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Sample records for amygdala

  1. 15. Amygdala pain mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. 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.

  3. The amygdala, reward and emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. From circuits to behaviour in the amygdala

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    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Structural Connectivity of the Developing Human Amygdala

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  18. 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.

  19. The central amygdala circuits in fear regulation

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    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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Pulvinar projections to the striatum and amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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....

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.)

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. MRI Overestimates Excitotoxic Amygdala Lesion Damage in Rhesus Monkeys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Psychopaths show enhanced amygdala activation during fear conditioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Prefrontal-amygdala fear networks come into focus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Amygdala and fusiform gyrus temporal dynamics: Responses to negative facial expressions

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    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.

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

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

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    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.

  7. Enhanced prefrontal-amygdala connectivity following childhood adversity as a protective mechanism against internalizing in adolescence.

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    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

  8. Dynamic Changes in Amygdala Psychophysiological Connectivity Reveal Distinct Neural Networks for Facial Expressions of Basic Emotions.

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    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.

  9. Intranasal Oxytocin Administration Dampens Amygdala Reactivity towards Emotional Faces in Male and Female PTSD Patients.

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    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.

  10. Disentangling the roles of arousal and amygdala activation in emotional declarative memory.

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    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.

  11. A Developmental Shift from Positive to Negative Connectivity in Human Amygdala-Prefrontal Circuitry

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    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

  12. Functionally distinct amygdala subregions identified using DTI and high-resolution fMRI

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    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

  13. Preferential attention to animals and people is independent of the amygdala

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    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

  14. Direction of Amygdala-Neocortex Interaction During Dynamic Facial Expression Processing.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  16. Mindful attention to breath regulates emotions via increased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity.

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    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.

  17. 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.

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

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    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.

  19. fMRI neurofeedback of amygdala response to aversive stimuli enhances prefrontal-limbic brain connectivity.

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Amygdala enlargement: Temporal lobe epilepsy subtype or nonspecific finding?

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    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Positive facial affect - an fMRI study on the involvement of insula and amygdala.

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    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

  7. How Human Amygdala and Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis May Drive Distinct Defensive Responses.

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    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

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    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".

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Gastrin-releasing peptide signaling plays a limited and subtle role in amygdala physiology and aversive memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederique Chaperon

    Full Text Available Links between synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala (LA and Pavlovian fear learning are well established. Neuropeptides including gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP can modulate LA function. GRP increases inhibition in the LA and mice lacking the GRP receptor (GRPR KO show more pronounced and persistent fear after single-trial associative learning. Here, we confirmed these initial findings and examined whether they extrapolate to more aspects of amygdala physiology and to other forms of aversive associative learning. GRP application in brain slices from wildtype but not GRPR KO mice increased spontaneous inhibitory activity in LA pyramidal neurons. In amygdala slices from GRPR KO mice, GRP did not increase inhibitory activity. In comparison to wildtype, short- but not long-term plasticity was increased in the cortico-lateral amygdala (LA pathway of GRPR KO amygdala slices, whereas no changes were detected in the thalamo-LA pathway. In addition, GRPR KO mice showed enhanced fear evoked by single-trial conditioning and reduced spontaneous firing of neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA. Altogether, these results are consistent with a potentially important modulatory role of GRP/GRPR signaling in the amygdala. However, administration of GRP or the GRPR antagonist (D-Phe(6, Leu-NHEt(13, des-Met(14-Bombesin (6-14 did not affect amygdala LTP in brain slices, nor did they affect the expression of conditioned fear following intra-amygdala administration. GRPR KO mice also failed to show differences in fear expression and extinction after multiple-trial fear conditioning, and there were no differences in conditioned taste aversion or gustatory neophobia. Collectively, our data indicate that GRP/GRPR signaling modulates amygdala physiology in a paradigm-specific fashion that likely is insufficient to generate therapeutic effects across amygdala-dependent disorders.

  17. Role of amygdala central nucleus in feature negative discriminations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Peter C.

    2012-01-01

    Consistent with a popular theory of associative learning, the Pearce-Hall (1980) model, the surprising omission of expected events enhances cue associability (the ease with which a cue may enter into new associations), across a wide variety of behavioral training procedures. Furthermore, previous experiments from this laboratory showed that these enhancements are absent in rats with impaired function of the amygdala central nucleus (CeA). A notable exception to these assertions is found in feature negative (FN) discrimination learning, in which a “target” stimulus is reinforced when it is presented alone but nonreinforced when it is presented in compound with another, “feature” stimulus. According to the Pearce-Hall model, reinforcer omission on compound trials should enhance the associability of the feature relative to control training conditions. However, prior experiments have shown no evidence that CeA lesions affect FN discrimination learning. Here we explored this apparent contradiction by evaluating the hypothesis that the surprising omission of an event confers enhanced associability on a cue only if that cue itself generates the disconfirmed prediction. Thus, in a FN discrimination, the surprising omission of the reinforcer on compound trials would enhance the associability of the target stimulus but not that of the feature. Our data confirmed this hypothesis, and showed this enhancement to depend on intact CeA function, as in other procedures. The results are consistent with modern reformulations of both cue and reward processing theories that assign roles for both individual and aggregate error terms in associative learning. PMID:22889308

  18. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex: functional contributions and dysfunction in psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, R J R

    2008-08-12

    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. Neuropsychological and neuroimaging data from individuals with psychopathy are examined. It is concluded that these critical functions of the amygdala and vmPFC, and their interaction, are compromised in individuals with the disorder. It is argued that these impairments lead to the development of psychopathy.

  19. Adrenal stress hormones, amygdala activation, and memory for emotionally arousing experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roozendaal, Benno; Barsegyan, Areg; Lee, Sangkwan

    2008-01-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that stress hormones released from the adrenal glands are critically involved in memory consolidation of emotionally arousing experiences. Epinephrine or glucocorticoids administered after exposure to emotionally arousing experiences enhance the consolidation of long-term memories of these experiences. Our findings indicate that adrenal stress hormones influence memory consolidation via interactions with arousal-induced activation of noradrenergic mechanisms within the amygdala. In turn, the amygdala regulates memory consolidation via its efferent projections to many other brain regions. In contrast to the enhancing effects on consolidation, high circulating levels of stress hormones impair memory retrieval and working memory. Such effects also require noradrenergic activation of the amygdala and interactions with other brain regions.

  20. An autoradiographic study of the projections of the central nucleus of the monkey amygdala

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, J.L.; Amaral, D.G.

    1981-01-01

    The efferent connections of the central nucleus of the monkey amygdala have been studied using the autoradiographic method for tracing axonal projections. Small injections of 3H-amino-acids which are largely confined to the central nucleus lead to the labeling of several brainstem nuclei as far caudally as the spinomedullary junction. A number of intra-amygdaloid connections between the basal and lateral nuclei of the amygdala and the central nucleus are also described. The present findings, taken together with recently reported widespread projections from the temporal association cortex to the amygdala, point out a potentially trisynaptic route between neocortical association regions and a variety of brainstem nuclei, many of which are related to autonomic function

  1. Decreased expression of extracellular matrix proteins and trophic factors in the amygdala complex of depressed mice after chronic immobilization stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung Soonwoong

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amygdala plays an essential role in controlling emotional behaviors and has numerous connections to other brain regions. The functional role of the amygdala has been highlighted by various studies of stress-induced behavioral changes. Here we investigated gene expression changes in the amygdala in the chronic immobilization stress (CIS-induced depression model. Results Eight genes were decreased in the amygdala of CIS mice, including genes for neurotrophic factors and extracellular matrix proteins. Among these, osteoglycin, fibromodulin, insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2, and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (Igfbp2 were further analyzed for histological expression changes. The expression of osteoglycin and fibromodulin simultaneously decreased in the medial, basolateral, and central amygdala regions. However, Igf2 and Igfbp2 decreased specifically in the central nucleus of the amygdala. Interestingly, this decrease was found only in the amygdala of mice showing higher immobility, but not in mice displaying lower immobility, although the CIS regimen was the same for both groups. Conclusions These results suggest that the responsiveness of the amygdala may play a role in the sensitivity of CIS-induced behavioral changes in mice.

  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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Amygdala activation and its functional connectivity during perception of emotional faces in social phobia and panic disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Demenescu, L.R.; Kortekaas, R.; Cremers, H.R.; Renken, R.J.; van Tol, M.J.; van der Wee, M.J.A.; Veltman, D.J.; den Boer, J.A.; Roelofs, K.; Aleman, A.

    Social phobia (SP) and panic disorder (PD) have been associated with aberrant amygdala responses to threat-related stimuli. The aim of the present study was to examine amygdala function and its connectivity with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during emotional face perception in PD and SP, and the

  6. NMDA Receptor- and ERK-Dependent Histone Methylation Changes in the Lateral Amygdala Bidirectionally Regulate Fear Memory Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta-Agarwal, Swati; Jarome, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Jordan; Lubin, Farah D.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that fear memory formation requires de novo gene transcription in the amygdala. We provide evidence that epigenetic mechanisms in the form of histone lysine methylation in the lateral amygdala (LA) are regulated by NMDA receptor (NMDAR) signaling and involved in gene transcription changes necessary for fear memory…

  7. Heightened amygdala responsiveness in s-carriers of 5-HTTLPR genetic polymorphism reflects enhanced cortical rather than subcortical inputs: An MEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Qian; Holroyd, Tom; Mitchell, Derek; Yu, Henry; Cheng, Xi; Hodgkinson, Colin; Chen, Gang; McCaffrey, Daniel; Goldman, David; Blair, R James

    2017-09-01

    Short allele carriers (S-carriers) of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) show an elevated amygdala response to emotional stimuli relative to long allele carriers (LL-homozygous). However, whether this reflects increased responsiveness of the amygdala generally or interactions between the amygdala and the specific input systems remains unknown. It is argued that the amygdala receives input via a quick subcortical and a slower cortical pathway. If the elevated amygdala response in S-carriers reflects generally increased amygdala responding, then group differences in amygdala should be seen across the amygdala response time course. However, if the difference is a secondary consequence of enhanced amygdala-cortical interactions, then group differences might only be present later in the amygdala response. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we found an enhanced amygdala response to fearful expressions starting 40-50 ms poststimulus. However, group differences in the amygdala were only seen 190-200 ms poststimulus, preceded by increased superior temporal sulcus (STS) responses in S-carriers from 130 to 140 ms poststimulus. An enhanced amygdala response to angry expressions started 260-270 ms poststimulus with group differences in the amygdala starting at 160-170 ms poststimulus onset, preceded by increased STS responses in S-carriers from 150 to 160 ms poststimulus. These suggest that enhanced amygdala responses in S-carriers might reflect enhanced STS-amygdala connectivity in S-carriers. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4313-4321, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. A model of amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal interaction in fear conditioning and extinction in animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard. J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2012-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus in classical conditioning to include interactions with the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. We apply the model to fear conditioning, in which animals learn physiological (e.g. heart rate) and behavioral (e.g. freezing) responses to stimuli that have been paired with a highly aversive event (e.g. electrical shock). The key feature of our model is that learning of these conditioned responses in the central nucleus of the amygdala is modulated by two separate processes, one from basolateral amygdala and signaling a positive prediction error, and one from the vmPFC, via the intercalated cells of the amygdala, and signaling a negative prediction error. In addition, we propose that hippocampal input to both vmPFC and basolateral amygdala is essential for contextual modulation of fear acquisition and extinction. The model is sufficient to account for a body of data from various animal fear conditioning paradigms, including acquisition, extinction, reacquisition, and context specificity effects. Consistent with studies on lesioned animals, our model shows that damage to the vmPFC impairs extinction, while damage to the hippocampus impairs extinction in a different context (e.g., a different conditioning chamber from that used in initial training in animal experiments). We also discuss model limitations and predictions, including the effects of number of training trials on fear conditioning. PMID:23164732

  9. 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.

  10. Disorganized Amygdala Networks in Conduct-Disordered Juvenile Offenders With Callous-Unemotional Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghajani, Moji; Klapwijk, Eduard T; van der Wee, Nic J; Veer, Ilya M; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Boon, Albert E; van Beelen, Peter; Popma, Arne; Vermeiren, Robert R J M; Colins, Olivier F

    2017-08-15

    The developmental trajectory of psychopathy seemingly begins early in life and includes the presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (e.g., deficient emotional reactivity, callousness) in conduct-disordered (CD) youth. Though subregion-specific anomalies in amygdala function have been suggested in CU pathophysiology among antisocial populations, system-level studies of CU traits have typically examined the amygdala as a unitary structure. Hence, nothing is yet known of how amygdala subregional network function may contribute to callous-unemotionality in severely antisocial people. We addressed this important issue by uniquely examining the intrinsic functional connectivity of basolateral amygdala (BLA) and centromedial amygdala (CMA) networks across three matched groups of juveniles: CD offenders with CU traits (CD/CU+; n = 25), CD offenders without CU traits (CD/CU-; n = 25), and healthy control subjects (n = 24). We additionally examined whether perturbed amygdala subregional connectivity coincides with altered volume and shape of the amygdaloid complex. Relative to CD/CU- and healthy control youths, CD/CU+ youths showed abnormally increased BLA connectivity with a cluster that included both dorsal and ventral portions of the anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices, along with posterior cingulate, sensory associative, and striatal regions. In contrast, compared with CD/CU- and healthy control youths, CD/CU+ youths showed diminished CMA connectivity with ventromedial/orbitofrontal regions. Critically, these connectivity changes coincided with local hypotrophy of BLA and CMA subregions (without being statistically correlated) and were associated to more severe CU symptoms. These findings provide unique insights into a putative mechanism for perturbed attention-emotion interactions, which could bias salience processing and associative learning in youth with CD/CU+. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights

  11. Prevention of stress-impaired fear extinction through neuropeptide s action in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauveau, Frédéric; Lange, Maren Denise; Jüngling, Kay; Lesting, Jörg; Seidenbecher, Thomas; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2012-06-01

    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 fear memory. Mice underwent acute immobilization stress (IS), and neuropeptide S and a receptor antagonist were locally injected into the lateral amygdala (LA) during stress exposure. Ten days later, anxiety-like behavior, fear acquisition, fear memory retrieval, and extinction were tested. Furthermore, patch-clamp recordings were performed in amygdala slices prepared ex vivo to identify synaptic substrates of stress-induced alterations in fear responsiveness. (1) IS increased anxiety-like behavior, and enhanced conditioned fear responses during extinction 10 days after stress, (2) neuropeptide S in the amygdala prevented, while an antagonist aggravated, these stress-induced changes of aversive behaviors, (3) excitatory synaptic activity in LA projection neurons was increased on fear conditioning and returned to pre-conditioning values on fear extinction, and (4) stress resulted in sustained high levels of excitatory synaptic activity during fear extinction, whereas neuropeptide S supported the return of synaptic activity during fear extinction to levels typical of non-stressed animals. Together these results suggest that the neuropeptide S system is capable of interfering with mechanisms in the amygdala that transform stressful events into anxiety and impaired fear extinction.

  12. Culture but not gender modulates amygdala activation during explicit emotion recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derntl, Birgit; Habel, Ute; Robinson, Simon; Windischberger, Christian; Kryspin-Exner, Ilse; Gur, Ruben C; Moser, Ewald

    2012-05-29

    Mounting evidence indicates that humans have significant difficulties in understanding emotional expressions from individuals of different ethnic backgrounds, leading to reduced recognition accuracy and stronger amygdala activation. However, the impact of gender on the behavioral and neural reactions during the initial phase of cultural assimilation has not been addressed. Therefore, we investigated 24 Asians students (12 females) and 24 age-matched European students (12 females) during an explicit emotion recognition task, using Caucasian facial expressions only, on a high-field MRI scanner. Analysis of functional data revealed bilateral amygdala activation to emotional expressions in Asian and European subjects. However, in the Asian sample, a stronger response of the amygdala emerged and was paralleled by reduced recognition accuracy, particularly for angry male faces. Moreover, no significant gender difference emerged. We also observed a significant inverse correlation between duration of stay and amygdala activation. In this study we investigated the "alien-effect" as an initial problem during cultural assimilation and examined this effect on a behavioral and neural level. This study has revealed bilateral amygdala activation to emotional expressions in Asian and European females and males. In the Asian sample, a stronger response of the amygdala bilaterally was observed and this was paralleled by reduced performance, especially for anger and disgust depicted by male expressions. However, no gender difference occurred. Taken together, while gender exerts only a subtle effect, culture and duration of stay as well as gender of poser are shown to be relevant factors for emotion processing, influencing not only behavioral but also neural responses in female and male immigrants.

  13. False memory for face in short-term memory and neural activity in human amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2014-12-03

    Human memory is often inaccurate. Similar to words and figures, new faces are often recognized as seen or studied items in long- and short-term memory tests; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this false memory remain elusive. In a previous fMRI study using morphed faces and a standard false memory paradigm, we found that there was a U-shaped response curve of the amygdala to old, new, and lure items. This indicates that the amygdala is more active in response to items that are salient (hit and correct rejection) compared to items that are less salient (false alarm), in terms of memory retrieval. In the present fMRI study, we determined whether the false memory for faces occurs within the short-term memory range (a few seconds), and assessed which neural correlates are involved in veridical and illusory memories. Nineteen healthy participants were scanned by 3T MRI during a short-term memory task using morphed faces. The behavioral results indicated that the occurrence of false memories was within the short-term range. We found that the amygdala displayed a U-shaped response curve to memory items, similar to those observed in our previous study. These results suggest that the amygdala plays a common role in both long- and short-term false memory for faces. We made the following conclusions: First, the amygdala is involved in detecting the saliency of items, in addition to fear, and supports goal-oriented behavior by modulating memory. Second, amygdala activity and response time might be related with a subject's response criterion for similar faces. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Dissociable contributions of amygdala and hippocampus to emotion and memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Vélez, Edmarie; Warren, David E; Feinstein, Justin S; Bruss, Joel; Tranel, Daniel

    2016-06-01

    The amygdala and the hippocampus are associated with emotional processing and declarative memory, respectively. Studies have shown that patients with bilateral hippocampal damage caused by anoxia/ischemia, and patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), can experience emotions for prolonged periods of time, even when they cannot remember what caused the emotion in the first place (Feinstein et al. (2010) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:7674-7679; Guzmán-Vélez et al. (2014) Cogn Behav Neurol 27:117-129). This study aimed to investigate, for the first time, the roles of the amygdala and hippocampus in the dissociation between feelings of emotion and declarative memory for emotion-inducing events in patients with AD. Individuals with probable AD (N = 12) and age-matched healthy comparisons participants (HCP; N = 12) completed a high-resolution (0.44 × 0.44 × 0.80 mm) T2-weighted structural MR scan of the medial temporal lobe. Each of these individuals also completed two separate emotion induction procedures (sadness and happiness) using film clips. We collected real-time emotion ratings at baseline and multiple times postinduction, and administered a test of declarative memory shortly after each induction. Consistent with previous research, hippocampal volume was significantly smaller in patients with AD compared with HCP, and was positively correlated with memory for the film clips. Sustained feelings of emotion and amygdala volume did not significantly differ between patients with AD and HCP. Follow-up analyses showed a significant negative correlation between amygdala volume and sustained sadness, and a significant positive correlation between amygdala volume and sustained happiness. Our findings suggest that the amygdala is important for regulating and sustaining an emotion independent of hippocampal function and declarative memory for the emotion-inducing event. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Preschool anxiety disorders predict different patterns of amygdala-prefrontal connectivity at school-age.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly L H Carpenter

    Full Text Available In this prospective, longitudinal study of young children, we examined whether a history of preschool generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and/or social phobia is associated with amygdala-prefrontal dysregulation at school-age. As an exploratory analysis, we investigated whether distinct anxiety disorders differ in the patterns of this amygdala-prefrontal dysregulation.Participants were children taking part in a 5-year study of early childhood brain development and anxiety disorders. Preschool symptoms of generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, and social phobia were assessed with the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA in the first wave of the study when the children were between 2 and 5 years old. The PAPA was repeated at age 6. We conducted functional MRIs when the children were 5.5 to 9.5 year old to assess neural responses to viewing of angry and fearful faces.A history of preschool social phobia predicted less school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortices to angry faces. Preschool generalized anxiety predicted less functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal prefrontal cortices in response to fearful faces. Finally, a history of preschool separation anxiety predicted less school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and the ventral prefrontal cortices to angry faces and greater school-age functional connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal prefrontal cortices to angry faces.Our results suggest that there are enduring neurobiological effects associated with a history of preschool anxiety, which occur over-and-above the effect of subsequent emotional symptoms. Our results also provide preliminary evidence for the neurobiological differentiation of specific preschool anxiety disorders.

