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Sample records for amygdala

  1. 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

  2. Optogenetic dissection of amygdala functioning

    OpenAIRE

    LaLumiere, Ryan T

    2014-01-01

    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 t...

  3. Optogenetic dissection of amygdala functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalumiere, Ryan T

    2014-01-01

    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 (BLA) 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 (NA) 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 questions in

  4. Electrical amygdala kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dürmüller, N; Porsolt, R D

    2003-11-01

    This unit describes a method of electrical amygdala kindling in the rat. This procedure requires mastery of stereotaxic electrode implantation which is not covered in the current unit. Also, the investigator must have a sound knowledge of electronics and computing. The text gives instructions on how to render rats epileptic, how to determine the effects of compounds in kindled rats, and how to analyze the data. Results with three reference substances are illustrated. These substances are used in the clinic and give robust results in kindling.

  5. Deep prepiriform cortex kindling and amygdala interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, D Y; Moshé, S L

    1987-03-01

    The deep prepiriform cortex (DPC) has been recently suggested to be a crucial epileptogenic site in the rat brain. We investigated the susceptibility of the DPC to the development of electrical kindling as compared to that of the superficial prepiriform cortex (SPC) and amygdala as well as the transfer interactions between the two prepiriform sites and amygdala. Adult rats with electrodes implanted in the right prepiriform cortex (DPC or SPC) and left amygdala were divided into a DPC-amygdala and SPC-amygdala group while a third group consisted of rats with electrodes implanted in the ipsilateral DPC and amygdala. Within each group the rats were initially kindled from one site selected randomly and then rekindled from the other site. Both DPC and SPC were as sensitive to the development of kindling as the amygdala. The behavioral seizures elicited with DPC or SPC primary kindling were identical to those induced by amygdala kindling. Initial DPC kindling facilitated the development of kindling from either ipsilateral or contralateral amygdala with the ipsilateral transfer being significantly more potent than the contralateral. SPC kindling also facilitated the development of contralateral amygdala kindling but was less effective than DPC kindling. On the other hand, amygdala kindling did not facilitate contralateral SPC or DPC kindling although it transferred to the ipsilateral DPC. These results indicate that the prepiriform cortex can be readily kindled but not faster than the amygdala and that there are unequal kindling transfer interactions between prepiriform cortex and amygdala.

  6. From circuits to behaviour in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janak, Patricia H; Tye, Kay M

    2015-01-15

    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. [AMYGDALA: NEUROANATOMY AND NEUROPHYSIOLOGY OF FEAR].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsvetkov, E A; Krasnoshchekova, E I; Vesselkin, N P; Kharazova, A D

    2015-01-01

    This work describes neuroanatomical and neurophysiological mechanisms of Pavlovian fear conditioning, focusing on contributions of the amygdala, a subcortical nuclear group, to control of conditioned fear responses. The mechanisms of synaptic plasticity at projections to the amygdala and within amygdala were shown to mediate the formation and retention of fear memory. This work reviews current data on anatomical organization of the amygdala, as well as its afferent and efferent projections, in respect to the role of the amygdala in auditory fear conditioning during which acoustic signals serve as the conditioned stimulus. PMID:26983275

  8. Amygdala kindling elevates plasma vasopressin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, R S; Meeker, R B; Hayward, J N

    1991-01-01

    Acute and chronic effects of epilepsy on endocrine function are known to occur in humans with partial seizures of limbic origin and in animals with limbic kindled seizures. The amygdala, a component of the limbic system, has dense hypothalamic connections and amygdala stimulation in monkeys and cats result in vasopressin release. In the present study we sought to determine if amygdala stimulation in the rats results in an immediate acute release of vasopressin and to determine if acute or chronic changes occur in vasopressin release in the fully kindled animal. Plasma vasopressin, osmolality and hematocrit were measured in blood samples drawn from rats with implanted venous catheters before and after stimulation and at different stages of kindling. Low-frequency (15 Hz) electrical stimulation of the amygdala was followed by an immediate, 3-fold increase in plasma vasopressin concentration. Moreover, although the 60 Hz kindling stimulus did not result in a significant immediate rise in plasma vasopressin prior to kindling, after kindling to stage 5 seizures the 60 Hz kindling stimulus resulted in seizures and a significant immediate rise in plasma vasopressin. In addition, we found that kindling was followed by a significant, though modest, rise in the resting plasma vasopressin without an accompanying change in osmolality or hematocrit. We conclude that kindling results in a persistent alteration in the vasopressinergic neuroendocrine system. PMID:2018936

  9. Amygdala kindling elevates plasma vasopressin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, R S; Meeker, R B; Hayward, J N

    1991-01-01

    Acute and chronic effects of epilepsy on endocrine function are known to occur in humans with partial seizures of limbic origin and in animals with limbic kindled seizures. The amygdala, a component of the limbic system, has dense hypothalamic connections and amygdala stimulation in monkeys and cats result in vasopressin release. In the present study we sought to determine if amygdala stimulation in the rats results in an immediate acute release of vasopressin and to determine if acute or chronic changes occur in vasopressin release in the fully kindled animal. Plasma vasopressin, osmolality and hematocrit were measured in blood samples drawn from rats with implanted venous catheters before and after stimulation and at different stages of kindling. Low-frequency (15 Hz) electrical stimulation of the amygdala was followed by an immediate, 3-fold increase in plasma vasopressin concentration. Moreover, although the 60 Hz kindling stimulus did not result in a significant immediate rise in plasma vasopressin prior to kindling, after kindling to stage 5 seizures the 60 Hz kindling stimulus resulted in seizures and a significant immediate rise in plasma vasopressin. In addition, we found that kindling was followed by a significant, though modest, rise in the resting plasma vasopressin without an accompanying change in osmolality or hematocrit. We conclude that kindling results in a persistent alteration in the vasopressinergic neuroendocrine system.

  10. Stress, memory and the amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

    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

  11. From circuits to behaviour in the amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  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. Methylphenidate facilitates learning-induced amygdala plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Tye, Kay M.; Tye, Lynne D.; Cone, Jackson J.; Hekkelman, Evelien F; Janak, Patricia H.; Bonci, Antonello

    2010-01-01

    Although methylphenidate (Ritalin) has been used therapeutically for nearly 60 years, the mechanisms by which it acutely modifies behavioral performance are poorly understood. Here we combined intra–lateral amygdala in vivo pharmacology and ex vivo electrophysiology to show that acute administration of methylphenidate, as well as a selective dopamine transporter inhibitor, facilitated learning-induced strengthening of cortico-amygdala synapses through a postsynaptic increase in AMPA receptor–...

  14. Using the Amygdala in decision making

    OpenAIRE

    Carrere, Maxime; Alexandre, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    International audience; Decision making is often described as composed of multiple loops, mainly the limbic, associative, and motor loops, in the Prefrontal Cortex and Basal Ganglia. While the various nuclei of the Amygdala has been traditionaly considered for their role in fear prediction and respondent conditioning [9, 4, 7], structural similitudes have been reported between the central amygdala (CeA) and structures involved in decision making the nucleus accumbens and the pallidum [5]. Par...

  15. 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.

  16. Structural Connectivity of the Developing Human Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Structural connectivity of the developing human amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeynep M Saygin

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Structural connectivity of the developing human amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Hemispheric differences in amygdala contributions to response monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polli, Frida E.; Wright, Christopher I.; Milad, Mohammed R.; Dickerson, Bradford C.; Vangel, Mark; Barton, Jason J.S.; Rauch, Scott L.; Manoach, Dara S.

    2009-01-01

    The amygdala detects aversive events and coordinates with rostral anterior cingulate cortex to adapt behavior. We assessed error-related activation in these regions and its relation to task performance using functional MRI and a saccadic paradigm. Both amygdalae showed increased activation during error versus correct antisaccade trials that was correlated with error-related activation in the corresponding rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Together, activation in right amygdala and right rostral anterior cingulate cortex predicted greater accuracy. In contrast, left amygdala activation predicted a higher error rate. These findings support a role for amygdala in response monitoring. Consistent with proposed specializations of right and left amygdala in aversive conditioning, we hypothesize that right amygdala-rostral anterior cingulate cortex interactions mediate learning to avoid errors, while left error-related amygdala activation underpins detrimental negative affect. PMID:19218865

  1. Prediction of economic choice by primate amygdala neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Grabenhorst, F.; Hernadi, I.; Schultz, W.

    2012-01-01

    The amygdala is a key structure of the brain’s reward system. Existing theories view its role in decision-making as restricted to an early valuation stage that provides input to decision mechanisms in downstream brain structures. However, the extent to which the amygdala itself codes information about economic choices is unclear. Here, we report that individual neurons in the primate amygdala predict behavioral choices in an economic decision task. We recorded the activity of amygdala neurons...

  2. 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.

  3. [Emotion, amygdala, and autonomic nervous system].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueyama, Takashi

    2012-10-01

    Emotion refers to the dynamic changes of feeling accompanied by the alteration of physical and visceral activities. Autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic) regulates the visceral activities. Therefore, monitoring and analyzing autonomic nervous activity help understand the emotional changes. To this end, the survey of the expression of immediate early genes (IEGs), such as c-Fos in the brain and target organs, and the viral transneuronal labeling method using the pseudorabies virus (PRV) have enabled the visualization of the neurocircuitry of emotion. By comparing c-Fos expression and data from PRV or other neuroanatomical labeling techniques, the central sites that regulate emotional stress-induced autonomic activation can be deduced. Such regions have been identified in the limbic system (e. g., the extended amygdaloid complex; lateral septum; and infralimbic, insular, and ventromedial temporal cortical regions), as well as in several hypothalamic and brainstem nuclei. The amygdala is structurally diverse and comprises several subnuclei, which play a role in emotional process via projections from the cortex and a variety of subcortical structures. All amygdaloid subnuclei receive psychological information from other limbic systems, while the lateral and central subnuclei receive peripheral and sensory information. Output to the hypothalamus and peripheral sympathetic system mainly originates from the medial amygdala. As estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β, and androgen receptor are expressed in the medial amygdala, sex steroids may modulate the autonomic nervous activities.

  4. Human Amygdala Represents the Complete Spectrum of Subjective Valence

    OpenAIRE

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

    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. Re...

  5. Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Hölzel, Britta K.; Carmody, James; Evans, Karleyton C.; Hoge, Elizabeth A.; Dusek, Jeffery A; Morgan, Lucas; Pitman, Roger K.; Lazar, Sara W.

    2009-01-01

    Stress has significant adverse effects on health and is a risk factor for many illnesses. Neurobiological studies have implicated the amygdala as a brain structure crucial in stress responses. Whereas hyperactive amygdala function is often observed during stress conditions, cross-sectional reports of differences in gray matter structure have been less consistent. We conducted a longitudinal MRI study to investigate the relationship between changes in perceived stress with changes in amygdala ...

  6. The Human Amygdala and Pain: Evidence from Neuroimaging

    OpenAIRE

    Simons, Laura; Moulton, Eric A.; Linnman, Clas; Carpino, Elizabeth; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David

    2012-01-01

    The amygdala, a small deep brain structure involved in behavioral processing through interactions with other brain regions, has garnered increased attention in recent years in relation to pain processing. As pain is a multidimensional experience that encompasses physical sensation, affect, and cognition, the amygdala is well suited to play a part in this process. Multiple neuroimaging studies of pain in humans have reported activation in the amygdala. Here we summarize these studies by perfor...

  7. Bidirectional communication between amygdala and fusiform gyrus during facial recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Herrington, John D.; Taylor, James M.; Grupe, Daniel W.; Curby, Kim M.; Schultz, Robert T.

    2011-01-01

    Decades of research have documented the specialization of fusiform gyrus (FG) for facial information processes. Recent theories indicate that FG activity is shaped by input from amygdala, but effective connectivity from amygdala to FG remains undocumented. In this fMRI study, 39 participants completed a face recognition task. 11 participants underwent the same experiment approximately four months later. Robust face-selective activation of FG, amygdala, and lateral occipital cortex were observ...

  8. Prefrontal inputs to the amygdala instruct fear extinction memory formation

    OpenAIRE

    Bukalo, Olena; Pinard, Courtney R.; Silverstein, Shana; Brehm, Christina; Hartley, Nolan D.; Whittle, Nigel; Colacicco, Giovanni; Busch, Erica; Patel, Sachin; Singewald, Nicolas; Holmes, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Persistent anxiety after a psychological trauma is a hallmark of many anxiety disorders. However, the neural circuits mediating the extinction of traumatic fear memories remain incompletely understood. We show that selective, in vivo stimulation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)–amygdala pathway facilitated extinction memory formation, but not retrieval. Conversely, silencing the vmPFC-amygdala pathway impaired extinction formation and reduced extinction-induced amygdala activity....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  10. FAST and SLOW amygdala kindling rat strains: comparison of amygdala, hippocampal, piriform and perirhinal cortex kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, D C; Kelly, M E; Dufresne, C

    1999-07-01

    In our companion paper, we selectively bred offspring of a Long Evans Hooded and Wistar rat cross for either fast or slow rates of amygdala kindling (Racine et al., 1999. Development of kindling-prone and kindling resistant rats: Selective breeding and electrophysiological studies, Epilepsy Res. 35, 183-195). Within 10 generations, there was no overlap in the distribution of kindling rates between these newly developed FAST and SLOW kindling strains. In the present report, we compared the local excitability, kindling rates, and convulsion profiles of kindling sites in either the amygdala, dorsal hippocampus, piriform cortex or perirhinal cortex in the two strains. Local excitability, measured as the local afterdischarge (AD) threshold and its duration, showed varied effects between structures and strains. Before kindling, the AD threshold was lower in the FAST than the SLOW rats in the hippocampus, piriform and perirhinal cortices, but not the amygdala (the selection structure). Also, the duration of the AD threshold duration was significantly longer in the FAST than in the SLOW rats in all structures, except the CA1 hippocampus. Most of these differences were maintained after kindling. Kindling itself was significantly faster in the FAST compared with the SLOW rats in all structures; however, the different structural kindling rates showed proportional differences between strains that were about five times different in the amygdala compared with only about two times different in the hippocampus. This suggested a selection bias for the amygdala and its networks. As in other rat strains, the fastest kindling rates were seen in the perirhinal cortex followed by the piriform cortex, amygdala and hippocampus in both FAST and SLOW rats. Other important differences between strains and structures occurred in the stage-5 convulsion profiles, including latency to forelimb clonus, clonus duration and duration of associated local afterdischarges. The differences in kindling

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Amygdala habituation: a reliable fMRI phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plichta, Michael M; Grimm, Oliver; Morgen, Katrin; Mier, Daniela; Sauer, Carina; Haddad, Leila; Tost, Heike; Esslinger, Christine; Kirsch, Peter; Schwarz, Adam J; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2014-12-01

    Amygdala function is of high interest for cognitive, social and psychiatric neuroscience, emphasizing the need for reliable assessments in humans. Previous work has indicated unsatisfactorily low within-subject reliability of amygdala activation fMRI measures. Based on basic science evidence for strong habituation of amygdala response to repeated stimuli, we investigated whether a quantification of habituation provides additional information beyond the usual estimate of the overall mean activity. We assessed the within-subject reliability of amygdala habituation measures during a facial emotion matching paradigm in 25 healthy subjects. We extracted the amygdala signal decrement across the course of the fMRI run for the two test-retest measurement sessions and compared reliability estimates with previous findings based on mean response amplitude. Retest-reliability of the session-wise amygdala habituation was significantly higher than the evoked amygdala mean amplitude (intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC)=0.53 vs. 0.16). To test the task-specificity of this finding, we compared the retest-reliability of amygdala habituation across two different tasks. Significant amygdala response decrement was also seen in a cognitive task (n-back working memory) that did not per se activate the amygdala, but was totally unreliable in that context (ICC~0.0), arguing for task-specificity. Together the results show that emotion-dependent amygdala habituation is a robust and considerably more reliable index than the mean amplitude, and provides a robust potential endpoint for within-subject designs including pharmaco-fMRI studies. PMID:25284303

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2016-07-15

    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±0.49years) first observed in infancy (8.5±5.6months) and followed longitudinally to age 29. In infancy (18.58±1.02mos), 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=0.679, pimportance 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

  17. Amygdala signals subjective appetitiveness and aversiveness of mixed gambles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    People are more sensitive to losses than to equivalent gains when making financial decisions. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to illuminate how the amygdala contributes to loss aversion. The blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) response of the amygdala was mapped while healthy...

  18. The role of the amygdala in face perception and evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorov, Alexander

    2012-03-01

    Faces are one of the most significant social stimuli and the processes underlying face perception are at the intersection of cognition, affect, and motivation. Vision scientists have had a tremendous success of mapping the regions for perceptual analysis of faces in posterior cortex. Based on evidence from (a) single unit recording studies in monkeys and humans; (b) human functional localizer studies; and (c) meta-analyses of neuroimaging studies, I argue that faces automatically evoke responses not only in these regions but also in the amygdala. I also argue that (a) a key property of faces represented in the amygdala is their typicality; and (b) one of the functions of the amygdala is to bias attention to atypical faces, which are associated with higher uncertainty. This framework is consistent with a number of other amygdala findings not involving faces, suggesting a general account for the role of the amygdala in perception.

  19. Alexithymic features and automatic amygdala reactivity to facial emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kugel, Harald; Eichmann, Mischa; Dannlowski, Udo; Ohrmann, Patricia; Bauer, Jochen; Arolt, Volker; Heindel, Walter; Suslow, Thomas

    2008-04-11

    Alexithymic individuals have difficulties in identifying and verbalizing their emotions. The amygdala is known to play a central role in processing emotion stimuli and in generating emotional experience. In the present study automatic amygdala reactivity to facial emotion was investigated as a function of alexithymia (as assessed by the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale). The Beck-Depression Inventory (BDI) and the State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were administered to measure participants' depressivity and trait anxiety. During 3T fMRI scanning, pictures of faces bearing sad, happy, and neutral expressions masked by neutral faces were presented to 21 healthy volunteers. The amygdala was selected as the region of interest (ROI) and voxel values of the ROI were extracted, summarized by mean and tested among the different conditions. A detection task was applied to assess participants' awareness of the masked emotional faces shown in the fMRI experiment. Masked sad and happy facial emotions led to greater right amygdala activation than masked neutral faces. The alexithymia feature difficulties identifying feelings was negatively correlated with the neural response of the right amygdala to masked sad faces, even when controlling for depressivity and anxiety. Reduced automatic amygdala responsivity may contribute to problems in identifying one's emotions in everyday life. Low spontaneous reactivity of the amygdala to sad faces could implicate less engagement in the encoding of negative emotional stimuli. PMID:18314269

  20. 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. PMID:27083779

  1. The human amygdala and pain: evidence from neuroimaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Laura E; Moulton, Eric A; Linnman, Clas; Carpino, Elizabeth; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David

    2014-02-01

    The amygdala, a small deep brain structure involved in behavioral processing through interactions with other brain regions, has garnered increased attention in recent years in relation to pain processing. As pain is a multidimensional experience that encompasses physical sensation, affect, and cognition, the amygdala is well suited to play a part in this process. Multiple neuroimaging studies of pain in humans have reported activation in the amygdala. Here, we summarize these studies by performing a coordinate-based meta-analysis within experimentally induced and clinical pain studies using an activation likelihood estimate analysis. The results are presented in relation to locations of peak activation within and outside of amygdala subregions. The majority of studies identified coordinates consistent with human amygdala cytoarchitecture indicating reproducibility in neuroanatomical labeling across labs, analysis methods, and imaging modalities. Differences were noted between healthy and clinical pain studies: in clinical pain studies, peak activation was located in the laterobasal region, suggestive of the cognitive-affective overlay present among individuals suffering from chronic pain; while the less understood superficial region of the amygdala was prominent among experimental pain studies. Taken together, these findings suggest several important directions for further research exploring the amygdala's role in pain processing. PMID:23097300

  2. Does bilateral damage to the human amygdala produce autistic symptoms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Lynn K; Corsello, Christina; Tranel, Daniel; Adolphs, Ralph

    2010-09-01

    A leading neurological hypothesis for autism postulates amygdala dysfunction. This hypothesis has considerable support from anatomical and neuroimaging studies. Individuals with bilateral amygdala lesions show impairments in some aspects of social cognition. These impairments bear intriguing similarity to those reported in people with autism, such as impaired recognition of emotion in faces, impaired theory of mind abilities, failure to fixate eyes in faces, and difficulties in regulating personal space distance to others. Yet such neurological cases have never before been assessed directly to see if they meet criteria for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here we undertook such an investigation in two rare participants with developmental-onset bilateral amygdala lesions. We administered a comprehensive clinical examination, as well as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), together with several other standardized questionnaires. Results from the two individuals with amygdala lesions were compared with published norms from both healthy populations as well as from people with ASD. Neither participant with amygdala lesions showed any evidence of autism across the array of different measures. The findings demonstrate that amygdala lesions in isolation are not sufficient for producing autistic symptoms. We suggest instead that it may be abnormal connectivity between the amygdala and other structures that contributes to autistic symptoms at a network level. PMID:20700516

  3. Temporary amygdala inhibition reduces stress effects in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalooei, Jila Rezaeian; Sahraei, Hedayat; Meftahi, Gholam Hossein; Khosravi, Maryam; Bahari, Zahra; Hatef, Boshra; Mohammadi, Alireza; Nicaeili, Fateme; Eftekhari, Fateme; Ghamari, Fateme; Hadipour, Mohamadmehdi; Kaka, Gholamreza

    2016-09-01

    The current study investigated the effect of temporary inhibition of amygdala in response to metabolic changes caused by stress in female mice. Unilateral and bilateral amygdala cannulation was carried out, and after a week of recovery, 2% lidocaine hydrochloride was injected into the mice amygdalae five minutes before the induction of stress. A communication box was employed to induce stress for four consecutive days and plasma corticosterone, food and water intake, weight changes, and anorexia were measured as stress-induced metabolic changes. Results demonstrated that stress, increases stress, increased plasma corticosterone concentrations, weight, food, and water intake. Temporary inhibition of the amygdala slightly decreased plasma corticosterone concentrations, but did not fully reduce the effect of stress. The bilateral injection of lidocaine hydrochloride to the amygdala reduced the effect of stress and reduced water intake and weight. Unilateral injection of lidocaine hydrochloride into the left and right amygdala reduced food intake. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the left side and right side of amygdala nuclei play a different role in metabolic responses in stress. PMID:27489731

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 3H-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

  5. Does bilateral damage to the human amygdala produce autistic symptoms?

    OpenAIRE

    Paul, Lynn K.; Corsello, Christina; Tranel, Daniel; Adolphs, Ralph

    2010-01-01

    A leading neurological hypothesis for autism postulates amygdala dysfunction. This hypothesis has considerable support from anatomical and neuroimaging studies. Individuals with bilateral amygdala lesions show impairments in some aspects of social cognition. These impairments bear intriguing similarity to those reported in people with autism, such as impaired recognition of emotion in faces, impaired theory of mind abilities, failure to fixate eyes in faces, and difficulties in regulating per...

  6. Association between amygdala reactivity and a dopamine transporter gene polymorphism

    OpenAIRE

    Bergman, O.; Åhs, F; Furmark, T; Appel, L; Linnman, C; Faria, V; Bani, M; Pich, E M; Bettica, P; Henningsson, S; Manuck, S B; Ferrell, R E; Nikolova, Y S; Hariri, A R; Fredrikson, M.

    2014-01-01

    Essential for detection of relevant external stimuli and for fear processing, the amygdala is under modulatory influence of dopamine (DA). The DA transporter (DAT) is of fundamental importance for the regulation of DA transmission by mediating reuptake inactivation of extracellular DA. This study examined if a common functional variable number tandem repeat polymorphism in the 3′ untranslated region of the DAT gene (SLC6A3) influences amygdala function during the processing of aversive emotio...

  7. Association between amygdala reactivity and a dopamine transporter gene polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, O; Åhs, F; Furmark, T; Appel, L; Linnman, C; Faria, V; Bani, M; Pich, E M; Bettica, P; Henningsson, S; Manuck, S B; Ferrell, R E; Nikolova, Y S; Hariri, A R; Fredrikson, M; Westberg, L; Eriksson, E

    2014-01-01

    Essential for detection of relevant external stimuli and for fear processing, the amygdala is under modulatory influence of dopamine (DA). The DA transporter (DAT) is of fundamental importance for the regulation of DA transmission by mediating reuptake inactivation of extracellular DA. This study examined if a common functional variable number tandem repeat polymorphism in the 3' untranslated region of the DAT gene (SLC6A3) influences amygdala function during the processing of aversive emotional stimuli. Amygdala reactivity was examined by comparing regional cerebral blood flow, measured with positron emission tomography and [(15)O]water, during exposure to angry and neutral faces, respectively, in a Swedish sample comprising 32 patients with social anxiety disorder and 17 healthy volunteers. In a separate US sample, comprising 85 healthy volunteers studied with blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging, amygdala reactivity was assessed by comparing the activity during exposure to threatening faces and neutral geometric shapes, respectively. In both the Swedish and the US sample, 9-repeat carriers displayed higher amygdala reactivity than 10-repeat homozygotes. The results suggest that this polymorphism contributes to individual variability in amygdala reactivity. PMID:25093598

  8. 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

    2015-03-01

    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. PMID:25740536

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Abnormal amygdala activation profile in pedophilia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartorius, Alexander; Ruf, Matthias; Kief, Christine; Demirakca, Traute; Bailer, Josef; Ende, Gabriele; Henn, Fritz A; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Dressing, Harald

    2008-08-01

    Despite considerable public interest research in neurobiological correlates of pedophilia is scarce. Since amygdala activation is central for emotional valuation, arousal, and salience, we investigated the activation profile of this structure in 10 male subjects with pedophilia (exclusively attracted to boys), all convicted sex-offenders and sentenced to forensic psychiatric treatment along with ten male heterosexual matched controls. We used a sexually non-explicit functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) paradigm with images of men, women, boys or girls randomly embedded in neutral target/non-target geometrical symbols. We applied statistical parametric mapping (SPM2) and SPSS 14 for image processing and analysis. While controls activated significantly less to pictures of children compared to adults, the activation profile was reversed in subjects with pedophilia, who exhibited significantly more activation to children than adults. The highest activation was observed for boys in the patient group, and for women in control participants. Our data show enhanced activation to children's pictures even in an incidental context and suggest the provocative hypothesis that a normally present mechanism for reduced emotional arousal for children relative to adults is reversed in pedophilia, suggesting a neural substrate associated with deviant sexual preference in this condition. More extensive research in this field would be of benefit for both the victims and the offenders.

  13. 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

    2016-05-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Amygdala volume is reduced in early course schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rich, Alyson M; Cho, Youngsun T; Tang, Yanqing; Savic, Aleksandar; Krystal, John H; Wang, Fei; Xu, Ke; Anticevic, Alan

    2016-04-30

    Subcortical structural alterations have been implicated in the neuropathology of schizophrenia. Yet, the extent of anatomical alterations for subcortical structures across illness phases remains unknown. To assess this, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to examine volume differences of major subcortical structures: thalamus, nucleus accumbens, caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, amygdala and hippocampus. These differences were examined across four groups: (i) healthy comparison subjects (HCS, n=96); (ii) individuals at high risk (HR, n=21) for schizophrenia; (iii) early-course schizophrenia patients (EC-SCZ, n=28); and (iv) chronic schizophrenia patients (C-SCZ, n=20). Raw gray matter volumes and volumetric ratios (volume of specific structure/total gray matter volume) were extracted using automated segmentation tools. EC-SCZ group exhibited smaller bilateral amygdala volumetric ratios, compared to HCS and HR subjects. Findings did not change when corrected for age, level of education and medication use. Amygdala raw volumes did not differ among groups once adjusted for multiple comparisons, but the smaller amygdala volumetric ratio in EC-SCZ survived Bonferroni correction. Other structures were not different across the groups following Bonferroni correction. Smaller amygdala volumes during early illness course may reflect pathophysiologic changes specific to illness development, including disrupted salience processing and acute stress responses. PMID:27035063

  16. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  18. Intradentate colchicine retards the development of amygdala kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasheiff, R M; McNamara, J O

    1982-04-01

    The mechanisms underlying the kindling model of epilepsy are unknown. Presumably, an altered network of neural circuits underlie amygdala kindling. Biochemical and radiohistochemical studies have pointed to the dentate granule cells (DGC) of the hippocampal formation as a member of this altered circuit. To test the role of these cells, colchicine, a neurotoxin of DGC, was directly injected into the dentate gyrus. Prior destruction of DGC retarded the development of amygdala kindling. Destruction of DGC after kindling was completed did not reverse the kindling effect. We conclude that DGC play a key role in the development, but not the permanence, of amygdala kindling. We propose a model whereby the greater the input to the hippocampal formation, the faster limbic kindling will proceed.

  19. Intra-Amygdala Injections of CREB Antisense Impair Inhibitory Avoidance Memory: Role of Norepinephrine and Acetylcholine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canal, Clinton E.; Chang, Qing; Gold, Paul E.

    2008-01-01

    Infusions of CREB antisense into the amygdala prior to training impair memory for aversive tasks, suggesting that the antisense may interfere with CRE-mediated gene transcription and protein synthesis important for the formation of new memories within the amygdala. However, the amygdala also appears to modulate memory formation in distributed…

  20. Intact rapid detection of fearful faces in the absence of the amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; Moradi, Farshad; Felsen, Csilla; Yamazaki, Madoka; Adolphs, Ralph

    2009-01-01

    The amygdala is thought to process fear-related stimuli rapidly and nonconsciously. We found that an individual with complete bilateral amygdala lesions, who cannot recognize fear from faces, nonetheless showed normal rapid detection and nonconscious processing of those same fearful faces. We conclude that the amygdala is not essential for early stages of fear processing but, instead, modulates recognition and social judgment.

  1. Meta-Analysis of Amygdala Volumes in Children and Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeifer, Jonathan C.; Welge, Jeffrey; Strakowski. Stephen M.; Adler, Caleb M.; Delbello, Melissa P.

    2008-01-01

    The size of amygdala of bipolar youths and adults is investigated using neuroimaging studies. Findings showed that smaller volumes of amygdala were observed in youths with bipolar youths compared with children and adolescents without bipolar disorder. The structural amygdala abnormalities in bipolar youths are examined further.

  2. 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 preterm neonates without exposure to prenatal stress, extremely preterm neonates with exposure to prenatal stress show significantly less connectivity between the left amygdala and the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the peristriate cortex (p 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.

