Thus, targeting the endocannabinoid system may have therapeutic potential to reduce the impact of maladaptive memories in neuropsychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder.

  4. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruda-Carvalho, Maithe; Wu, Wan-Chen; Cummings, Kirstie A; Clem, Roger L

    2017-03-15

    A brain network comprising the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala plays important roles in developmentally regulated cognitive and emotional processes. However, very little is known about the maturation of mPFC-amygdala circuitry. We conducted anatomical tracing of mPFC projections and optogenetic interrogation of their synaptic connections with neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) at neonatal to adult developmental stages in mice. Results indicate that mPFC-BLA projections exhibit delayed emergence relative to other mPFC pathways and establish synaptic transmission with BLA excitatory and inhibitory neurons in late infancy, events that coincide with a massive increase in overall synaptic drive. During subsequent adolescence, mPFC-BLA circuits are further modified by excitatory synaptic strengthening as well as a transient surge in feedforward inhibition. The latter was correlated with increased spontaneous inhibitory currents in excitatory neurons, suggesting that mPFC-BLA circuit maturation culminates in a period of exuberant GABAergic transmission. These findings establish a time course for the onset and refinement of mPFC-BLA transmission and point to potential sensitive periods in the development of this critical network. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human mPFC-amygdala functional connectivity is developmentally regulated and figures prominently in numerous psychiatric disorders with a high incidence of adolescent onset. However, it remains unclear when synaptic connections between these structures emerge or how their properties change with age. Our work establishes developmental windows and cellular substrates for synapse maturation in this pathway involving both excitatory and inhibitory circuits. The engagement of these substrates by early life experience may support the ontogeny of fundamental behaviors but could also lead to inappropriate circuit refinement and psychopathology in adverse situations. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372976-10$15.00/0.

  5. Growth hormone biases amygdala network activation after fear learning

    OpenAIRE

    Gisabella, Barbara; Farah, Shadia; Peng, Xiaoyu; Burgos-Robles, Anthony Noel; Lim, Seh Hong; Goosens, Ki Ann

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged stress exposure is a risk factor for developing posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder characterized by the ?over-encoding' of a traumatic experience. A potential mechanism by which this occurs is through upregulation of growth hormone (GH) in the amygdala. Here we test the hypotheses that GH promotes the over-encoding of fearful memories by increasing the number of neurons activated during memory encoding and biasing the allocation of neuronal activation, one aspect of the proce...

  6. Social scaffolding of human amygdala-mPFCcircuit development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tottenham, Nim

    2015-01-01

    Strong evidence indicates that reciprocal connections between the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) support fundamental aspects of emotional behavior in adulthood. However, this circuitry is slow to develop in humans, exhibiting immaturity in childhood. The argument is made that the development of this circuitry in humans is intimately associated with caregiving, such that parental availability during childhood provides important and enduring scaffolding of neuroaffective processes that ultimately form of the nature of the adult phenotype.

  7. Psychopaths show enhanced amygdala activation during fear conditioning

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    Douglas eSchultz

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by emotional deficits and a failure to inhibit impulsive behavior and is often subdivided into primary and secondary psychopathic subtypes. The maladaptive behavior related to primary psychopathy is thought to reflect constitutional fearlessness, while the problematic behavior related to secondary psychopathy is motivated by other factors. The fearlessness observed in psychopathy has often been interpreted as reflecting a fundamental deficit in amygdala function, and previous studies have provided support for a low-fear model of psychopathy. However, many of these studies fail to use appropriate screening procedures, use liberal inclusion criteria, or have used unconventional approaches to assay amygdala function. We measured brain activity with BOLD imaging in primary and secondary psychopaths and non-psychopathic control subjects during Pavlovian fear conditioning. In contrast to the low-fear model, we observed normal fear expression in primary psychopaths. Psychopaths also displayed greater differential BOLD activity in the amygdala relative to matched controls. Inverse patterns of activity were observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for primary versus secondary psychopaths. Primary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in the dorsal and ventral ACC consistent with enhanced fear expression, while secondary psychopaths exhibited a pattern of activity in these regions consistent with fear inhibition. These results contradict the low-fear model of psychopathy and suggest that the low fear observed for psychopaths in previous studies may be specific to secondary psychopaths.

  8. Prefrontal-amygdala fear networks come into focus

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    Maithe eArruda-Carvalho

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The ability to form associations between aversive threats and their predictors is fundamental to survival. However, fear and anxiety in excess are detrimental and are a hallmark of psychiatric diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. PTSD symptomatology includes persistent and intrusive thoughts of an experienced trauma, suggesting an inability to downregulate fear when a corresponding threat has subsided. Convergent evidence from human and rodent studies supports a role for the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC-amygdala network in both PTSD and the regulation of fear memory expression. In particular, current models stipulate that the prelimbic and infralimbic subdivisions of the rodent mPFC bidirectionally regulate fear expression via differential recruitment of amygdala neuronal subpopulations. However, an array of recent studies that employ new technical approaches has fundamentally challenged this interpretation. Here we explore how a new emphasis on the contribution of inhibitory neuronal populations, subcortical structures and the passage of time is reshaping our understanding of mPFC-amygdala circuits and their control over fear.

  9. Amygdala hypersensitivity in response to emotional faces in Tourette's patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuner, Irene; Kellermann, Thilo; Stöcker, Tony; Kircher, Tilo; Habel, Ute; Shah, Jon N; Schneider, Frank

    2010-10-01

    Tourette's syndrome is characterised by motor and vocal tics as well as a high level of impulsivity and emotional dysregulation. Neuroimaging studies point to structural changes of the basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex and parts of the limbic system. However, there is no link between behavioural symptoms and the structural changes in the amygdala. One aspect of daily social interaction is the perception of emotional facial expressions, closely linked to amgydala function. We therefore investigated via fMRI the implicit discrimination of six emotional facial expressions in 19 adult Tourette's patients. In comparison to healthy control group, Tourette's patients showed significantly higher amygdala activation, especially pronounced for fearful, angry and neutral expressions. The BOLD-activity of the left amygdala correlated negatively with the personality trait extraversion. We will discuss these findings as a result of either deficient frontal inhibition due to structural changes or a desynchronization in the interaction of the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical network within structures of the limbic system. Our data show an altered pattern of implicit emotion discrimination and emphasize the need to consider motor and non-motor symptoms in Tourette's syndrome in the choice of both behavioural and pharmacological treatment.

  10. Threat-related amygdala functional connectivity is associated with 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Martin Korsbak; Mc Mahon, Brenda; Andersen, Sofie Bech

    2016-01-01

    between right amygdala and mPFC and visual cortex, and between both amygdalae and left lateral orbitofrontal (lOFC) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC). Notably, 5-HTTLPR moderated the association between neuroticism and functional connectivity between both amygdalae and left l...... is not fully understood. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we evaluated independent and interactive effects of the 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism on amygdala functional connectivity during an emotional faces paradigm in 76 healthy individuals. Functional connectivity between left amygdala......Communication between the amygdala and other brain regions critically regulates sensitivity to threat, which has been associated with risk for mood and affective disorders. The extent to which these neural pathways are genetically determined or correlate with risk-related personality measures...

  11. Primate amygdala neurons evaluate the progress of self-defined economic choice sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Hernadi, Istvan; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-10-12

    The amygdala is a prime valuation structure yet its functions in advanced behaviors are poorly understood. We tested whether individual amygdala neurons encode a critical requirement for goal-directed behavior: the evaluation of progress during sequential choices. As monkeys progressed through choice sequences toward rewards, amygdala neurons showed phasic, gradually increasing responses over successive choice steps. These responses occurred in the absence of external progress cues or motor preplanning. They were often specific to self-defined sequences, typically disappearing during instructed control sequences with similar reward expectation. Their build-up rate reflected prospectively the forthcoming choice sequence, suggesting adaptation to an internal plan. Population decoding demonstrated a high-accuracy progress code. These findings indicate that amygdala neurons evaluate the progress of planned, self-defined behavioral sequences. Such progress signals seem essential for aligning stepwise choices with internal plans. Their presence in amygdala neurons may inform understanding of human conditions with amygdala dysfunction and deregulated reward pursuit.

  12. Amygdala α-Synuclein Pathology in the Population-Based Vantaa 85+ Study.

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    Raunio, Anna; Myllykangas, Liisa; Kero, Mia; Polvikoski, Tuomo; Paetau, Anders; Oinas, Minna

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the frequency of Lewy-related pathology (LRP) in the amygdala among the population-based Vantaa 85+ study. Data of amygdala samples (N = 304) immunostained with two α-synuclein antibodies (clone 42 and clone 5G4) was compared with the previously analyzed LRP and AD pathologies from other brain regions. The amygdala LRP was present in one third (33%) of subjects. Only 5% of pure AD subjects, but 85% of pure DLB subjects had LRP in the amygdala. The amygdala LRP was associated with dementia; however, the association was dependent on LRP on other brain regions, and thus was not an independent risk factor. The amygdala-predominant category was a rare (4%) and heterogeneous group.

  13. Serotonin transporter genotype (5-HTTLPR): effects of neutral and undefined conditions on amygdala activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, Andreas; Smolka, Michael N; Braus, Dieter F; Wrase, Jana; Beck, Anne; Flor, Herta; Mann, Karl; Schumann, Gunter; Büchel, Christian; Hariri, Ahmad R; Weinberger, Daniel R

    2007-04-15

    A polymorphism of the human serotonin transporter gene (SCL6A4) has been associated with serotonin transporter expression and with processing of aversive stimuli in the amygdala. Functional imaging studies show that during the presentation of aversive versus neutral cues, healthy carriers of the short (s) allele showed stronger amygdala activation than long (l) carriers. However, a recent report suggested that this interaction is driven by amygdala deactivation during presentation of neutral stimuli in s carriers. Functional MRI was used to assess amygdala activation during the presentation of a fixation cross or affectively aversive or neutral visual stimuli in 29 healthy men. Amygdala activation was increased in s carriers during undefined states such as the presentation of a fixation cross compared with emotionally neutral conditions. This finding suggests that s carriers show stronger amygdala reactivity to stimuli and contexts that are relatively uncertain, which we propose are stressful.

  14. Chemogenetic and Optogenetic Activation of Gαs Signaling in the Basolateral Amygdala Induces Acute and Social Anxiety-Like States.

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    Siuda, Edward R; Al-Hasani, Ream; McCall, Jordan G; Bhatti, Dionnet L; Bruchas, Michael R

    2016-07-01

    Anxiety disorders are debilitating psychiatric illnesses with detrimental effects on human health. These heightened states of arousal are often in the absence of obvious threatening cues and are difficult to treat owing to a lack of understanding of the neural circuitry and cellular machinery mediating these conditions. Activation of noradrenergic circuitry in the basolateral amygdala is thought to have a role in stress, fear, and anxiety, and the specific cell and receptor types responsible is an active area of investigation. Here we take advantage of two novel cellular approaches to dissect the contributions of G-protein signaling in acute and social anxiety-like states. We used a chemogenetic approach utilizing the Gαs DREADD (rM3Ds) receptor and show that selective activation of generic Gαs signaling is sufficient to induce acute and social anxiety-like behavioral states in mice. Second, we use a recently characterized chimeric receptor composed of rhodopsin and the β2-adrenergic receptor (Opto-β2AR) with in vivo optogenetic techniques to selectively activate Gαs β-adrenergic signaling exclusively within excitatory neurons of the basolateral amygdala. We found that optogenetic induction of β-adrenergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala is sufficient to induce acute and social anxiety-like behavior. These findings support the conclusion that activation of Gαs signaling in the basolateral amygdala has a role in anxiety. These data also suggest that acute and social anxiety-like states may be mediated through signaling pathways identical to β-adrenergic receptors, thus providing support that inhibition of this system may be an effective anxiolytic therapy.

  15. Bi-Directional Tuning of Amygdala Sensitivity in Combat Veterans Investigated with fMRI

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    Brashers-Krug, Tom; Jorge, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Combat stress can be followed by persistent emotional consequences. It is thought that these emotional consequences are caused in part by increased amygdala reactivity. It is also thought that amygdala hyper-reactivity results from decreased inhibition from portions of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in which activity is negatively correlated with activity in the amygdala. However, experimental support for these proposals has been inconsistent. Methods We showed movies of combat and civilian scenes during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session to 50 veterans of recent combat. We collected skin conductance responses (SCRs) as measures of emotional arousal. We examined the relation of blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) signal in the amygdala and ACC to symptom measures and to SCRs. Results Emotional arousal, as measured with SCR, was greater during the combat movie than during the civilian movie and did not depend on symptom severity. As expected, amygdala signal during the less-arousing movie increased with increasing symptom severity. Surprisingly, during the more-arousing movie amygdala signal decreased with increasing symptom severity. These differences led to the unexpected result that amygdala signal in highly symptomatic subjects was lower during the more-arousing movie than during the less-arousing movie. Also unexpectedly, we found no significant inverse correlation between any portions of the amygdala and ACC. Rather, signal throughout more than 80% of the ACC showed a strong positive correlation with signal throughout more than 90% of the amygdala. Conclusions Amygdala reactivity can be tuned bi-directionally, either up or down, in the same person depending on the stimulus and the degree of post-traumatic symptoms. The exclusively positive correlations in BOLD activity between the amygdala and ACC contrast with findings that have been cited as evidence for inhibitory control of the amygdala by the ACC. The

  16. Amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli is influenced by oral contraceptive use

    OpenAIRE

    Petersen, Nicole; Cahill, Larry

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala is a highly interconnected region of the brain that is critically important to emotional processing and affective networks. Previous studies have shown that the response of the amygdala to emotionally arousing stimuli can be modulated by sex hormones. Because oral contraceptive pills dramatically lower circulating sex hormone levels with potent analogs of those hormones, we performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment to measure amygdala reactivity in response to ...

  17. Isolated amygdala enlargement in temporal lobe epilepsy: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beh, S M Jessica; Cook, Mark J; D'Souza, Wendyl J

    2016-07-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the seizure characteristics and treatment outcomes in patient groups with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) identified with isolated amygdala enlargement (AE) on magnetic resonance imaging studies. PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched for relevant studies using the keywords 'amygdala enlargement', 'epilepsy', and 'seizures' in April 2015. Human studies, written in English, that investigated cohorts of patients with TLE and AE were included. Of 204 abstracts initially identified using the search strategy, 14 studies met the inclusion criteria (11 epilepsy studies and 3 psychiatry studies). Ultimately, 8 full studies on AE and TLE involving 107 unique patients were analyzed. Gender distribution consisted of 50 males and 57 females. Right amygdala enlargement was seen in 39 patients, left enlargement in 58 patients, and bilateral enlargement in 7 patients. Surgical resection was performed in 28 patients, with the most common finding being dysplasia/hamartoma or focal cortical dysplasia. Most studies involved small samples of less than 12 patients. There was a wide discrepancy in the methods used to measure amygdala volume, in both patients and controls, hindering comparisons. Most TLE with AE studies observed a later age of seizure onset (mean: 32.2years) compared with studies involving TLE with HS (mean of mid- to late childhood). A higher frequency of complex partial seizures compared with that of convulsive seizures is seen in patients with AE (67-100% vs. 26-47%), and they have an excellent response to antiepileptic drugs (81.8%-100% of seizure-free patients). All studies that included controls also found a significant difference in frequency of seizure types between their cases and controls. Reliable assessment of amygdala volume remains a critical issue hindering better understanding of the clinical management and research of this focal epilepsy syndrome. Within these limitations, the literature suggests

  18. Understanding amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions through the lens of psychopathy and altruism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Abigail A

    2016-06-01

    Because the face is the central focus of human social interactions, emotional facial expressions provide a unique window into the emotional lives of others. They play a particularly important role in fostering empathy, which entails understanding and responding to others' emotions, especially distress-related emotions such as fear. This Review considers how fearful facial as well as vocal and postural expressions are interpreted, with an emphasis on the role of the amygdala. The amygdala may be best known for its role in the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear, but it also supports the perception and recognition of others' fear. Various explanations have been supplied for the amygdala's role in interpreting and responding to fearful expressions. They include theories that amygdala responses to fearful expressions 1) reflect heightened vigilance in response to uncertain danger, 2) promote heightened attention to the eye region of faces, 3) represent a response to an unconditioned aversive stimulus, or 4) reflect the generation of an empathic fear response. Among these, only empathic fear explains why amygdala lesions would impair fear recognition across modalities. Supporting the possibility of a link between fundamental empathic processes and amygdala responses to fear is evidence that impaired fear recognition in psychopathic individuals results from amygdala dysfunction, whereas enhanced fear recognition in altruistic individuals results from enhanced amygdala function. Empathic concern and caring behaviors may be fostered by sensitivity to signs of acute distress in others, which relies on intact functioning of the amygdala. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Age-related reduced prefrontal-amygdala structural connectivity is associated with lower trait anxiety.

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    Clewett, David; Bachman, Shelby; Mather, Mara

    2014-07-01

    A current neuroanatomical model of anxiety posits that greater structural connectivity between the amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC) facilitates regulatory control over the amygdala and helps reduce anxiety. However, some neuroimaging studies have reported contradictory findings, demonstrating a positive rather than negative association between trait anxiety and amygdala-vPFC white matter integrity. To help reconcile these findings, we tested the regulatory hypothesis of anxiety circuitry using aging as a model of white matter decline in the amygdala-vPFC pathway. We used probabilistic tractography to trace connections between the amygdala and vPFC in 21 younger, 18 middle-aged, and 15 healthy older adults. The resulting tract estimates were used to extract 3 indices of white-matter integrity: fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD). The relationship between these amygdala-vPFC structural connectivity measures and age and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scores were assessed. The tractography results revealed age-related decline in the FA (p = .005) and radial diffusivity (p = .002) of the amygdala-vPFC pathway. Contrary to the regulatory hypothesis, we found a positive rather than negative association between trait anxiety and right amygdala-vPFC FA (p = .01). These findings argue against the notion that greater amygdala-vPFC structural integrity facilitates better anxiety outcomes in healthy adults. Instead, our results suggest that white matter degeneration in this network relates to lower anxiety in older adults.

  20. Amygdala activity related to enhanced memory for pleasant and aversive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, S B; Ely, T D; Grafton, S T; Kilts, C D

    1999-03-01

    Pleasant or aversive events are better remembered than neutral events. Emotional enhancement of episodic memory has been linked to the amygdala in animal and neuropsychological studies. Using positron emission tomography, we show that bilateral amygdala activity during memory encoding is correlated with enhanced episodic recognition memory for both pleasant and aversive visual stimuli relative to neutral stimuli, and that this relationship is specific to emotional stimuli. Furthermore, data suggest that the amygdala enhances episodic memory in part through modulation of hippocampal activity. The human amygdala seems to modulate the strength of conscious memory for events according to emotional importance, regardless of whether the emotion is pleasant or aversive.

  1. Age-related reduced prefrontal-amygdala structural connectivity is associated with lower trait anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clewett, David; Bachman, Shelby; Mather, Mara

    2014-01-01

    Objective A current neuroanatomical model of anxiety posits that greater structural connectivity between the amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortex (vPFC) facilitates regulatory control over the amygdala and helps reduce anxiety. However, some neuroimaging studies have reported contradictory findings, demonstrating a positive rather than negative association between trait anxiety and amygdala-vPFC white matter integrity. To help reconcile these findings, we tested the regulatory hypothesis of anxiety circuitry using aging as a model of white matter decline in the amygdala-vPFC pathway. Methods We used probabilistic tractography to trace connections between the amygdala and vPFC in 21 younger, 18 middle-aged, and 15 healthy older adults. The resulting tract estimates were used to extract three indices of white-matter integrity: fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD) and axial diffusivity (AD). The relationship between these amygdala-vPFC structural connectivity measures and age and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) scores were assessed. Results The tractography results revealed age-related decline in the FA (p = .005) and radial diffusivity (p = .002) of the amygdala-vPFC pathway. Contrary to the regulatory hypothesis, we found a positive rather than negative association between trait anxiety and right amygdala-vPFC FA (p = .01). Conclusion These findings argue against the notion that greater amygdala-vPFC structural integrity facilitates better anxiety outcomes in healthy adults. Instead, our results suggest that white matter degeneration in this network relates to lower anxiety in older adults. PMID:24635708

  2. Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex Volumes Differ in Maltreated Youth with and without Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morey, Rajendra A; Haswell, Courtney C; Hooper, Stephen R; De Bellis, Michael D

    2016-02-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is considered a disorder of recovery where individuals fail to learn and retain extinction of the traumatic fear response. In maltreated youth, PTSD is common, chronic, and associated with comorbidity. Studies of extinction-related structural volumes (amygdala, hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)) and this stress diathesis, in maltreated youth were not previously investigated. In this cross-sectional study, neuroanatomical volumes associated with extinction in maltreated youth with PTSD (N=31), without PTSD (N=32), and in non-maltreated healthy volunteers (n=57) were examined using magnetic resonance imaging. Groups were sociodemographically similar. Participants underwent extensive assessments for strict inclusion/exclusion criteria and DSM-IV disorders. Maltreated youth with PTSD demonstrated decreased right vmPFC volumes compared with both maltreated youth without PTSD and non-maltreated controls. Maltreated youth without PTSD demonstrated larger left amygdala and right hippocampal volumes compared with maltreated youth with PTSD and non-maltreated control youth. PTSD symptoms inversely correlated with right and left hippocampal and left amygdala volumes. Confirmatory masked voxel base morphometry analyses demonstrated greater medial orbitofrontal cortex gray matter intensity in controls than maltreated youth with PTSD. Volumetric results were not influenced by psychopathology or maltreatment variables. We identified volumetric differences in extinction-related structures between maltreated youth with PTSD from those without PTSD. Alterations of the vmPFC may be one mechanism that mediates the pathway from PTSD to comorbidity. Further longitudinal work is needed to determine neurobiological factors related to chronic and persistent PTSD, and to PTSD resilience despite maltreatment.

  3. Altered Amygdala Resting-State Functional Connectivity and Hemispheric Asymmetry in Patients With Social Anxiety Disorder

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    Ye-Ha Jung

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: The amygdala plays a key role in emotional hyperreactivity in response to social threat in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD. We investigated resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FCN of the left and right amygdala with various brain regions and functional lateralization in patients with SAD.Methods: A total of 36 patients with SAD and 42 matched healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI at rest. Using the left and right amygdala as seed regions, we compared the strength of the rs-FCN in the patient and control groups. Furthermore, we investigated group differences in the hemispheric asymmetry of the functional connectivity maps of the left and right amygdala.Results: Compared with healthy controls, the rs-FCN between the left amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was reduced in patients with SAD, whereas left amygdala connectivity with the fusiform gyrus, anterior insula, supramarginal gyrus, and precuneus was increased or positively deflected in the patient group. Additionally, the strength rs-FCN between the left amygdala and anterior insula was positively associated with the severity of the fear of negative evaluation in patients with SAD (r = 0.338, p = 0.044. The rs-FCN between the right amygdala and medial frontal gyrus was decreased in patients with SAD compared with healthy controls, whereas connectivity with the parahippocampal gyrus was greater in the patient group than in the control group. The hemispheric asymmetry patterns in the anterior insula, intraparietal sulcus (IPS, and inferior frontal gyrus of the patient group were opposite those of the control group, and functional lateralization of the connectivity between the amygdala and the IPS was associated with the severity of social anxiety symptoms (r = 0.365, p = 0.037.Conclusion: Our findings suggest that in addition to impaired fronto-amygdala communication, the functional lateralization of amygdala function

  4. Altered functional connectivity of amygdala underlying the neuromechanism of migraine pathogenesis.

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    Chen, Zhiye; Chen, Xiaoyan; Liu, Mengqi; Dong, Zhao; Ma, Lin; Yu, Shengyuan

    2017-12-01

    The amygdala is a large grey matter complex in the limbic system, and it may contribute in the neurolimbic pain network in migraine. However, the detailed neuromechanism remained to be elucidated. The objective of this study is to investigate the amygdala structural and functional changes in migraine and to elucidate the mechanism of neurolimbic pain-modulating in the migraine pathogenesis. Conventional MRI, 3D structure images and resting state functional MRI were performed in 18 normal controls (NC), 18 patients with episodic migraine (EM), and 16 patients with chronic migraine (CM). The amygdala volume was measured using FreeSurfer software and the functional connectivity (FC) of bilateral amygdala was computed over the whole brain. Analysis of covariance was performed on the individual FC maps among groups. The increased FC of left amygdala was observed in EM compared with NC, and the decreased of right amygdala was revealed in CM compared with NC. The increased FC of bilateral amygdala was observed in CM compared with EM. The correlation analysis showed a negative correlation between the score of sleep quality (0, normal; 1, mild sleep disturbance; 2, moderate sleep disturbance; 3, serious sleep disturbance) and the increased FC strength of left amygdala in EM compared with NC, and a positive correlation between the score of sleep quality and the increased FC strength of left amygdala in CM compared with EM, and other clinical variables showed no significant correlation with altered FC of amygdala. The altered functional connectivity of amygdala demonstrated that neurolimbic pain network contribute in the EM pathogenesis and CM chronicization.

  5. Progressively Disrupted Intrinsic Functional Connectivity of Basolateral Amygdala in Very Early Alzheimer’s Disease

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    Marion Ortner

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:Very early Alzheimer’s disease (AD - i.e., AD at stages of mild cognitive impairment (MCI and mild dementia - is characterized by progressive structural and neuropathologic changes such as atrophy or tangle deposition in medial temporal lobes, including hippocampus and entorhinal cortex but also adjacent amygdala. While progressively disrupted intrinsic connectivity of hippocampus with other brain areas has been demonstrated by many studies, amygdala connectivity was rarely investigated in AD, notwithstanding its known relevance for emotion processing and mood disturbances, which are both important in early AD. Intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC patterns of hippocampus and amygdala overlap in healthy persons. Thus, we hypothesized that increased alteration of iFC patterns along AD is not limited to the hippocampus but also concerns the amygdala, independent from atrophy. To address this hypothesis, we applied structural and functional resting-state MRI in healthy controls (CON, n=33 and patients with AD in the stages of MCI (AD-MCI, n=38 and mild dementia (AD-D, n=36. Outcome measures were voxel-based morphometry (VBM values and region of interest-based intrinsic functional connectivity maps (iFC of basolateral amygdala, which has extended cortical connectivity. Amygdala VBM values were progressively reduced in patients (CON > AD-MCI and AD-D. Amygdala iFC was progressively reduced along impairment severity (CON > AD-MCI > AD-D, particularly for hippocampus, temporal lobes, and fronto-parietal areas. Notably, decreased iFC was independent of amygdala atrophy. Results demonstrate progressively impaired amygdala intrinsic connectivity in temporal and fronto-parietal lobes independent from increasing amygdala atrophy in very early AD. Data suggest that early AD disrupts intrinsic connectivity of medial temporal lobe key regions including that of amygdala.

  6. White matter integrity deficits in prefrontal-amygdala pathways in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avery, Suzanne N; Thornton-Wells, Tricia A; Anderson, Adam W; Blackford, Jennifer Urbano

    2012-01-16

    Williams syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with significant non-social fears. Consistent with this elevated non-social fear, individuals with Williams syndrome have an abnormally elevated amygdala response when viewing threatening non-social stimuli. In typically-developing individuals, amygdala activity is inhibited through dense, reciprocal white matter connections with the prefrontal cortex. Neuroimaging studies suggest a functional uncoupling of normal prefrontal-amygdala inhibition in individuals with Williams syndrome, which might underlie both the extreme amygdala activity and non-social fears. This functional uncoupling might be caused by structural deficits in underlying white matter pathways; however, prefrontal-amygdala white matter deficits have yet to be explored in Williams syndrome. We used diffusion tensor imaging to investigate prefrontal-amygdala white matter integrity differences in individuals with Williams syndrome and typically-developing controls with high levels of non-social fear. White matter pathways between the amygdala and several prefrontal regions were isolated using probabilistic tractography. Within each pathway, we tested for between-group differences in three measures of white matter integrity: fractional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusivity (RD), and parallel diffusivity (λ(1)). Individuals with Williams syndrome had lower FA, compared to controls, in several of the prefrontal-amygdala pathways investigated, indicating a reduction in white matter integrity. Lower FA in Williams syndrome was explained by significantly higher RD, with no differences in λ(1), suggestive of lower fiber density or axon myelination in prefrontal-amygdala pathways. These results suggest that deficits in the structural integrity of prefrontal-amygdala white matter pathways might underlie the increased amygdala activity and extreme non-social fears observed in Williams syndrome. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Schizophrenia-Related Microdeletion Impairs Emotional Memory through MicroRNA-Dependent Disruption of Thalamic Inputs to the Amygdala

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    Tae-Yeon Eom

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS are at high risk of developing psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. Individuals with 22q11DS and schizophrenia are impaired in emotional memory, anticipating, recalling, and assigning a correct context to emotions. The neuronal circuits responsible for these emotional memory deficits are unknown. Here, we show that 22q11DS mouse models have disrupted synaptic transmission at thalamic inputs to the lateral amygdala (thalamo-LA projections. This synaptic deficit is caused by haploinsufficiency of the 22q11DS gene Dgcr8, which is involved in microRNA processing, and is mediated by the increased dopamine receptor Drd2 levels in the thalamus and by reduced probability of glutamate release from thalamic inputs. This deficit in thalamo-LA synaptic transmission is sufficient to cause fear memory deficits. Our results suggest that dysregulation of the Dgcr8–Drd2 mechanism at thalamic inputs to the amygdala underlies emotional memory deficits in 22q11DS.