  16. 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

  17. Anatomic guidelines defined by reformatting images on MRI for volume measurement of amygdala and hippocampus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoshida, Tohru; Sakaki, Toshisuke; Uematsu, Sumio.

    1995-01-01

    Twelve patients with intractable partial epilepsy underwent MR scans at the Epilepsy Center of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. There were five women and seven men, ranging in age from five to 51 years (mean age: 26 years). Coronal images were obtained using a 3-D SPGR. The coronal images were transferred to an Allegro 5.1 workstation, and reformatted along the cardinal axes (axial and sagittal) in multiple view points. The anterior end of the amygdala was measured at the level just posterior to the disappearance of the temporal stem. The semilunar gyrus of the amygdala was separated from the ambient gyrus by the semianular sulcus that forms the boundary between the amygdala and the entorhinal cortex. The delineation of the hippocampal formation included the subicular complex, hippocampal proper, dentate gyrus, alveus, and fimbria. The uncal cleft separated the uncus above from the parahippocampal gyrus below. The roof of this cleft was formed by the hippocampus and the dentate gyrus, and the floor, by the presubiculum and subiculum. Although using some guidelines, strictly separating the hippocampal head from the posterior part of the amygdala was not feasible as was previously reported, because of the isointensity on MRI between the cortex of the amygdala and the hippocampus. The most posterior portion of the hippocampus was measured at the level of the subsplenial gyri, just below the splenium of the corpus callosum, to measure the hippocampal volume in its near totality. Therefore, it is reliable, and clinically useful, to measure the combined total volume of the amygdala and the hippocampus when comparing results with those of other centers. (S.Y.)

  18. 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

  19. Culture but not gender modulates amygdala activation during explicit emotion recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derntl Birgit

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mounting evidence indicates that humans have significant difficulties in understanding emotional expressions from individuals of different ethnic backgrounds, leading to reduced recognition accuracy and stronger amygdala activation. However, the impact of gender on the behavioral and neural reactions during the initial phase of cultural assimilation has not been addressed. Therefore, we investigated 24 Asians students (12 females and 24 age-matched European students (12 females during an explicit emotion recognition task, using Caucasian facial expressions only, on a high-field MRI scanner. Results Analysis of functional data revealed bilateral amygdala activation to emotional expressions in Asian and European subjects. However, in the Asian sample, a stronger response of the amygdala emerged and was paralleled by reduced recognition accuracy, particularly for angry male faces. Moreover, no significant gender difference emerged. We also observed a significant inverse correlation between duration of stay and amygdala activation. Conclusion In this study we investigated the “alien-effect” as an initial problem during cultural assimilation and examined this effect on a behavioral and neural level. This study has revealed bilateral amygdala activation to emotional expressions in Asian and European females and males. In the Asian sample, a stronger response of the amygdala bilaterally was observed and this was paralleled by reduced performance, especially for anger and disgust depicted by male expressions. However, no gender difference occurred. Taken together, while gender exerts only a subtle effect, culture and duration of stay as well as gender of poser are shown to be relevant factors for emotion processing, influencing not only behavioral but also neural responses in female and male immigrants.

  20. Afferent and Efferent Connections of the Cortex-Amygdala Transition Zone in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cádiz-Moretti, Bernardita; Abellán-Álvaro, María; Pardo-Bellver, Cecília; Martínez-García, Fernando; Lanuza, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    The transitional zone between the ventral part of the piriform cortex and the anterior cortical nucleus of the amygdala, named the cortex-amygdala transition zone (CxA), shows two differential features that allow its identification as a particular structure. First, it receives dense cholinergic and dopaminergic innervations as compared to the adjacent piriform cortex and amygdala, and second, it receives projections from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs. In this work we have studied the pattern of afferent and efferent projections of the CxA, which are mainly unknown, by using the retrograde tracer Fluorogold and the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextranamine. The results show that the CxA receives a relatively restricted set of intratelencephalic connections, originated mainly by the olfactory system and basal forebrain, with minor afferents from the amygdala. The only relevant extratelencephalic afference originates in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The efferent projections of the CxA reciprocate the inputs from the piriform cortex and olfactory amygdala. In addition, the CxA projects densely to the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus and the olfactory tubercle. The extratelencephalic projections of the CxA are very scarce, and target mainly hypothalamic structures. The pattern of connections of the CxA suggests that it is indeed a transitional area between the piriform cortex and the cortical amygdala. Double labeling with choline acetyltransferase indicates that the afferent projection from the basal forebrain is the origin of its distinctive cholinergic innervation, and double labeling with dopamine transporter shows that the projection from the VTA is the source of dopaminergic innervation. These connectivity and neurochemical features, together with the fact that it receives vomeronasal in addition to olfactory information, suggest that the CxA may be involved in processing olfactory information endowed with relevant biological meaning, such as odors

  1. 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.

  2. The Association of PTSD Symptom Severity with Localized Hippocampus and Amygdala Abnormalities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akiki, Teddy J.; Averill, Christopher L.; Wrocklage, Kristen M.; Schweinsburg, Brian; Scott, J. Cobb; Martini, Brenda; Averill, Lynnette A.; Southwick, Steven M.; Krystal, John H.; Abdallah, Chadi G.

    2017-01-01

    Background The hippocampus and amygdala have been repeatedly implicated in the psychopathology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While numerous structural neuroimaging studies examined these two structures in PTSD, these analyses have largely been limited to volumetric measures. Recent advances in vertex-based neuroimaging methods have made it possible to identify specific locations of subtle morphometric changes within a structure of interest. Methods In this cross-sectional study, we used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging to examine the relationship between PTSD symptomatology, as measured using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for the DSM-IV (CAPS), and structural shape of the hippocampus and amygdala using vertex-wise shape analyses in a group of combat-exposed US Veterans (N = 69). Results Following correction for multiple comparisons and controlling for age and cranial volume, we found that participants with more severe PTSD symptoms showed an indentation in the anterior half of the right hippocampus and an indentation in the dorsal region of the right amygdala (corresponding to the centromedial amygdala). Post hoc analysis using stepwise regression suggest that among PTSD symptom clusters, arousal symptoms explain most of the variance in the hippocampal abnormality, whereas re-experiencing symptoms explain most of the variance in the amygdala abnormality. Conclusion The results provide evidence of localized abnormalities in the anterior hippocampus and centromedial amygdala in combat-exposed US Veterans suffering from PTSD symptoms. This novel finding provides a more fine-grained analysis of structural abnormalities in PTSD and may be informative for understanding the neurobiology of the disorder. PMID:28825050

  3. Abnormal fear conditioning and amygdala processing in an animal model of autism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Markram, Kamila; Rinaldi, Tania; La Mendola, Deborah

    2008-01-01

    A core feature of autism spectrum disorders is the impairment in social interactions. Among other brain regions, a deficit in amygdala processing has been suggested to underlie this impairment, but whether the amygdala is processing fear abnormally in autism, is yet not clear. We used the valproic......-treated animals displayed several symptoms common to autism, among them impaired social interactions and increased repetitive behaviors. Furthermore, VPA-treated rats were more anxious and exhibited abnormally high and longer lasting fear memories, which were overgeneralized and harder to extinguish...

  4. Amygdala modulation of memory-related processes in the hippocampus: potential relevance to PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsoory, M M; Vouimba, R M; Akirav, I; Kavushansky, A; Avital, A; Richter-Levin, G

    2008-01-01

    A key assumption in the study of stress-induced cognitive and neurobiological modifications is that alterations in hippocampal functioning after stress are due to an excessive activity exerted by the amygdala on the hippocampus. Research so far focused on stress-induced impairment of hippocampal plasticity and memory but an exposure to stress may simultaneously also result in strong emotional memories. In fact, under normal conditions emotionally charged events are better remembered compared with neutral ones. Results indicate that under these conditions there is an increase in activity within the amygdala that may lead to memory of a different quality. Studying the way emotionality activates the amygdala and the functional impact of this activation we found that the amygdala modulates memory-related processes in other brain areas, such as the hippocampus. However, this modulation is complex, involving both enhancing and suppressing effects, depending on the way the amygdala is activated and the hippocampal subregion examined. The current review summarizes our findings and attempts to put them in context with the impact of an exposure to a traumatic experience, in which there is a mixture of a strong memory of some aspects of the experience but impaired memory of other aspects of that experience. Toward that end, we have recently developed an animal model for the induction of predisposition to stress-related disorders, focusing on the consequences of exposure to stressors during juvenility on the ability to cope with stress in adulthood. Exposing juvenile-stressed rats to an additional stressful challenge in adulthood revealed their impairment to cope with stress and resulted in significant elevation of the amygdala. Interestingly, and similar to our electrophysiological findings, differential effects were observed between the impact of the emotional challenge on CA1 and dentate gyrus subregions of the hippocampus. Taken together, the results indicate that long

  5. The dosage of the neuroD2 transcription factor regulates amygdala development and emotional learning

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, Chin-Hsing; Hansen, Stacey; Wang, Zhenshan; Storm, Daniel R.; Tapscott, Stephen J.; Olson, James M.

    2005-01-01

    The amygdala is centrally involved in formation of emotional memory and response to fear or risk. We have demonstrated that the lateral and basolateral amygdala nuclei fail to form in neuroD2 null mice and neuroD2 heterozygotes have fewer neurons in this region. NeuroD2 heterozygous mice show profound deficits in emotional learning as assessed by fear conditioning. Unconditioned fear was also diminished in neuroD2 heterozygotes compared to wild-type controls. Several key molecular regulators ...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Stress Sensitive Healthy Females Show Less Left Amygdala Activation in Response to Withdrawal-Related Visual Stimuli under Passive Viewing Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeken, Chris; Van Schuerbeek, Peter; De Raedt, Rudi; Vanderhasselt, Marie-Anne; De Mey, Johan; Bossuyt, Axel; Luypaert, Robert

    2012-01-01

    The amygdalae are key players in the processing of a variety of emotional stimuli. Especially aversive visual stimuli have been reported to attract attention and activate the amygdalae. However, as it has been argued that passively viewing withdrawal-related images could attenuate instead of activate amygdalae neuronal responses, its role under…

  9. Amygdala Activity During Autobiographical Memory Recall in Depressed and Vulnerable Individuals: Association With Symptom Severity and Autobiographical Overgenerality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kymberly D; Siegle, Greg J; Bodurka, Jerzy; Drevets, Wayne C

    2016-01-01

    In healthy individuals, autobiographical memory recall is biased toward positive and away from negative events, while the opposite is found in depressed individuals. This study examined amygdala activity during autobiographical memory recall as a putative mechanism underlying biased memory recall and depressive symptoms in currently depressed adults and two vulnerable populations: individuals remitted from depression and otherwise healthy individuals at high familial risk of developing depression. Identification of such vulnerability factors could enable interception strategies that prevent depression onset. Sixty healthy control subjects, 45 unmedicated currently depressed individuals, 25 unmedicated remitted depressed individuals, and 30 individuals at high familial risk of developing depression underwent functional MRI while recalling autobiographical memories in response to emotionally valenced cue words. Amygdala reactivity and connectivity with anatomically defined amygdala regions were examined. During positive recall, depressed participants exhibited significantly decreased left amygdala activity and decreased connectivity with regions of the salience network compared with the other groups. During negative recall, control subjects had significantly decreased left amygdala activity compared with the other groups, while depressed participants exhibited increased amygdala connectivity with the salience network. In depressed participants, left amygdala activity during positive recall correlated significantly with depression severity (r values >-0.38) and percent of positive specific memories recalled (r values >0.59). The results suggest that left amygdala hyperactivity during negative autobiographical recall is a trait-like marker of depression, as both vulnerable groups showed activity similar to the depressed group, while amygdala hypoactivity during positive autobiographical recall is a state marker of depression manifesting in active disease. Treatments

  10. Priming stimulation of basal but not lateral amygdala affects long-term potentiation in the rat dentate gyrus in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Z; Richter-Levin, G

    2013-08-29

    The amygdaloid complex, or amygdala, has been implicated in assigning emotional significance to sensory information and producing appropriate behavioral responses to external stimuli. The lateral and basal nuclei (lateral and basal amygdala), which are termed together as basolateral amygdala, play a critical role in emotional and motivational learning and memory. It has been established that the basolateral amygdala activation by behavioral manipulations or direct electrical stimulation can modulate hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a putative cellular mechanism of memory. However, the specific functional role of each subnucleus in the modulation of hippocampal LTP has not been studied yet, even though studies have shown cytoarchitectural differences between the basal and lateral amygdala and differences in the connections of each one of them to other brain areas. In this study we have tested the effects of lateral or basal amygdala pre-stimulation on hippocampal dentate gyrus LTP, induced by theta burst stimulation of the perforant path, in anesthetized rats. We found that while priming stimulation of the lateral amygdala did not affect LTP of the dentate gyrus, priming stimulation of the basal amygdala enhanced the LTP response when the priming stimulation was relatively weak, but impaired it when it was relatively strong. These results show that the basal and lateral nuclei of the amygdala, which have been already shown to differ in their anatomy and connectivity, may also have different functional roles. These findings raise the possibility that the lateral and basal amygdala differentially modulate memory processes in the hippocampus under emotional and motivational situations. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Modeling a Negative Response Bias in the Human Amygdala by Noradrenergic-Glucocorticoid Interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kukolja, Juraj; Schlaepfer, Thomas E.; Keysers, Christian; Klingmueller, Dietrich; Maier, Wolfgang; Fink, Gereon R.; Hurlemann, Rene

    2008-01-01

    An emerging theme in the neuroscience of emotion is the question of how acute stress shapes, and distorts, social-emotional behavior. The prevailing neurocircuitry models of social-emotional behavior emphasize the central role of the amygdala. Acute stress leads to increased central levels of

  13. The Basolateral Amygdala Is Necessary for the Encoding and the Expression of Odor Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevelinges, Yannick; Desgranges, Bertrand; Ferreira, Guillaume

    2009-01-01

    Conditioned odor avoidance (COA) results from the association between a novel odor and a delayed visceral illness. The present experiments investigated the role of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in acquisition and retrieval of COA memory. To address this, we used the GABAA agonist muscimol to temporarily inactivate the BLA during COA acquisition…

  14. Food labels promote healthy choices by a decision bias in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Schulte, Frank P; Maderwald, Stefan; Brand, Matthias

    2013-07-01

    Food labeling is the major health policy strategy to counter rising obesity rates. Based on traditional economic theory, such strategies assume that detailed nutritional information will necessarily help individuals make better, healthier choices. However, in contrast to the well-known utility of labels in food marketing, evidence for the efficacy of nutritional labeling is mixed. Psychological and behavioral economic theories suggest that successful marketing strategies activate automatic decision biases and emotions, which involve implicit emotional brain systems. Accordingly, simple, intuitive food labels that engage these neural systems could represent a promising approach for promoting healthier choices. Here we used functional MRI to investigate this possibility. Healthy, mildly hungry subjects performed a food evaluation task and a food choice task. The main experimental manipulation was to pair identical foods with simple labels that emphasized either taste benefits or health-related food properties. We found that such labels biased food evaluations in the amygdala, a core emotional brain system. When labels biased the amygdala's evaluations towards health-related food properties, the strength of this bias predicted behavioral shifts towards healthier choices. At the time of decision-making, amygdala activity encoded key decision variables, potentially reflecting active amygdala participation in food choice. Our findings underscore the potential utility of food labeling in health policy and indicate a principal role for emotional brain systems when labels guide food choices. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Endocannabinoid signaling within the basolateral amygdala integrates multiple stress hormone effects on memory consolidation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Atsak, P.; Hauer, D.; Campolongo, P.; Schelling, G.; Fornari, R.V.; Roozendaal, B.

    2015-01-01

    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

  16. Endocannabinoids in the rat basolateral amygdala enhance memory consolidation and enable glucocorticoid modulation of memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Campolongo, Patrizia; Roozendaal, Benno; Trezza, Viviana; Hauer, Daniela; Schelling, Gustav; McGaugh, James L.; Cuomo, Vincenzo

    2009-01-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) modulates the consolidation of memories for emotionally arousing experiences, an effect that involves the activation of the glucocorticoid system. Because the BLA expresses high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors,

  17. Intrinsic functional connectivity between amygdala and hippocampus during rest predicts enhanced memory under stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voogd, L.D. de; Klumpers, F.; Fernandez, G.; Hermans, E.

    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

  18. Religiosity is associated with hippocampal but not amygdala volumes in patients with refractory epilepsy

    OpenAIRE

    Wuerfel, J; Krishnamoorthy, E; Brown, R; Lemieux, L; Koepp, M; v Tebartz,; Trimble, M

    2004-01-01

    Method: Magnetic resonance images were obtained from 33 patients with refractory epilepsy and mesial temporal structure volumes assessed. Amygdala and hippocampal volumes were then compared in high and low scorers on the religiosity, writing, and sexuality sub-scales of the Neurobehavioural Inventory.

  19. Amygdala responses to unpleasant pictures are influenced by task demands and positive affect trait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Arruda Sanchez

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The role of attention in emotional processing is still the subject of debate. Recent studies have found that high positive affect in approach motivation narrows attention. Furthermore, the positive affect trait has been suggested as an important component for determining human variability in threat reactivity. We employed fMRI to investigate whether different states of attention control would modulate amygdala responses to highly unpleasant pictures relative to neutral and whether this modulation would be influenced by the positive affect trait. Participants (n=22, 12 male were scanned while viewing neutral (people or unpleasant pictures (mutilated bodies flanked by two peripheral bars. They were instructed to (a judge the picture content as unpleasant or neutral or (b to judge the difference in orientation between the bars in an easy condition (0º or 90º orientation difference or (c in a hard condition (0º or 6º orientation difference. Whole brain analysis revealed a task main effect of brain areas related to the experimental manipulation of attentional control, including the amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex. ROI analysis showed an inverse correlation (r = -0.51, p < 0.01 between left amygdala activation and positive affect level when participants viewed unpleasant stimuli and judged bar orientation in the easy condition. This result suggests that subjects with high positive affect exhibit lower amygdala reactivity to distracting unpleasant pictures. In conclusion, the current study suggests that positive affect modulates attention effect on unpleasant pictures, therefore attenuating emotional responses.

  20. Decreased BDNF levels in amygdala and hippocampus after intracerebroventricular administration of ouabain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano K. Jornada

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 immediately, 3h, or 24h after injection, ouabain in doses of 10-2 and 10-3 M does not alter BDNF levels in the amygdala and hippocampus. However, when evaluated seven days after injection, ouabain in 10-2 and 10-3 M, showed a significant reduction in BDNF levels in both brain regions evaluated. DISCUSSION: In conclusion, we propose that the ouabain decreased BDNF levels in the hippocampus and amygdala when assessed seven days after administration, supporting the Na/K ATPase hypothesis for bipolar illness.

  1. Amygdala to hippocampal volume ratio is associated with negative memory bias in healthy subjects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerritsen, L.; Rijpkema, M.J.P.; Oostrom, I.I.H. van; Buitelaar, J.K.; Franke, B.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Tendolkar, I.

    2012-01-01

    Background. Negative memory bias is thought to be one of the main cognitive risk and maintenance factors for depression, but its neural substrates are largely unknown. Here, we studied whether memory bias is related to amygdala and hippocampal volume, two structures that are critical for emotional

  2. Emotional conflict and neuroticism: personality-dependent activation in the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Brian W; Omura, Kazufumi; Constable, R Todd; Canli, Turhan

    2007-04-01

    The amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate (AC) have been associated with anxiety and mood disorders, for which trait neuroticism is a risk factor. Prior work has not related individual differences in amygdala or subgenual AC activation with neuroticism. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate changes in blood oxygen level-dependent signal within the amygdala and subgenual AC associated with trait neuroticism in a nonclinical sample of 36 volunteers during an emotional conflict task. Neuroticism correlated positively with amygdala and subgenual AC activation during trials of high emotional conflict, compared with trials of low emotional conflict. The subscale of neuroticism that reflected the anxious form of neuroticism (N1) explained a greater proportion of variance within the observed clusters than the subscale of neuroticism that reflected the depressive form of neuroticism (N3). Using a task that is sensitive to individual differences in the detection of emotional conflict, the authors have provided a neural correlate of the link between neuroticism and anxiety and mood disorders. This effect was driven to a greater extent by the anxious relative to the depressive characteristics of neuroticism and may constitute vulnerability markers for anxiety-related disorders. (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved

  3. Input from the Medial Geniculate Nucleus Modulates Amygdala Encoding of Fear Memory Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, Nicole C.; Cullen, Patrick K.; Pullins, Shane P.; Rotondo, Elena K.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2017-01-01

    Generalization of fear can involve abnormal responding to cues that signal safety and is common in people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Differential auditory fear conditioning can be used as a tool to measure changes in fear discrimination and generalization. Most prior work in this area has focused on elevated amygdala activity…

  4. 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.