  3. The intercalated nuclear complex of the primate amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zikopoulos, Basilis; John, Yohan J; García-Cabezas, Miguel Ángel; Bunce, Jamie G; Barbas, Helen

    2016-08-25

    The organization of the inhibitory intercalated cell masses (IM) of the primate amygdala is largely unknown despite their key role in emotional processes. We studied the structural, topographic, neurochemical and intrinsic connectional features of IM neurons in the rhesus monkey brain. We found that the intercalated neurons are not confined to discrete cell clusters, but form a neuronal net that is interposed between the basal nuclei and extends to the dorsally located anterior, central, and medial nuclei of the amygdala. Unlike the IM in rodents, which are prominent in the anterior half of the amygdala, the primate inhibitory net stretched throughout the antero-posterior axis of the amygdala, and was most prominent in the central and posterior extent of the amygdala. There were two morphologic types of intercalated neurons: spiny and aspiny. Spiny neurons were the most abundant; their somata were small or medium size, round or elongated, and their dendritic trees were round or bipolar, depending on location. The aspiny neurons were on average slightly larger and had varicose dendrites with no spines. There were three non-overlapping neurochemical populations of IM neurons, in descending order of abundance: (1) Spiny neurons that were positive for the striatal associated dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein (DARPP-32+); (2) Aspiny neurons that expressed the calcium-binding protein calbindin (CB+); and (3) Aspiny neurons that expressed nitric oxide synthase (NOS+). The unique combinations of structural and neurochemical features of the three classes of IM neurons suggest different physiological properties and function. The three types of IM neurons were intermingled and likely interconnected in distinct ways, and were innervated by intrinsic neurons within the amygdala, or by external sources, in pathways that underlie fear conditioning and anxiety. PMID:27256508

  4. Shared Genetic Factors Influence Amygdala Volumes and Risk for Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dager, Alecia D; McKay, D Reese; Kent, Jack W; Curran, Joanne E; Knowles, Emma; Sprooten, Emma; Göring, Harald HH; Dyer, Thomas D; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Olvera, Rene L; Fox, Peter T; Lovallo, William R; Duggirala, Ravi; Almasy, Laura; Blangero, John; Glahn, David C

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol abuse and dependence (alcohol use disorders, AUDs) are associated with brain shrinkage. Subcortical structures including the amygdala, hippocampus, ventral striatum, dorsal striatum, and thalamus subserve reward functioning and may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol-related damage. These structures may also show pre-existing deficits impacting the development and maintenance of AUD. It remains unclear whether there are common genetic features underlying both subcortical volumes and AUD. In this study, structural brain images were acquired from 872 Mexican-American individuals from extended pedigrees. Subcortical volumes were obtained using FreeSurfer, and quantitative genetic analyses were performed in SOLAR. We hypothesized the following: (1) reduced subcortical volumes in individuals with lifetime AUD relative to unrelated controls; (2) reduced subcortical volumes in individuals with current relative to past AUD; (3) in non-AUD individuals, reduced subcortical volumes in those with a family history of AUD compared to those without; and (4) evidence for common genetic underpinnings (pleiotropy) between AUD risk and subcortical volumes. Results showed that individuals with lifetime AUD showed larger ventricular and smaller amygdala volumes compared to non-AUD individuals. For the amygdala, there were no differences in volume between current vs past AUD, and non-AUD individuals with a family history of AUD demonstrated reductions compared to those with no such family history. Finally, amygdala volume was genetically correlated with the risk for AUD. Together, these results suggest that reduced amygdala volume reflects a pre-existing difference rather than alcohol-induced neurotoxic damage. Our genetic correlation analysis provides evidence for a common genetic factor underlying both reduced amygdala volumes and AUD risk. PMID:25079289

  5. New insights on amygdala: Basomedial amygdala regulates the physiological response to social novelty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesquita, Laura Tavares; Abreu, Aline Rezende; de Abreu, Alessandra Rezende; de Souza, Aline Arlindo; de Noronha, Sylvana Rendeiro; Silva, Fernanda Cacilda; Campos, Glenda Siqueira Viggiano; Chianca, Deoclecio Alves; de Menezes, Rodrigo Cunha

    2016-08-25

    The amygdala has been associated with a variety of functions linked to physiological, behavioral and endocrine responses during emotional situations. This brain region is comprised of multiple sub-nuclei. These sub-nuclei belong to the same structure, but may be involved in different functions, thereby making the study of each sub-nuclei important. Yet, the involvement of the basomedial amygdala (BMA) in the regulation of emotional states has yet to be defined. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate the regulatory role of the BMA on the responses evoked during a social novelty model and whether the regulatory role depended on an interaction with the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). Our results showed that the chemical inhibition of the BMA by the microinjection of muscimol (γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) agonist) promoted increases in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR), whereas the chemical inhibition of regions near the BMA did not induce such cardiovascular changes. In contrast, the BMA chemical activation by the bilateral microinjection of bicuculline methiodide (BMI; GABAA antagonist), blocked the increases in MAP and HR observed when an intruder rat was suddenly introduced into the cage of a resident rat, and confined to the small cage for 15min. Additionally, the increase in HR and MAP induced by BMA inhibition were eliminated by DMH chemical inhibition. Thus, our data reveal that the BMA is under continuous GABAergic influence, and that its hyperactivation can reduce the physiological response induced by a social novelty condition, possibly by inhibiting DMH neurons. PMID:27261213

  6. 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. PMID:26419764

  7. Interactions between chemical and electrical kindling of the rat amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasterlain, C G; Morin, A M; Jonec, V

    1982-09-16

    Holtzman rats were implanted with a chemitrode into the left basolateral amygdala, which could then be stimulated electrically (400 microA, 1 s, AC) or chemically by injection of carbachol (1 microliter, 2.7 nmoles, sterile, isotonic). Group A received a daily injection of carbachol and developed kindled seizures. Group B received carbachol mixed with equimolar atropine, which blocked seizures and kindling. After 20 injections, both groups were stimulated electrically once a day and kindled at similar rates. Two additional groups received electrical or sham stimulation, followed by carbachol kindling. No transfer effects were observed. Four additional groups received 27 nmoles of atropine through the chemitrode, followed 15 min later by electrical stimulation, sham stimulation, carbachol injection or saline injection, respectively. Atropine completely blocked carbachol kindling but did not alter the rate of electrical kindling. No different in the number of QNB binding sites was observed in the amygdala of rats sacrificed two weeks after full electrical kindling. The lack of interaction between electrical and carbachol kindling and the failure of atropine to block electrical kindling of the amygdala suggest that the activation of local muscarinic synapses, while essential for carbachol kindling, is not required for electrical kindling of the rat amygdala.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Dynamic modulation of amygdala-hippocampal connectivity by emotional arousal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fastenrath, M.; Coynel, D.; Spalek, K.; Milnik, A.; Gschwind, L.; Roozendaal, B.; Papassotiropoulos, A.; Quervain, D.J. de

    2014-01-01

    Positive and negative emotional events are better remembered than neutral events. Studies in animals suggest that this phenomenon depends on the influence of the amygdala upon the hippocampus. In humans, however, it is largely unknown how these two brain structures functionally interact and whether

  11. GABAergic mechanisms contributing to categorical amygdala responses to chemosensory signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westberry, Jenne M; Meredith, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Chemosensory stimuli from conspecific and heterospecific animals, elicit categorically different immediate-early gene response-patterns in medial amygdala in male hamsters and mice. We previously showed that conspecific signals activate posterior (MeP) as well as anterior medial amygdala (MeA), and especially relevant heterospecific signals such as chemosensory stimuli from potential predators also activate MeP in mice. Other heterospecific chemosignals activate MeA, but not MeP. Here we show that male hamster amygdala responds significantly differentially to different conspecific signals, by activating different proportions of cells of different phenotype, possibly leading to differential activation of downstream circuits. Heterospecific signals that fail to activate MeP do activate GABA-immunoreactive cells in the adjacent caudal main intercalated nucleus (mICNc) and elicit selective suppression of MeP cells bearing GABA-Receptors, suggesting GABA inhibition in MeP by GABAergic cells in mICNc. Overall, work presented here suggests that medial amygdala may discriminate between important conspecific social signals, distinguish them from the social signals of other species and convey that information to brain circuits eliciting appropriate social behavior. PMID:27329335

  12. Disconnection Between Amygdala and Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Psychotic Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Prerona; Sabharwal, Amri; Kotov, Roman; Szekely, Akos; Parsey, Ramin; Barch, Deanna M; Mohanty, Aprajita

    2016-07-01

    Distracting emotional information impairs attention more in schizophrenia (SCZ) than in never-psychotic individuals. However, it is unclear whether this impairment and its neural circuitry is indicative generally of psychosis, or specifically of SCZ, and whether it is even more specific to certain SCZ symptoms (eg, deficit syndrome). It is also unclear if this abnormality contributes to impaired behavioral performance and real-world functioning. Functional imaging data were recorded while individuals with SCZ, bipolar disorder with psychosis (BDP) and no history of psychotic disorders (CON) attended to identity of faces while ignoring their emotional expressions. We examined group differences in functional connectivity between amygdala, involved in emotional evaluation, and sub-regions of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), involved in emotion regulation and cognitive control. Additionally, we examined correlation of this connectivity with deficit syndrome and real-world functioning. Behaviorally, SCZ showed the worst accuracy when matching the identity of emotional vs neutral faces. Neurally, SCZ showed lower amygdala-MPFC connectivity than BDP and CON. BPD did not differ from CON, neurally or behaviorally. In patients, reduced amygdala-MPFC connectivity during emotional distractors was related to worse emotional vs neutral accuracy, greater deficit syndrome severity, and unemployment. Thus, reduced amygdala-MPFC functional connectivity during emotional distractors reflects a deficit that is specific to SCZ. This reduction in connectivity is associated with worse clinical and real-world functioning. Overall, these findings provide support for the specificity and clinical utility of amygdala-MPFC functional connectivity as a potential neural marker of SCZ. PMID:26908926

  13. 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

  14. Intact electrodermal skin conductance responses after bilateral amygdala damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tranel, D; Damasio, H

    1989-01-01

    Several lines of evidence have suggested that the amygdala is a crucial component of the anatomical network that mediates the skin conductance orienting response (SCOR). In this study, the electrodermal activity of a patient whose entire amygdaloid complex had been destroyed bilaterally, and of 7 age- and gender-matched controls, was recorded under the same experimental conditions. The results indicate unequivocally that the subject could generate normal skin conductance and SCORs, in response to stimuli of different sensory modalities and configurations. This suggests that the amygdala is not a necessary component of the neural network underlying SCORs and that there are alternate neural units and pathways that link sensory cortices to autonomic effectors.

  15. Acute stress modulates genotype effects on amygdala processing in humans

    OpenAIRE

    Cousijn, Helena; Rijpkema, Mark; Qin, Shaozheng; van Marle, Hein J. F.; Franke, Barbara; Hermans, Erno J.; van Wingen, Guido; Fernández, Guillén

    2010-01-01

    Probing gene–environment interactions that affect neural processing is crucial for understanding individual differences in behavior and disease vulnerability. Here, we tested whether the current environmental context, which affects the acute brain state, modulates genotype effects on brain function in humans. We manipulated the context by inducing acute psychological stress, which increases noradrenergic activity, and probed its effect on tonic activity and phasic responses in the amygdala us...

  16. Gender effects on amygdala morphometry in adolescent marijuana users

    OpenAIRE

    McQueeny, Tim; Padula, Claudia B.; Price, Jenessa; Medina, Krista Lisdahl; Logan, Patrick; Tapert, Susan F.

    2011-01-01

    Adolescent developments in limbic structures and the endogenous cannabinoid system suggest that teenagers may be more vulnerable to the negative consequences of marijuana use. This study examined the relationships between amygdala volume and internalizing symptoms in teenaged chronic marijuana users. Participants were 35 marijuana users and 47 controls ages 16–19 years. Exclusions included psychiatric (e.g., mood and anxiety) or neurologic disorders. Substance use, internalizing (anxiety/depr...

  17. Categorization of biologically relevant chemical signals in the medial amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Samuelsen, Chad L.; Meredith, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Many species employ chemical signals to convey messages between members of the same species (conspecific), but chemosignals may also provide information to another species (heterospecific). Here, we found that conspecific chemosignals (male, female mouse urine) increased immediate early gene-protein (IEG) expression in both anterior and posterior medial amygdala of male mice, whereas most heterospecific chemosignals (e.g.: hamster vaginal fluid, steer urine) increased expression only in anter...

  18. Impaired recognition of social emotions following amygdala damage

    OpenAIRE

    Adolphs, Ralph; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Tranel, Daniel

    2002-01-01

    Lesion, functional imaging, and single-unit studies in human and nonhuman animals have demonstrated a role for the amygdala in processing stimuli with emotional and social significance. We investigated the recognition of a wide variety of facial expressions, including basic emotions (e.g., happiness, anger) and social emotions (e.g., guilt, admiration, flirtatiousness). Prior findings with a standardized set of stimuli indicated that recognition of social emotions can be signaled by the eye r...

  19. 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...... 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

  20. Amygdala involvement in human avoidance, escape and approach behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Schlund, Michael W.; Cataldo, Michael F

    2010-01-01

    Many forms of psychopathology and substance abuse problems are characterized by chronic ritualized forms of avoidance and escape behavior that are designed to control or modify external or internal (i.e, thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations) threats. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation, we examined amygdala reactivity to threatening cues when avoidance responding consistently prevented contact with an upcoming aversive event (money loss). In addition, we examined esca...

  1. Postnatal maturation of GABAergic transmission in the rat basolateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    David E Ehrlich; Ryan, Steven J.; Hazra, Rimi; Guo, Ji-Dong; Rainnie, Donald G.

    2013-01-01

    Many psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and autism spectrum disorders, have early ages of onset and high incidence in juveniles. To better treat and prevent these disorders, it is important to first understand normal development of brain circuits that process emotion. Healthy and maladaptive emotional processing involve the basolateral amygdala (BLA), dysfunction of which has been implicated in numerous psychiatric disorders. Normal function of the adult BLA relies on a fine balance of ...

  2. Psychopaths Show Enhanced Amygdala Activation during Fear Conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Larson, Christine L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27014154

  3. Electrical amygdala kindling in alcohol-withdrawal kindled rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrichsen, J; Woldbye, D P; Madsen, T M; Clemmesen, L; Haugbøl, S; Olsen, C H; Laursen, H; Bolwig, T G; Hemmingsen, R

    1998-01-01

    Repeated alcohol withdrawal has been shown to kindle seizure activity. The purpose of the present investigation was to study electrical amygdala kindling in rats previously exposed to alcohol-withdrawal kindling. In three independent experiments, male Wistar rats were subjected to multiple episodes each consisting of 2 days of severe alcohol intoxication and 5 days of alcohol withdrawal. In the first experiment, the alcohol-withdrawal kindled animals were divided into two groups depending on whether spontaneous alcohol-withdrawal seizures were observed in episodes 10-13. In the second and third experiments, the alcohol-withdrawal kindled animals were compared to a group in which alcohol-withdrawal kindling was prevented by diazepam treatment during the withdrawal reactions in order to discriminate between the effect of withdrawal and intoxication. Electrical kindling was initiated 28-35 days after the last alcohol dose by exposing the animals to daily electrical stimulations of the right amygdala. The results showed that amygdala kindling was facilitated in alcohol-withdrawal kindled animals which showed spontaneous withdrawal seizure activity, compared with animals exposed to multiple episodes of alcohol withdrawal which did not develop withdrawal seizures or with animals exposed to a single episode of alcohol intoxication. When compared to the control group, the alcohol-withdrawal kindled group with seizures also kindled at a faster rate, but the difference did not reach statistical significance and therefore the results must be regarded as preliminary at present.

  4. Psychopaths Show Enhanced Amygdala Activation during Fear Conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Larson, Christine L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2016-01-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Prefrontal-amygdala fear networks come into focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruda-Carvalho, Maithe; Clem, Roger L

    2015-01-01

    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 (PL) and infralimbic (IL) 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. PMID:26578902

  7. Rapid amygdala responses during trace fear conditioning without awareness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas L Balderston

    Full Text Available The role of consciousness in learning has been debated for nearly 50 years. Recent studies suggest that conscious awareness is needed to bridge the gap when learning about two events that are separated in time, as is true for trace fear conditioning. This has been repeatedly shown and seems to apply to other forms of classical conditioning as well. In contrast to these findings, we show that individuals can learn to associate a face with the later occurrence of a shock, even if they are unable to perceive the face. We used a novel application of magnetoencephalography (MEG to non-invasively record neural activity from the amygdala, which is known to be important for fear learning. We demonstrate rapid (∼ 170-200 ms amygdala responses during the stimulus free period between the face and the shock. These results suggest that unperceived faces can serve as signals for impending threat, and that rapid, automatic activation of the amygdala contributes to this process. In addition, we describe a methodology that can be applied in the future to study neural activity with MEG in other subcortical structures.

  8. Rapid amygdala responses during trace fear conditioning without awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderston, Nicholas L; Schultz, Douglas H; Baillet, Sylvain; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2014-01-01

    The role of consciousness in learning has been debated for nearly 50 years. Recent studies suggest that conscious awareness is needed to bridge the gap when learning about two events that are separated in time, as is true for trace fear conditioning. This has been repeatedly shown and seems to apply to other forms of classical conditioning as well. In contrast to these findings, we show that individuals can learn to associate a face with the later occurrence of a shock, even if they are unable to perceive the face. We used a novel application of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to non-invasively record neural activity from the amygdala, which is known to be important for fear learning. We demonstrate rapid (∼ 170-200 ms) amygdala responses during the stimulus free period between the face and the shock. These results suggest that unperceived faces can serve as signals for impending threat, and that rapid, automatic activation of the amygdala contributes to this process. In addition, we describe a methodology that can be applied in the future to study neural activity with MEG in other subcortical structures.

  9. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Markram, Kamila; Rinaldi, Tania; La Mendola, Deborah; Sandi, Carmen; Markram, Henry

    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 acid (VPA) rat model of autism to (a) screen for autism-like symptoms in rats, (b) test for alterations in amygdala-dependent fear processing, and (c) evaluate neuronal reactivity and synaptic plast...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom Brashers-Krug

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.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 conceptualization of post

  12. The Amygdala and the Relevance Detection Theory of Autism: An Evolutionary Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Tiziana Zalla; Marco Sperduti

    2013-01-01

    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...

  13. Amygdala Subregions Tied to SSRI and Placebo Response in Patients with Social Anxiety Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Faria, Vanda; Appel, Lieuwe; Åhs, Fredrik; Linnman, Clas; Pissiota, Anna; Frans, Örjan; Bani, Massimo; Bettica, Paolo; Pich, Emilio M; Jacobsson, Eva; Wahlstedt, Kurt; Fredrikson, Mats; Furmark, Tomas

    2012-01-01

    The amygdala is a key structure in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders, and a putative target for anxiolytic treatments. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and placebo seem to induce anxiolytic effects by attenuating amygdala responsiveness. However, conflicting amygdala findings have also been reported. Moreover, the neural profile of responders and nonresponders is insufficiently characterized and it remains unknown whether SSRIs and placebo engage common or distinct amygd...

  14. The Role of Amygdala in Emotional and Social Functions: Implications for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

    OpenAIRE

    Cristinzio Perrin, Chiara; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2007-01-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy is among the most frequent causes of chronic and drug-resistant seizure disorders. It is typically associated with lesions involving critical limbic structures within the anterior medial temporal lobe, such as the amygdala and hippocampus. While the role of the hippocampus and adjacent cortical regions in memory function is now well established, the role of the amygdala and related brain circuits is still poorly known. The amygdala is a complex neural structure implicat...

  15. The impact of puberty and social anxiety on amygdala activation to faces in adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Ferri, Jamie; Bress, Jennifer N.; Eaton, Nicholas R.; Proudfit, Greg Hajcak

    2014-01-01

    Adolescence is associated with the onset of puberty, shifts in social and emotional behavior, and an increased vulnerability to social anxiety disorder. These transitions coincide with changes in amygdala response to social and affective stimuli. Utilizing an emotional face-matching task, we examined amygdala response to peer-aged neutral and fearful faces in relation to puberty and social anxiety in a sample of 60 adolescent females between the ages of 8 and 15. We observed amygdala activati...

  16. 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. PMID:26366635

  17. Association between amygdala volume and anxiety level: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study in autistic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juranek, Jenifer; Filipek, Pauline A; Berenji, Gholam R; Modahl, Charlotte; Osann, Kathryn; Spence, M Anne

    2006-12-01

    Our objective was to evaluate brain-behavior relationships between amygdala volume and anxious/depressed scores on the Child Behavior Checklist in a well-characterized population of autistic children. Volumes for the amygdala, hippocampus, and whole brain were obtained from three-dimensional magnetic resonance images (MRIs) captured from 42 children who met the criteria for autistic disorder. Anxious/depressed symptoms were assessed in these children by the Anxious/Depressed subscale of the Child Behavior Checklist. To investigate the association between anxious/depressed scores on the Child Behavior Checklist and amygdala volume, data were analyzed using linear regression methods with Pearson correlation coefficients. A multivariate model was used to adjust for potential covariates associated with amygdala volume, including age at MRI and total brain size. We found that anxious/depressed symptoms were significantly correlated with increased total amygdala volume (r = .386, P = .012) and right amygdala volume (r = .469, P = .002). The correlation between anxious/depressed symptoms and left amygdala volume did not reach statistical significance (r = .249, P = .112). Child Behavior Checklist anxious/depressed scores were found to be a significant predictor of amygdala total (P = .014) and right amygdala (P = .002) volumes. In conclusion, we have identified a significant brain-behavior relationship between amygdala volume and anxious/depressed scores on the Child Behavior Checklist in our autistic cohort. This specific relationship has not been reported in autism. However, the existing literature on human psychiatry and behavior supports our reported evidence for a neurobiologic relationship between symptoms of anxiety and depression with amygdala structure and function. Our results highlight the importance of characterizing comorbid psychiatric symptomatology in autism. The abundance of inconsistent findings in the published literature on autism might reflect

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortner, Marion; Pasquini, Lorenzo; Barat, Martina; Alexopoulos, Panagiotis; Grimmer, Timo; Förster, Stefan; Diehl-Schmid, Janine; Kurz, Alexander; Förstl, Hans; Zimmer, Claus; Wohlschläger, Afra; Sorg, Christian; Peters, Henning

    2016-01-01

    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 and 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 iFC maps 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.

  19. Ethanol and corticotropin releasing factor receptor modulation of central amygdala neurocircuitry: An update and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberman, Yuval; Winder, Danny G

    2015-05-01

    The central amygdala is a critical brain region for many aspects of alcohol dependence. Much of the work examining the mechanisms by which the central amygdala mediates the development of alcohol dependence has focused on the interaction of acute and chronic ethanol with central amygdala corticotropin releasing factor signaling. This work has led to a great deal of success in furthering the general understanding of central amygdala neurocircuitry and its role in alcohol dependence. Much of this work has primarily focused on the hypothesis that ethanol utilizes endogenous corticotropin releasing factor signaling to upregulate inhibitory GABAergic transmission in the central amygdala. Work that is more recent suggests that corticotropin releasing factor also plays an important role in mediating anxiety-like behaviors via the enhancement of central amygdala glutamatergic transmission, implying that ethanol/corticotropin releasing factor interactions may modulate excitatory neurotransmission in this brain region. In addition, a number of studies utilizing optogenetic strategies or transgenic mouse lines have begun to examine specific central amygdala neurocircuit dynamics and neuronal subpopulations to better understand overall central amygdala neurocircuitry and the role of neuronal subtypes in mediating anxiety-like behaviors. This review will provide a brief update on this literature and describe some potential future directions that may be important for the development of better treatments for alcohol addiction.

  20. 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

    acid (VPA) rat model of autism to (a) screen for autism-like symptoms in rats, (b) test for alterations in amygdala-dependent fear processing, and (c) evaluate neuronal reactivity and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala by means of in vitro single-cell electrophysiological recordings. VPA...

  1. EXAMINATION OF THE ANTICONVULSANT PROPERTIES OF VOLTAGE-SENSITIVE CALCIUM CHANNEL INHIBITORS IN AMYGDALA KINDLED SEIZURES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Representatives from three different classes of voltage-sensitive calcium (VSC) channel inhibitors were assessed for their protection against amygdala kindled seizures. dult male long Evans rats (n=12) were implanted with electrodes in the amygdala and were stimulated once daily ...

  2. 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…

  3. The responsive amygdala: treatment-induced alterations in functional connectivity in pediatric complex regional pain syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    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-sex matched control subjects 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 with control subjects, with differences predominantly in the left amygdala in the pretreated 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 control subjects 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 after 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

  4. Subchronic duloxetine administration alters the extended amygdala circuitry in healthy individuals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marle, H.J.F. van; Tendolkar, I.; Urner, M.; Verkes, R.J.; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Wingen, G.A. van

    2011-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have consistently linked depression to hyperactivation of a (para)limbic affective processing network centered around the amygdala. Recent studies have started to investigate how antidepressant drugs affect amygdala reactivity in healthy individuals, but the influence of their s

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    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 fMR

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Repeatedly stressed rats have enhanced vulnerability to amygdala kindling epileptogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Nigel C; Lee, Han Ee; Yang, Meng; Rees, Sandra M; Morris, Margaret J; O'Brien, Terence J; Salzberg, Michael R

    2013-02-01

    Psychiatric disorders associated with elevated stress levels, such as depression, are present in many epilepsy patients, including those with mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (mTLE). Evidence suggests that these psychiatric disorders can predate the onset of epilepsy, suggesting a causal/contributory role. Prolonged exposure to elevated corticosterone, used as a model of chronic stress/depression, accelerates limbic epileptogenesis in the amygdala kindling model. The current study examined whether exposure to repeated stress could similarly accelerate experimental epileptogenesis. Female adult non-epileptic Wistar rats were implanted with a bipolar electrode into the left amygdala, and were randomly assigned into stressed (n=18) or non-stressed (n=19) groups. Rats underwent conventional amygdala kindling (two electrical stimulations per day) until 5 Class V seizures had been experienced ('the fully kindled state'). Stressed rats were exposed to 30min restraint immediately prior to each kindling stimulation, whereas non-stressed rats received control handling. Restraint stress increased circulating corticosterone levels (pre-stress: 122±17ng/ml; post-stress: 632±33ng/ml), with no habituation observed over the experiment. Stressed rats reached the 'fully kindled state' in significantly fewer stimulations than non-stressed rats (21±1 vs 33±3 stimulations; p=0.022; ANOVA), indicative of a vulnerability to epileptogenesis. Further, seizure durations were significantly longer in stressed rats (p<0.001; ANOVA). These data demonstrate that exposure to repeated experimental stress accelerates the development of limbic epileptogenesis, an effect which may be related to elevated corticosterone levels. This may have implications for understanding the effects of chronic stress and depression in disease onset and progression of mTLE in humans.

  12. Amygdala Regulation Following fMRI-Neurofeedback without Instructed Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marxen, Michael; Jacob, Mark J; Müller, Dirk K; Posse, Stefan; Ackley, Elena; Hellrung, Lydia; Riedel, Philipp; Bender, Stephan; Epple, Robert; Smolka, Michael N

    2016-01-01

    Within the field of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) neurofeedback, most studies provide subjects with instructions or suggest strategies to regulate a particular brain area, while other neuro-/biofeedback approaches often do not. This study is the first to investigate the hypothesis that subjects are able to utilize fMRI neurofeedback to learn to differentially modulate the fMRI signal from the bilateral amygdala congruent with the prescribed regulation direction without an instructed or suggested strategy and apply what they learned even when feedback is no longer available. Thirty-two subjects were included in the analysis. Data were collected at 3 Tesla using blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD)-sensitivity optimized multi-echo EPI. Based on the mean contrast between up- and down-regulation in the amygdala in a post-training scan without feedback following three neurofeedback sessions, subjects were able to regulate their amygdala congruent with the prescribed directions with a moderate effect size of Cohen's d = 0.43 (95% conf. int. 0.23-0.64). This effect size would be reduced, however, through stricter exclusion criteria for subjects that show alterations in respiration. Regulation capacity was positively correlated with subjective arousal ratings and negatively correlated with agreeableness and susceptibility to anger. A learning effect over the training sessions was only observed with end-of-block feedback (EoBF) but not with continuous feedback (trend). The results confirm the above hypothesis. Further studies are needed to compare effect sizes of regulation capacity for approaches with and without instructed strategies. PMID:27199706

  13. 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.

  14. Comparison between substantia innominata and amygdala kindling in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, N; Hoshino, S; Kumashiro, H

    1990-11-26

    Kindling was induced in rats by electrical stimulation of the lateral portion of the substantia innominata (SI). The pattern of seizure development was similar to that of amygdala (AM) kindling. However, lateral SI kindling was associated with ipsilateral head turning as an initial manifestation. In addition, lateral SI kindling had a higher afterdischarge threshold than AM kindling, and the generalized seizure triggering threshold was more unstable in SI kindling than in AM kindling. These findings suggest that lateral SI participates in, but is not essential for, AM seizure development in rats.

  15. 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. PMID:27039701

  16. Input-specific contributions to valence processing in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correia, Susana S; Goosens, Ki A

    2016-10-01

    Reward and punishment are often thought of as opposing processes: rewards and the environmental cues that predict them elicit approach and consummatory behaviors, while punishments drive aversion and avoidance behaviors. This framework suggests that there may be segregated brain circuits for these valenced behaviors. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) is one brain region that contributes to both types of motivated behavior. Individual neurons in the BLA can favor positive over negative valence, or vice versa, but these neurons are intermingled, showing no anatomical segregation. The amygdala receives inputs from many brain areas and current theories posit that encoding of positive versus negative valence by BLA neurons is determined by the wiring of each neuron. Specifically, many projections from other brain areas that respond to positive and negative valence stimuli and predictive cues project strongly to the BLA and likely contribute to valence processing within the BLA. Here we review three of these areas, the basal forebrain, the dorsal raphe nucleus and the ventral tegmental area, and discuss how these may promote encoding of positive and negative valence within the BLA. PMID:27634144

  17. Consolidation of altered associability information by amygdala central nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffino, Felipe L; Holland, Peter C

    2016-09-01

    The surprising omission of a reinforcer can enhance the associability of the stimuli that were present when the reward prediction error was induced, so that they more readily enter into new associations in the future. Previous research from this laboratory identified brain circuit elements critical to the enhancement of stimulus associability by the omission of an expected event and to the subsequent expression of that altered associability in more rapid learning. These elements include the amygdala, the midbrain substantia nigra, the basal forebrain substantia innominata, the dorsolateral striatum, the secondary visual cortex, and the posterior parietal cortex. Here, we found that consolidation of a surprise-enhanced associability memory in a serial prediction task depends on processing in the amygdala central nucleus (CeA) after completion of sessions that included the surprising omission of an expected event. Post-surprise infusions of anisomycin, lidocaine, or muscimol prevented subsequent display of surprise-enhanced associability. Because previous studies indicated that CeA function is unnecessary for the expression of associability enhancements that were induced previously when CeA function was intact (Holland & Gallagher, 2006), we interpreted these results as indicating that post-surprise activity of CeA ("surprise replay") is necessary for the consolidation of altered associability memories elsewhere in the brain, such as the posterior parietal cortex (Schiffino et al., 2014a). PMID:27427328

  18. Relationship between amygdala volume and emotion recognition in adolescents at ultra-high risk for psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomeusz, Cali F; Whittle, Sarah L; Pilioussis, Eleanor; Allott, Kelly; Rice, Simon; Schäfer, Miriam R; Pantelis, Christos; Amminger, G Paul

    2014-12-30

    Amygdala volume has been proposed as a neural risk biomarker for psychotic illness, but findings in the ultra-high risk for psychosis (UHR) population have been somewhat inconsistent, which may be related to underlying social cognitive abilities. The current study investigated whether amygdala volumes were related to emotion-recognition impairments in UHR individuals, and whether volumes differed by sex. Secondary aims were to assess whether (a) emotion-recognition performance was associated with interhemispheric amygdala volume asymmetry and (b) amgydala volume and volume asymmetry acted as a mediator between emotion-recognition and outcome measures. The amygdala was manually delineated from magnetic resonance images for 39 UHR individuals who had also completed facial and prosody emotion-recognition tasks. Partial correlations were conducted to examine associations between amydgala volume/asymmetry and recognition of negative emotions. Mediation analyses were conducted using regression and bootstrapping techniques. Amygdala volume was positively correlated with sadness emotion recognition, in particular prosody, for females only. Left amygdala volume mediated the effect of sadness recognition on depressive symptoms, negative symptoms, overall psychopathology, and global functioning in females. Findings suggest a complex relationship between emotion recognition, the structure of the amygdala and illness outcome, where recognition of sadness appears to be the precipitator of this relationship in UHR females. Further research is needed to determine illness specificity and to confirm our sex- and emotion-specific results.

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

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    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.

  20. Abnormal amygdala connectivity in patients with primary insomnia: Evidence from resting state fMRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  1. Neuroimaging study of the human amygdala. Toward an understanding of emotional and stress responses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  2. Double dissociation of amygdala and hippocampal contributions to trace and delay fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raybuck, Jonathan D; Lattal, K Matthew

    2011-01-19

    A key finding in studies of the neurobiology of learning memory is that the amygdala is critically involved in Pavlovian fear conditioning. This is well established in delay-cued and contextual fear conditioning; however, surprisingly little is known of the role of the amygdala in trace conditioning. Trace fear conditioning, in which the CS and US are separated in time by a trace interval, requires the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. It is possible that recruitment of cortical structures by trace conditioning alters the role of the amygdala compared to delay fear conditioning, where the CS and US overlap. To investigate this, we inactivated the amygdala of male C57BL/6 mice with GABA (A) agonist muscimol prior to 2-pairing trace or delay fear conditioning. Amygdala inactivation produced deficits in contextual and delay conditioning, but had no effect on trace conditioning. As controls, we demonstrate that dorsal hippocampal inactivation produced deficits in trace and contextual, but not delay fear conditioning. Further, pre- and post-training amygdala inactivation disrupted the contextual but the not cued component of trace conditioning, as did muscimol infusion prior to 1- or 4-pairing trace conditioning. These findings demonstrate that insertion of a temporal gap between the CS and US can generate amygdala-independent fear conditioning. We discuss the implications of this surprising finding for current models of the neural circuitry involved in fear conditioning.