  8. Schizophrenia-Related Microdeletion Impairs Emotional Memory through MicroRNA-Dependent Disruption of Thalamic Inputs to the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eom, Tae-Yeon; Bayazitov, Ildar T; Anderson, Kara; Yu, Jing; Zakharenko, Stanislav S

    2017-05-23

    Individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) are at high risk of developing psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. Individuals with 22q11DS and schizophrenia are impaired in emotional memory, anticipating, recalling, and assigning a correct context to emotions. The neuronal circuits responsible for these emotional memory deficits are unknown. Here, we show that 22q11DS mouse models have disrupted synaptic transmission at thalamic inputs to the lateral amygdala (thalamo-LA projections). This synaptic deficit is caused by haploinsufficiency of the 22q11DS gene Dgcr8, which is involved in microRNA processing, and is mediated by the increased dopamine receptor Drd2 levels in the thalamus and by reduced probability of glutamate release from thalamic inputs. This deficit in thalamo-LA synaptic transmission is sufficient to cause fear memory deficits. Our results suggest that dysregulation of the Dgcr8-Drd2 mechanism at thalamic inputs to the amygdala underlies emotional memory deficits in 22q11DS. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Ex vivo dissection of optogenetically activated mPFC and hippocampal inputs to neurons in the basolateral amygdala: implications for fear and emotional memory

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    Cora eHübner

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Many lines of evidence suggest that a reciprocally interconnected network comprising the amygdala, ventral hippocampus (vHC, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC participates in different aspects of the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear responses and fear behavior. This could at least in part be mediated by direct connections from mPFC or vHC to amygdala to control amygdala activity and output. However, currently the interactions between mPFC and vHC afferents and their specific targets in the amygdala are still poorly understood. Here, we use an ex-vivo optogenetic approach to dissect synaptic properties of inputs from mPFC and vHC to defined neuronal populations in the basal amygdala (BA, the area that we identify as a major target of these projections. We find that BA principal neurons (PNs and local BA interneurons (INs receive monosynaptic excitatory inputs from mPFC and vHC. In addition, both these inputs also recruit GABAergic feedforward inhibition in a substantial fraction of PNs, in some neurons this also comprises a slow GABAB-component. Amongst the innervated PNs we identify neurons that project back to subregions of the mPFC, indicating a loop between neurons in mPFC and BA, and a pathway from vHC to mPFC via BA. Interestingly, mPFC inputs also recruit feedforward inhibition in a fraction of INs, suggesting that these inputs can activate dis-inhibitory circuits in the BA. A general feature of both mPFC and vHC inputs to local INs is that excitatory inputs display faster rise and decay kinetics than in PNs, which would enable temporally precise signaling. However, mPFC and vHC inputs to both PNs and INs differ in their presynaptic release properties, in that vHC inputs are more depressing. In summary, our data describe novel wiring, and features of synaptic connections from mPFC and vHC to amygdala that could help to interpret functions of these interconnected brain areas at the network level.

  10. Ex vivo dissection of optogenetically activated mPFC and hippocampal inputs to neurons in the basolateral amygdala: implications for fear and emotional memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübner, Cora; Bosch, Daniel; Gall, Andrea; Lüthi, Andreas; Ehrlich, Ingrid

    2014-01-01

    Many lines of evidence suggest that a reciprocally interconnected network comprising the amygdala, ventral hippocampus (vHC), and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) participates in different aspects of the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear responses and fear behavior. This could at least in part be mediated by direct connections from mPFC or vHC to amygdala to control amygdala activity and output. However, currently the interactions between mPFC and vHC afferents and their specific targets in the amygdala are still poorly understood. Here, we use an ex-vivo optogenetic approach to dissect synaptic properties of inputs from mPFC and vHC to defined neuronal populations in the basal amygdala (BA), the area that we identify as a major target of these projections. We find that BA principal neurons (PNs) and local BA interneurons (INs) receive monosynaptic excitatory inputs from mPFC and vHC. In addition, both these inputs also recruit GABAergic feedforward inhibition in a substantial fraction of PNs, in some neurons this also comprises a slow GABAB-component. Amongst the innervated PNs we identify neurons that project back to subregions of the mPFC, indicating a loop between neurons in mPFC and BA, and a pathway from vHC to mPFC via BA. Interestingly, mPFC inputs also recruit feedforward inhibition in a fraction of INs, suggesting that these inputs can activate dis-inhibitory circuits in the BA. A general feature of both mPFC and vHC inputs to local INs is that excitatory inputs display faster rise and decay kinetics than in PNs, which would enable temporally precise signaling. However, mPFC and vHC inputs to both PNs and INs differ in their presynaptic release properties, in that vHC inputs are more depressing. In summary, our data describe novel wiring, and features of synaptic connections from mPFC and vHC to amygdala that could help to interpret functions of these interconnected brain areas at the network level. PMID:24634648

  11. A Novel Integrative Mechanism in Anxiolytic Behavior Induced by Galanin 2/Neuropeptide Y Y1 Receptor Interactions on Medial Paracapsular Intercalated Amygdala in Rats

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    Manuel Narváez

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety is evoked by a threatening situation and display adaptive or defensive behaviors, found similarly in animals and humans. Neuropeptide Y (NPY Y1 receptor (NPYY1R and Galanin (GAL receptor 2 (GALR2 interact in several regions of the limbic system, including the amygdala. In a previous study, GALR2 enhanced NPYY1R mediated anxiolytic actions on spatiotemporal parameters in the open field and elevated plus maze, involving the formation of GALR2/NPYY1R heteroreceptor complexes in the amygdala. Moreover, the inclusion of complementary ethological parameters provides a more comprehensive profile on the anxiolytic effects of a treatment. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the anxiolytic effects and circuit activity modifications caused by coactivation of GALR2 and NPYY1R. Ethological measurements were performed in the open field, the elevated plus-maze and the light-dark box, together with immediate early gene expression analysis within the amygdala-hypothalamus-periaqueductal gray (PAG axis, as well as in situ proximity ligation assay (PLA to demonstrate the formation of GALR2/NPYY1R heteroreceptor complexes. GALR2 and NPYY1R coactivation resulted in anxiolytic behaviors such as increased rearing and head-dipping, reduced stretch attend postures and freezing compared to single agonist or aCSF injection. Neuronal activity indicated by cFos expression was decreased in the dorsolateral paracapsular intercalated (ITCp-dl subregion of the amygdala, ventromedial hypothalamic (VMH nucleus and ventrolateral part of the periaqueductal gray (vlPAG, while increased in the perifornical nucleus of the hypothalamus (PFX following coactivation of GALR2 and NPYY1R. Moreover, an increased density of GALR2/NPYY1R heteroreceptor complexes was explicitly observed in ITCp-dl, following GALR2 and NPYY1R coactivation. Besides, knockdown of GALR2 was found to reduce the density of complexes in ITCp-dl. Taken together, these results open up the possibility

  12. Increased amygdala response to shame in remitted major depressive disorder.

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    Erdem Pulcu

    Full Text Available Proneness to self-blaming moral emotions such as shame and guilt is increased in major depressive disorder (MDD, and may play an important role in vulnerability even after symptoms have subsided. Social psychologists have argued that shame-proneness is relevant for depression vulnerability and is distinct from guilt. Shame depends on the imagined critical perception of others, whereas guilt results from one's own judgement. The neuroanatomy of shame in MDD is unknown. Using fMRI, we compared 21 participants with MDD remitted from symptoms with no current co-morbid axis-I disorders, and 18 control participants with no personal or family history of MDD. The MDD group exhibited higher activation of the right amygdala and posterior insula for shame relative to guilt (SPM8. This neural difference was observed despite equal levels of rated negative emotional valence and frequencies of induced shame and guilt experience across groups. These same results were found in the medication-free MDD subgroup (N = 15. Increased amygdala and posterior insula activations, known to be related to sensory perception of emotional stimuli, distinguish shame from guilt responses in remitted MDD. People with MDD thus exhibit changes in the neural response to shame after symptoms have subsided. This supports the hypothesis that shame and guilt play at least partly distinct roles in vulnerability to MDD. Shame-induction may be a more sensitive probe of residual amygdala hypersensitivity in MDD compared with facial emotion-evoked responses previously found to normalize on remission.

  13. The left amygdala: A shared substrate of alexithymia and empathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goerlich-Dobre, Katharina Sophia; Lamm, Claus; Pripfl, Juergen; Habel, Ute; Votinov, Mikhail

    2015-11-15

    Alexithymia, a deficit in emotional self-awareness, and deficits in empathy, which encompasses the awareness of other's emotions, are related constructs that are both associated with a range of psychopathological disorders. Neuroimaging studies suggest that there is overlap between the neural bases of alexithymia and empathy, but no systematic comparison has been conducted so far. The aim of this structural magnetic resonance imaging study was to disentangle the overlap and differences between the morphological profiles of the cognitive and affective dimensions of alexithymia and empathy, and to find out to what extent these differ between women and men. High-resolution T1 anatomical images were obtained from 125 healthy right-handers (18-42 years), 70 women and 55 men. By means of voxel-based morphometry, region of interest (ROI) analyses were performed on gray matter volumes of several anatomically defined a-priori regions previously linked to alexithymia and empathy. Partial correlations were conducted within the female and male group using ROI parameter estimates as dependent variables and the cognitive and affective dimensions of alexithymia and empathy, respectively, as predictors, controlling for age. Results were considered significant if they survived Holm-Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. The left amygdala was identified as a key substrate of both alexithymia and empathy. This association was characterized by an opposite pattern: The cognitive alexithymia dimension was linked to smaller, the two empathy dimensions to larger left amygdala volume. While sex-specific effects were not observed for empathy, they were evident for the affective alexithymia dimension: Men-but not women-with difficulty fantasizing had smaller gray matter volume in the middle cingulate cortex. Moreover, structural covariance patterns between the left amygdala and other emotion-related brain regions differed markedly between alexithymia and empathy. These differences

  14. Contribution of amygdala CRF neurons to chronic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreoli, Matthew; Marketkar, Tanvi; Dimitrov, Eugene

    2017-12-01

    We investigated the role of amygdala corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neurons in the perturbations of descending pain inhibition caused by neuropathic pain. Forced swim increased the tail-flick response latency in uninjured mice, a phenomenon known as stress-induced analgesia (SIA) but did not change the tail-flick response latency in mice with neuropathic pain caused by sciatic nerve constriction. Neuropathic pain also increased the expression of CRF in the central amygdala (CeAmy) and ΔFosB in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Next, we injected the CeAmy of CRF-cre mice with cre activated AAV-DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs) vectors. Activation of CRF neurons by DREADD/Gq did not affect the impaired SIA but inhibition of CRF neurons by DREADD/Gi restored SIA and decreased allodynia in mice with neuropathic pain. The possible downstream circuitry involved in the regulation of SIA was investigated by combined injections of retrograde cre-virus (CAV2-cre) into the locus ceruleus (LC) and cre activated AAV-diphtheria toxin (AAV-FLEX-DTX) virus into the CeAmy. The viral injections were followed by a sciatic nerve constriction ipsilateral or contralateral to the injections. Ablation of amygdala projections to the LC on the side of injury but not on the opposite side, completely restored SIA, decreased allodynia and decreased ΔFosB expression in the spinal cord in mice with neuropathic pain. The possible lateralization of SIA impairment to the side of injury was confirmed by an experiment in which unilateral inhibition of the LC decreased SIA even in uninjured mice. The current view in the field of pain research attributes the process of pain chronification to abnormal functioning of descending pain inhibition. Our results demonstrate that the continuous activity of CRF neurons brought about by persistent pain leads to impaired SIA, which is a symptom of dysregulation of descending pain inhibition. Therefore, an over

  15. Optogenetic Central Amygdala Stimulation Intensifies and Narrows Motivation for Cocaine.

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    Warlow, Shelley M; Robinson, Mike J F; Berridge, Kent C

    2017-08-30

    Addiction is often characterized by intense motivation for a drug, which may be narrowly focused at the expense of other rewards. Here, we examined the role of amygdala-related circuitry in the amplification and narrowing of motivation focus for intravenous cocaine. We paired optogenetic channelrhodopsin (ChR2) stimulation in either central nucleus of amygdala (CeA) or basolateral amygdala (BLA) of female rats with one particular nose-poke porthole option for earning cocaine infusions (0.3 mg/kg, i.v.). A second alternative porthole earned identical cocaine but without ChR2 stimulation. Consequently, CeA rats quickly came to pursue their CeA ChR2-paired cocaine option intensely and exclusively, elevating cocaine intake while ignoring their alternative cocaine alone option. By comparison, BLA ChR2 pairing failed to enhance cocaine motivation. CeA rats also emitted consummatory bites toward their laser-paired porthole, suggesting that higher incentive salience made that cue more attractive. A separate progressive ratio test of incentive motivation confirmed that CeA ChR2 amplified rats' motivation, raising their breakpoint effort price for cocaine by 10-fold. However, CeA ChR2 laser on its own lacked any reinforcement value: laser by itself was never self-stimulated, not even by the same rats in which it amplified motivation for cocaine. Conversely, CeA inhibition by muscimol/baclofen microinjections prevented acquisition of cocaine self-administration and laser preference, whereas CeA inhibition by optogenetic halorhodopsin suppressed cocaine intake, indicating that CeA circuitry is needed for ordinary cocaine motivation. We conclude that CeA ChR2 excitation paired with a cocaine option specifically focuses and amplifies motivation to produce intense pursuit and consumption focused on that single target. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In addiction, intense incentive motivation often becomes narrowly focused on a particular drug of abuse. Here we show that pairing central

  16. Divergent functions of the left and right central amygdala in visceral nociception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadler, Katelyn E; McQuaid, Neal A; Cox, Abigail C; Behun, Marissa N; Trouten, Allison M; Kolber, Benedict J

    2017-04-01

    The left and right central amygdalae (CeA) are limbic regions involved in somatic and visceral pain processing. These 2 nuclei are asymmetrically involved in somatic pain modulation; pain-like responses on both sides of the body are preferentially driven by the right CeA, and in a reciprocal fashion, nociceptive somatic stimuli on both sides of the body predominantly alter molecular and physiological activities in the right CeA. Unknown, however, is whether this lateralization also exists in visceral pain processing and furthermore what function the left CeA has in modulating nociceptive information. Using urinary bladder distension (UBD) and excitatory optogenetics, a pronociceptive function of the right CeA was demonstrated in mice. Channelrhodopsin-2-mediated activation of the right CeA increased visceromotor responses (VMRs), while activation of the left CeA had no effect. Similarly, UBD-evoked VMRs increased after unilateral infusion of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide in the right CeA. To determine intrinsic left CeA involvement in bladder pain modulation, this region was optogenetically silenced during noxious UBD. Halorhodopsin (NpHR)-mediated inhibition of the left CeA increased VMRs, suggesting an ongoing antinociceptive function for this region. Finally, divergent left and right CeA functions were evaluated during abdominal mechanosensory testing. In naive animals, channelrhodopsin-2-mediated activation of the right CeA induced mechanical allodynia, and after cyclophosphamide-induced bladder sensitization, activation of the left CeA reversed referred bladder pain-like behaviors. Overall, these data provide evidence for functional brain lateralization in the absence of peripheral anatomical asymmetries.

  17. Modulation of instrumental responding by a conditioned threat stimulus requires lateral and central amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent eCampese

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Two studies explored the role of the amygdala in response modulation by an aversive conditioned stimulus (CS in rats. Experiment 1 investigated the role of amygdala circuitry in conditioned suppression using a paradigm in which licking for sucrose was inhibited by a tone CS that had been previously paired with footshock. Electrolytic lesions of the lateral amygdala impaired suppression relative to sham-operated animals, and produced the same pattern of results when applied to central amygdala. In addition, disconnection of the lateral and central amygdala, by unilateral lesion of each on opposite sides of the brain, also impaired suppression relative to control subjects that received lesions of both areas on the same side. In each case, lesions were placed following Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental training, but before testing. This procedure produced within-subjects measures of the effects of lesion on freezing and between-group comparisons for the effects on suppression. Experiment 2 extended this analysis to a task where an aversive CS suppressed shuttling responses that had been previously food reinforced and also found effects of bilateral lesions of the central amygdala in a pre-post design. Together, these studies demonstrate that connections between the lateral and central amygdala constitute a serial circuit involved in processing aversive Pavlovian stimuli, and add to a growing body of findings implicating central amygdala in the modulation of instrumental behavior.

  18. Enhanced noradrenergic activity in the amygdala contributes to hyperarousal in an animal model of PTSD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ronzoni, G.; Arco, A. Del; Mora, F.; Segovia, G.

    2016-01-01

    Increased activity of the noradrenergic system in the amygdala has been suggested to contribute to the hyperarousal symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, only two studies have examined the content of noradrenaline or its metabolites in the amygdala of rats

  19. Selective bilateral amygdala lesions in rhesus monkeys fail to disrupt object reversal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izquierdo, Alicia; Murray, Elisabeth A

    2007-01-31

    Neuropsychological studies in nonhuman primates have led to the view that the amygdala plays an essential role in stimulus-reward association. The main evidence in support of this idea is that bilateral aspirative or radiofrequency lesions of the amygdala yield severe impairments on object reversal learning, a task that assesses the ability to shift choices of objects based on the presence or absence of food reward (i.e., reward contingency). The behavioral effects of different lesion techniques, however, can vary. The present study therefore evaluated the effects of selective, excitotoxic lesions of the amygdala in rhesus monkeys on object reversal learning. For comparison, we tested the same monkeys on a task known to be sensitive to amygdala damage, the reinforcer devaluation task. Contrary to previous results based on less selective lesion techniques, monkeys with complete excitotoxic amygdala lesions performed object reversal learning as quickly as controls. As predicted, however, the same operated monkeys were impaired in making object choices after devaluation of the associated food reinforcer. The results suggest two conclusions. First, the results demonstrate that the amygdala makes a selective contribution to stimulus-reward association; the amygdala is critical for guiding object choices after changes in reward value but not after changes in reward contingency. Second, the results implicate a critical contribution to object reversal learning of structures nearby the amygdala, perhaps the subjacent rhinal cortex.

  20. The Responsive Amygdala: Treatment-induced Alterations in Functional Connectivity in Pediatric Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, LE; Pielech, M; Erpelding, N; Linnman, C; Moulton, E; Sava, S; Lebel, A; Serrano, P; Sethna, N; Berde, C; Becerra, L; Borsook, D

    2014-01-01

    The amygdala is a key brain region with efferent and afferent neural connections that involve complex behaviors such as pain, reward, fear and anxiety. This study evaluated resting state functional connectivity of the amygdala with cortical and subcortical regions in a group of chronic pain patients (pediatric complex regional pain syndrome) with age-gender matched controls before and after intensive physical-biobehavioral pain treatment. Our main findings include (1) enhanced functional connectivity from the amygdala to multiple cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar regions in patients compared to controls, with differences predominantly in the left amygdala in the pre-treated condition (disease state); (2) dampened hyperconnectivity from the left amygdala to the motor cortex, parietal lobe, and cingulate cortex after intensive pain rehabilitation treatment within patients with nominal differences observed among healthy controls from Time 1 to Time 2 (treatment effects); (3) functional connectivity to several regions key to fear circuitry (prefrontal cortex, bilateral middle temporal lobe, bilateral cingulate, hippocampus) correlated with higher pain-related fear scores and (4) decreases in pain-related fear associated with decreased connectivity between the amygdala and the motor and somatosensory cortex, cingulate, and frontal areas. Our data suggest that there are rapid changes in amygdala connectivity following an aggressive treatment program in children with chronic pain and intrinsic amygdala functional connectivity activity serving as a potential indicator of treatment response. PMID:24861582

  1. Learning Enhances Intrinsic Excitability in a Subset of Lateral Amygdala Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sehgal, Megha; Ehlers, Vanessa L.; Moyer, James R., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    Learning-induced modulation of neuronal intrinsic excitability is a metaplasticity mechanism that can impact the acquisition of new memories. Although the amygdala is important for emotional learning and other behaviors, including fear and anxiety, whether learning alters intrinsic excitability within the amygdala has received very little…

  2. MEG evidence for dynamic amygdala modulations by gaze and facial emotions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thibaud Dumas

    Full Text Available Amygdala is a key brain region for face perception. While the role of amygdala in the perception of facial emotion and gaze has been extensively highlighted with fMRI, the unfolding in time of amydgala responses to emotional versus neutral faces with different gaze directions is scarcely known.Here we addressed this question in healthy subjects using MEG combined with an original source imaging method based on individual amygdala volume segmentation and the localization of sources in the amygdala volume. We found an early peak of amygdala activity that was enhanced for fearful relative to neutral faces between 130 and 170 ms. The effect of emotion was again significant in a later time range (310-350 ms. Moreover, the amygdala response was greater for direct relative averted gaze between 190 and 350 ms, and this effect was selective of fearful faces in the right amygdala.Altogether, our results show that the amygdala is involved in the processing and integration of emotion and gaze cues from faces in different time ranges, thus underlining its role in multiple stages of face perception.

  3. Post-Training Unilateral Amygdala Lesions Selectively Impair Contextual Fear Memories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flavell, Charlotte R.; Lee, Jonathan L. C.

    2012-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the dorsal hippocampus (dHPC) are both structures with key roles in contextual fear conditioning. During fear conditioning, it is postulated that contextual representations of the environment are formed in the hippocampus, which are then associated with foot shock in the amygdala. However, it is not known to what…

  4. Amygdala Habituation and Prefrontal Functional Connectivity in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Johnna R.; Wiggins, Jillian Lee; Carrasco, Melissa; Lord, Catherine; Monk, Christopher S.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Amygdala habituation, the rapid decrease in amygdala responsiveness to the repeated presentation of stimuli, is fundamental to the nervous system. Habituation is important for maintaining adaptive levels of arousal to predictable social stimuli and decreased habituation is associated with heightened anxiety. Input from the ventromedial…

  5. MEG Evidence for Dynamic Amygdala Modulations by Gaze and Facial Emotions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, Thibaud; Dubal, Stéphanie; Attal, Yohan; Chupin, Marie; Jouvent, Roland; Morel, Shasha; George, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Background Amygdala is a key brain region for face perception. While the role of amygdala in the perception of facial emotion and gaze has been extensively highlighted with fMRI, the unfolding in time of amydgala responses to emotional versus neutral faces with different gaze directions is scarcely known. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we addressed this question in healthy subjects using MEG combined with an original source imaging method based on individual amygdala volume segmentation and the localization of sources in the amygdala volume. We found an early peak of amygdala activity that was enhanced for fearful relative to neutral faces between 130 and 170 ms. The effect of emotion was again significant in a later time range (310–350 ms). Moreover, the amygdala response was greater for direct relative averted gaze between 190 and 350 ms, and this effect was selective of fearful faces in the right amygdala. Conclusion Altogether, our results show that the amygdala is involved in the processing and integration of emotion and gaze cues from faces in different time ranges, thus underlining its role in multiple stages of face perception. PMID:24040190

  6. Endogenous Cannabinoids Trigger the Depolarization-Induced Suppression of Excitation in the Lateral Amygdala

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    Kodirov, Sodikdjon A.; Jasiewicz, Julia; Amirmahani, Parisa; Psyrakis, Dimitrios; Bonni, Kathrin; Wehrmeister, Michael; Lutz, Beat

    2010-01-01

    The amygdala is a key area of the brain where the emotional memories are stored throughout the lifespan. It is well established that synapses in the lateral nucleus of amygdala (LA) can undergo long-term potentiation, a putative cellular correlate of learning and memory. However, a type of short-term synaptic plasticity, known as…

  7. The role of human basolateral amygdala in ambiguous social threat perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Gelder, B.; Terburg, D.; Morgan, B.; Hortensius, R.; Stein, D.J.; van Honk, J.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the amygdala (AMG) plays a role in how affective signals are processed. Animal research has allowed this role to be better understood and has assigned to the basolateral amygdala (BLA) an important role in threat perception. Here we show that, when passively exposed

  8. The Amygdala Is Not Necessary for Unconditioned Stimulus Inflation after Pavlovian Fear Conditioning in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinak, Christine A.; Orsini, Caitlin A.; Zimmerman, Joshua M.; Maren, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The basolateral complex (BLA) and central nucleus (CEA) of the amygdala play critical roles in associative learning, including Pavlovian conditioning. However, the precise role for these structures in Pavlovian conditioning is not clear. Recent work in appetitive conditioning paradigms suggests that the amygdala, particularly the BLA, has an…

  9. Amygdala and auditory cortex exhibit distinct sensitivity to relevant acoustic features of auditory emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannese, Alessia; Grandjean, Didier; Frühholz, Sascha

    2016-12-01

    Discriminating between auditory signals of different affective value is critical to successful social interaction. It is commonly held that acoustic decoding of such signals occurs in the auditory system, whereas affective decoding occurs in the amygdala. However, given that the amygdala receives direct subcortical projections that bypass the auditory cortex, it is possible that some acoustic decoding occurs in the amygdala as well, when the acoustic features are relevant for affective discrimination. We tested this hypothesis by combining functional neuroimaging with the neurophysiological phenomena of repetition suppression (RS) and repetition enhancement (RE) in human listeners. Our results show that both amygdala and auditory cortex responded differentially to physical voice features, suggesting that the amygdala and auditory cortex decode the affective quality of the voice not only by processing the emotional content from previously processed acoustic features, but also by processing the acoustic features themselves, when these are relevant to the identification of the voice's affective value. Specifically, we found that the auditory cortex is sensitive to spectral high-frequency voice cues when discriminating vocal anger from vocal fear and joy, whereas the amygdala is sensitive to vocal pitch when discriminating between negative vocal emotions (i.e., anger and fear). Vocal pitch is an instantaneously recognized voice feature, which is potentially transferred to the amygdala by direct subcortical projections. These results together provide evidence that, besides the auditory cortex, the amygdala too processes acoustic information, when this is relevant to the discrimination of auditory emotions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Mechanisms Contributing to the Induction and Storage of Pavlovian Fear Memories in the Lateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dongbeom; Pare, Denis; Nair, Satish S.

    2013-01-01

    The relative contributions of plasticity in the amygdala vs. its afferent pathways to conditioned fear remain controversial. Some believe that thalamic and cortical neurons transmitting information about the conditioned stimulus (CS) to the lateral amygdala (LA) serve a relay function. Others maintain that thalamic and/or cortical plasticity is…

  11. Williams Syndrome Hypersociability: A Neuropsychological Study of the Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capitao, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Fernandez, Montse; Sousa, Nuno; Pinheiro, Ana; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals with Williams syndrome display indiscriminate approach towards strangers. Neuroimaging studies conducted so far have linked this social profile to structural and/or functional abnormalities in WS amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In this study, the neuropsychological hypotheses of amygdala and prefrontal cortex involvement in WS…

  12. Differential Effects of Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist on Social Discrimination and Contextual Fear in Amygdala and Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2011-01-01

    We examined whether the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN; 5 [mu]g/side) microinjected into the hippocampus or the amygdala would differentially affect memory processes in a neutral vs. an aversive task. In the aversive contextual fear task, WIN into the basolateral amygdala impaired fear acquisition/consolidation, but not retrieval.…

  13. Connectivity-Based Parcellation of the Amygdala Predicts Social Skills in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rausch, Annika; Zhang, Wei; Beckmann, Christian F.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Groen, Wouter B.; Haak, Koen V.

    2018-01-01

    Amygdala dysfunction plays a role in the social impairments in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but it is unclear which of its subregions are abnormal in ASD. This study compared the volume and functional connectivity (FC) strength of three FC-defined amygdala subregions between ASD and controls, and assessed their relation to social skills in…

  14. The BOLD signal in the amygdala does not differentiate between dynamic facial expressions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Gaag, Christiaan; Minderaa, Ruud B.; Keysers, Christian

    The amygdala has been considered to be essential for recognizing fear in other people's facial expressions. Recent studies shed doubt on this interpretation. Here we used movies of facial expressions instead of static photographs to investigate the putative fear selectivity of the amygdala using

  15. Differential Contribution of Right and Left Amygdala to Affective Information Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans J. Markowitsch

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for a differential involvement of the human left and right amygdala in emotional and cognitive behaviour is reviewed, with a particular emphasis on functional imaging results and case reports on patients with amygdalar damage. The available evidence allows one to conclude that there is definitely a hemisphere specific processing difference between the left and right amygdala. However, between studies the direction of the asymmetry is partly incongruent. In spite of this, the following tentative proposals are made: the left amygdala is more closely related to affective information encoding with a higher affinity to language and to detailed feature extraction, and the right amygdala to affective information retrieval with a higher affinity to pictorial or image-related material. Furthermore, the right amygdala may be more strongly engaged than the left one in a fast, shallow or gross analysis of affect-related information.