  5. Blunted amygdala functional connectivity during a stress task in alcohol dependent individuals: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Natasha E; Padula, Claudia B; Anthenelli, Robert M; Nelson, Erik; Eliassen, James; Lisdahl, Krista M

    2017-12-01

    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). 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. 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. 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.

  6. Testosterone administration in women increases amygdala responses to fearful and happy faces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, P.A.; Honk, J. van; Ramsey, N.F.; Stein, D.J.; Hermans, E.J.

    2013-01-01

    Data from both rodents and humans show that testosterone reduces fear. This effect is hypothesized to result from testosterone's down regulating effects on the amygdala, a key region in the detection of threat and instigator of fight-or-flight behavior. However, neuroimaging studies employing

  7. Conscious and unconscious processing of fear after right amygdala damage : A single case ERP-study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heutink, J.H.C.; Brouwer, W.H.; de Jong, B.M.; Bouma, J.M.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we describe a 58-year-old male patient (FZ) with a right-amygdala lesion after temporal lobe infarction. FZ is unable to recognize fearful facial expressions. Instead, he consistently misinterprets expressions of fear for expressions of surprise. Employing EEG/ERP measures, we

  8. Filling the Gap : Relationship Between the Serotonin-Transporter-Linked Polymorphic Region and Amygdala Activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaansen, Jojanneke A.; Servaas, Michelle N.; Marsman, Jan-Bernard; Ormel, Johan; Nolte, Ilja M.; Riese, Harriette; Aleman, Andre

    2014-01-01

    The alleged association between the serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and amygdala activation forms a cornerstone of the common view that carrying the short allele of this polymorphism is a potential risk factor for affective disorders. The authors of a recent meta-analysis

  9. The amygdala, top-down effects, and selective attention to features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, Richard H. A. H.; Renken, Remco; Aleman, Andre; Cornelissen, Frans W.

    2012-01-01

    While the amygdalar role in fear conditioning is well established, it also appears to be involved in a wide spectrum of other functions concerning emotional information. For example, the amygdala is thought to be involved in guiding spatial attention to emotionally relevant information such as the

  10. Filling the Gap : Relationship Between the Serotonin-Transporter-Linked Polymorphic Region and Amygdala Activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaansen, Jojanneke A.; Servaas, Michelle N.; Marsman, Jan-Bernard; Ormel, Johan; Nolte, Ilja M.; Riese, Harriette; Aleman, Andre

    The alleged association between the serotonin-transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and amygdala activation forms a cornerstone of the common view that carrying the short allele of this polymorphism is a potential risk factor for affective disorders. The authors of a recent meta-analysis

  11. Activation of basolateral amygdala in juvenile C57BL/6J mice during social approach behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, Sarah L; Kreibich, Arati S; Torre, Matthew; Piccoli, Cara T; Dow, Holly; Pallathra, Ashley A; Li, Hongzhe; Bilker, Warren B; Gur, Ruben C; Abel, Ted; Brodkin, Edward S

    2016-10-29

    There is a strong need to better understand the neurobiology of juvenile sociability (tendency to seek social interaction), a phenotype of central relevance to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Although numerous genetic mouse models of ASD showing reduced sociability have been reported, and certain brain regions, such as the amygdala, have been implicated in sociability, there has been little emphasis on delineating brain structures and circuits activated during social interactions in the critical juvenile period of the mouse strain that serves as the most common genetic background for these models-the highly sociable C57BL/6J (B6) strain. We measured expression of the immediate early genes Fos and Egr-1 to map activation of brain regions following the Social Approach Test (SAT) in juvenile male B6 mice. We hypothesized that juvenile B6 mice would show activation of the amygdala during social interactions. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) was activated by social exposure in highly sociable, 4-week-old B6 mice. In light of these data, and the many lines of evidence indicating alteration of amygdala circuits in human ASD, future studies are warranted to assess structural and functional alterations in the BLA, particularly at BLA synapses, in various mouse models of ASD. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Left or right? Lateralizing temporal lobe epilepsy by dynamic amygdala fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ives-Deliperi, Victoria; Butler, James Thomas; Jokeit, Hennric

    2017-05-01

    In this case series, the findings of 85 functional MRI studies employing a dynamic fearful face paradigm are reported. Previous findings have shown the paradigm to generate bilateral amygdala activations in healthy subjects and unilateral activations in patients with MTLE, in the contralateral hemisphere to seizure origin. Such findings suggest ipsilateral limbic pathology and offer collateral evidence in lateralizing MTLE. The series includes 60 patients with TLE, 12 patients with extra-temporal lobe epilepsy, and 13 healthy controls. Functional MRI studies using a 1.5T scanner were conducted over a three-year period at a single epilepsy center and individual results were compared with EEG findings. In the cohort of unilateral TLE patients, lateralized activations of the amygdala were concordant with EEG findings in 76% of patients (77% lTLE, 74% rTLE). The differences in the mean lateralized indices of the lTLE, rTLE, and healthy control groups were all statistically significant. Lateralized amygdala activations were concordant with EEG findings in only 31% of the 12 patients with extra-temporal lobe epilepsy and bilateral amygdala activations were generated in all but one of the healthy control subjects. This case series further endorses the utility of the dynamic fearful face functional MRI paradigm using the widely available 1.5T as an adjunctive investigation to lateralize TLE. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Neonatal Amygdala Lesions and Stress Responsivity in Rats : Relevance to schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terpstra, Jeroen

    2004-01-01

    "Stress responsiveness in an animal model with relevance to schizophrenia” Rats bearing lesions of the amygdala made on postnatal day 7 (D7 AMX) model aspects of neurodevelopmental psychopathologies, such as schizophrenia. Adult D7 AMX rats display impaired pre-pulse inhibition, impaired

  15. Optogenetic Activation of Presynaptic Inputs in Lateral Amygdala Forms Associative Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Jeong-Tae; Nakajima, Ryuichi; Hyung-Su, Kim; Jeong, Yire; Augustine, George J.; Han, Jin-Hee

    2014-01-01

    In Pavlovian fear conditioning, the lateral amygdala (LA) has been highlighted as a key brain site for association between sensory cues and aversive stimuli. However, learning-related changes are also found in upstream sensory regions such as thalamus and cortex. To isolate the essential neural circuit components for fear memory association, we…

  16. Emotional arousal impairs association-memory: Roles of amygdala and hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madan, Christopher R; Fujiwara, Esther; Caplan, Jeremy B; Sommer, Tobias

    2017-08-01

    Emotional arousal is well-known to enhance memory for individual items or events, whereas it can impair association memory. The neural mechanism of this association memory impairment by emotion is not known: In response to emotionally arousing information, amygdala activity may interfere with hippocampal associative encoding (e.g., via prefrontal cortex). Alternatively, emotional information may be harder to unitize, resulting in reduced availability of extra-hippocampal medial temporal lobe support for emotional than neutral associations. To test these opposing hypotheses, we compared neural processes underlying successful and unsuccessful encoding of emotional and neutral associations. Participants intentionally studied pairs of neutral and negative pictures (Experiments 1-3). We found reduced association-memory for negative pictures in all experiments, accompanied by item-memory increases in Experiment 2. High-resolution fMRI (Experiment 3) indicated that reductions in associative encoding of emotional information are localizable to an area in ventral-lateral amygdala, driven by attentional/salience effects in the central amygdala. Hippocampal activity was similar during both pair types, but a left hippocampal cluster related to successful encoding was observed only for negative pairs. Extra-hippocampal associative memory processes (e.g., unitization) were more effective for neutral than emotional materials. Our findings suggest that reduced emotional association memory is accompanied by increases in activity and functional coupling within the amygdala. This did not disrupt hippocampal association-memory processes, which indeed were critical for successful emotional association memory formation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holz, N.E.; Boecker-Schlier, R.; Buchmann, A.F.; Blomeyer, D.; Jennen-Steinmetz, C.; Baumeister, S.; Plichta, M.M.; Cattrell, A.; Schumann, G.; Esser, G.; Schmidt, M.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Meyer-Lindenberg, A.; Banaschewski, T.; Brandeis, D.; Laucht, M.

    2017-01-01

    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

  18. Structural Variation within the Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Predict Memory for Impressions in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brittany Shane Cassidy

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Research has shown that lesions to regions involved in social and emotional cognition disrupt socioemotional processing and memory. We investigated how structural variation of regions involved in socioemotional memory (ventromedial prefrontal cortex [vmPFC], amygdala, as opposed to a region implicated in explicit memory (hippocampus, affected memory for impressions in young and older adults. Anatomical MRI scans for fifteen young and fifteen older adults were obtained and reconstructed to gather information about cortical thickness and subcortical volume. Young adults had greater amygdala and hippocampus volumes than old, and thicker left vmPFC than old, although right vmPFC thickness did not differ across the age groups. Participants formed behavior-based impressions and responded to interpersonally meaningful, social but interpersonally irrelevant, or non-social prompts, and completed a memory test. Results showed that greater left amygdala volume predicted enhanced overall memory for impressions in older but not younger adults. Increased right vmPFC thickness in older, but not younger, adults correlated with enhanced memory for impressions formed in the interpersonally meaningful context. Hippocampal volume was not predictive of social memory in young or older adults. These findings demonstrate the importance of structural variation in regions linked to socioemotional processing in the retention of impressions with age, and suggest that the amygdala and vmPFC play an integral role when encoding and retrieving social information.

  19. Men with high serotonin 1B receptor binding respond to provocations with heightened amygdala reactivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

    Serotonin signalling influences amygdala reactivity to threat-related emotional facial expressions in healthy adults, but in vivo serotonin signalling has never been investigated in the context of provocative stimuli in aggressive individuals. The aim of this study was to evaluate associations...

  20. Noradrenergic activation of the basolateral amygdala modulates the consolidation of object-in-context recognition memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barsegyan, Areg; McGaugh, James L.; Roozendaal, Benno

    2014-01-01

    Noradrenergic activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) is well known to enhance the consolidation of long-term memory of highly emotionally arousing training experiences. The present study investigated whether such noradrenergic activation of the BLA also influences the

  1. Threat-related amygdala activity is associated with peripheral CRP concentrations in men but not women

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Johnna R.; Prather, Aric A.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2017-01-01

    Increased levels of peripheral inflammatory markers, including C-Reactive Protein (CRP), are associated with increased risk for depression, anxiety, and suicidality. The brain mechanisms that may underlie the association between peripheral inflammation and internalizing problems remain to be determined. The present study examines associations between peripheral CRP concentrations and threat-related amygdala activity, a neural biomarker of depression and anxiety risk, in a sample of 172 young adult undergraduate students. Participants underwent functional MRI scanning while performing an emotional face matching task to obtain a measure of threat-related amygdala activity to angry and fearful faces; CRP concentrations were assayed from dried blood spots. Results indicated a significant interaction between CRP and sex: in men, but not women, higher CRP was associated with higher threat-related amygdala activity. These results add to the literature finding associations between systemic levels of inflammation and brain function and suggest that threat-related amygdala activity may serve as a potential pathway through which heightened chronic inflammation may increase risk for mood and anxiety problems. PMID:28183031

  2. Reference frames for spatial frequency in face representation differ in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inagaki, Mikio; Fujita, Ichiro

    2011-07-13

    Social communication in nonhuman primates and humans is strongly affected by facial information from other individuals. Many cortical and subcortical brain areas are known to be involved in processing facial information. However, how the neural representation of faces differs across different brain areas remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the reference frame for spatial frequency (SF) tuning of face-responsive neurons differs in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala in monkeys. Consistent with psychophysical properties for face recognition, temporal cortex neurons were tuned to image-based SFs (cycles/image) and showed viewing distance-invariant representation of face patterns. On the other hand, many amygdala neurons were influenced by retina-based SFs (cycles/degree), a characteristic that is useful for social distance computation. The two brain areas also differed in the luminance contrast sensitivity of face-responsive neurons; amygdala neurons sharply reduced their responses to low luminance contrast images, while temporal cortex neurons maintained the level of their responses. From these results, we conclude that different types of visual processing in the temporal visual cortex and the amygdala contribute to the construction of the neural representations of faces.

  3. Amygdala and heart rate variability responses from listening to emotionally intense parts of a story

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wallentin, Mikkel; Nielsen, Andreas Højlund; Vuust, Peter

    2011-01-01

    correspondence across participants between intensity ratings and HRV measurements obtained during fMRI. With this ecologically valid stimulus we found that narrative intensity was accompanied by activation in temporal cortices, medial geniculate nuclei in the thalamus and amygdala, brain regions that are all...

  4. The Amygdala Is Critical for Trace, Delay, and Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochli, Daniel E.; Thompson, Elaine C.; Fricke, Elizabeth A.; Postle, Abagail F.; Quinn, Jennifer J.

    2015-01-01

    Numerous investigations have definitively shown amygdalar involvement in delay and contextual fear conditioning. However, much less is known about amygdala contributions to trace fear conditioning, and what little evidence exists is conflicting as noted in previous studies. This discrepancy may result from selective targeting of individual nuclei…

  5. Context Fear Learning Specifically Activates Distinct Populations of Neurons in Amygdala and Hypothalamus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trogrlic, Lidia; Wilson, Yvette M.; Newman, Andrew G.; Murphy, Mark

    2011-01-01

    The identity and distribution of neurons that are involved in any learning or memory event is not known. In previous studies, we identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral amygdala that show learning-specific activation of a c-"fos"-regulated transgene following context fear conditioning. Here, we have extended these studies to…

  6. Developmental Exposure to an Environmental PCB Mixture Delays the Propagation of Kindling in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 eva...

  7. Progression of Amygdala Volumetric Abnormalities in Adolescents after Their First Manic Episode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitter, Samantha M.; Mills, Neil P.; Adler, Caleb M.; Strakowski, Stephen M.; DelBello, Melissa P.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Although previous neuroimaging studies suggest that adolescents with bipolar disorder exhibit smaller amygdala volumes compared with healthy adolescents, whether these abnormalities are present at illness onset or instead develop over time remains unclear. The aim of this study was to conduct a prospective longitudinal investigation…

  8. A Genome-Wide Association Study of Amygdala Activation in Youths with and without Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xinmin; Akula, Nirmala; Skup, Martha; Brotman, Melissa A.; Leibenluft, Ellen; McMahon, Francis J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Functional magnetic resonance imaging is commonly used to characterize brain activity underlying a variety of psychiatric disorders. A previous functional magnetic resonance imaging study found that amygdala activation during a face-processing task differed between pediatric patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and healthy controls. We…

  9. Tonic inhibition by orphanin FQ/nociceptin of noradrenaline neurotransmission in the amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kawahara, Y; Hesselink, M.B.; van Scharrenburg, G; Westerink, B.H.C.

    2004-01-01

    The present microdialysis study investigated whether nociceptin/orphanin FQ exerts a tonic inhibition of the release of noradrenaline in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala in awake rats. The non-peptide competitive nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) peptide receptor antagonist J-113397 (20 mg/kg

  10. Amygdala Volume Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder Are Related to Anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrington, John D.; Maddox, Brenna B.; Kerns, Connor M.; Rump, Keiran; Worley, Julie A.; Bush, Jennifer C.; McVey, Alana J.; Schultz, Robert T.; Miller, Judith S.

    2017-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that longstanding findings of abnormal amygdala morphology in ASD may be related to symptoms of anxiety. To test this hypothesis, fifty-three children with ASD (mean age = 11.9) underwent structural MRI and were divided into subgroups to compare those with at least one anxiety disorder diagnosis (n = 29) to those without (n…

  11. Differential Involvement of Amygdala and Cortical NMDA Receptors Activation upon Encoding in Odor Fear Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegoburu, Chloé; Parrot, Sandrine; Ferreira, Guilaume; Mouly, Anne-Marie

    2014-01-01

    Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) plays a crucial role for the acquisition of fear memories, sensory cortices are involved in their long-term storage in rats. However, the time course of their respective involvement has received little investigation. Here we assessed the role of the glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the…

  12. The Amygdala Is Involved in Affective Priming Effect for Fearful Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, J.; Cao, Z.; Xu, X.; Chen, G.

    2012-01-01

    The object of this study was to investigate whether the amygdala is involved in affective priming effect after stimuli are encoded unconsciously and consciously. During the encoding phase, each masked face (fearful or neutral) was presented to participants six times for 17 ms each, using a backward masking paradigm. During the retrieval phase,…

  13. A Discrete Population of Neurons in the Lateral Amygdala Is Specifically Activated by Contextual Fear Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Murphy, Mark

    2009-01-01

    There is no clear identification of the neurons involved in fear conditioning in the amygdala. To search for these neurons, we have used a genetic approach, the "fos-tau-lacZ" (FTL) mouse, to map functionally activated expression in neurons following contextual fear conditioning. We have identified a discrete population of neurons in the lateral…

  14. Estrogen receptor-a in medial amygdala neurons regulates body weight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrogen receptor–a (ERa) activity in the brain prevents obesity in both males and females. However, the ERa-expressing neural populations that regulate body weight remain to be fully elucidated. Here we showed that single-minded–1 (SIM1) neurons in the medial amygdala (MeA) express abundant levels ...

  15. Intrinsic Functional Connectivity of Amygdala-Based Networks in Adolescent Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Amy K.; Fudge, Julie L.; Kelly, Clare; Perry, Justin S. A.; Daniele, Teresa; Carlisi, Christina; Benson, Brenda; Castellanos, F. Xavier; Milham, Michael P.; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) typically begins during adolescence and can persist into adulthood. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this disorder remain unclear. Recent evidence from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (R-fMRI) studies in adults suggests disruptions in amygdala-based circuitry; the…

  16. 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

  17. SRC Inhibition Reduces NR2B Surface Expression and Synaptic Plasticity in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinai, Laleh; Duffy, Steven; Roder, John C.

    2010-01-01

    The Src protein tyrosine kinase plays a central role in the regulation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) activity by regulating NMDAR subunit 2B (NR2B) surface expression. In the amygdala, NMDA-dependent synaptic plasticity resulting from convergent somatosensory and auditory inputs contributes to emotional memory; however, the role of Src…

  18. Glucocorticoid receptor number predicts increase in amygdala activity after severe stress

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geuze, Elbert; van Wingen, Guido A.; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Rademaker, Arthur R.; Vermetten, Eric; Kavelaars, Annemieke; Fernández, Guillén; Heijnen, Cobi J.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Individuals who are exposed to a traumatic event are at increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies have shown that increased amygdala activity is frequently found in patients with PTSD. In addition, pre-trauma glucocorticoid

  19. Chronic ethanol exposure decreases CB1 receptor function at GABAergic synapses in the rat central amygdala

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Varodayan, Florence P.; Soni, Neeraj; Bajo, Michal

    2016-01-01

    release, and GABAergic dysregulation in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is critical in the transition to alcohol dependence. We investigated possible disruptions in CB1 signaling of rat CeA GABAergic transmission following intermittent ethanol exposure. In the CeA of alcohol-naive rats, CB1...