  3. Differential Activation of Amygdala Arc Expression By Positive and Negatively Valenced Emotional Learning Conditions

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    Erica eYoung

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Norepinephrine is released in the amygdala following negatively arousing learning conditions. This event initiates a cascade of changes including the transcription of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc expression, an early-immediate gene associated with memory encoding. Recent evidence suggests that the valence of emotionally laden encounters may generate lateralized, as opposed to symmetric release of this transmitter in the right or left amygdala. It is currently not clear if valence-induced patterns of selective norepinephrine output across hemispheres are also reproduced in downstream pathways of cellular signaling necessary for memory formation. This question was addressed by determining if Arc expression is differentially distributed across the right and left amygdala following exposure to positively or negatively valenced learning conditions respectively. Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to groups exposed to the Homecage only, 5 auditory tones only, or 5 auditory tones paired with footshock (0.35mA during Pavlovian fear conditioning. Western blot analysis revealed that Arc expression in the right amygdala was elevated significantly above that observed in the left amygdala 60 and 90 minutes following fear conditioning. Similarly, subjects exposed to a a negatively valenced outcome consisting of an unexpected reduction in food rewards showed a greater level of Arc expression in only the right, but not left basolateral amygdala. Presenting a positively valenced event involving an unexpected increase in food reward magnitude following bar pressing, resulted in significantly greater Arc expression in the left, but not right basolateral amygdala (p

  4. Role of amygdala MAPK activation on immobility behavior of forced swim rats.

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    Huang, Tung-Yi; Lin, Chih-Hung

    2006-10-01

    The role of amygdala mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in rats during a forced swim test was investigated. The variation of amygdala MAPK level was studied in control rats and early-life maternally deprived rats. A forced swim test was carried out to estimate the immobility level. The data showed that the immobility time of rats that received maternal deprivation in early life was longer than that of control rats and Western blot analysis also showed that the amygdala phospho-MAPK level in maternally deprived rats was almost two times higher than in control rats. Intra-amygdala infusion of PD098059 or U0126, MEK inhibitors, suppressed immobility behavior during the forced swim test in both rats. Western blot analysis also showed that the amygdala MAPK activities in both rats infused with MEK inhibitors were also suppressed in parallel with expression of immobility behavior. The suppressed MAPK activities as well as the restoration of immobility time returned to the original level 48 h later. These results suggest that amygdala MAPK activation might play a role in the regulation of immobility behavior in rats during the forced swim test. Moreover, it could provide a hint that amygdala MAPK activation might be involved in the formation of depression-like behavior.

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

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    Veer, Ilya M; Oei, Nicole Y L; van Buchem, Mark A; Spinhoven, Philip; Elzinga, Bernet M; Rombouts, Serge A R B

    2015-09-30

    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 we investigated hippocampus and amygdala volumes and shapes in an adult sample of PTSD patients related to childhood trauma. T1-weighted MR images were acquired from 12 female PTSD patients with trauma related to physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse before age 18, and from 12 matched controls. Hippocampus and amygdala were segmented, and volumes were calculated and corrected for the total intracranial volume. Additionally, a shape analysis was done on the surface of the structures to explore abnormalities in specific subnuclei. Smaller right amygdala volumes were found in PTSD patients as compared with the controls. This difference appeared to be located specifically in the basolateral and superficial nuclei groups. Severity of sexual abuse during childhood was negatively correlated with the size of the amygdala. No difference in hippocampal volumes was found. Although our results are not conclusive, traumatic events in childhood might impede normal development of the amygdala, which could render a person more vulnerable to develop PTSD later in life. PMID:26211620

  6. Neural mechanisms of social decision-making in the primate amygdala.

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    Chang, Steve W C; Fagan, Nicholas A; Toda, Koji; Utevsky, Amanda V; Pearson, John M; Platt, Michael L

    2015-12-29

    Social decisions require evaluation of costs and benefits to oneself and others. Long associated with emotion and vigilance, the amygdala has recently been implicated in both decision-making and social behavior. The amygdala signals reward and punishment, as well as facial expressions and the gaze of others. Amygdala damage impairs social interactions, and the social neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) influences human social decisions, in part, by altering amygdala function. Here we show in monkeys playing a modified dictator game, in which one individual can donate or withhold rewards from another, that basolateral amygdala (BLA) neurons signaled social preferences both across trials and across days. BLA neurons mirrored the value of rewards delivered to self and others when monkeys were free to choose but not when the computer made choices for them. We also found that focal infusion of OT unilaterally into BLA weakly but significantly increased both the frequency of prosocial decisions and attention to recipients for context-specific prosocial decisions, endorsing the hypothesis that OT regulates social behavior, in part, via amygdala neuromodulation. Our findings demonstrate both neurophysiological and neuroendocrinological connections between primate amygdala and social decisions. PMID:26668400

  7. 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.

  8. Inhibitory effect of ketamine on lighting amygdala of rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiguo Zhang; Bin Yang; Jing Zhang; Feng Zhang; Wang Yue

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Ketamine is a noncompetitive antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor. Some researchers suggest that N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor is closely related to epileptic attack.OBJECTIVE: To observe inhibitory effect of ketamine on lighting amygdala of rats and analyze pathway of anti-lighting.DESIGN: Randomized controlled animal study.SETTING: Department of Pharmacology and Department of Management, Pharmacological College of Taishan Medical College; Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Qingdao University.MATERIALS: Sixty adult female Wistar rats, of clean grade, weighing 180-200 g, were provided by Animal Center of Qingdao Institute of Drug Control. Ketamine hydrochloride was provided by the First Pharmacological Factory of the First Biochemical Pharmacology Company of Shanghai, and nicardipine, an antagonist of calcium ions, was provided by Sigma Company.METHODS: The experiment was completed in the Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Qingdao University from March to November 2004. ① Model establishing: After anesthesia, left and right amygdalas were inserted with double electrodes. The top was separated about 0.25 mm, and the other end was welded with a micro-plug, respectively. Electrode and micro-plug were fixed with dental base acrylic resin powder at the surface of cranium. Two weeks after recovery, right amygdala was stimulated with constant current once a day. According to Racine technique, attacking intensity was divided into 5 grades: grade I:closing eyes, a little tingling of beards and twitching face; grade Ⅱ: nodding, chewing accompanying with twitching face; grade Ⅲ: raising one of a forelimb and clonus; grade Ⅳ: standing accompanying with bilateral forelimbs; grade Ⅴ: standing accompanying with falling down. Rats with grades Ⅳ and Ⅴ were used to establish secondarily generalized epilepsy. If 3 successive attacks of grade Ⅴ were observed, the lighting was to be successful. ② Effect of

  9. Amygdala Connectivity Differs Among Chronic, Early Course, and Individuals at Risk for Developing Schizophrenia

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    Anticevic, Alan; Tang, Yanqing; Cho, Youngsun T.; Repovs, Grega; Cole, Michael W.; Savic, Aleksandar; Wang, Fei; Krystal, John H.; Xu, Ke

    2014-01-01

    Alterations in circuits involving the amygdala have been repeatedly implicated in schizophrenia neuropathology, given their role in stress, affective salience processing, and psychosis onset. Disturbances in amygdala whole-brain functional connectivity associated with schizophrenia have yet to be fully characterized despite their importance in psychosis. Moreover, it remains unknown if there are functional alterations in amygdala circuits across illness phases. To evaluate this possibility, we compared whole-brain amygdala connectivity in healthy comparison subjects (HCS), individuals at high risk (HR) for schizophrenia, individuals in the early course of schizophrenia (EC-SCZ), and patients with chronic schizophrenia (C-SCZ). We computed whole-brain resting-state connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T via anatomically defined individual-specific amygdala seeds. We identified significant alterations in amygdala connectivity with orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), driven by reductions in EC-SCZ and C-SCZ (effect sizes of 1.0 and 0.97, respectively), but not in HR for schizophrenia, relative to HCS. Reduced amygdala-OFC coupling was associated with schizophrenia symptom severity (r = .32, P < .015). Conversely, we identified a robust increase in amygdala connectivity with a brainstem region around noradrenergic arousal nuclei, particularly for HR individuals relative to HCS (effect size = 1.54), but not as prominently for other clinical groups. These results suggest that deficits in amygdala-OFC coupling could emerge during the initial episode of schizophrenia (EC-SCZ) and may present as an enduring feature of the illness (C-SCZ) in association with symptom severity but are not present in individuals with elevated risk for developing schizophrenia. Instead, in HR individuals, there appears to be increased connectivity in a circuit implicated in stress response. PMID:24366718

  10. Serotonin Transporter Genotype Modulates Functional Connectivity between Amygdala and PCC/PCu during Mood Recovery

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    Zhuo eFang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The short (S allele of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR has been associated with increased susceptibility to depression. Previous neuroimaging studies have consistently showed increased amygdala activity during the presentation of negative stimuli or regulation of negative emotion in the homozygous short allele carriers, suggesting the key role of amygdala response in mediating increased risk for depression. The default brain network (DMN has also been shown to modulate amygdala activity. However, it remains unclear whether 5-HTTLPR genetic variation modulates functional connectivity between the amygdala and regions of DMN. In this study, we re-analyzed our previous imaging dataset and examined the effects of 5-HTTLPR genetic variation on amygdala connectivity. A total of 15 homozygous short (S/S and 15 homozygous long individuals (L/L were scanned in functional MRI during four blocks: baseline, sad mood, mood recovery, and return to baseline. The S/S and L/L groups showed a similar pattern of functional connectivity and no differences were found between the two groups during baseline and sad mood scans. However, during mood recovery, the S/S group showed significantly reduced anti-correlations between amygdala and posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCu compared to the L/L group. Moreover, PCC/PCu-amygdala connectivity correlated with amygdala activity in the S/S group but not the L/L group. These results suggest that 5-HTTLPR genetic variation modulates amygdala connectivity which subsequently affects its activity during mood regulation, providing an additional mechanism by which the S allele confers depression risk.

  11. General and specific responsiveness of the amygdala during explicit emotion recognition in females and males

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    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.

  12. Amygdala subregions tied to SSRI and placebo response in patients with social anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Vanda; Appel, Lieuwe; Åhs, Fredrik; Linnman, Clas; Pissiota, Anna; Frans, Örjan; Bani, Massimo; Bettica, Paolo; Pich, Emilio M; Jacobsson, Eva; Wahlstedt, Kurt; Fredrikson, Mats; Furmark, Tomas

    2012-09-01

    The amygdala is a key structure in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders, and a putative target for anxiolytic treatments. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and placebo seem to induce anxiolytic effects by attenuating amygdala responsiveness. However, conflicting amygdala findings have also been reported. Moreover, the neural profile of responders and nonresponders is insufficiently characterized and it remains unknown whether SSRIs and placebo engage common or distinct amygdala subregions or different modulatory cortical areas. We examined similarities and differences in the neural response to SSRIs and placebo in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Positron emission tomography (PET) with oxygen-15-labeled water was used to assess regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in 72 patients with SAD during an anxiogenic public speaking task, before and after 6-8 weeks of treatment under double-blind conditions. Response rate was determined by the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale. Conjunction analysis revealed a common rCBF-attenuation from pre- to post-treatment in responders to SSRIs and placebo in the left basomedial/basolateral and right ventrolateral amygdala. This rCBF pattern correlated with behavioral measures of reduced anxiety and differentiated responders from nonresponders. However, nonanxiolytic treatment effects were also observed in the amygdala. All subgroups, including nonresponders, showed deactivation of the left lateral part of the amygdala. No rCBF differences were found between SSRI responders and placebo responders. This study provides new insights into the brain dynamics underlying anxiety relief by demonstrating common amygdala targets for pharmacologically and psychologically induced anxiety reduction, and by showing that the amygdala is functionally heterogeneous in anxiolysis. PMID:22617357

  13. Mothers’ amygdala response to positive or negative infant affect is modulated by personal relevance

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    Lane eStrathearn

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding, prioritizing and responding to infant affective cues is a key component of motherhood, with long-term implications for infant socio-emotional development. This important task includes identifying unique characteristics of one’s own infant, as they relate to differences in affect valence—happy or sad—while monitoring one’s own level of arousal. The amygdala has traditionally been understood to respond to affective valence; in the present study, we examined the potential effect of personal relevance on amygdala response, by testing whether mothers’ amygdala response to happy and sad infant face cues would be modulated by infant identity. We used functional MRI to measure amygdala activation in 39 first-time mothers, while they viewed happy, neutral and sad infant faces of both their own and a matched unknown infant. Emotional arousal to each face was rated using the Self Assessment Manikin Scales. Mixed-effects linear regression models were used to examine significant predictors of amygdala response. Overall, both arousal ratings and amygdala activation were greater when mothers viewed their own infant’s face compared with unknown infant faces. Sad faces were rated as more arousing than happy faces, regardless of infant identity. However, within the amygdala, a highly significant interaction effect was noted between infant identity and valence. For own-infant faces, amygdala activation was greater for happy than sad faces, whereas the opposite trend was seen for unknown-infant faces. Our findings suggest that the amygdala response to positive and negative valenced cues is modulated by personal relevance. Positive facial expressions from one’s own infant may play a particularly important role in eliciting maternal responses and strengthening the mother-infant bond.

  14. Auditory responses in the amygdala to social vocalizations

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    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

  15. Mesolimbic dopaminergic supersensitivity following electrical kindling of the amygdala

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    Csernansky, J.G.; Mellentin, J.; Beauclair, L.; Lombrozo, L.

    1988-02-01

    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 /sup 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.

  16. Ifenprodil and arcaine alter amygdala-kindling development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yourick, D L; Repasi, R T; Rittase, W B; Staten, L D; Meyerhoff, J L

    1999-04-29

    The NMDA receptor complex is thought to be altered in kindling, an animal model for complex partial epilepsy. This receptor complex has several modulatory sites including those for glutamate, glycine and polyamines with activation resulting in altered cation channel opening. Two NMDA receptor effectors, ifenprodil and arcaine, were evaluated for effects on the acquisition of electrical kindling of the amygdala. Rats were administered 0, 3.2, 10, 32 and 100 microg of ifenprodil or 0, 32 or 100 microg of arcaine, intracerebroventricularly, 10 min before a daily kindling stimulus. Ifenprodil, at low doses, enhanced kindling acquisition, while the highest dose, 100 microg, inhibited kindling. Arcaine increased the number of trials required to reach fully generalized (stage 5) seizures at the 100 microg dose. Since these agents had mixed actions on kindling development, it is unclear whether these or similar NMDA effectors would be useful in the modulation of complex partial seizures.

  17. Somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in the amygdala of the pig.

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    Agnieszka Bossowska

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and morphology of neurons containing somatostatin (SOM was investigated in the amygdala (CA of the pig. The SOM-immunoreactive (SOM-IR cell bodies and fibres were present in all subdivisions of the porcine CA, however, their number and density varied depending on the nucleus studied. The highest density of SOM-positive somata was observed in the layer III of the cortical nuclei, in the anterior (magnocellular part of the basomedial nucleus and in the caudal (large-celled part of the lateral nucleus. Moderate to high numbers of SOM-IR cells were also observed in the medial and basolateral nuclei. Many labeled neurons were also consistently observed in the lateral part of the central nucleus. In the remaining CA regions, the density of SOM-positive cell bodies varied from moderate to low. In any CA region studied SOM-IR neurons formed heterogeneous population consisting of small, rounded or slightly elongated cell bodies, with a few poorly branched smooth dendrites. In general, morphological features of these cells clearly resembled the non-pyramidal Golgi type II interneurons. The routine double-labeling studies with antisera directed against SOM and neuropeptide Y (NPY demonstrated that a large number of SOM-IR cell bodies and fibers in all studied CA areas contained simultaneously NPY. In contrast, co-localization of SOM and cholecystokinin (CCK or SOM and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP was never seen in cell bodies and fibres in any of nuclei studied. In conclusion, SOM-IR neurons of the porcine amygdala form large and heterogeneous subpopulation of, most probably, interneurons that often contain additionally NPY. On the other hand, CCK- and/or VIP-IR neurons belonged to another, discrete subpopulations of porcine CA neurons.

  18. Amygdala volume predicts inter-individual differences in fearful face recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ke; Yan, Wen-Jing; Chen, Yu-Hsin; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Fu, Xiaolan

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigates the relationship between inter-individual differences in fearful face recognition and amygdala volume. Thirty normal adults were recruited and each completed two identical facial expression recognition tests offline and two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Linear regression indicated that the left amygdala volume negatively correlated with the accuracy of recognizing fearful facial expressions and positively correlated with the probability of misrecognizing fear as surprise. Further exploratory analyses revealed that this relationship did not exist for any other subcortical or cortical regions. Nor did such a relationship exist between the left amygdala volume and performance recognizing the other five facial expressions. These mind-brain associations highlight the importance of the amygdala in recognizing fearful faces and provide insights regarding inter-individual differences in sensitivity toward fear-relevant stimuli. PMID:24009767

  19. Amygdala volume predicts inter-individual differences in fearful face recognition.

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    Ke Zhao

    Full Text Available The present study investigates the relationship between inter-individual differences in fearful face recognition and amygdala volume. Thirty normal adults were recruited and each completed two identical facial expression recognition tests offline and two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scans. Linear regression indicated that the left amygdala volume negatively correlated with the accuracy of recognizing fearful facial expressions and positively correlated with the probability of misrecognizing fear as surprise. Further exploratory analyses revealed that this relationship did not exist for any other subcortical or cortical regions. Nor did such a relationship exist between the left amygdala volume and performance recognizing the other five facial expressions. These mind-brain associations highlight the importance of the amygdala in recognizing fearful faces and provide insights regarding inter-individual differences in sensitivity toward fear-relevant stimuli.

  20. A review of neuroimaging studies of race-related prejudice: Does amygdala response reflect threat?

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    Adam Mourad Chekroud

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Prejudice is an enduring and pervasive aspect of human cognition. An emergent trend in modern psychology has focused on understanding how cognition is linked to neural function, leading researchers to investigate the neural correlates of prejudice. Research in this area, using racial group memberships, quickly highlighted the amygdala as a neural structure of importance. In this article, we offer a critical review of social neuroscientific studies of the amygdala in race-related prejudice. Rather than the dominant interpretation that amygdala activity reflects a racial or outgroup bias per se, we argue that the observed pattern of sensitivity in this literature is best considered in terms of potential threat. More specifically, we argue that negative culturally-learned associations between black males and potential threat better explain the observed pattern of amygdala activity. Finally, we consider future directions for the field, and offer specific experiments and predictions to directly address unanswered questions.

  1. Pavlovian fear conditioning as a behavioral assay for hippocampus and amygdala function: cautions and caveats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen

    2008-10-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning has become an important model for investigating the neural substrates of learning and memory in rats, mice and humans. The hippocampus and amygdala are widely believed to be essential for fear conditioning to contexts and discrete cues, respectively. Indeed, this parsing of function within the fear circuit has been used to leverage fear conditioning as a behavioral assay of hippocampal and amygdala function, particularly in transgenic mouse models. Recent work, however, blurs the anatomical segregation of cue and context conditioning and challenges the necessity for the hippocampus and amygdala in fear learning. Moreover, nonassociative factors may influence the performance of fear responses under a variety of conditions. Caution must therefore be exercised when using fear conditioning as a behavioral assay for hippocampal- and amygdala-dependent learning.

  2. Trait aggressiveness is not related to structural connectivity between orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederike Beyer

    Full Text Available Studies in both pathological and healthy samples have suggested altered functional connectivity between orbitofrontal cortex (OFC and amygdala as a possible cause of anger and aggression. In patient populations presenting with pathological aggression, there is also evidence for changes in structural connectivity between OFC and amygdala. In healthy samples, however, the relationship between white matter integrity and aggression has not been studied to date. Here, we investigated the relationship between trait aggressiveness and structural OFC-amygdala connectivity in a large sample (n = 93 of healthy young men. Using diffusion tensor imaging, we measured the distribution of fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity along the uncinate fascicle bilaterally. We found no differences in either measure between participants high and low in physical aggressiveness, or between those high and low in trait anger. Our results therefore argue against a direct relationship between structural OFC-amygdala connectivity and normal-range trait aggressiveness.

  3. The Rhesus Monkey Connectome Predicts Disrupted Functional Networks Resulting from Pharmacogenetic Inactivation of the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grayson, David S; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Machado, Christopher J; Bennett, Jeffrey; Shen, Kelly; Grant, Kathleen A; Fair, Damien A; Amaral, David G

    2016-07-20

    Contemporary research suggests that the mammalian brain is a complex system, implying that damage to even a single functional area could have widespread consequences across the system. To test this hypothesis, we pharmacogenetically inactivated the rhesus monkey amygdala, a subcortical region with distributed and well-defined cortical connectivity. We then examined the impact of that perturbation on global network organization using resting-state functional connectivity MRI. Amygdala inactivation disrupted amygdalocortical communication and distributed corticocortical coupling across multiple functional brain systems. Altered coupling was explained using a graph-based analysis of experimentally established structural connectivity to simulate disconnection of the amygdala. Communication capacity via monosynaptic and polysynaptic pathways, in aggregate, largely accounted for the correlational structure of endogenous brain activity and many of the non-local changes that resulted from amygdala inactivation. These results highlight the structural basis of distributed neural activity and suggest a strategy for linking focal neuropathology to remote neurophysiological changes. PMID:27477019

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronzoni, Giacomo; Del Arco, Alberto; Mora, Francisco; Segovia, Gregorio

    2016-08-01

    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 previously exposed to traumatic stress showing inconsistent results. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an inescapable foot shock (IFS) procedure (1) on reactivity to novelty in an open-field (as an index of hyperarousal), and (2) on noradrenaline release in the amygdala during an acute stress. To test the role of noradrenaline in amygdala, we also investigated the effects of microinjections of propranolol, a β-adrenoreceptor antagonist, and clenbuterol, a β-adrenoreceptor agonist, into the amygdala of IFS and control animals. Finally, we evaluated the expression of mRNA levels of β-adrenoreceptors (β1 and β2) in the amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. Male Wistar rats (3 months) were stereotaxically implanted with bilateral guide cannulae. After recovering from surgery, animals were exposed to IFS (10 shocks, 0.86mA, and 6s per shock) and seven days later either microdialysis or microinjections were performed in amygdala. Animals exposed to IFS showed a reduced locomotion compared to non-shocked animals during the first 5min in the open-field. In the amygdala, IFS animals showed an enhanced increase of noradrenaline induced by stress compared to control animals. Bilateral microinjections of propranolol (0.5μg) into the amygdala one hour before testing in the open-field normalized the decreased locomotion observed in IFS animals. On the other hand, bilateral microinjections of clenbuterol (30ng) into the amygdala of control animals did not change the exploratory activity induced by novelty in the open field. IFS modified the mRNA expression of β1 and β2 adrenoreceptors in the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. These results

  5. Transient elevation of amygdala alpha 2 adrenergic receptor binding sites during the early stages of amygdala kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, M J; Vigil, A; Savage, D D; Weiss, G K

    1990-03-01

    Enhanced noradrenergic neurotransmission retards but does not prevent the development of kindling. We previously reported that locus coeruleus (LC) alpha 2 adrenergic receptor binding sites are transiently elevated during the early stages of kindling development. Since the firing activity of LC noradrenergic neurons is partially regulated via an alpha 2 receptor-mediated recurrent inhibition, the transient elevation in LC alpha 2 receptors could decrease LC activity and consequently facilitate the development of kindling. Transient elevation of alpha 2 receptor binding sites during early stages of kindling may also occur on noradrenergic axon terminals projecting to forebrain sites. Using in vitro neurotransmitter autoradiography techniques, we investigated this hypothesis by measuring specific [3H]idazoxan binding in 5 different areas of rat forebrain at 2 different stages of kindling development. After 2 class 1 kindled seizures, specific [3H]idazoxan binding was elevated significantly in the amygdala, but not in other forebrain regions. No differences in specific [3H]idazoxan binding were observed in any of the 5 brain regions in rats kindled to a single class 5 kindled motor seizure. Saturation of binding experiments indicated that the increase in amygdala [3H]idazoxan binding, following 2 class 1 kindled motor seizures, was due to an increase in the total number of alpha 2 receptor binding sites without a change in the affinity of the binding sites for [3H]idazoxan. Thus, the transient increase in alpha 2 receptors that occurs in the LC in the early stages of kindling also occurs in the forebrain region in which the kindled seizure originates.

  6. Age-related effect of serotonin transporter genotype on amygdala and prefrontal cortex function in adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Wiggins, Jillian Lee; Bedoyan, Jirair K.; Carrasco, Melisa; Swartz, Johnna R.; Martin, Donna M.; Monk, Christopher S.

    2012-01-01

    The S and LG alleles of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) lower serotonin transporter expression. These low expressing alleles are linked to increased risk for depression and brain activation patterns found in depression (increased amygdala activation and decreased amygdala-prefrontal cortex connectivity). Paradoxically, serotonin transporter blockade relieves depression symptoms. Rodent models suggest that decreased serotonin transporter in early life produces de...

  7. Changes in extracellular levels of amygdala amino acids in genetically fast and slow kindling rat strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Rick S; Anisman, Hymie; Merali, Zul; McIntyre, Dan C

    2002-08-01

    A neurochemical basis for many of the epilepsies has long been suspected to result from an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter mechanisms. Data supporting changes in extrasynaptic amino acid levels during epileptogenesis, however, remain controversial. In the present study, we used in vivo microdialysis to measure the levels of extracellular GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and glutamate during seizure development in rats with a genetic predisposition for (Fast), or against (Slow), amygdala kindling. Dialysates were collected from both amygdalae before, during, and up to 12 min after a threshold-triggered amygdala afterdischarge (AD). One hour later, samples were again collected from both amygdalae in response to a hippocampal threshold AD. Daily amygdala kindling commenced the next day but without dialysis. After the rats were fully kindled, the same protocol was again employed. Amino acid levels were not consistently increased above baseline with triggered seizures in either strain. Instead, before kindling, a focal seizure in the Slow rats was associated with a large decrease in GABA in the non-stimulated amygdala, while amino acid levels in the Fast rats remained near baseline in both amygdalae. Similar results were seen after kindling. By contrast, before and after kindling, hippocampal stimulation caused large decreases in all amino acid levels in both amygdalae in both strains. These data suggest that, in response to direct stimulation, extracellular amino acid concentrations remain stable in tissues associated with either greater natural (Fast) or induced (kindled Fast/Slow) excitability, but are lowered with indirect stimulation (hippocampus) and/or low excitability.

  8. 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.

  9. Glucocorticoid enhancement of memory storage involves noradrenergic activation in the basolateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Quirarte, Gina L.; Roozendaal, Benno; McGaugh, James L.

    1997-01-01

    Evidence indicates that the modulatory effects of the adrenergic stress hormone epinephrine as well as several other neuromodulatory systems on memory storage are mediated by activation of β-adrenergic mechanisms in the amygdala. In view of our recent findings indicating that the amygdala is involved in mediating the effects of glucocorticoids on memory storage, the present study examined whether the glucocorticoid-induced effects on memory storage depend on β-adrenergic activation within the...

  10. Role of Anxiety in the Pathophysiology of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Importance of the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    BrentMyers; BeverleyGreenwood-VanMeerveld

    2009-01-01

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

  12. Effects of neonatal amygdala lesions on fear learning, conditioned inhibition, and extinction in adult macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazama, Andy M; Heuer, Eric; Davis, Michael; Bachevalier, Jocelyne

    2012-06-01

    Fear conditioning studies have demonstrated the critical role played by the amygdala in emotion processing. Although all lesion studies until now investigated the effect of adult-onset damage on fear conditioning, the current study assessed fear-learning abilities, as measured by fear-potentiated startle, in adult monkeys that had received neonatal neurotoxic amygdala damage or sham-operations. After fear acquisition, their abilities to learn and use a safety cue to modulate their fear to the conditioned cue, and, finally, to extinguish their response to the fear conditioned cue were measured with the AX+/BX- Paradigm. Neonatal amygdala damage retarded, but did not completely abolish, the acquisition of a learned fear. After acquisition of the fear signal, four of the six animals with neonatal amygdala lesions discriminated between the fear and safety cues and were also able to use the safety signal to reduce the potentiated-startle response and to extinguish the fear response when the air-blast was absent. In conclusion, the present results support the critical contribution of the amygdala during the early phases of fear conditioning that leads to quick, robust responses to potentially threatening stimuli, a highly adaptive process across all species and likely to be present in early infancy. The neonatal amygdala lesions also indicated the presence of amygdala-independent alternate pathways that are capable to support fear learning in the absence of a functional amygdala. This parallel processing of fear responses within these alternate pathways was also sufficient to support the ability to flexibly modulate the magnitude of the fear responses.

  13. Serotonin Transporter Genotype Modulates Functional Connectivity between Amygdala and PCC/PCu during Mood Recovery

    OpenAIRE

    Zhuo eFang; Senhua eZhu; Gillihan, Seth J.; Marc eKorczykowski; Detre, John A.; Hengyi eRao

    2013-01-01

    The short (S) allele of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with increased susceptibility to depression. Previous neuroimaging studies have consistently showed increased amygdala activity during the presentation of negative stimuli or regulation of negative emotion in the homozygous short allele carriers, suggesting the key role of amygdala response in mediating increased risk for depression. The default brain network (DMN) has also been shown to...

  14. Serotonin transporter genotype modulates functional connectivity between amygdala and PCC/PCu during mood recovery

    OpenAIRE

    Fang, Zhuo; Zhu, Senhua; Gillihan, Seth J.; Korczykowski, Marc; Detre, John A.; Rao, Hengyi

    2013-01-01

    The short (S) allele of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with increased susceptibility to depression. Previous neuroimaging studies have consistently showed increased amygdala activity during the presentation of negative stimuli or regulation of negative emotion in the homozygous short allele carriers, suggesting the key role of amygdala response in mediating increased risk for depression. The brain default mode network (DMN) has also been sho...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 animal...

  16. Amygdala perfusion is predicted by its functional connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and negative affect.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garth Coombs

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that the activity of the amygdala is elevated in people experiencing clinical and subclinical levels of anxiety and depression (negative affect. It has been proposed that a reduction in inhibitory input to the amygdala from the prefrontal cortex and resultant over-activity of the amygdala underlies this association. Prior studies have found relationships between negative affect and 1 amygdala over-activity and 2 reduced amygdala-prefrontal connectivity. However, it is not known whether elevated amygdala activity is associated with decreased amygdala-prefrontal connectivity during negative affect states. METHODS: Here we used resting-state arterial spin labeling (ASL and blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI in combination to test this model, measuring the activity (regional cerebral blood flow, rCBF and functional connectivity (correlated fluctuations in the BOLD signal of one subregion of the amygdala with strong connections with the prefrontal cortex, the basolateral nucleus (BLA, and subsyndromal anxiety levels in 38 healthy subjects. RESULTS: BLA rCBF was strongly correlated with anxiety levels. Moreover, both BLA rCBF and anxiety were inversely correlated with the strength of the functional coupling of the BLA with the caudal ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Lastly, BLA perfusion was found to be a mediator of the relationship between BLA-prefrontal connectivity and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: These results show that both perfusion of the BLA and a measure of its functional coupling with the prefrontal cortex directly index anxiety levels in healthy subjects, and that low BLA-prefrontal connectivity may lead to increased BLA activity and resulting anxiety. Thus, these data provide key evidence for an often-cited circuitry model of negative affect, using a novel, multi-modal imaging approach.

  17. The Impact of Early Amygdala Damage on Juvenile Rhesus Macaque Social Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Moadab, Gilda; Bauman, Melissa D.; Amaral, David G.

    2013-01-01

    The present experiments continue a longitudinal study of rhesus macaque social behavior following bilateral neonatal ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala or hippocampus, or sham operations. Juvenile animals (approximately 1.5- 2.5 years of age) were tested in four different social contexts—alone, while interacting with one familiar peer, while interacting with one unfamiliar peer, and in their permanent social groups. During infancy, the amygdala-lesioned animals displayed more interest in c...

  18. Oscillatory interaction between amygdala and hippocampus coordinates behavioral modulation based on reward expectation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoshi eTerada

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to examine how the amygdala and hippocampus interact for behavioral performance modulated by different reward expectations. We simultaneously recorded neuronal spikes and local field potential from the basolateral amygdala and hippocampal CA1 while rats were performing a light-side discrimination task with different expectations of a high or low probability of reward delivery. Here, we report the following results. First, the rats actually modulated their behavioral performance on their expectations of a high or low probability of reward. Second, we found more neurons related to reward expectation in the amygdala and more neurons related to task performance in the hippocampus. Third, a prominent increase in the coherence of high-frequency oscillations (HFOs (90-150Hz between the amygdala and the hippocampus was present during high reward expectation. Fourth, coherent HFOs during inter-trial intervals and theta coherence during trials had significant correlations with the behavioral goal-selection time. Finally, cross-frequency couplings of LFPs within and across the amygdala and hippocampus occurred during ITI. These results suggest that the amygdala and hippocampus have different functional roles in the present task with different reward expectations, and the distinctive band of coherence between the amygdala and the hippocampus contributes to behavioral modulation on the basis of reward expectations. We propose that the amygdala influences firing rates and the strength of synchronization of hippocampal neurons through coherent oscillation, which is a part of the mechanism of how reward expectations modulate goal-directed behavior.