  16. The human amygdala parametrically encodes the intensity of specific facial emotions and their categorical ambiguity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Yu, Rongjun; Tyszka, J. Michael; Zhen, Shanshan; Kovach, Christopher; Sun, Sai; Huang, Yi; Hurlemann, Rene; Ross, Ian B.; Chung, Jeffrey M.; Mamelak, Adam N.; Adolphs, Ralph; Rutishauser, Ueli

    2017-01-01

    The human amygdala is a key structure for processing emotional facial expressions, but it remains unclear what aspects of emotion are processed. We investigated this question with three different approaches: behavioural analysis of 3 amygdala lesion patients, neuroimaging of 19 healthy adults, and single-neuron recordings in 9 neurosurgical patients. The lesion patients showed a shift in behavioural sensitivity to fear, and amygdala BOLD responses were modulated by both fear and emotion ambiguity (the uncertainty that a facial expression is categorized as fearful or happy). We found two populations of neurons, one whose response correlated with increasing degree of fear, or happiness, and a second whose response primarily decreased as a linear function of emotion ambiguity. Together, our results indicate that the human amygdala processes both the degree of emotion in facial expressions and the categorical ambiguity of the emotion shown and that these two aspects of amygdala processing can be most clearly distinguished at the level of single neurons. PMID:28429707

  17. Identification of distinct telencephalic progenitor pools for neuronal diversity in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Tsutomu; Li, Peijun; Lanuza, Guillermo M; Cocas, Laura A; Huntsman, Molly M; Corbin, Joshua G

    2009-02-01

    The development of the amygdala, a central structure of the limbic system, remains poorly understood. We found that two spatially distinct and early-specified telencephalic progenitor pools marked by the homeodomain transcription factor Dbx1 are major sources of neuronal cell diversity in the mature mouse amygdala. We found that Dbx1-positive cells of the ventral pallium generate the excitatory neurons of the basolateral complex and cortical amygdala nuclei. Moreover, Dbx1-derived cells comprise a previously unknown migratory stream that emanates from the preoptic area (POA), a ventral telencephalic domain adjacent to the diencephalic border. The Dbx1-positive, POA-derived population migrated specifically to the amygdala and, as defined by both immunochemical and electrophysiological criteria, generated a unique subclass of inhibitory neurons in the medial amygdala nucleus. Thus, this POA-derived population represents a previously unknown progenitor pool dedicated to the limbic system.

  18. Differential effects of unilateral lesions in the medial amygdala on spontaneous and induced ovulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, M A; Dominguez, R

    1995-01-01

    The possible existence of asymmetry in the control of ovulation by the medial amygdala was explored. Unilateral lesions of the medial amygdala were performed on each day of the estrous cycle. The estral index diminished in almost all animals with a lesion in the right side of medial amygdala. Lesions of the right medial amygdala, when performed on diestrus-1, resulted in a significant decrease in the number of rats ovulating compared to controls (4/8 vs. 8/8, p rats with lesions of the right medial amygdala. However, sequential injections of PMSG-hCG did result in ovulation by all members of a group of lesioned animals. In this last condition a significant decrease in the number of ova shed by the right ovary was found compared to animals in the lesion-only condition (1.5 +/- 0.5 vs. 6.0 +/- 1.5, p cycle.

  19. The Development of Human Amygdala Functional Connectivity at Rest from 4 to 23 Years: a cross-sectional study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabard-Durnam, Laurel J.; Flannery, Jessica; Goff, Bonnie; Gee, Dylan G.; Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Telzer, Eva; Hare, Todd; Tottenham, Nim

    2014-01-01

    Functional connections (FC) between the amygdala and cortical and subcortical regions underlie a range of affective and cognitive processes. Despite the central role amygdala networks have in these functions, the normative developmental emergence of FC between the amygdala and the rest of the brain is still largely undefined. This study employed amygdala subregion maps and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize the typical development of human amygdala FC from age 4 to 23 years old (n = 58). Amygdala FC with subcortical and limbic regions was largely stable across this developmental period. However, three cortical regions exhibited age-dependent changes in FC: amygdala FC with the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) increased with age, while amygdala FC with a region including the insula and superior temporal sulcus decreased with age, and amygdala FC with a region encompassing the parahippocampal gyrus and posterior cingulate also decreased with age. The transition from childhood to adolescence (around age 10 years) marked an important change-point in the nature of amygdala-cortical FC. We distinguished unique developmental patterns of coupling for three amygdala subregions and found particularly robust convergence of FC for all subregions with the mPFC. These findings suggest that there are extensive changes in amygdala-cortical functional connectivity that emerge between childhood and adolescence. PMID:24662579

  20. Discrimination of amygdala response predicts future separation anxiety in youth with early deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Shulamite A; Goff, Bonnie; Gee, Dylan G; Gabard-Durnam, Laurel; Flannery, Jessica; Telzer, Eva H; Humphreys, Kathryn L; Louie, Jennifer; Tottenham, Nim

    2016-10-01

    Significant disruption in caregiving is associated with increased internalizing symptoms, most notably heightened separation anxiety symptoms during childhood. It is also associated with altered functional development of the amygdala, a neurobiological correlate of anxious behavior. However, much less is known about how functional alterations of amygdala predict individual differences in anxiety. Here, we probed amygdala function following institutional caregiving using very subtle social-affective stimuli (trustworthy and untrustworthy faces), which typically result in large differences in amygdala signal, and change in separation anxiety behaviors over a 2-year period. We hypothesized that the degree of differentiation of amygdala signal to trustworthy versus untrustworthy face stimuli would predict separation anxiety symptoms. Seventy-four youths mean (SD) age = 9.7 years (2.64) with and without previous institutional care, who were all living in families at the time of testing, participated in an fMRI task designed to examine differential amygdala response to trustworthy versus untrustworthy faces. Parents reported on their children's separation anxiety symptoms at the time of scan and again 2 years later. Previous institutional care was associated with diminished amygdala signal differences and behavioral differences to the contrast of untrustworthy and trustworthy faces. Diminished differentiation of these stimuli types predicted more severe separation anxiety symptoms 2 years later. Older age at adoption was associated with diminished differentiation of amygdala responses. A history of institutional care is associated with reduced differential amygdala responses to social-affective cues of trustworthiness that are typically exhibited by comparison samples. Individual differences in the degree of amygdala differential responding to these cues predict the severity of separation anxiety symptoms over a 2-year period. These findings provide a biological

  1. Neonatal Amygdala Functional Connectivity at Rest in Healthy and Preterm Infants and Early Internalizing Symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Cynthia E; Sylvester, Chad M; Mintz, Carrie; Kenley, Jeanette K; Shimony, Joshua S; Barch, Deanna M; Smyser, Christopher D

    2017-02-01

    Alterations in the normal developmental trajectory of amygdala resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC) have been associated with atypical emotional processes and psychopathology. Little is known, however, regarding amygdala rs-FC at birth or its relevance to outcomes. This study examined amygdala rs-FC in healthy, full-term (FT) infants and in very preterm (VPT) infants, and tested whether variability of neonatal amygdala rs-FC predicted internalizing symptoms at age 2 years. Resting state fMRI data were obtained shortly after birth from 65 FT infants (gestational age [GA] ≥36 weeks) and 57 VPT infants (GA amygdala regions of interest. Total internalizing symptoms and the behavioral inhibition, depression/withdrawal, general anxiety, and separation distress subdomains were assessed in a subset (n = 44) at age 2 years using the Infant Toddler Social Emotional Assessment. In FT and VPT infants, the amygdala demonstrated positive correlations with subcortical and limbic structures and negative correlations with cortical regions, although magnitudes were decreased in VPT infants. Neonatal amygdala rs-FC predicted internalizing symptoms at age 2 years with regional specificity consistent with known pathophysiology in older populations: connectivity with the anterior insula related to depressive symptoms, with the dorsal anterior cingulate related to generalized anxiety, and with the medial prefrontal cortex related to behavioral inhibition. Amygdala rs-FC is well established in neonates. Variability in regional neonatal amygdala rs-FC predicted internalizing symptoms at 2 years, suggesting that risk for internalizing symptoms may be established in neonatal amygdala functional connectivity patterns. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Intranasal Oxytocin Normalizes Amygdala Functional Connectivity in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Saskia B J; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Nawijn, Laura; Frijling, Jessie L; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2016-07-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been suggested as a promising pharmacological agent for medication-enhanced psychotherapy in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of its anxiolytic and prosocial properties. We therefore investigated the behavioral and neurobiological effects of a single intranasal OT administration (40 IU) in PTSD patients. We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over resting-state fMRI study in male and female police officers with (n=37, 21 males) and without PTSD (n=40, 20 males). We investigated OT administration effects on subjective anxiety and functional connectivity of basolateral (BLA) and centromedial (CeM) amygdala subregions with prefrontal and salience processing areas. In PTSD patients, OT administration resulted in decreased subjective anxiety and nervousness. Under placebo, male PTSD patients showed diminished right CeM to left ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) connectivity compared with male trauma-exposed controls, which was reinstated after OT administration. Additionally, female PTSD patients showed enhanced right BLA to bilateral dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) connectivity compared with female trauma-exposed controls, which was dampened after OT administration. Although caution is warranted, our findings tentatively suggest that OT has the potential to diminish anxiety and fear expression of the amygdala in PTSD, either via increased control of the vmPFC over the CeM (males) or via decreased salience processing of the dACC and BLA (females). Our findings add to accumulating evidence that OT administration could potentially enhance treatment response in PTSD.

  3. Sibutramine promotes amygdala activity under fasting conditions in obese women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oltmanns, Kerstin M; Heldmann, Marcus; Daul, Susanne; Klose, Silke; Rotte, Michael; Schäfer, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Münte, Thomas F; Lehnert, Hendrik

    2012-06-01

    Sibutramine, a centrally-acting selective monoamine reuptake inhibitor, has been used as an appetite suppressant drug in obesity. To gain insight into the central nervous actions of sibutramine, brain responses to pictures of food items after sibutramine vs placebo application were assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in obese women. In a randomized double-blind crossover design, 10 healthy obese women (BMI 31.8-39.9 kg/m(2)) received 15 mg/d of sibutramine vs placebo for 14 d. Obese participants, and a group of 10 age-matched normal weight controls, viewed pictures of food items and control objects in hungry and satiated states while lying in the MR scanner. The paradigm followed a block design. In obese participants, fMRI measurements were conducted prior and after two weeks of daily sibutramine or placebo administration, whereas control participants were scanned only at one point in time. Upon food item presentation, obese participants showed increased brain activity in areas related to emotional and reward processing, perceptual processing, and cognitive control as compared to normal weight controls. Sibutramine exerted a divergent satiety-dependent effect on amygdala activity in obese participants, increasing activity in the hungry state while decreasing it under conditions of satiation. Our results demonstrate a modulatory influence of sibutramine on amygdala activity in obese women which may underlie the appetite suppressant effects of the drug.

  4. Endocannabinoid signaling within the basolateral amygdala integrates multiple stress hormone effects on memory consolidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atsak, Piray; Hauer, Daniela; Campolongo, Patrizia; Schelling, Gustav; Fornari, Raquel V; Roozendaal, Benno

    2015-05-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones are known to act synergistically with other stress-activated neuromodulatory systems, such as norepinephrine and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), within the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) to induce optimal strengthening of the consolidation of long-term memory of emotionally arousing experiences. However, as the onset of these glucocorticoid actions appear often too rapid to be explained by genomic regulation, the neurobiological mechanism of how glucocorticoids could modify the memory-enhancing properties of norepinephrine and CRF remained elusive. Here, we show that the endocannabinoid system, a rapidly activated retrograde messenger system, is a primary route mediating the actions of glucocorticoids, via a glucocorticoid receptor on the cell surface, on BLA neural plasticity and memory consolidation. Furthermore, glucocorticoids recruit downstream endocannabinoid activity within the BLA to interact with both the norepinephrine and CRF systems in enhancing memory consolidation. These findings have important implications for understanding the fine-tuned crosstalk between multiple stress hormone systems in the coordination of (mal)adaptive stress and emotional arousal effects on neural plasticity and memory consolidation.

  5. Basolateral amygdala supports the maintenance of value and effortful choice of a preferred option.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Evan E; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2017-02-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is known to be involved in appetitive behavior, yet its role in cost-benefit choice of qualitatively different rewards (more/less preferred), beyond magnitude differences (larger/smaller), is poorly understood. We assessed the effects of BLA inactivations on effortful choice behavior. Rats were implanted with cannulae in BLA and trained to stable lever pressing for sucrose pellets on a progressive ratio schedule. Rats were then introduced to a choice: chow was concurrently available while they could work for the preferred sucrose pellets. Rats were infused with either vehicle control (aCSF) or baclofen/muscimol prior to test. BLA inactivations produced a significant decrease in lever presses for sucrose pellets compared to vehicle, and chow consumption was unaffected. Inactivation had no effect on sucrose pellet preference when both options were freely available. Critically, when lab chow was not concurrently available, BLA inactivations had no effect on the number of lever presses for sucrose pellets, indicating that primary motivation in the absence of choice remains intact with BLA offline. After a test under specific satiety for sucrose pellets, BLA inactivation rendered animals less sensitive to devaluation relative to control. The effects of BLA inactivations in our task are not mediated by decreased appetite, an inability to perform the task, a change in food preference, or decrements in primary motivation. Taken together, BLA supports the specific value and effortful choice of a preferred option. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Reconsolidation of a cocaine associated memory requires DNA methyltransferase activity in the basolateral amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Hai-Shui; Luo, Yi-Xiao; Yin, Xi; Wu, Hong-Hai; Xue, Gai; Geng, Xu-Hong; Hou, Yan-Ning

    2015-01-01

    Drug addiction is considered an aberrant form of learning, and drug-associated memories evoked by the presence of associated stimuli (drug context or drug-related cues) contribute to recurrent craving and reinstatement. Epigenetic changes mediated by DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) have been implicated in the reconsolidation of fear memory. Here, we investigated the role of DNMT activity in the reconsolidation of cocaine-associated memories. Rats were trained over 10 days to intravenously self-administer cocaine by nosepokes. Each injection was paired with a light/tone conditioned stimulus (CS). After acquisition of stable self-administration behaviour, rats underwent nosepoke extinction (10 d) followed by cue-induced reactivation and subsequent cue-induced and cocaine-priming + cue-induced reinstatement tests or subsequently tested to assess the strength of the cocaine-associated cue as a conditioned reinforcer to drive cocaine seeking behaviour. Bilateral intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion of the DNMT inhibitor5-azacytidine (5-AZA, 1 μg per side) immediately following reactivation decreased subsequent reinstatement induced by cues or cocaine priming as well as cue-maintained cocaine-seeking behaviour. In contrast, delayed intra-BLA infusion of 5-AZA 6 h after reactivation or 5-AZA infusion without reactivation had no effect on subsequent cue-induced reinstatement. These findings indicate that memory reconsolidation for a cocaine-paired stimulus depends critically on DNMT activity in the BLA. PMID:26289919

  7. Methamphetamine facilitates female sexual behavior and enhances neuronal activation in the medial amygdala and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holder, Mary K; Hadjimarkou, Maria M; Zup, Susan L; Blutstein, Tamara; Benham, Rebecca S; McCarthy, Margaret M; Mong, Jessica A

    2010-02-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Users of MA report dramatic increases in sexual drive that have been associated with increased engagement in risky sexual behavior leading to higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. The ability of MA to enhance sexual drive in females is enigmatic since related psychostimulants like amphetamine and cocaine appear not to affect sexual drive in women, and in rodents models, amphetamine has been reported to be inhibitory to female sexual behavior. Examination of MA's effects on female sexual behavior in an animal model is lacking. Here, using a rodent model, we have demonstrated that MA enhanced female sexual behavior. MA (5mg/kg) or saline vehicle was administered once daily for 3 days to adult ovariectomized rats primed with ovarian steroids. MA treatment significantly increased the number of proceptive events and the lordosis response compared to hormonally primed, saline controls. The effect of MA on the neural circuitry underlying the motivation for sexual behavior was examined using Fos immunoreactivity. In the medial amygdala and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, nuclei implicated in motivated behaviors, ovarian hormones and MA independently enhance the neuronal activation, but more striking was the significantly greater activation induced by their combined administration. Increases in dopamine neurotransmission may underlie the MA/hormone mediated increase in neuronal activation. In support of this possibility, ovarian hormones significantly increased tyrosine hydroxylase (the rate limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis) immunoreactivity in the medial amygdala. Thus our present data suggest that the interactions of MA and ovarian hormones leads to changes in the neural substrate of key nuclei involved in mediating female sexual behaviors, and these changes may underlie MA's ability to enhance these behaviors. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All

  8. Repeated homotypic stress elevates 2-arachidonoylglycerol levels and enhances short-term endocannabinoid signaling at inhibitory synapses in basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Sachin; Kingsley, Philip J; Mackie, Ken; Marnett, Lawrence J; Winder, Danny G

    2009-12-01

    Psychosocial stress is a risk factor for development and exacerbation of neuropsychiatric illness. Repeated stress causes biochemical adaptations in endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling that contribute to stress-response habituation, however, the synaptic correlates of these adaptations have not been examined. Here, we show that the synthetic enzyme for the eCB 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), diacylglycerol (DAG) lipase alpha, is heterogeneously expressed in the amygdala, and that levels of 2-AG and precursor DAGs are increased in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) after 10 days, but not 1 day, of restraint stress. In contrast, arachidonic acid was decreased after both 1 and 10 days of restraint stress. To examine the synaptic correlates of these alterations in 2-AG metabolism, we used whole-cell electrophysiology to determine the effects of restraint stress on depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI) in the BLA. A single restraint stress exposure did not alter DSI compared with control mice. However, after 10 days of restraint stress, DSI duration, but not magnitude, was significantly prolonged. Inhibition of 2-AG degradation with MAFP also prolonged DSI duration; the effects of repeated restraint stress and MAFP were mutually occlusive. These data indicate that exposure to repeated, but not acute, stress produces neuroadaptations that confer BLA neurons with an enhanced capacity to elevate 2-AG content and engage in 2-AG-mediated short-term retrograde synaptic signaling. We suggest stress-induced enhancement of eCB-mediated suppression of inhibitory transmission in the BLA could contribute to affective dysregulation associated with chronic stress.

  9. Auditory responses in the amygdala to social vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadziola, Marie A.

    The underlying goal of this dissertation is to understand how the amygdala, a brain region involved in establishing the emotional significance of sensory input, contributes to the processing of complex sounds. The general hypothesis is that communication calls of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) transmit relevant information about social context that is reflected in the activity of amygdalar neurons. The first specific aim analyzed social vocalizations emitted under a variety of behavioral contexts, and related vocalizations to an objective measure of internal physiological state by monitoring the heart rate of vocalizing bats. These experiments revealed a complex acoustic communication system among big brown bats in which acoustic cues and call structure signal the emotional state of a sender. The second specific aim characterized the responsiveness of single neurons in the basolateral amygdala to a range of social syllables. Neurons typically respond to the majority of tested syllables, but effectively discriminate among vocalizations by varying the response duration. This novel coding strategy underscores the importance of persistent firing in the general functioning of the amygdala. The third specific aim examined the influence of acoustic context by characterizing both the behavioral and neurophysiological responses to natural vocal sequences. Vocal sequences differentially modify the internal affective state of a listening bat, with lower aggression vocalizations evoking the greatest change in heart rate. Amygdalar neurons employ two different coding strategies: low background neurons respond selectively to very few stimuli, whereas high background neurons respond broadly to stimuli but demonstrate variation in response magnitude and timing. Neurons appear to discriminate the valence of stimuli, with aggression sequences evoking robust population-level responses across all sound levels. Further, vocal sequences show improved discrimination among stimuli

  10. Plasticity-related genes in brain development and amygdala-dependent learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrlich, D E; Josselyn, S A

    2016-01-01

    Learning about motivationally important stimuli involves plasticity in the amygdala, a temporal lobe structure. Amygdala-dependent learning involves a growing number of plasticity-related signaling pathways also implicated in brain development, suggesting that learning-related signaling in juveniles may simultaneously influence development. Here, we review the pleiotropic functions in nervous system development and amygdala-dependent learning of a signaling pathway that includes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), extracellular signaling-related kinases (ERKs) and cyclic AMP-response element binding protein (CREB). Using these canonical, plasticity-related genes as an example, we discuss the intersection of learning-related and developmental plasticity in the immature amygdala, when aversive and appetitive learning may influence the developmental trajectory of amygdala function. We propose that learning-dependent activation of BDNF, ERK and CREB signaling in the immature amygdala exaggerates and accelerates neural development, promoting amygdala excitability and environmental sensitivity later in life. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  11. Effects of the medial or basolateral amygdala upon social anxiety and social recognition in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yu; Zhao, Shanshan; Liu, Xu; Fu, Qunying

    2014-01-01

    Though social anxiety and social recognition have been studied extensively, the roles of the medial or basolateral amygdala in the control of social anxiety and social recognition remain to be determined. This study investigated the effects of excitotoxic bilateral medial or basolateral amygdala lesions upon social anxiety and social recognition in-mice. Animals at 9 weeks of age were given bilateral medial or basolateral amygdala lesions via infusion of N-methyl- D-aspartate and then were used for behavioral tests: anxiety-related tests (including open-field test, light-dark test, and elevated-plus maze test), social behavior test in a novel environment, social recognition test, and flavor recognition test. Medial or basolateral amygdala-lesioned mice showed lower levels of anxiety and increased social behaviors in a novel environment. Destruction of the medial or basolateral amygdala neurons impaired social recognition but not flavor recognition. The medial or basolateral amygdala is involved in the control of anxiety-related behavior (social anxiety and social behaviors) in mice. Moreover, both the medial and the basolateral amygdala are essential for social recognition but not flavor recognition in mice.

  12. Genetic variations in the serotoninergic system contribute to amygdala volume in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin eLi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala plays a critical role in emotion processing and psychiatric disorders associated with emotion dysfunction. Accumulating evidence suggests that amygdala structure is modulated by serotonin-related genes. However, there is a gap between the small contributions of single loci (less than 1% and the reported 63-65% heritability of amygdala structure. To understand the missing heritability, we systematically explored the contribution of serotonin genes on amygdala structure at the gene set level. The present study of 417 healthy Chinese volunteers examined 129 representative polymorphisms in genes from multiple biological mechanisms in the regulation of serotonin neurotransmission. A system-level approach using multiple regression analyses identified that nine SNPs collectively accounted for approximately 8% of the variance in amygdala volume. Permutation analyses showed that the probability of obtaining these findings by chance was low (p=0.043, permuted for 1000 times. Findings showed that serotonin genes contribute moderately to individual differences in amygdala volume in a healthy Chinese sample. These results indicate that the system-level approach can help us to understand the genetic basis of a complex trait such as amygdala structure.

  13. Attention and amygdala activity: an fMRI study with spider pictures in spider phobia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Georg W; Gerdes, Antje B M; Lagarie, Bernadette; Tabbert, Katharina; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2009-06-01

    Facilitated detection of threatening visual cues is thought to be adaptive. In theory, detection of threat cues should activate the amygdala independently from allocation of attention. However, previous studies using emotional facial expressions as well as phobic cues yielded contradictory results. We used fMRI to examine whether the allocation of attention to components of superimposed spider and bird displays modulates amygdala activation. Nineteen spider-phobic women were instructed to identify either a moving or a stationary animal in briefly presented double-exposure displays. Amygdala activation followed a dose-response relationship: Compared to congruent neutral displays (two birds), amygdala activation was most pronounced in response to congruent phobic displays (two spiders) and less but still significant in response to mixed displays (spider and bird) when attention was focused on the phobic component. When attention was focused on the neutral component, mixed displays did not result in significant amygdala activation. This was confirmed in a significant parametric graduation of the amygdala activation in the order of congruent phobic displays, mixed displays with attention focus on the spider, mixed displays with focus on the bird and congruent neutral displays. These results challenge the notion that amygdala activation in response to briefly presented phobic cues is independent from attention.

  14. Abnormal amygdala connectivity in patients with primary insomnia: Evidence from resting state fMRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang Zhaoyang; Liang Peipeng; Jia Xiuqin; Zhan Shuqin; Li Ning; Ding Yan; Lu Jie; Wang Yuping; Li Kuncheng

    2012-01-01

    Background: Neurobiological mechanisms underlying insomnia are poorly understood. Previous findings indicated that dysfunction of the emotional circuit might contribute to the neurobiological mechanisms underlying insomnia. The present study will test this hypothesis by examining alterations in functional connectivity of the amygdala in patients with primary insomnia (PI). Methods: Resting-state functional connectivity analysis was used to examine the temporal correlation between the amygdala and whole-brain regions in 10 medication-naive PI patients and 10 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Additionally, the relationship between the abnormal functional connectivity and insomnia severity was investigated. Results: We found decreased functional connectivity mainly between the amygdala and insula, striatum and thalamus, and increased functional connectivity mainly between the amygdala and premotor cortex, sensorimotor cortex in PI patients as compared to healthy controls. The connectivity of the amygdala with the premotor cortex in PI patients showed significant positive correlation with the total score of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Conclusions: The decreased functional connectivity between the amygdala and insula, striatum, and thalamus suggests that dysfunction in the emotional circuit might contribute to the neurobiological mechanisms underlying PI. The increased functional connectivity of the amygdala with the premotor and sensorimotor cortex demonstrates a compensatory mechanism to overcome the negative effects of sleep deficits and maintain the psychomotor performances in PI patients.

  15. Neuroimaging study of the human amygdala. Toward an understanding of emotional and stress responses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    2007-01-01

    The amygdala plays a critical role in the neural system involved in emotional responses and conditioned fear. The dysfunction of this system is thought to be a cause of several neuropsychiatric disorders. A neuroimaging study provides a unique opportunity for noninvasive investigation of the human amygdala. We studied the activity of this structure in normal subjects and patients with schizophrenia by using the face recognition task. Our results showed that the amygdala was activated by presentation of face stimuli, and negative face activated the amygdala to a greater extent than a neutral face. Under the happy face condition, the activation of the amygdala was higher in the schizophrenic patients than in control subjects. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the regulatory region of the serotonin type 3 receptor gene had modulatory effects on the amygdaloid activity. The emotion regulation had a significant impact on neural interaction between the amygdala and prefrontal cortices. Thus, studies on the human amygdala would greatly contribute to the elucidation of the neural system that determines emotional and stress responses. To clarify the relevance of the neural dysfunction and neuropsychiatric disorders, further studies using physiological, genetic, and hormonal approaches are essential. (author)

  16. Amygdala volume linked to individual differences in mental state inference in early childhood and adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Rice

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the role of the amygdala in mental state inference in a sample of adults and in a sample of children aged 4 and 6 years. This period in early childhood represents a time when mentalizing abilities undergo dramatic changes. Both children and adults inferred mental states from pictures of others’ eyes, and children also inferred the mental states of others from stories (e.g., a false belief task. We also collected structural MRI data from these participants, to determine whether larger amygdala volumes (controlling for age and total gray matter volume were related to better face-based and story-based mentalizing. For children, larger amygdala volumes were related to better face-based, but not story-based, mentalizing. In contrast, in adults, amygdala volume was not related to face-based mentalizing. We next divided the face-based items into two subscales: cognitive (e.g., thinking, not believing versus affective (e.g., friendly, kind items. For children, performance on cognitive items was positively correlated with amygdala volume, but for adults, only performance on affective items was positively correlated with amygdala volume. These results indicate that the amygdala's role in mentalizing may be specific to face-based tasks and that the nature of its involvement may change over development.