  20. Emotion-induced loss aversion and striatal-amygdala coupling in low-anxious individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Caroline J; De Martino, Benedetto; Sim, Alena L; Sharot, Tali; Roiser, Jonathan P

    2016-04-01

    Adapting behavior to changes in the environment is a crucial ability for survival but such adaptation varies widely across individuals. Here, we asked how humans alter their economic decision-making in response to emotional cues, and whether this is related to trait anxiety. Developing an emotional decision-making task for functional magnetic resonance imaging, in which gambling decisions were preceded by emotional and non-emotional primes, we assessed emotional influences on loss aversion, the tendency to overweigh potential monetary losses relative to gains. Our behavioral results revealed that only low-anxious individuals exhibited increased loss aversion under emotional conditions. This emotional modulation of decision-making was accompanied by a corresponding emotion-elicited increase in amygdala-striatal functional connectivity, which correlated with the behavioral effect across participants. Consistent with prior reports of 'neural loss aversion', both amygdala and ventral striatum tracked losses more strongly than gains, and amygdala loss aversion signals were exaggerated by emotion, suggesting a potential role for this structure in integrating value and emotion cues. Increased loss aversion and striatal-amygdala coupling induced by emotional cues may reflect the engagement of adaptive harm-avoidance mechanisms in low-anxious individuals, possibly promoting resilience to psychopathology. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. Function of the centromedial amygdala in reward devaluation and open-field activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawasaki, K; Glueck, A C; Annicchiarico, I; Papini, M R

    2015-09-10

    The present research aimed at determining the role played by the amygdala in reward devaluation using transient inactivation induced by lidocaine microinfusions into the centromedial region. Two situations involving reward devaluation were tested in rats: consummatory successive negative contrast (cSNC) and anticipatory negative contrast (ANC). In cSNC, rats exposed to a downshift from 32% to 4% sucrose consume less 4% sucrose than rats always exposed to 4% sucrose. Extensive evidence suggests that reward devaluation in the cSNC situation is accompanied by negative emotion. In ANC, rats consume less 4% sucrose when each session is closely followed by access to 32% sucrose rather than by 4% sucrose. Evidence suggests that reward devaluation in the ANC situation does not involve negative emotions; rather, ANC appears to involve Pavlovian anticipation of the higher value solution. To test the effects of lidocaine microinfusions in a situation known to induce negative emotion, but unrelated to reward devaluation, animals were also exposed to a lighted open field. Centromedial amygdala inactivation reduced the cSNC effect and increased exploratory behavior in the open field, both effects consistent with a reduction in negative emotional state. However, no detectable effects of amygdala inactivation were observed in the ANC situation. These results suggest that, first, the function of the amygdala is not unique to reward devaluation and, second, it is concerned with tagging the devaluation experience with aversive valence. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Meditation and yoga practice are associated with smaller right amygdala volume: the Rotterdam study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.A. Gotink (Rinske); M.W. Vernooij (Meike); M.K. Ikram (Kamran); W.J. Niessen (Wiro); Krestin, G.P. (Gabriel P.); A. Hofman (Albert); H.W. Tiemeier (Henning); M.G.M. Hunink (Myriam)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractTo determine the association between meditation and yoga practice, experienced stress, and amygdala and hippocampal volume in a large population-based study. This study was embedded within the population-based Rotterdam Study and included 3742 participants for cross-sectional

  3. 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

  4. Human amygdala reactivity is diminished by the beta-noradrenergic antagonist propranolol

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurlemann, R.; Walter, H.; Rehme, A. K.; Kukolja, J.; Santoro, S. C.; Schmidt, C.; Schnell, K.; Musshoff, F.; Keysers, C.; Maier, W.; Kendrick, K. M.; Onur, O. A.

    Background. Animal models of anxiety disorders emphasize the crucial role of locus ceruleus-noradrenergic (norepinephrine, NE) signaling, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and their interactions in the expression of anxiety-like behavioral responses to stress. Despite clinical evidence for the efficacy

  5. A Model of Amygdala-Hippocampal-Prefrontal Interaction in Fear Conditioning and Extinction in Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Gilbertson, Mark W.; Orr, Scott P.; Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Servatius, Richard J.; Myers, Catherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Empirical research has shown that the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are involved in fear conditioning. However, the functional contribution of each brain area and the nature of their interactions are not clearly understood. Here, we extend existing neural network models of the functional roles of the hippocampus…

  6. Inter- and intraobserver agreement of seizure behavior scoring in the amygdala kindled rat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, L.J.J.; Gosens, N.; Vles, J.S.H.; Hoogland, G.; Aldenkamp, Albert; Rouhl, Rob P W

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The Racine scale is a 5-point seizure behavior scoring paradigm used in the amygdala kindled rat. Though this scale has been applied widely in experimental epilepsy research, studies of reproducibility are rare. The aim of the current study was, therefore, to assess its interobserver

  7. Cannabis use is quantitatively associated with nucleus accumbens and amygdala abnormalities in young adult recreational users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilman, Jodi M; Kuster, John K; Lee, Sang; Lee, Myung Joo; Kim, Byoung Woo; Makris, Nikos; van der Kouwe, Andre; Blood, Anne J; Breiter, Hans C

    2014-04-16

    Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effects on the human brain, particularly on reward/aversion regions implicated in addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Animal studies show structural changes in brain regions such as the nucleus accumbens after exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but less is known about cannabis use and brain morphometry in these regions in humans. We collected high-resolution MRI scans on young adult recreational marijuana users and nonusing controls and conducted three independent analyses of morphometry in these structures: (1) gray matter density using voxel-based morphometry, (2) volume (total brain and regional volumes), and (3) shape (surface morphometry). Gray matter density analyses revealed greater gray matter density in marijuana users than in control participants in the left nucleus accumbens extending to subcallosal cortex, hypothalamus, sublenticular extended amygdala, and left amygdala, even after controlling for age, sex, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking. Trend-level effects were observed for a volume increase in the left nucleus accumbens only. Significant shape differences were detected in the left nucleus accumbens and right amygdala. The left nucleus accumbens showed salient exposure-dependent alterations across all three measures and an altered multimodal relationship across measures in the marijuana group. These data suggest that marijuana exposure, even in young recreational users, is associated with exposure-dependent alterations of the neural matrix of core reward structures and is consistent with animal studies of changes in dendritic arborization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. [Morphometric features of the structure of the central nucleus of the amygdala in men and women].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antyukhov, A D

    2015-01-01

    To identify the interhemispheric asymmetry in the structure of the central nucleus of the amygdala in men and women. Morphometric features of the structure of neurons of the central nucleus amygdala complex were studied in histological sections of the brain of 6 men and 6 women (24 hemispheres), aged 19 to 55 years, with no lifetime diagnosis of mental or neurological disease. The value of the profile fields of neurons of the central nucleus amygdala complex in the left and right hemispheres of the brain were investigated. In women, the average value of neurons in the left hemisphere was somewhat greater than in the right hemisphere, while in men this value was greater in the right hemisphere. The interhemispheric morphometric differences were not significant regardless of gender. In addition, the quantity of relevant fields of neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala in women was significantly larger than that of men in both hemispheres. The authors attempted to associate the results obtained in the study with emotional perception in men and women.

  10. Resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala in suicide attempters with major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Seung-Gul; Na, Kyoung-Sae; Choi, Jae-Won; Kim, Jeong-Hee; Son, Young-Don; Lee, Yu Jin

    2017-07-03

    In this study, we investigated the difference in resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the amygdala between suicide attempters and non-suicide attempters with major depressive disorder (MDD) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This study included 19 suicide attempters with MDD and 19 non-suicide attempters with MDD. RSFC was compared between the two groups and the regression analyses were conducted to identify the correlation between RSFC and Scale for Suicide Ideation (SSI) scores in the suicide attempt group. Statistical significance was set at p-value (uncorrected) suicide attempters, suicide attempters showed significantly increased RSFC of the left amygdala with the right insula and left superior orbitofrontal area, and increased RSFC of the right amygdala with the left middle temporal area. The regression analysis showed a significant correlation between the SSI total score and RSFC of the right amygdala with the right parahippocampal area in the suicide attempt group. The present RSFC findings provide evidence of a functional neural basis and will help reveal the pathophysiology underlying suicidality in subjects with MDD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Abnormal Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex Activation to Facial Expressions in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Amy S.; Reiss, Allan L.; Howe, Meghan E.; Kelley, Ryan G.; Singh, Manpreet K.; Adleman, Nancy E.; Karchemskiy, Asya; Chang, Kiki D.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) have reported greater amygdala and less dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activation to facial expressions compared to healthy controls. The current study investigates whether these differences are associated with the early or late…

  12. Amygdala fMRI Signal as a Predictor of Reaction Time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Riedel

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Reaction times (RT are a valuable measure for assessing cognitive processes. However, RTs are susceptible to confounds and therefore variable. Exposure to threat, for example, speeds up or slows down responses. Distinct task types to some extent account for differential effects of threat on RTs. But also do inter-individual differences like trait anxiety. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated whether activation within the amygdala, a brain region closely linked to the processing of threat, may also function as a predictor of RTs, similar to trait anxiety scores. After threat conditioning by means of aversive electric shocks, 45 participants performed a choice RT task during alternating 30s blocks in the presence of the threat conditioned stimulus CS+ or of the safe control stimulus CS-. Trait anxiety was assessed with the State-Trait-Anxiety-Inventory and participants were median split into a high- and a low-anxiety subgroup. We tested three hypotheses: 1 RTs will be faster during the exposure to threat compared to the safe condition in individuals with high trait anxiety. 2 The amygdala fMRI signal will be higher in the threat condition compared to the safe condition. 3 Amygdala fMRI signal prior to a RT trial will be correlated with the corresponding RT. We found that, the high-anxious subgroup showed faster responses in the threat condition compared to the safe condition, while the low-anxious subgroup showed no significant difference in RTs in the threat condition compared to the safe condition. Though the fMRI analysis did not reveal an effect of condition on amygdala activity, we found a trial-by-trial correlation between blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal within the right amygdala prior to the CRT task and the subsequent RT. Taken together, the results of this study showed that: Exposure to threat modulates task performance. This modulation is influenced by personality trait. Additionally and most

  13. Amygdala subnuclei connectivity in response to violence reveals unique influences of individual differences in psychopathic traits in a nonforensic sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Keith J; Porges, Eric C; Decety, Jean

    2015-04-01

    Atypical amygdala function and connectivity have reliably been associated with psychopathy. However, the amygdala is not a unitary structure. To examine how psychopathic traits in a nonforensic sample are linked to amygdala response to violence, this study used probabilistic tractography to classify amygdala subnuclei based on anatomical projections to and from amygdala subnuclei in a group of 43 male participants. The segmentation identified the basolateral complex (BLA; lateral, basal, and accessory basal subnuclei) and the central subnucleus (CE), which were used as seeds in a functional connectivity analysis to identify differences in neuronal coupling specific to observed violence. While a full amygdala seed showed significant connectivity only to right middle occipital gyrus, subnuclei seeds revealed unique connectivity patterns. BLA showed enhanced coupling with anterior cingulate and prefrontal regions, while CE showed increased connectivity with the brainstem, but reduced connectivity with superior parietal and precentral gyrus. Further, psychopathic personality factors were related to specific patterns of connectivity. Fearless Dominance scores on the psychopathic personality inventory predicted increased coupling between the BLA seed and sensory integration cortices, and increased connectivity between the CE seed and posterior insula. Conversely, Self-Centered Impulsivity scores were negatively correlated with coupling between BLA and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, and Coldheartedness scores predicted increased functional connectivity between BLA and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Taken together, these findings demonstrate how subnuclei segmentations reveal important functional connectivity differences that are otherwise inaccessible. Such an approach yields a better understanding of amygdala dysfunction in psychopathy. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. The relationship between amygdala activation and passive exposure time to an aversive cue during a continuous performance task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina A Strigo

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The allocation of attention modulates negative emotional processing in the amygdala. However, the role of passive exposure time to emotional signals in the modulation of amygdala activity during active task performance has not been examined. In two functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI experiments conducted in two different groups of healthy human subjects, we examined activation in the amygdala due to cued anticipation of painful stimuli while subjects performed a simple continuous performance task (CPT with either a fixed or a parametrically varied trial duration. In the first experiment (N = 16, engagement in the CPT during a task with fixed trial duration produced the expected attenuation of amygdala activation, but close analysis suggested that the attenuation occurred during the period of active engagement in CPT, and that amygdala activity increased proportionately during the remainder of each trial, when subjects were passively exposed to the pain cue. In the second experiment (N = 12, the duration of each trial was parametrically varied, and we found that amygdala activation was linearly related to the time of passive exposure to the anticipatory cue. We suggest that amygdala activation during negative anticipatory processing depends directly on the passive exposure time to the negative cue.

  15. 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.

  16. Recovery from Unrecognized Sleep Loss Accumulated in Daily Life Improved Mood Regulation via Prefrontal Suppression of Amygdala Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Motomura

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Many modern people suffer from sleep debt that has accumulated in everyday life but is not subjectively noticed [potential sleep debt (PSD]. Our hypothesis for this study was that resolution of PSD through sleep extension optimizes mood regulation by altering the functional connectivity between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Fifteen healthy male participants underwent an experiment consisting of a baseline (BL evaluation followed by two successive interventions, namely, a 9-day sleep extension followed by one night of total sleep deprivation (TSD. Tests performed before and after the interventions included a questionnaire on negative mood and neuroimaging with arterial spin labeling MRI for evaluating regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF and functional connectivity. Negative mood and amygdala rCBF were significantly reduced after sleep extension compared with BL. The amygdala had a significant negative functional connectivity with the medial prefrontal cortex (FCamg–MPFC, and this negative connectivity was greater after sleep extension than at BL. After TSD, these indices reverted to the same level as at BL. An additional path analysis with structural equation modeling showed that the FCamg–MPFC significantly explained the amygdala rCBF and that the amygdala rCBF significantly explained the negative mood. These findings suggest that the use of our sleep extension protocol normalized amygdala activity via negative amygdala–MPFC functional connectivity. The resolution of unnoticed PSD may improve mood by enhancing frontal suppression of hyperactivity in the amygdala caused by PSD accumulating in everyday life.

  17. The influence of 5-HTTLPR transporter genotype on amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex connectivity in autism spectrum disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Velasquez

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Social deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD are linked to amygdala functioning and functional connection between the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC is involved in the modulation of amygdala activity. Impairments in behavioral symptoms and amygdala activation and connectivity with the sACC seem to vary by serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR variant genotype in diverse populations. The current preliminary investigation examines whether amygdala-sACC connectivity differs by 5-HTTLPR genotype and relates to social functioning in ASD. A sample of 108 children and adolescents (44 ASD completed an fMRI face-processing task. Youth with ASD and low expressing 5-HTTLPR genotypes showed significantly greater connectivity than youth with ASD and higher expressing genotypes as well as typically developing (TD individuals with both low and higher expressing genotypes, in the comparison of happy vs. baseline faces and happy vs. neutral faces. Moreover, individuals with ASD and higher expressing genotypes exhibit a negative relationship between amygdala-sACC connectivity and social dysfunction. Altered amygdala-sACC coupling based on 5-HTTLPR genotype may help explain some of the heterogeneity in neural and social function observed in ASD. This is the first ASD study to combine genetic polymorphism analyses and functional connectivity in the context of a social task.

  18. Amygdala activation as a marker for selective attention toward neutral faces in a chronic traumatic brain injury population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Leanne R; Yu, Weikei; Holloway, Michael; Rodgers, Barry N; Chapman, Sandra B; Krawczyk, Daniel C

    2017-09-01

    There has been great interest in characterizing the response of the amygdala to emotional faces, especially in the context of social cognition. Although amygdala activation is most often associated with fearful or angry stimuli, there is considerable evidence that the response of the amygdala to neutral faces is both robust and reliable. This characteristic of amygdala function is of particular interest in the context of assessing populations with executive function deficits, such as traumatic brain injuries, which can be evaluated using fMRI attention modulation tasks that evaluate prefrontal control over representations, notably faces. The current study tested the hypothesis that the amygdala may serve as a marker of selective attention to neutral faces. Using fMRI, we gathered data within a chronic traumatic brain injury population. Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal change within the left and right amygdalae and fusiform face areas was measured while participants viewed neutral faces and scenes, under conditions requiring participants to (1) categorize pictures of faces and scenes, (2) selectively attend to either faces or scenes, or (3) attend to both faces and scenes. Findings revealed that the amygdala is an effective marker for selective attention to neutral faces and, furthermore, it was more face-specific than the fusiform face area. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Distinct contributions of reactive oxygen species in amygdala to bee venom-induced spontaneous pain-related behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yun-Fei; Neugebauer, Volker; Chen, Jun; Li, Zhen

    2016-04-21

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, play essential roles in physiological plasticity and are also involved in the pathogenesis of persistent pain. Roles of peripheral and spinal ROS in pain have been well established, but much less is known about ROS in the amygdala, a brain region that plays an important role in pain modulation. The present study explored the contribution of ROS in the amygdala to bee venom (BV)-induced pain behaviors. Our data show that the amygdala is activated following subcutaneous BV injection into the left hindpaw, which is reflected in the increased number of c-Fos positive cells in the central and basolateral amygdala nuclei in the right hemisphere. Stereotaxic administration of a ROS scavenger (tempol, 10mM), NADPH oxidase inhibitor (baicalein, 5mM) or lipoxygenase inhibitor (apocynin, 10mM) into the right amygdala attenuated the BV-induced spontaneous licking and lifting behaviors, but had no effect on BV-induced paw flinch reflexes. Our study provides further evidence for the involvement of the amygdala in nociceptive processing and pain behaviors, and that ROS in amygdala may be a potential target for treatment strategies to inhibit pain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. Human amygdala engagement moderated by early life stress exposure is a biobehavioral target for predicting recovery on antidepressants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein-Piekarski, Andrea N; Korgaonkar, Mayuresh S; Green, Erin; Suppes, Trisha; Schatzberg, Alan F; Hastie, Trevor; Nemeroff, Charles B; Williams, Leanne M

    2016-10-18

    Amygdala circuitry and early life stress (ELS) are both strongly and independently implicated in the neurobiology of depression. Importantly, animal models have revealed that the contribution of ELS to the development and maintenance of depression is likely a consequence of structural and physiological changes in amygdala circuitry in response to stress hormones. Despite these mechanistic foundations, amygdala engagement and ELS have not been investigated as biobehavioral targets for predicting functional remission in translational human studies of depression. Addressing this question, we integrated human neuroimaging and measurement of ELS within a controlled trial of antidepressant outcomes. Here we demonstrate that the interaction between amygdala activation engaged by emotional stimuli and ELS predicts functional remission on antidepressants with a greater than 80% cross-validated accuracy. Our model suggests that in depressed people with high ELS, the likelihood of remission is highest with greater amygdala reactivity to socially rewarding stimuli, whereas for those with low-ELS exposure, remission is associated with lower amygdala reactivity to both rewarding and threat-related stimuli. This full model predicted functional remission over and above the contribution of demographics, symptom severity, ELS, and amygdala reactivity alone. These findings identify a human target for elucidating the mechanisms of antidepressant functional remission and offer a target for developing novel therapeutics. The results also offer a proof-of-concept for using neuroimaging as a target for guiding neuroscience-informed intervention decisions at the level of the individual person.

  2. Bilateral neurotoxic amygdala lesions in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): Consistent pattern of behavior across different social contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Christopher J.; Emery, Nathan J.; Capitanio, John P.; Mason, William A.; Mendoza, Sally P.; Amaral, David G.

    2010-01-01

    Although the amygdala has been repeatedly implicated in normal primate social behavior, great variability exists in the specific social and nonsocial behavioral changes observed after bilateral amygdala lesions in nonhuman primates. One plausible explanation pertains to differences in social context. To investigate this idea, we measured the social behavior of amygdala-lesioned and unoperated rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) in two contexts. Animals interacted in four-member social groups over 32 test days. These animals were previously assessed in pairs (Emery et al., 2001), and were, therefore, familiar with each other at the beginning of this study. Across the two contexts, amygdala lesions produced a highly consistent pattern of social behavior. Operated animals engaged in more affiliative social interactions with control group partners than did control animals. In the course of their interactions, amygdala-lesioned animals also displayed an earlier decrease in nervous and fearful personality qualities than controls. The increased exploration and sexual behavior recorded for amygdala-lesioned animals in pairs was not found in the four-member groups. We conclude that the amygdala contributes to social inhibition and this function transcends various social contexts. PMID:18410164

  3. Aberrant Functional Connectivity of the Amygdala Complexes in PTSD during Conscious and Subconscious Processing of Trauma-Related Stimuli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Rabellino

    Full Text Available Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD is characterized by altered functional connectivity of the amygdala complexes at rest. However, amygdala complex connectivity during conscious and subconscious threat processing remains to be elucidated. Here, we investigate specific connectivity of the centromedial amygdala (CMA and basolateral amygdala (BLA during conscious and subconscious processing of trauma-related words among individuals with PTSD (n = 26 as compared to non-trauma-exposed controls (n = 20. Psycho-physiological interaction analyses were performed using the right and left amygdala complexes as regions of interest during conscious and subconscious trauma word processing. These analyses revealed a differential, context-dependent responses by each amygdala seed during trauma processing in PTSD. Specifically, relative to controls, during subconscious processing, individuals with PTSD demonstrated increased connectivity of the CMA with the superior frontal gyrus, accompanied by a pattern of decreased connectivity between the BLA and the superior colliculus. During conscious processing, relative to controls, individuals with PTSD showed increased connectivity between the CMA and the pulvinar. These findings demonstrate alterations in amygdala subregion functional connectivity in PTSD and highlight the disruption of the innate alarm network during both conscious and subconscious trauma processing in this disorder.