  19. Individual differences in social behavior predict amygdala response to fearful facial expressions in Williams syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Haas, Brian W.; Hoeft, Fumiko; Searcy, Yvonne M.; Mills, Debra; Bellugi, Ursula; Reiss, Allan

    2009-01-01

    Williams syndrome is a genetic condition often paired with abnormal social functioning and behavior. In particular, those with WS are characterized as being relatively hypersocial, overly emotional/empathic, and socially uninhibited or fearless. In addition, WS is associated with abnormal amygdala structure and function. Very little is known however about the relationship between specific social behaviors and altered amygdala function in WS. This study was designed to compare three models tha...

  20. Unconscious Processing of Negative Animals and Objects: Role of the Amygdala Revealed by fMRI

    OpenAIRE

    Fang, Zhiyong; Li, Han; Chen, Gang; Yang, Jiongjiong

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that emotional stimuli can be processed through the amygdala without conscious awareness. The amygdala is also involved in processing animate and social information. However, it is unclear whether different categories of pictures (e.g., animals, objects) elicit different activity in the amygdale and other regions without conscious awareness. The objective of this study was to explore whether the factors of category, emotion and picture context modulate brain activa...

  1. Evidence for altered amygdala activation in schizophrenia in an adaptive emotion recognition task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mier, Daniela; Lis, Stefanie; Zygrodnik, Karina; Sauer, Carina; Ulferts, Jens; Gallhofer, Bernd; Kirsch, Peter

    2014-03-30

    Deficits in social cognition seem to present an intermediate phenotype for schizophrenia, and are known to be associated with an altered amygdala response to faces. However, current results are heterogeneous with respect to whether this altered amygdala response in schizophrenia is hypoactive or hyperactive in nature. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate emotion-specific amygdala activation in schizophrenia using a novel adaptive emotion recognition paradigm. Participants comprised 11 schizophrenia outpatients and 16 healthy controls who viewed face stimuli expressing emotions of anger, fear, happiness, and disgust, as well as neutral expressions. The adaptive emotion recognition approach allows the assessment of group differences in both emotion recognition performance and associated neuronal activity while also ensuring a comparable number of correctly recognized emotions between groups. Schizophrenia participants were slower and had a negative bias in emotion recognition. In addition, they showed reduced differential activation during recognition of emotional compared with neutral expressions. Correlation analyses revealed an association of a negative bias with amygdala activation for neutral facial expressions that was specific to the patient group. We replicated previous findings of affected emotion recognition in schizophrenia. Furthermore, we demonstrated that altered amygdala activation in the patient group was associated with the occurrence of a negative bias. These results provide further evidence for impaired social cognition in schizophrenia and point to a central role of the amygdala in negative misperceptions of facial stimuli in schizophrenia.

  2. Basal forebrain neurons suppress amygdala kindling via cortical but not hippocampal cholinergic projections in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferencz, I; Leanza, G; Nanobashvili, A; Kokaia, M; Lindvall, O

    2000-06-01

    Intraventricular administration of the immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin in rats has been shown to cause a selective loss of cholinergic afferents to the hippocampus and cortical areas, and to facilitate seizure development in hippocampal kindling. Here we demonstrate that this lesion also accelerates seizure progression when kindling is induced by electrical stimulations in the amygdala. However, whereas intraventricular 192 IgG-saporin facilitated the development of the initial stages of hippocampal kindling, the same lesion promoted the late stages of amygdala kindling. To explore the role of various parts of the basal forebrain cholinergic system in amygdala kindling, selective lesions of the cholinergic projections to either hippocampus or cortex were produced by intraparenchymal injections of 192 IgG-saporin into medial septum/vertical limb of the diagonal band or nucleus basalis, respectively. Cholinergic denervation of the cortical regions caused acceleration of amygdala kindling closely resembling that observed after the more widespread lesion induced by intraventricular 192 IgG-saporin. In contrast, removal of the cholinergic input to the hippocampus had no effect on the development of amygdala kindling. These data indicate that basal forebrain cholinergic neurons suppress kindling elicited from amygdala, and that this dampening effect is mediated via cortical but not hippocampal projections.

  3. Amygdala kindling in immature rats: proconvulsant effect of the organophosphate insecticide-chlorpyrifos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurpel, J N; Hirt, P C; Bidanset, J H

    1993-01-01

    Administration of the organophosphate insecticide, chlorpyrifos to immature rats exerted a proconvulsant effect on seizures induced by kindling. Chlorpyrifos was administered to 16 or 17 day old rats in a dose range of 0.3 to 10 mg/kg, subcutaneously. Amygdala kindling was performed by stimulating the rats every 15 minutes to a total of 20 stimulations. Kindling occurred more rapidly in the chlorpyrifos treated rats than vehicle treated rats, the proconvulsant effect was dose-dependent. The proconvulsant effect of chlorpyrifos was more pronounced in the early stages of kindling, indicating a possible increase in local excitability of the amygdala in the presence of chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos also reduced the after discharge threshold in the amygdala in a dose-dependent manner and increased the duration of after discharges elicited by electrical stimulus, indicating an increase in excitability of the amygdala. The effects of chlorpyrifos on kindling were additive with xylene: the proconvulsant effect in the early stages of kindling was greatly enhanced by xylene. Xylene, administered alone as a 0.2% solution, reduced the after discharge threshold of the amygdala, increased the after discharge duration and increased the rate of kindling. These experiments demonstrate a proconvulsant effect of chlorpyrifos in amygdala kindling and this proconvulsant action is additive with xylene.

  4. The link between testosterone and amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex connectivity in adolescent alcohol use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Sabine; Jolles, Dietsje J; Van Duijvenvoorde, Anna C K; Crone, Eveline A; Peper, Jiska S

    2015-03-01

    Alcohol consumption is one of the most problematic and widespread forms of risk taking in adolescence. It has been hypothesized that sex hormones such as testosterone play an important role in risk taking by influencing the development of brain networks involved in emotion and motivation, particularly the amygdala and its functional connections. Connectivity between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) may be specifically related to alcohol use, given the association of this tract with top-down control over behavioral approach tendencies. In line with this, prior studies in adults indicate a link between alcohol use and functional connectivity between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), as well as between testosterone and amygdala-OFC connectivity. We consolidated these research lines by investigating the association between alcohol use, testosterone and resting state functional brain connectivity within one large-scale adolescent sample (n=173, aged 12-25 years). Mediation analyses demonstrated an indirect effect of testosterone levels on alcohol use through amygdala-OFC intrinsic functional connectivity, but only in boys. That is, increased testosterone in boys was associated with reduced amygdala-OFC connectivity, which in turn was associated with increased alcohol intake. This study is the first to demonstrate the interplay between adolescent alcohol use, sex hormones and brain mechanisms, thus taking an important step to increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind this form of adolescent risk-taking. PMID:25618591

  5. The link between testosterone and amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex connectivity in adolescent alcohol use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Sabine; Jolles, Dietsje J; Van Duijvenvoorde, Anna C K; Crone, Eveline A; Peper, Jiska S

    2015-03-01

    Alcohol consumption is one of the most problematic and widespread forms of risk taking in adolescence. It has been hypothesized that sex hormones such as testosterone play an important role in risk taking by influencing the development of brain networks involved in emotion and motivation, particularly the amygdala and its functional connections. Connectivity between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) may be specifically related to alcohol use, given the association of this tract with top-down control over behavioral approach tendencies. In line with this, prior studies in adults indicate a link between alcohol use and functional connectivity between the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), as well as between testosterone and amygdala-OFC connectivity. We consolidated these research lines by investigating the association between alcohol use, testosterone and resting state functional brain connectivity within one large-scale adolescent sample (n=173, aged 12-25 years). Mediation analyses demonstrated an indirect effect of testosterone levels on alcohol use through amygdala-OFC intrinsic functional connectivity, but only in boys. That is, increased testosterone in boys was associated with reduced amygdala-OFC connectivity, which in turn was associated with increased alcohol intake. This study is the first to demonstrate the interplay between adolescent alcohol use, sex hormones and brain mechanisms, thus taking an important step to increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind this form of adolescent risk-taking.

  6. Post-traumatic stress and age variation in amygdala volumes among youth exposed to trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doll, Anselm; Hölzel, Britta K; Mulej Bratec, Satja; Boucard, Christine C; Xie, Xiyao; Wohlschläger, Afra M; Sorg, Christian

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice. PMID:27033686

  8. Basolateral amygdala lesion inhibits the development of pain chronicity in neuropathic pain rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chronicity of pain is one of the most interesting questions in chronic pain study. Clinical and experimental data suggest that supraspinal areas responsible for negative emotions such as depression and anxiety contribute to the chronicity of pain. The amygdala is suspected to be a potential structure for the pain chronicity due to its critical role in processing negative emotions and pain information. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate whether amygdala or its subregions, the basolateral amygdala (BLA and the central medial amygdala (CeA, contributes to the pain chronicity in the spared nerve injury (SNI-induced neuropathic pain model of rats. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: (1 Before the establishment of the SNI-induced neuropathic pain model of rats, lesion of the amygdaloid complex with stereotaxic injection of ibotenic acid (IBO alleviated mechanical allodynia significantly at days 7 and 14, even no mechanical allodynia at day 28 after SNI; Lesion of the BLA, but not the CeA had similar effects; (2 however, 7 days after SNI when the neuropathic pain model was established, lesion of the amygdala complex or the BLA or the CeA, mechanical allodynia was not affected. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that BLA activities in the early stage after nerve injury might be crucial to the development of pain chronicity, and amygdala-related negative emotions and pain-related memories could promote pain chronicity.

  9. Resting-state connectivity of the amygdala is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Douglas H; Balderston, Nicholas L; Helmstetter, Fred J

    2012-01-01

    Neural plasticity in the amygdala is necessary for the acquisition and storage of memory in Pavlovian fear conditioning, but most neuroimaging studies have focused only on stimulus-evoked responses during the conditioning session. This study examined changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of the amygdala before and after Pavlovian fear conditioning, an emotional learning task. Behavioral results from the conditioning session revealed that participants learned normally and fMRI data recorded during learning identified a number of stimulus-evoked changes that were consistent with previous work. A direct comparison between the pre- and post-conditioning amygdala connectivity revealed a region of dorsal prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the superior frontal gyrus that showed a significant increase in connectivity following the conditioning session. A behavioral measure of explicit memory performance was positively correlated with the change in amygdala connectivity within a neighboring region in the superior frontal gyrus. Additionally, an implicit autonomic measure of conditioning was positively correlated with the change in connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The resting-state data show that amygdala connectivity is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning and that these changes are also related to behavioral outcomes. These alterations may reflect the operation of a consolidation process that strengthens neural connections to support memory after the learning event.

  10. Resting-state connectivity of the amygdala is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning

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    Douglas H Schultz

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Neural plasticity in the amygdala is necessary for the acquisition and storage of memory in Pavlovian fear conditioning, but most neuroimaging studies have focused only on stimulus-evoked responses during the conditioning session. This study examined changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC of the amygdala before and after Pavlovian fear conditioning, an emotional learning task. Behavioral results from the conditioning session revealed that participants learned normally and FMRI data recorded during learning identified a number of stimulus-evoked changes that were consistent with previous work. A direct comparison between the pre and post-conditioning amygdala connectivity revealed a region of dorsal prefrontal cortex (PFC in the superior frontal gyrus that showed a significant increase in connectivity following the conditioning session. A behavioral measure of explicit memory performance was positively correlated with the change in amygdala connectivity within a neighboring region in the superior frontal gyrus. Additionally, an implicit autonomic measure of conditioning was positively correlated with the change in connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex. The resting-state data show that amygdala connectivity is altered following Pavlovian fear conditioning and that these changes are also related to behavioral outcomes. These alterations may reflect the operation of a consolidation process that strengthens neural connections to support memory after the learning event.

  11. Amygdala responsivity to high-level social information from unseen faces.

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    Freeman, Jonathan B; Stolier, Ryan M; Ingbretsen, Zachary A; Hehman, Eric A

    2014-08-01

    Previous research shows that the amygdala automatically responds to a face's trustworthiness when a face is clearly visible. However, it is unclear whether the amygdala could evaluate such high-level facial information without a face being consciously perceived. Using a backward masking paradigm, we demonstrate in two functional neuroimaging experiments that the human amygdala is sensitive to subliminal variation in facial trustworthiness. Regions in the amygdala tracked how untrustworthy a face appeared (i.e., negative-linear responses) as well as the overall strength of a face's trustworthiness signal (i.e., nonlinear responses), despite faces not being subjectively seen. This tracking was robust across blocked and event-related designs and both real and computer-generated faces. The findings demonstrate that the amygdala can be influenced by even high-level facial information before that information is consciously perceived, suggesting that the amygdala's processing of social cues in the absence of awareness may be more extensive than previously described. PMID:25100591

  12. 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.

  13. State-dependent amygdala stimulation-induced cardiovascular effects in rats.

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    Chiou, Ruei-Jen; Kuo, Chung-Chih; Liang, Keng-Chen; Yen, Chen-Tung

    2009-12-31

    Stimulation of the amygdala is known to produce pressor, depressor, or has no effects. The present study was performed to test whether amygdala cardiovascular effects are influenced by consciousness states and by different types of anesthetics. Adult rats were set up for stimulation amygdala and measurement of blood pressure in a chronic preparation. After recovery, same sites of the amygdala were stimulated electrically for several trials with the rat under conscious or anesthetic states induced by pentobarbital, urethane, ketamine, alpha-chloralose and urethane plus alpha-chloralose, respectively. The interval between any two stimulation trials was at least 2 days. The stimulation was an 80-Hz, 0.5-ms, 100-micro A square wave pulse train lasting for 15 s. Cardiovascular responsive sites were found in the central, medial, and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala. In stimulating these responsive sites, significantly different cardiovascular effects were induced under a conscious state and an anesthetized state of the animal, yet no significant differences were found among the various anesthetic agents. We conclude, that the cardiovascular influence of the amygdala is state-dependent in the rat.

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

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    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Hernadi, Istvan; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18731.001 PMID:27731795

  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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27369066

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  18. Interaction of the amygdala with the frontal lobe in reward memory.

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    Gaffan, D; Murray, E A; Fabre-Thorpe, M

    1993-07-01

    Five cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were assessed for their ability to associate visual stimuli with food reward. They learned a series of new two-choice visual discriminations between coloured patterns displayed on a touch-sensitive monitor screen; the feedback for correct choice was delivery of food. Normal learning in this task is known to be dependent on the amygdala. The monkeys received brain lesions which were designed to disconnect the amygdala from interaction with other brain structures thought to be involved in this memory task. All the monkeys received an amygdalectomy in one hemisphere and lesions in the other hemisphere of some of the projection targets of the amygdala, namely the ventral striatum, the mediodorsal thalamus and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. The rate of learning new problems was assessed before and after each operation. Disconnection of the amygdala from the ventral striatum was without effect on learning rate. An earlier study had shown that disconnection of the amygdala from either the mediodorsal thalamus or the ventromedial prefrontal cortex produced only a mild impairment, significantly less severe than that produced by bilateral lesions of any of these three structures. The present results show, however, that disconnection of the amygdala from both the mediodorsal thalamus and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the same animal, by crossed unilateral lesions of the amygdala in one hemisphere and of both the mediodorsal thalamus and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the other hemisphere, produces an impairment as severe as that which follows bilateral lesions of any of these three structures.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:8281307

  19. The amygdala as a neurobiological target for ghrelin in rats: neuroanatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral evidence.

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    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.

  20. Amygdala enlargement in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy without hippocampal sclerosis

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    Ana Carolina Coan

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE without MRI abnormalities (MTLE-NL represent a challenge for definition of underlying pathology and for presurgical evaluation. In a recent study we observed significant amygdala enlargement in 14% of MTLE patients with MRI signs of HS. Areas of gray matter volume (GMV increase could represent structural abnormalities related to the epileptogenic zone or part of a developmental abnormality. Our objective was to look for undetected areas of increased GMV in MTLE-NL using post processing MRI techniques to better understand the pathophysiology of this condition.Methods: We evaluated 66 patients with MTLE-NL on visual analysis and 82 controls. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM group analysis was performed with VBM8/SPM8 looking for areas of increased GMV. We then performed automatic amygdala volumetry using Freesurfer software and T2 relaxometry to confirm VBM findings.Results: VBM group-analysis demonstrated increased amygdala volume in the MTLE-NL group compared to controls. Individual volumetric analysis confirmed amygdala enlargement (AE in eight (12% patients. Overall, from all patients with AE and defined epileptic focus, four (57% had the predominant increased volume ipsilateral to the epileptic focus. These results were cross-validated by a secondary VBM analysis including subgroups of patients according to the volumetric data. T2 relaxometry demonstrated no amygdala hyperintense signal in any individual with significant amygdala enlargement. There were no clinical differences between patients with and without AE.Discussion: This exploratory study demonstrates the occurrence of AE in 12% of patients with MTLE-NL. This finding supports the hypothesis that there might be a subgroup of patients with MTLE-NL in which the enlarged amygdala could be related to the epileptogenic process. Further studies are necessary but this finding could be of great importance in the understanding of MTLE-NL.

  1. Intra-amygdala inhibition of ERK(1/2) potentiates the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol.

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    Besheer, Joyce; Fisher, Kristen R; Cannady, Reginald; Grondin, Julie J M; Hodge, Clyde W

    2012-03-17

    Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK(1/2)) has been implicated in modulating drug seeking behavior and is a target of alcohol and other drugs of abuse. Given that the discriminative stimulus (subjective/interoceptive) effects of drugs are determinants of abuse liability and can influence drug seeking behavior, we examined the role of ERK(1/2) in modulating the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol. Using drug discrimination procedures, rats were trained to discriminate a moderate intragastric (IG) alcohol dose (1g/kg) versus water (IG). Following an alcohol (1g/kg) discrimination session phosphorylated ERK(1/2) (pERK(1/2)) immunoreactivity (IR) was significantly elevated in the amygdala, but not the nucleus accumbens. Therefore, we hypothesized that intra-amygdala inhibition of ERK(1/2) would disrupt expression of the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol. However, intra-amygdala or accumbens administration of the MEK/ERK(1/2) inhibitor U0126 (1 and 3μg) had no effect on the discriminative stimulus effects of the training dose of alcohol (1g/kg). Contrary to our hypothesis, intra-amygdala infusion of U0126 (3μg) potentiated the discriminative stimulus effects of a low alcohol dose (0.5g/kg) and had no effect following nucleus accumbens infusion. Importantly, site-specific inhibition of pERK(1/2) in each brain region was confirmed. Therefore, the increase in pERK(1/2) IR in the amygdala following systemic alcohol administration may be reflective of the widespread effects of alcohol on the brain (activation/inhibition of brain circuits), whereas the site specific microinjection studies confirmed functional involvement of intra-amygdala ERK(1/2). These findings show that activity of the ERK signaling pathway in the amygdala can influence the discriminative stimulus effects of alcohol.

  2. Attentional bias towards and away from fearful faces is modulated by developmental amygdala damage.

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    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. PMID:27173975

  3. Amygdala kindling alters protein kinase C activity in dentate gyrus.

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    Chen, S J; Desai, M A; Klann, E; Winder, D G; Sweatt, J D; Conn, P J

    1992-11-01

    Kindling is a use-dependent form of synaptic plasticity and a widely used model of epilepsy. Although kindling has been widely studied, the molecular mechanisms underlying induction of this phenomenon are not well understood. We determined the effect of amygdala kindling on protein kinase C (PKC) activity in various regions of rat brain. Kindling stimulation markedly elevated basal (Ca(2+)-independent) and Ca(2+)-stimulated phosphorylation of an endogenous PKC substrate (which we have termed P17) in homogenates of dentate gyrus, assayed 2 h after kindling stimulation. The increase in P17 phosphorylation appeared to be due at least in part to persistent PKC activation, as basal PKC activity assayed in vitro using an exogenous peptide substrate was increased in kindled dentate gyrus 2 h after the last kindling stimulation. A similar increase in basal PKC activity was observed in dentate gyrus 2 h after the first kindling stimulation. These results document a kindling-associated persistent PKC activation and suggest that the increased activity of PKC could play a role in the induction of the kindling effect.

  4. Amygdala mechanisms of Pavlovian psychostimulant conditioning and relapse.

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    Buffalari, Deanne M; See, Ronald E

    2010-01-01

    Psychostimulant addiction often consists of periods of sustained drug abstinence disrupted by periods of relapse and renewed heavy drug use. Prevention of relapse remains the greatest challenge to the successful treatment of drug addiction. Drug-associated cues are a primary trigger for relapse, as they can elicit intense craving for the drug. These cues become associated with the drug reward through Pavlovian learning processes that develop over multiple drug-cue pairings. The amygdala (AMY) is critical for such drug-related learning. Intrinsic and extrinsic circuitry position the AMY to integrate cue and drug-related information and influence drug-seeking and drug-taking behaviors. Animal models of conditioned drug reward, drug use, and relapse have confirmed the necessary role of the AMY for drug conditioned cues to control motivated behavior. Neurons within the AMY are responsive to the primary effects of psychostimulants, and more critically, they also respond to the presentation of drug-associated cues. The mechanisms by which conditioned cues come to influence drug-seeking behavior likely involve long-term plasticity and neuroadaptations within the AMY. A greater understanding of the associative learning mechanisms that depend upon the AMY and related limbic and cortical structures, and the process by which drug cues come to gain control over behavior that maintains the addictive state, will facilitate the development of more effective addiction treatments.

  5. The basolateral amygdala in reward learning and addiction.

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    Wassum, Kate M; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2015-10-01

    Sophisticated behavioral paradigms partnered with the emergence of increasingly selective techniques to target the basolateral amygdala (BLA) have resulted in an enhanced understanding of the role of this nucleus in learning and using reward information. Due to the wide variety of behavioral approaches many questions remain on the circumscribed role of BLA in appetitive behavior. In this review, we integrate conclusions of BLA function in reward-related behavior using traditional interference techniques (lesion, pharmacological inactivation) with those using newer methodological approaches in experimental animals that allow in vivo manipulation of cell type-specific populations and neural recordings. Secondly, from a review of appetitive behavioral tasks in rodents and monkeys and recent computational models of reward procurement, we derive evidence for BLA as a neural integrator of reward value, history, and cost parameters. Taken together, BLA codes specific and temporally dynamic outcome representations in a distributed network to orchestrate adaptive responses. We provide evidence that experiences with opiates and psychostimulants alter these outcome representations in BLA, resulting in long-term modified action.

  6. The basolateral amygdala in reward learning and addiction.

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    Wassum, Kate M; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2015-10-01

    Sophisticated behavioral paradigms partnered with the emergence of increasingly selective techniques to target the basolateral amygdala (BLA) have resulted in an enhanced understanding of the role of this nucleus in learning and using reward information. Due to the wide variety of behavioral approaches many questions remain on the circumscribed role of BLA in appetitive behavior. In this review, we integrate conclusions of BLA function in reward-related behavior using traditional interference techniques (lesion, pharmacological inactivation) with those using newer methodological approaches in experimental animals that allow in vivo manipulation of cell type-specific populations and neural recordings. Secondly, from a review of appetitive behavioral tasks in rodents and monkeys and recent computational models of reward procurement, we derive evidence for BLA as a neural integrator of reward value, history, and cost parameters. Taken together, BLA codes specific and temporally dynamic outcome representations in a distributed network to orchestrate adaptive responses. We provide evidence that experiences with opiates and psychostimulants alter these outcome representations in BLA, resulting in long-term modified action. PMID:26341938

  7. Locus coeruleus noradrenergic innervation of the amygdala facilitates alerting-induced constriction of the rat tail artery.

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    Mohammed, Mazher; Kulasekara, Keerthi; Ootsuka, Youichirou; Blessing, William W

    2016-06-01

    The amygdala, innervated by the noradrenergic locus coeruleus, processes salient environmental events. α2-adrenoceptor-stimulating drugs (clonidine-like agents) suppress the behavioral and physiological components of the response to salient events. Activation of sympathetic outflow to the cutaneous vascular bed is part of the physiological response to salience-mediated activation of the amygdala. We have determined whether acute systemic and intra-amygdala administration of clonidine, and chronic immunotoxin-mediated destruction of the noradrenergic innervation of the amygdala, impairs salience-related vasoconstrictor episodes in the tail artery of conscious freely moving Sprague-Dawley rats. After acute intraperitoneal injection of clonidine (10, 50, and 100 μg/kg), there was a dose-related decrease in the reduction in tail blood flow elicited by alerting stimuli, an effect prevented by prior administration of the α2-adrenergic blocking drug idazoxan (1 mg/kg ip or 75 nmol bilateral intra-amygdala). A dose-related decrease in alerting-induced tail artery vasoconstriction was also observed after bilateral intra-amygdala injection of clonidine (5, 10, and 20 nmol in 200 nl), an effect substantially prevented by prior bilateral intra-amygdala injection of idazoxan. Intra-amygdala injection of idazoxan by itself did not alter tail artery vasoconstriction elicited by alerting stimuli. Intra-amygdala injection of saporin coupled to antibodies to dopamine-β-hydroxylase (immunotoxin) destroyed the noradrenergic innervation of the amygdala and the parent noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus. The reduction in tail blood flow elicited by standardized alerting stimuli was substantially reduced in immunotoxin-treated rats. Thus, inhibiting the release of noradrenaline within the amygdala reduces activation of the sympathetic outflow to the vascular beds elicited by salient events. PMID:27101292

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaperon, Frederique; Fendt, Markus; Kelly, Peter H; Lingenhoehl, Kurt; Mosbacher, Johannes; Olpe, Hans-Rudolf; Schmid, Peter; Sturchler, Christine; McAllister, Kevin H; van der Putten, P Herman; Gee, Christine E

    2012-01-01

    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.

  10. Linkage of functional and structural anomalies in the left amygdala of reactive-aggressive men.

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    Bobes, María A; Ostrosky, Feggy; Diaz, Karla; Romero, Cesar; Borja, Karina; Santos, Yusniel; Valdés-Sosa, Mitchell

    2013-12-01

    Amygdala structural and functional abnormalities have been associated to reactive aggression in previous studies. However, the possible linkage of these two types of anomalies has not been examined. We hypothesized that they would coincide in the same localizations, would be correlated in intensity and would be mediated by reactive aggression personality traits. Here violent (n = 25) and non-violent (n = 29) men were recruited on the basis of their reactive aggression. Callous-unemotional (CU) traits were also assessed. Gray matter concentration (gmC) and reactivity to fearful and neutral facial expressions were measured in dorsal and ventral amygdala partitions. The difference between responses to fearful and neutral facial expressions was calculated (F/N-difference). Violent individuals exhibited a smaller F/N-difference and gmC in the left dorsal amygdala, where a significant coincidence was found in a conjunction analysis. Moreover, the left amygdala F/N-difference and gmC were correlated to each other, an effect mediated by reactive aggression but not by CU. The F/N-difference was caused by increased reactivity to neutral faces. This suggests that anatomical anomalies within local circuitry (and not only altered input) may underlie the amygdala hyper-reactivity to social signals which is characteristic of reactive aggression.

  11. Altered amygdala connectivity in individuals with chronic traumatic brain injury and comorbid depressive symptoms

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    Kihwan eHan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Depression is one of the most common psychiatric conditions in individuals with chronic Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI. Though depression has detrimental effects in TBI and network dysfunction is a 'hallmark' of TBI and depression, there have not been any prior investigations of connectivity-based neuroimaging biomarkers for comorbid depression in TBI. We utilized resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify altered amygdala connectivity in individuals with chronic TBI (eight years post-injury on average exhibiting comorbid depressive symptoms (N=31, relative to chronic TBI individuals having minimal depressive symptoms (N=23. Connectivity analysis of these participant sub-groups revealed that the TBI-plus-depressive symptoms group showed relative increases in amygdala connectivity primarily in the regions that are part of the salience, somatomotor, dorsal attention and visual networks (pvoxel<0.01, pcluster<0.025. Relative increases in amygdala connectivity in the TBI-plus-depressive symptoms group were also observed within areas of the limbic-cortical mood-regulating circuit (the left dorsomedial and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortices and thalamus and the brainstem. Further analysis revealed that spatially-dissociable patterns of correlation between amygdala connectivity and symptom severity according to subtypes (Cognitive and Affective of depressive symptoms (pvoxel<0.01, pcluster<0.025. Taken together, these results suggest that amygdala connectivity may be a potentially effective neuroimaging biomarker for comorbid depressive symptoms in chronic TBI.

  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. 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

    2016-04-01

    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

  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.

  15. Infusions of alpha-2 noradrenergic agonists and antagonists into the amygdala: effects on kindling.

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    Pelletier, M R; Corcoran, M E

    1993-12-31

    We reported previously that activation of alpha-2 adrenoceptors with infusions of clonidine into the amygdala/pyriform region is sufficient to retard kindling. To characterize further the involvement in kindling of alpha-2 receptors in the amygdala/pyriform, we exposed rats to unilateral intraamygdaloid infusions of a variety of noradrenergic drugs followed by either low-frequency stimulation of the amygdala, to induce rapid kindling, or conventional high-frequency stimulation. Infusions and electrical stimulation were administered once every 48 h. The prophylactic effects of clonidine were blocked by simultaneous infusion of idazoxan, an alpha-2 adrenergic antagonist, which suggests strongly that these effects were produced at an alpha-2 receptor. Intraamygdaloid infusions of xylazine, another alpha-2 agonist, also significantly retarded low-frequency kindling. Unexpectedly, intraamygdaloid infusions of the alpha-2 antagonists idazoxan, yohimbine, and SK&F 104856 failed to accelerate kindling. Infusion of the alpha-1 antagonist corynanthine also failed to affect kindling. We propose that the alpha-2 adrenoceptors in the amygdala/pyriform region contribute to the prophylactic effects of systemically administered clonidine and that the facilitation of kindling observed after systemic administration of alpha-2 antagonists may be due to blockade of alpha-2 adrenoceptors outside of the amygdala/pyriform region.

  16. Identification of QTLs involved in the development of amygdala kindling in the rat.

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    Hashimoto, Ryoko; Voigt, Birger; Ishimaru, Yuji; Hokao, Ryoji; Chiba, Shigeru; Serikawa, Tadao; Sasa, Masashi; Kuramoto, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Amygdala kindling is useful for modeling human epilepsy development. It has been known that genetic factors are involved in the development of amygdala kindling. The purpose of this study was to identify the loci that are responsible for the development of amygdala kindling. To achieve this, rat strains from a LEXF/FXLE recombinant inbred (RI) strain panel were used. The phenotypes of amygdala kindling-related parameters for seven RI strains and parental LE/Stm and F344/Stm strains were determined. They included the afterdischarge threshold (ADT), the afterdischarge duration (ADD), and the kindling rate, an incidence of development of kindling. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was performed to identify linkage relationships between these phenotypes and 1,033 SNP markers. Although no significant differences in pre-kindling ADT and ADD were observed, a significant difference in the kindling rate was found for the LEXF/FXLE RI strain. Two QTLs for the amygdala kindling rate (Agkr1 and Agkr2) were identified on rat chromosome 2. These findings clearly prove the existence of genetic influences that are involved in kindling development and suggest that substantial genetic components contribute to the progression of partial seizures into generalized seizures.

  17. The joyful, yet balanced, amygdala: moderated responses to positive but not negative stimuli in trait happiness.

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    Cunningham, William A; Kirkland, Tabitha

    2014-06-01

    Although much is known about the neural dynamics of maladaptive affective styles, the mechanisms of happiness and well-being are less clear. One possibility is that the neural processes of trait happiness are the opposite of those involved in depression/anxiety: 'rose-colored glasses' cause happy people to focus on positive cues while remaining oblivious to threats. Specifically, because negative affective styles have been associated with increased amygdala activation to negative stimuli, it may be happy people will not show this enhanced response, and may even show reduced amygdala activation to negative stimuli. Alternatively, if well-being entails appropriate sensitivity to information, happy people may process any relevant cues-positive or negative-to facilitate appropriate responding. This would mean that happiness is associated with increased amygdala activation to both positive and negative stimuli. Forty-two participants viewed affective stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Happier participants showed greater amygdala responses to positive stimuli. Moreover, no significant relationships were found between happiness and responses to negative stimuli. In other words, for happy people, a tuning toward positive did not come at the cost of losing sensitivity to negativity. This work suggests that trait happiness is associated with a balanced amygdala response to positivity and negativity.