  17. Preferential attention to animals and people is independent of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; New, Joshua; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph

    2015-03-01

    The amygdala is thought to play a critical role in detecting salient stimuli. Several studies have taken ecological approaches to investigating such saliency, and argue for domain-specific effects for processing certain natural stimulus categories, in particular faces and animals. Linking this to the amygdala, neurons in the human amygdala have been found to respond strongly to faces and also to animals. However, the amygdala's necessary role for such category-specific effects at the behavioral level remains untested. Here we tested four rare patients with bilateral amygdala lesions on an established change-detection protocol. Consistent with prior published studies, healthy controls showed reliably faster and more accurate detection of people and animals, as compared with artifacts and plants. So did all four amygdala patients: there were no differences in phenomenal change blindness, in behavioral reaction time to detect changes or in eye-tracking measures. The findings provide decisive evidence against a critical participation of the amygdala in rapid initial processing of attention to animate stimuli, suggesting that the necessary neural substrates for this phenomenon arise either in other subcortical structures (such as the pulvinar) or within the cortex itself. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Abnormal amygdala connectivity in patients with primary insomnia: evidence from resting state fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zhaoyang; Liang, Peipeng; Jia, Xiuqin; Zhan, Shuqin; Li, Ning; Ding, Yan; Lu, Jie; Wang, Yuping; Li, Kuncheng

    2012-06-01

    Neurobiological mechanisms underlying insomnia are poorly understood. Previous findings indicated that dysfunction of the emotional circuit might contribute to the neurobiological mechanisms underlying insomnia. The present study will test this hypothesis by examining alterations in functional connectivity of the amygdala in patients with primary insomnia (PI). Resting-state functional connectivity analysis was used to examine the temporal correlation between the amygdala and whole-brain regions in 10 medication-naive PI patients and 10 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Additionally, the relationship between the abnormal functional connectivity and insomnia severity was investigated. We found decreased functional connectivity mainly between the amygdala and insula, striatum and thalamus, and increased functional connectivity mainly between the amygdala and premotor cortex, sensorimotor cortex in PI patients as compared to healthy controls. The connectivity of the amygdala with the premotor cortex in PI patients showed significant positive correlation with the total score of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The decreased functional connectivity between the amygdala and insula, striatum, and thalamus suggests that dysfunction in the emotional circuit might contribute to the neurobiological mechanisms underlying PI. The increased functional connectivity of the amygdala with the premotor and sensorimotor cortex demonstrates a compensatory mechanism to overcome the negative effects of sleep deficits and maintain the psychomotor performances in PI patients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met genotype modulates amygdala habituation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Rodriguez, M Mercedes; New, Antonia S; Goldstein, Kim E; Rosell, Daniel; Yuan, Qiaoping; Zhou, Zhifeng; Hodgkinson, Colin; Goldman, David; Siever, Larry J; Hazlett, Erin A

    2017-05-30

    A deficit in amygdala habituation to repeated emotional stimuli may be an endophenotype of disorders characterized by emotion dysregulation, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). Amygdala reactivity to emotional stimuli is genetically modulated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) variants. Whether amygdala habituation itself is also modulated by BDNF genotypes remains unknown. We used imaging-genetics to examine the effect of BDNF Val66Met genotypes on amygdala habituation to repeated emotional stimuli. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 57 subjects (19 BPD patients, 18 patients with schizotypal personality disorder [SPD] and 20 healthy controls [HC]) during a task involving viewing of unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant pictures, each presented twice to measure habituation. Amygdala responses across genotypes (Val66Met SNP Met allele-carriers vs. Non-Met carriers) and diagnoses (HC, BPD, SPD) were examined with ANOVA. The BDNF 66Met allele was significantly associated with a deficit in amygdala habituation, particularly for emotional pictures. The association of the 66Met allele with a deficit in habituation to unpleasant emotional pictures remained significant in the subsample of BPD patients. Using imaging-genetics, we found preliminary evidence that deficient amygdala habituation may be modulated by BDNF genotype. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Functional Connectivity of the Amygdala Is Disrupted in Preschool-Aged Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Mark D; Li, Deana D; Keown, Christopher L; Lee, Aaron; Johnson, Ryan T; Angkustsiri, Kathleen; Rogers, Sally J; Müller, Ralph-Axel; Amaral, David G; Nordahl, Christine Wu

    2016-09-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether functional connectivity of the amygdala is altered in preschool-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to assess the clinical relevance of observed alterations in amygdala connectivity. A resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging study of the amygdala (and a parallel study of primary visual cortex) was conducted in 72 boys (mean age 3.5 years; n = 43 with ASD; n = 29 age-matched controls). The ASD group showed significantly weaker connectivity between the amygdala and several brain regions involved in social communication and repetitive behaviors, including bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, temporal lobes, and striatum (p amygdala and frontal and temporal lobes was significantly correlated with increased autism severity in the ASD group (p amygdala and regions of the brain important for social communication and language, which might be clinically relevant because weaker connectivity was associated with increased autism severity. Moreover, although amygdala connectivity was associated with behavioral domains that are diagnostic of ASD, altered connectivity of primary visual cortex was related to sensory hypersensitivity. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Increased amygdala reactivity following early life stress: a potential resilience enhancer role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Tetsuya; Toki, Shigeru; Siegle, Greg J; Takamura, Masahiro; Takaishi, Yoshiyuki; Yoshimura, Shinpei; Okada, Go; Matsumoto, Tomoya; Nakao, Takashi; Muranaka, Hiroyuki; Kaseda, Yumiko; Murakami, Tsuneji; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2017-01-18

    Amygdala hyper-reactivity is sometimes assumed to be a vulnerability factor that predates depression; however, in healthy people, who experience early life stress but do not become depressed, it may represent a resilience mechanism. We aimed to test these hypothesis examining whether increased amygdala activity in association with a history of early life stress (ELS) was negatively or positively associated with depressive symptoms and impact of negative life event stress in never-depressed adults. Twenty-four healthy participants completed an individually tailored negative mood induction task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessment along with evaluation of ELS. Mood change and amygdala reactivity were increased in never-depressed participants who reported ELS compared to participants who reported no ELS. Yet, increased amygdala reactivity lowered effects of ELS on depressive symptoms and negative life events stress. Amygdala reactivity also had positive functional connectivity with the bilateral DLPFC, motor cortex and striatum in people with ELS during sad memory recall. Increased amygdala activity in those with ELS was associated with decreased symptoms and increased neural features, consistent with emotion regulation, suggesting that preservation of robust amygdala reactions may reflect a stress buffering or resilience enhancing factor against depression and negative stressful events.

  2. Neuroimaging Study of the Human Amygdala - Toward an Understanding of Emotional and Stress Responses -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    The amygdala plays a critical role in the neural system involved in emotional responses and conditioned fear. The dysfunction of this system is thought to be a cause of several neuropsychiatric disorders. A neuroimaging study provides a unique opportunity for noninvasive investigation of the human amygdala. We studied the activity of this structure in normal subjects and patients with schizophrenia by using the face recognition task. Our results showed that the amygdala was activated by presentation of face stimuli, and negative face activated the amygdala to a greater extent than a neutral face. Under the happy face condition, the activation of the amygdala was higher in the schizophrenic patients than in control subjects. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the regulatory region of the serotonin type 3 receptor gene had modulatory effects on the amygdaloid activity. The emotion regulation had a significant impact on neural interaction between the amygdala and prefrontal cortices. Thus, studies on the human amygdala would greatly contribute to the elucidation of the neural system that determines emotional and stress responses. To clarify the relevance of the neural dysfunction and neuropsychiatric disorders, further studies using physiological, genetic, and hormonal approaches are essential.

  3. Using novel control groups to dissect the amygdala's role in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton-Wells, Tricia A; Avery, Suzanne N; Blackford, Jennifer Urbano

    2011-07-01

    Williams syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder with an intriguing behavioral phenotype-hypersociability combined with significant non-social fears. Previous studies have demonstrated abnormalities in amygdala function in individuals with Williams syndrome compared to typically-developing controls. However, it remains unclear whether the findings are related to the atypical neurodevelopment of Williams syndrome, or are also associated with behavioral traits at the extreme end of a normal continuum. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare amygdala blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) responses to non-social and social images in individuals with Williams syndrome compared to either individuals with inhibited temperament (high non-social fear) or individuals with uninhibited temperament (high sociability). Individuals with Williams syndrome had larger amygdala BOLD responses when viewing the non-social fear images than the inhibited temperament control group. In contrast, when viewing both fear and neutral social images, individuals with Williams syndrome did not show smaller amygdala BOLD responses relative to the uninhibited temperament control group, but instead had amygdala responses proportionate to their sociability. These results suggest heightened amygdala response to non-social fear images is characteristic of WS, whereas, variability in amygdala response to social fear images is proportionate to, and might be explained by, levels of trait sociability.

  4. Post-training depletions of basolateral amygdala serotonin fail to disrupt discrimination, retention, or reversal learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Jesus eOchoa

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In goal-directed pursuits, the basolateral amygdala (BLA is critical in learning about changes in the value of rewards. BLA-lesioned rats show enhanced reversal learning, a task employed to measure the flexibility of response to changes in reward. Similarly, there is a trend for enhanced discrimination learning, suggesting that BLA may modulate formation of stimulus-reward associations. There is a parallel literature on the importance of serotonin (5HT in new stimulus-reward and reversal learning. Recent postulations implicate 5HT in learning from punishment. Whereas dopaminergic involvement is critical in behavioral activation and reinforcement, 5HT may be most critical for aversive processing and behavioral inhibition, complementary cognitive processes. Given these findings, a 5HT-mediated mechanism in BLA may mediate the facilitated learning observed previously. The present study investigated the effects of selective 5HT lesions in BLA using 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT versus infusions of saline (Sham on discrimination, retention, and deterministic reversal learning. Rats were required to reach an 85% correct pairwise discrimination and single reversal criterion prior to surgery. Postoperatively, rats were then tested on the 1 retention of the pretreatment discrimination pair 2 discrimination of a novel pair and 3 reversal learning performance. We found statistically comparable preoperative learning rates between groups, intact postoperative retention, and unaltered novel discrimination and reversal learning in 5,7-DHT rats. These findings suggest that 5HT in BLA is not required for formation and flexible adjustment of new stimulus-reward associations when the strategy to efficiently solve the task has already been learned. Given the complementary role of orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning and its interconnectivity with BLA, these findings add to the list of dissociable mechanisms for BLA and orbitofrontal cortex in reward learning.

  5. Neuropeptides in the posterodorsal medial amygdala modulate central cardiovascular reflex responses in awake male rats

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    Quagliotto, E. [Departamento de Ciências Básicas da Saúde/Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Programa de Pós-Graduação em Neurociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Casali, K.R. [Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Dal Lago, P. [Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Rasia-Filho, A.A. [Departamento de Ciências Básicas da Saúde/Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Programa de Pós-Graduação em Neurociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil)

    2014-11-21

    The rat posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) links emotionally charged sensory stimuli to social behavior, and is part of the supramedullary control of the cardiovascular system. We studied the effects of microinjections of neuroactive peptides markedly found in the MePD, namely oxytocin (OT, 10 ng and 25 pg; n=6/group), somatostatin (SST, 1 and 0.05 μM; n=8 and 5, respectively), and angiotensin II (Ang II, 50 pmol and 50 fmol; n=7/group), on basal cardiovascular activity and on baroreflex- and chemoreflex-mediated responses in awake adult male rats. Power spectral and symbolic analyses were applied to pulse interval and systolic arterial pressure series to identify centrally mediated sympathetic/parasympathetic components in the heart rate variability (HRV) and arterial pressure variability (APV). No microinjected substance affected basal parameters. On the other hand, compared with the control data (saline, 0.3 µL; n=7), OT (10 ng) decreased mean AP (MAP{sub 50}) after baroreflex stimulation and increased both the mean AP response after chemoreflex activation and the high-frequency component of the HRV. OT (25 pg) increased overall HRV but did not affect any parameter of the symbolic analysis. SST (1 μM) decreased MAP{sub 50}, and SST (0.05 μM) enhanced the sympathovagal cardiac index. Both doses of SST increased HRV and its low-frequency component. Ang II (50 pmol) increased HRV and reduced the two unlike variations pattern of the symbolic analysis (P<0.05 in all cases). These results demonstrate neuropeptidergic actions in the MePD for both the increase in the range of the cardiovascular reflex responses and the involvement of the central sympathetic and parasympathetic systems on HRV and APV.

  6. Neuropeptides in the posterodorsal medial amygdala modulate central cardiovascular reflex responses in awake male rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quagliotto, E.; Casali, K.R.; Dal Lago, P.; Rasia-Filho, A.A.

    2014-01-01

    The rat posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) links emotionally charged sensory stimuli to social behavior, and is part of the supramedullary control of the cardiovascular system. We studied the effects of microinjections of neuroactive peptides markedly found in the MePD, namely oxytocin (OT, 10 ng and 25 pg; n=6/group), somatostatin (SST, 1 and 0.05 μM; n=8 and 5, respectively), and angiotensin II (Ang II, 50 pmol and 50 fmol; n=7/group), on basal cardiovascular activity and on baroreflex- and chemoreflex-mediated responses in awake adult male rats. Power spectral and symbolic analyses were applied to pulse interval and systolic arterial pressure series to identify centrally mediated sympathetic/parasympathetic components in the heart rate variability (HRV) and arterial pressure variability (APV). No microinjected substance affected basal parameters. On the other hand, compared with the control data (saline, 0.3 µL; n=7), OT (10 ng) decreased mean AP (MAP 50 ) after baroreflex stimulation and increased both the mean AP response after chemoreflex activation and the high-frequency component of the HRV. OT (25 pg) increased overall HRV but did not affect any parameter of the symbolic analysis. SST (1 μM) decreased MAP 50 , and SST (0.05 μM) enhanced the sympathovagal cardiac index. Both doses of SST increased HRV and its low-frequency component. Ang II (50 pmol) increased HRV and reduced the two unlike variations pattern of the symbolic analysis (P<0.05 in all cases). These results demonstrate neuropeptidergic actions in the MePD for both the increase in the range of the cardiovascular reflex responses and the involvement of the central sympathetic and parasympathetic systems on HRV and APV

  7. Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortical Modulation on the Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Amygdala Pathway: Differential Regulation of Intra-Amygdala GABAA and GABAB Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chun-Hui

    2017-07-01

    The basolateral complex of the amygdala receives inputs from neocortical areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Earlier studies have shown that lateral orbitofrontal cortex activation exerts an inhibitory gating on medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala information flow. Here we examined the individual role of GABAA and GABAB receptors in this process. In vivo extracellular single-unit recordings were done in anesthetized rats. We searched amygdala neurons that fire in response to medial prefrontal cortex activation, tested lateral orbitofrontal cortex gating at different delays (lateral orbitofrontal cortex-medial prefrontal cortex delays: 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 milliseconds), and examined differential contribution of GABAA and GABAB receptors with iontophoresis. Relative to baseline, lateral orbitofrontal cortex stimulation exerted an inhibitory modulatory gating on the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway and was effective up to a long delay of 500 ms (long-delay latencies at 100, 250, and 500 milliseconds). Moreover, blockade of intra-amygdala GABAA receptors with bicuculline abolished the lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory gating at both short- (25 milliseconds) and long-delay (100 milliseconds) intervals, while blockade of GABAB receptors with saclofen reversed the inhibitory gating at long delay (100 milliseconds) only. Among the majority of the neurons examined (8 of 9), inactivation of either GABAA or GABAB receptors during baseline did not change evoked probability per se, suggesting that local feed-forward inhibitory mechanism is pathway specific. Our results suggest that the effect of lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory modulatory gating was effective up to 500 milliseconds and that intra-amygdala GABAA and GABAB receptors differentially modulate the short- and long-delay lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory gating on the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway. © The Author 2017

  8. Lower amygdala volume in men is associated with childhood aggression, early psychopathic traits, and future violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardini, Dustin A; Raine, Adrian; Erickson, Kirk; Loeber, Rolf

    2014-01-01

    Reduced amygdala volume has been implicated in the development of severe and persistent aggression and the development of psychopathic personality. With longitudinal data, the current study examined whether male subjects with lower amygdala volume have a history of aggression and psychopathic features dating back to childhood and are at increased risk for engaging in future aggression/violence. Participants were selected from a longitudinal study of 503 male subjects initially recruited when they were in the first grade in 1986-1987. At age 26, a subsample of 56 men with varying histories of violence was recruited for a neuroimaging substudy. Automated segmentation was used to index individual differences in amygdala volume. Analyses examined the association between amygdala volume and levels of aggression and psychopathic features of participants measured in childhood and adolescence. Analyses also examined whether amygdala volume was associated with violence and psychopathic traits assessed at a 3-year follow-up. Men with lower amygdala volume exhibited higher levels of aggression and psychopathic features from childhood to adulthood. Lower amygdala volume was also associated with aggression, violence, and psychopathic traits at a 3-year follow-up, even after controlling for earlier levels of these features. All effects remained after accounting for several potential confounds. This represents the first prospective study to demonstrate that men with lower amygdala volume have a longstanding history of aggression and psychopathic features and are at increased risk for committing future violence. Studies should further examine whether specific amygdala abnormalities might be a useful biomarker for severe and persistent aggression. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Transmitter receptors reveal segregation of the arcopallium/amygdala complex in pigeons (Columba livia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herold, Christina; Paulitschek, Christina; Palomero-Gallagher, Nicola; Güntürkün, Onur; Zilles, Karl

    2018-02-15

    At the beginning of the 20th century it was suggested that a complex group of nuclei in the avian posterior ventral telencephalon is comparable to the mammalian amygdala. Subsequent findings, however, revealed that most of these structures share premotor characteristics, while some indeed constitute the avian amygdala. These developments resulted in 2004 in a change of nomenclature of these nuclei, which from then on were named arcopallial or amygdala nuclei and referred to as the arcopallium/amygdala complex. The structural basis for the similarities between avian and mammalian arcopallial and amygdala subregions is poorly understood. Therefore, we analyzed binding site densities for glutamatergic AMPA, NMDA and kainate, GABAergic GABA A , muscarinic M 1 , M 2 and nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh; α 4 β 2 subtype), noradrenergic α 1 and α 2 , serotonergic 5-HT 1A and dopaminergic D 1/5 receptors using quantitative in vitro receptor autoradiography combined with a detailed analysis of the cyto- and myelo-architecture. Our approach supports a segregation of the pigeon's arcopallium/amygdala complex into the following subregions: the arcopallium anterius (AA), the arcopallium ventrale (AV), the arcopallium dorsale (AD), the arcopallium intermedium (AI), the arcopallium mediale (AM), the arcopallium posterius (AP), the nucleus posterioris amygdalopallii pars basalis (PoAb) and pars compacta (PoAc), the nucleus taeniae amgygdalae (TnA) and the area subpallialis amygdalae (SpA). Some of these subregions showed further subnuclei and each region of the arcopallium/amygdala complex are characterized by a distinct multi-receptor density expression. Here we provide a new detailed map of the pigeon's arcopallium/amygdala complex and compare the receptor architecture of the subregions to their possible mammalian counterparts. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. General and specific responsiveness of the amygdala during explicit emotion recognition in females and males

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Windischberger Christian

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability to recognize emotions in facial expressions relies on an extensive neural network with the amygdala as the key node as has typically been demonstrated for the processing of fearful stimuli. A sufficient characterization of the factors influencing and modulating amygdala function, however, has not been reached now. Due to lacking or diverging results on its involvement in recognizing all or only certain negative emotions, the influence of gender or ethnicity is still under debate. This high-resolution fMRI study addresses some of the relevant parameters, such as emotional valence, gender and poser ethnicity on amygdala activation during facial emotion recognition in 50 Caucasian subjects. Stimuli were color photographs of emotional Caucasian and African American faces. Results Bilateral amygdala activation was obtained to all emotional expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happy, and sad and neutral faces across all subjects. However, only in males a significant correlation of amygdala activation and behavioral response to fearful stimuli was observed, indicating higher amygdala responses with better fear recognition, thus pointing to subtle gender differences. No significant influence of poser ethnicity on amygdala activation occurred, but analysis of recognition accuracy revealed a significant impact of poser ethnicity that was emotion-dependent. Conclusion Applying high-resolution fMRI while subjects were performing an explicit emotion recognition task revealed bilateral amygdala activation to all emotions presented and neutral expressions. This mechanism seems to operate similarly in healthy females and males and for both in-group and out-group ethnicities. Our results support the assumption that an intact amygdala response is fundamental in the processing of these salient stimuli due to its relevance detecting function.

  11. Sonic hedgehog expressing and responding cells generate neuronal diversity in the medial amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Machold Robert P

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The mammalian amygdala is composed of two primary functional subdivisions, classified according to whether the major output projection of each nucleus is excitatory or inhibitory. The posterior dorsal and ventral subdivisions of the medial amygdala, which primarily contain inhibitory output neurons, modulate specific aspects of innate socio-sexual and aggressive behaviors. However, the development of the neuronal diversity of this complex and important structure remains to be fully elucidated. Results Using a combination of genetic fate-mapping and loss-of-function analyses, we examined the contribution and function of Sonic hedgehog (Shh-expressing and Shh-responsive (Nkx2-1+ and Gli1+ neurons in the medial amygdala. Specifically, we found that Shh- and Nkx2-1-lineage cells contribute differentially to the dorsal and ventral subdivisions of the postnatal medial amygdala. These Shh- and Nkx2-1-lineage neurons express overlapping and non-overlapping inhibitory neuronal markers, such as Calbindin, FoxP2, nNOS and Somatostatin, revealing diverse fate contributions in discrete medial amygdala nuclear subdivisions. Electrophysiological analysis of the Shh-derived neurons additionally reveals an important functional diversity within this lineage in the medial amygdala. Moreover, inducible Gli1CreER(T2 temporal fate mapping shows that early-generated progenitors that respond to Shh signaling also contribute to medial amygdala neuronal diversity. Lastly, analysis of Nkx2-1 mutant mice demonstrates a genetic requirement for Nkx2-1 in inhibitory neuronal specification in the medial amygdala distinct from the requirement for Nkx2-1 in cerebral cortical development. Conclusions Taken together, these data reveal a differential contribution of Shh-expressing and Shh-responding cells to medial amygdala neuronal diversity as well as the function of Nkx2-1 in the development of this important limbic system structure.

  12. Meta-analysis reveals a lack of sexual dimorphism in human amygdala volume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marwha, Dhruv; Halari, Meha; Eliot, Lise

    2017-02-15

    The amygdala plays a key role in many affective behaviors and psychiatric disorders that differ between men and women. To test whether human amygdala volume (AV) differs reliably between the sexes, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of AVs reported in MRI studies of age-matched healthy male and female groups. Using four search strategies, we identified 46 total studies (58 matched samples) from which we extracted effect sizes for the sex difference in AV. All data were converted to Hedges g values and pooled effect sizes were calculated using a random-effects model. Each dataset was further meta-regressed against study year and average participant age. We found that uncorrected amygdala volume is about 10% larger in males, with pooled sex difference effect sizes of g=0.581 for right amygdala (κ=28, n=2022), 0.666 for left amygdala (κ=28, n=2006), and 0.876 for bilateral amygdala (κ=16, n=1585) volumes (all p values brain volume (TBV; g=1.278, pbrain size in males. Among studies reporting AVs normalized for ICV or TBV, sex difference effect sizes were small and not statistically significant: g=0.171 for the right amygdala (p=0.206, κ=13, n=1560); 0.233 for the left amygdala (p=0.092, κ=12, n=1512); and 0.257 for bilateral volume (p=0.131, κ=5, n=1629). These values correspond to less than 0.1% larger corrected right AV and 2.5% larger corrected left AV in males compared to females. In summary, AV is not selectively enhanced in human males, as often claimed. Although we cannot rule out subtle male-female group differences, it is not accurate to refer to the human amygdala as "sexually dimorphic." Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Dynamic Changes in Amygdala Activation and Functional Connectivity in Children and Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Johnna R.; Phan, K. Luan; Angstadt, Mike; Fitzgerald, Kate D.; Monk, Christopher S.

    2015-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are associated with abnormalities in amygdala function and prefrontal cortex-amygdala connectivity. The majority of fMRI studies have examined mean group differences in amygdala activation or connectivity in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders relative to controls, but emerging evidence suggests that abnormalities in amygdala function are dependent on the timing of the task and may vary across the course of a scanning session. The goal of the present study was to extend our knowledge of the dynamics of amygdala dysfunction by examining whether changes in amygdala activation and connectivity over scanning differ in pediatric anxiety disorder patients relative to typically developing controls during an emotion processing task. Examining changes in activation over time allows for a comparison of how brain function differs during initial exposure to novel stimuli versus more prolonged exposure. Participants included 34 anxiety disorder patients and 19 controls 7 to 19 years old. Participants performed an emotional face matching task during fMRI scanning and the task was divided into thirds in order to examine change in activation over time. Results demonstrated that patients exhibited an abnormal pattern of amygdala activation characterized by an initially heightened amygdala response relative to controls at the beginning of scanning, followed by significant decreases in activation over time. In addition, controls evidenced greater prefrontal cortex-amygdala connectivity during the beginning of scanning relative to patients. These results indicate that differences in emotion processing between the groups vary from initial exposure to novel stimuli relative to more prolonged exposure. Implications are discussed regarding how this pattern of neural activation may relate to altered early-occurring or anticipatory emotion-regulation strategies and maladaptive later-occurring strategies in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. PMID

  14. Violent offenders respond to provocations with high amygdala and striatal reactivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Cunha-Bang, Sofi; Fisher, Patrick M.; Hjordt, Liv Vadskjær

    2017-01-01

    magnetic resonance imaging point-subtraction aggression paradigm in 44 men, of whom 18 were incarcerated violent offenders and 26 were control non-offenders. We measured brain activation following provocations (monetary subtractions), while the subjects had the possibility to behave aggressively or pursue...... monetary rewards. The violent offenders behaved more aggressively than controls (aggression frequency 150 us 84, P = 0.03) and showed significantly higher brain reactivity to provocations within the amygdala and striatum, as well as reduced amygdala-prefrontal and striato-prefrontal connectivity. Amygdala...

  15. Value encoding in single neurons in the human amygdala during decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenison, Rick L; Rangel, Antonio; Oya, Hiroyuki; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Howard, Matthew A

    2011-01-05

    A growing consensus suggests that the brain makes simple choices by assigning values to the stimuli under consideration and then comparing these values to make a decision. However, the network involved in computing the values has not yet been fully characterized. Here, we investigated whether the human amygdala plays a role in the computation of stimulus values at the time of decision making. We recorded single neuron activity from the amygdala of awake patients while they made simple purchase decisions over food items. We found 16 amygdala neurons, located primarily in the basolateral nucleus that responded linearly to the values assigned to individual items.

  16. Manual morphometry of hippocampus and amygdala in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickel, Kathrin; Tebartz van Elst, Ludger; Perlov, Evgeniy; Jitten-Schachenmeier, Renate; Beier, Daniel; Endres, Dominique; Goll, Peter; Philipsen, Alexandra; Maier, Simon

    2017-09-30

    Previous studies have pointed to the involvement of limbic structures in the genesis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present researchers manually segmented magnetic resonance images of 30 individuals with ADHD and 30 individually matched controls, focusing on amygdala and hippocampus volumes. Neither hippocampus nor amygdala volume differed significantly between individuals with and without ADHD. However, ADHD patients with higher hyperactivity scores had significantly smaller left amygdala volumes. This finding suggests that limbic alterations are significant in hyperactive symptoms in the pathophysiology of ADHD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Mesolimbic dopaminergic supersensitivity following electrical kindling of the amygdala

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Csernansky, J.G.; Mellentin, J.; Beauclair, L.; Lombrozo, L.

    1988-01-01

    Limbic seizures developed in rats following daily electrical stimulation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. Animals were designated as kindled after five complete (stage 5) behavioral seizures were observed. A subgroup, designated as superkindled, received three additional weeks of electrical stimulations. Kindled rats were significantly subsensitive to the stereotypy-inducing effects of apomorphine, a direct dopamine agonist, compared to controls. Superkindled rats were supersensitive to the effects of apomorphine. However, both kindled and superkindled rats demonstrated an increase in 3 H-spiperone Bmax values, reflecting dopamine D2-receptor densities, in the nucleus accumbens ipsilateral to the stimulating electrode. The number of interictal spikes recorded from the stimulating amygdaloid electrode during the last week of kindling was correlated with changes in apomorphine sensitivity in individual animals

  18. Role of amygdala kisspeptin in pubertal timing in female rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel A Adekunbi

    Full Text Available To investigate the mechanism by which maternal obesity disrupts reproductive function in offspring, we examined Kiss1 expression in the hypothalamic arcuate (ARC and anteroventral periventricular (AVPV nuclei, and posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD of pre-pubertal and young adult offspring. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a standard or energy-dense diet for six weeks prior to mating and throughout pregnancy and lactation. Male and female offspring were weaned onto normal diet on postnatal day (pnd 21. Brains were collected on pnd 30 or 100 for qRT-PCR to determine Kiss1 mRNA levels. Maternal obesity increased Kiss1 mRNA expression in the MePD of pre-pubertal male and female offspring, whereas Kiss1 expression was not affected in the ARC or AVPV at this age. Maternal obesity reduced Kiss1 expression in all three brain regions of 3 month old female offspring, but only in MePD of males. The role of MePD kisspeptin on puberty, estrous cyclicity and preovulatory LH surges was assessed directly in a separate group of post-weanling and young adult female rats exposed to a normal diet throughout their life course. Bilateral intra-MePD cannulae connected to osmotic mini-pumps for delivery of kisspeptin receptor antagonist (Peptide 234 for 14 days were chronically implanted on pnd 21 or 100. Antagonism of MePD kisspeptin delayed puberty onset, disrupted estrous cyclicity and reduced the incidence of LH surges. These data show that the MePD plays a key role in pubertal timing and ovulation and that maternal obesity may act via amygdala kisspeptin signaling to influence reproductive function in the offspring.

  19. Modulation of Long-term Potentiation of Cortico-amygdala Synaptic Responses and Auditory Fear Memory by Dietary Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Yamada

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Converging evidence suggests that an imbalance of ω3 to ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA in the brain is involved in mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. We previously reported that the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA alters this ratio in the brain, and influences contextual fear memory. In addition to behavioral change, enhancement of cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity and facilitation of the agonist sensitivity of CB1 receptors have been observed in excitatory synaptic responses in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. However, it is not known whether long-term synaptic plasticity in the amygdala is influenced by the dietary ratio of ω3 to ω6 PUFA. In the present study, we examined long-term potentiation (LTP of optogenetically–evoked excitatory synaptic responses in synapses between the terminal of the projection from the auditory cortex and the pyramidal cells in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We found that LTP in this pathway was attenuated in mice fed a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.97, compared with mice fed a diet with a low ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio (0.14. Furthermore, mice in the former condition showed reduced fear responses in an auditory fear conditioning test, compared with mice in the latter condition. In both electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, the effect of a diet with a high ω3 to ω6 PUFA ratio was completely blocked by treatment with a CB1 receptor antagonist. Furthermore, a significant reduction was observed in cholesterol content, but not in the level of an endogenous CB1 receptor agonist, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, in brain samples containing the amygdala. These results suggest that the balance of ω3 to ω6 PUFA has an impact on fear memory and cortico-amygdala synaptic plasticity, both in a CB1 receptor–dependent manner.

  20. Divergent responses of the amygdala and ventral striatum predict stress-related problem drinking in young adults: possible differential markers of affective and impulsive pathways of risk for alcohol use disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolova, Y S; Knodt, A R; Radtke, S R; Hariri, A R

    2016-03-01

    Prior work suggests that there may be two distinct pathways of alcohol use disorder (AUD) risk: one associated with positive emotion enhancement and behavioral impulsivity, and another associated with negative emotion relief and coping. We sought to map these two pathways onto individual differences in neural reward and threat processing assessed using blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of 759 undergraduate students (426 women, mean age 19.65±1.24 years) participating in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. We demonstrate that problem drinking is highest in the context of stress and in those with one of two distinct neural phenotypes: (1) a combination of relatively low reward-related activity of the ventral striatum (VS) and high threat-related reactivity of the amygdala; or (2) a combination of relatively high VS activity and low amygdala reactivity. In addition, we demonstrate that the relationship between stress and problem alcohol use is mediated by impulsivity, as reflected in monetary delay discounting rates, for those with high VS-low amygdala reactivity, and by anxious/depressive symptomatology for those with the opposite neural risk phenotype. Across both neural phenotypes, we found that greater divergence between VS and amygdala reactivity predicted greater risk for problem drinking. Finally, for those individuals with the low VS-high amygdala risk phenotype we found that stress not only predicted the presence of AUD diagnosis at the time of neuroimaging but also subsequent problem drinking reported 3 months following study completion. These results offer new insight into the neural basis of AUD risk and suggest novel biological targets for early individualized treatment or prevention.