  4. The effect of anticipation and the specificity of sex differences for amygdala and hippocampus function in emotional memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackiewicz, Kristen L; Sarinopoulos, Issidoros; Cleven, Krystal L; Nitschke, Jack B

    2006-09-19

    Prior research has shown memory is enhanced for emotional events. Key brain areas involved in emotional memory are the amygdala and hippocampus, which are also recruited during aversion and its anticipation. This study investigated whether anticipatory processes signaling an upcoming aversive event contribute to emotional memory. In an event-related functional MRI paradigm, 40 healthy participants viewed aversive and neutral pictures preceded by predictive warning cues. Participants completed a surprise recognition task directly after functional MRI scanning or 2 weeks later. In anticipation of aversive pictures, bilateral dorsal amygdala and anterior hippocampus activations were associated with better immediate recognition memory. Similar associations with memory were observed for activation of those areas in response to aversive pictures. Anticipatory activation predicted immediate memory over and above these associations for picture viewing. Bilateral ventral amygdala activations in response to aversive pictures predicted delayed memory only. We found that previously reported sex differences of memory associations with left amygdala for women and with right amygdala for men were confined to the ventral amygdala during picture viewing and delayed memory. Results support an established animal model elucidating the functional neuroanatomy of the amygdala and hippocampus in emotional memory, highlight the importance of anticipatory processes in such memory for aversive events, and extend neuroanatomical evidence of sex differences for emotional memory.

  5. Abnormal left and right amygdala-orbitofrontal cortical functional connectivity to emotional faces: state versus trait vulnerability markers of depression in bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Versace, Amelia; Thompson, Wesley K; Zhou, Donli; Almeida, Jorge R C; Hassel, Stefanie; Klein, Crystal R; Kupfer, David J; Phillips, Mary L

    2010-03-01

    Amygdala-orbitofrontal cortical (OFC) functional connectivity (FC) to emotional stimuli and relationships with white matter remain little examined in bipolar disorder individuals (BD). Thirty-one BD (type I; n = 17 remitted; n = 14 depressed) and 24 age- and gender-ratio-matched healthy individuals (HC) viewed neutral, mild, and intense happy or sad emotional faces in two experiments. The FC was computed as linear and nonlinear dependence measures between amygdala and OFC time series. Effects of group, laterality, and emotion intensity upon amygdala-OFC FC and amygdala-OFC FC white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) relationships were examined. The BD versus HC showed significantly greater right amygdala-OFC FC (p relationship (p = .001) between left amygdala-OFC FC to sad faces and FA in HC. In BD, antidepressants were associated with significantly reduced left amygdala-OFC FC to mild sad faces (p = .001). In BD, abnormally elevated right amygdala-OFC FC to sad stimuli might represent a trait vulnerability for depression, whereas abnormally elevated left amygdala-OFC FC to sad stimuli and abnormally reduced amygdala-OFC FC to intense happy stimuli might represent a depression state marker. Abnormal FC measures might normalize with antidepressant medications in BD. Nonlinear amygdala-OFC FC-FA relationships in BD and HC require further study. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Functional Brain Activation to Emotional and non-Emotional Faces in Healthy Children: Evidence for Developmentally Undifferentiated Amygdala Function During the School Age Period

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The amygdala is a key region in emotion processing. Particularly, fMRI studies have demonstrated that the amygdala is active during the viewing of emotional faces. Previous research has consistently found greater amygdala responses to fearful faces as compared to neutral faces in adults, convergent with a focus in the animal literature on the amygdala's role in fear processing. Studies have found that the amygdala also responds differentially to other facial emotion types in adults. Yet, the literature regarding when this differential amygdala responsivity develops is limited and mixed. Thus, the goal of current study was to examine amygdala responses to emotional and neutral faces in a relatively large sample of healthy school age children (N = 52). While the amygdala was active in response to emotional and neutral faces, the results do not support the hypothesis that the amygdala responds differentially to emotional faces in 7 – 12 year old children. Nonetheless, amygdala activity was correlated with the severity of subclinical depression symptoms and emotional regulation skills. Additionally, sex differences were observed in frontal, temporal, and visual regions as well as effects of pubertal development in visual regions. These findings suggest important differences in amygdala reactivity in childhood. PMID:23636982

  7. Two Days' Sleep Debt Causes Mood Decline During Resting State Via Diminished Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motomura, Yuki; Katsunuma, Ruri; Yoshimura, Michitaka; Mishima, Kazuo

    2017-10-01

    Sleep debt (SD) has been suggested to evoke emotional instability by diminishing the suppression of the amygdala by the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Here, we investigated how short-term SD affects resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC, self-reported mood, and sleep parameters. Eighteen healthy adult men aged 29 ± 8.24 years participated in a 2-day sleep control session (SC; time in bed [TIB], 9 hours) and 2-day SD session (TIB, 3 hours). On day 2 of each session, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed, followed immediately by measuring self-reported mood on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-State subscale (STAI-S). STAI-S score was significantly increased, and functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC was significantly decreased in SD compared with SC. Significant correlations were observed between reduced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and reduced left amygdala-MPFC functional connectivity (FCL_amg-MPFC) and between reduced FCL_amg-MPFC and increased STAI-S score in SD compared with SC. These findings suggest that reduced MPFC functional connectivity of amygdala activity is involved in mood deterioration under SD, and that REM sleep reduction is involved in functional changes in the corresponding brain regions. Having adequate REM sleep may be important for mental health maintenance. © 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.

  8. How the amygdala affects emotional memory by altering brain network properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermans, Erno J; Battaglia, Francesco P; Atsak, Piray; de Voogd, Lycia D; Fernández, Guillén; Roozendaal, Benno

    2014-07-01

    The amygdala has long been known to play a key role in supporting memory for emotionally arousing experiences. For example, classical fear conditioning depends on neural plasticity within this anterior medial temporal lobe region. Beneficial effects of emotional arousal on memory, however, are not restricted to simple associative learning. Our recollection of emotional experiences often includes rich representations of, e.g., spatiotemporal context, visceral states, and stimulus-response associations. Critically, such memory features are known to bear heavily on regions elsewhere in the brain. These observations led to the modulation account of amygdala function, which postulates that amygdala activation enhances memory consolidation by facilitating neural plasticity and information storage processes in its target regions. Rodent work in past decades has identified the most important brain regions and neurochemical processes involved in these modulatory actions, and neuropsychological and neuroimaging work in humans has produced a large body of convergent data. Importantly, recent methodological developments make it increasingly realistic to monitor neural interactions underlying such modulatory effects as they unfold. For instance, functional connectivity network modeling in humans has demonstrated how information exchanges between the amygdala and specific target regions occur within the context of large-scale neural network interactions. Furthermore, electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques in rodents are beginning to make it possible to quantify and even manipulate such interactions with millisecond precision. In this paper we will discuss that these developments will likely lead to an updated view of the amygdala as a critical nexus within large-scale networks supporting different aspects of memory processing for emotionally arousing experiences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Reduced amygdala reactivity and impaired working memory during dissociation in borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause-Utz, Annegret; Winter, Dorina; Schriner, Friederike; Chiu, Chui-De; Lis, Stefanie; Spinhoven, Philip; Bohus, Martin; Schmahl, Christian; Elzinga, Bernet M

    2017-05-19

    Affective hyper-reactivity and impaired cognitive control of emotional material are core features of borderline personality disorder (BPD). A high percentage of individuals with BPD experience stress-related dissociation, including emotional numbing and memory disruptions. So far little is known about how dissociation influences the neural processing of emotional material in the context of a working memory task in BPD. We aimed to investigate whole-brain activity and amygdala functional connectivity (FC) during an Emotional Working Memory Task (EWMT) after dissociation induction in un-medicated BPD patients compared to healthy controls (HC). Using script-driven imagery, dissociation was induced in 17 patients ('BPD_D'), while 12 patients ('BPD_N') and 18 HC were exposed to neutral scripts during fMRI. Afterwards, participants performed the EWMT with neutral vs. negative IAPS pictures vs. no distractors. Main outcome measures were behavioral performance (reaction times, errors) and whole-brain activity during the EWMT. Psychophysiological interaction analysis was used to examine amygdala connectivity during emotional distraction. BPD patients after dissociation induction showed overall WM impairments, a deactivation in bilateral amygdala, and lower activity in left cuneus, lingual gyrus, and posterior cingulate than BPD_N, along with stronger left inferior frontal gyrus activity than HC. Furthermore, reduced amygdala FC with fusiform gyrus and stronger amygdala FC with right middle/superior temporal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobule was observed in BPD_D. Findings suggest that dissociation affects reactivity to emotionally salient material and WM. Altered activity in areas associated with emotion processing, memory, and self-referential processes may contribute to dissociative states in BPD.

  10. 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.

  11. On the role of the amygdala for experiencing fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanken, Katrin; Francis, Yoselin; Kastrup, Andreas; Eling, Paul; Klein, Jan; Hildebrandt, Helmut

    2018-02-01

    Recently, we proposed a model explaining the origin of fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. This model assumes that the feeling of fatigue results from inflammation-induced information processing within interoceptive brain areas. To investigate the association between self-reported cognitive fatigue and structural integrity of interoceptive brain areas in MS patients. 95 MS patients and 28 healthy controls participated in this study. All participants underwent diffusion tensor MRI and fractional anisotropy data were calculated for the amygdala, the stria terminalis and the corpus callosum, a non-interoceptive brain area. Based on the cognitive fatigue score of the Fatigue Scale for Motor and Cognition, patients were divided into moderately cognitively fatigued (cognitive fatigue score ≥ 28) and cognitively non-fatigued (cognitive fatigue score < 28) MS patients. Healthy controls were recruited as a third group. Repeated measures analyses of covariance, controlling for age, depression and brain atrophy, were performed to investigate whether the factor Group had a significant effect on the fractional anisotropy data. A significant effect of Group was observed for the amygdala (F = 3.389, p = 0.037). MS patients without cognitive fatigue presented lower values of the amygdala than MS patients with cognitive fatigue and healthy controls. For the stria terminalis and the corpus callosum, no main effect of Group was observed. The structural integrity of the amygdala in non-fatigued MS patients appears to be reduced. According to our model this might indicate that the absence of fatigue in non-fatigued MS patients might result from disturbed inflammation-induced information processing in the amygdala. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Beyond the Classic VTA: Extended Amygdala Projections to DA-Striatal Paths in the Primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fudge, Julie L; Kelly, Emily A; Pal, Ria; Bedont, Joseph L; Park, Lydia; Ho, Brian

    2017-07-01

    The central extended amygdala (CEA) has been conceptualized as a 'macrosystem' that regulates various stress-induced behaviors. Consistent with this, the CEA highly expresses corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), an important modulator of stress responses. Stress alters goal-directed responses associated with striatal paths, including maladaptive responses such as drug seeking, social withdrawal, and compulsive behavior. CEA inputs to the midbrain dopamine (DA) system are positioned to influence striatal functions through mesolimbic DA-striatal pathways. However, the structure of this amygdala-CEA-DA neuron path to the striatum has been poorly characterized in primates. In primates, we combined neuronal tracer injections into various arms of the circuit through specific DA subpopulations to assess: (1) whether the circuit connecting amygdala, CEA, and DA cells follows CEA intrinsic organization, or a more direct topography involving bed nucleus vs central nucleus divisions; (2) CRF content of the CEA-DA path; and (3) striatal subregions specifically involved in CEA-DA-striatal loops. We found that the amygdala-CEA-DA path follows macrostructural subdivisions, with the majority of input/outputs converging in the medial central nucleus, the sublenticular extended amygdala, and the posterior lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. The proportion of CRF+ outputs is >50%, and mainly targets the A10 parabrachial pigmented nucleus (PBP) and A8 (retrorubal field, RRF) neuronal subpopulations, with additional inputs to the dorsal A9 neurons. CRF-enriched CEA-DA projections are positioned to influence outputs to the 'limbic-associative' striatum, which is distinct from striatal regions targeted by DA cells lacking CEA input. We conclude that the concept of the CEA is supported on connectional grounds, and that CEA termination over the PBP and RRF neuronal populations can influence striatal circuits involved in associative learning.

  13. Input from the medial geniculate nucleus modulates amygdala encoding of fear memory discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, Nicole C; Cullen, Patrick K; Pullins, Shane P; Rotondo, Elena K; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2017-09-01

    Generalization of fear can involve abnormal responding to cues that signal safety and is common in people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Differential auditory fear conditioning can be used as a tool to measure changes in fear discrimination and generalization. Most prior work in this area has focused on elevated amygdala activity as a critical component underlying generalization. The amygdala receives input from auditory cortex as well as the medial geniculate nucleus (MgN) of the thalamus, and these synapses undergo plastic changes in response to fear conditioning and are major contributors to the formation of memory related to both safe and threatening cues. The requirement for MgN protein synthesis during auditory discrimination and generalization, as well as the role of MgN plasticity in amygdala encoding of discrimination or generalization, have not been directly tested. GluR1 and GluR2 containing AMPA receptors are found at synapses throughout the amygdala and their expression is persistently up-regulated after learning. Some of these receptors are postsynaptic to terminals from MgN neurons. We found that protein synthesis-dependent plasticity in MgN is necessary for elevated freezing to both aversive and safe auditory cues, and that this is accompanied by changes in the expressions of AMPA receptor and synaptic scaffolding proteins (e.g., SHANK) at amygdala synapses. This work contributes to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying increased fear to safety signals after stress. © 2017 Ferrara et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  14. 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

  15. Amygdala Volumetry in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Normal Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, Paramdeep; Kaur, Rupinderjeet; Saggar, Kavita; Singh, Gagandeep; Aggarwal, Simmi

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that the pathophysiology of temporal lobe epilepsy may relate to abnormalities in various brain structures, including the amygdala. Patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) without MRI abnormalities (MTLE-NMRI) represent a challenge for diagnosis of the underlying abnormality and for presurgical evaluation. To date, however, only few studies have used quantitative structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging-based techniques to examine amygdalar pathology in these patients. Based on clinical examination, 24-hour video EEG recordings and MRI findings, 50 patients with EEG lateralized TLE and normal structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging results were included in this study. Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the amygdalas and hippocampi were conducted in 50 non-epileptic controls (age 7–79 years) and 50 patients with MTLE with normal MRI on a 1.5-Tesla scanner. Visual assessment and amygdalar volumetry were performed on oblique coronal T2W and T1W MP-RAGE images respectively. The T2 relaxation times were measured using the 16-echo Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill sequence (TE, 22–352). Volumetric data were normalized for variation in head size between individuals. Results were assessed by SSPS statistic program. Individual manual volumetric analysis confirmed statistically significant amygdala enlargement (AE) in eight (16%) patients. Overall, among all patients with AE and a defined epileptic focus, 7 had predominant increased volume ipsilateral to the epileptic focus. The T2 relaxometry demonstrated no hyperintense signal of the amygdala in any patient with significant AE. This paper presented AE in a few patients with TLE and normal MRI. These findings support the hypothesis that there might be a subgroup of patients with MTLE-NMRI in which the enlarged amygdala could be related to the epileptogenic process

  16. Amygdala Reactivity and Anterior Cingulate Habituation Predict Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Maintenance After Acute Civilian Trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jennifer S; Kim, Ye Ji; Galatzer-Levy, Isaac R; Reddy, Renuka; Ely, Timothy D; Nemeroff, Charles B; Hudak, Lauren A; Jovanovic, Tanja; Rothbaum, Barbara O; Ressler, Kerry J

    2017-06-15

    Studies suggest that exaggerated amygdala reactivity is a vulnerability factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, our understanding is limited by a paucity of prospective, longitudinal studies. Recent studies in healthy samples indicate that, relative to reactivity, habituation is a more reliable biomarker of individual differences in amygdala function. We investigated reactivity of the amygdala and cortical areas to repeated threat presentations in a prospective study of PTSD. Participants were recruited from the emergency department of a large level I trauma center within 24 hours of trauma. PTSD symptoms were assessed at baseline and approximately 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after trauma. Growth curve modeling was used to estimate symptom recovery trajectories. Thirty-one individuals participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging around the 1-month assessment, passively viewing fearful and neutral face stimuli. Reactivity (fearful > neutral) and habituation to fearful faces was examined. Amygdala reactivity, but not habituation, 5 to 12 weeks after trauma was positively associated with the PTSD symptom intercept and predicted symptoms at 12 months after trauma. Habituation in the ventral anterior cingulate cortex was positively associated with the slope of PTSD symptoms, such that decreases in ventral anterior cingulate cortex activation over repeated presentations of fearful stimuli predicted increasing symptoms. Findings point to neural signatures of risk for maintaining PTSD symptoms after trauma exposure. Specifically, chronic symptoms were predicted by amygdala hyperreactivity, and poor recovery was predicted by a failure to maintain ventral anterior cingulate cortex activation in response to fearful stimuli. The importance of identifying patients at risk after trauma exposure is discussed. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Amygdala functional connectivity is associated with locus of control in the context of cognitive aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Ping; Anthony, Mia; Chapman, Benjamin P; Heffner, Kathi; Lin, Feng

    2017-05-01

    Locus of control (LOC) measures the extent to which individuals perceive control over their lives. Those with a more "internal" LOC feel self-sufficient and able to determine important aspects of their own future, while those with a more "external" LOC feel that their lives are governed by events beyond their control. Reduced internal LOC and increased external LOC have been found in cognitive disorders, but the neural substrates of these control perceptions are yet unknown. In the present study, we explored the relationship between amygdala functional connectivity and LOC in 18 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and age-, sex-, and education-matched, 22 cognitively healthy controls (HC). Participants completed cognitive challenge tasks (Stroop Word Color task and Dual 1-back) for 20min, and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging immediately before and after the tasks. We found significantly lower internal LOC and higher external LOC in the MCI group than the HC group. Compared to HC, MCI group showed significantly stronger positive associations between internal LOC and baseline right amygdala connections (including right middle frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex), and stronger negative associations between internal LOC and change of these right amygdala connections. Across all participants, external LOC explained the relationships between associations of another set of right amygdala connections (including middle cingulate cortex and right superior frontal gyrus), both at baseline and for change, and performance in the cognitive challenge tasks. Our findings indicate that the right amygdala networks might be critical in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying LOC's role in cognitive aging. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Amygdala TDP-43 Pathology in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Motor Neuron Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Takahiro; Seilhean, Danielle; Le Ber, Isabelle; Millecamps, Stéphanie; Sazdovitch, Véronique; Kitagawa, Kazuo; Uchihara, Toshiki; Duyckaerts, Charles

    2017-09-01

    TDP-43-positive inclusions are present in the amygdala in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and motor neuron disease (MND) including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Behavioral abnormalities, one of the chief symptoms of FTLD, could be, at least partly, related to amygdala pathology. We examined TDP-43 inclusions in the amygdala of patients with sporadic FTLD/MND (sFTLD/MND), FTLD/MND with mutation of the C9ORF72 (FTLD/MND-C9) and FTLD with mutation of the progranulin (FTLD-GRN). TDP-43 inclusions were common in each one of these subtypes, which can otherwise be distinguished on topographical and genetic grounds. Conventional and immunological stainings were performed and we quantified the numerical density of inclusions on a regional basis. TDP-43 inclusions in amygdala could be seen in 10 out of 26 sFTLD/MND cases, 5 out of 9 FTLD/MND-C9 cases, and all 4 FTLD-GRN cases. Their numerical density was lower in FTLD/MND-C9 than in sFTLD/MND and FTLD-GRN. TDP-43 inclusions were more numerous in the ventral region of the basolateral nucleus group in all subtypes. This contrast was apparent in sporadic and C9-mutated FTLD/MND, while it was less evident in FTLD-GRN. Such differences in subregional involvement of amygdala may be related to the region-specific neuronal connections that are differentially affected in FTLD/MND and FTLD-GRN. © 2017 American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Trauma exposure relates to heightened stress, altered amygdala morphology and deficient extinction learning: Implications for psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacciaglia, Raffaele; Nees, Frauke; Grimm, Oliver; Ridder, Stephanie; Pohlack, Sebastian T; Diener, Slawomira J; Liebscher, Claudia; Flor, Herta

    2017-02-01

    Stress exposure causes a structural reorganization in neurons of the amygdala. In particular, animal models have repeatedly shown that both acute and chronic stress induce neuronal hypertrophy and volumetric increase in the lateral and basolateral nuclei of amygdala. These effects are visible on the behavioral level, where stress enhances anxiety behaviors and provokes greater fear learning. We assessed stress and anxiety levels in a group of 18 healthy human trauma-exposed individuals (TR group) compared to 18 non-exposed matched controls (HC group), and related these measurements to amygdala volume. Traumas included unexpected adverse experiences such as vehicle accidents or sudden loss of a loved one. As a measure of aversive learning, we implemented a cued fear conditioning paradigm. Additionally, to provide a biological marker of chronic stress, we measured the sensitivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis using a dexamethasone suppression test. Compared to the HC, the TR group showed significantly higher levels of chronic stress, current stress and trait anxiety, as well as increased volume of the left amygdala. Specifically, we observed a focal enlargement in its lateral portion, in line with previous animal data. Compared to HC, the TR group also showed enhanced late acquisition of conditioned fear and deficient extinction learning, as well as salivary cortisol hypo-suppression to dexamethasone. Left amygdala volumes positively correlated with suppressed morning salivary cortisol. Our results indicate differences in trauma-exposed individuals which resemble those previously reported in animals exposed to stress and in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms through which traumatic stress might prompt vulnerability for psychopathology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Amygdala Volumetry in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Normal Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Paramdeep; Kaur, Rupinderjeet; Saggar, Kavita; Singh, Gagandeep; Aggarwal, Simmi