  18. The amygdala excitatory/inhibitory balance in a valproate-induced rat autism model.

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    Hui-Ching Lin

    Full Text Available The amygdala is an important structure contributing to socio-emotional behavior. However, the role of the amygdala in autism remains inconclusive. In this study, we used the 28-35 days valproate (VPA-induced rat model of autism to observe the autistic phenotypes and evaluate their synaptic characteristics in the lateral nucleus (LA of the amygdala. The VPA-treated offspring demonstrated less social interaction, increased anxiety, enhanced fear learning and impaired fear memory extinction. Slice preparation and electrophysiological recordings of the amygdala showed significantly enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP while stimulating the thalamic-amygdala pathway of the LA. In addition, the pair pulse facilitation (PPF at 30- and 60-ms intervals decreased significantly. Whole-cell recordings of the LA pyramidal neurons showed an increased miniature excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC frequency and amplitude. The relative contributions of the AMPA receptor and NMDA receptor to the EPSCs did not differ significantly between groups. These results suggested that the enhancement of the presynaptic efficiency of excitatory synaptic transmission might be associated with hyperexcitibility and enhanced LTP in LA pyramidal neurons. Disruption of the synaptic excitatory/inhibitory (E/I balance in the LA of VPA-treated rats might play certain roles in the development of behaviors in the rat that may be relevant to autism. Further experiments to demonstrate the direct link are warranted.

  19. The joyful, yet balanced, amygdala: moderated responses to positive but not negative stimuli in trait happiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, William A; Kirkland, Tabitha

    2014-06-01

    Although much is known about the neural dynamics of maladaptive affective styles, the mechanisms of happiness and well-being are less clear. One possibility is that the neural processes of trait happiness are the opposite of those involved in depression/anxiety: 'rose-colored glasses' cause happy people to focus on positive cues while remaining oblivious to threats. Specifically, because negative affective styles have been associated with increased amygdala activation to negative stimuli, it may be happy people will not show this enhanced response, and may even show reduced amygdala activation to negative stimuli. Alternatively, if well-being entails appropriate sensitivity to information, happy people may process any relevant cues-positive or negative-to facilitate appropriate responding. This would mean that happiness is associated with increased amygdala activation to both positive and negative stimuli. Forty-two participants viewed affective stimuli during functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Happier participants showed greater amygdala responses to positive stimuli. Moreover, no significant relationships were found between happiness and responses to negative stimuli. In other words, for happy people, a tuning toward positive did not come at the cost of losing sensitivity to negativity. This work suggests that trait happiness is associated with a balanced amygdala response to positivity and negativity. PMID:23563851

  20. 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.

  1. Human Neural Stem Cells Overexpressing Choline Acetyltransferase Restore Unconditioned Fear in Rats with Amygdala Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Kyungha; Cha, Yeseul; Kim, Kwang Sei; Choi, Ehn-Kyoung; Choi, Youngjin; Guo, Haiyu; Ban, Young-Hwan; Kim, Jong-Choon; Park, Dongsun; Kim, Yun-Bae

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27087745

  2. Subregional Shape Alterations in the Amygdala in Patients with Panic Disorder

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    Kim, Geon Ha; Kang, Hee Jin; Kim, Bori R.; Jeon, Saerom; Im, Jooyeon Jamie; Hyun, Heejung; Moon, Sohyeon; Lim, Soo Mee; Lyoo, In Kyoon

    2016-01-01

    Background The amygdala has been known to play a pivotal role in mediating fear-related responses including panic attacks. Given the functionally distinct role of the amygdalar subregions, morphometric measurements of the amygdala may point to the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying panic disorder. The current study aimed to determine the global and local morphometric alterations of the amygdala related to panic disorder. Methods Volumetric and surface-based morphometric approach to high-resolution three-dimensional T1-weighted images was used to examine the structural variations of the amygdala, with respect to extent and location, in 23 patients with panic disorder and 31 matched healthy individuals. Results There were no significant differences in bilateral amygdalar volumes between patients with panic disorder and healthy individuals despite a trend-level right amygdalar volume reduction related to panic disorder (right, β = -0.23, p = 0.09, Cohen's d = 0.51; left, β = -0.18, p = 0.19, Cohen's d = 0.45). Amygdalar subregions were localized into three groups including the superficial, centromedial, and laterobasal groups based on the cytoarchitectonically defined probability map. Surface-based morphometric analysis revealed shape alterations in the laterobasal and centromedial groups of the right amygdala in patients with panic disorder (false discovery rate corrected p panic disorder, which may be attributed to the cause or effects of amygdalar hyperactivation. PMID:27336300

  3. Amygdala subnuclei resting-state functional connectivity sex and estrogen differences.

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    Engman, Jonas; Linnman, Clas; Van Dijk, Koene R A; Milad, Mohammed R

    2016-01-01

    The amygdala is a hub in emotional processing, including that of negative affect. Healthy men and women have distinct differences in amygdala responses, potentially setting the stage for the observed sex differences in the prevalence of fear, anxiety, and pain disorders. Here, we examined how amygdala subnuclei resting-state functional connectivity is affected by sex, as well as explored how the functional connectivity is related to estrogen levels. Resting-state functional connectivity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with seeds placed in the left and right laterobasal (LB) and centromedial (CM) amygdala. Sex differences were studied in 48 healthy men and 48 healthy women, matched for age, while the association with estrogen was analyzed in a subsample of 24 women, for whom hormone levels had been assessed. For the hormone analyses, the subsample was further divided into a lower and higher estrogen levels group based on a median split. We found distinct sex differences in the LB and CM amygdala resting-state functional connectivity, as well as preliminary evidence for an association between estrogen levels and connectivity patterns. These results are potentially valuable in explaining why women are more afflicted by conditions of negative affect than are men, and could imply a mechanistic role for estrogen in modulating emotion. PMID:26406106

  4. An oxytocin receptor polymorphism predicts amygdala reactivity and antisocial behavior in men.

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    Waller, Rebecca; Corral-Frías, Nadia S; Vannucci, Bianca; Bogdan, Ryan; Knodt, Annchen R; Hariri, Ahmad R; Hyde, Luke W

    2016-08-01

    Variability in oxytocin (OXT) signaling is associated with individual differences in sex-specific social behavior across species. The effects of OXT signaling on social behavior are, in part, mediated through its modulation of amygdala function. Here, we use imaging genetics to examine sex-specific effects of three single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the human oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR; rs1042778, rs53576 and rs2254298) on threat-related amygdala reactivity and social behavior in 406 Caucasians. Analyses revealed that among men but not women, OXTR rs1042778 TT genotype was associated with increased right amygdala reactivity to angry facial expressions, which was uniquely related to higher levels of antisocial behavior among men. Moderated meditation analysis suggested a trending indirect effect of OXTR rs1042778 TT genotype on higher antisocial behavior via increased right amygdala reactivity to angry facial expressions in men. Our results provide evidence linking genetic variation in OXT signaling to individual differences in amygdala function. The results further suggest that these pathways may be uniquely important in shaping antisocial behavior in men. PMID:27036876

  5. Reduced amygdala responsivity during conditioning to trauma-related stimuli in posttraumatic stress disorder.

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    Diener, Slawomira J; Nees, Frauke; Wessa, Michèle; Wirtz, Gustav; Frommberger, Ulrich; Penga, Tina; Ruttorf, Michaela; Ruf, Matthias; Schmahl, Christian; Flor, Herta

    2016-10-01

    Exaggerated conditioned fear responses and impaired extinction along with amygdala overactivation have been observed in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These fear responses might be triggered by cues related to the trauma through higher-order conditioning, where reminders of the trauma may serve as unconditioned stimuli (US) and could maintain the fear response. We compared arousal, valence, and US expectancy ratings and BOLD brain responses using fMRI in 14 traumatized persons with PTSD and 14 without PTSD (NPTSD) and 13 matched healthy controls (HC) in a differential aversive conditioning paradigm. The US were trauma-specific pictures for the PTSD and NPTSD group and equally aversive and arousing for the HC; the conditioned stimuli (CS) were graphic displays. During conditioning, the PTSD patients compared to the NPTSD and HC indicated higher arousal to the conditioned stimulus that was paired with the trauma picture (CS+) compared to the unpaired (CS-), increased dissociation during acquisition and extinction, and failure to extinguish the CS/US-association compared to NPTSD. During early and late acquisition, the PTSD patients showed a significantly lower amygdala activation to CS+ versus CS- and a negative interaction between activation in the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), while NPTSD and HC displayed a negative interaction between amygdala and medial PFC. These findings suggest maladaptive anticipatory coping with trauma-related stimuli in patients with PTSD, indicated by enhanced conditioning, with related abnormal amygdala reactivity and connectivity, and delayed extinction. PMID:27412783

  6. 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

    2013-12-01

    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.

  7. Human amygdala response to dynamic facial expressions of positive and negative surprise.

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    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. PMID:24219397

  8. Deep Brain Stimulation of the Basolateral Amygdala: Targeting Technique and Electrodiagnostic Findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langevin, Jean-Philippe; Chen, James W Y; Koek, Ralph J; Sultzer, David L; Mandelkern, Mark A; Schwartz, Holly N; Krahl, Scott E

    2016-01-01

    The amygdala plays a critical role in emotion regulation. It could prove to be an effective neuromodulation target in the treatment of psychiatric conditions characterized by failure of extinction. We aim to describe our targeting technique, and intra-operative and post-operative electrodiagnostic findings associated with the placement of deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in the amygdala. We used a transfrontal approach to implant DBS electrodes in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLn) of a patient suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. We used microelectrode recording (MER) and awake intra-operative neurostimulation to assist with the placement. Post-operatively, the patient underwent monthly surveillance electroencephalograms (EEG). MER predicted the trajectory of the electrode through the amygdala. The right BLn showed a higher spike frequency than the left BLn. Intra-operative neurostimulation of the BLn elicited pleasant memories. The monthly EEG showed the presence of more sleep patterns over time with DBS. BLn DBS electrodes can be placed using a transfrontal approach. MER can predict the trajectory of the electrode in the amygdala and it may reflect the BLn neuronal activity underlying post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. The EEG findings may underscore the reduction in anxiety. PMID:27517963

  9. Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Bursley, James K; Ramsburg, Jared; Creswell, J David

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month is associated with greater bilateral amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) rsFC in a sample of community adults (n = 130). A follow-up, single-blind randomized controlled trial shows that a 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation training intervention (relative to a well-matched 3-day relaxation training intervention without a mindfulness component) reduced right amygdala-sgACC rsFC in a sample of stressed unemployed community adults (n = 35). Although stress may increase amygdala-sgACC rsFC, brief training in mindfulness meditation could reverse these effects. This work provides an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training promotes functional neuroplastic changes, suggesting an amygdala-sgACC pathway for stress reduction effects. PMID:26048176

  10. A network of amygdala connections predict individual differences in trait anxiety.

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    Greening, Steven G; Mitchell, Derek G V

    2015-12-01

    In this study we demonstrate that the pattern of an amygdala-centric network contributes to individual differences in trait anxiety. Individual differences in trait anxiety were predicted using maximum likelihood estimates of amygdala structural connectivity to multiple brain targets derived from diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) and probabilistic tractography on 72 participants. The prediction was performed using a stratified sixfold cross validation procedure using a regularized least square regression model. The analysis revealed a reliable network of regions predicting individual differences in trait anxiety. Higher trait anxiety was associated with stronger connections between the amygdala and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, an area implicated in the generation of emotional reactions, and inferior temporal gyrus and paracentral lobule, areas associated with perceptual and sensory processing. In contrast, higher trait anxiety was associated with weaker connections between amygdala and regions implicated in extinction learning such as medial orbitofrontal cortex, and memory encoding and environmental context recognition, including posterior cingulate cortex and parahippocampal gyrus. Thus, trait anxiety is not only associated with reduced amygdala connectivity with prefrontal areas associated with emotion modulation, but also enhanced connectivity with sensory areas. This work provides novel anatomical insight into potential mechanisms behind information processing biases observed in disorders of emotion.

  11. 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.

  12. Impact of basal forebrain cholinergic inputs on basolateral amygdala neurons.

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    Unal, Cagri T; Pare, Denis; Zaborszky, Laszlo

    2015-01-14

    In addition to innervating the cerebral cortex, basal forebrain cholinergic (BFc) neurons send a dense projection to the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). In this study, we investigated the effect of near physiological acetylcholine release on BLA neurons using optogenetic tools and in vitro patch-clamp recordings. Adult transgenic mice expressing cre-recombinase under the choline acetyltransferase promoter were used to selectively transduce BFc neurons with channelrhodopsin-2 and a reporter through the injection of an adeno-associated virus. Light-induced stimulation of BFc axons produced different effects depending on the BLA cell type. In late-firing interneurons, BFc inputs elicited fast nicotinic EPSPs. In contrast, no response could be detected in fast-spiking interneurons. In principal BLA neurons, two different effects were elicited depending on their activity level. When principal BLA neurons were quiescent or made to fire at low rates by depolarizing current injection, light-induced activation of BFc axons elicited muscarinic IPSPs. In contrast, with stronger depolarizing currents, eliciting firing above ∼ 6-8 Hz, these muscarinic IPSPs lost their efficacy because stimulation of BFc inputs prolonged current-evoked afterdepolarizations. All the effects observed in principal neurons were dependent on muscarinic receptors type 1, engaging different intracellular mechanisms in a state-dependent manner. Overall, our results suggest that acetylcholine enhances the signal-to-noise ratio in principal BLA neurons. Moreover, the cholinergic engagement of afterdepolarizations may contribute to the formation of stimulus associations during fear-conditioning tasks where the timing of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli is not optimal for the induction of synaptic plasticity.

  13. The effects of various lesions and knife-cuts on septal and amygdala kindling in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racine, R J; Paxinos, G; Mosher, J M; Kairiss, E W

    1988-06-28

    Large bilateral aspiration lesions of the hippocampus had no significant effect on septal kindling, whereas large bilateral DC lesions of the pyriform lobe resulted in a small but significant increase in the number of septal stimulations required to complete kindling. Bilateral aspiration lesions of the dorsal hippocampus or large bilateral DC lesions of the ventral hippocampus had no effect on amygdala kindling. Small DC lesions of the stria terminalis significantly facilitated amygdala kindling. Unilateral or bilateral ventral knife-cuts delivered in a coronal plane anterior to the amygdala, disrupting communication with anterior pyriform structures, produced a small but nearly significant increase in the number of stimulations required for amygdala kindling. Similar cuts placed posterior to the amygdala, disrupting communication with the hippocampus, significantly facilitated kindling. Cuts that were medially placed, to disrupt the ventral amygdala-fugal pathway, had no effect on amygdala kindling. These results show that the hippocampus is not critical for either septal or amygdala kindling. The pyriform lobe structures appear to play a facilitatory role in kindling, but none of the lesions or knife-cuts were capable of blocking or even severely retarding kindling.

  14. Rapid Amygdala Kindling Causes Motor Seizure and Comorbidity of Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shang-Der; Wang, Yu-Lin; Liang, Sheng-Fu; Shaw, Fu-Zen

    2016-01-01

    Amygdala kindling is a model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with convulsion. The rapid amygdala kindling has an advantage on quick development of motor seizures and for antiepileptic drugs screening. The rapid amygdala kindling causes epileptogenesis accompanied by an anxiolytic response in early isolation of rat pups or depressive behavior in immature rats. However, the effect of rapid amygdala kindling on comorbidity of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors is unexplored in adult rats with normal breeding. In the present study, 40 amygdala stimulations given within 2 days were applied in adult Wistar rats. Afterdischarge (AD) and seizure stage were recorded throughout the amygdala kindling. Anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated by the elevated plus maze (EPM) test and open field (OF) test, whereas depression-like behaviors were assessed by the forced swim (FS) and sucrose consumption (SC) tests. A tonic-clonic convulsion was provoked in the kindle group. Rapid amygdala kindling resulted in a significantly lower frequency entering an open area of either open arms of the EPM or the central zone of an OF, lower sucrose intake, and longer immobility of the FS test in the kindle group. Our results suggest that rapid amygdala kindling elicited severe motor seizures comorbid with anxiety- and depression-like behaviors.

  15. Rapid Amygdala Kindling Causes Motor Seizure and Comorbidity of Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behaviors in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shang-Der; Wang, Yu-Lin; Liang, Sheng-Fu; Shaw, Fu-Zen

    2016-01-01

    Amygdala kindling is a model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with convulsion. The rapid amygdala kindling has an advantage on quick development of motor seizures and for antiepileptic drugs screening. The rapid amygdala kindling causes epileptogenesis accompanied by an anxiolytic response in early isolation of rat pups or depressive behavior in immature rats. However, the effect of rapid amygdala kindling on comorbidity of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors is unexplored in adult rats with normal breeding. In the present study, 40 amygdala stimulations given within 2 days were applied in adult Wistar rats. Afterdischarge (AD) and seizure stage were recorded throughout the amygdala kindling. Anxiety-like behaviors were evaluated by the elevated plus maze (EPM) test and open field (OF) test, whereas depression-like behaviors were assessed by the forced swim (FS) and sucrose consumption (SC) tests. A tonic-clonic convulsion was provoked in the kindle group. Rapid amygdala kindling resulted in a significantly lower frequency entering an open area of either open arms of the EPM or the central zone of an OF, lower sucrose intake, and longer immobility of the FS test in the kindle group. Our results suggest that rapid amygdala kindling elicited severe motor seizures comorbid with anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. PMID:27445726

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

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    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.

  17. Amygdala recruitment in schizophrenia in response to aversive emotional material: a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies.

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    Anticevic, Alan; Van Snellenberg, Jared X; Cohen, Rachel E; Repovs, Grega; Dowd, Erin C; Barch, Deanna M

    2012-05-01

    Emotional dysfunction has long been established as a critical clinical feature of schizophrenia. In the past decade, there has been extensive work examining the potential contribution of abnormal amygdala activation to this dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia. A number of studies have demonstrated under-recruitment of the amygdala in response to emotional stimuli, while others have shown intact recruitment of this region. To date, there have been few attempts to synthesize this literature using quantitative criteria or to use a formal meta-analytic approach to examine which variables may moderate the magnitude of between-group differences in amygdala activation in response to aversive emotional stimuli. We conducted a meta-analysis of amygdala activation in patients with schizophrenia, using a bootstrapping approach to investigate: (a) evidence for amygdala under-recruitment in schizophrenia and (b) variables that may moderate the magnitude of between-group differences in amygdala activation. We demonstrate that patients with schizophrenia show statistically significant, but modest, under-recruitment of bilateral amygdala (mean effect size = -0.20 SD). However, present findings indicate that this under-recruitment is dependent on the use of a neutral vs emotion interaction contrast and is not apparent if amygdala activation by patients and controls is evaluated in a negative emotional condition only. PMID:21123853

  18. 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…

  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

    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...... and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and between both amygdalae and a cluster including posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus and visual cortex was significantly increased in 5-HTTLPR S' allele carriers relative to L(A)L(A) individuals. Neuroticism was negatively correlated with functional connectivity......OFC/vlPFC, such that S' carriers exhibited a more negative association relative to L(A)L(A) individuals. These findings provide novel evidence for both independent and interactive effects of 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism on amygdala communication, which may mediate effects on risk for mood and affective disorders....

  20. Volumes of the hippocampus and amygdala in patients with borderline personality disorder: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Paulo Menezes; Wenzel, Amy; Borges, Karinne Tavares; Porto, Cristianne Ribeiro; Caminha, Renato Maiato; de Oliveira, Irismar Reis

    2009-08-01

    Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often exhibit impulsive and aggressive behavior. The hippocampus and amygdala form part of the limbic system, which plays a central role in controlling such expressions of emotional reactivity. There are mixed results in the literature regarding whether patients with BPD have smaller hippocampal and amygdalar volume relative to healthy controls. To clarify the precise nature of these mixed results, we performed a meta-analysis to aggregate data on the size of the hippocampus and amygdala in patients with BPD. Seven publications involving six studies and a total of 104 patients with BPD and 122 healthy controls were included. A significantly smaller volume was found in both the right and left hippocampi and amygdala of patients with BPD compared to healthy controls. These findings raise the possibility that reduced hippocampal and amygdalar volumes are biological substrates of some symptoms of BPD. PMID:19663654

  1. Pavlovian fear conditioning activates a common pattern of neurons in the lateral amygdala of individual brains.

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    Hadley C Bergstrom

    Full Text Available Understanding the physical encoding of a memory (the engram is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Although it has been established that the lateral amygdala is a key site for encoding associative fear memory, it is currently unclear whether the spatial distribution of neurons encoding a given memory is random or stable. Here we used spatial principal components analysis to quantify the topography of activated neurons, in a select region of the lateral amygdala, from rat brains encoding a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. Our results demonstrate a stable, spatially patterned organization of amygdala neurons are activated during the formation of a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. We suggest that this stable neuronal assembly constitutes a spatial dimension of the engram.

  2. Pavlovian fear conditioning activates a common pattern of neurons in the lateral amygdala of individual brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Hadley C; McDonald, Craig G; Johnson, Luke R

    2011-01-12

    Understanding the physical encoding of a memory (the engram) is a fundamental question in neuroscience. Although it has been established that the lateral amygdala is a key site for encoding associative fear memory, it is currently unclear whether the spatial distribution of neurons encoding a given memory is random or stable. Here we used spatial principal components analysis to quantify the topography of activated neurons, in a select region of the lateral amygdala, from rat brains encoding a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. Our results demonstrate a stable, spatially patterned organization of amygdala neurons are activated during the formation of a Pavlovian conditioned fear memory. We suggest that this stable neuronal assembly constitutes a spatial dimension of the engram.

  3. Impaired declarative memory for emotional material following bilateral amygdala damage in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adolphs, R; Cahill, L; Schul, R; Babinsky, R

    1997-01-01

    Everyday experience suggests that highly emotional events are often the most memorable, an observation supported by psychological and pharmacological studies in humans. Although studies in animals have shown that nondeclarative emotional memory (behaviors associated with emotional situations) may be impaired by lesions of the amygdala, little is known about the neural underpinnings of emotional memory in humans, especially in regard to declarative memory (memory for facts that can be assessed verbally). We investigated the declarative memory of two rare patients with selective bilateral amygdala damage. Both subjects showed impairments in long-term declarative memory for emotionally arousing material. The data support the hypothesis that the human amygdala normally enhances acquisition of declarative knowledge regarding emotionally arousing stimuli. PMID:10456070

  4. Amygdala and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex responses to appearance-based and behavior-based person impressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Sean G; Gobbini, M I; Engell, Andrew D; Todorov, Alexander

    2011-10-01

    We explored the neural correlates of learning about people when the affective value of both facial appearance and behavioral information is manipulated. Participants were presented with faces that were either rated as high or low on trustworthiness. Subsequently, we paired these faces with positive, negative, or no behavioral information. Prior to forming face-behavior associations, a cluster in the right amygdala responded more strongly to untrustworthy than to trustworthy faces. During learning, a cluster in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) responded more strongly to faces paired with behaviors than faces not paired with behaviors. We also observed that the activity in the dmPFC was correlated with behavioral learning performance assessed after scanning. Interestingly, individual differences in the initial amygdala response to face trustworthiness prior to learning modulated the relationship between dmPFC activity and learning. This finding suggests that the activity of the amygdala can affect the interaction between dmPFC activity and learning.

  5. Identification and Characterization of GABAergic Projection Neurons from Ventral Hippocampus to Amygdala

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    Robert Lübkemann

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available GABAergic local circuit neurons are critical for the network activity and functional interaction of the amygdala and hippocampus. Previously, we obtained evidence for a GABAergic contribution to the hippocampal projection into the basolateral amygdala. Using fluorogold retrograde labeling, we now demonstrate that this projection indeed has a prominent GABAergic component comprising 17% of the GABAergic neurons in the ventral hippocampus. A majority of the identified GABAergic projection neurons are located in the stratum oriens of area CA1, but cells are also found in the stratum pyramidale and stratum radiatum. We could detect the expression of different markers of interneuron subpopulations, including parvalbumin and calbindin, somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, and cholecystokinin in such retrogradely labeled GABA neurons. Thus GABAergic projection neurons to the amygdala comprise a neurochemically heterogeneous group of cells from different interneuron populations, well situated to control network activity patterns in the amygdalo-hippocampal system.

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

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    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.

  7. Altered resting-state amygdala functional connectivity after 36 hours of total sleep deprivation.

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    Yongcong Shao

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies have identified a potentially critical role of the amygdala in disrupted emotion neurocircuitry in individuals after total sleep deprivation (TSD. However, connectivity between the amygdala and cerebral cortex due to TSD remains to be elucidated. In this study, we used resting-state functional MRI (fMRI to investigate the functional connectivity changes of the basolateral amygdala (BLA and centromedial amygdala (CMA in the brain after 36 h of TSD.Fourteen healthy adult men aged 25.9 ± 2.3 years (range, 18-28 years were enrolled in a within-subject crossover study. Using the BLA and CMA as separate seed regions, we examined resting-state functional connectivity with fMRI during rested wakefulness (RW and after 36 h of TSD.TSD resulted in a significant decrease in the functional connectivity between the BLA and several executive control regions (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex [DLPFC], right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex [ACC], right inferior frontal gyrus [IFG]. Increased functional connectivity was found between the BLA and areas including the left posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PrCu and right parahippocampal gyrus. With regard to CMA, increased functional connectivity was observed with the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC and right precentral gyrus.These findings demonstrate that disturbance in amygdala related circuits may contribute to TSD psychophysiology and suggest that functional connectivity studies of the amygdala during the resting state may be used to discern aberrant patterns of coupling within these circuits after TSD.

  8. Facilitation of synaptic transmission and pain responses by CGRP in the amygdala of normal rats

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    Ji Guangchen

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP plays an important role in peripheral and central sensitization. CGRP also is a key molecule in the spino-parabrachial-amygdaloid pain pathway. Blockade of CGRP1 receptors in the spinal cord or in the amygdala has antinociceptive effects in different pain models. Here we studied the electrophysiological mechanisms of behavioral effects of CGRP in the amygdala in normal animals without tissue injury. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of neurons in the latero-capsular division of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeLC in rat brain slices showed that CGRP (100 nM increased excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs at the parabrachio-amygdaloid (PB-CeLC synapse, the exclusive source of CGRP in the amygdala. Consistent with a postsynaptic mechanism of action, CGRP increased amplitude, but not frequency, of miniature EPSCs and did not affect paired-pulse facilitation. CGRP also increased neuronal excitability. CGRP-induced synaptic facilitation was reversed by an NMDA receptor antagonist (AP5, 50 μM or a PKA inhibitor (KT5720, 1 μM, but not by a PKC inhibitor (GF109203X, 1 μM. Stereotaxic administration of CGRP (10 μM, concentration in microdialysis probe into the CeLC by microdialysis in awake rats increased audible and ultrasonic vocalizations and decreased hindlimb withdrawal thresholds. Behavioral effects of CGRP were largely blocked by KT5720 (100 μM but not by GF109203X (100 μM. The results show that CGRP in the amygdala exacerbates nocifensive and affective behavioral responses in normal animals through PKA- and NMDA receptor-dependent postsynaptic facilitation. Thus, increased CGRP levels in the amygdala might trigger pain in the absence of tissue injury.

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

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    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.

  10. Neuroanatomical and functional characterization of CRF neurons of the amygdala using a novel transgenic mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Francesco, P N; Valdivia, S; Cabral, A; Reynaldo, M; Raingo, J; Sakata, I; Osborne-Lawrence, S; Zigman, J M; Perelló, M

    2015-03-19

    The corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)-producing neurons of the amygdala have been implicated in behavioral and physiological responses associated with fear, anxiety, stress, food intake and reward. To overcome the difficulties in identifying CRF neurons within the amygdala, a novel transgenic mouse line, in which the humanized recombinant Renilla reniformis green fluorescent protein (hrGFP) is under the control of the CRF promoter (CRF-hrGFP mice), was developed. First, the CRF-hrGFP mouse model was validated and the localization of CRF neurons within the amygdala was systematically mapped. Amygdalar hrGFP-expressing neurons were located primarily in the interstitial nucleus of the posterior limb of the anterior commissure, but also present in the central amygdala. Secondly, the marker of neuronal activation c-Fos was used to explore the response of amygdalar CRF neurons in CRF-hrGFP mice under different experimental paradigms. C-Fos induction was observed in CRF neurons of CRF-hrGFP mice exposed to an acute social defeat stress event, a fasting/refeeding paradigm or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration. In contrast, no c-Fos induction was detected in CRF neurons of CRF-hrGFP mice exposed to restraint stress, forced swimming test, 48-h fasting, acute high-fat diet (HFD) consumption, intermittent HFD consumption, ad libitum HFD consumption, HFD withdrawal, conditioned HFD aversion, ghrelin administration or melanocortin 4 receptor agonist administration. Thus, this study fully characterizes the distribution of amygdala CRF neurons in mice and suggests that they are involved in some, but not all, stress or food intake-related behaviors recruiting the amygdala. PMID:25595987

  11. Early Life Stress and Macaque Amygdala Hypertrophy: Preliminary Evidence for a Role for the Serotonin Transporter Gene.

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    Jeremy D Coplan

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Children exposed to early life stress (ELS exhibit enlarged amygdala volume in comparison to controls. The primary goal of this study was to examine amygdala volumes in bonnet macaques subjected to maternal variable foraging demand (VFD rearing, a well-established model of ELS. Preliminary analyses examined the interaction of ELS and the serotonin transporter gene on amygdala volume. Secondary analyses were conducted to examine the association between amygdala volume and other stress-related variables previously found to distinguish VFD and non-VFD reared animals. Methods: Twelve VFD-reared and nine normally reared monkeys completed MRI scans on a 3T system (mean age=5.2 years. Results: Left amygdala volume was larger in VFD versus control macaques. Larger amygdala volume was associated with: high cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of corticotropin releasing-factor (CRF determined when the animals were in adolescence (mean age=2.7 years; reduced fractional anisotropy of the anterior limb of the internal capsule during young adulthood (mean age=5.2 years and timid anxiety-like responses to an intruder during full adulthood (mean age=8.4 years. Right amygdala volume varied inversely with left hippocampal neurogenesis assessed in late adulthood (mean age=8.7 years. Exploratory analyses also showed a gene-by-environment effect, with VFD-reared macaques with a single short allele of the serotonin transporter gene exhibiting larger amygdala volume compared to VFD-reared subjects with only the long allele and normally reared controls. Conclusion: These data suggest that the left amygdala exhibits hypertrophy after ELS, particularly in association with the serotonin transporter gene, and that amygdala volume variation occurs in concert with other key stress-related behavioral and neurobiological parameters observed across the lifecycle. Future research is required to understand the mechanisms underlying these diverse and persistent changes a

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

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

    1981-03-20

    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 /sup 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.

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

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    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

  14. Comparative Distribution of Relaxin-3 Inputs and Calcium-Binding Protein-Positive Neurons in Rat Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Fabio N; Pereira, Celia W; Sánchez-Pérez, Ana M; Otero-García, Marcos; Ma, Sherie; Gundlach, Andrew L; Olucha-Bordonau, Francisco E

    2016-01-01

    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 (PV), calretinin (CR) 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 nucleus. In

  15. Enhanced amygdala reactivity to emotional faces in adults reporting childhood emotional maltreatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Harmelen, Anne-Laura; van Tol, Marie-Jose; Demenescu, Liliana R.; van der Wee, Nic J. A.; Veltman, Dick J.; Aleman, Andre; van Buchem, Mark A.; Spinhoven, Philip; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.; Elzinga, Bernet M.

    2013-01-01

    In the context of chronic childhood emotional maltreatment (CEM; emotional abuse and/or neglect), adequately responding to facial expressions is an important skill. Over time, however, this adaptive response may lead to a persistent vigilance for emotional facial expressions. The amygdala and the me

  16. 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 behaviora

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  19. Medial Amygdala Lesions in Male Rats Reduce Aggressive Behavior : Interference With Experience

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vochteloo, J.D.; Koolhaas, J.M.

    1987-01-01

    The medial nucleus of the amygdala (am) has been implicated in a variety of social behaviors. The present experiment will test the hypothesis that the effect of am lesions on intermale aggressive behavior is due to interference with social learning processes. Small electrolytic lesions of the am had

  20. Amygdala regulates risk of predation in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, June-Seek; Kim, Jeansok J

    2010-12-14

    In a natural environment, foragers constantly face the risk of encountering predators. Fear is a defensive mechanism evolved to protect animals from danger by balancing the animals' needs for primary resources with the risk of predation, and the amygdala is implicated in mediating fear responses. However, the functions of fear and amygdala in foraging behavior are not well characterized because of the technical difficulty in quantifying prey-predator interaction with real (unpredictable) predators. Thus, the present study investigated the rat's foraging behavior in a seminaturalistic environment when confronted with a predator-like robot programmed to surge toward the animal seeking food. Rats initially fled into the nest and froze (demonstrating fear) and then cautiously approached and seized the food as a function of decreasing nest-food and increasing food-robot distances. The likelihood of procuring food increased and decreased via lesioning/inactivating and disinhibiting the amygdala, respectively. These results indicate that the amygdala bidirectionally regulates risk behavior in rats foraging in a dynamic fear environment.