  1. Divergent responses of the amygdala and ventral striatum predict stress-related problem drinking in young adults: Possible differential markers of affective and impulsive pathways of risk for alcohol use disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Knodt, Annchen R.; Radtke, Spenser R.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2015-01-01

    Prior work suggests there may be two distinct pathways of alcohol use disorder (AUD) risk: one associated with positive emotion enhancement and behavioral impulsivity, and one associated with negative emotion relief and coping. We sought to map these two pathways onto individual differences in neural reward and threat processing assessed using BOLD fMRI in a sample of 759 undergraduate students (426 women, mean age 19.65±1.24) participating in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. We demonstrate that problem drinking is highest in the context of stress and in those with one of two distinct neural phenotypes: 1) a combination of relatively low reward-related activity of the ventral striatum (VS) and high threat-related reactivity of the amygdala; or 2) a combination of relatively high VS activity and low amygdala reactivity. In addition, we demonstrate that the relationship between stress and problem alcohol use is mediated by impulsivity, as reflected in monetary delay discounting rates, for those with high VS-low amygdala reactivity, and by anxious/depressive symptomatology for those with the opposite neural risk phenotype. Across both neural phenotypes, we found that greater divergence between VS and amygdala reactivity predicted greater risk for problem drinking. Finally, for those individuals with the low VS-high amygdala risk phenotype we found that stress not only predicted the presence of a DSM-IV diagnosed AUD at the time of neuroimaging, but also subsequent problem drinking reported three months following study completion. These results offer new insight into the neural basis of AUD risk and suggest novel biological targets for early individualized treatment or prevention. PMID:26122584

  2. Memory-enhancing corticosterone treatment increases amygdala norepinephrine and Arc protein expression in hippocampal synaptic fractions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McReynolds, Jayme R.; Donowho, Kyle; Abdi, Amin; McGaugh, James L.; Roozendaal, Benno; McIntyre, Christa K.

    Considerable evidence indicates that glucocorticoid hormones enhance the consolidation of memory for emotionally arousing events through interactions with the noradrenergic system of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA). We previously reported that intra-BLA administration of a

  3. Amygdala reactivity to sad faces in preschool children: An early neural marker of persistent negative affect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael S. Gaffrey

    2016-02-01

    Conclusions: The current findings provide preliminary evidence for amygdala activity as a potential biomarker of persistent negative affect during early childhood and suggest future work examining the origins and long-term implications of this relationship is necessary.

  4. Volumetric MRI analysis of the amygdala and the hippocampus in patients with major depression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xia Jun; Zhou Yicheng; Zhang Jingfeng; Yang Bo; Xia Liming; Wang Chengyuan; Chen Jun

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To study the MRI volume of the amygdala and hippocampus in patients with major depression. Methods: Quantitative MRI of the amygdala and hippocampus was studied in 22 patients with major depression and compared with 13 age-matched controls. Results: Both groups exhibited similar significant hippocampal asymmetry (left smaller than right). The volume of the bilateral hippocampus was significantly smaller in the patient group than that in the controls (left: t=9.96, P<0.01; right: t=11.88, P<0.01). The right amygdala was smaller in the patient group than that in the control group (t=5.50, P<0.01), No correlation was found between the hippocampal volume abnormalities and the course of disease. Conclusion: These findings support the hypothesis that the hippocampus and amygdala within limbic-cortical networks may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of major depression. (authors)

  5. Altered Amygdala Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Maintenance Hemodialysis End-Stage Renal Disease Patients with Depressive Mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hui Juan; Wang, Yun Fei; Qi, Rongfeng; Schoepf, U Joseph; Varga-Szemes, Akos; Ball, B Devon; Zhang, Zhe; Kong, Xiang; Wen, Jiqiu; Li, Xue; Lu, Guang Ming; Zhang, Long Jiang

    2017-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate patterns in the amygdala-based emotional processing circuit of hemodialysis patients using resting-state functional MR imaging (rs-fMRI). Fifty hemodialysis patients (25 with depressed mood and 25 without depressed mood) and 26 healthy controls were included. All subjects underwent neuropsychological tests and rs-fMRI, and patients also underwent laboratory tests. Functional connectivity of the bilateral amygdala was compared among the three groups. The relationship between functional connectivity and clinical markers was investigated. Depressed patients showed increased positive functional connectivity of the left amygdala with the left superior temporal gyrus and right parahippocampal gyrus (PHG) but decreased amygdala functional connectivity with the left precuneus, angular gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and left inferior parietal lobule compared with non-depressed patients (P amygdala with bilateral supplementary motor areas and PHG but decreased amygdala functional connectivity with the right superior frontal gyrus, superior parietal lobule, bilateral precuneus, and PCC (P amygdala (P amygdala-prefrontal-PCC-limbic circuits was impaired in depressive hemodialysis patients, with a gradual decrease in ACC between controls, non-depressed, and depressed patients for the right amygdala. This indicates that ACC plays a role in amygdala-based emotional regulatory circuits in these patients.

  6. The Interplay of Attention and Emotion: Top-down Attention Modulates Amygdala Activation in Psychopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Larson, Christine L.; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Stout, Daniel M.; Balderston, Nicholas L.; Curtin, John J.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Kiehl, Kent A.; Newman, Joseph P.

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence demonstrates that fear potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention but, to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala, or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopa...

  7. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex: functional contributions and dysfunction in psychopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Blair, R.J.R

    2008-01-01

    The current paper examines the functional contributions of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and the evidence that the functioning of these systems is compromised in individuals with psychopathy. The amygdala is critical for the formation of stimulus–reinforcement associations, both punishment and reward based, and the processing of emotional expressions. vmPFC is critical for the representation of reinforcement expectancies and, owing to this, decision making. Neuropsyc...

  8. Prevention of Stress-Impaired Fear Extinction Through Neuropeptide S Action in the Lateral Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Chauveau, Frédéric; Lange, Maren Denise; Jüngling, Kay; Lesting, Jörg; Seidenbecher, Thomas; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2012-01-01

    Stressful and traumatic events can create aversive memories, which are a predisposing factor for anxiety disorders. The amygdala is critical for transforming such stressful events into anxiety, and the recently discovered neuropeptide S transmitter system represents a promising candidate apt to control these interactions. Here we test the hypothesis that neuropeptide S can regulate stress-induced hyperexcitability in the amygdala, and thereby can interact with stress-induced alterations of fe...

  9. Decreased BDNF levels in amygdala and hippocampus after intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain

    OpenAIRE

    Jornada, Luciano K.; Valvassori, Samira S.; Resende, Wilson R.; Moretti, Morgana; Ferreira, Camila L.; Fries, Gabriel R.; Kapczinski, Flavio; Quevedo, João

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The present study aims to investigate the effects of ouabain intracerebroventricular injection on BDNF levels in the amygdala and hippocampus of Wistar rats. METHODS: Animals received a single intracerebroventricular injection of ouabain (10-3 and 10-2 M) or artificial cerebrospinal fluid and immediately, 1h, 24h, or seven days after injection, BDNF levels were measured in the rat's amygdala and hippocampus by sandwich-ELISA (n = 8 animals per group). RESULTS: When evaluated immedi...

  10. Dialectical behavior therapy alters emotion regulation and amygdala activity in patients with borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Marianne; Carpenter, David; Tang, Cheuk Y; Goldstein, Kim E; Avedon, Jennifer; Fernandez, Nicolas; Mascitelli, Kathryn A; Blair, Nicholas J; New, Antonia S; Triebwasser, Joseph; Siever, Larry J; Hazlett, Erin A

    2014-10-01

    Siever and Davis' (1991) psychobiological framework of borderline personality disorder (BPD) identifies affective instability (AI) as a core dimension characterized by prolonged and intense emotional reactivity. Recently, deficient amygdala habituation, defined as a change in response to repeated relative to novel unpleasant pictures within a session, has emerged as a biological correlate of AI in BPD. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), an evidence-based treatment, targets AI by teaching emotion-regulation skills. This study tested the hypothesis that BPD patients would exhibit decreased amygdala activation and improved habituation, as well as improved emotion regulation with standard 12-month DBT. Event-related fMRI was obtained pre- and post-12-months of standard-DBT in unmedicated BPD patients. Healthy controls (HCs) were studied as a benchmark for normal amygdala activity and change over time (n = 11 per diagnostic-group). During each scan, participants viewed an intermixed series of unpleasant, neutral and pleasant pictures presented twice (novel, repeat). Change in emotion regulation was measured with the Difficulty in Emotion Regulation (DERS) scale. fMRI results showed the predicted Group × Time interaction: compared with HCs, BPD patients exhibited decreased amygdala activation with treatment. This post-treatment amygdala reduction in BPD was observed for all three pictures types, but particularly marked in the left hemisphere and during repeated-emotional pictures. Emotion regulation measured with the DERS significantly improved with DBT in BPD patients. Improved amygdala habituation to repeated-unpleasant pictures in patients was associated with improved overall emotional regulation measured by the DERS (total score and emotion regulation strategy use subscale). These findings have promising treatment implications and support the notion that DBT targets amygdala hyperactivity-part of the disturbed neural circuitry underlying emotional dysregulation

  11. Amygdala Kindling Alters Estrus Cycle and Ovarian Morphology in the Rat

    OpenAIRE

    Pan, Juan; Zhang, Lingwu; Wang, Feng; Liu, Dan; Li, P. Andy; Sun, Tao

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study is to explore the effects of amygdala kindling on estrus cycle and ovarian morphology. Thirty-five female rats at the age of 8 weeks were randomly designated to electrode kindled, sham-kindled, and normal controls. Kindled rats were implanted with kindling electrodes in the left basolateral amygdala and kindled by brief suprathreshold stimulations with a bipolar electrode. Estrous cycles were daily monitored through vaginal smears. Electrographic and behavioral sei...

  12. Psilocybin-Induced Decrease in Amygdala Reactivity Correlates with Enhanced Positive Mood in Healthy Volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraehenmann, Rainer; Preller, Katrin H; Scheidegger, Milan; Pokorny, Thomas; Bosch, Oliver G; Seifritz, Erich; Vollenweider, Franz X

    2015-10-15

    The amygdala is a key structure in serotonergic emotion-processing circuits. In healthy volunteers, acute administration of the serotonin 1A/2A/2C receptor agonist psilocybin reduces neural responses to negative stimuli and induces mood changes toward positive states. However, it is little-known whether psilocybin reduces amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli and whether any change in amygdala reactivity is related to mood change. This study assessed the effects of acute administration of the hallucinogen psilocybin (.16 mg/kg) versus placebo on amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli in 25 healthy volunteers using blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Mood changes were assessed using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and the state portion of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. A double-blind, randomized, cross-over design was used with volunteers counterbalanced to receive psilocybin and placebo in two separate sessions at least 14 days apart. Amygdala reactivity to negative and neutral stimuli was lower after psilocybin administration than after placebo administration. The psilocybin-induced attenuation of right amygdala reactivity in response to negative stimuli was related to the psilocybin-induced increase in positive mood state. These results demonstrate that acute treatment with psilocybin decreased amygdala reactivity during emotion processing and that this was associated with an increase of positive mood in healthy volunteers. These findings may be relevant to the normalization of amygdala hyperactivity and negative mood states in patients with major depression. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Myosin light chain kinase regulates synaptic plasticity and fear learning in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamprecht, R; Margulies, D S; Farb, C R; Hou, M; Johnson, L R; LeDoux, J E

    2006-01-01

    Learning and memory depend on signaling molecules that affect synaptic efficacy. The cytoskeleton has been implicated in regulating synaptic transmission but its role in learning and memory is poorly understood. Fear learning depends on plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We therefore examined whether the cytoskeletal-regulatory protein, myosin light chain kinase, might contribute to fear learning in the rat lateral amygdala. Microinjection of ML-7, a specific inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase, into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala before fear conditioning, but not immediately afterward, enhanced both short-term memory and long-term memory, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase is involved specifically in memory acquisition rather than in posttraining consolidation of memory. Myosin light chain kinase inhibitor had no effect on memory retrieval. Furthermore, ML-7 had no effect on behavior when the training stimuli were presented in a non-associative manner. Anatomical studies showed that myosin light chain kinase is present in cells throughout lateral nucleus of the amygdala and is localized to dendritic shafts and spines that are postsynaptic to the projections from the auditory thalamus to lateral nucleus of the amygdala, a pathway specifically implicated in fear learning. Inhibition of myosin light chain kinase enhanced long-term potentiation, a physiological model of learning, in the auditory thalamic pathway to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. When ML-7 was applied without associative tetanic stimulation it had no effect on synaptic responses in lateral nucleus of the amygdala. Thus, myosin light chain kinase activity in lateral nucleus of the amygdala appears to normally suppress synaptic plasticity in the circuits underlying fear learning, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase may help prevent the acquisition of irrelevant fears. Impairment of this mechanism could contribute to pathological fear learning.

  14. Can theories of visual representation help to explain asymmetries in amygdala function?

    OpenAIRE

    McMenamin, Brenton W.; Marsolek, Chad J.

    2013-01-01

    Emotional processing differs between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and functional differences have been reported more specifically between the left amygdala and right amygdala, subcortical structures heavily implicated in emotional processing. However, the empirical pattern of amygdalar asymmetries is inconsistent with extant theories of emotional asymmetries. Here we review this discrepancy, and we hypothesize that hemispheric differences in visual object processing help to ex...

  15. A Rapid Subcortical Amygdala Route for Faces Irrespective of Spatial Frequency and Emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadyen, Jessica; Mermillod, Martial; Mattingley, Jason B; Halász, Veronika; Garrido, Marta I

    2017-04-05

    There is significant controversy over the existence and function of a direct subcortical visual pathway to the amygdala. It is thought that this pathway rapidly transmits low spatial frequency information to the amygdala independently of the cortex, and yet the directionality of this function has never been determined. We used magnetoencephalography to measure neural activity while human participants discriminated the gender of neutral and fearful faces filtered for low or high spatial frequencies. We applied dynamic causal modeling to demonstrate that the most likely underlying neural network consisted of a pulvinar-amygdala connection that was uninfluenced by spatial frequency or emotion, and a cortical-amygdala connection that conveyed high spatial frequencies. Crucially, data-driven neural simulations revealed a clear temporal advantage of the subcortical connection over the cortical connection in influencing amygdala activity. Thus, our findings support the existence of a rapid subcortical pathway that is nonselective in terms of the spatial frequency or emotional content of faces. We propose that that the "coarseness" of the subcortical route may be better reframed as "generalized." SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The human amygdala coordinates how we respond to biologically relevant stimuli, such as threat or reward. It has been postulated that the amygdala first receives visual input via a rapid subcortical route that conveys "coarse" information, namely, low spatial frequencies. For the first time, the present paper provides direction-specific evidence from computational modeling that the subcortical route plays a generalized role in visual processing by rapidly transmitting raw, unfiltered information directly to the amygdala. This calls into question a widely held assumption across human and animal research that fear responses are produced faster by low spatial frequencies. Our proposed mechanism suggests organisms quickly generate fear responses to a wide range

  16. Human Amygdala Tracks a Feature-Based Valence Signal Embedded within the Facial Expression of Surprise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, M Justin; Mattek, Alison M; Bennett, Randi H; Solomon, Kimberly M; Shin, Jin; Whalen, Paul J

    2017-09-27

    Human amygdala function has been traditionally associated with processing the affective valence (negative vs positive) of an emotionally charged event, especially those that signal fear or threat. However, this account of human amygdala function can be explained by alternative views, which posit that the amygdala might be tuned to either (1) general emotional arousal (activation vs deactivation) or (2) specific emotion categories (fear vs happy). Delineating the pure effects of valence independent of arousal or emotion category is a challenging task, given that these variables naturally covary under many circumstances. To circumvent this issue and test the sensitivity of the human amygdala to valence values specifically, we measured the dimension of valence within the single facial expression category of surprise. Given the inherent valence ambiguity of this category, we show that surprised expression exemplars are attributed valence and arousal values that are uniquely and naturally uncorrelated. We then present fMRI data from both sexes, showing that the amygdala tracks these consensus valence values. Finally, we provide evidence that these valence values are linked to specific visual features of the mouth region, isolating the signal by which the amygdala detects this valence information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT There is an open question as to whether human amygdala function tracks the valence value of cues in the environment, as opposed to either a more general emotional arousal value or a more specific emotion category distinction. Here, we demonstrate the utility of surprised facial expressions because exemplars within this emotion category take on valence values spanning the dimension of bipolar valence (positive to negative) at a consistent level of emotional arousal. Functional neuroimaging data showed that amygdala responses tracked the valence of surprised facial expressions, unconfounded by arousal. Furthermore, a machine learning classifier identified

  17. The Amygdala and the Relevance Detection Theory of Autism: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziana eZalla

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In the last few decades, there has been increasing interest in the role of the amygdala in psychiatric disorders and in particular its contribution to the socio-emotional impairments in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. Given that the amygdala is a component structure of the social brain, several theoretical explanations compatible with amygdala dysfunction have been proposed to account for socio-emotional impairments in ASDs, including abnormal eye contact, gaze monitoring, face processing, mental state understanding and empathy. Nevertheless, many theoretical accounts, based on the Amygdala Theory of Autism, fail to elucidate the complex pattern of impairments observed in this population, which extends beyond the social domain. As posited by the Relevance Detector theory (Sander, Grafman and Zalla, 2003, the human amygdala is a critical component of a brain circuit involved in the appraisal of self-relevant events that include, but are not restricted to, social stimuli. Here, we propose that the behavioral and social-emotional features of ASDs may be better understood in terms of a disruption in a ‘Relevance Detector Network’ affecting the processing of stimuli that are relevant for the organism’s self-regulating functions. In the present review, we will first summarize the main literature supporting the involvement of the amygdala in socio-emotional disturbances in ASDs. Next, we will present a revised version of the amygdala Relevance Detector hypothesis and we will show that this theoretical framework can provide a better understanding of the heterogeneity of the impairments and symptomatology of ASDs. Finally, we will discuss some predictions of our model, and suggest new directions in the investigation of the role of the amygdala within the more generally disrupted cortical connectivity framework as a model of neural organization of the autistic brain.

  18. The basolateral amygdala modulates specific sensory memory representations in the cerebral cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Chavez, Candice M.; McGaugh, James L.; Weinberger, Norman M.

    2008-01-01

    Stress hormones released by an experience can modulate memory strength via the basolateral amygdala, which in turn acts on sites of memory storage such as the cerebral cortex [McGaugh, J. L. (2004). The amygdala modulates the consolidation of memories of emotionally arousing experiences. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 1–28]. Stimuli that acquire behavioral importance gain increased representation in the cortex. For example, learning shifts the tuning of neurons in the primary auditory cor...

  19. Lateralized Interactive Social Content and Valence Processing within the Human Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Vrticka Pascal; Sander David; Vuilleumier Patrik

    2013-01-01

    In the past, the amygdala has generally been conceptualized as a fear-processing module. Recently, however, it has been proposed to respond to all stimuli that are relevant with respect to the current needs, goals, and values of an individual. This raises the question of whether the human amygdala may differentiate between separate kinds of relevance. A distinction between emotional (vs. neutral) and social (vs. non-social) relevance is supported by previous studies showing that the human amy...

  20. The Basolateral Amygdala and Nucleus Accumbens Core Mediate Dissociable Aspects of Drug Memory Reconsolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theberge, Florence R. M.; Milton, Amy L.; Belin, David; Lee, Jonathan L. C.; Everitt, Barry J.

    2010-01-01

    A distributed limbic-corticostriatal circuitry is implicated in cue-induced drug craving and relapse. Exposure to drug-paired cues not only precipitates relapse, but also triggers the reactivation and reconsolidation of the cue-drug memory. However, the limbic cortical-striatal circuitry underlying drug memory reconsolidation is unclear. The aim…

  1. Accumbens Shell AMPA Receptors Mediate Expression of Extinguished Reward Seeking through Interactions with Basolateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, E. Zayra; McNally, Gavan P.

    2011-01-01

    Extinction is the reduction in drug seeking when the contingency between drug seeking behavior and the delivery of drug reward is broken. Here, we investigated a role for the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). Rats were trained to respond for 4% (v/v) alcoholic beer in one context (Context A) followed by extinction in a second context (Context B).…

  2. ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple glutamatergic synapses in amygdala network is required for fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Po-Han; Chien, Ta-Chun; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Lien, Cheng-Chang

    2015-05-19

    Genetic variants in the human ortholog of acid-sensing ion channel-1a subunit (ASIC1a) gene are associated with panic disorder and amygdala dysfunction. Both fear learning and activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of cortico-basolateral amygdala (BLA) synapses are impaired in ASIC1a-null mice, suggesting a critical role of ASICs in fear memory formation. In this study, we found that ASICs were differentially expressed within the amygdala neuronal population, and the extent of LTP at various glutamatergic synapses correlated with the level of ASIC expression in postsynaptic neurons. Importantly, selective deletion of ASIC1a in GABAergic cells, including amygdala output neurons, eliminated LTP in these cells and reduced fear learning to the same extent as that found when ASIC1a was selectively abolished in BLA glutamatergic neurons. Thus, fear learning requires ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple amygdala synapses, including both cortico-BLA input synapses and intra-amygdala synapses on output neurons.

  3. Amygdala-dependent fear is regulated by Oprl1 in mice and humans with PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andero, Raül; Brothers, Shaun P; Jovanovic, Tanja; Chen, Yen T; Salah-Uddin, Hasib; Cameron, Michael; Bannister, Thomas D; Almli, Lynn; Stevens, Jennifer S; Bradley, Bekh; Binder, Elisabeth B; Wahlestedt, Claes; Ressler, Kerry J

    2013-06-05

    The amygdala-dependent molecular mechanisms driving the onset and persistence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are poorly understood. Recent observational studies have suggested that opioid analgesia in the aftermath of trauma may decrease the development of PTSD. Using a mouse model of dysregulated fear, we found altered expression within the amygdala of the Oprl1 gene (opioid receptor-like 1), which encodes the amygdala nociceptin (NOP)/orphanin FQ receptor (NOP-R). Systemic and central amygdala infusion of SR-8993, a new highly selective NOP-R agonist, impaired fear memory consolidation. In humans, a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within OPRL1 is associated with a self-reported history of childhood trauma and PTSD symptoms (n = 1847) after a traumatic event. This SNP is also associated with physiological startle measures of fear discrimination and magnetic resonance imaging analysis of amygdala-insula functional connectivity. Together, these data suggest that Oprl1 is associated with amygdala function, fear processing, and PTSD symptoms. Further, our data suggest that activation of the Oprl1/NOP receptor may interfere with fear memory consolidation, with implications for prevention of PTSD after a traumatic event.

  4. In vivo estimation of normal amygdala volume from structural MRI scans with anatomical-based segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siozopoulos, Achilleas; Thomaidis, Vasilios; Prassopoulos, Panos; Fiska, Aliki

    2018-02-01

    Literature includes a number of studies using structural MRI (sMRI) to determine the volume of the amygdala, which is modified in various pathologic conditions. The reported values vary widely mainly because of different anatomical approaches to the complex. This study aims at estimating of the normal amygdala volume from sMRI scans using a recent anatomical definition described in a study based on post-mortem material. The amygdala volume has been calculated in 106 healthy subjects, using sMRI and anatomical-based segmentation. The resulting volumes have been analyzed for differences related to hemisphere, sex, and age. The mean amygdalar volume was estimated at 1.42 cm 3 . The mean right amygdala volume has been found larger than the left, but the difference for the raw values was within the limits of the method error. No intersexual differences or age-related alterations have been observed. The study provides a method for determining the boundaries of the amygdala in sMRI scans based on recent anatomical considerations and an estimation of the mean normal amygdala volume from a quite large number of scans for future use in comparative studies.

  5. Amygdala and fusiform gyrus temporal dynamics: Responses to negative facial expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauch Scott L

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amygdala habituates in response to repeated human facial expressions; however, it is unclear whether this brain region habituates to schematic faces (i.e., simple line drawings or caricatures of faces. Using an fMRI block design, 16 healthy participants passively viewed repeated presentations of schematic and human neutral and negative facial expressions. Percent signal changes within anatomic regions-of-interest (amygdala and fusiform gyrus were calculated to examine the temporal dynamics of neural response and any response differences based on face type. Results The amygdala and fusiform gyrus had a within-run "U" response pattern of activity to facial expression blocks. The initial block within each run elicited the greatest activation (relative to baseline and the final block elicited greater activation than the preceding block. No significant differences between schematic and human faces were detected in the amygdala or fusiform gyrus. Conclusion The "U" pattern of response in the amygdala and fusiform gyrus to facial expressions suggests an initial orienting, habituation, and activation recovery in these regions. Furthermore, this study is the first to directly compare brain responses to schematic and human facial expressions, and the similarity in brain responses suggest that schematic faces may be useful in studying amygdala activation.

  6. Enhanced prefrontal-amygdala connectivity following childhood adversity as a protective mechanism against internalizing in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herringa, Ryan J; Burghy, Cory A; Stodola, Diane E; Fox, Michelle E; Davidson, Richard J; Essex, Marilyn J

    2016-07-01

    Much research has focused on the deleterious neurobiological effects of childhood adversity that may underlie internalizing disorders. While most youth show emotional adaptation following adversity, the corresponding neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this longitudinal community study, we examined the associations among childhood family adversity, adolescent internalizing symptoms, and their interaction on regional brain activation and amygdala/hippocampus functional connectivity during emotion processing in 132 adolescents. Consistent with prior work, childhood adversity predicted heightened amygdala reactivity to negative, but not positive, images in adolescence. However, amygdala reactivity was not related to internalizing symptoms. Furthermore, childhood adversity predicted increased fronto-amygdala connectivity to negative, but not positive, images, yet only in lower internalizing adolescents. Childhood adversity also predicted increased fronto-hippocampal connectivity to negative images, but was not moderated by internalizing. These findings were unrelated to adolescence adversity or externalizing symptoms, suggesting specificity to childhood adversity and adolescent internalizing. Together, these findings suggest that adaptation to childhood adversity is associated with augmentation of fronto-subcortical circuits specifically for negative emotional stimuli. Conversely, insufficient enhancement of fronto-amygdala connectivity, with increasing amygdala reactivity, may represent a neural signature of vulnerability for internalizing by late adolescence. These findings implicate early childhood as a critical period in determining the brain's adaptation to adversity, and suggest that even normative adverse experiences can have significant impact on neurodevelopment and functioning. These results offer potential neural mechanisms of adaptation and vulnerability which could be used in the prediction of risk for psychopathology following childhood

  7. Dynamic Changes in Amygdala Psychophysiological Connectivity Reveal Distinct Neural Networks for Facial Expressions of Basic Emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diano, Matteo; Tamietto, Marco; Celeghin, Alessia; Weiskrantz, Lawrence; Tatu, Mona-Karina; Bagnis, Arianna; Duca, Sergio; Geminiani, Giuliano; Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso

    2017-03-27

    The quest to characterize the neural signature distinctive of different basic emotions has recently come under renewed scrutiny. Here we investigated whether facial expressions of different basic emotions modulate the functional connectivity of the amygdala with the rest of the brain. To this end, we presented seventeen healthy participants (8 females) with facial expressions of anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and emotional neutrality and analyzed amygdala's psychophysiological interaction (PPI). In fact, PPI can reveal how inter-regional amygdala communications change dynamically depending on perception of various emotional expressions to recruit different brain networks, compared to the functional interactions it entertains during perception of neutral expressions. We found that for each emotion the amygdala recruited a distinctive and spatially distributed set of structures to interact with. These changes in amygdala connectional patters characterize the dynamic signature prototypical of individual emotion processing, and seemingly represent a neural mechanism that serves to implement the distinctive influence that each emotion exerts on perceptual, cognitive, and motor responses. Besides these differences, all emotions enhanced amygdala functional integration with premotor cortices compared to neutral faces. The present findings thus concur to reconceptualise the structure-function relation between brain-emotion from the traditional one-to-one mapping toward a network-based and dynamic perspective.

  8. Intranasal Oxytocin Administration Dampens Amygdala Reactivity towards Emotional Faces in Male and Female PTSD Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Saskia Bj; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Nawijn, Laura; Frijling, Jessie L; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2016-05-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disabling psychiatric disorder. As a substantial part of PTSD patients responds poorly to currently available psychotherapies, pharmacological interventions boosting treatment response are needed. Because of its anxiolytic and pro-social properties, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been proposed as promising strategy for treatment augmentation in PTSD. As a first step to investigate the therapeutic potential of OT in PTSD, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over functional MRI study examining OT administration effects (40 IU) on amygdala reactivity toward emotional faces in unmedicated male and female police officers with (n=37, 21 males) and without (n=40, 20 males) PTSD. Trauma-exposed controls were matched to PTSD patients based on age, sex, years of service and educational level. Under placebo, the expected valence-dependent amygdala reactivity (ie, greater activity toward fearful-angry faces compared with happy-neutral faces) was absent in PTSD patients. OT administration dampened amygdala reactivity toward all emotional faces in male and female PTSD patients, but enhanced amygdala reactivity in healthy male and female trauma-exposed controls, independent of sex and stimulus valence. In PTSD patients, greater anxiety prior to scanning and amygdala reactivity during the placebo session were associated with greater reduction of amygdala reactivity after OT administration. Taken together, our results indicate presumably beneficial neurobiological effects of OT administration in male and female PTSD patients. Future studies should investigate OT administration in clinical settings to fully appreciate its therapeutic potential.