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background It has been suggested that the pathophysiology of temporal lobe epilepsy may relate to abnormalities in various brain structures, including the amygdala. Patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) without MRI abnormalities (MTLE-NMRI) represent a challenge for diagnosis of the underlying abnormality and for presurgical evaluation. To date, however, only few studies have used quantitative structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging-based techniques to examine amygdalar pathology in these patients. Material/Methods Based on clinical examination, 24-hour video EEG recordings and MRI findings, 50 patients with EEG lateralized TLE and normal structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging results were included in this study. Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the amygdalas and hippocampi were conducted in 50 non-epileptic controls (age 7–79 years) and 50 patients with MTLE with normal MRI on a 1.5-Tesla scanner. Visual assessment and amygdalar volumetry were performed on oblique coronal T2W and T1W MP-RAGE images respectively. The T2 relaxation times were measured using the 16-echo Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill sequence (TE, 22–352). Volumetric data were normalized for variation in head size between individuals. Results were assessed by SSPS statistic program. Results Individual manual volumetric analysis confirmed statistically significant amygdala enlargement (AE) in eight (16%) patients. Overall, among all patients with AE and a defined epileptic focus, 7 had predominant increased volume ipsilateral to the epileptic focus. The T2 relaxometry demonstrated no hyperintense signal of the amygdala in any patient with significant AE. Conclusions This paper presented AE in a few patients with TLE and normal MRI. These findings support the hypothesis that there might be a subgroup of patients with MTLE-NMRI in which the enlarged amygdala could be related to the epileptogenic process. PMID:27231493

  1. Selective enhancement of main olfactory input to the medial amygdala by GnRH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Camille Bond; Meredith, Michael

    2010-03-04

    In male hamsters mating behavior is dependent on chemosensory input from the main olfactory and vomeronasal systems, whose central pathways contain cell bodies and fibers of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. In sexually naive males, vomeronasal organ removal (VNX), but not main olfactory lesions, impairs mating behavior. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.)-GnRH restores mating in sexually naive VNX males and enhances medial amygdala (Me) immediate-early gene activation by chemosensory stimulation. In sexually experienced males, VNX does not impair mating and i.c.v.-GnRH suppresses Me activation. Thus, the main olfactory system is sufficient for mating in experienced-VNX males, but not in naive-VNX males. We investigated the possibility that GnRH enhances main olfactory input to the amygdala in naive-VNX males using i.c.v.-GnRH and pharmacological stimulation (bicuculline/D,L-homocysteic acid mixture) of the main olfactory bulb (MOB). In sexually naive intact males there was a robust increase of Fos protein expression in the anteroventral medial amygdala (MeAv) with MOB stimulation, but no effect of GnRH. There was no effect of stimulation or GnRH in posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePd). In naive-VNX animals, GnRH increased Fos in MeAv and MePv. Only combined MOB stimulation and i.c.v.-GnRH produced a significant increase in Fos in the dorsal (reproduction-related) portion of MeP (MePd). When the animals were sexually experienced before VNX, a condition in which GnRH does not enhance mating, i.c.v.-GnRH combined with MOB stimulation suppressed Fos expression in MePd. This suggests a more selective effect of GnRH on olfactory input in MePd than elsewhere in medial amygdala of VNX males. 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Features of amygdala in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis: An MRI volumetric and histopathological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakayama, Yoko; Masuda, Hiroshi; Shirozu, Hiroshi; Ito, Yosuke; Higashijima, Takefumi; Kitaura, Hiroki; Fujii, Yukihiko; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Fukuda, Masafumi

    2017-09-01

    It is well-known that there is a correlation between the neuropathological grade of hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and neuroradiological atrophy of the hippocampus in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) patients. However, there is no strict definition or criterion regarding neuron loss and atrophy of the amygdala neighboring the hippocampus. We examined the relationship between HS and neuronal loss in the amygdala. Nineteen mTLE patients with neuropathological proof of HS were assigned to Group A, while seven mTLE patients without HS were assigned to Group B. We used FreeSurfer software to measure amygdala volume automatically based on pre-operation magnetic resonance images. Neurons observed using Klüver-Barrera (KB) staining in resected amygdala tissue were counted. and the extent of immunostaining with stress marker antibodies was semiquantitatively evaluated. There was no significant difference in amygdala volume between the two groups (Group A: 1.41±0.24; Group B: 1.41±0.29cm 3 ; p=0.98), nor in the neuron cellularity of resected amygdala specimens (Group A: 3.98±0.97; Group B: 3.67±0.67 10× -4 number of neurons/μm 2 ; p=0.40). However, the HSP70 level, representing acute stress against epilepsy, in Group A patients was significantly larger than that in Group B. There was no significant difference in the level of Bcl-2, which is known as a protein that inhibits cell death, between the two groups. Neuronal loss and volume loss in the amygdala may not necessarily follow hippocampal sclerosis. From the analysis of stress proteins, epileptic attacks are as likely to damage the amygdala as the hippocampus but do not lead to neuronal death in the amygdala. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging reveals nuclei of the human amygdala: manual segmentation to automatic atlas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saygin, Z M; Kliemann, D; Iglesias, J E; van der Kouwe, A J W; Boyd, E; Reuter, M; Stevens, A; Van Leemput, K; McKee, A; Frosch, M P; Fischl, B; Augustinack, J C

    2017-07-15

    The amygdala is composed of multiple nuclei with unique functions and connections in the limbic system and to the rest of the brain. However, standard in vivo neuroimaging tools to automatically delineate the amygdala into its multiple nuclei are still rare. By scanning postmortem specimens at high resolution (100-150µm) at 7T field strength (n = 10), we were able to visualize and label nine amygdala nuclei (anterior amygdaloid, cortico-amygdaloid transition area; basal, lateral, accessory basal, central, cortical medial, paralaminar nuclei). We created an atlas from these labels using a recently developed atlas building algorithm based on Bayesian inference. This atlas, which will be released as part of FreeSurfer, can be used to automatically segment nine amygdala nuclei from a standard resolution structural MR image. We applied this atlas to two publicly available datasets (ADNI and ABIDE) with standard resolution T1 data, used individual volumetric data of the amygdala nuclei as the measure and found that our atlas i) discriminates between Alzheimer's disease participants and age-matched control participants with 84% accuracy (AUC=0.915), and ii) discriminates between individuals with autism and age-, sex- and IQ-matched neurotypically developed control participants with 59.5% accuracy (AUC=0.59). For both datasets, the new ex vivo atlas significantly outperformed (all p amygdala derived from the segmentation in FreeSurfer 5.1 (ADNI: 75%, ABIDE: 54% accuracy), as well as classification based on whole amygdala volume (using the sum of all amygdala nuclei volumes; ADNI: 81%, ABIDE: 55% accuracy). This new atlas and the segmentation tools that utilize it will provide neuroimaging researchers with the ability to explore the function and connectivity of the human amygdala nuclei with unprecedented detail in healthy adults as well as those with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The vomeronasal cortex - afferent and efferent projections of the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Castellanos, Nicolás; Pardo-Bellver, Cecília; Martínez-García, Fernando; Lanuza, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Most mammals possess a vomeronasal system that detects predominantly chemical signals of biological relevance. Vomeronasal information is relayed to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB), whose unique cortical target is the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala. This cortical structure should therefore be considered the primary vomeronasal cortex. In the present work, we describe the afferent and efferent connections of the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala in female mice, using anterograde (biotinylated dextranamines) and retrograde (Fluorogold) tracers, and zinc selenite as a tracer specific for zinc-enriched (putative glutamatergic) projections. The results show that the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala is strongly interconnected not only with the rest of the vomeronasal system (AOB and its target structures in the amygdala), but also with the olfactory system (piriform cortex, olfactory-recipient nuclei of the amygdala and entorhinal cortex). Therefore, the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala probably integrates olfactory and vomeronasal information. In addition, the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala shows moderate interconnections with the associative (basomedial) amygdala and with the ventral hippocampus, which may be involved in emotional and spatial learning (respectively) induced by chemical signals. Finally, the posteromedial cortical nucleus of the amygdala gives rise to zinc-enriched projections to the ventrolateral septum and the ventromedial striatum (including the medial islands of Calleja). This pattern of intracortical connections (with the olfactory cortex and hippocampus, mainly) and cortico-striatal excitatory projections (with the olfactory tubercle and septum) is consistent with its proposed nature as the primary vomeronasal cortex. © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Increased in vivo release of neuropeptide S in the amygdala of freely moving rats after local depolarisation and emotional stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebner, Karl; Rjabokon, Alesja; Pape, Hans-Christian; Singewald, Nicolas

    2011-10-01

    Intracerebral microdialysis in conjunction with a highly sensitive radioimmunoassay was used to study the in vivo release of neuropeptide S (NPS) within the amygdala of freely moving rats. NPS was consistently detected in basolateral amygdala dialysates and the release considerably enhanced in response to local depolarisation as well as exposure to forced swim stress. Thus, our data demonstrate for the first time emotional stress-induced release of NPS in the amygdala supporting a functional role of endogenous NPS in stress/anxiety-related phenomena.

  7. Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder presenting with repeated hypersomnia due to involvement of the hypothalamus and hypothalamus-amygdala linkage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kume, Kodai; Deguchi, Kazushi; Ikeda, Kazuyo; Takata, Tadayuki; Kokudo, Yohei; Kamada, Masaki; Touge, Tetsuo; Takahashi, Toshiyuki; Kanbayashi, Takashi; Masaki, Tsutomu

    2015-06-01

    We report the case of a 46-year-old Japanese woman with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder presenting with repeated hypersomnia accompanied by decreased CSF orexin level. First episode associated with hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction showed bilateral hypothalamic lesions that can cause secondary damage to the orexin neurons. The second episode associated with impaired memory showed a left temporal lesion involving the amygdala. The mechanism remains unknown, but the reduced blood flow in the hypothalamus ipsilateral to the amygdala lesion suggested trans-synaptic hypothalamic dysfunction secondary to the impaired amygdala. A temporal lesion involving the amygdala and hypothalamus could be responsible for hypersomnia due to neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. © The Author(s), 2015.

  8. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging reveals nuclei of the human amygdala: manual segmentation to automatic atlas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saygin, Z M; Kliemann, D; Iglesias, J. E.

    2017-01-01

    The amygdala is composed of multiple nuclei with unique functions and connections in the limbic system and to the rest of the brain. However, standard in vivo neuroimaging tools to automatically delineate the amygdala into its multiple nuclei are still rare. By scanning postmortem specimens at high...... resolution (100-150µm) at 7T field strength (n = 10), we were able to visualize and label nine amygdala nuclei (anterior amygdaloid, cortico-amygdaloid transition area; basal, lateral, accessory basal, central, cortical medial, paralaminar nuclei). We created an atlas from these labels using a recently...... developed atlas building algorithm based on Bayesian inference. This atlas, which will be released as part of FreeSurfer, can be used to automatically segment nine amygdala nuclei from a standard resolution structural MR image. We applied this atlas to two publicly available datasets (ADNI and ABIDE...

  9. Synchronized Activity in The Main and Accessory Olfactory Bulbs and Vomeronasal Amygdala Elicited by Chemical Signals in Freely Behaving Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardo-Bellver, Cecília; Martínez-Bellver, Sergio; Martínez-García, Fernando; Lanuza, Enrique; Teruel-Martí, Vicent

    2017-08-30

    Chemosensory processing in mammals involves the olfactory and vomeronasal systems, but how the activity of both circuits is integrated is unknown. In our study, we recorded the electrophysiological activity in the olfactory bulbs and the vomeronasal amygdala in freely behaving mice exploring a battery of neutral and conspecific stimuli. The exploration of stimuli, including a neutral stimulus, induced synchronic activity in the olfactory bulbs characterized by a dominant theta rhythmicity, with specific theta-gamma coupling, distinguishing between vomeronasal and olfactory structures. The correlated activation of the bulbs suggests a coupling between the stimuli internalization in the nasal cavity and the vomeronasal pumping. In the amygdala, male stimuli are preferentially processed in the medial nucleus, whereas female cues induced a differential response in the posteromedial cortical amygdala. Thus, particular theta-gamma patterns in the olfactory network modulates the integration of chemosensory information in the amygdala, allowing the selection of an appropriate behaviour.

  10. 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

  11. Dynamic Amygdala Influences on the Fronto-Striatal Brain Mechanisms Involved in Self-Control of Impulsive Desires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krämer, Bernd; Gruber, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Human decisions are guided by a variety of motivational factors, such as immediate rewards, long-term goals, and emotions. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the dynamic functional interactions between the amygdala, the nucleus accumbens, and the prefrontal cortex that underlie the influences of emotions, desires, and rationality on human decisions. We found that increased functional connectivity between the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens facilitated the approach of an immediate reward in the presence of emotional information. Further, increased functional interactions of the anteroventral prefrontal cortex with the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens were associated with rational decisions in dilemma situations. These findings support previous animal studies by demonstrating that emotional signals from the amygdala and goal-oriented information from prefrontal cortices interface in the nucleus accumbens to guide human decisions and reward-directed actions. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Amygdala Reactivity and Negative Emotionality: Divergent Correlates of Antisocial Personality and Psychopathy Traits in a Community Sample

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    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 gener...

  13. High early life stress and aberrant amygdala activity: risk factors for elevated neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Uraina S; Sweet, Lawrence H; Morgello, Susan; Philip, Noah S; Cohen, Ronald A

    2017-06-01

    Relative to HIV-negative adults, HIV+ adults report elevated levels of early life stress (ELS). In non-HIV samples, high ELS has been linked to abnormalities in brain structure and function, as well as increased risk of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Yet, little is known about the neural effects of high ELS, and their relation to elevated neuropsychiatric symptoms, in HIV+ adults. Recent studies have revealed combined effects of HIV and high ELS on amygdala morphometry. Aberrant amygdala activity is prominently implicated in studies of neuropsychiatric symptomology in non-HIV samples. Hence, this preliminary study examined: 1) the combined effects of HIV and high ELS on amygdala activity, and 2) the relation between amygdala activity and neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults. We included 28 HIV+ adults and 25 demographically-matched HIV-negative control (HC) adults. ELS exposure was quantified using a retrospective ELS questionnaire, which defined four groups: HIV+ Low-ELS (N = 15); HIV+ High-ELS (N = 13); HC Low-ELS (N = 16); and HC High-ELS (N = 9). Participants completed a battery of neuropsychiatric measures. BOLD fMRI assessed amygdala reactivity during explicit observation of fearful/angry faces. High-ELS participants demonstrated reduced levels of amygdala reactivity relative to Low-ELS participants. HIV+ High-ELS participants reported higher levels of neuropsychiatric symptoms than all other groups. In the HIV+ group, lower amygdala responses were associated with higher neuropsychiatric symptoms, particularly depression, anxiety, and alexithymia. Collectively, these results suggest that high ELS exposure is a significant risk factor for neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults. Furthermore, our results implicate ELS-related abnormalities in amygdala activity in the etiology of neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults.

  14. 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

  15. Amygdala Volume in Offspring from Multiplex for Alcohol Dependence Families: The Moderating Influence of Childhood Environment and 5-HTTLPR Variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Shirley Y; Wang, Shuhui; Carter, Howard; McDermott, Michael D; Zezza, Nicholas; Stiffler, Scott

    2013-12-12

    The increased susceptibility for developing alcohol dependence seen in offspring from families with alcohol dependence may be related to structural and functional differences in brain circuits that influence emotional processing. Early childhood environment, genetic variation in the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) of the SLCA4 gene and allelic variation in the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) gene have each been reported to be related to volumetric differences in the temporal lobe especially the amygdala. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to obtain amygdala volumes for 129 adolescent/young adult individuals who were either High-Risk (HR) offspring from families with multiple cases of alcohol dependence (N=71) or Low-Risk (LR) controls (N=58). Childhood family environment was measured prospectively using age-appropriate versions of the Family Environment Scale during a longitudinal follow-up study. The subjects were genotyped for Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Val66Met and the serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR). Two family environment scale scores (Cohesion and Conflict), genotypic variation, and their interaction were tested for their association with amygdala volumes. Personal and prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs were considered in statistical analyses in order to more accurately determine the effects of familial risk group differences. Amygdala volume was reduced in offspring from families with multiple alcohol dependent members in comparison to offspring from control families. High-Risk offspring who were carriers of the S variant of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism had reduced amygdala volume in comparison to those with an LL genotype. Larger amygdala volume was associated with greater family cohesion but only in Low-Risk control offspring. Familial risk for alcohol dependence is an important predictor of amygdala volume even when removing cases with significant personal exposure and covarying for

  16. Decreased functional connectivity of the amygdala in Alzheimer's disease revealed by resting-state fMRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Hongxiang [Department of Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Liu, Yong, E-mail: yliu@nlpr.ia.ac.cn [Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); Zhou, Bo; Zhang, Zengqiang [Department of Neurology, Institute of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); An, Ningyu [Department of Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Wang, Pan; Wang, Luning [Department of Neurology, Institute of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Zhang, Xi, E-mail: zhangxi@301hospital.com.cn [Department of Neurology, Institute of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853 (China); Jiang, Tianzi [Brainnetome Center, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190 (China); Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 610054 (China); The Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072 (Australia)

    2013-09-15

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is thought to be a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterised by a decline of memory and other cognitive functions. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered to be the prodromal stage of AD. However, the relationship between AD and MCI and the development process remains unclear. The amygdala is one of the most vulnerable structures in the early stages of AD. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the alteration of the functional connectivity of the amygdala in AD and MCI subjects. We hypothesised that the amygdala-cortical loop is impaired in AD and that these alterations relate to the disease severity. In our study, we used resting-state functional MRIs to investigate the altered amygdala connectivity patterns in 35 AD patients, 27 MCI patients and 27 age- and gender-matched normal controls (NC). Compared with the NC, the decreased functional connectivity found in the AD patients was mainly located between the amygdala and the regions that are included in the default mode, context conditioning and extinction networks. Importantly, the decreased functional connectivity between the amygdala and some of the identified regions was positively correlated with MMSE, which indicated that the cognitive function impairment is related to an altered functional connectivity pattern.