  1. 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, th

  2. Empathic control through coordinated interaction of amygdala, theory of mind and extended pain matrix brain regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruneau, Emile G; Jacoby, Nir; Saxe, Rebecca

    2015-07-01

    Brain regions in the "pain matrix", can be activated by observing or reading about others in physical pain. In previous research, we found that reading stories about others' emotional suffering, by contrast, recruits a different group of brain regions mostly associated with thinking about others' minds. In the current study, we examined the neural circuits responsible for deliberately regulating empathic responses to others' pain and suffering. In Study 1, a sample of college-aged participants (n=18) read stories about physically painful and emotionally distressing events during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), while either actively empathizing with the main character or trying to remain objective. In Study 2, the same experiment was performed with professional social workers, who are chronically exposed to human suffering (n=21). Across both studies activity in the amygdala was associated with empathic regulation towards others' emotional pain, but not their physical pain. In addition, psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analysis and Granger causal modeling (GCM) showed that amygdala activity while reading about others' emotional pain was preceded by and positively coupled with activity in the theory of mind brain regions, and followed by and negatively coupled with activity in regions associated with physical pain and bodily sensations. Previous work has shown that the amygdala is critically involved in the deliberate control of self-focused distress - the current results extend the central importance of amygdala activity to the control of other-focused empathy, but only when considering others' emotional pain. PMID:25913703

  3. Are you gonna leave me? Separation anxiety is associated with increased amygdala responsiveness and volume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redlich, Ronny; Grotegerd, Dominik; Opel, Nils; Kaufmann, Carolin; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Kugel, Harald; Heindel, Walter; Donges, Uta-Susan; Suslow, Thomas; Arolt, Volker; Dannlowski, Udo

    2015-02-01

    The core feature of separation anxiety is excessive distress when faced with actual or perceived separation from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. So far little is known about the neurobiological underpinnings of separation anxiety. Therefore, we investigated functional (amygdala responsiveness and functional connectivity during threat-related emotion processing) and structural (grey matter volume) imaging markers associated with separation anxiety as measured with the Relationship Scale Questionnaire in a large sample of healthy adults from the Münster Neuroimaging Cohort (N = 320). We used a robust emotional face-matching task and acquired high-resolution structural images for morphometric analyses using voxel-based morphometry. The main results were positive associations of separation anxiety scores with amygdala reactivity to emotional faces as well as increased amygdala grey matter volumes. A functional connectivity analysis revealed positive associations between separation anxiety and functional coupling of the amygdala with areas involved in visual processes and attention, including several occipital and somatosensory areas. Taken together, the results suggest a higher emotional involvement in subjects with separation anxiety while watching negative facial expressions, and potentially secondary neuro-structural adaptive processes. These results could help to understand and treat (adult) separation anxiety.

  4. Short environmental enrichment in adulthood reverses anxiety and basolateral amygdala hypertrophy induced by maternal separation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koe, A S; Ashokan, A; Mitra, R

    2016-02-02

    Maternal separation during early childhood results in greater sensitivity to stressors later in adult life. This is reflected as greater propensity to develop stress-related disorders in humans and animal models, including anxiety and depression. Environmental enrichment (EE) reverses some of the damaging effects of maternal separation in rodent models when provided during peripubescent life, temporally proximal to the separation. It is presently unknown if EE provided outside this critical window can still rescue separation-induced anxiety and neural plasticity. In this report we use a rat model to demonstrate that a single short episode of EE in adulthood reduced anxiety-like behaviour in maternally separated rats. We further show that maternal separation resulted in hypertrophy of dendrites and increase in spine density of basolateral amygdala neurons in adulthood, long after initial stress treatment. This is congruent with prior observations showing centrality of basolateral amygdala hypertrophy in anxiety induced by stress during adulthood. In line with the ability of the adult enrichment to rescue stress-induced anxiety, we show that enrichment renormalized stress-induced structural expansion of the amygdala neurons. These observations argue that behavioural plasticity induced by early adversity can be rescued by environmental interventions much later in life, likely mediated by ameliorating effects of enrichment on basolateral amygdala plasticity.

  5. 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 e

  6. 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…

  7. Amygdala Kindling in the WAG-Rij Rat Model of Absence Epilepsy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aker, R.G.; Yananli, H.R.; Gurbanova, A.A.; Özkaynakçi, A.E.; Ates, N.; Luijtelaar, E.L.J.M. van; Onat, F.Y.

    2006-01-01

    Summary: Purpose: The kindling model in rats with genetic absence epilepsy is suitable for studying mechanisms involved in the propagation and generalization of seizure activity in the convulsive and nonconvulsive components of epilepsy. In the present study, we compared the amygdala kindling rate a

  8. EFFECT OF DIFFERENT AGONISTIC EXPERIENCES ON BEHAVIORAL SEIZURES IN FULLY AMYGDALA KINDLED RATS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BELDHUIS, HJA; KOOLHAAS, JM; BOHUS, B

    1992-01-01

    Fully amygdala kindled rats were exposed to two different inter-male agonistic experiences in order to study the interaction between epilepsy and acute social stress. Victory experience did not influence the severity of seizure behaviour, whereas a single acute defeat modified both ictal and postict

  9. Kindling-Induced Changes in Plasticity of the Rat Amygdala and Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Manja; Siegmund, Herbert; Pape, Hans-Christian; Albrecht, Doris

    2005-01-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is often accompanied by interictal behavioral abnormalities, such as fear and memory impairment. To identify possible underlying substrates, we analyzed long-term synaptic plasticity in two relevant brain regions, the lateral amygdala (LA) and the CA1 region of the hippocampus, in the kindling model of epilepsy. Wistar…

  10. Effect of different agonistic experiences on behavioural seizures in fully amygdala kindled rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beldhuis, Hans J.A.; Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Bohus, Bela

    1992-01-01

    Fully amygdala kindled rats were exposed to two different inter-male agonistic experiences in order to study the interaction between epilepsy and acute social stress. Victory experience did not influence the severity of seizure behaviour, whereas a single acute defeat modified both ictal and postict

  11. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barsegyan, A.; McGaugh, J.L.; Roozendaal, B.

    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 consolidat

  13. 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.

    2010-01-01

    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 beta-adrenoc

  14. 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 norepi

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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. PMID:26141844

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

    2010-01-01

    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

  19. 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…

  20. Back to basics: Making predictions in the orbitofrontal-amygdala circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Melissa J; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2016-05-01

    Underlying many complex behaviors are simple learned associations that allow humans and animals to anticipate the consequences of their actions. The orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala are two regions which are crucial to this process. In this review, we go back to basics and discuss the literature implicating both these regions in simple paradigms requiring the development of associations between stimuli and the motivationally-significant outcomes they predict. Much of the functional research surrounding this ability has suggested that the orbitofrontal cortex and basolateral amygdala play very similar roles in making these predictions. However, electrophysiological data demonstrates critical differences in the way neurons in these regions respond to predictive cues, revealing a difference in their functional role. On the basis of these data and theories that have come before, we propose that the basolateral amygdala is integral to updating information about cue-outcome contingencies whereas the orbitofrontal cortex is critical to forming a wider network of past and present associations that are called upon by the basolateral amygdala to benefit future learning episodes. The tendency for orbitofrontal neurons to encode past and present contingencies in distinct neuronal populations may facilitate its role in the formation of complex, high-dimensional state-specific associations. PMID:27112314

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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 investi

  4. 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…

  5. Facilitation of Memory for Extinction of Drug-Induced Conditioned Reward: Role of Amygdala and Acetylcholine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Jason P.; Packard, Mark G.

    2004-01-01

    eThese experiments examined the effects of posttrial peripheral and intra-amygdala injections of the cholinergic muscarinic receptor agonist oxotremorine on memory consolidation underlying extinction of amphetamine conditioned place preference (CPP) behavior. Male Long-Evans rats were initially trained and tested for an amphetamine (2 mg/kg) CPP.…

  6. Amygdala atrophy affects emotion-related activity in face-responsive regions in frontotemporal degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Winter, François-Laurent; Van den Stock, Jan; de Gelder, Beatrice; Peeters, Ronald; Jastorff, Jan; Sunaert, Stefan; Vanduffel, Wim; Vandenberghe, Rik; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu

    2016-09-01

    In the healthy brain, modulatory influences from the amygdala commonly explain enhanced activation in face-responsive areas by emotional facial expressions relative to neutral expressions. In the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) facial emotion recognition is impaired and has been associated with atrophy of the amygdala. By combining structural and functional MRI in 19 patients with bvFTD and 20 controls we investigated the neural effects of emotion in face-responsive cortex and its relationship with amygdalar gray matter (GM) volume in neurodegeneration. Voxel-based morphometry revealed decreased GM volume in anterior medio-temporal regions including amygdala in patients compared to controls. During fMRI, we presented dynamic facial expressions (fear and chewing) and their spatiotemporally scrambled versions. We found enhanced activation for fearful compared to neutral faces in ventral temporal cortex and superior temporal sulcus in controls, but not in patients. In the bvFTD group left amygdalar GM volume correlated positively with emotion-related activity in left fusiform face area (FFA). This correlation was amygdala-specific and driven by GM in superficial and basolateral (BLA) subnuclei, consistent with reported amygdalar-cortical networks. The data suggests that anterior medio-temporal atrophy in bvFTD affects emotion processing in distant posterior areas. PMID:27389802

  7. The amygdala and FFA track both social and non-social face dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Said, Christopher P; Dotsch, Ron; Todorov, Alexander

    2010-10-01

    The amygdala is thought to perform a number of social functions, and has received much attention for its role in processing social properties of faces. In particular, it has been shown to respond more to facial expressions than to neutral faces, and more to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces than faces in the middle of the continuum. However, when these findings are viewed in the context of a multidimensional face space, an important question emerges. Face space is a vector space where every face can be represented as a point in the space. The origin of the space represents the average face. In this context, positively valenced and negatively valenced faces are further away from the average face than faces in the middle of the continuum. It is therefore unclear if the amygdala response to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces is due to their social properties or to their general distance from the average face. Here, we compared the amygdala response to a set of faces that varied along two dimensions centered around the average face but differing in social content. In both the amygdala and much of the posterior face network, we observed a similar response to both dimensions, with stronger responses to the extremes of the dimensions than to faces near the average face. These findings suggest that the responses in these regions to socially relevant faces may be partially due to general distance from the average face.

  8. Reprint of: The amygdala and FFA track both social and non-social face dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Said, Christopher P; Dotsch, Ron; Todorov, Alexander

    2011-03-01

    The amygdala is thought to perform a number of social functions, and has received much attention for its role in processing social properties of faces. In particular, it has been shown to respond more to facial expressions than to neutral faces, and more to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces than faces in the middle of the continuum. However, when these findings are viewed in the context of a multidimensional face space, an important question emerges. Face space is a vector space where every face can be represented as a point in the space. The origin of the space represents the average face. In this context, positively valenced and negatively valenced faces are further away from the average face than faces in the middle of the continuum. It is therefore unclear if the amygdala response to positively valenced and negatively valenced faces is due to their social properties or to their general distance from the average face. Here, we compared the amygdala response to a set of faces that varied along two dimensions centered around the average face but differing in social content. In both the amygdala and much of the posterior face network, we observed a similar response to both dimensions, with stronger responses to the extremes of the dimensions than to faces near the average face. These findings suggest that the responses in these regions to socially relevant faces may be partially due to general distance from the average face.

  9. Amygdala atrophy affects emotion-related activity in face-responsive regions in frontotemporal degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Winter, François-Laurent; Van den Stock, Jan; de Gelder, Beatrice; Peeters, Ronald; Jastorff, Jan; Sunaert, Stefan; Vanduffel, Wim; Vandenberghe, Rik; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu

    2016-01-01

    In the healthy brain, modulatory influences from the amygdala commonly explain enhanced activation in face-responsive areas by emotional facial expressions relative to neutral expressions. In the behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) facial emotion recognition is impaired and has been a

  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

    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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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. PMID:23428568

  14. Activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala underlies individual differences in prosocial and individualistic economic choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haruno, Masahiko; Kimura, Minoru; Frith, Christopher D

    2014-08-01

    Much decision-making requires balancing benefits to the self with benefits to the group. There are marked individual differences in this balance such that individualists tend to favor themselves whereas prosocials tend to favor the group. Understanding the mechanisms underlying this difference has important implications for society and its institutions. Using behavioral and fMRI data collected during the performance of the ultimatum game, we show that individual differences in social preferences for resource allocation, so-called "social value orientation," is linked with activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala elicited by inequity, rather than activity in insula, ACC, and dorsolateral pFC. Importantly, the presence of cognitive load made prosocials behave more prosocially and individualists more individualistically, suggesting that social value orientation is driven more by intuition than reflection. In parallel, activity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala, in response to inequity, tracked this behavioral pattern of prosocials and individualists. In addition, we conducted an impunity game experiment with different participants where they could not punish unfair behavior and found that the inequity-correlated activity seen in prosocials during the ultimatum game disappeared. This result suggests that the accumbens and amygdala activity of prosocials encodes "outcome-oriented emotion" designed to change situations (i.e., achieve equity or punish). Together, our results suggest a pivotal contribution of the nucleus accumbens and amygdala to individual differences in sociality. PMID:24564471

  15. Reduced size of the amygdala in individuals with 47,XXY and 47,XXX karyotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patwardhan, Anil J; Brown, Wendy E; Bender, Bruce G; Linden, Mary G; Eliez, Stephan; Reiss, Allan L

    2002-01-01

    The excess of 47,XXX and 47,XXY karyotypes found in cytogenetic screening studies of individuals with schizophrenia has given support for an increased risk of psychiatric illness among men and women with sex chromosomal aneuploidy (SCA). Mesial temporal lobe structures, including the amygdala and hippocampus, are thought to be associated with abnormalities of mood and behavior in humans and in the neurobiology of schizophrenia. This study focuses on variations in volumes of mesial temporal lobe structures in men and women with SCA. Utilizing an unselected birth cohort of subjects with SCA and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we investigated the neuroanatomical consequences of a supernumerary X chromosome on the morphology of the amygdala and hippocampus. Regional and total brain volumes were measured in 10 subjects with 47,XXY, 10 subjects with 47,XXX, and 20 euploid controls. Amygdala volumes were significantly reduced in men with 47,XXY, compared to control men, while the decrease in women with 47,XXX was not as pronounced. Hippocampus volumes were preserved in both groups, compared to same-gender controls. Longitudinal studies of SCA individuals have shown an increased incidence of mild psychopathology and behavioral dysfunction in men with 47,XXY and more overt psychiatric illness in women with 47,XXX, compared to control populations. The alteration in amygdala volumes in individuals with a supernumerary X chromosome may provide a neuroanatomic basis for these findings.

  16. 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…

  17. 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. PMID:26971700

  18. Amygdala-Hippocampal Connectivity Changes During Acute Psychosocial Stress: Joint Effect of Early Life Stress and Oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Yan; Pestke, Karin; Feeser, Melanie; Aust, Sabine; Pruessner, Jens C; Böker, Heinz; Bajbouj, Malek; Grimm, Simone

    2015-11-01

    Previous evidence shows that acute stress changes both amygdala activity and its connectivity with a distributed brain network. Early life stress (ELS), especially emotional abuse (EA), is associated with altered reactivity to psychosocial stress in adulthood and moderates or even reverses the stress-attenuating effect of oxytocin (OXT). The neural underpinnings of the interaction between ELS and OXT remain unclear, though. Therefore, we here investigate the joint effect of ELS and OXT on transient changes in amygdala-centered functional connectivity induced by acute psychosocial stress, using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, within-subject crossover design. Psychophysiological interaction analysis in the placebo session revealed stress-induced increases in functional connectivity between amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, putamen, caudate and thalamus. Regression analysis showed that EA was positively associated with stress-induced changes in connectivity between amygdala and hippocampus. Moreover, hierarchical linear regression showed that this positive association between EA and stress-induced amygdala-hippocampal connectivity was moderated after the administration of intranasal OXT. Amygdala-hippocampal connectivity in the OXT session correlated negatively with cortisol stress responses. Our findings suggest that altered amygdala-hippocampal functional connectivity during psychosocial stress may have a crucial role in the altered sensitivity to OXT effects in individuals who have experienced EA in their childhood.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabellino, Daniela; Densmore, Maria; Frewen, Paul A.; Théberge, Jean; McKinnon, Margaret C.; Lanius, Ruth A.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27631496

  20. Increased amygdala and visual cortex activity and functional connectivity towards stimulus novelty is associated with state anxiety.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga T Ousdal

    Full Text Available Novel stimuli often require a rapid reallocation of sensory processing resources to determine the significance of the event, and the appropriate behavioral response. Both the amygdala and the visual cortex are central elements of the neural circuitry responding to novelty, demonstrating increased activity to new as compared to highly familiarized stimuli. Further, these brain areas are intimately connected, and thus the amygdala may be a key region for directing sensory processing resources to novel events. Although knowledge regarding the neurocircuit of novelty detection is gradually increasing, we still lack a basic understanding of the conditions that are necessary and sufficient for novelty-specific responses in human amygdala and the visual cortices, and if these brain areas interact during detection of novelty. In the present study, we investigated the response of amygdala and the visual cortex to novelty, by comparing functional MRI activity between 1st and 2nd time presentation of a series of emotional faces in an event-related task. We observed a significant decrease in amygdala and visual cortex activity already after a single stimulus exposure. Interestingly, this decrease in responsiveness was less for subjects with a high score on state anxiety. Further, novel faces stimuli were associated with a relative increase in the functional coupling between the amygdala and the inferior occipital gyrus (BA 18. Thus, we suggest that amygdala is involved in fast sensory boosting that may be important for attention reallocation to novel events, and that the strength of this response depends on individual state anxiety.

  1. 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

    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.

  2. Altered effective connectivity network of the amygdala in social anxiety disorder: a resting-state FMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Liao

    Full Text Available The amygdala is often found to be abnormally recruited in social anxiety disorder (SAD patients. The question whether amygdala activation is primarily abnormal and affects other brain systems or whether it responds "normally" to an abnormal pattern of information conveyed by other brain structures remained unanswered. To address this question, we investigated a network of effective connectivity associated with the amygdala using Granger causality analysis on resting-state functional MRI data of 22 SAD patients and 21 healthy controls (HC. Implications of abnormal effective connectivity and clinical severity were investigated using the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS. Decreased influence from inferior temporal gyrus (ITG to amygdala was found in SAD, while bidirectional influences between amygdala and visual cortices were increased compared to HCs. Clinical relevance of decreased effective connectivity from ITG to amygdala was suggested by a negative correlation of LSAS avoidance scores and the value of Granger causality. Our study is the first to reveal a network of abnormal effective connectivity of core structures in SAD. This is in support of a disregulation in predescribed modules involved in affect control. The amygdala is placed in a central position of dysfunction characterized both by decreased regulatory influence of orbitofrontal cortex and increased crosstalk with visual cortex. The model which is proposed based on our results lends neurobiological support towards cognitive models considering disinhibition and an attentional bias towards negative stimuli as a core feature of the disorder.

  3. The distribution of motilin receptor in the amygdala of rats and its role in migrating myoelectric complex

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the distribution of the motilin receptor in the amygdala of rats and its role in regulating the duodenal migrating myoelectric complex (MMC). Methods:The distribution of motilin receptor in the amygdala in adult SD rats was detected by immunohistochemistry methods, and the duodenal interdigestive MMC was recorded via the electrodes implanted in the duodenum and analyzed using a multichannel recorder. Results:Motilin receptor was observed in the amygdala of rats. The great amount of motilin receptor was found in the medial amygdaloid nucleus, which was also abundant in the basolateral nucleus but less abundant in the basomedial amygdaloid nucleus, the central amygdaloid nucleus and the lateral amygdaloid nucleus. The shortening of the duodenal MMC cycle duration and the in crease of the amplitude and the frequency of phase Ⅲ were recorded after motilin receptors being bound with exogenous motilin in the amygdala. The effects could be completely blocked by the subdiaphragmatic vagotomy but not by the intravenous injections of atropine, phentolamine or propranolol. Anti-motilin serum could partially block these effects, and the destruction of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala had no significant effects on the duodenal MMC. Conclusion: Motilin receptor is present in all the subnuclei of the amygdala, with the greatest amount of motilin receptor present in the medial amygdaloid nucleus. Microinjections of motilin in the amygdala can shorten the duodenal MMC cycle duration and increase the amplitude and the frequency of phase Ⅲ. These effects might be accomplished via the amygdala-hypothalamus-brainstem-vagus pathway, indicating the important role of the amygdala motilin receptor in the duodenal MMC regulation.

  4. Pleiotropic locus for emotion recognition and amygdala volume identified using univariate and bivariate linkage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E. M.; McKay, D. Reese; Kent, Jack W.; Sprooten, Emma; Carless, Melanie A.; Curran, Joanne E.; de Almeida, Marcio A. A.; Dyer, Thomas D.; Göring, Harald H. H.; Olvera, Rene; Duggirala, Ravi; Fox, Peter; Almasy, Laura; Blangero, John; Glahn, David. C.

    2014-01-01

    The role of the amygdala in emotion recognition is well established and separately each trait has been shown to be highly heritable, but the potential role of common genetic influences on both traits has not been explored. Here we present an investigation of the pleiotropic influences of amygdala and emotion recognition in a sample of randomly selected, extended pedigrees (N = 858). Using a combination of univariate and bivariate linkage we found a pleiotropic region for amygdala and emotion recognition on 4q26 (LOD = 4.34). Association analysis conducted in the region underlying the bivariate linkage peak revealed a variant meeting the corrected significance level (pBonferroni = 5.01×10−05) within an intron of PDE5A (rs2622497, Χ2 =16.67, p = 4.4×10−05) as being jointly influential on both traits. PDE5A has been implicated previously in recognition-memory deficits and is expressed in subcortical structures that are thought to underlie memory ability including the amygdala. The present paper extends our understanding of the shared etiology between amygdala and emotion recognition by showing that the overlap between the two traits is due, at least in part, to common genetic influences. Moreover, the present paper identifies a pleiotropic locus for the two traits and an associated variant, which localizes the genetic signal even more precisely. These results, when taken in the context of previous research, highlight the potential utility of PDE5-inhibitors for ameliorating emotion-recognition deficits in populations including, but not exclusively, those individuals suffering from mental or neurodegenerative illness. PMID:25322361

  5. Stimulus-dependent amygdala involvement in affective theory of mind generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitgen, Mike M; Walter, Henrik; Drost, Sarah; Rückl, Sarah; Schnell, Knut

    2016-04-01

    Successful social interaction requires knowledge about another person's emotional states, represented in an affective theory of mind (ToM). This information can be acquired either directly or indirectly, i.e., by observing emotional facial expressions (EFE) or indirectly by inferring emotions through cognitive perspective taking. Therefore, it is of great interest how the function of the cortical ToM network and the limbic system in affective ToM depends on the presence of facial expressions. We addressed this question in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study. The experimental paradigm applied a well-established ToM cartoon task to test functional effects of EFE on the activation of the amygdala and the anterior ToM network during affective ToM judgments. During the task, 22 healthy participants had to judge the changes of the emotional state of the stories protagonist in the presence or absence of EFE. After quality control, 21 data sets entered the final analyses. The presence of EFE during affective ToM judgments was associated with shorter reaction times as well as increased activation of the right amygdala, most probably located in the basolateral nucleus (BLA), coincident with reduced activation of ToM-related regions of the prefrontal cortex. Psychophysiological interactions (PPI) revealed EFE-dependent modulation of connectivity between the right BLA and the contralateral ToM network regions. In combination with the functional interaction of EFE and affective ToM in the right amygdala, our data suggest a complementary but parallel organization of EFE processing and affective ToM. In this framework, the amygdala seems to act as an EFE detector when affective ToM judgments are demanded. Additionally, the facts that EFE induced exclusively right-sided amygdala activation and modulated the connectivity with the contralateral ToM network support the idea of a functional lateralization of stimulus driven components of affective ToM. PMID:26803059

  6. Long-term pharmacological kindling increases in vitro release of IR-Met and IR-Leu-enkephalin from amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asai, M; Matamoros-Trejo, G; Linares, G

    1998-06-01

    Met-enkephalin release is increased from amygdala and striatum 1 and 15 days after pharmacological kindling with pentylenetetrazol, following potassium-induced depolarization in vitro via a Ca2+ dependent mechanism. Leu-enkephalin release was only enhanced in amygdala and striatum 1 day after the last seizure. IR-Met-enkephalin amygdala tissue content enhanced 1 and 15 days after seizure. In striatum, we found an IR-Met-enkephalin decrease 35 days after the last stimulus. IR-Leu-enkephalin amygdala tissue content enhanced 1 day after the last seizure, and no significant increases were found in striatum 1, 15 and 35 days after the last seizure. In this paper, we show that opioid peptides release is differentially enhanced in rat brain for several days after the last seizure, thus suggesting that opioid peptides may have a protective action against seizure activity.

  7. Comparing the Anticonvulsant Effects of Low Frequency Stimulation of Different Brain Sites on the Amygdala Kindling Acquisition in Rats

    OpenAIRE

    Esmaeilpour, Khadijeh; Masoumi-Ardakani, Yaser; Sheibani, Vahid; Shojaei, Amir; Harandi, Shaahin; Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Javad

    2013-01-01

    Low frequency stimulation (LFS) is a potential alternative therapy for epilepsy. However, it seems that the anticonvulsant effects of LFS depend on its target sites in the brain. Thus, the present study was designed to compare the anticonvulsant effects of LFS administered to amygdala, piriform cortex and substantia nigra on amygdala kindling acquisition. In control group, rats were kindled in a chronic manner (one stimulation per 24 h). In other experimental groups, animals received low-freq...

  8. Amygdala response to preattentive masked fear in children with conduct problems:the role of callous-unemotional traits

    OpenAIRE

    Viding, Essi; Sebastian, Catherine L.; Dadds, Mark R.; Lockwood, Patricia L; Cecil, Charlotte A M; Stephane A De Brito; McCrory, Eamon J.

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: In children with conduct problems, high levels of callous-unemotional traits are associated with amygdala hypoactivity to consciously perceived fear, while low levels of callous-unemotional traits may be associated with amygdala hyperactivity. Behavioral data suggest that fear processing deficits in children with high callous-unemotional traits may extend to stimuli presented below conscious awareness (preattentively). The authors investigated the neural basis of this effect. Amygd...

  9. SK2 potassium channel over-expression in basolateral amygdala reduces anxiety, stress-induced corticosterone and dendritic arborization

    OpenAIRE

    R. Mitra; Ferguson, D.; Sapolsky, RM

    2009-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala is critical for generation of anxiety. Additionally, exposure to both stress and glucocorticoids induce anxiety. Demonstrated ability of the amygdala to change in response to stress and glucocorticoids could thus be important therapeutic target for anxiety management. Several studies have reported a relationship between anxiety and dendritic arborization of the amygdaloid neurons. In this study we employed a gene therapeutic approach to reduce anxiety and dendritic ar...

  10. Perturbed connectivity of the amygdala and its subregions with the central executive and default mode networks in chronic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ying; Oathes, Desmond; Hush, Julia; Darnall, Beth; Charvat, Mylea; Mackey, Sean; Etkin, Amit

    2016-09-01

    Maladaptive responses to pain-related distress, such as pain catastrophizing, amplify the impairments associated with chronic pain. Many of these aspects of chronic pain are similar to affective distress in clinical anxiety disorders. In light of the role of the amygdala in pain and affective distress, disruption of amygdalar functional connectivity in anxiety states, and its implication in the response to noxious stimuli, we investigated amygdala functional connectivity in 17 patients with chronic low back pain and 17 healthy comparison subjects, with respect to normal targets of amygdala subregions (basolateral vs centromedial nuclei), and connectivity to large-scale cognitive-emotional networks, including the default mode network, central executive network, and salience network. We found that patients with chronic pain had exaggerated and abnormal amygdala connectivity with central executive network, which was most exaggerated in patients with the greatest pain catastrophizing. We also found that the normally basolateral-predominant amygdala connectivity to the default mode network was blunted in patients with chronic pain. Our results therefore highlight the importance of the amygdala and its network-level interaction with large-scale cognitive/affective cortical networks in chronic pain, and help link the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive theories for pain with other clinical states of affective distress.

  11. Comparing the anticonvulsant effects of low frequency stimulation of different brain sites on the amygdala kindling acquisition in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaeilpour, Khadijeh; Masoumi-Ardakani, Yaser; Sheibani, Vahid; Shojaei, Amir; Harandi, Shaahin; Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Javad

    2013-01-01

    Low frequency stimulation (LFS) is a potential alternative therapy for epilepsy. However, it seems that the anticonvulsant effects of LFS depend on its target sites in the brain. Thus, the present study was designed to compare the anticonvulsant effects of LFS administered to amygdala, piriform cortex and substantia nigra on amygdala kindling acquisition. In control group, rats were kindled in a chronic manner (one stimulation per 24 h). In other experimental groups, animals received low-frequency stimulation (8 packages at 100 s intervals, each package contained 200 monophasic square-wave pulses, 0.1 ms pulse duration at 1 Hz andAD threshold intensity) in amygdala, piriform cortex or substantia nigra 60 seconds after the kindling stimulation, the AD duration and daily seizure stages were recorded. The obtained results showed that administration of LFS in all three regions reduced electrical and behavioral parameters of the kindling procedure. However LFS has a stronger inhibitory effect on kindling development when applied in substantia nigra compared to the amygdala and piriform cortex which reinforce the view that the substantia nigra mediates a crucial role in amygdala-kindled seizures. LFS had also greater inhibitory effects when applied to the amygdala compared to piriform cortex. Thus, it may be suggested that antiepileptogenic effect of LFS depends on its target site and different brain areas exert different inhibitory effects on kindling acquisition according to the seizure focus.