  9. Disentangling the roles of arousal and amygdala activation in emotional declarative memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Voogd, Lycia D; Fernández, Guillén; Hermans, Erno J

    2016-09-01

    A large body of evidence in animals and humans implicates the amygdala in promoting memory for arousing experiences. Although the amygdala can trigger threat-related noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal, in humans amygdala activation and noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal do not always concur. This raises the question how these two processes play a role in enhancing emotional declarative memory. This study was designed to disentangle these processes in a combined subsequent-memory/fear-conditioning paradigm with neutral items belonging to two conceptual categories as conditioned stimuli. Functional MRI, skin conductance (index of sympathetic activity), and pupil dilation (indirect index of central noradrenergic activity) were acquired throughout procedures. Recognition memory for individual items was tested 24 h later. We found that pupil dilation and skin conductance responses were higher on CS+ (associated with a shock) compared with CS- trials, irrespective of later memory for those items. By contrast, amygdala activity was only higher for CS+ items that were later confidently remembered compared with CS+ items that were later forgotten. Thus, amygdala activity and not noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal, predicted enhanced declarative item memory. This dissociation is in line with animal models stating that the amygdala integrates arousal-related neuromodulatory changes to alter mnemonic processes elsewhere in the brain. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. A Developmental Shift from Positive to Negative Connectivity in Human Amygdala-Prefrontal Circuitry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, Dylan G.; Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Flannery, Jessica; Goff, Bonnie; Telzer, Eva H.; Shapiro, Mor; Hare, Todd A.; Bookheimer, Susan Y.; Tottenham, Nim

    2013-01-01

    Recent human imaging and animal studies highlight the importance of frontoamygdala circuitry in the regulation of emotional behavior and its disruption in anxiety-related disorders. While tracing studies have suggested changes in amygdala-cortical connectivity through the adolescent period in rodents, less is known about the reciprocal connections within this circuitry across human development, when these circuits are being fine-tuned and substantial changes in emotional control are observed. The present study examined developmental changes in amygdala-prefrontal circuitry across the ages of 4 to 22 years using task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results suggest positive amygdala-prefrontal connectivity in early childhood that switches to negative functional connectivity during the transition to adolescence. Amygdala-mPFC functional connectivity was significantly positive (greater than zero) among participants younger than ten, whereas functional connectivity was significantly negative (less than zero) among participants ten years and older, over and above the effect of amygdala reactivity. The developmental switch in functional connectivity was paralleled by a steady decline in amygdala reactivity. Moreover, the valence switch might explain age-related improvement in task performance and a developmentally normative decline in anxiety. Initial positive connectivity followed by a valence shift to negative connectivity provides a neurobiological basis for regulatory development and may present novel insight into a more general process of developing regulatory connections. PMID:23467374

  11. Functionally distinct amygdala subregions identified using DTI and high-resolution fMRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderston, Nicholas L.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Hopkins, Lauren

    2015-01-01

    Although the amygdala is often directly linked with fear and emotion, amygdala neurons are activated by a wide variety of emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Different subregions within the amygdala may be engaged preferentially by different aspects of emotional and non-emotional tasks. To test this hypothesis, we measured and compared the effects of novelty and fear on amygdala activity. We used high-resolution blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) imaging and streamline tractography to subdivide the amygdala into three distinct functional subunits. We identified a laterobasal subregion connected with the visual cortex that responds generally to visual stimuli, a non-projecting region that responds to salient visual stimuli, and a centromedial subregion connected with the diencephalon that responds only when a visual stimulus predicts an aversive outcome. We provide anatomical and functional support for a model of amygdala function where information enters through the laterobasal subregion, is processed by intrinsic circuits in the interspersed tissue, and is then passed to the centromedial subregion, where activation leads to behavioral output. PMID:25969533

  12. Preferential attention to animals and people is independent of the amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; New, Joshua; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala is thought to play a critical role in detecting salient stimuli. Several studies have taken ecological approaches to investigating such saliency, and argue for domain-specific effects for processing certain natural stimulus categories, in particular faces and animals. Linking this to the amygdala, neurons in the human amygdala have been found to respond strongly to faces and also to animals. However, the amygdala’s necessary role for such category-specific effects at the behavioral level remains untested. Here we tested four rare patients with bilateral amygdala lesions on an established change-detection protocol. Consistent with prior published studies, healthy controls showed reliably faster and more accurate detection of people and animals, as compared with artifacts and plants. So did all four amygdala patients: there were no differences in phenomenal change blindness, in behavioral reaction time to detect changes or in eye-tracking measures. The findings provide decisive evidence against a critical participation of the amygdala in rapid initial processing of attention to animate stimuli, suggesting that the necessary neural substrates for this phenomenon arise either in other subcortical structures (such as the pulvinar) or within the cortex itself. PMID:24795434

  13. Direction of Amygdala-Neocortex Interaction During Dynamic Facial Expression Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Wataru; Kochiyama, Takanori; Uono, Shota; Yoshikawa, Sakiko; Toichi, Motomi

    2017-03-01

    Dynamic facial expressions of emotion strongly elicit multifaceted emotional, perceptual, cognitive, and motor responses. Neuroimaging studies revealed that some subcortical (e.g., amygdala) and neocortical (e.g., superior temporal sulcus and inferior frontal gyrus) brain regions and their functional interaction were involved in processing dynamic facial expressions. However, the direction of the functional interaction between the amygdala and the neocortex remains unknown. To investigate this issue, we re-analyzed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 2 studies and magnetoencephalography (MEG) data from 1 study. First, a psychophysiological interaction analysis of the fMRI data confirmed the functional interaction between the amygdala and neocortical regions. Then, dynamic causal modeling analysis was used to compare models with forward, backward, or bidirectional effective connectivity between the amygdala and neocortical networks in the fMRI and MEG data. The results consistently supported the model of effective connectivity from the amygdala to the neocortex. Further increasing time-window analysis of the MEG demonstrated that this model was valid after 200 ms from the stimulus onset. These data suggest that emotional processing in the amygdala rapidly modulates some neocortical processing, such as perception, recognition, and motor mimicry, when observing dynamic facial expressions of emotion. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The importance of accurate anatomic assessment for the volumetric analysis of the amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Bonilha

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available There is a wide range of values reported in volumetric studies of the amygdala. The use of single plane thick magnetic resonance imaging (MRI may prevent the correct visualization of anatomic landmarks and yield imprecise results. To assess whether there is a difference between volumetric analysis of the amygdala performed with single plane MRI 3-mm slices and with multiplanar analysis of MRI 1-mm slices, we studied healthy subjects and patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. We performed manual delineation of the amygdala on T1-weighted inversion recovery, 3-mm coronal slices and manual delineation of the amygdala on three-dimensional volumetric T1-weighted images with 1-mm slice thickness. The data were compared using a dependent t-test. There was a significant difference between the volumes obtained by the coronal plane-based measurements and the volumes obtained by three-dimensional analysis (P < 0.001. An incorrect estimate of the amygdala volume may preclude a correct analysis of the biological effects of alterations in amygdala volume. Three-dimensional analysis is preferred because it is based on more extensive anatomical assessment and the results are similar to those obtained in post-mortem studies.

  16. fMRI neurofeedback of amygdala response to aversive stimuli enhances prefrontal-limbic brain connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paret, Christian; Ruf, Matthias; Gerchen, Martin Fungisai; Kluetsch, Rosemarie; Demirakca, Traute; Jungkunz, Martin; Bertsch, Katja; Schmahl, Christian; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-15

    Down-regulation of the amygdala with real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI NF) potentially allows targeting brain circuits of emotion processing and may involve prefrontal-limbic networks underlying effective emotion regulation. Little research has been dedicated to the effect of rtfMRI NF on the functional connectivity of the amygdala and connectivity patterns in amygdala down-regulation with neurofeedback have not been addressed yet. Using psychophysiological interaction analysis of fMRI data, we present evidence that voluntary amygdala down-regulation by rtfMRI NF while viewing aversive pictures was associated with increased connectivity of the right amygdala with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in healthy subjects (N=16). In contrast, a control group (N=16) receiving sham feedback did not alter amygdala connectivity (Group×Condition t-contrast: pneurofeedback to influence functional connectivity in key networks of emotion processing and regulation. This may be beneficial for patients suffering from severe emotion dysregulation by improving neural self-regulation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Post-traumatic stress and age variation in amygdala volumes among youth exposed to trauma.

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    Weems, Carl F; Klabunde, Megan; Russell, Justin D; Reiss, Allan L; Carrión, Victor G

    2015-12-01

    Theoretically, normal developmental variation in amygdala volumes may be altered under conditions of severe stress. The purpose of this article was to examine whether posttraumatic stress moderates the association between age and amygdala volumes in youth exposed to traumatic events who are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Volumetric imaging was conducted on two groups of youth aged 9-17 years: 28 with exposure to trauma and PTSD symptoms (boys = 15, girls = 13) and 26 matched (age, IQ) comparison youth (Controls; boys = 12, girls = 14). There was a significant group by age interaction in predicting right amygdala volumes. A positive association between age and right amygdala volumes was observed, but only in PTSD youth. These associations with age remained when controlling for IQ, total brain volumes and sex. Moreover, older youth with PTSD symptoms had relatively larger right amygdala volumes than controls. Findings provide evidence that severe stress may influence age-related variation in amygdala volumes. Results further highlight the importance of utilizing age as an interactive variable in pediatric neuroimaging research, in so far as age may act as an important moderator of group differences. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Inactivation of basolateral amygdala prevents chronic immobilization stress-induced memory impairment and associated changes in corticosterone levels.

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    Tripathi, Sunil Jamuna; Chakraborty, Suwarna; Srikumar, B N; Raju, T R; Shankaranarayana Rao, B S

    2017-07-01

    Chronic stress causes detrimental effects on various forms of learning and memory. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) not only plays a crucial role in mediating certain forms of memory, but also in the modulation of the effects of stress. Chronic immobilization stress (CIS) results in hypertrophy of the BLA, which is believed to be one of the underlying causes for stress' effects on learning. Thus, it is plausible that preventing the effects of CIS on amygdala would preclude its deleterious cognitive effects. Accordingly, in the first part, we evaluated the effect of excitotoxic lesion of the BLA on chronic stress-induced hippocampal-dependent spatial learning using a partially baited radial arm maze task. The BLA was ablated bilaterally using ibotenic acid prior to CIS. Chronically stressed rats showed impairment in spatial learning with decreased percentage correct choice and increased reference memory errors. Excitotoxic lesion of the BLA prevented the impairment in spatial learning and reference memory. In the retention test, lesion of the BLA was able to rescue the chronic stress-induced impairment. Interestingly, stress-induced enhanced plasma corticosterone levels were partially prevented by the lesion of BLA. These results motivated us to evaluate if the same effects can be observed with temporary inactivation of BLA, only during stress. We found that chronic stress-induced spatial learning deficits were also prevented by temporary inactivation of the BLA. Additionally, temporary inactivation of BLA partially precluded the stress-induced increase in plasma corticosterone levels. Thus, inactivation of BLA precludes stress-induced spatial learning deficits, and enhanced plasma corticosterone levels. It is speculated that BLA inactivation-induced reduction in corticosterone levels during stress, might be crucial in restoring spatial learning impairments. Our study provides evidence that amygdalar modulation during stress might be beneficial for strategic

  19. Inhibitory Gating of Basolateral Amygdala Inputs to the Prefrontal Cortex.

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    McGarry, Laura M; Carter, Adam G

    2016-09-07

    Interactions between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) regulate emotional behaviors. However, a circuit-level understanding of functional connections between these brain regions remains incomplete. The BLA sends prominent glutamatergic projections to the PFC, but the overall influence of these inputs is predominantly inhibitory. Here we combine targeted recordings and optogenetics to examine the synaptic underpinnings of this inhibition in the mouse infralimbic PFC. We find that BLA inputs preferentially target layer 2 corticoamygdala over neighboring corticostriatal neurons. However, these inputs make even stronger connections onto neighboring parvalbumin and somatostatin expressing interneurons. Inhibitory connections from these two populations of interneurons are also much stronger onto corticoamygdala neurons. Consequently, BLA inputs are able to drive robust feedforward inhibition via two parallel interneuron pathways. Moreover, the contributions of these interneurons shift during repetitive activity, due to differences in short-term synaptic dynamics. Thus, parvalbumin interneurons are activated at the start of stimulus trains, whereas somatostatin interneuron activation builds during these trains. Together, these results reveal how the BLA impacts the PFC through a complex interplay of direct excitation and feedforward inhibition. They also highlight the roles of targeted connections onto multiple projection neurons and interneurons in this cortical circuit. Our findings provide a mechanistic understanding for how the BLA can influence the PFC circuit, with important implications for how this circuit participates in the regulation of emotion. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) interact to control emotional behaviors. Here we show that BLA inputs elicit direct excitation and feedforward inhibition of layer 2 projection neurons in infralimbic PFC. BLA inputs are much stronger at corticoamygdala neurons compared

  20. Dissecting the role of amygdala reactivity in antisocial behavior in a sample of young, low-income, urban men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyde, Luke W.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Murray, Laura; Gard, Arianna; Hariri, Ahmad R.; Forbes, Erika E.

    2015-01-01

    Neuroimaging has suggested that amygdala reactivity to emotional facial expressions is associated with antisocial behavior (AB), particularly among those high on callous-unemotional (CU) traits. To investigate this association and potential moderators of this relationship, including task/stimuli effects, subregional anatomy of the amygdala, and participant race, we used fMRI in a sample of 167 racially diverse, 20 year-old men from low-income families. We found that AB, but not CU traits, was negatively related to amygdala reactivity to fearful faces. This result was specific to fearful faces and strongest in the centro-medial subregion of the amygdala. Arrest record was positively related to basolateral amygdala reactivity to fearful and angry faces. Results were strongest among those identified as African American and not present in those identified as European American. Our findings suggest substantial complexity in the relationship between amygdala function and AB reflecting moderating effects of task stimulus, subregional anatomy, and race. PMID:27429865

  1. Disconnection of basolateral amygdala and insular cortex disrupts conditioned approach in Pavlovian lever autoshaping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasser, Helen M; Lafferty, Danielle S; Lesser, Ellen N; Bacharach, Sam Z; Calu, Donna J

    2018-01-01

    Previously established individual differences in appetitive approach and devaluation sensitivity observed in goal- and sign-trackers may be attributed to differences in the acquisition, modification, or use of associative information in basolateral amygdala (BLA) pathways. Here, we sought to determine the extent to which communication of associative information between BLA and anterior portions of insular cortex (IC) supports ongoing Pavlovian conditioned approach behaviors in sign- and goal-tracking rats, in the absence of manipulations to outcome value. We hypothesized that the BLA mediates goal-, but not sign- tracking approach through interactions with the IC, a brain region involved in supporting flexible behavior. We first trained rats in Pavlovian lever autoshaping to determine their sign- or goal-tracking tendency. During alternating test sessions, we gave unilateral intracranial injections of vehicle or a cocktail of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor agonists, baclofen and muscimol, unilaterally into the BLA and contralaterally or ipsilaterally into the IC prior to reinforced lever autoshaping sessions. Consistent with our hypothesis we found that contralateral inactivation of BLA and IC increased the latency to approach the food cup and decreased the number of food cup contacts in goal-trackers. While contralateral inactivation of BLA and IC did not affect the total number of lever contacts in sign-trackers, this manipulation increased the latency to approach the lever. Ipsilateral inactivation of BLA and IC did not impact approach behaviors in Pavlovian lever autoshaping. These findings, contrary to our hypothesis, suggest that communication between BLA and IC maintains a representation of initially learned appetitive associations that commonly support the initiation of Pavlovian conditioned approach behavior regardless of whether it is directed at the cue or the location of reward delivery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Modulation of risk/reward decision making by dopaminergic transmission within the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkin, Joshua D; Jenni, Nicole L; Floresco, Stan B

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) transmission within cortico-limbic-striatal circuitry is integral in modulating decisions involving reward uncertainty. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) also plays a role in these processes, yet how DA transmission within this nucleus regulates cost/benefit decision making is unknown. We investigated the contribution of DA transmission within the BLA to risk/reward decision making assessed with a probabilistic discounting task. Rats were well-trained to choose between a small/certain reward and a large/risky reward, with the probability of obtaining the larger reward decreasing (100-12.5 %) or increasing (12.5-100 %) over a session. We examined the effects of antagonizing BLA D1 (SCH 23390, 0.1-1 μg) or D2 (eticlopride, 0.1-1 μg) receptors, as well as intra-BLA infusions of agonists for D1 (SKF 81297, 0.1-1 μg) and D2 (quinpirole, 1-10 μg) receptors. We also assessed how DA receptor stimulation may induce differential effects related to baseline levels of risky choice. BLA D1 receptor antagonism reduced risky choice by decreasing reward sensitivity, whereas D2 antagonism did not affect overall choice patterns. Stimulation of BLA D1 receptors optimized decision making in a baseline-dependent manner: in risk-averse rats, infusions of a lower dose of SKF81297 increased risky choice when reward probabilities were high (50 %), whereas in risk-prone rats, this drug reduced risky choice when probabilities were low (12.5 %). Quinpirole reduced risky choice in risk-prone rats, enhancing lose-shift behavior. These data highlight previously uncharacterized roles for BLA DA D1 and D2 receptors in biasing choice during risk/reward decision making through mediation of reward/negative feedback sensitivity.

  3. Modulation of cannabinoid signaling by amygdala α2-adrenergic system in fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasehi, Mohammad; Zamanparvar, Majid; Ebrahimi-Ghiri, Mohaddeseh; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-03-01

    The noradrenergic system plays a critical role in the modulation of emotional state, primarily related to anxiety, arousal, and stress. Growing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system mediates stress responses and emotional homeostasis, in part, by targeting noradrenergic circuits. In addition, there is an interaction between the cannabinoid and noradrenergic system that has significant functional and behavioral implications. Considering the importance of these systems in forming memories for fearful events, we have investigated the involvement of basolateral amygdala (BLA) α2-adrenoceptors on ACPA (as selective cannabinoid CB1 agonist)-induced inhibition of the acquisition of contextual and auditory conditioned fear. A contextual and auditory fear conditioning apparatus for assess fear memory in adult male NMRI mice was used. Pre-training, intraperitoneal administration of ACPA decreased the percentage freezing time in contextual (at doses of 0.05 and 0.1mg/kg) and auditory (at dose of 0.1 mg/kg) in the fear conditioning task, indicating memory acquisition deficit. The same result was observed with intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.001-0.5 μg/mouse, for both memories), as α2-adrenoceptor agonist and yohimbine (at doses of 0.005 and 0.05 for contextual and at dose of 0.05 μg/mouse for auditory fear memory), as α2-adrenoceptor antagonist. In addition, intra-BLA microinjection of clonidine (0.0005 μg/mouse) did not alter ACPA response in both conditions, while the same dose of yohimbine potentiated ACPA response at the lower dose on contextual fear memory. It is concluded that BLA α2-adrenergic receptors may be involved in context- but not tone-dependent fear memory impairment induced by activation of CB1 receptors. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Odor discrimination learning in the Indian greater short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx): differential expression of Egr-1, C-fos and PP-1 in the olfactory bulb, amygdala and hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukilan, Murugan; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Marimuthu, Ganapathy; Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel

    2018-04-19

    Activity-dependent expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) is induced by exposure to odor. The present study was designed to investigate whether there is differential expression of IEGs ( Egr-1 , C-fos ) in the brain region mediating olfactory memory in the Indian greater short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx We assumed that differential expression of IEGs in different brain regions may orchestrate a preference odor (PO) and aversive odor (AO) memory in C. sphinx We used preferred (0.8% wt/wt of cinnamon powder) and aversive (0.4% wt/vol of citral) odor substances, with freshly-prepared chopped apple, to assess the behavioural response and induction of IEGs in the olfactory bulb, hippocampus and amygdala. After experiencing PO and AO, the bats initially responded to both, later only engaging in feeding bouts in response to the PO food. The expression pattern of Egr-1 and C-fos in the olfactory bulb, hippocampus and amygdala was similar at different time points (15, 30 and 60 min) following the response to PO, but different for AO. The response to AO elevated the level of C-fos expression within 30 min and reduced it at 60 min in both the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus, as opposed to the continuous increase noted in the amygdala. In addition, we tested whether an epigenetic mechanism entailing protein phosphatase-1 (PP-1) acts on IEG expression. The observed PP-1 expression and the level of unmethylated/methylated promoter revealed that the C-fos expression is possibly controlled by an odor-mediated regulation of PP-1. These results in turn imply that the differential expression of C-fos in the hippocampus and amygdala may contribute to olfactory learning and memory in C. sphinx . © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Amygdala enlargement: Temporal lobe epilepsy subtype or nonspecific finding?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, Anny; Thesen, Thomas; Kuzniecky, Ruben; Devinsky, Orrin; McDonald, Carrie R; Jackson, Graeme D; Vaughan, David N; Blackmon, Karen

    2017-05-01

    Amygdala enlargement (AE) is observed in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), which has led to the suggestion that it represents a distinct TLE subtype; however, it is unclear whether AE is found at similar rates in other epilepsy syndromes or in healthy controls, which would limit its value as a marker for focal epileptogenicity. We compared rates of AE, defined quantitatively from high-resolution T1-weighted MRI, in a large multi-site sample of 136 patients with nonlesional localization related epilepsy (LRE), including TLE and extratemporal (exTLE) focal epilepsy, 34 patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE), and 233 healthy controls (HCs). AE was found in all groups including HCs; however, the rate of AE was higher in LRE (18.4%) than in IGE (5.9%) and HCs (6.4%). Patients with unilateral LRE were further evaluated to compare rates of concordant ipsilateral AE in TLE and exTLE, with the hypothesis that rates of ipsilateral AE would be higher in TLE. Although ipsilateral AE was higher in TLE (19.4%) than exTLE (10.5%), this difference was not significant. Furthermore, among the 25 patients with unilateral LRE and AE, 13 (52%) had either bilateral AE or AE contralateral to seizure onset. Results suggest that AE, as defined with MRI volumetry, may represent an associated feature of nonlesional localization related epilepsy with limited seizure onset localization value. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Muscarinic receptors in amygdala control trace fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amber N Baysinger

    Full Text Available Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA. The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning.

  7. Muscarinic receptors in amygdala control trace fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baysinger, Amber N; Kent, Brianne A; Brown, Thomas H

    2012-01-01

    Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF) is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA). The present study examined the role of amygdalar mAChRs in trace fear conditioning, a paradigm that requires transient memory. If mAChR-dependent EPF selectively supports transient memory, then blocking amygdalar mAChRs should impair trace conditioning, while sparing delay and context conditioning, which presumably do not rely upon transient memory. To test the EPF hypothesis, LA was bilaterally infused, prior to trace or delay conditioning, with either a mAChR antagonist (scopolamine) or saline. Computerized video analysis quantified the amount of freezing elicited by the cue and by the training context. Scopolamine infusion profoundly reduced freezing in the trace conditioning group but had no significant effect on delay or context conditioning. This pattern of results was uniquely anticipated by the EPF hypothesis. The present findings are discussed in terms of a systems-level theory of how EPF in LA and several other brain regions might help support trace fear conditioning.

  8. A Central Amygdala CRF Circuit Facilitates Learning about Weak Threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanford, Christina A; Soden, Marta E; Baird, Madison A; Miller, Samara M; Schulkin, Jay; Palmiter, Richard D; Clark, Michael; Zweifel, Larry S

    2017-01-04

    Fear is a graded central motive state ranging from mild to intense. As threat intensity increases, fear transitions from discriminative to generalized. The circuit mechanisms that process threats of different intensity are not well resolved. Here, we isolate a unique population of locally projecting neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) that produce the neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). CRF-producing neurons and CRF in the CeA are required for discriminative fear, but both are dispensable for generalized fear at high US intensities. Consistent with a role in discriminative fear, CRF neurons undergo plasticity following threat conditioning and selectively respond to threat-predictive cues. We further show that excitability of genetically isolated CRF-receptive (CRFR1) neurons in the CeA is potently enhanced by CRF and that CRFR1 signaling in the CeA is critical for discriminative fear. These findings demonstrate a novel CRF gain-control circuit and show separable pathways for graded fear processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Extinction of relapsed fear does not require the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingawi, Nura W; Westbrook, R Frederick; Laurent, Vincent

    2017-03-01

    It is well established that extinguished fears are restored with the passage of time or a change in physical context. These fear restoration phenomena are believed to mimic the conditions under which relapse occurs in patients that have been treated for anxiety disorders by means of cue-exposure therapy. Here, we used a rodent model to extinguish relapsed fear and assess whether this new extinction prevents further relapse. We found that activity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is required to initially extinguish conditioned fear, but this activity was not necessary to subsequently extinguish relapsed fear. That is, extinction of spontaneously recovered or renewed fear was spared by BLA inactivation. Yet, this BLA-independent learning of extinction did not protect against further relapse: extinction of relapsed fear conducted without BLA activity was still likely to return after the passage of time or a shift in physical context. These findings have important clinical implications. They indicate that pharmacological agents with anxiolytic properties may disrupt initial cue-exposure therapy but may be useful when therapy is again needed due to relapse. However, they also suggest that these agents will not protect against further relapse, implying the need for developing drugs that target other brain regions involved in fear inhibition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Protracted dendritic growth in the typically developing human amygdala and increased spine density in young ASD brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, R K; Bauman, M D; Jacobs, B; Schumann, C M

    2018-02-01

    The amygdala is a medial temporal lobe structure implicated in social and emotional regulation. In typical development (TD), the amygdala continues to increase volumetrically throughout childhood and into adulthood, while other brain structures are stable or decreasing in volume. In autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the amygdala undergoes rapid early growth, making it volumetrically larger in children with ASD compared to TD children. Here we explore: (a) if dendritic arborization in the amygdala follows the pattern of protracted growth in TD and early overgrowth in ASD and (b), if spine density in the amygdala in ASD cases differs from TD from youth to adulthood. The amygdala from 32 postmortem human brains (7-46 years of age) were stained using a Golgi-Kopsch impregnation. Ten principal neurons per case were selected in the lateral nucleus and traced using Neurolucida software in their entirety. We found that both ASD and TD individuals show a similar pattern of increasing dendritic length with age well into adulthood. However, spine density is (a) greater in young ASD cases compared to age-matched TD controls (ASD age into adulthood, a phenomenon not found in TD. Therefore, by adulthood, there is no observable difference in spine density in the amygdala between ASD and TD age-matched adults (≥18 years old). Our findings highlight the unique growth trajectory of the amygdala and suggest that spine density may contribute to aberrant development and function of the amygdala in children with ASD. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Amygdala functional disconnection with the prefrontal-cingulate-temporal circuit in chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Bo, Fan; Xia, Wenqing; Liu, Shenghua; Wang, Peng; Su, Wen; Xu, Jin-Jing; Xiong, Zhenyu; Yin, Xindao

    2017-10-03

    Chronic tinnitus is often accompanied with depressive symptom, which may arise from aberrant functional coupling between the amygdala and cerebral cortex. To explore this hypothesis, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the disrupted amygdala-cortical functional connectivity (FC) in chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood. Chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood (n=20), without depressive mood (n=20), and well-matched healthy controls (n=23) underwent resting-state fMRI scanning. Amygdala-cortical FC was characterized using a seed-based whole-brain correlation method. The bilateral amygdala FC was compared among the three groups. Compared to non-depressed patients, depressive tinnitus patients showed decreased amygdala FC with the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex as well as increased amygdala FC with the postcentral gyrus and lingual gyrus. Relative to healthy controls, depressive tinnitus patients revealed decreased amygdala FC with the superior and middle temporal gyrus, anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, and prefrontal cortex, as well as increased amygdala FC with the postcentral gyrus and lingual gyrus. The current study identified for the first time abnormal resting-state amygdala-cortical FC with the prefrontal-cingulate-temporal circuit in chronic tinnitus patients with depressive mood, which will provide novel insight into the underlying neuropathological mechanisms of tinnitus-induced depressive disorder. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Sociability Deficits and Altered Amygdala Circuits in Mice Lacking Pcdh10, an Autism Associated Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoch, Hannah; Kreibich, Arati S; Ferri, Sarah L; White, Rachel S; Bohorquez, Dominique; Banerjee, Anamika; Port, Russell G; Dow, Holly C; Cordero, Lucero; Pallathra, Ashley A; Kim, Hyong; Li, Hongzhe; Bilker, Warren B; Hirano, Shinji; Schultz, Robert T; Borgmann-Winter, Karin; Hahn, Chang-Gyu; Feldmeyer, Dirk; Carlson, Gregory C; Abel, Ted; Brodkin, Edward S

    2017-02-01

    Behavioral symptoms in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been attributed to abnormal neuronal connectivity, but the molecular bases of these behavioral and brain phenotypes are largely unknown. Human genetic studies have implicated PCDH10, a member of the δ2 subfamily of nonclustered protocadherin genes, in ASD. PCDH10 expression is enriched in the basolateral amygdala, a brain region implicated in the social deficits of ASD. Previous reports indicate that Pcdh10 plays a role in axon outgrowth and glutamatergic synapse elimination, but its roles in social behaviors and amygdala neuronal connectivity are unknown. We hypothesized that haploinsufficiency of Pcdh10 would reduce social approach behavior and alter the structure and function of amygdala circuits. Mice lacking one copy of Pcdh10 (Pcdh10 +/- ) and wild-type littermates were assessed for social approach and other behaviors. The lateral/basolateral amygdala was assessed for dendritic spine number and morphology, and amygdala circuit function was studied using voltage-sensitive dye imaging. Expression of Pcdh10 and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunits was assessed in postsynaptic density fractions of the amygdala. Male Pcdh10 +/- mice have reduced social approach behavior, as well as impaired gamma synchronization, abnormal spine morphology, and reduced levels of NMDAR subunits in the amygdala. Social approach deficits in Pcdh10 +/- male mice were rescued with acute treatment with the NMDAR partial agonist d-cycloserine. Our studies reveal that male Pcdh10 +/- mice have synaptic and behavioral deficits, and establish Pcdh10 +/- mice as a novel genetic model for investigating neural circuitry and behavioral changes relevant to ASD. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The amygdala as a neurobiological target for ghrelin in rats: neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayte Alvarez-Crespo

    Full Text Available Here, we sought to demonstrate that the orexigenic circulating hormone, ghrelin, is able to exert neurobiological effects (including those linked to feeding control at the level of the amygdala, involving neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioural studies. We found that ghrelin receptors (GHS-R are densely expressed in several subnuclei of the amygdala, notably in ventrolateral (LaVL and ventromedial (LaVM parts of the lateral amygdaloid nucleus. Using whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology to record from cells in the lateral amygdaloid nucleus, we found that ghrelin reduced the frequency of mEPSCs recorded from large pyramidal-like neurons, an effect that could be blocked by co-application of a ghrelin receptor antagonist. In ad libitum fed rats, intra-amygdala administration of ghrelin produced a large orexigenic response that lasted throughout the 4 hr of testing. Conversely, in hungry, fasted rats ghrelin receptor blockade in the amygdala significantly reduced food intake. Finally, we investigated a possible interaction between ghrelin's effects on feeding control and emotional reactivity exerted at the level of the amygdala. In rats allowed to feed during a 1-hour period between ghrelin injection and anxiety testing (elevated plus maze and open field, intra-amygdala ghrelin had no effect on anxiety-like behavior. By contrast, if the rats were not given access to food during this 1-hour period, a decrease in anxiety-like behavior was observed in both tests. Collectively, these data indicate that the amygdala is a valid target brain area for ghrelin where its neurobiological effects are important for food intake and for the suppression of emotional (anxiety-like behaviors if food is not available.