  17. Facilitation of Contextual Fear Extinction by Orexin-1 Receptor Antagonism Is Associated with the Activation of Specific Amygdala Cell Subpopulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, África; Herry, Cyril; Maldonado, Rafael; Berrendero, Fernando

    2017-08-01

    Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides recently involved in the regulation of emotional memory. The basolateral amygdala, an area orchestrating fear memory processes, appears to be modulated by orexin transmission during fear extinction. However, the neuronal types within the basolateral amygdala involved in this modulation remain to be elucidated. We used retrograde tracing combined with immunofluorescence techniques in mice to identify basolateral amygdala projection neurons and cell subpopulations in this brain region influenced by orexin transmission during contextual fear extinction consolidation. Treatment with the orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB334867 increased the activity of basolateral amygdala neurons projecting to infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex during fear extinction. GABAergic interneurons expressing calbindin, but not parvalbumin, were also activated by orexin-1 receptor antagonism in the basolateral amygdala. These data identify neuronal circuits and cell populations of the amygdala associated with the facilitation of fear extinction consolidation induced by the orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB334867. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  18. Dysfunctional or hyperfunctional? The amygdala in posttraumatic stress disorder is the bull in the evolutionary China shop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, David M; Zoladz, Phillip R

    2016-06-01

    Our motivation in writing this Review arose not only from the great value in contributing to this special issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Research but also from the desire to express our opinion that the description of the amygdala as "dysfunctional" in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might not be appropriate. We acknowledge that excessive activation of the amygdala contributes to the cluster of PTSD symptoms, including hypervigilance, intrusive memories, and impaired sleep, that underlies the devastating mental and physical outcomes in trauma victims. The issue that we address is whether the symptoms of PTSD represent an impaired (dysfunctional) or sensitized (hyperfunctional) amygdala status. We propose that the amygdala in PTSD is hyperfunctional rather than dysfunctional in recognition of the fact that the individual has already survived one life-threatening attack and that another may be forthcoming. We therefore consider PTSD to be a state in which the amygdala is functioning optimally if the goal is to ensure a person's survival. The misery caused by a hyperfunctional amygdala in PTSD is the cost of inheriting an evolutionarily primitive mechanism that considers survival more important than the quality of one's life. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Nesfatin-1/NUCB2 in the amygdala influences visceral sensitivity via glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in male maternal separation rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, X-P; Sha, J; Huang, L; Li, T-N; Zhang, R-R; Tang, M-D; Lin, L; Li, X-L

    2016-10-01

    Nesfatin-1, a recently identified satiety molecule derived from nucleobindin 2 (NUCB2), is associated with visceral hypersensitivity in rats and is expressed in the amygdala. We tested the hypothesis that nesfatin-1 expression in the amygdala is involved in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) visceral hypersensitivity. An animal model of IBS-like visceral hypersensitivity was established using maternal separation (MS) during postnatal days 2-16. The role of nesfatin-1 in the amygdala on visceral sensitivity was evaluated. Rats subjected to MS showed a significantly increased mean abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) score and electromyographic (EMG) activity at 40, 60, and 80 mmHg colorectal distension. Plasma concentrations of nesfatin-1 and corticosterone were significantly higher than in non-handled (NH) rats. mRNA and protein expression of nesfatin-1/NUCB2 in the amygdala were increased in MS rats, but not in NH rats. In MS rats, AWR scores and EMG activity were significantly decreased after anti-nesfatin-1/NUCB2 injection. In normal rats, mean AWR score, EMG activity, and corticosterone expression were significantly increased after nesfatin-1 injection into the amygdala. Nesfatin-1-induced visceral hypersensitivity was abolished following application of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonists. Elevated expression of nesfatin-1/NUCB2 in the amygdala in MS rats suggests a potential role in the pathogenesis of visceral hypersensitivity, which could potentially take place via activation of GR and MR signaling pathways. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Hippocampal low-frequency stimulation inhibits afterdischarge and increases GABA (A) receptor expression in amygdala-kindled pharmacoresistant epileptic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Guofeng; Wang, Likun; Hong, Zhen; Ren, Siying; Zhou, Feng

    2017-08-01

    The purpose of the present study was to observe the effects of hippocampal low-frequency stimulation (Hip-LFS) on amygdala afterdischarge and GABA (A) receptor expression in pharmacoresistant epileptic (PRE) rats. A total of 110 healthy adult male Wistar rats were used to generate a model of epilepsy by chronic stimulation of the amygdala. Sixteen PRE rats were selected from 70 amygdala-kindled rats by testing their response to Phenytoin and Phenobarbital, and they were randomly assigned to a pharmacoresistant stimulation group (PRS group, 8 rats) or a pharmacoresistant control group (PRC group, 8 rats). A stimulation electrode was implanted into the hippocampus of all of the rats. Hip-LFS was administered twice per day in the PRS group for two weeks. Simultaneously, amygdala stimulus-induced seizures and afterdischarge were recorded. After the hippocampal stimulation was terminated, the brain tissues were obtained to determine the GABA (A) receptors by a method of immumohistochemistry and a real-time polymerase chain reaction. The stages and duration of the amygdala stimulus-induced epileptic seizures were decreased in the PRS group. The afterdischarge threshold was increased and the duration as well as the afterdischarge frequency was decreased. Simultaneously, the GABA (A) expression was significantly increased in the PRS group. Hip-LFS may inhibit amygdala stimulus-induced epileptic seizures and up-regulate GABA (A) receptor expression in PRE rats. The antiepileptic effects of hippocampal stimulation may be partly achieved by increasing the GABA (A) receptor.

  1. Comparison between subjects with long- and short-allele carriers in the BOLD signal within amygdala during emotional tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadi, Shamil; Siadat, Mohamad R.; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas

    2012-03-01

    Emotional tasks may result in a strong blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in the amygdala in 5- HTTLRP short-allele. Reduced anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)-amygdala connectivity in short-allele provides a potential mechanistic account for the observed increase in amygdala activity. In our study, fearful and threatening facial expressions were presented to two groups of 12 subjects with long- and short-allele carriers. The BOLD signals of the left amygdala of each group were averaged to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. A Bayesian approach was used to estimate the model parameters to elucidate the underlying hemodynamic mechanism. Our results showed a positive BOLD signal in the left amygdala for short-allele individuals, and a negative BOLD signal in the same region for long-allele individuals. This is due to the fact that short-allele is associated with lower availability of serotonin transporter (5-HTT) and this leads to an increase of serotonin (5-HT) concentration in the cACC-amygdala synapse.

  2. Smaller amygdala volume and reduced anterior cingulate gray matter density associated with history of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Mark A; Yamasue, Hidenori; Abe, Osamu; Yamada, Haruyasu; Ohtani, Toshiyuki; Iwanami, Akira; Aoki, Shigeki; Kato, Nobumasa; Kasai, Kiyoto

    2009-12-30

    Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be seen to represent a failure to extinguish learned fear, significant aspects of the pathophysiology relevant to this hypothesis remain unknown. Both the amygdala and hippocampus are necessary for fear extinction occur, and thus both regions may be abnormal in PTSD. Twenty-five people who experienced the Tokyo subway sarin attack in 1995, nine who later developed PTSD and 16 who did not, underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with manual tracing to determine bilateral amygdala and hippocampus volumes. At the time of scanning, one had PTSD and eight had a history of PTSD. Results indicated that the group with a history of PTSD had significantly smaller mean bilateral amygdala volume than did the group that did not develop PTSD. Furthermore, left amygdala volume showed a significant negative correlation with severity of PTSD symptomatology as well as reduced gray matter density in the left anterior cingulate cortex. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of an association between PTSD and amygdala volume. Furthermore the apparent interplay between amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex represents support at the level of gross brain morphology for the theory of PTSD as a failure of fear extinction.

  3. Decreased functional connectivity of the amygdala in Alzheimer's disease revealed by resting-state fMRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao, Hongxiang; Liu, Yong; Zhou, Bo; Zhang, Zengqiang; An, Ningyu; Wang, Pan; Wang, Luning; Zhang, Xi; Jiang, Tianzi

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is thought to be a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is clinically characterised by a decline of memory and other cognitive functions. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is considered to be the prodromal stage of AD. However, the relationship between AD and MCI and the development process remains unclear. The amygdala is one of the most vulnerable structures in the early stages of AD. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the alteration of the functional connectivity of the amygdala in AD and MCI subjects. We hypothesised that the amygdala-cortical loop is impaired in AD and that these alterations relate to the disease severity. In our study, we used resting-state functional MRIs to investigate the altered amygdala connectivity patterns in 35 AD patients, 27 MCI patients and 27 age- and gender-matched normal controls (NC). Compared with the NC, the decreased functional connectivity found in the AD patients was mainly located between the amygdala and the regions that are included in the default mode, context conditioning and extinction networks. Importantly, the decreased functional connectivity between the amygdala and some of the identified regions was positively correlated with MMSE, which indicated that the cognitive function impairment is related to an altered functional connectivity pattern

  4. Tactile Stimulation of the Face and the Production of Facial Expressions Activate Neurons in the Primate Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Clayton P; Zimmerman, Prisca E; Fuglevand, Andrew J; Gothard, Katalin M

    2016-01-01

    The majority of neurophysiological studies that have explored the role of the primate amygdala in the evaluation of social signals have relied on visual stimuli such as images of facial expressions. Vision, however, is not the only sensory modality that carries social signals. Both humans and nonhuman primates exchange emotionally meaningful social signals through touch. Indeed, social grooming in nonhuman primates and caressing touch in humans is critical for building lasting and reassuring social bonds. To determine the role of the amygdala in processing touch, we recorded the responses of single neurons in the macaque amygdala while we applied tactile stimuli to the face. We found that one-third of the recorded neurons responded to tactile stimulation. Although we recorded exclusively from the right amygdala, the receptive fields of 98% of the neurons were bilateral. A fraction of these tactile neurons were monitored during the production of facial expressions and during facial movements elicited occasionally by touch stimuli. Firing rates arising during the production of facial expressions were similar to those elicited by tactile stimulation. In a subset of cells, combining tactile stimulation with facial movement further augmented the firing rates. This suggests that tactile neurons in the amygdala receive input from skin mechanoceptors that are activated by touch and by compressions and stretches of the facial skin during the contraction of the underlying muscles. Tactile neurons in the amygdala may play a role in extracting the valence of touch stimuli and/or monitoring the facial expressions of self during social interactions.

  5. 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.

  6. Elevated functional connectivity in a striatal-amygdala circuit in pathological gamblers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Peters

    Full Text Available Both substance-based addiction and behavioural impulse control disorders (ICDs have been associated with dysfunctions of the ventral striatum. Recent studies using functional connectivity techniques have revealed increased coupling of the ventral striatum with other limbic regions such as amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in patients with substance abuse disorders and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. In the present study, we re-analyzed previously published functional magnetic resonance imaging data acquired in pathological gamblers and controls during value-based decision-making to investigate whether PG is associated with similar functional connectivity effects. In line with previous studies in other ICDs, we observed reliable increases in functional coupling between striatum and bilateral amygdala in gamblers vs. controls. Implications of these findings for neural models of self-control and addiction are discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. Reactivations of emotional memory in the hippocampus-amygdala system during sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girardeau, Gabrielle; Inema, Ingrid; Buzsáki, György

    2017-11-01

    The consolidation of context-dependent emotional memory requires communication between the hippocampus and the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but the mechanisms of this process are unknown. We recorded neuronal ensembles in the hippocampus and BLA while rats learned the location of an aversive air puff on a linear track, as well as during sleep before and after training. We found coordinated reactivations between the hippocampus and the BLA during non-REM sleep following training. These reactivations peaked during hippocampal sharp wave-ripples (SPW-Rs) and involved a subgroup of BLA cells positively modulated during hippocampal SPW-Rs. Notably, reactivation was stronger for the hippocampus-BLA correlation patterns representing the run direction that involved the air puff than for the 'safe' direction. These findings suggest that consolidation of contextual emotional memory occurs during ripple-reactivation of hippocampus-amygdala circuits.

  9. The Anterior Insular Cortex→Central Amygdala Glutamatergic Pathway Is Critical to Relapse after Contingency Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venniro, Marco; Caprioli, Daniele; Zhang, Michelle; Whitaker, Leslie R; Zhang, Shiliang; Warren, Brandon L; Cifani, Carlo; Marchant, Nathan J; Yizhar, Ofer; Bossert, Jennifer M; Chiamulera, Cristiano; Morales, Marisela; Shaham, Yavin

    2017-10-11

    Despite decades of research on neurobiological mechanisms of psychostimulant addiction, the only effective treatment for many addicts is contingency management, a behavioral treatment that uses alternative non-drug reward to maintain abstinence. However, when contingency management is discontinued, most addicts relapse to drug use. The brain mechanisms underlying relapse after cessation of contingency management are largely unknown, and, until recently, an animal model of this human condition did not exist. Here we used a novel rat model, in which the availability of a mutually exclusive palatable food maintains prolonged voluntary abstinence from intravenous methamphetamine self-administration, to demonstrate that the activation of monosynaptic glutamatergic projections from anterior insular cortex to central amygdala is critical to relapse after the cessation of contingency management. We identified the anterior insular cortex-to-central amygdala projection as a new addiction- and motivation-related projection and a potential target for relapse prevention. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Orexin/hypocretin system modulates amygdala-dependent threat learning through the locus coeruleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, Robert M.; Fink, Ann E.; Wigestrand, Mattis B.; Farb, Claudia R.; de Lecea, Luis; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2013-01-01

    Survival in a dangerous environment requires learning about stimuli that predict harm. Although recent work has focused on the amygdala as the locus of aversive memory formation, the hypothalamus has long been implicated in emotional regulation, and the hypothalamic neuropeptide orexin (hypocretin) is involved in anxiety states and arousal. Nevertheless, little is known about the role of orexin in aversive memory formation. Using a combination of behavioral pharmacology, slice physiology, and optogenetic techniques, we show that orexin acts upstream of the amygdala via the noradrenergic locus coeruleus to enable threat (fear) learning, specifically during the aversive event. Our results are consistent with clinical studies linking orexin levels to aversive learning and anxiety in humans and dysregulation of the orexin system may contribute to the etiology of fear and anxiety disorders. PMID:24277819

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Shared neural coding for social hierarchy and reward value in primate amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munuera, Jérôme; Rigotti, Mattia; Salzman, C Daniel

    2018-03-01

    The social brain hypothesis posits that dedicated neural systems process social information. In support of this, neurophysiological data have shown that some brain regions are specialized for representing faces. It remains unknown, however, whether distinct anatomical substrates also represent more complex social variables, such as the hierarchical rank of individuals within a social group. Here we show that the primate amygdala encodes the hierarchical rank of individuals in the same neuronal ensembles that encode the rewards associated with nonsocial stimuli. By contrast, orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices lack strong representations of hierarchical rank while still representing reward values. These results challenge the conventional view that dedicated neural systems process social information. Instead, information about hierarchical rank-which contributes to the assessment of the social value of individuals within a group-is linked in the amygdala to representations of rewards associated with nonsocial stimuli.

  13. Monitoring and control of amygdala neurofeedback involves distributed information processing in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paret, Christian; Zähringer, Jenny; Ruf, Matthias; Gerchen, Martin Fungisai; Mall, Stephanie; Hendler, Talma; Schmahl, Christian; Ende, Gabriele

    2018-03-30

    Brain-computer interfaces provide conscious access to neural activity by means of brain-derived feedback ("neurofeedback"). An individual's abilities to monitor and control feedback are two necessary processes for effective neurofeedback therapy, yet their underlying functional neuroanatomy is still being debated. In this study, healthy subjects received visual feedback from their amygdala response to negative pictures. Activation and functional connectivity were analyzed to disentangle the role of brain regions in different processes. Feedback monitoring was mapped to the thalamus, ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), ventral striatum (VS), and rostral PFC. The VS responded to feedback corresponding to instructions while rPFC activity differentiated between conditions and predicted amygdala regulation. Control involved the lateral PFC, anterior cingulate, and insula. Monitoring and control activity overlapped in the VS and thalamus. Extending current neural models of neurofeedback, this study introduces monitoring and control of feedback as anatomically dissociated processes, and suggests their important role in voluntary neuromodulation. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. 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...

  15. The primate amygdala in social perception - insights from electrophysiological recordings and stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutishauser, Ueli; Mamelak, Adam N.; Adolphs, Ralph

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala’s role in emotion and social perception has been intensively investigated primarily through studies using fMRI. Recently, this topic has been examined using single-unit recordings in both humans and monkeys, with a focus on face processing. The findings provide novel insights, including several surprises: amygdala neurons have very long response latencies, show highly nonlinear responses to whole faces, and can be exquisitely selective for very specific parts of faces such as the eyes. In humans, the responses of amygdala neurons correlate with internal states evoked by faces, rather than with their objective features. Current and future studies extend the investigations to psychiatric illnesses such as autism, in which atypical face processing is a hallmark of social dysfunction. PMID:25847686

  16. Sensory-specific associations stored in the lateral amygdala allow for selective alteration of fear memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Mataix, Lorenzo; Debiec, Jacek; LeDoux, Joseph E; Doyère, Valérie

    2011-06-29

    Consolidated long-term fear memories become labile and can be disrupted after being reactivated by the presentation of the unconditioned stimulus (US). Whether this is due to an alteration of the conditioned stimulus (CS) representation in the lateral amygdala (LA) is not known. Here, we show in rats that fear memory reactivation through presentation of the aversive US, like CS presentation, triggers a process which, when disrupted, results in a selective depotentiation of CS-evoked neural responses in the LA in correlation with a selective suppression of CS-elicited fear memory. Thus, an aversive US triggers the reconsolidation of its associated predictor representation in LA. This new finding suggests that sensory-specific associations are stored in the lateral amygdala, allowing for their selective alteration by either element of the association.

  17. Pubertal testosterone influences threat-related amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Forbes, Erika E; Ladouceur, Cecile D; Worthman, Carol M; Olino, Thomas M; Ryan, Neal D; Dahl, Ronald E

    2015-03-01

    Growing evidence indicates that normative pubertal maturation is associated with increased threat reactivity, and this developmental shift has been implicated in the increased rates of adolescent affective disorders. However, the neural mechanisms involved in this pubertal increase in threat reactivity remain unknown. Research in adults indicates that testosterone transiently decreases amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) coupling. Consequently, we hypothesized that increased pubertal testosterone disrupts amygdala-OFC coupling, which may contribute to developmental increases in threat reactivity in some adolescents. Hypotheses were tested in a longitudinal study by examining the impact of testosterone on functional connectivity. Findings were consistent with hypotheses and advance our understanding of normative pubertal changes in neural systems instantiating affect/motivation. Finally, potential novel insights into the neurodevelopmental pathways that may contribute to adolescent vulnerability to behavioral and emotional problems are discussed. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Amygdala activity can be modulated by unexpected chord functions during music listening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelsch, Stefan; Fritz, Thomas; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2008-12-03

    Numerous earlier studies have investigated the cognitive processing of musical syntax with regular and irregular chord sequences. However, irregular sequences may also be perceived as unexpected, and therefore have a different emotional valence than regular sequences. We provide behavioral data showing that irregular chord functions presented in chord sequence paradigms are perceived as less pleasant than regular sequences. A reanalysis of functional MRI data showed increased blood oxygen level-dependent signal changes bilaterally in the amygdala in response to music-syntactically irregular (compared with regular) chord functions. The combined data indicate that music-syntactically irregular events elicit brain activity related to emotional processes, and that, in addition to intensely pleasurable music or highly unpleasant music, single chord functions can also modulate amygdala activity.

  19. Toxoplasma gondii infection reduces predator aversion in rats through epigenetic modulation in the host medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari Dass, Shantala Arundhati; Vyas, Ajai

    2014-12-01

    Male rats (Rattus novergicus) infected with protozoan Toxoplasma gondii relinquish their innate aversion to the cat odours. This behavioural change is postulated to increase transmission of the parasite to its definitive felid hosts. Here, we show that the Toxoplasma gondii infection institutes an epigenetic change in the DNA methylation of the arginine vasopressin promoter in the medial amygdala of male rats. Infected animals exhibit hypomethylation of arginine vasopressin promoter, leading to greater expression of this nonapeptide. The infection also results in the greater activation of the vasopressinergic neurons after exposure to the cat odour. Furthermore, we show that loss of fear in the infected animals can be rescued by the systemic hypermethylation and recapitulated by directed hypomethylation in the medial amygdala. These results demonstrate an epigenetic proximate mechanism underlying the extended phenotype in the Rattus novergicus-Toxoplasma gondii association. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Stimulation of the medial amygdala enhances medial preoptic dopamine release: implications for male rat sexual behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominguez, J M; Hull, E M

    2001-11-02

    Increased dopamine (DA) in the medial preoptic area (MPOA) facilitates male sexual behavior. A major source of innervation to the MPOA is the medial amygdala (MeA). We now report that chemical stimulation of the MeA enhanced levels of extracellular MPOA DA in anesthetized male rats. These results suggest that DA activity in the MPOA can be regulated by input from the MeA to the MPOA.