  12. Perturbed connectivity of the amygdala and its subregions with the central executive and default mode networks in chronic pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ying; Oathes, Desmond; Hush, Julia; Darnall, Beth; Charvat, Mylea; Mackey, Sean; Etkin, Amit

    2016-09-01

    Maladaptive responses to pain-related distress, such as pain catastrophizing, amplify the impairments associated with chronic pain. Many of these aspects of chronic pain are similar to affective distress in clinical anxiety disorders. In light of the role of the amygdala in pain and affective distress, disruption of amygdalar functional connectivity in anxiety states, and its implication in the response to noxious stimuli, we investigated amygdala functional connectivity in 17 patients with chronic low back pain and 17 healthy comparison subjects, with respect to normal targets of amygdala subregions (basolateral vs centromedial nuclei), and connectivity to large-scale cognitive-emotional networks, including the default mode network, central executive network, and salience network. We found that patients with chronic pain had exaggerated and abnormal amygdala connectivity with central executive network, which was most exaggerated in patients with the greatest pain catastrophizing. We also found that the normally basolateral-predominant amygdala connectivity to the default mode network was blunted in patients with chronic pain. Our results therefore highlight the importance of the amygdala and its network-level interaction with large-scale cognitive/affective cortical networks in chronic pain, and help link the neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive theories for pain with other clinical states of affective distress. PMID:27168362

  13. 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. PMID:26511328

  14. Anterior olfactory organ removal produces anxiety-like behavior and increases spontaneous neuronal firing rate in basal amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Carlos M; Gutiérrez-García, Ana G; Molina-Jiménez, Tania

    2013-09-01

    Some chemical cues may produce signs of anxiety and fear mediated by amygdala nuclei, but unknown is the role of two anterior olfactory epithelial organs, the septal and vomeronasal organs (SO-VNOs). The effects of SO-VNO removal were explored in different groups of Wistar rats using two complementary approaches: (i) the assessment of neuronal firing rate in basal and medial amygdala nuclei and (ii) behavioral testing. Fourteen days after SO-VNO removal, spontaneous activity in basal and medial amygdala nuclei in one group was determined using single-unit extracellular recordings. A separate group of rats was tested in the elevated plus maze, social interaction test, and open field test. Compared with sham-operated and intact control rats, SO-VNO removal produced a higher neuronal firing rate in the basal amygdala but not medial amygdala. In the behavioral tests, SO-VNO removal increased signs of anxiety in the elevated plus maze, did not alter locomotion, and increased self-directed behavior, reflecting anxiety-like behavior. Histological analysis showed neuronal destruction in the accessory olfactory bulb but not anterior olfactory nucleus in the SO-VNO group. The present results suggest the participation of SO-VNO/accessory olfactory bulb/basal amygdala relationships in the regulation of anxiety through a process of disinhibition. PMID:23721965

  15. Comparing the anticonvulsant effects of low frequency stimulation of different brain sites on the amygdala kindling acquisition in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmaeilpour, Khadijeh; Masoumi-Ardakani, Yaser; Sheibani, Vahid; Shojaei, Amir; Harandi, Shaahin; Mirnajafi-Zadeh, Javad

    2013-01-01

    Low frequency stimulation (LFS) is a potential alternative therapy for epilepsy. However, it seems that the anticonvulsant effects of LFS depend on its target sites in the brain. Thus, the present study was designed to compare the anticonvulsant effects of LFS administered to amygdala, piriform cortex and substantia nigra on amygdala kindling acquisition. In control group, rats were kindled in a chronic manner (one stimulation per 24 h). In other experimental groups, animals received low-frequency stimulation (8 packages at 100 s intervals, each package contained 200 monophasic square-wave pulses, 0.1 ms pulse duration at 1 Hz andAD threshold intensity) in amygdala, piriform cortex or substantia nigra 60 seconds after the kindling stimulation, the AD duration and daily seizure stages were recorded. The obtained results showed that administration of LFS in all three regions reduced electrical and behavioral parameters of the kindling procedure. However LFS has a stronger inhibitory effect on kindling development when applied in substantia nigra compared to the amygdala and piriform cortex which reinforce the view that the substantia nigra mediates a crucial role in amygdala-kindled seizures. LFS had also greater inhibitory effects when applied to the amygdala compared to piriform cortex. Thus, it may be suggested that antiepileptogenic effect of LFS depends on its target site and different brain areas exert different inhibitory effects on kindling acquisition according to the seizure focus. PMID:25337354

  16. Anterior olfactory organ removal produces anxiety-like behavior and increases spontaneous neuronal firing rate in basal amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Carlos M; Gutiérrez-García, Ana G; Molina-Jiménez, Tania

    2013-09-01

    Some chemical cues may produce signs of anxiety and fear mediated by amygdala nuclei, but unknown is the role of two anterior olfactory epithelial organs, the septal and vomeronasal organs (SO-VNOs). The effects of SO-VNO removal were explored in different groups of Wistar rats using two complementary approaches: (i) the assessment of neuronal firing rate in basal and medial amygdala nuclei and (ii) behavioral testing. Fourteen days after SO-VNO removal, spontaneous activity in basal and medial amygdala nuclei in one group was determined using single-unit extracellular recordings. A separate group of rats was tested in the elevated plus maze, social interaction test, and open field test. Compared with sham-operated and intact control rats, SO-VNO removal produced a higher neuronal firing rate in the basal amygdala but not medial amygdala. In the behavioral tests, SO-VNO removal increased signs of anxiety in the elevated plus maze, did not alter locomotion, and increased self-directed behavior, reflecting anxiety-like behavior. Histological analysis showed neuronal destruction in the accessory olfactory bulb but not anterior olfactory nucleus in the SO-VNO group. The present results suggest the participation of SO-VNO/accessory olfactory bulb/basal amygdala relationships in the regulation of anxiety through a process of disinhibition.

  17. Sex-Related Hemispheric Lateralization of Amygdala Function in Emotionally Influenced Memory: An fMRI Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, Larry; Uncapher, Melina; Kilpatrick, Lisa; Alkire, Mike T.; Turner, Jessica

    2004-01-01

    The amygdala appears necessary for enhanced long-term memory associated with emotionally arousing events. Recent brain imaging investigations support this view and indicate a sex-related hemispheric lateralization exists in the amygdala relationship to memory for emotional material. This study confirms and further explores this finding. Healthy men and women underwent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) while viewing a series of standardized slides that were rated by the subjects as ranging from emotionally neutral to highly arousing. Two weeks later, memory for the slides was assessed in an incidental recognition test. The results demonstrate a significantly stronger relationship in men than in women between activity of the right hemisphere amygdala and memory for those slides judged as arousing, and a significantly stronger relationship in women than in men between activity of the left hemisphere amygdala and memory for arousing slides. An ANOVA confirmed a significant interaction between sex and hemisphere regarding amygdala function in memory. These results provide the strongest evidence to date of a sex-related hemispheric lateralization of amygdala function in memory for emotional material. Furthermore, they underscore the view that investigations of neural mechanisms underlying emotionally influenced memory must anticipate, and begin to account for, the apparently substantial influence of sex. PMID:15169855

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelsch, Stefan; Fritz, Thomas; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2008-12-01

    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. PMID:19050462

  1. Ganaxolone Suppression of Behavioral and Electrographic Seizures in the Mouse Amygdala Kindling Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Doodipala S.; Rogawski, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Ganaxolone (3α-hydroxy-3β-methyl-5α-pregnan-20-one), a synthetic analog of the endogenous neurosteroid allopregnanolone and a positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors, may represent a new treatment approach for epilepsy. Here we demonstrate that pretreatment with ganaxolone (1.25–20 mg/kg, s.c.) causes a dose-dependent suppression of behavioral and electrographic seizures in fully amygdala kindled female mice, with nearly complete seizure protection at the highest dose tested. The ED50 for suppression of behavioral seizures was 6.6 mg/kg. The seizure suppression produced by ganaxolone was comparable to that of clonazepam (ED50, 0.1 mg/kg, s.c.). To the extent that amygdala kindling represents a model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, this study supports the utility of ganaxolone in the treatment of patients with temporal lobe seizures. PMID:20172694

  2. Increased expression of aquaporin-4 in brain tissue of amygdala-kindled rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yinghui Chen; Yongbo Zhao

    2011-01-01

    Recurrent epileptic seizures can lead to brain edema, indicating that water regulation may be perturbed by seizures.We hypothesized that the expression of the brain water channel aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) may be upregulated in the epileptic brain.In the present study, we established the amygdala kindling model of epilepsy, and quantified AQP-4 protein and mRNA levels, using reverse transcription-PCR, immunohistochemistry and western blotting, in epileptic and control rats.We found that AQP-4 was overexpressed in the cerebral cortex of rats with epilepsy compared with controls.These findings show that AQP-4 is highly expressed in the brain of amygdala-kindled rats, suggesting that repeated seizures affect water homeostasis in the brain.

  3. Planning activity for internally generated reward goals in monkey amygdala neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernádi, István; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Schultz, Wolfram

    2015-03-01

    The best rewards are often distant and can only be achieved by planning and decision-making over several steps. We designed a multi-step choice task in which monkeys followed internal plans to save rewards toward self-defined goals. During this self-controlled behavior, amygdala neurons showed future-oriented activity that reflected the animal's plan to obtain specific rewards several trials ahead. This prospective activity encoded crucial components of the animal's plan, including value and length of the planned choice sequence. It began on initial trials when a plan would be formed, reappeared step by step until reward receipt, and readily updated with a new sequence. It predicted performance, including errors, and typically disappeared during instructed behavior. Such prospective activity could underlie the formation and pursuit of internal plans characteristic of goal-directed behavior. The existence of neuronal planning activity in the amygdala suggests that this structure is important in guiding behavior toward internally generated, distant goals.

  4. fMRI amygdala activation during a spontaneous panic attack in a patient with panic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfleiderer, Bettina; Zinkirciran, Sariye; Arolt, Volker; Heindel, Walter; Deckert, Juergen; Domschke, Katharina

    2007-01-01

    Previous studies on neuronal activation correlates of panic attacks were mostly based on challenge tests, sensory-related stimulation or fear conditioning in healthy subjects. In the present study, we report on a female patient with panic disorder experiencing a spontaneous panic attack under an auditory habituation paradigm in the last stimulation block with sine tones captured with fMRI at 3T. The panic attack was associated with a significantly increased activity in the right amygdala. This is the first report on neuronal activation correlates of a spontaneous panic attack in a patient with panic disorder as measured by fMRI, which lends further support to a pivotal role of the amygdala in the pathogenesis of the disease. PMID:17853295

  5. Protein synthesis inhibition in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala facilitates extinction of auditory fear memory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIN XinChun; QI XueLian; YANG XiaoFei; LI BaoMing

    2007-01-01

    It is known that consolidation of fear conditioning requires de novo protein synthesis in the amygdala. However, there is controversy about the role of protein synthesis in post-retrieval extinction of fear memory. The present study investigated the effect of protein synthesis inhibition (PSI) in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA) on post-retrieval extinction of auditory fear memory. Intra-BLA infusion of the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin '0' h post-retrieval facilitated the extinction, but was ineffective if the memory was not retrieved. Anisomycin had no effect on the extinction when it was infused 6 h post-retrieval. The present results suggest that there exists a protein-synthesis-dependent mechanism in the BLA that retards extinction of auditory fear memory.

  6. Neural correlates of two different types of extinction learning in the amygdala central nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iordanova, Mihaela D; Deroche, Mickael L D; Esber, Guillem R; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Extinction is a fundamental form of memory updating in which one learns to stop expecting an event that no longer occurs. This learning ensues when one experiences a change in environmental contingencies, that is, when an expected outcome fails to occur (simple extinction), or when a novel inflated expectation of a double outcome (overexpectation) is in conflict with the real outcome, and is a process that has been linked to amygdala function. Here, we show that in rats, the same neuronal population in the amygdala central nucleus updates reward expectancies and behaviour in both types of extinction, and neural changes in one paradigm are reflected in the other. This work may have implications for the management of addiction and anxiety disorders that require treatments based on the outcome omission, and disorders such as obesity that could use overexpectation, but not omission strategies.

  7. Neural correlates of two different types of extinction learning in the amygdala central nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iordanova, Mihaela D; Deroche, Mickael L D; Esber, Guillem R; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Extinction is a fundamental form of memory updating in which one learns to stop expecting an event that no longer occurs. This learning ensues when one experiences a change in environmental contingencies, that is, when an expected outcome fails to occur (simple extinction), or when a novel inflated expectation of a double outcome (overexpectation) is in conflict with the real outcome, and is a process that has been linked to amygdala function. Here, we show that in rats, the same neuronal population in the amygdala central nucleus updates reward expectancies and behaviour in both types of extinction, and neural changes in one paradigm are reflected in the other. This work may have implications for the management of addiction and anxiety disorders that require treatments based on the outcome omission, and disorders such as obesity that could use overexpectation, but not omission strategies. PMID:27531638

  8. Divergent responses of inflammatory mediators within the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex to acute psychological stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchiarelli, Haley A; Gandhi, Chaitanya P; Gray, J Megan; Morena, Maria; Hassan, Kowther I; Hill, Matthew N

    2016-01-01

    There is now a growing body of literature that indicates that stress can initiate inflammatory processes, both in the periphery and brain; however, the spatiotemporal nature of this response is not well characterized. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an acute psychological stress on changes in mRNA and protein levels of a wide range of inflammatory mediators across a broad temporal range, in key corticolimbic brain regions involved in the regulation of the stress response (amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, medial prefrontal cortex). mRNA levels of inflammatory mediators were analyzed immediately following 30min or 120min of acute restraint stress and protein levels were examined 0h through 24h post-termination of 120min of acute restraint stress using both multiplex and ELISA methods. Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that exposure to acute psychological stress results in an increase in the protein level of several inflammatory mediators in the amygdala while concomitantly producing a decrease in the protein level of multiple inflammatory mediators within the medial prefrontal cortex. This pattern of changes seemed largely restricted to the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex, with stress producing few changes in the mRNA or protein levels of inflammatory mediators within the hippocampus or hypothalamus. Consistent with previous research, stress resulted in a general elevation in multiple inflammatory mediators within the circulation. These data indicate that neuroinflammatory responses to stress do not appear to be generalized across brain structures and exhibit a high degree of spatiotemporal specificity. Given the impact of inflammatory signaling on neural excitability and emotional behavior, these data may provide a platform with which to explore the importance of inflammatory signaling within the prefrontocortical-amygdala circuit in the regulation of the neurobehavioral responses to stress.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yulia Lerner

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

  10. OPIOID RECEPTORS IN THE BASOLATERAL AMYGDALA BUT NOT DORSAL HIPPOCAMPUS MEDIATE CONTEXT-INDUCED ALCOHOL SEEKING

    OpenAIRE

    Marinelli, Peter W.; Funk, Douglas; Juzytsch, Walter; Lê, A.D.

    2010-01-01

    Contexts associated with the availability of alcohol can induce craving in humans and alcohol seeking in rats. The opioid antagonist naltrexone attenuates context-induced reinstatement (renewal) of alcohol seeking and suppresses neuronal activation in the basolateral amygdaloid complex and dorsal hippocampus induced by such reinstatement. The objective of this study was to determine whether pharmacological blockade of opioid receptors in the basolateral amygdala or dorsal hippocampus would at...

  11. Age-related dendritic hypertrophy and sexual dimorphism in rat basolateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Rubinow, Marisa J.; Drogos, Lauren L.; Juraska, Janice M.

    2007-01-01

    Little research has examined the influence of aging or sex on anatomical measures in the basolateral amygdala. We quantified spine density and dendritic material in Golgi-Cox stained tissue of the basolateral nucleus in young adult (3–5 months) and aged (20–24 months) male and female Long-Evans rats. Dendritic branching and spine density were measured in principal neurons. Age, but not sex, influenced the dendritic tree, with aged animals displaying significantly more dendritic material. Prev...

  12. Odor-mediated taste learning requires dorsal hippocampus, but not basolateral amygdala activity

    OpenAIRE

    Wheeler, Daniel S.; Chang, Stephen E.; Holland, Peter C

    2012-01-01

    Mediated learning is a unique cognitive phenomenon in which mental representations of physically absent stimuli enter into associations with directly-activated representations of physically present stimuli. Three experiments investigated the functional physiology of mediated learning involving the use of odor-taste associations. In Experiments 1a and 1b, basolateral amygdala lesions failed to attenuate mediated taste aversion learning. In Experiment 2, dorsal hippocampus inactivation impaired...

  13. The amygdala to periaqueductal gray pathway: plastic changes induced by audiogenic kindling and reversal by gabapentin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tupal, S; Faingold, C L

    2012-09-26

    Repeated, periodic induction of AGS (AGS kindling) in GEPR-9s increases seizure duration and induces an additional generalized clonus phase [post-tonic clonus (PTC)], which involves expansion of the localized brainstem AGS network to the amygdala. The pathway between central amygdala (CeA) and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) is implicated in several disorders, including pain and anxiety. This pathway is also implicated in the network of audiogenic seizures (AGS) in genetically epilepsy-prone rats (GEPR-9s). We examined AGS kindling-induced changes in vlPAG extracellular action potentials evoked by electrical stimuli in CeA in awake, behaving GEPR-9s, using chronically-implanted stimulation electrodes in CeA and microwire recording electrodes in vlPAG. The effect of gabapentin, an anticonvulsant drug that is also effective in pain and anxiety disorders, on the CeA to vlPAG pathway in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s was also evaluated. Electrical stimulation in CeA evoked consistent, short latency and intensity-dependent vlPAG neuronal firing increases. However, in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s these responses showed a precipitous firing increase with increasing stimulus intensity, as compared to non-kindled GEPR-9s. Gabapentin (50mg/kg, i.p.) significantly reduced vlPAG neuronal responses to CeA stimulation to pre-AGS-kindled levels and reversibly blocked PTC in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s. These data suggest that the amygdala to vlPAG pathway may be critical in mediating the emergence of PTC during AGS kindling. The ability of gabapentin to suppress this pathway may be important for its anticonvulsant effects in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s, and this effect may contribute to gabapentin's effectiveness in anxiety and pain in which the amygdala to PAG pathway is also implicated.

  14. Transfer of epileptogenesis between perirhinal cortex and amygdala induced by electrical kindling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, J A; Bilkey, D K

    1997-10-10

    An interesting feature of the kindling phenomenon relates to the finding that kindling established in one region of the brain may reduce the number of stimulations required to establish the phenomenon in a second region. It has been proposed that this 'transfer' phenomenon reflects the extent to which seizures arising in two distinct regions share common underlying mechanisms. The perirhinal cortex (PRC) is currently receiving considerable attention with regard to its possible role in epileptogenesis. Although the role of this region in limbic seizures is unclear, the existence of reciprocal connections between the PRC and amygdala provides a possible neural substrate through which these two regions may influence one another. On the basis of this connectivity, one might expect a transfer between PRC kindling and amygdaloid kindling. Using kindling transfer, the present study was formulated to determine the nature of the relationship between electrical kindling of the PRC and amygdala. Animals previously kindled from the PRC to a cortico-generalised level displayed significantly more advanced behavioural seizures during the early stages of amygdaloid kindling than either controls or those partially kindled. This suggests that primary PRC kindling may facilitate amygdaloid access to systems responsible for the generation of motor seizures. Thus, in terms of kindling, the PRC and amygdala appear to be functionally related, with generalised seizures elicited from the PRC and amygdala sharing, at some level, common underlying mechanisms. Finally, the finding that seizures kindled from the dorsal component of the PRC tended to exhibit characteristics which were quite distinct from those elicited by ventral PRC kindling suggests that these two subregions may have different kindling characteristics and/or different patterns of connectivity with the amygdaloid complex.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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, the present experiments investigated whether the endocannabinoid system in the BLA influences memory consolidation and whether glucocorticoids interact with this system. The CB1 receptor agonist WIN5...

  16. Glucocorticoid enhancement of memory requires arousal-induced noradrenergic activation in the basolateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Roozendaal, Benno; Okuda, Shoki; Van der Zee, Eddy A.; McGaugh, James L.

    2006-01-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that glucocorticoid hormones enhance the consolidation of long-term memories for emotionally arousing experiences but not that for less arousing or neutral information. However, previous studies have not determined the basis of such arousal-induced selectivity. Here we report the finding that endogenous noradrenergic activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) induced by emotional arousal is essential in enabling glucocorticoid memory enhancemen...

  17. Basolateral amygdala noradrenergic influence enables enhancement of memory consolidation induced by hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor activation

    OpenAIRE

    Roozendaal, Benno; Nguyen, Bichngoc T.; Power, Ann E.; McGaugh, James L.

    1999-01-01

    Previously, we reported that bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) block the enhancing effects of posttraining systemic or intrahippocampal glucocorticoid administration on memory for inhibitory avoidance training. The present study further examined the basis of this permissive influence of the BLA on hippocampal memory functioning. Immediate posttraining unilateral infusions of the specific glucocorticoid receptor agonist RU 28362 (11β,17β-dihydroxy-6...

  18. Amygdala modulation of hippocampal-dependent and caudate nucleus-dependent memory processes.

    OpenAIRE

    Packard, M G; L. Cahill; McGaugh, J L

    1994-01-01

    These experiments investigated the effects, on memory, of injections of d-amphetamine (10 micrograms/0.5 microliter) administered into the amygdala, hippocampus, or caudate nucleus immediately after training in cued or spatial water-maze tasks. In experiment 1, rats received an eight-trial training session on one of the two tasks followed by injections of d-amphetamine or saline. Retention was tested 24 hr later. On the spatial task, intrahippocampal, but not intracaudate, injections of d-amp...

  19. Noradrenergic Activation of the Basolateral Amygdala Modulates Consolidation of Object Recognition Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Roozendaal, Benno; Castello, Nicholas A.; Vedana, Gustavo; Barsegyan, Areg; McGaugh, James L.

    2008-01-01

    Noradrenergic activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) modulates the consolidation of memory for many kinds of highly emotionally arousing training tasks. The present experiments investigated whether posttraining noradrenergic activation of the BLA is sufficient to enable memory consolidation of a low-arousing training experience. Sprague-Dawley rats received intra-BLA infusions of norepinephrine, the β-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol or saline immediately after either ...

  20. Role of FKBP5 in emotion processing: results on amygdala activity, connectivity and volume

    OpenAIRE

    Holz, Nathalie E.; Buchmann, Arlette F; Boecker, Regina; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Baumeister, Sarah; Wolf, Isabella; Rietschel, Marcella; Witt, Stephanie H.; Plichta, Michael M; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Banaschewski, Tobias; Brandeis, Daniel; Laucht, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests a role of FKBP5, a co-chaperone regulating the glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity, in the etiology of depression and anxiety disorders. Based on recent findings of altered amygdala activity following childhood adversity, the present study aimed at clarifying the impact of genetic variation in FKBP5 on threat-related neural activity and coupling as well as morphometric alterations in stress-sensitive brain systems. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during an...

  1. Role of FKBP5 in emotion processing: results on amygdala activity, connectivity and volume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holz, Nathalie E; Buchmann, Arlette F; Boecker, Regina; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Baumeister, Sarah; Wolf, Isabella; Rietschel, Marcella; Witt, Stephanie H; Plichta, Michael M; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Banaschewski, Tobias; Brandeis, Daniel; Laucht, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests a role of FKBP5, a co-chaperone regulating the glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity, in the etiology of depression and anxiety disorders. Based on recent findings of altered amygdala activity following childhood adversity, the present study aimed at clarifying the impact of genetic variation in FKBP5 on threat-related neural activity and coupling as well as morphometric alterations in stress-sensitive brain systems. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during an emotional face-matching task was performed in 153 healthy young adults (66 males) from a high-risk community sample followed since birth. Voxel-based morphometry was applied to study structural alterations and DNA was genotyped for FKBP5 rs1360780. Childhood adversity was measured using retrospective self-report (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) and by a standardized parent interview assessing childhood family adversity. Depression was assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory. There was a main effect of FKBP5 on the left amygdala, with T homozygotes showing the highest activity, largest volume and increased coupling with the left hippocampus and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). Moreover, amygdala-OFC coupling proved to be associated with depression in this genotype. In addition, our results support previous evidence of a gene-environment interaction on right amygdala activity with respect to retrospective assessment of childhood adversity, but clarify that this does not generalize to the prospective assessment. These findings indicated that activity in T homozygotes increased with the level of adversity, whereas the opposite pattern emerged in C homozygotes, with CT individuals being intermediate. The present results point to a functional involvement of FKBP5 in intermediate phenotypes associated with emotional processing, suggesting a possible mechanism for this gene in conferring susceptibility to stress-related disorders. PMID:24756342

  2. Global Prefrontal and Fronto-amygdala Dysconnectivity in Bipolar I Disorder with Psychosis History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anticevic, Alan; Brumbaugh, Margaret S.; Winkler, Anderson M.; Lombardo, Lauren E.; Barrett, Jennifer; Corlett, Phillip R.; Kober, Hedy; Gruber, June; Repovs, Grega; Cole, Michael W.; Krystal, John H.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Glahn, David C.

    2012-01-01

    Background Pathophysiological models of bipolar disorder postulate that mood dysregulation arises from fronto-limbic dysfunction, marked by reduced prefrontal cortex (PFC) inhibitory control. This may occur both due to disruptions within PFC networks and abnormal inhibition over subcortical structures involved in emotional processing. However, no study has examined global PFC dysconnectivity in bipolar disorder and tested if regions with within-PFC dysconnectivity also exhibit fronto-limbic connectivity deficits. Further, no study has investigated whether such connectivity disruptions differ for bipolar patients with psychosis history, who may exhibit a more severe clinical course. Methods We collected resting-state fMRI at 3T in 68 remitted bipolar I patients (34 with psychosis history) and 51 demographically-matched healthy participants. We employed a recently developed Global Brain Connectivity method, restricted to PFC (rGBC). We also independently tested connectivity between anatomically-defined amygdala and PFC. Results Bipolar patients exhibited reduced medial PFC (mPFC) rGBC, increased amygdala-MPFC connectivity, and reduced connectivity between amygdala and dorso-lateral PFC. All effects were driven by psychosis history. Moreover, the magnitude of observed effects was significantly associated with lifetime psychotic symptom severity. Conclusions This convergence between rGBC, seed-based amygdala findings and symptom severity analyses highlights that mPFC, a core emotion regulation region, exhibits both within-PFC dysconnectivity and connectivity abnormalities with limbic structures in bipolar illness. Furthermore, lateral PFC dysconnectivity in patients with psychosis history converges with published work in schizophrenia, indicating possible shared risk factors. Observed dysconnectivity in remitted patients suggests a bipolar trait characteristic and may constitute a risk factor for phasic features of the disorder. PMID:22980587

  3. Sex Differences and Laterality in Astrocyte Number and Complexity in the Adult Rat Medial Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    JOHNSON, RYAN T.; Breedlove, S. Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L.

    2008-01-01

    The posterodorsal portion of the medial amygdala (MePD) is sexually dimorphic in several rodent species. In several other brain nuclei, astrocytes change morphology in response to steroid hormones. We visualized MePD astrocytes using glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunocytochemistry. We compared the number and process complexity of MePD astrocytes in adult wildtype male and female rats and testicular feminized mutant (TFM) male rats that lack functional androgen receptors (ARs) to de...

  4. Subregional differences in intrinsic amygdala hyperconnectivity and hypoconnectivity in autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinhans, Natalia M; Reiter, Maya A; Neuhaus, Emily; Pauley, Greg; Martin, Nathalie; Dager, Stephen; Estes, Annette

    2016-07-01

    The amygdala is a complex structure with distinct subregions and dissociable functional networks. The laterobasal subregion of the amygdala is hypothesized to mediate the presentation and severity of autism symptoms, although very little data are available regarding amygdala dysfunction at the subregional level. In this study, we investigated the relationship between abnormal amygdalar intrinsic connectivity, autism symptom severity, and anxiety and depressive symptoms. We collected resting state fMRI data on 31 high functioning adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder and 38 typically developing (TD) controls aged 14-45. Twenty-five participants with ASD and 28 TD participants were included in the final analyses. ASD participants were administered the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Adult participants were administered the Beck Depression Inventory II and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Functional connectivity analyses were conducted from three amygdalar subregions: centromedial (CM), laterobasal (LB) and superficial (SF). In addition, correlations with the behavioral measures were tested in the adult participants. In general, the ASD group showed significantly decreased connectivity from the LB subregion and increased connectivity from the CM and SF subregions compared to the TD group. We found evidence that social symptoms are primarily associated with under-connectivity from the LB subregion whereas over-connectivity and under-connectivity from the CM, SF and LB subregions are related to co-morbid depression and anxiety in ASD, in brain regions that were distinct from those associated with social dysfunction, and in different patterns than were observed in mildly symptomatic TD participants. Our findings provide new evidence for functional subregional differences in amygdala pathophysiology in ASD. Autism Res 2016, 9: 760-772. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc

  5. [Neurochemical analysis of the amygdala basolateral nucleus of rats during anxiety tests].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talalaenko, A N; Babiĭ, Iu V; Perch, N N; Vozdvigin, S A; Panfilov, V Iu

    1997-03-01

    Chlordiazepoxid, phenibut, indoter, campiron, campironin, when administered into the amygdala, improve the anxiety condition of rats in avoidance tests and resemble by their effects dophamine, GABA, or serotonin. Observed differences in the anxiolytic effects between anxiosedative and anxioselective agents seem to be due to an unequal contribution of the monoamin- and aminoacidotergic transmitters into the mechanisms of heteromodal aversive anxiety genesis in the basolateral area of the amygdalar complex. PMID:12436687

  6. Capsaicin-induced changes in LTP in the lateral amygdala are mediated by TRPV1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten Zschenderlein

    Full Text Available The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1 channel is a well recognized polymodal signal detector that is activated by painful stimuli such as capsaicin. Here, we show that TRPV1 is expressed in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA. Despite the fact that the central amygdala displays the highest neuronal density, the highest density of TRPV1 labeled neurons was found within the nuclei of the basolateral complex of the amygdala. Capsaicin specifically changed the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP in the LA in brain slices of mice depending on the anesthetic (ether, isoflurane used before euthanasia. After ether anesthesia, capsaicin had a suppressive effect on LA-LTP both in patch clamp and in extracellular recordings. The capsaicin-induced reduction of LTP was completely blocked by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS inhibitor L-NAME and was absent in neuronal NOS as well as in TRPV1 deficient mice. The specific antagonist of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1, AM 251, was also able to reduce the inhibitory effect of capsaicin on LA-LTP, suggesting that stimulation of TRPV1 provokes the generation of anandamide in the brain which seems to inhibit NO synthesis. After isoflurane anesthesia before euthanasia capsaicin caused a TRPV1-mediated increase in the magnitude of LA-LTP. Therefore, our results also indicate that the appropriate choice of the anesthetics used is an important consideration when brain plasticity and the action of endovanilloids will be evaluated. In summary, our results demonstrate that TRPV1 may be involved in the amygdala control of learning mechanisms.

  7. Hyperglycemia decreased medial amygdala projections to medial preoptic area in experimental model of Diabetes Mellitus.

    OpenAIRE

    Yousef Mohamadi; Seyed Behnam-edin Jameie; Mohammad Akbari; Masumeh Staji; Fatemeh Moradi; Tahmineh Mokhtari; Maryam Khanehzad; Gholamreza Hassanzadeh

    2015-01-01

    In Wistar rats, reproductive behavior is controlled in a neural circuit of ventral forebrain including the medial amygdala (Me), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and medial preoptic area (MPOA) via perception of social odors. Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a widespread metabolic disease that affects many organs in a variety of levels. DM can cause central neuropathies such as neuronal apoptosis, dendritic atrophy, neurochemical alterations and also causes reproductive dysfunctions. So we...

  8. Epigenetic modulation of Homer1a transcription regulation in amygdala and hippocampus with pavlovian fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahan, Amy L; Mou, Liping; Shah, Nirali; Hu, Jia-Hua; Worley, Paul F; Ressler, Kerry J

    2012-03-28

    The consolidation of conditioned fear involves upregulation of genes necessary for long-term memory formation. An important question remains as to whether this results in part from epigenetic regulation and chromatin modulation. We examined whether Homer1a, which is required for memory formation, is necessary for Pavlovian cued fear conditioning, whether it is downstream of BDNF-TrkB activation, and whether this pathway utilizes histone modifications for activity-dependent transcriptional regulation. We initially found that Homer1a knock-out mice exhibited deficits in cued fear conditioning (5 tone-shock presentations with 70 dB, 6 kHz tones and 0.5 s, 0.6 mA footshocks). We then demonstrated that: (1) Homer1a mRNA increases after fear conditioning in vivo within both amygdala and hippocampus of wild-type mice; (2) it increases after BDNF application to primary hippocampal and amygdala cultures in vitro; and (3) these increases are dependent on transcription and MAPK signaling. Furthermore, using chromatin immunoprecipitation we found that both in vitro and in vivo manipulations result in decreases in Homer1 promoter H3K9 methylation in amygdala cells but increases in Homer1 promoter H3 acetylation in hippocampal cells. However, no changes were observed in H4 acetylation or H3K27 dimethylation. Inhibition of histone deacetylation by sodium butyrate enhanced contextual but not cued fear conditioning and enhanced Homer1 H3 acetylation in the hippocampus. These data provide evidence for dynamic epigenetic regulation of Homer1a following BDNF-induced plasticity and during a BDNF-dependent learning process. Furthermore, upregulation of this gene may be regulated through distinct epigenetic modifications in the hippocampus and amygdala.

  9. The role of basolateral amygdala adrenergic receptors in hippocampus dependent spatial memory in rat

    OpenAIRE

    Vafaei A.L.; Rashidy-Pour A

    2008-01-01

    Background and the purpose of the study: There are extensive evidences indicating that the noradrenergic system of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) is involved in memory processes. The present study investigated the role of the BLA adrenergic receptors (ARs) in hippocampus dependent spatial memory in place avoidance task in male rat. Material and Methods: Long Evans rats (n=150) were trained to avoid footshock in a 60° segment while foraging for scattered food on a circul...

  10. 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. PMID:24672018

  11. Excitatory amino acid receptors in the basolateral amygdala regulate anxiety responses in the social interaction test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajdyk, T J; Shekhar, A

    1997-08-01

    Blocking GABA(A) receptors in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) elicits increases in heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP) and anxiety responses by enhancing a glutamate mediated excitation. The present study was conducted to determine the role of the ionotropic glutamate receptors within the BLA in regulating HR, BP and experimental anxiety. Blocking basal glutamate excitation had no significant effect on HR or BP, but did elicit a significant anxiolytic-like effect.

  12. Context conditioning and extinction in humans: differential contribution of the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Lang, Simone; Kroll, Alexander; Lipinski, Slawomira J; Wessa, Michèle; Ridder, Stephanie; Christmann, Christoph; Schad, Lothar R.; Flor, Herta

    2009-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate the role of the hippocampus, amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in a contextual conditioning and extinction paradigm provoking anxiety. Twenty-one healthy persons participated in a differential context conditioning procedure with two different background colours as contexts. During acquisition increased activity to the conditioned stimulus (CS+) relative to the CS− was found in the left hippocampus and anterior cingulate ...