  14. Positive Facial Affect – An fMRI Study on the Involvement of Insula and Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Anna; Anders, Silke; Schulte-Rüther, Martin; Mathiak, Klaus; Kircher, Tilo

    2013-01-01

    Imitation of facial expressions engages the putative human mirror neuron system as well as the insula and the amygdala as part of the limbic system. The specific function of the latter two regions during emotional actions is still under debate. The current study investigated brain responses during imitation of positive in comparison to non-emotional facial expressions. Differences in brain activation of the amygdala and insula were additionally examined during observation and execution of facial expressions. Participants imitated, executed and observed happy and non-emotional facial expressions, as well as neutral faces. During imitation, higher right hemispheric activation emerged in the happy compared to the non-emotional condition in the right anterior insula and the right amygdala, in addition to the pre-supplementary motor area, middle temporal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. Region-of-interest analyses revealed that the right insula was more strongly recruited by (i) imitation and execution than by observation of facial expressions, that (ii) the insula was significantly stronger activated by happy than by non-emotional facial expressions during observation and imitation and that (iii) the activation differences in the right amygdala between happy and non-emotional facial expressions were increased during imitation and execution, in comparison to sole observation. We suggest that the insula and the amygdala contribute specifically to the happy emotional connotation of the facial expressions depending on the task. The pattern of the insula activity might reflect increased bodily awareness during active execution compared to passive observation and during visual processing of the happy compared to non-emotional facial expressions. The activation specific for the happy facial expression of the amygdala during motor tasks, but not in the observation condition, might reflect increased autonomic activity or feedback from facial muscles to the amygdala. PMID

  15. TOTAL NUMBER, DISTRIBUTION, AND PHENOTYPE OF CELLS EXPRESSING CHONDROITIN SULPHATE PROTEOGLYCANS IN THE NORMAL HUMAN AMYGDALA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantazopoulos, Harry; Murray, Elisabeth A.; Berretta, Sabina

    2009-01-01

    Chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are a key structural component of the brain extracellular matrix. They are involved in critical neurodevelopmental functions and are one of the main components of pericellular aggregates known as perineuronal nets. As a step toward investigating their functional and pathophysiological roles in the human amygdala, we assessed the pattern of CSPG expression in the normal human amygdala using wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA) lectin-histochemistry. Total numbers of WFA-labeled elements were measured in the lateral (LN), basal (BN), accessory basal (ABN) and cortical (CO) nuclei of the amygdala from 15 normal adult human subjects. For interspecies qualitative comparison, we also investigated the pattern of WFA labeling in the amygdala of naïve rats (n=32) and rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta; n=6). In human amygdala, WFA lectin-histochemistry resulted in labeling of perineuronal nets and cells with clear glial morphology, while neurons did not show WFA-labeling. Total numbers of WFA-labeled glial cells showed high interindividual variability. These cells aggregated in clusters with a consistent between-subjects spatial distribution. In a subset of human subjects (n=5), dual color fluorescence using an antibody raised against glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and WFA showed that the majority (93.7%) of WFA-labeled glial cells correspond to astrocytes. In rat and monkey amygdala, WFA histochemistry labeled perineuronal nets, but not glial cells. These results suggest that astrocytes are the main cell type expressing CSPGs in the adult human amygdala. Their highly segregated distribution pattern suggests that these cells serve specialized functions within human amygdalar nuclei. PMID:18374308

  16. Increased amygdala responses to emotional faces after psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roseman, Leor; Demetriou, Lysia; Wall, Matthew B; Nutt, David J; Carhart-Harris, Robin L

    2017-12-27

    Recent evidence indicates that psilocybin with psychological support may be effective for treating depression. Some studies have found that patients with depression show heightened amygdala responses to fearful faces and there is reliable evidence that treatment with SSRIs attenuates amygdala responses (Ma, 2015). We hypothesised that amygdala responses to emotional faces would be altered post-treatment with psilocybin. In this open-label study, 20 individuals diagnosed with moderate to severe, treatment-resistant depression, underwent two separate dosing sessions with psilocybin. Psychological support was provided before, during and after these sessions and 19 completed fMRI scans one week prior to the first session and one day after the second and last. Neutral, fearful and happy faces were presented in the scanner and analyses focused on the amygdala. Group results revealed rapid and enduring improvements in depressive symptoms post psilocybin. Increased responses to fearful and happy faces were observed in the right amygdala post-treatment, and right amygdala increases to fearful versus neutral faces were predictive of clinical improvements at 1-week. Psilocybin with psychological support was associated with increased amygdala responses to emotional stimuli, an opposite effect to previous findings with SSRIs. This suggests fundamental differences in these treatments' therapeutic actions, with SSRIs mitigating negative emotions and psilocybin allowing patients to confront and work through them. Based on the present results, we propose that psilocybin with psychological support is a treatment approach that potentially revives emotional responsiveness in depression, enabling patients to reconnect with their emotions. ISRCTN, number ISRCTN14426797. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Bipolar mood state reflected in cortico-amygdala resting state connectivity: A cohort and longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Roscoe O; Margolis, Allison; Masters, Grace A; Keshavan, Matcheri; Öngür, Dost

    2017-08-01

    Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI), we previously compared cohorts of bipolar I subjects in a manic state to those in a euthymic state to identify mood state-specific patterns of cortico-amygdala connectivity. Our results suggested that mania is reflected in the disruption of emotion regulation circuits. We sought to replicate this finding in a group of subjects with bipolar disorder imaged longitudinally across states of mania and euthymia METHODS: We divided our subjects into three groups: 26 subjects imaged in a manic state, 21 subjects imaged in a euthymic state, and 10 subjects imaged longitudinally across both mood states. We measured differences in amygdala connectivity between the mania and euthymia cohorts. We then used these regions of altered connectivity to examine connectivity in the longitudinal bipolar group using a within-subjects design. Our findings in the mania vs euthymia cohort comparison were replicated in the longitudinal analysis. Bipolar mania was differentiated from euthymia by decreased connectivity between the amygdala and pre-genual anterior cingulate cortex. Mania was also characterized by increased connectivity between amygdala and the supplemental motor area, a region normally anti-correlated to the amygdala in emotion regulation tasks. Stringent controls for movement effects limited the number of subjects in the longitudinal sample. In this first report of rsfMRI conducted longitudinally across mood states, we find that previously observed between-group differences in amygdala connectivity are also found longitudinally within subjects. These results suggest resting state cortico-amygdala connectivity is a biomarker of mood state in bipolar disorder. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Attentional bias towards and away from fearful faces is modulated by developmental amygdala damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pishnamazi, Morteza; Tafakhori, Abbas; Loloee, Sogol; Modabbernia, Amirhossein; Aghamollaii, Vajiheh; Bahrami, Bahador; Winston, Joel S

    2016-08-01

    The amygdala is believed to play a major role in orienting attention towards threat-related stimuli. However, behavioral studies on amygdala-damaged patients have given inconsistent results-variously reporting decreased, persisted, and increased attention towards threat. Here we aimed to characterize the impact of developmental amygdala damage on emotion perception and the nature and time-course of spatial attentional bias towards fearful faces. We investigated SF, a 14-year-old with selective bilateral amygdala damage due to Urbach-Wiethe disease (UWD), and ten healthy controls. Participants completed a fear sensitivity questionnaire, facial expression classification task, and dot-probe task with fearful or neutral faces for spatial cueing. Three cue durations were used to assess the time-course of attentional bias. SF expressed significantly lower fear sensitivity, and showed a selective impairment in classifying fearful facial expressions. Despite this impairment in fear recognition, very brief (100 msec) fearful cues could orient SF's spatial attention. In healthy controls, the attentional bias emerged later and persisted longer. SF's attentional bias was due solely to facilitated engagement to fear, while controls showed the typical phenomenon of difficulty in disengaging from fear. Our study is the first to demonstrate the separable effects of amygdala damage on engagement and disengagement of spatial attention. The findings indicate that multiple mechanisms contribute in biasing attention towards fear, which vary in their timing and dependence on amygdala integrity. It seems that the amygdala is not essential for rapid attention to emotion, but probably has a role in assessment of biological relevance. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Developmental disruption of amygdala transcriptome and socioemotional behavior in rats exposed to valproic acid prenatally.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Catherine E; Hennessey, Thomas M; Gordon, Katelyn M; Ryan, Steve J; McNair, Morgan L; Ressler, Kerry J; Rainnie, Donald G

    2017-01-01

    The amygdala controls socioemotional behavior and has consistently been implicated in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Precocious amygdala development is commonly reported in ASD youth with the degree of overgrowth positively correlated to the severity of ASD symptoms. Prenatal exposure to VPA leads to an ASD phenotype in both humans and rats and has become a commonly used tool to model the complexity of ASD symptoms in the laboratory. Here, we examined abnormalities in gene expression in the amygdala and socioemotional behavior across development in the valproic acid (VPA) rat model of ASD. Rat dams received oral gavage of VPA (500 mg/kg) or saline daily between E11 and 13. Socioemotional behavior was tracked across development in both sexes. RNA sequencing and proteomics were performed on amygdala samples from male rats across development. Effects of VPA on time spent in social proximity and anxiety-like behavior were sex dependent, with social abnormalities presenting in males and heightened anxiety in females. Across time VPA stunted developmental and immune, but enhanced cellular death and disorder, pathways in the amygdala relative to saline controls. At postnatal day 10, gene pathways involved in nervous system and cellular development displayed predicted activations in prenatally exposed VPA amygdala samples. By juvenile age, however, transcriptomic and proteomic pathways displayed reductions in cellular growth and neural development. Alterations in immune pathways, calcium signaling, Rho GTPases, and protein kinase A signaling were also observed. As behavioral, developmental, and genomic alterations are similar to those reported in ASD, these results lend support to prenatal exposure to VPA as a useful tool for understanding how developmental insults to molecular pathways in the amygdala give rise to ASD-related syndromes.

  20. Role of habenula and amygdala dysfunction in Parkinson disease patients with punding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markovic, Vladana; Agosta, Federica; Canu, Elisa; Inuggi, Alberto; Petrovic, Igor; Stankovic, Iva; Imperiale, Francesca; Stojkovic, Tanja; Kostic, Vladimir S; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-06-06

    To assess whether a functional dysregulation of the habenula and amygdala, as modulators of the reward brain circuit, contributes to Parkinson disease (PD) punding. Structural and resting-state functional MRI were obtained from 22 patients with PD punding, 30 patients with PD without any impulsive-compulsive behavior (ICB) matched for disease stage and duration, motor impairment, and cognitive status, and 30 healthy controls. Resting-state functional connectivity of the habenula and amygdala bilaterally was assessed using a seed-based approach. Habenula and amygdala volumes and cortical thickness measures were obtained. Compared to both healthy controls and PD cases without any ICB (PD-no ICB), PD-punding patients showed higher functional connectivity of habenula and amygdala with thalamus and striatum bilaterally, and lower connectivity between bilateral habenula and left frontal and precentral cortices. In PD-punding relative to PD-no ICB patients, a lower functional connectivity between right amygdala and hippocampus was also observed. Habenula and amygdala volumes were not different among groups. PD-punding patients showed a cortical thinning of the left superior frontal and precentral gyri and right middle temporal gyrus and isthmus cingulate compared to healthy controls, and of the right inferior frontal gyrus compared to both controls and PD-no ICB patients. A breakdown of the connectivity among the crucial nodes of the reward circuit (i.e., habenula, amygdala, basal ganglia, frontal cortex) might be a contributory factor to punding in PD. This study provides potential instruments to detect and monitor punding in patients with PD. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  1. Panic Anxiety in Humans with Bilateral Amygdala Lesions: Pharmacological Induction via Cardiorespiratory Interoceptive Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalsa, Sahib S; Feinstein, Justin S; Li, Wei; Feusner, Jamie D; Adolphs, Ralph; Hurlemann, Rene

    2016-03-23

    We previously demonstrated that carbon dioxide inhalation could induce panic anxiety in a group of rare lesion patients with focal bilateral amygdala damage. To further elucidate the amygdala-independent mechanisms leading to aversive emotional experiences, we retested two of these patients (B.G. and A.M.) to examine whether triggering palpitations and dyspnea via stimulation of non-chemosensory interoceptive channels would be sufficient to elicit panic anxiety. Participants rated their affective and sensory experiences following bolus infusions of either isoproterenol, a rapidly acting peripheral β-adrenergic agonist akin to adrenaline, or saline. Infusions were administered during two separate conditions: a panic induction and an assessment of cardiorespiratory interoception. Isoproterenol infusions induced anxiety in both patients, and full-blown panic in one (patient B.G.). Although both patients demonstrated signs of diminished awareness for cardiac sensation, patient A.M., who did not panic, reported a complete lack of awareness for dyspnea, suggestive of impaired respiratory interoception. These findings indicate that the amygdala may play a role in dynamically detecting changes in cardiorespiratory sensation. The induction of panic anxiety provides further evidence that the amygdala is not required for the conscious experience of fear induced via interoceptive sensory channels. We found that monozygotic twins with focal bilateral amygdala lesions report panic anxiety in response to intravenous infusions of isoproterenol, a β-adrenergic agonist similar to adrenaline. Heightened anxiety was evident in both twins, with one twin experiencing a panic attack. The twin who did not panic displayed signs of impaired cardiorespiratory interoception, including a complete absence of dyspnea sensation. These findings highlight that the amygdala is not strictly required for the experience of panic anxiety, and suggest that neural systems beyond the amygdala are also

  2. Structural Covariance of the Prefrontal-Amygdala Pathways Associated with Heart Rate Variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Luqing; Chen, Hong; Wu, Guo-Rong

    2018-01-01

    The neurovisceral integration model has shown a key role of the amygdala in neural circuits underlying heart rate variability (HRV) modulation, and suggested that reciprocal connections from amygdala to brain regions centered on the central autonomic network (CAN) are associated with HRV. To provide neuroanatomical evidence for these theoretical perspectives, the current study used covariance analysis of MRI-based gray matter volume (GMV) to map structural covariance network of the amygdala, and then determined whether the interregional structural correlations related to individual differences in HRV. The results showed that covariance patterns of the amygdala encompassed large portions of cortical (e.g., prefrontal, cingulate, and insula) and subcortical (e.g., striatum, hippocampus, and midbrain) regions, lending evidence from structural covariance analysis to the notion that the amygdala was a pivotal node in neural pathways for HRV modulation. Importantly, participants with higher resting HRV showed increased covariance of amygdala to dorsal medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (dmPFC/dACC) extending into adjacent medial motor regions [i.e., pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA)/SMA], demonstrating structural covariance of the prefrontal-amygdala pathways implicated in HRV, and also implying that resting HRV may reflect the function of neural circuits underlying cognitive regulation of emotion as well as facilitation of adaptive behaviors to emotion. Our results, thus, provide anatomical substrates for the neurovisceral integration model that resting HRV may index an integrative neural network which effectively organizes emotional, cognitive, physiological and behavioral responses in the service of goal-directed behavior and adaptability.

  3. Positive facial affect - an fMRI study on the involvement of insula and amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Pohl

    Full Text Available Imitation of facial expressions engages the putative human mirror neuron system as well as the insula and the amygdala as part of the limbic system. The specific function of the latter two regions during emotional actions is still under debate. The current study investigated brain responses during imitation of positive in comparison to non-emotional facial expressions. Differences in brain activation of the amygdala and insula were additionally examined during observation and execution of facial expressions. Participants imitated, executed and observed happy and non-emotional facial expressions, as well as neutral faces. During imitation, higher right hemispheric activation emerged in the happy compared to the non-emotional condition in the right anterior insula and the right amygdala, in addition to the pre-supplementary motor area, middle temporal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. Region-of-interest analyses revealed that the right insula was more strongly recruited by (i imitation and execution than by observation of facial expressions, that (ii the insula was significantly stronger activated by happy than by non-emotional facial expressions during observation and imitation and that (iii the activation differences in the right amygdala between happy and non-emotional facial expressions were increased during imitation and execution, in comparison to sole observation. We suggest that the insula and the amygdala contribute specifically to the happy emotional connotation of the facial expressions depending on the task. The pattern of the insula activity might reflect increased bodily awareness during active execution compared to passive observation and during visual processing of the happy compared to non-emotional facial expressions. The activation specific for the happy facial expression of the amygdala during motor tasks, but not in the observation condition, might reflect increased autonomic activity or feedback from facial muscles to the

  4. Effects of Optogenetic inhibition of BLA on Sleep Brief Optogenetic Inhibition of the Basolateral Amygdala in Mice Alters Effects of Stressful Experiences on Rapid Eye Movement Sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machida, Mayumi; Wellman, Laurie L; Fitzpatrick Bs, Mairen E; Hallum Bs, Olga; Sutton Bs, Amy M; Lonart, György; Sanford, Larry D

    2017-04-01

    Stressful events can directly produce significant alterations in subsequent sleep, in particular rapid eye movement sleep (REM); however, the neural mechanisms underlying the process are not fully known. Here, we investigated the role of the basolateral nuclei of the amygdala (BLA) in regulating the effects of stressful experience on sleep. We used optogenetics to briefly inhibit glutamatergic cells in BLA during the presentation of inescapable footshock (IS) and assessed effects on sleep, the acute stress response, and fear memory. c-Fos expression was also assessed in the amygdala and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), both regions involved in coping with stress, and in brain stem regions implicated in the regulation of REM. Compared to control mice, peri-shock inhibition of BLA attenuated an immediate reduction in REM after IS and produced a significant overall increase in REM. Moreover, upon exposure to the shock context alone, mice receiving peri-shock inhibition of BLA during training showed increased REM without altered freezing (an index of fear memory) or stress-induced hyperthermia (an index of acute stress response). Inhibition of BLA during REM under freely sleeping conditions enhanced REM only when body temperature was high, suggesting the effect was influenced by stress. Peri-shock inhibition of BLA also led to elevated c-Fos expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala and mPFC and differentially altered c-Fos activity in the selected brain stem regions. Glutamatergic cells in BLA can modulate the effects of stress on REM and can mediate effects of fear memory on sleep that can be independent of behavioral fear. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Minimal traumatic brain injury causes persistent changes in DNA methylation at BDNF gene promoters in rat amygdala: A possible role in anxiety-like behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagarkar, Sneha; Bhamburkar, Tanmayi; Shelkar, Gajanan; Choudhary, Amit; Kokare, Dadasaheb M; Sakharkar, Amul J

    2017-10-01

    Minimal traumatic brain injury (MTBI) often transforms into chronic neuropsychiatric conditions including anxiety, the underlying mechanisms of which are largely unknown. In the present study, we employed the closed-head injury paradigm to induce MTBI in rats and examined whether DNA methylation can explain long-term changes in the expression of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the amygdala as well as trauma-induced anxiety-like behaviors. The MTBI caused anxiety-like behaviors and altered the expression of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) isoforms (DNMT1, DNMT3a, and DNMT3b) and factors involved in DNA demethylation such as the growth arrest and DNA damage 45 (GADD45a and GADD45b). After 30days of MTBI, the over-expression of DNMT3a and DNMT3b corresponded to heightened DNMT activity, whereas the mRNA levels of GADD45a and GADD45b were declined. The methylated cytosine levels at the BDNF promoters (Ip, IVp and IXp) were increased in the amygdala of the trauma-induced animals; these coincided negatively with the mRNA levels of exon IV and IXa, but not of exon I. Interestingly, treatment with 5-azacytidine, a pan DNMT inhibitor, normalized the MTBI-induced DNMT activity and DNA hypermethylation at exon IVp and IXp. Furthermore, 5-azacytidine also corrected the deficits in the expression of exons IV and IXa and reduced the anxiety-like behaviors. These results suggest that the DNMT-mediated DNA methylation at the BDNF IVp and IXp might be involved in the regulation of BDNF gene expression in the amygdala. Further, it could also be related to MTBI-induced anxiety-like behaviors via the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Intercultural Mediation

    OpenAIRE

    Dragos Marian Radulescu; Denisa Mitrut

    2012-01-01

    The Intercultural Mediator facilitates exchanges between people of different socio-cultural backgrounds and acts as a bridge between immigrants and national and local associations, health organizations, services and offices in order to foster integration of every single individual. As the use mediation increases, mediators are more likely to be involved in cross-cultural mediation, but only the best mediators have the opportunity to mediate cross border business disputes or international poli...

  7. How Human Amygdala and Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis May Drive Distinct Defensive Responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klumpers, Floris; Kroes, Marijn C W; Baas, Johanna M P; Fernández, Guillén

    2017-10-04

    The ability to adaptively regulate responses to the proximity of potential danger is critical to survival and imbalance in this system may contribute to psychopathology. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is implicated in defensive responding during uncertain threat anticipation whereas the amygdala may drive responding upon more acute danger. This functional dissociation between the BNST and amygdala is however controversial, and human evidence scarce. Here we used data from two independent functional magnetic resonance imaging studies [ n = 108 males and n = 70 (45 females)] to probe how coordination between the BNST and amygdala may regulate responses during shock anticipation and actual shock confrontation. In a subset of participants from Sample 2 ( n = 48) we demonstrate that anticipation and confrontation evoke bradycardic and tachycardic responses, respectively. Further, we show that in each sample when going from shock anticipation to the moment of shock confrontation neural activity shifted from a region anatomically consistent with the BNST toward the amygdala. Comparisons of functional connectivity during threat processing showed overlapping yet also consistently divergent functional connectivity profiles for the BNST and amygdala. Finally, childhood maltreatment levels predicted amygdala, but not BNST, hyperactivity during shock anticipation. Our results support an evolutionary conserved, defensive distance-dependent dynamic balance between BNST and amygdala activity. Shifts in this balance may enable shifts in defensive reactions via the demonstrated differential functional connectivity. Our results indicate that early life stress may tip the neural balance toward acute threat responding and via that route predispose for affective disorder. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Previously proposed differential contributions of the BNST and amygdala to fear and anxiety have been recently debated. Despite the significance of understanding their

  8. Asymmetry of Hippocampus and Amygdala Defect in Subjective Cognitive Decline Among the Community Dwelling Chinese

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ling Yue

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Subjective cognitive decline (SCD may be the first clinical sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD. SCD individuals with normal cognition may already have significant medial temporal lobe atrophy. However, few studies have been devoted to exploring the alteration of left-right asymmetry with hippocampus and amygdala in SCD. The aim of this study was to compare SCD individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI patients and the normal population for volume and asymmetry of hippocampus, amygdala and temporal horn, and to assess their relationship with cognitive function in elderly population living in China.Methods: 111 SCD, 30 MCI, and 67 healthy controls (HC underwent a standard T1-weighted MRI, from which the volumes of the hippocampus and amygdala were calculated and compared. Then we evaluated the pattern and extent of asymmetry in hippocampus and amygdala of these samples. Furthermore, we also investigated the relationship between the altered brain regions and cognitive function.Results: Among the three groups, SCD showed more depressive symptoms (p < 0.001 and higher percentage of heart disease (16.4% vs. 35.1%, p = 0.007 than controls. In terms of brain data, significant differences were found in the volume and asymmetry of both hippocampus and amygdala among the three groups (P < 0.05. In logistic analysis controlled by age, gender, education level, depression symptoms, anxiety symptom, somatic disease and lifestyle in terms of smoking, both SCD and MCI individuals showed significant decreased right hippocampal and amygdala volume than controls. For asymmetry pattern, a ladder-shaped difference of left-larger-than-right asymmetry was found in amygdala with MCI>SCD>HC, and an opposite asymmetry of left-less-than-right pattern was found with HC>SCD>MCI in hippocampus. Furthermore, correlation was shown between the volume of right hippocampus and right amygdala with MMSE and MoCA in SCD group.Conclusion: Our results supported

  9. Preregistered Replication of "Affective Flexibility: Evaluative Processing Goals Shape Amygdala Activity".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumian, Daniel S; McRae, Kateri

    2017-09-01

    The human amygdala is sensitive to stimulus characteristics, and growing evidence suggests that it is also responsive to cognitive framing in the form of evaluative goals. To examine whether different evaluations of stimulus characteristics shape amygdala activation, we conducted a preregistered replication of Cunningham, Van Bavel, and Johnsen's (2008) study demonstrating flexible mapping of amygdala activation to stimulus characteristics, depending on evaluative goals. Participants underwent functional MRI scanning while viewing famous names under three conditions: They were asked to report their overall attitude toward each name, their positive associations only, or their negative associations only. We observed an interaction between condition and rating type, identified as the effect of interest in Cunningham et al. (2008). Specifically, postscan positivity, but not negativity, ratings predicted left amygdala activation when participants were asked to evaluate positive, but not negative, associations with the names. These results provide convergent evidence that cognitive framing, in the form of evaluative goals, can significantly alter whether amygdala activation indexes positivity or negativity.

  10. Stimulus Intensity-dependent Modulations of Hippocampal Long-term Potentiation by Basolateral Amygdala Priming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zexuan eLi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available There is growing realization that the relationship between memory and stress/emotionality is complicated, and may include both memory enhancing and memory impairing aspects. It has been suggested that the underlying mechanisms involve amygdalar modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP. We recently reported that while in CA1 basolateral amygdala (BLA priming impaired theta stimulation induced LTP, it enhanced LTP in the dentate gyrus (DG. However, emotional and stressfull experiences were found to activate synaptic plasticity within the BLA, rasing the possibility that BLA modulation of other brain regions may be altered as well, as it may depend on the way the BLA is activated or is responding. In previous studies BLA priming stimulation was relatively weak (1V, 50 µs pulse duration. In the present study we assessed the effects of two stronger levels of BLA priming stimulation (1V or 2V, 100 µs pulse duration on LTP induction in hippocampal DG and CA1, in anesthetized rats. Results show that 1V-BLA priming stimulation enhanced but 2V-BLA priming stimulation impaired DG LTP; however, both levels of BLA priming stimulation impaired CA1 LTP, suggesting that modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by amygdala is dependent on the degree of amygdala activation. These findings suggest that plasticity induced within the amygdala, by stressful experiences induces a form of metaplasticity that would alter the way the amygdala may modulate memory-related processes in other brain areas, such as the hippocampus.

  11. Intrinsic functional connectivity between amygdala and hippocampus during rest predicts enhanced memory under stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Voogd, Lycia D; Klumpers, Floris; Fernández, Guillén; Hermans, Erno J

    2017-01-01

    Declarative memories of stressful events are less prone to forgetting than mundane events. Animal research has demonstrated that such stress effects on consolidation of hippocampal-dependent memories require the amygdala. In humans, it has been shown that during learning, increased amygdala-hippocampal interactions are related to more efficient memory encoding. Animal models predict that following learning, amygdala-hippocampal interactions are instrumental to strengthening the consolidation of such declarative memories. Whether this is the case in humans is unknown and remains to be empirically verified. To test this, we analyzed data from a sample of 120 healthy male participants who performed an incidental encoding task and subsequently underwent resting-state functional MRI in a stressful and a neutral context. Stress was assessed by measures of salivary cortisol, blood pressure, heart rate, and subjective ratings. Memory was tested afterwards outside of the scanner. Our data show that memory was stronger in the stress context compared to the neutral context and that stress-induced cortisol responses were associated with this memory enhancement. Interestingly, amygdala-hippocampal connectivity during post-encoding awake rest regardless of context (stress or neutral) was associated with the enhanced memory performance under stress. Thus, our findings are in line with a role for intrinsic functional connectivity during rest between the amygdala and the hippocampus in the state effects of stress on strengthening memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Fluoxetine pretreatment promotes neuronal survival and maturation after auditory fear conditioning in the rat amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lizhu Jiang

    Full Text Available The amygdala is a critical brain region for auditory fear conditioning, which is a stressful condition for experimental rats. Adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG of the hippocampus, known to be sensitive to behavioral stress and treatment of the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX, is involved in the formation of hippocampus-dependent memories. Here, we investigated whether neurogenesis also occurs in the amygdala and contributes to auditory fear memory. In rats showing persistent auditory fear memory following fear conditioning, we found that the survival of new-born cells and the number of new-born cells that differentiated into mature neurons labeled by BrdU and NeuN decreased in the amygdala, but the number of cells that developed into astrocytes labeled by BrdU and GFAP increased. Chronic pretreatment with FLX partially rescued the reduction in neurogenesis in the amygdala and slightly suppressed the maintenance of the long-lasting auditory fear memory 30 days after the fear conditioning. The present results suggest that adult neurogenesis in the amygdala is sensitive to antidepressant treatment and may weaken long-lasting auditory fear memory.