  1. Dissociable relations between amygdala subregional networks and psychopathy trait dimensions in conduct-disordered juvenile offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aghajani, Moji; Colins, Olivier F; Klapwijk, Eduard T; Veer, Ilya M; Andershed, Henrik; Popma, Arne; van der Wee, Nic J; Vermeiren, Robert R J M

    2016-11-01

    Psychopathy is a serious psychiatric phenomenon characterized by a pathological constellation of affective (e.g., callous, unemotional), interpersonal (e.g., manipulative, egocentric), and behavioral (e.g., impulsive, irresponsible) personality traits. Though amygdala subregional defects are suggested in psychopathy, the functionality and connectivity of different amygdala subnuclei is typically disregarded in neurocircuit-level analyses of psychopathic personality. Hence, little is known of how amygdala subregional networks may contribute to psychopathy and its underlying trait assemblies in severely antisocial people. We addressed this important issue by uniquely examining the intrinsic functional connectivity of basolateral (BLA) and centromedial (CMA) amygdala networks in relation to affective, interpersonal, and behavioral traits of psychopathy, in conduct-disordered juveniles with a history of serious delinquency (N = 50, mean age = 16.83 ± 1.32). As predicted, amygdalar connectivity profiles exhibited dissociable relations with different traits of psychopathy. Interpersonal psychopathic traits not only related to increased connectivity of BLA and CMA with a corticostriatal network formation accommodating reward processing, but also predicted stronger CMA connectivity with a network of cortical midline structures supporting sociocognitive processes. In contrast, affective psychopathic traits related to diminished CMA connectivity with a frontolimbic network serving salience processing and affective responding. Finally, behavioral psychopathic traits related to heightened BLA connectivity with a frontoparietal cluster implicated in regulatory executive functioning. We suggest that these trait-specific shifts in amygdalar connectivity could be particularly relevant to the psychopathic phenotype, as they may fuel a self-centered, emotionally cold, and behaviorally disinhibited profile. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4017-4033, 2016. © 2016 The Authors Human

  2. Amygdala dysfunction attenuates frustration-induced aggression in psychopathic individuals in a non-criminal population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osumi, Takahiro; Nakao, Takashi; Kasuya, Yukinori; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Ohira, Hideki

    2012-12-15

    Individuals with psychopathy have an increased tendency toward certain types of aggression. We hypothesized that successful psychopaths, who have no criminal convictions but can be diagnosed with psychopathy in terms of personality characteristics, are skilled at regulating aggressive impulses, compared to incarcerated unsuccessful psychopaths. In this block-designed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we sought to clarify the neural mechanisms underlying differences in frustration-induced aggression as a function of psychopathy in non-criminal populations. Twenty male undergraduate students who completed a self-report psychopathy questionnaire were scanned while they completed a task in which they either could or could not punish other individuals who made unfair offers of monetary distribution. Individuals with high psychopathic tendencies were less likely to make a decision to inflict costly punishment on people proposing unfair offers. During this decision-making, psychopathy was associated with less amygdala activity in response to the unfairness of offers. Moreover, the amygdala dysfunction in psychopathic individuals was associated with reduced functional connectivity with dopaminergic-related areas, including the striatum, when punishment was available compared to when it was unavailable. The possibility that levels of psychopathic traits in a regular population were milder than in incarcerated populations cannot be ruled out. The findings indicate that amygdala dysfunction underlies affective deficits of psychopathy. We propose that the insensitivity of the amygdala to the affective significance of social stimuli contributes to an increased risk of violation of social norms, but enhances the ability to attenuate impulses toward maladaptive aggression in successful psychopaths. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Dissociable relations between amygdala subregional networks and psychopathy trait dimensions in conduct‐disordered juvenile offenders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colins, Olivier F.; Klapwijk, Eduard T.; Veer, Ilya M.; Andershed, Henrik; Popma, Arne; van der Wee, Nic J.; Vermeiren, Robert R.J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Psychopathy is a serious psychiatric phenomenon characterized by a pathological constellation of affective (e.g., callous, unemotional), interpersonal (e.g., manipulative, egocentric), and behavioral (e.g., impulsive, irresponsible) personality traits. Though amygdala subregional defects are suggested in psychopathy, the functionality and connectivity of different amygdala subnuclei is typically disregarded in neurocircuit‐level analyses of psychopathic personality. Hence, little is known of how amygdala subregional networks may contribute to psychopathy and its underlying trait assemblies in severely antisocial people. We addressed this important issue by uniquely examining the intrinsic functional connectivity of basolateral (BLA) and centromedial (CMA) amygdala networks in relation to affective, interpersonal, and behavioral traits of psychopathy, in conduct‐disordered juveniles with a history of serious delinquency (N = 50, mean age = 16.83 ± 1.32). As predicted, amygdalar connectivity profiles exhibited dissociable relations with different traits of psychopathy. Interpersonal psychopathic traits not only related to increased connectivity of BLA and CMA with a corticostriatal network formation accommodating reward processing, but also predicted stronger CMA connectivity with a network of cortical midline structures supporting sociocognitive processes. In contrast, affective psychopathic traits related to diminished CMA connectivity with a frontolimbic network serving salience processing and affective responding. Finally, behavioral psychopathic traits related to heightened BLA connectivity with a frontoparietal cluster implicated in regulatory executive functioning. We suggest that these trait‐specific shifts in amygdalar connectivity could be particularly relevant to the psychopathic phenotype, as they may fuel a self‐centered, emotionally cold, and behaviorally disinhibited profile. Hum Brain Mapp 37:4017–4033, 2016. © 2016

  4. Integrative moral judgment: dissociating the roles of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenhav, Amitai; Greene, Joshua D

    2014-03-26

    A decade's research highlights a critical dissociation between automatic and controlled influences on moral judgment, which is subserved by distinct neural structures. Specifically, negative automatic emotional responses to prototypically harmful actions (e.g., pushing someone off of a footbridge) compete with controlled responses favoring the best consequences (e.g., saving five lives instead of one). It is unknown how such competitions are resolved to yield "all things considered" judgments. Here, we examine such integrative moral judgments. Drawing on insights from research on self-interested, value-based decision-making in humans and animals, we test a theory concerning the respective contributions of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) to moral judgment. Participants undergoing fMRI responded to moral dilemmas, separately evaluating options for their utility (Which does the most good?), emotional aversiveness (Which feels worse?), and overall moral acceptability. Behavioral data indicate that emotional aversiveness and utility jointly predict "all things considered" integrative judgments. Amygdala response tracks the emotional aversiveness of harmful utilitarian actions and overall disapproval of such actions. During such integrative moral judgments, the vmPFC is preferentially engaged relative to utilitarian and emotional assessments. Amygdala-vmPFC connectivity varies with the role played by emotional input in the task, being the lowest for pure utilitarian assessments and the highest for pure emotional assessments. These findings, which parallel those of research on self-interested economic decision-making, support the hypothesis that the amygdala provides an affective assessment of the action in question, whereas the vmPFC integrates that signal with a utilitarian assessment of expected outcomes to yield "all things considered" moral judgments.

  5. 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.

  6. Nuclear protein phosphatase-1: an epigenetic regulator of fear memory and amygdala long-term potentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koshibu, K; Gräff, J; Mansuy, I M

    2011-01-26

    Complex brain diseases and neurological disorders in human generally result from the disturbance of multiple genes and signaling pathways. These disturbances may derive from mutations, deletions, translocations or rearrangements of specific gene(s). However, over the past years, it has become clear that such disturbances may also derive from alterations in the epigenome affecting several genes simultaneously. Our work recently demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms in the adult brain are in part regulated by protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), a protein Ser/Thr phosphatase that negatively regulates hippocampus-dependent long-term memory (LTM) and synaptic plasticity. PP1 is abundant in brain structures involved in emotional processing like the amygdala, it may therefore be involved in the regulation of fear memory, a form of memory related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in human. Here, we demonstrate that PP1 is a molecular suppressor of fear memory and synaptic plasticity in the amygdala that can control chromatin remodeling in neurons. We show that the selective inhibition of the nuclear pool of PP1 in amygdala neurons significantly alters posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of histones and the expression of several memory-associated genes. These alterations correlate with enhanced fear memory, and with an increase in long-term potentiation (LTP) that is transcription-dependent. Our results underscore the importance of nuclear PP1 in the amygdala as an epigenetic regulator of emotional memory, and the relevance of protein phosphatases as potential targets for therapeutic treatment of brain disorders like PTSD. © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Factors that Determine the Non-Linear Amygdala Influence on Hippocampus-Dependent Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Akirav, Irit; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2006-01-01

    Stressful experiences are known to either improve or impair hippocampal-dependent memory tasks and synaptic plasticity. These positive and negative effects of stress on the hippocampus have been largely documented, however little is known about the mechanism involved in the twofold influence of stress on hippocampal functioning and about what factors define an enhancing or inhibitory outcome. We have recently demonstrated that activation of the basolateral amygdala can produce a biphasic effe...

  8. Preferential recruitment of the basolateral amygdala during memory encoding of negative scenes in posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Ronak; Girard, Todd A; Pukay-Martin, Nicole; Monson, Candice

    2016-04-01

    The vast majority of functional neuroimaging studies in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have examined the amygdala as a unitary structure. However, an emerging body of studies indicates that separable functions are subserved by discrete amygdala subregions. The basolateral subdivision (BLA), as compared with the centromedial amygdala (CMA), plays a unique role in learning and memory-based processes for threatening events, and alterations to the BLA have been implicated in the pathogenesis of PTSD. We assessed whether PTSD is associated with differential involvement of the BLA versus the CMA during successful encoding of emotionally charged events. Participants with PTSD (n=11) and a trauma-exposed comparison (TEC) group (n=11) viewed a series of photos that varied in valence (negative versus positive) and arousal (high versus low) while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Subsequently, participants completed an old/new recognition memory test. Using analytic methods based on probabilistic cytoarchitectonic mapping, PTSD was associated with greater activation of the BLA, as compared to the CMA, during successful encoding of negative scenes, a finding which was not observed in the TEC group. Moreover, this memory-related activity in the BLA independently predicted PTSD status. Contrary to hypotheses, there was no evidence of altered BLA activity during memory encoding of high arousing relative to low arousing scenes. Task-related brain activation in PTSD does not appear to be consistent across the entire amygdala. Importantly, memory-related processing of negative information in PTSD is associated with preferential recruitment of the BLA. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. [Hormonal homeostasis and intraocular pressure in chronic emotional stress caused by influences acting on the amygdala].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isakova, L S; Danilov, G E; Egorkina, S B; Butolin, E G

    1989-01-01

    Changes in intraocular pressure, eye hydrodynamics and the amount of hypophyseal, thyroid, adrenal and pancreatic hormones were studied during continuous stimulation of amygdaloid complex or after administration of angiotensin II into the structure in rabbits. The effects involved changes in hormonal homeostasis and elevation of intraocular pressure due to a hypersecretion of intraocular fluid. The administration of angiotensin II during the amygdala stimulation enhanced the changes.

  13. Localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder: Prefrontal cortex and amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Murray, Elisabeth A.; Wise, Steven P.; Drevets, Wayne C.

    2010-01-01

    Despite considerable effort, the localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD) remains poorly understood. We present a hypothesis about its localization that builds on recent findings from primate neuropsychology. The hypothesis has four key components: a deficit in the valuation of ‘self’ underlies the core disorder in MDD; the medial frontal cortex represents ‘self’; interactions between the amygdala and cortical representations update their valuation; and inefficiency in u...

  14. Localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder: prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Elisabeth A; Wise, Steven P; Drevets, Wayne C

    2011-06-15

    Despite considerable effort, the localization of dysfunction in major depressive disorder (MDD) remains poorly understood. We present a hypothesis about its localization that builds on recent findings from primate neuropsychology. The hypothesis has four key components: a deficit in the valuation of "self" underlies the core disorder in MDD; the medial frontal cortex represents "self"; interactions between the amygdala and cortical representations update their valuation; and inefficiency in using positive feedback by orbital prefrontal cortex contributes to MDD. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Posttraumatic stress and alcohol use among veterans: Amygdala and anterior cingulate activation to emotional cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Raluca M; Simons, Jeffrey S; Olson, Dawne; Baugh, Lee; Magnotta, Vincent; Forster, Gina

    2016-11-01

    This fMRI study tested a model of combat trauma, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), alcohol use, and behavioral and neural responses to emotional cues in 100 OIF/OEF/OND veterans. Multilevel structural equation models were tested for left and right dorsal ACC (dACC), rostral ACC (rACC), and amygdala blood-oxygen- level dependent responses during the emotional counting Stroop test and masked faces task. In the Stroop task, combat exposure moderated the effect of combat stimuli resulting in hyperactivation in the rACC and dACC. Activation in the left amygdala also increased in response to combat stimuli, but effects did not vary as a function of combat severity. In the masked faces task, activation patterns did not vary as a function of stimulus. However, at the between-person level, amygdala activation during the masked faces task was inversely associated with PTSS. In respect to behavioral outcomes, higher PTSS were associated with a stronger Stroop effect, suggesting greater interference associated with combat words. Results are consistent with the premise that combat trauma results in hyperactivation in the ACC in response to combat stimuli, and, via its effect on PTSS, is associated with deficits in cognitive performance in the presence of combat stimuli. Across tasks, predeployment drinking was inversely associated with activation in the dACC but not the rACC or amygdala. Drinking may be a buffering factor, or negatively reinforcing in part because of its effects on normalizing brain response following trauma exposure. Alternatively, drinking may undermine adaptive functioning of the dACC when responding to traumatic stress cues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. The risk variant in ODZ4 for bipolar disorder impacts on amygdala activation during reward processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinrich, Angela; Lourdusamy, Anbarasu; Tzschoppe, Jelka; Vollstädt-Klein, Sabine; Bühler, Mira; Steiner, Sabina; Bach, Christiane; Poustka, Luise; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Garavan, Hugh; Gallinat, Jürgen; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Loth, Eva; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Paus, Tomáš; Pausova, Zdenka; Smolka, Michael; Ströhle, Andreas; Struve, Maren; Witt, Stephanie; Flor, Herta; Schumann, Gunter; Rietschel, Marcella; Nees, Frauke

    2013-06-01

    Bipolar disorder is a severe mood disorder, which normally begins during adolescence or early adulthood and has a heritability of up to 80%. The largest genome-wide association analysis of bipolar disorder recently identified a new genome-wide associated variant in OZD4 (rs12576775). The aim of the present study was to further elucidate the role of this risk variant in the disease process using an imaging genetics approach. As increased amygdala and striatal responses during the processing of reward and emotion are characteristic for bipolar disorder patients, it was tested whether the risk variant has an influence on this endophenotype in healthy adolescents. We examined the impact of the risk variant rs12576775 on functional magnetic resonance imaging data in an adolescent sample (N = 485). Differential activation between carriers of the risk allele (G-allele) and homozygous A-allele carriers in the amygdala and the striatum during a modification of the monetary incentive delay task (examining reward) and a face task (examining emotion) was analyzed. Carriers of the risk allele showed an increased blood oxygen level-dependent response in the amygdala during reward sensitivity (p = 0.05) and reward expectation (p < 0.05) but not during the face task. No significant group differences were found in the striatum during both reward and emotion processing. Our results indicate that the ODZ4 risk variant influences reward processing in the amygdala. Alterations in the processing of emotion may have different underlying mechanisms and need to be further examined. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Hypothalamic vasopressinergic projections innervate central amygdala GABAergic neurons: implications for anxiety and stress coping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vito Salvador Hernandez

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The arginine-vasopressin (AVP-containing hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory neurons (VPMNNs are known for their role in hydro-electrolytic balance control via their projections to neurohypophysis. Recently, projections from these same neurons to hippocampus, habenula, and other brain regions, in which vasopressin infusion modulates contingent social and emotionally-affected behaviors, have been reported. Here, we present evidence that VPMNN collaterals also project to the amygdaloid complex, and establish synaptic connections with neurons in central amygdala (CeA. The density of AVP innervation in amygdala was substantially increased in adult rats that had experienced neonatal maternal separation (MS, consistent with our previous observations that MS enhances VPMNN number in the paraventricular (PVN and supraoptic (SON nuclei of the hypothalamus. In the CeA, V1a AVP receptor mRNA was only observed in GABAergic neurons, demonstrated by complete co-localization of V1a transcripts in neurons expressing Gad1 and Gad2 transcripts in CeA using the RNAscope method. V1b and V2 receptors mRNA were not detected, using the same method. Water-deprivation for 24 hrs, which increased the metabolic activity of VPMNNs, also increased anxiety-like behavior measured using the elevated plus maze test, and this effect was mimicked by bilateral microinfusion of VP into the CeA. Anxious behavior induced by either water deprivation or VP infusion was reversed by CeA infusion of V1a antagonist. VPMNNs are thus a newly discovered source of central amygdala inhibitory circuit modulation, through which both early-life and adult stress coping signals are conveyed from the hypothalamus to the amygdala.

  18. The mixed serotonin receptor agonist psilocybin reduces threat-induced modulation of amygdala connectivity

    OpenAIRE

    Kraehenmann, Rainer; Schmidt, André; Friston, Karl; Preller, Katrin H; Seifritz, Erich; Vollenweider, Franz X

    2016-01-01

    Stimulation of serotonergic neurotransmission by psilocybin has been shown to shift emotional biases away from negative towards positive stimuli. We have recently shown that reduced amygdala activity during threat processing might underlie psilocybin's effect on emotional processing. However, it is still not known whether psilocybin modulates bottom-up or top-down connectivity within the visual-limbic-prefrontal network underlying threat processing. We therefore analyzed our previous fMRI dat...

  19. Pattern Analyses Reveal Separate Experience-Based Fear Memories in the Human Right Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braem, Senne; De Houwer, Jan; Demanet, Jelle; Yuen, Kenneth S L; Kalisch, Raffael; Brass, Marcel

    2017-08-23

    Learning fear via the experience of contingencies between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US) is often assumed to be fundamentally different from learning fear via instructions. An open question is whether fear-related brain areas respond differently to experienced CS-US contingencies than to merely instructed CS-US contingencies. Here, we contrasted two experimental conditions where subjects were instructed to expect the same CS-US contingencies while only one condition was characterized by prior experience with the CS-US contingency. Using multivoxel pattern analysis of fMRI data, we found CS-related neural activation patterns in the right amygdala (but not in other fear-related regions) that dissociated between whether a CS-US contingency had been instructed and experienced versus merely instructed. A second experiment further corroborated this finding by showing a category-independent neural response to instructed and experienced, but not merely instructed, CS presentations in the human right amygdala. Together, these findings are in line with previous studies showing that verbal fear instructions have a strong impact on both brain and behavior. However, even in the face of fear instructions, the human right amygdala still shows a separable neural pattern response to experience-based fear contingencies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In our study, we addressed a fundamental problem of the science of human fear learning and memory, namely whether fear learning via experience in humans relies on a neural pathway that can be separated from fear learning via verbal information. Using two new procedures and recent advances in the analysis of brain imaging data, we localized purely experience-based fear processing and memory in the right amygdala, thereby making a direct link between human and animal research. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378116-15$15.00/0.

  20. Oxytocin signaling in the medial amygdala is required for sex discrimination of social cues

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Shenqin; Bergan, Joseph; Lanjuin, Anne; Dulac, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    The neural control of social behaviors in rodents requires the encoding of pheromonal cues by the vomeronasal system. Here we show that the typical preference of male mice for females is eliminated in mutants lacking oxytocin, a neuropeptide modulating social behaviors in many species. Ablation of the oxytocin receptor in aromatase-expressing neurons of the medial amygdala (MeA) fully recapitulates the elimination of female preference in males. Further, single-unit recording in the MeA uncove...

  1. Oxytocin Signaling in the Medial Amygdala is required for Sex Discrimination of Social Cues

    OpenAIRE

    Bergan, Joseph; Yao, Shenqin; Lanjuin, Anne; Dulac, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    The neural control of social behaviors in rodents requires the encoding of pheromonal cues by the vomeronasal system. Here we show that the typical preference of male mice for females is eliminated in mutants lacking oxytocin, a neuropeptide modulating social behaviors in many species. Ablation of the oxytocin receptor in aromatase expressing neurons of the medial amygdala (MeA) fully recapitulates the elimination of female preference in males. Further, single unit recording in the MeA uncove...

  2. Amygdala response to negative images in postpartum vs nulliparous women and intranasal oxytocin

    OpenAIRE

    Rupp, Heather A.; James, Thomas W.; Ketterson, Ellen D.; Sengelaub, Dale R.; Ditzen, Beate; Heiman, Julia R.

    2012-01-01

    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...

  3. Dissociable contributions of the amygdala to the immediate and delayed effects of emotional arousal on memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schümann, Dirk; Sommer, Tobias

    2018-06-01

    Emotional arousal enhances memory encoding and consolidation leading to better immediate and delayed memory. Although the central noradrenergic system and the amygdala play critical roles in both effects of emotional arousal, we have recently shown that these effects are at least partly independent of each other, suggesting distinct underlying neural mechanisms. Here we aim to dissociate the neural substrates of both effects in 70 female participants using an emotional memory paradigm to investigate how neural activity, as measured by fMRI, and a polymorphism in the α 2B -noradrenoceptor vary for these effects. To also test whether the immediate and delayed effects of emotional arousal on memory are stable traits, we invited back participants who were a part of a large-scale behavioral memory study ∼3.5 yr ago. We replicated the low correlation of the immediate and delayed emotional enhancement of memory across participants ( r = 0.16) and observed, moreover, that only the delayed effect was, to some degree, stable over time ( r = 0.23). Bilateral amygdala activity, as well as its coupling with the visual cortex and the fusiform gyrus, was related to the preferential encoding of emotional stimuli, which is consistent with affect-biased attention. Moreover, the adrenoceptor genotype modulated the bilateral amygdala activity associated with this effect. The left amygdala and its coupling with the hippocampus was specifically associated with the more efficient consolidation of emotional stimuli, which is consistent with amygdalar modulation of hippocampal consolidation. © 2018 Schümann and Sommer; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  4. 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