  13. Altered time course of amygdala activation during speech anticipation in social anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Carolyn D; Young, Katherine; Torre, Jared B; Burklund, Lisa J; Goldin, Philippe R; Brown, Lily A; Niles, Andrea N; Lieberman, Matthew D; Craske, Michelle G

    2017-02-01

    Exaggerated anticipatory anxiety is common in social anxiety disorder (SAD). Neuroimaging studies have revealed altered neural activity in response to social stimuli in SAD, but fewer studies have examined neural activity during anticipation of feared social stimuli in SAD. The current study examined the time course and magnitude of activity in threat processing brain regions during speech anticipation in socially anxious individuals and healthy controls (HC). Participants (SAD n=58; HC n=16) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during which they completed a 90s control anticipation task and 90s speech anticipation task. Repeated measures multi-level modeling analyses were used to examine group differences in time course activity during speech vs. control anticipation for regions of interest, including bilateral amygdala, insula, ventral striatum, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. The time course of amygdala activity was more prolonged and less variable throughout speech anticipation in SAD participants compared to HCs, whereas the overall magnitude of amygdala response did not differ between groups. Magnitude and time course of activity was largely similar between groups across other regions of interest. Analyses were restricted to regions of interest and task order was the same across participants due to the nature of deception instructions. Sustained amygdala time course during anticipation may uniquely reflect heightened detection of threat or deficits in emotion regulation in socially anxious individuals. Findings highlight the importance of examining temporal dynamics of amygdala responding. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Bursley, James K; Ramsburg, Jared; Creswell, J David

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month is associated with greater bilateral amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) rsFC in a sample of community adults (n = 130). A follow-up, single-blind randomized controlled trial shows that a 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation training intervention (relative to a well-matched 3-day relaxation training intervention without a mindfulness component) reduced right amygdala-sgACC rsFC in a sample of stressed unemployed community adults (n = 35). Although stress may increase amygdala-sgACC rsFC, brief training in mindfulness meditation could reverse these effects. This work provides an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training promotes functional neuroplastic changes, suggesting an amygdala-sgACC pathway for stress reduction effects. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. The role of the amygdala in naturalistic mentalising in typical development and in autism spectrum disorder.

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    Rosenblau, Gabriela; Kliemann, Dorit; Lemme, Benjamin; Walter, Henrik; Heekeren, Hauke R; Dziobek, Isabel

    2016-06-01

    The substantial discrepancy between mentalising in experimental settings v. real-life social interactions hinders the understanding of the neural basis of real-life social cognition and of social impairments in psychiatric disorders. To determine the neural mechanisms underlying naturalistic mentalising in individuals with and without autism spectrum disorder. We investigated mentalising with a new video-based functional magnetic resonance imaging task in 20 individuals with autism spectrum disorder and 22 matched healthy controls. Naturalistic mentalising implicated regions of the traditional mentalising network (medial prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction), and additionally the insula and amygdala. Moreover, amygdala activity predicted implicit mentalising performance on an independent behavioural task. Compared with controls, the autism spectrum disorder group did not show differences in neural activity within classical mentalising regions. They did, however, show reduced amygdala activity and a reduced correlation between amygdala activity and mentalising accuracy on the behavioural task, compared with controls. These findings highlight the crucial role of the amygdala in making accurate implicit mental state inferences in typical development and in the social cognitive impairments of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016.

  16. Emotion dysregulation and amygdala dopamine D2-type receptor availability in methamphetamine users.

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    Okita, Kyoji; Ghahremani, Dara G; Payer, Doris E; Robertson, Chelsea L; Dean, Andy C; Mandelkern, Mark A; London, Edythe D

    2016-04-01

    Individuals who use methamphetamine chronically exhibit emotional and dopaminergic neurochemical deficits. Although the amygdala has an important role in emotion processing and receives dopaminergic innervation, little is known about how dopamine transmission in this region contributes to emotion regulation. This investigation aimed to evaluate emotion regulation in subjects who met DSM-IV criteria for methamphetamine dependence, and to test for a relationship between self-reports of difficulty in emotion regulation and D2-type dopamine receptor availability in the amygdala. Ninety-four methamphetamine-using and 102 healthy-control subjects completed the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS); 33 of those who used methamphetamine completed the Addiction Severity Index (ASI). A subset of 27 methamphetamine-group and 20 control-group subjects completed positron emission tomography with [(18)F]fallypride to assay amygdala D2-type dopamine receptor availability, measured as binding potential (BPND). The methamphetamine group scored higher than the control group on the DERS total score (pmethamphetamine group. The DERS total score was positively correlated with amygdala BPND in both groups and the combined group of participants (combined: r=0.331, p=0.02), and the groups did not differ in this relationship. These findings highlight problems with emotion regulation linked to methamphetamine use, possibly contributing to personal and interpersonal behavioral problems. They also suggest that D2-type dopamine receptors in the amygdala contribute to emotion regulation in both healthy and methamphetamine-using subjects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Blunted amygdala functional connectivity during a stress task in alcohol dependent individuals: A pilot study

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    Natasha E. Wade, M.S.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Scant research has been conducted on neural mechanisms underlying stress processing in individuals with alcohol dependence (AD. We examined neural substrates of stress in AD individuals compared with controls using an fMRI task previously shown to induce stress, assessing amygdala functional connectivity to medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. Materials and methods: For this novel pilot study, 10 abstinent AD individuals and 11 controls completed a modified Trier stress task while undergoing fMRI acquisition. The amygdala was used as a seed region for whole-brain seed-based functional connectivity analysis. Results: After controlling for family-wise error (p = 0.05, there was significantly decreased left and right amygdala connectivity with frontal (specifically mPFC, temporal, parietal, and cerebellar regions. Subjective stress, but not craving, increased from pre-to post-task. Conclusions: This study demonstrated decreased connectivity between the amygdala and regions important for stress and emotional processing in long-term abstinent individuals with AD. These results suggest aberrant stress processing in individuals with AD even after lengthy periods of abstinence. Keywords: Alcohol dependence, fMRI, Stress task, Functional connectivity, Amygdala

  18. Amygdala reactivity predicts adolescent antisocial behavior but not callous-unemotional traits

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    Hailey L. Dotterer

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested divergent relationships between antisocial behavior (AB and callous-unemotional (CU traits and amygdala reactivity to fearful and angry facial expressions in adolescents. However, little work has examined if these findings extend to dimensional measures of behavior in ethnically diverse, non-clinical samples, or if participant sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, and age moderate associations. We examined links between amygdala reactivity and dimensions of AB and CU traits in 220 Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caucasian adolescents (age 11–15; 49.5% female; 38.2% Hispanic, half of whom had a family history for depression and thus were at relatively elevated risk for late starting, emotionally dysregulated AB. We found that AB was significantly related to increased right amygdala reactivity to angry facial expressions independent of sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, age, and familial risk status for depression. CU traits were not related to fear- or anger-related amygdala reactivity. The present study further demonstrates that AB is related to increased amygdala reactivity to interpersonal threat cues in adolescents, and that this relationship generalizes across sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, age, and familial risk status for depression.

  19. Human Neural Stem Cells Overexpressing Choline Acetyltransferase Restore Unconditioned Fear in Rats with Amygdala Injury

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    Kyungha Shin

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Amygdala is involved in the fear memory that recognizes certain environmental cues predicting threatening events. Manipulation of neurotransmission within the amygdala affects the expression of conditioned and unconditioned emotional memories such as fear freezing behaviour. We previously demonstrated that F3.ChAT human neural stem cells (NSCs overexpressing choline acetyltransferase (ChAT improve cognitive function of Alzheimer’s disease model rats with hippocampal or cholinergic nerve injuries by increasing acetylcholine (ACh level. In the present study, we examined the effect of F3.ChAT cells on the deficit of unconditioned fear freezing. Rats given N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA in their amygdala 2 weeks prior to cat odor exposure displayed very short resting (freezing time compared to normal animals. NMDA induced neuronal degeneration in the amygdala, leading to a decreased ACh concentration in cerebrospinal fluid. However, intracerebroventricular transplantation of F3.ChAT cells attenuated amygdala lesions 4 weeks after transplantation. The transplanted cells were found in the NMDA-injury sites and produced ChAT protein. In addition, F3.ChAT-receiving rats recuperated freezing time staying remote from the cat odor source, according to the recovery of brain ACh concentration. The results indicate that human NSCs overexpressing ChAT may facilitate retrieval of unconditioned fear memory by increasing ACh level.

  20. Recurrent hypoglycemia increases anxiety and amygdala norepinephrine release during subsequent hypoglycemia

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    Ewan eMcNay

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Recurrent hypoglycemia (RH is a common and debilitating side effect of therapy in patients with both type 1 and, increasingly, type 2 diabetes. Previous studies in rats have shown marked effects of RH on subsequent hippocampal behavioral, metabolic, and synaptic processes. In addition to impaired memory, patients experiencing RH report alterations in cognitive processes that include mood and anxiety, suggesting that RH may also affect amygdala function. We tested the impact of RH on amygdala function using an elevated plus-maze test of anxiety together with in vivo amygdala microdialysis for norepinephrine (NEp, a widely used marker of basolateral amygdala cognitive processes. In contrast to findings in the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex, neither RH nor acute hypoglycemia alone significantly affected plus-maze performance or NEp release. However, animals tested when hypoglycemic who had previously experienced RH had elevated amygdala NEp during plus-maze testing, accompanied by increased anxiety (i.e. less time spent in the open arms of the plus-maze. The results show that RH has widespread effects on subsequent brain function, which vary by neural system.

  1. Changes in prefrontal and amygdala activity during olanzapine treatment in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Giuseppe; Popolizio, Teresa; Taurisano, Paolo; Caforio, Grazia; Romano, Raffaella; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Sambataro, Fabio; Rubino, Valeria; Latorre, Valeria; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Fazio, Leonardo; Nardini, Marcello; Weinberger, Daniel R; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2009-07-15

    Earlier imaging studies in schizophrenia have reported abnormal amygdala and prefrontal cortex activity during emotion processing. We investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during emotion processing changes in activity of the amygdala and of prefrontal cortex in patients with schizophrenia during 8 weeks of olanzapine treatment. Twelve previously drug-free/naive patients with schizophrenia were treated with olanzapine for 8 weeks and underwent two fMRI scans after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment during implicit and explicit emotional processing. Twelve healthy subjects were also scanned twice to control for potential repetition effects. Results showed a diagnosis by time interaction in left amygdala and a diagnosis by time by task interaction in right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In particular, activity in left amygdala was greater in patients than in controls at the first scan during both explicit and implicit processing, while it was lower in patients at the second relative to the first scan. Furthermore, during implicit processing, right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity was lower in patients than controls at the first scan, while it was greater in patients at the second relative to the first scan. These results suggest that longitudinal treatment with olanzapine may be associated with specific changes in activity of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex during emotional processing in schizophrenia.

  2. Amygdala response to negative images in postpartum vs nulliparous women and intranasal oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupp, Heather A; James, Thomas W; Ketterson, Ellen D; Sengelaub, Dale R; Ditzen, Beate; Heiman, Julia R

    2014-01-01

    The neuroendocrine state of new mothers may alter their neural processing of stressors in the environment through modulatory actions of oxytocin on the limbic system. We predicted that amygdala sensitivity to negatively arousing stimuli would be suppressed in postpartum compared to nulliparous women and that this suppression would be modulated by administration of oxytocin nasal spray. We measured brain activation (fMRI) and subjective arousal in response to negatively arousing pictures in 29 postpartum and 30 nulliparous women who received either oxytocin nasal spray or placebo before scanning. Pre- and post-exposure urinary cortisol levels were also measured. Postpartum women (placebo) demonstrated lower right amygdala activation in response to negative images, lower cortisol and lower negative photo arousal ratings to nulliparous women. Nulliparous women receiving oxytocin had lower right amygdala activation compared to placebo. Cortisol levels in the placebo group, and ratings of arousal across all women, were positively associated with right amygdala activation. Together, these findings demonstrate reductions in both amygdala activation and subjective negative arousal in untreated postpartum vs nulliparous women, supporting the hypothesis of an attenuated neural response to arousing stimuli in postpartum women. A causal role of oxytocin and the timing of potential effects require future investigation.

  3. Amygdala activation in response to facial expressions in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britton, Jennifer C.; Stewart, S. Evelyn; Killgore, William D.S.; Rosso, Isabelle M.; Price, Lauren M.; Gold, Andrea L.; Pine, Daniel S.; Wilhelm, Sabine; Jenike, Michael A.; Rauch, Scott L.

    2010-01-01

    Background Exaggerated amygdala activation to threatening faces has been detected in adults and children with anxiety disorders, compared to healthy comparison subjects. However, the profile of amygdala activation in response to facial expressions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be a distinguishing feature; a prior study found that compared with healthy adults, adults with OCD exhibited less amygdala activation to emotional and neutral faces, relative to fixation (Cannistraro et al., 2004). Methods In the current event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, a pediatric OCD sample (N=12) and a healthy comparison sample (HC, N=17) performed a gender discrimination task while viewing emotional faces (happy, fear, disgust) and neutral faces. Results Compared to the HC group, the OCD group showed less amygdala/hippocampus activation in all emotion and neutral conditions relative to fixation. Conclusions Like previous reports in adult OCD, pediatric OCD may have a distinct neural profile from other anxiety disorders, with respect to amygdala activation in response to emotional stimuli that are not disorder-specific. PMID:20602430

  4. Implications of newborn amygdala connectivity for fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age

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    Graham, Alice M.; Buss, Claudia; Rasmussen, Jerod M.; Rudolph, Marc D.; Demeter, Damion V.; Gilmore, John H.; Styner, Martin; Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D.; Fair, Damien A.

    2015-01-01

    The first year of life is an important period for emergence of fear in humans. While animal models have revealed developmental changes in amygdala circuitry accompanying emerging fear, human neural systems involved in early fear development remain poorly understood. To increase understanding of the neural foundations of human fear, it is important to consider parallel cognitive development, which may modulate associations between typical development of early fear and subsequent risk for fear-related psychopathology. We, therefore, examined amygdala functional connectivity with rs-fcMRI in 48 neonates (M=3.65 weeks, SD=1.72), and measured fear and cognitive development at 6-months-of-age. Stronger, positive neonatal amygdala connectivity to several regions, including bilateral anterior insula and ventral striatum, was prospectively associated with higher fear at 6-months. Stronger amygdala connectivity to ventral anterior cingulate/anterior medial prefrontal cortex predicted a specific phenotype of higher fear combined with more advanced cognitive development. Overall, findings demonstrate unique profiles of neonatal amygdala functional connectivity related to emerging fear and cognitive development, which may have implications for normative and pathological fear in later years. Consideration of infant fear in the context of cognitive development will likely contribute to a more nuanced understanding of fear, its neural bases, and its implications for future mental health. PMID:26499255

  5. The effects of neonatal amygdala or hippocampus lesions on adult social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Moadab, Gilda; Santistevan, Anthony; Amaral, David G

    2017-03-30

    The present report details the final phase of a longitudinal evaluation of the social behavior in a cohort of adult rhesus monkeys that received bilateral neurotoxic lesions of the amygdala or hippocampus, or sham operations at 2 weeks of age. Results were compared to previous studies in which adult animals received amygdala lesions and were tested in a similar fashion. Social testing with four novel interaction partners occurred when the animals were between 7 and 8 years of age. Experimental animals interacted with two male and two female partners in two conditions - one in which physical access was restricted (the constrained social access condition) and a second in which physical access was unrestricted (the unconstrained social access condition). Across conditions and interaction partners, there were no significant effects of lesion condition on the frequency or duration of social interactions. As a group, the hippocampus-lesioned animals generated the greatest number of communicative signals during the constrained social access condition. Amygdala-lesioned animals generated more frequent stress-related behaviors and were less exploratory. Amygdala and hippocampus-lesioned animals demonstrated greater numbers of stereotypies than control animals. Subtle, lesion-based differences in the sequencing of behaviors were observed. These findings suggest that alterations of adult social behavior are much less prominent when damage to the amygdala occurs early in life rather than in adulthood. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Amygdala reactivity predicts adolescent antisocial behavior but not callous-unemotional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotterer, Hailey L; Hyde, Luke W; Swartz, Johnna R; Hariri, Ahmad R; Williamson, Douglas E

    2017-04-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested divergent relationships between antisocial behavior (AB) and callous-unemotional (CU) traits and amygdala reactivity to fearful and angry facial expressions in adolescents. However, little work has examined if these findings extend to dimensional measures of behavior in ethnically diverse, non-clinical samples, or if participant sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, and age moderate associations. We examined links between amygdala reactivity and dimensions of AB and CU traits in 220 Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caucasian adolescents (age 11-15; 49.5% female; 38.2% Hispanic), half of whom had a family history for depression and thus were at relatively elevated risk for late starting, emotionally dysregulated AB. We found that AB was significantly related to increased right amygdala reactivity to angry facial expressions independent of sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, age, and familial risk status for depression. CU traits were not related to fear- or anger-related amygdala reactivity. The present study further demonstrates that AB is related to increased amygdala reactivity to interpersonal threat cues in adolescents, and that this relationship generalizes across sex, ethnicity, pubertal stage, age, and familial risk status for depression. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Robust Selectivity for Faces in the Human Amygdala in the Absence of Expressions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mende-Siedlecki, Peter; Verosky, Sara C.; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B.; Todorov, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    There is a well-established posterior network of cortical regions that plays a central role in face processing and that has been investigated extensively. In contrast, although responsive to faces, the amygdala is not considered a core face-selective region, and its face selectivity has never been a topic of systematic research in human neuroimaging studies. Here, we conducted a large-scale group analysis of fMRI data from 215 participants. We replicated the posterior network observed in prior studies but found equally robust and reliable responses to faces in the amygdala. These responses were detectable in most individual participants, but they were also highly sensitive to the initial statistical threshold and habituated more rapidly than the responses in posterior face-selective regions. A multivariate analysis showed that the pattern of responses to faces across voxels in the amygdala had high reliability over time. Finally, functional connectivity analyses showed stronger coupling between the amygdala and posterior face-selective regions during the perception of faces than during the perception of control visual categories. These findings suggest that the amygdala should be considered a core face-selective region. PMID:23984945

  8. An earlier time of scan is associated with greater threat-related amygdala reactivity.

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    Baranger, David A A; Margolis, Seth; Hariri, Ahmad R; Bogdan, Ryan

    2017-08-01

    Time-dependent variability in mood and anxiety suggest that related neural phenotypes, such as threat-related amygdala reactivity, may also follow a diurnal pattern. Here, using data from 1,043 young adult volunteers, we found that threat-related amygdala reactivity was negatively coupled with time of day, an effect which was stronger in the left hemisphere (β = -0.1083, p-fdr = 0.0012). This effect was moderated by subjective sleep quality (β = -0.0715, p-fdr = 0.0387); participants who reported average and poor sleep quality had relatively increased left amygdala reactivity in the morning. Bootstrapped simulations suggest that similar cross-sectional samples with at least 300 participants would be able to detect associations between amygdala reactivity and time of scan. In control analyses, we found no associations between time and V1 activation. Our results provide initial evidence that threat-related amygdala reactivity may vary diurnally, and that this effect is potentiated among individuals with average to low sleep quality. More broadly, our results suggest that considering time of scan in study design or modeling time of scan in analyses, as well as collecting additional measures of circadian variation, may be useful for understanding threat-related neural phenotypes and their associations with behavior, such as fear conditioning, mood and anxiety symptoms, and related phenotypes. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  9. Enhanced temporal variability of amygdala-frontal functional connectivity in patients with schizophrenia.

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    Yue, Jing-Li; Li, Peng; Shi, Le; Lin, Xiao; Sun, Hong-Qiang; Lu, Lin

    2018-01-01

    The "dysconnectivity hypothesis" was proposed 20 years ago. It characterized schizophrenia as a disorder with dysfunctional connectivity across a large range of distributed brain areas. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data have supported this theory. Previous studies revealed that the amygdala might be responsible for the emotion regulation-related symptoms of schizophrenia. However, conventional methods oversimplified brain activities by assuming that it remained static throughout the entire scan duration, which may explain why inconsistent results have been reported for the same brain region. An emerging technique is sliding time window analysis, which is used to describe functional connectivity based on the temporal variability of regions of interest (e.g., amygdala) in patients with schizophrenia. Conventional analysis of the static functional connectivity between the amygdala and whole brain was also conducted. Static functional connectivity between the amygdala and orbitofrontal region was impaired in patients with schizophrenia. The variability of connectivity between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex was enhanced (i.e., greater dynamics) in patients with schizophrenia. A negative relationship was found between the variability of connectivity and information processing efficiency. A positive correlation was found between the variability of connectivity and symptom severity. The findings suggest that schizophrenia was related to abnormal patterns of fluctuating communication among brain areas that are involved in emotion regulations. Unveiling the temporal properties of functional connectivity could disentangle the inconsistent results of previous functional connectivity studies.

  10. Does the amygdala response correlate with the personality trait 'harm avoidance' while evaluating emotional stimuli explicitly?

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    Van Schuerbeek, Peter; Baeken, Chris; Luypaert, Robert; De Raedt, Rudi; De Mey, Johan

    2014-05-07

    The affective personality trait 'harm avoidance' (HA) from Cloninger's psychobiological personality model determines how an individual deals with emotional stimuli. Emotional stimuli are processed by a neural network that include the left and right amygdalae as important key nodes. Explicit, implicit and passive processing of affective stimuli are known to activate the amygdalae differently reflecting differences in attention, level of detailed analysis of the stimuli and the cognitive control needed to perform the required task. Previous studies revealed that implicit processing or passive viewing of affective stimuli, induce a left amygdala response that correlates with HA. In this new study we have tried to extend these findings to the situation in which the subjects were required to explicitly process emotional stimuli. A group of healthy female participants was asked to rate the valence of positive and negative stimuli while undergoing fMRI. Afterwards the neural responses of the participants to the positive and to the negative stimuli were separately correlated to their HA scores and compared between the low and high HA participants. Both analyses revealed increased neural activity in the left laterobasal (LB) amygdala of the high HA participants while they were rating the positive and the negative stimuli. Our results indicate that the left amygdala response to explicit processing of affective stimuli does correlate with HA.

  11. β-Adrenergic enhancement of neuronal excitability in the lateral amygdala is developmentally gated.

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    Fink, Ann E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2018-05-01

    Noradrenergic signaling in the amygdala is important for processing threats and other emotionally salient stimuli, and β-adrenergic receptor activation is known to enhance neuronal spiking in the lateral amygdala (LA) of juvenile animals. Nevertheless, intracellular recordings have not yet been conducted to determine the effect of β-adrenergic receptor activation on spike properties in the adult LA, despite the potential significance of developmental changes between adolescence and adulthood. Here we demonstrate that the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (15 μM) enhances spike frequency in dorsal LA principal neurons of juvenile male C57BL/6 mice and fails to do so in strain- and sex-matched adults. Furthermore, we find that the age-dependent effect of isoproterenol on spike frequency is occluded by the GABA A receptor blocker picrotoxin (75 μM), suggesting that β-adrenergic receptors downregulate tonic inhibition specifically in juvenile animals. These findings indicate a significant shift during adolescence in the cellular mechanisms of β-adrenergic modulation in the amygdala. NEW & NOTEWORTHY β-Adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) in amygdala are important in processing emotionally salient stimuli. Most cellular recordings have examined juvenile animals, while behavioral data are often obtained from adults. We replicate findings showing that β-ARs enhance spiking of principal cells in the lateral amygdala of juveniles, but we fail to find this in adults. These findings have notable scientific and clinical implications regarding the noradrenergic modulation of threat processing, alterations of which underlie fear and anxiety disorders.

  12. Bidirectional electric communication between the inferior occipital gyrus and the amygdala during face processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Wataru; Kochiyama, Takanori; Uono, Shota; Matsuda, Kazumi; Usui, Keiko; Usui, Naotaka; Inoue, Yushi; Toichi, Motomi

    2017-09-01

    Faces contain multifaceted information that is important for human communication. Neuroimaging studies have revealed face-specific activation in multiple brain regions, including the inferior occipital gyrus (IOG) and amygdala; it is often assumed that these regions constitute the neural network responsible for the processing of faces. However, it remains unknown whether and how these brain regions transmit information during face processing. This study investigated these questions by applying dynamic causal modeling of induced responses to human intracranial electroencephalography data recorded from the IOG and amygdala during the observation of faces, mosaics, and houses in upright and inverted orientations. Model comparisons assessing the experimental effects of upright faces versus upright houses and upright faces versus upright mosaics consistently indicated that the model having face-specific bidirectional modulatory effects between the IOG and amygdala was the most probable. The experimental effect between upright versus inverted faces also favored the model with bidirectional modulatory effects between the IOG and amygdala. The spectral profiles of modulatory effects revealed both same-frequency (e.g., gamma-gamma) and cross-frequency (e.g., theta-gamma) couplings. These results suggest that the IOG and amygdala communicate rapidly with each other using various types of oscillations for the efficient processing of faces. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4511-4524, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Comprehensive identification of age-related lipidome changes in rat amygdala during normal aging.

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    Roman Šmidák

    Full Text Available Brain lipids are integral components of brain structure and function. However, only recent advancements of chromatographic techniques together with mass spectrometry allow comprehensive identification of lipid species in complex brain tissue. Lipid composition varies between the individual areas and the majority of previous reports was focusing on individual lipids rather than a lipidome. Herein, a mass spectrometry-based approach was used to evaluate age-related changes in the lipidome of the rat amygdala obtained from young (3 months and old (20 months males of the Sprague-Dawley rat strain. A total number of 70 lipid species with significantly changed levels between the two animal groups were identified spanning four main lipid classes, i.e. glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids and sterol lipids. These included phospholipids with pleiotropic brain function, such as derivatives of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylethanolamine. The analysis also revealed significant level changes of phosphatidic acid, diacylglycerol, sphingomyelin and ceramide that directly represent lipid signaling and affect amygdala neuronal activity. The amygdala is a crucial brain region for cognitive functions and former studies on rats and humans showed that this region changes its activity during normal aging. As the information on amygdala lipidome is very limited the results obtained in the present study represent a significant novelty and may contribute to further studies on the role of lipid molecules in age-associated changes of amygdala function.

  14. Human amygdala response to dynamic facial expressions of positive and negative surprise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrticka, Pascal; Lordier, Lara; Bediou, Benoît; Sander, David

    2014-02-01

    Although brain imaging evidence accumulates to suggest that the amygdala plays a key role in the processing of novel stimuli, only little is known about its role in processing expressed novelty conveyed by surprised faces, and even less about possible interactive encoding of novelty and valence. Those investigations that have already probed human amygdala involvement in the processing of surprised facial expressions either used static pictures displaying negative surprise (as contained in fear) or "neutral" surprise, and manipulated valence by contextually priming or subjectively associating static surprise with either negative or positive information. Therefore, it still remains unresolved how the human amygdala differentially processes dynamic surprised facial expressions displaying either positive or negative surprise. Here, we created new artificial dynamic 3-dimensional facial expressions conveying surprise with an intrinsic positive (wonderment) or negative (fear) connotation, but also intrinsic positive (joy) or negative (anxiety) emotions not containing any surprise, in addition to neutral facial displays either containing ("typical surprise" expression) or not containing ("neutral") surprise. Results showed heightened amygdala activity to faces containing positive (vs. negative) surprise, which may either correspond to a specific wonderment effect as such, or to the computation of a negative expected value prediction error. Findings are discussed in the light of data obtained from a closely matched nonsocial lottery task, which revealed overlapping activity within the left amygdala to unexpected positive outcomes. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  15. Zinc release in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala by stimulation of the entorhinal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Atsushi; Imano, Sachie; Itoh, Hiromasa; Oku, Naoto

    2006-11-06

    Zinc release in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala was examined using rat brain slices. The lateral and basolateral nuclei in the amygdala were evidently stained by Timm's sulfide-silver staining method. When the amygdala including both the nuclei was stimulated with 100 mM KCl by means of in vivo microdialysis, extracellular zinc concentration was increased significantly. Zinc release in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala innervated by the entorhinal cortex was next examined in brain slices double-stained with zinc and calcium indicators. Extracellular zinc signal (ZnAF-2) in the lateral nucleus was increased with intracellular calcium signal (calcium orange) during delivery of tetanic stimuli to the entorhinal cortex. Both the increases were completely inhibited by addition of 1 micro M tetrodotoxin, a sodium channel blocker. Furthermore, calcium signal in the lateral nucleus during delivery of tetanic stimuli to the entorhinal cortex was increased in the presence of 10 micro M CNQX, an AMPA/KA receptor antagonist, and this increase was facilitated by addition of 1 mM CaEDTA, a membrane-impermeable zinc chelator. The present study suggested that zinc is released in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala by depolarization of the entorhinal neurons. In the lateral nucleus, zinc released may suppress the increase in presynaptic calcium signal.