  13. Effect of acute stressor and serotonin transporter genotype on amygdala first wave transcriptome in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christa Hohoff

    Full Text Available The most prominent brain region evaluating the significance of external stimuli immediately after their onset is the amygdala. Stimuli evaluated as being stressful actuate a number of physiological processes as an immediate stress response. Variation in the serotonin transporter gene has been associated with increased anxiety- and depression-like behavior, altered stress reactivity and adaptation, and pathophysiology of stress-related disorders. In this study the instant reactions to an acute stressor were measured in a serotonin transporter knockout mouse model. Mice lacking the serotonin transporter were verified to be more anxious than their wild-type conspecifics. Genome-wide gene expression changes in the amygdala were measured after the mice were subjected to control condition or to an acute stressor of one minute exposure to water. The dissection of amygdalae and stabilization of RNA was conducted within nine minutes after the onset of the stressor. This extremely short protocol allowed for analysis of first wave primary response genes, typically induced within five to ten minutes of stimulation, and was performed using Affymetrix GeneChip Mouse Gene 1.0 ST Arrays. RNA profiling revealed a largely new set of differentially expressed primary response genes between the conditions acute stress and control that differed distinctly between wild-type and knockout mice. Consequently, functional categorization and pathway analysis indicated genes related to neuroplasticity and adaptation in wild-types whereas knockouts were characterized by impaired plasticity and genes more related to chronic stress and pathophysiology. Our study therefore disclosed different coping styles dependent on serotonin transporter genotype even directly after the onset of stress and accentuates the role of the serotonergic system in processing stressors and threat in the amygdala. Moreover, several of the first wave primary response genes that we found might provide

  14. [The amygdala and its relation to autism, behavioural disorders and other neurodevelopmental disorders].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggieri, Víctor L

    2014-02-24

    The amygdala is related with the recognition of the emotional meaning of stimuli, long-term memory, the orientation of social stimuli and the perception of gaze orientation. It plays a fundamental role in the recognition of faces, especially those expressing fear, and makes it possible to comprehend different emotional states, which will facilitate an appropriate social cognition. Dysfunctions of the amygdala have been associated to a number of different neurodevelopmental disorders as well as neurocognitive and behavioural disorders in specific neurogenetic entities. A number of studies focused on the amygdalic complex have allowed researchers to understand many pathophysiological aspects and to formulate new hypotheses regarding their origins. Given that the disorders or conditions in which the role of the amygdala has been evoked are becoming increasingly more extensive, this article refers the reader to those that have aroused the most interest in recent years. Thus, they can be divided into two groups: developmental and behavioural disorders (autism, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, alexithymia and anorexia nervosa) and specific neurogenetic entities (fragile X, Rett, Prader-Willi and Williams syndromes), in which structural or dysfunctional alterations have been observed that may be related with their neurocognitive and behavioural symptoms. It is important to remember that the amygdala is a highly connected structure that forms truly functional networks and has been associated to different disorders with varied explanations and includes several different pathophysiological phenomena. Its role must not, therefore, be simplified in a reductionistic manner, but also placed upon a hierarchy of dysfunctions in other areas that interact with it. PMID:25252660

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 behavioral responses to stress, impaired social behavior, and increased sensitivity to phencyclidine. Some of these symptoms become manifest after puberty, as is the case in schizophrenic patients, and are no...

  16. Nitric Oxide Signaling Exerts Bidirectional Effects on Plasticity Inductions in Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Shin, Ryong-Moon; Higuchi, Makoto; Suhara, Tetsuya

    2013-01-01

    It has been well known that long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) constitutes an essential cellular mechanism contributing to encoding of conditioned fear. Nitric oxide (NO), produced by activation of the postsynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) in thalamic input to the LA, has been thought to promote LTP, contributing to the establishment of conditioned fear. However, it is not known whether and how NO, released from cort...

  17. Unpredictable neonatal stress enhances adult anxiety and alters amygdala gene expression related to serotonin and GABA

    OpenAIRE

    Sarro, Emma C.; Sullivan, Regina M.; Barr, Gordon

    2013-01-01

    Anxiety-related disorders are among the most common psychiatric illnesses, thought to have both genetic and environmental causes. Early-life trauma, such as abuse from a caregiver, can be predictable or unpredictable, each resulting in increased prevalence and severity of a unique set of disorders. In this study, we examined the influence of early unpredictable trauma on both the behavioral expression of adult anxiety and gene expression within the amygdala. Neonatal rats were exposed to unpa...

  18. Oxytocin, Dopamine, and the Amygdala: A Neurofunctional Model of Social Cognitive Deficits in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Rosenfeld, Andrew J.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Jarskog, L Fredrik

    2010-01-01

    Until recently, the social cognitive impairment in schizophrenia has been underappreciated and remains essentially untreated. Deficits in emotional processing, social perception and knowledge, theory of mind, and attributional bias may contribute to functional social cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. The amygdala has been implicated as a key component of social cognitive circuitry in both animal and human studies. In addition, structural and functional studies of schizophrenia reproduci...

  19. Post-training depletions of basolateral amygdala serotonin fail to disrupt discrimination, retention, or reversal learning

    OpenAIRE

    Ochoa, Jesus G.; Stolyarova, Alexandra; Kaur, Amandeep; Hart, Evan E.; Bugarin, Amador; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    In goal-directed pursuits, the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is critical in learning about changes in the value of rewards. BLA-lesioned rats show enhanced reversal learning, a task employed to measure the flexibility of response to changes in reward. Similarly, there is a trend for enhanced discrimination learning, suggesting that BLA may modulate formation of stimulus-reward associations. There is a parallel literature on the importance of serotonin (5HT) in new stimulus-reward and reversal le...

  20. Altered responsiveness of BNST and amygdala neurons in trauma-induced anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Sierra, O E; Goswami, S; Turesson, H K; Pare, D

    2016-01-01

    A highly conserved network of brain structures regulates the expression of fear and anxiety in mammals. Many of these structures display abnormal activity levels in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, some of them, like the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) and amygdala, are comprised of several small sub-regions or nuclei that cannot be resolved with human neuroimaging techniques. Therefore, we used a well-characterized rat model of PTSD to compare neuronal properties in resilient vs PTSD-like rats using patch recordings obtained from different BNST and amygdala regions in vitro. In this model, a persistent state of extreme anxiety is induced in a subset of susceptible rats following predatory threat. Previous animal studies have revealed that the central amygdala (CeA) and BNST are differentially involved in the genesis of fear and anxiety-like states, respectively. Consistent with these earlier findings, we found that between resilient and PTSD-like rats were marked differences in the synaptic responsiveness of neurons in different sectors of BNST and CeA, but whose polarity was region specific. In light of prior data about the role of these regions, our results suggest that control of fear/anxiety expression is altered in PTSD-like rats such that the influence of CeA is minimized whereas that of BNST is enhanced. A model of the amygdalo-BNST interactions supporting the PTSD-like state is proposed. PMID:27434491

  1. Self-esteem modulates amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity in response to mortality threats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagisawa, Kuniaki; Abe, Nobuhito; Kashima, Emiko S; Nomura, Michio

    2016-03-01

    Reminders of death often elicit defensive responses in individuals, especially among those with low self-esteem. Although empirical evidence indicates that self-esteem serves as a buffer against mortality threats, the precise neural mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test the hypothesis that self-esteem modulates neural responses to death-related stimuli, especially functional connectivity within the limbic-frontal circuitry, thereby affecting subsequent defensive reactions. As predicted, individuals with high self-esteem subjected to a mortality threat exhibited increased amygdala-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) connectivity during the processing of death-related stimuli compared with individuals who have low self-esteem. Further analysis revealed that stronger functional connectivity between the amygdala and the VLPFC predicted a subsequent decline in responding defensively to those who threaten one's beliefs. These results suggest that the amygdala-VLPFC interaction, which is modulated by self-esteem, can reduce the defensiveness caused by death-related stimuli, thereby providing a neural explanation for why individuals with high self-esteem exhibit less defensive reactions to mortality threats.

  2. The effects of lesions of the posterior piriform cortex on amygdala kindling in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahnschaffe, U; Ebert, U; Löscher, W

    1993-07-01

    The piriform cortex (PC) is thought to be critically involved in the genesis of forebrain (limbic type) seizures, including limbic kindled seizures. More recent studies have shown that the posterior PC is particularly sensitive to kindling stimulation, suggesting that the posterior PC contains specific generating sites which may be important for the stepwise progression of kindling. In the present experiments, we used microinjections of ibotenate to study the effect of selective lesions of the posterior PC on amygdala kindling in rats. Large unilateral lesions of the posterior PC and adjacent endopiriform nucleus markedly decreased the susceptibility of the ipsilateral basolateral amygdala to electrical stimulation, thus indicating that the posterior PC may normally contribute to regulation of physiologic excitability in amygdala. During kindling, rats with large lesions of the PC stayed longer in the initial phase of kindling (stage 1) than sham-lesioned controls, consistent with involvement of the posterior PC in the early stages of seizure propagation during kindling acquisition. However, the PC lesions were not capable of blocking or even severely retarding kindling. Following kindling development, rats with large lesions of the posterior PC had significantly higher focal seizure thresholds than kindled rats without lesion or rats with only small PC lesions, which suggests that the posterior PC is involved in the mechanisms which are responsible for the marked increase in seizure susceptibility induced by kindling. Taken together, the data substantiate that PC structures play a facilitatory role in kindling.

  3. Amygdala Kindling Alters Estrus Cycle and Ovarian Morphology in the Rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Juan; Zhang, Lingwu; Wang, Feng; Liu, Dan; Li, P Andy; Sun, Tao

    2013-11-01

    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 seizures were recorded and ovarian morphology was evaluated by light and electron microscopies. Our results showed that the kindled rats lost their ovarian periodicity displayed significant ovarian enlargement. H&E staining revealed increased number of growing follicles and total follicles, as well as polycysts in the ovaries of the kindled animals compared to sham and control animals. Ultrastructural study detected numerous apoptotic granulosa cells in growing follicles and thecal cell hyperplasia with secretary granules in the thecal cells in the kindled rats. The results suggest that amygdala kindling is a risk factor for the development of polycystic ovary syndrome.

  4. Involvement of central TRPV1 receptors in pentylenetetrazole and amygdala-induced kindling in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirazi, Mohsen; Izadi, Mahin; Amin, Masoud; Rezvani, Mohammad Ebrahim; Roohbakhsh, Ali; Shamsizadeh, Ali

    2014-08-01

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a non-selective cation channel that is involved in modulation of diverse physiological processes. The role of this receptor in epilepsy has not been studied well. Therefore, we investigated the role of central TRPV1 receptors on the development of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and amygdala-induced kindling in rats. Male Wistar rats received subconvulsive dose of PTZ intraperitoneally, every other day. TRPV1 receptor agonist, OLDA and its antagonist, AMG-9810 were injected intracerebroventricularly 30 min prior to PTZ administration. In electrical kindling, stimulating and recording electrodes were implanted in the right amygdala of male rats. After kindling, the effect of TRPV1 receptor agonist or antagonist on afterdischarge duration (ADD), latency to the onset of bilateral forelimb clonuses (S4L) and duration of loss of equilibrium (stage 5 seizures, S5D) were measured. The results demonstrated that, OLDA at the doses of 0.01, 0.1 and 1 μg/rat, significantly accelerated the incidence of all seizure stages, increased S5D and decreased S4L in the PTZ model of kindling. Also, in amygdala kindling, S5D and ADD were significantly reduced following the administration of AMG-9810. In contrast, OLDA significantly aggravated the indices of seizure in both models of epileptic seizure. This study demonstrated that central TRPV1 receptors may be involved in the development of electrical and PTZ-induced kindling.

  5. Role of the amygdala in the hippocampal kindling effect of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, H; Aihara, H; Watanabe, S; Yamamoto, T; Ueki, S

    1985-02-01

    In the present experiment, the role of the amygdala in the formation of the hippocampal kindling effect was investigated in rats with chronic electrode implants. The number of trials required for the establishment of hippocampal kindling was significantly shortened by either ipsilateral or bilateral amygdaloid lesions. The high amplitude spike waves in the frontal cortex and reticular formation appeared earlier in the amygdaloid lesioned rats than in the sham lesioned rats. It is suggested that the amygdala has an inhibitory effect on the development of the hippocampal kindling effect. On the other hand, either the ipsilateral or bilateral amygdaloid lesions after the establishment of hippocampal kindling inhibited the induction of generalized convulsion by hippocampal stimulation. Three and 8 repeated daily stimulations were needed to reestablish the hippocampal kindling effect after the ipsilateral and bilateral amygdaloid lesions, respectively. These results do not coincide with the above-mentioned results indicating that the amygdala has an inhibitory role in the formation of hippocampal kindling. It is suggested that the neuronal circuits involved in the formation of hippocampal kindling in the amygdaloid lesioned rats are different from those in the intact rats.

  6. Toxoplasma gondii infection induces dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala accompanied by reduced corticosterone secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rupshi Mitra

    2013-03-01

    Pathological anxiety is thought to reflect a maladaptive state characterized by exaggerated fear. Naturally occurring perturbations that reduce fear can be crucial in the search for new treatments. The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii invades rat brain and removes the fear that rats have of cat odors, a change believed to be parasitic manipulation of host behavior aimed at increasing parasite transmission. It is likely that mechanisms employed by T. gondii can be used as a heuristic tool to understand possible means of fear reduction in clinical settings. Male Long-Evans rats were infected with T. gondii and compared with sham-infected animals 8 weeks after infection. The amount of circulating plasma corticosterone and dendritic arborization of basolateral amygdala principal neurons were quantified. Previous studies have shown that corticosterone, acting within the basolateral amygdala, enhances the fear response to environmental stimuli. Here we show that T. gondii infection causes a dendritic retraction in basolateral amygdala neurons. Such dendritic retraction is accompanied by lower amounts of circulating corticosterone, both at baseline and when induced by an aversive cat odor. The concerted effects of parasitism on two pivotal physiological nodes of the fear response provide an animal model relevant to interactions between stress hormones and amygdalar plasticity.

  7. Distinct frontal and amygdala correlates of change detection for facial identity and expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achaibou, Amal; Loth, Eva; Bishop, Sonia J

    2016-02-01

    Recruitment of 'top-down' frontal attentional mechanisms is held to support detection of changes in task-relevant stimuli. Fluctuations in intrinsic frontal activity have been shown to impact task performance more generally. Meanwhile, the amygdala has been implicated in 'bottom-up' attentional capture by threat. Here, 22 adult human participants took part in a functional magnetic resonance change detection study aimed at investigating the correlates of successful (vs failed) detection of changes in facial identity vs expression. For identity changes, we expected prefrontal recruitment to differentiate 'hit' from 'miss' trials, in line with previous reports. Meanwhile, we postulated that a different mechanism would support detection of emotionally salient changes. Specifically, elevated amygdala activation was predicted to be associated with successful detection of threat-related changes in expression, over-riding the influence of fluctuations in top-down attention. Our findings revealed that fusiform activity tracked change detection across conditions. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortical activity was uniquely linked to detection of changes in identity not expression, and amygdala activity to detection of changes from neutral to fearful expressions. These results are consistent with distinct mechanisms supporting detection of changes in face identity vs expression, the former potentially reflecting top-down attention, the latter bottom-up attentional capture by stimulus emotional salience.

  8. Amygdala alterations during an emotional conflict task in women recovered from anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bang, Lasse; Rø, Øyvind; Endestad, Tor

    2016-02-28

    The pathophysiology of anorexia nervosa (AN) is not completely understood, but research suggests that alterations in brain circuits related to cognitive control and emotion are central. The aim of this study was to explore neural responses to an emotional conflict task in women recovered from AN. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure neural responses to an emotional conflict task in 22 women recovered from AN and 21 age-matched healthy controls. The task involved categorizing affective faces while ignoring affective words. Face and word stimuli were either congruent (non-conflict) or incongruent (conflict). Brain responses to emotional conflict did not differ between groups. However, in response to emotional non-conflict, women recovered from AN relative to healthy controls showed significantly less activation in the bilateral amygdala. Specifically, while emotional non-conflict evoked significant activations of the amygdala in healthy controls, recovered AN women did not show such activations. Similar significant group differences were also observed in the hippocampus and basal ganglia. These results suggest that women recovered from AN are characterized by alterations within emotion-related brain circuits. Recovered women's absence of amygdala and hippocampus activation during non-conflict trials possibly reflects an impaired ability to process emotional significant stimuli. PMID:26778366

  9. Distinct frontal and amygdala correlates of change detection for facial identity and expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achaibou, Amal; Loth, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Recruitment of ‘top-down’ frontal attentional mechanisms is held to support detection of changes in task-relevant stimuli. Fluctuations in intrinsic frontal activity have been shown to impact task performance more generally. Meanwhile, the amygdala has been implicated in ‘bottom-up’ attentional capture by threat. Here, 22 adult human participants took part in a functional magnetic resonance change detection study aimed at investigating the correlates of successful (vs failed) detection of changes in facial identity vs expression. For identity changes, we expected prefrontal recruitment to differentiate ‘hit’ from ‘miss’ trials, in line with previous reports. Meanwhile, we postulated that a different mechanism would support detection of emotionally salient changes. Specifically, elevated amygdala activation was predicted to be associated with successful detection of threat-related changes in expression, over-riding the influence of fluctuations in top-down attention. Our findings revealed that fusiform activity tracked change detection across conditions. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortical activity was uniquely linked to detection of changes in identity not expression, and amygdala activity to detection of changes from neutral to fearful expressions. These results are consistent with distinct mechanisms supporting detection of changes in face identity vs expression, the former potentially reflecting top-down attention, the latter bottom-up attentional capture by stimulus emotional salience. PMID:26245835

  10. Trait impulsivity is related to ventral ACC and amygdala activity during primary reward anticipation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Kara L; Avery, Jason A; Barcalow, Joel C; Moseman, Scott E; Bodurka, Jerzy; Bellgowan, Patrick S F; Simmons, W Kyle

    2015-01-01

    Trait impulsivity is characterized by behavioral disinhibition and rash decision-making that contribute to many maladaptive behaviors. Previous research demonstrates that trait impulsivity is related to the activity of brain regions underlying reward sensitivity and emotion regulation, but little is known about this relationship in the context of immediately available primary reward. This is unfortunate, as impulsivity in these contexts can lead to unhealthy behaviors, including poor food choices, dangerous drug use and risky sexual practices. In addition, little is known about the relationship between integration of reward and affective neurocircuitry, as measured by resting-state functional connectivity, and trait impulsivity in everyday life, as measured with a commonly used personality inventory. We therefore asked healthy adults to undergo a functional magnetic resonance imaging task in which they saw cues indicating the imminent oral administration of rewarding taste, as well as a resting-state scan. Trait impulsivity was associated with increased activation during anticipation of primary reward in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and amygdala. Additionally, resting-state functional connectivity between the ACC and the right amygdala was negatively correlated with trait impulsivity. These findings demonstrate that trait impulsivity is related not only to ACC-amygdala activation but also to how tightly coupled these regions are to one another. PMID:24526181

  11. Evidence for model-based computations in the human amygdala during Pavlovian conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prévost, Charlotte; McNamee, Daniel; Jessup, Ryan K; Bossaerts, Peter; O'Doherty, John P

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction operating at the level of Pavlovian conditioning. In the present study, we scanned human participants while they participated in a Pavlovian conditioning task with a simple structure while measuring activity in the human amygdala using a high-resolution fMRI protocol. After fitting a model-based algorithm and a variety of model-free algorithms to the fMRI data, we found evidence for the superiority of a model-based algorithm in accounting for activity in the amygdala compared to the model-free counterparts. These findings support an important role for model-based algorithms in describing the processes underpinning Pavlovian conditioning, as well as providing evidence of a role for the human amygdala in model-based inference.

  12. Evidence for model-based computations in the human amygdala during Pavlovian conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Prévost

    Full Text Available Contemporary computational accounts of instrumental conditioning have emphasized a role for a model-based system in which values are computed with reference to a rich model of the structure of the world, and a model-free system in which values are updated without encoding such structure. Much less studied is the possibility of a similar distinction operating at the level of Pavlovian conditioning. In the present study, we scanned human participants while they participated in a Pavlovian conditioning task with a simple structure while measuring activity in the human amygdala using a high-resolution fMRI protocol. After fitting a model-based algorithm and a variety of model-free algorithms to the fMRI data, we found evidence for the superiority of a model-based algorithm in accounting for activity in the amygdala compared to the model-free counterparts. These findings support an important role for model-based algorithms in describing the processes underpinning Pavlovian conditioning, as well as providing evidence of a role for the human amygdala in model-based inference.

  13. Role of amygdala in mediating sexual and emotional behavior via coupled nitric oxide release

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Elliott SALAMON; Tobias ESCH; George B STEFANO

    2005-01-01

    Although the anatomical configuration of the amygdala has been studied a great deal, very little research has been conducted on understanding the precise mechanism by which this emotional regulatory center exerts its control on emotional and sexual behavior. By applying research methodology from the Neuroscience Research Institute, State University of New York, College at Old Westbury, we intended to demonstrate that much of the mediated effects of the amygdala, specifically the regulation of the male and female sexual response cycles, as well as related emotional considerations, exert their effects coupled to nitric oxide (NO) release. Furthermore, by using current anatomical and histological data, we demonstrated that amygdalar tissue rich in endocannabinoid and opiate, as well as catecholamine, receptors could exert its neurochemical effects within an NOmediated paradigm. This paradigm, together with the existence of estrogen and androgen signaling within the amygdala, further lends credence to our theoretical framework. We begin with a brief anatomical and functional review of amygdalar function, and then proceed to demonstrate its relationship with NO.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 data using dynamic causal modeling and used Bayesian model selection to infer how psilocybin modulated effective connectivity within the visual-limbic-prefrontal network during threat processing. First, both placebo and psilocybin data were best explained by a model in which threat affect modulated bidirectional connections between the primary visual cortex, amygdala, and lateral prefrontal cortex. Second, psilocybin decreased the threat-induced modulation of top-down connectivity from the amygdala to primary visual cortex, speaking to a neural mechanism that might underlie putative shifts towards positive affect states after psilocybin administration. These findings may have important implications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer Kraehenmann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 data using dynamic causal modeling and used Bayesian model selection to infer how psilocybin modulated effective connectivity within the visual–limbic–prefrontal network during threat processing. First, both placebo and psilocybin data were best explained by a model in which threat affect modulated bidirectional connections between the primary visual cortex, amygdala, and lateral prefrontal cortex. Second, psilocybin decreased the threat-induced modulation of top-down connectivity from the amygdala to primary visual cortex, speaking to a neural mechanism that might underlie putative shifts towards positive affect states after psilocybin administration. These findings may have important implications for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders.

  16. Consequences of temporary inhibition of the medial amygdala on social recognition memory performance in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eNoack

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Different lines of investigation suggest that the medial amygdala is causally involved in the processing of information linked to social behaviour in rodents. Here we investigated the consequences of temporary inhibition of the medial amygdala by bilateral injections of lidocaine on long-term social recognition memory as tested in the social discrimination task. Lidocaine or control NaCl solution was infused immediately before learning or before retrieval. Our data show that lidocaine infusion immediately before learning did not affect long-term memory retrieval. However, intra-amygdalar lidocaine infusions immediately before choice interfered with correct memory retrieval. Analysis of the aggressive behaviour measured simultaneously during all sessions in the social recognition memory task support the impression that the lidocaine dosage used here was effective as it – at least partially – reduced the aggressive behaviour shown by the experimental subjects towards the juveniles. Surprisingly, also infusions of NaCl solution blocked recognition memory at both injection time points. The results are interpreted in the context of the importance of the medial amygdala for the processing of non-volatile odours as a major contributor to the olfactory signature for social recognition memory.

  17. Consequences of amygdala kindling and repeated withdrawal from ethanol on amphetamine-induced behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripley, Tamzin L; Dunworth, Sarah J; Stephens, David N

    2002-09-01

    It has been shown previously that chronic ethanol treatment in mice leads to accelerated behavioural sensitization to psychomotor stimulants [Manley & Little (1997) J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 281, 1330-1339], whilst repeated experience of ethanol withdrawal sensitizes pathways underlying seizure activity (Becker & Hale (1993) Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res., 17, 94-98]. The aim of the current experiment was to investigate the consequences of repeated withdrawal from ethanol on amphetamine-induced behaviours in the rat and compare this with animals with electrical kindling of the amygdala, a procedure that has been shown to enhance alcohol withdrawal seizures [Pinel et al. (1975) Can. J. Neurol. Sci., 2, 467-475]. For the kindling experiments, electrodes were surgically implanted in the left basolateral amygdala and were stimulated daily at the afterdischarge threshold until a criterion of three consecutive stage 5 seizures was reached. Fully kindled rats showed a marginally significant reduction in sensitivity to the locomotor stimulant effects of acute amphetamine compared with sham and partially kindled rats which had experienced subthreshold stimulation of the amygdala. Sham and partially kindled rats sensitized readily to the locomotor activating effects of amphetamine (0.125 mg/kg) following repeated treatments, but the fully kindled rats did not. Fully kindled rats also failed to show place preference conditioning to amphetamine (0.5 mg/kg). Rats, withdrawn three times from chronic ethanol (liquid-diet), kindled more quickly to PTZ (30 mg/kg, i.p.) than rats with the same overall exposure to ethanol (24 days) followed by a single withdrawal or control animals. However, there was no difference in the locomotor stimulating effects of acute amphetamine (0.25-1 mg/kg, i.p.), the rate of sensitization to amphetamine (0.125 mg/kg, i.p.) or amphetamine induced conditioned place preference (1 mg/kg, i.p.). These observations suggest that, in rats, repeated withdrawal from a

  18. Amygdala habituation to emotional faces in adolescents with internalizing disorders, adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related PTSD and healthy adolescents

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    Bianca G. van den Bulk

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related post-traumatic stress disorder (CSA-related PTSD show a large overlap in symptomatology. In addition, brain research indicated hyper-responsiveness and sustained activation instead of habituation of amygdala activation to emotional faces in both groups. Little is known, however, about whether the same patterns of amygdala habituation are present in these two groups. The current study examined habituation patterns of amygdala activity to emotional faces (fearful, happy and neutral in adolescents with a DSM-IV depressive and/or anxiety disorder (N = 25, adolescents with CSA-related PTSD (N = 19 and healthy controls (N = 26. Behaviourally, the adolescents from the internalizing and CSA-related PTSD group reported more anxiety to fearful and neutral faces than adolescents from the control group and adolescents from the CSA-related PTSD group reacted slower compared to the internalizing group. At the whole brain level, there was a significant interaction between time and group within the left amygdala. Follow-up ROI analysis showed elevated initial activity in the amygdala and rapid habituation in the CSA-related PTSD group compared to the internalizing group. These findings suggest that habituation patterns of amygdala activation provide additional information on problems with emotional face processing. Furthermore, the results suggest there are differences in the underlying neurobiological mechanisms related to emotional face processing for adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with CSA-related PTSD. Possibly CSA-related PTSD is characterized by a stronger primary emotional response driven by the amygdala.

  19. Amygdala kindling disrupts trace and delay fear conditioning with parallel changes in Fos protein expression throughout the limbic brain.

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    Botterill, J J; Fournier, N M; Guskjolen, A J; Lussier, A L; Marks, W N; Kalynchuk, L E

    2014-04-18

    Amygdala kindling is well known to increase unconditioned fear and anxiety. However, relatively little is known about whether this form of kindling causes functional changes within the neural circuitry that mediates fear learning and the retrieval of fear memories. To address this issue, we examined the effect of short- (i.e., 30 stimulations) and long-term (i.e., 99 stimulations) amygdala kindling in rats on trace and delay fear conditioning, which are aversive learning tasks that rely predominantly on the hippocampus and amygdala, respectively. After memory retrieval, we analyzed the pattern of neural activity with Fos, the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos. We found that kindling had no effect on acquisition of the trace fear conditioning task but it did selectively impair retrieval of this fear memory. In contrast, kindling disrupted both acquisition and retrieval of fear memory in the delay fear conditioning task. We also found that kindling-induced impairments in memory retrieval were accompanied by decreased Fos expression in several subregions of the hippocampus, parahippocampus, and amygdala. Interestingly, decreased freezing in the trace conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal and parahippocampal regions whereas decreased freezing in the delay conditioning task was significantly correlated with dampened Fos expression in hippocampal, parahippocampal, and amygdaloid circuits. Overall, these results suggest that amygdala kindling promotes functional changes in brain regions involved in specific types of fear learning and memory.

  20. Basolateral amygdala response to food cues in the absence of hunger is associated with weight gain susceptibility.

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    Sun, Xue; Kroemer, Nils B; Veldhuizen, Maria G; Babbs, Amanda E; de Araujo, Ivan E; Gitelman, Darren R; Sherwin, Robert S; Sinha, Rajita; Small, Dana M

    2015-05-20

    In rodents, food-predictive cues elicit eating in the absence of hunger (Weingarten, 1983). This behavior is disrupted by the disconnection of amygdala pathways to the lateral hypothalamus (Petrovich et al., 2002). Whether this circuit contributes to long-term weight gain is unknown. Using fMRI in 32 healthy individuals, we demonstrate here that the amygdala response to the taste of a milkshake when sated but not hungry positively predicts weight change. This effect is independent of sex, initial BMI, and total circulating ghrelin levels, but it is only present in individuals who do not carry a copy of the A1 allele of the Taq1A polymorphism. In contrast, A1 allele carriers, who have decreased D2 receptor density (Blum et al., 1996), show a positive association between caudate response and weight change. Regardless of genotype, however, dynamic causal modeling supports unidirectional gustatory input from basolateral amygdala (BLA) to hypothalamus in sated subjects. This finding suggests that, as in rodents, external cues gain access to the homeostatic control circuits of the human hypothalamus via the amygdala. In contrast, during hunger, gustatory inputs enter the hypothalamus and drive bidirectional connectivity with the amygdala. These findings implicate the BLA-hypothalamic circuit in long-term weight change related to nonhomeostatic eating and provide compelling evidence that distinct brain mechanisms confer susceptibility to weight gain depending upon individual differences in dopamine signaling.

  1. Long-lasting attenuation of amygdala-kindled seizures after convection-enhanced delivery of botulinum neurotoxins a and B into the amygdala in rats.

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    Gasior, Maciej; Tang, Rebecca; Rogawski, Michael A

    2013-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are well recognized to cause potent, selective, and long-lasting neuroparalytic actions by blocking cholinergic neurotransmission to muscles and glands. There is evidence that BoNT isoforms can also inhibit neurotransmission in the brain. In this study, we examined whether locally delivered BoNT/A and BoNT/B can attenuate kindling measures in amygdala-kindled rats. Male rats were implanted with a combination infusion cannula-stimulating electrode assembly into the right basolateral amygdala. Fully kindled animals received a single infusion of vehicle or BoNT/A or BoNT/B at doses of 1, 3.2, or 10 ng over a 20-minute period by convection-enhanced delivery. Electrographic (EEG) and behavioral kindling measures were determined at selected times during the 3- to 64-day period after the infusion. BoNT/B produced a dose-dependent elevation in after-discharge threshold and duration and a reduction in the seizure stage and duration of behavioral seizures that lasted for up to 50 days after infusion. BoNT/A had similar effects on EEG measures; behavioral seizure measures were also reduced, but the effect did not reach statistical significance. The effects of both toxins on EEG and behavioral measures progressively resolved during the latter half of the observation period. Animals gained weight normally, maintained normal body temperature, and did not show altered behavior. This study demonstrates for the first time that locally delivered BoNTs can produce prolonged inhibition of brain excitability, indicating that they could be useful for the treatment of brain disorders, including epilepsy, that would benefit from long-lasting suppression of neurotransmission within a circumscribed brain region.

  2. Differential Dynamics of Amino Acid Release in the Amygdala and Olfactory Cortex during Odor Fear Acquisition as Revealed with Simultaneous High Temporal Resolution Microdialysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegoburu, Chloe; Sevelinges, Yannick; Thevenet, Marc; Gervais, Remi; Parrot, Sandrine; Mouly, Anne-Marie

    2009-01-01

    Although the amygdala seems to be essential to the formation and storage of fear memories, it might store only some aspects of the aversive event and facilitate the storage of more specific sensory aspects in cortical areas. We addressed the time course of amygdala and cortical activation in the context of odor fear conditioning in rats. Using…

  3. Acute and chronic effects of citalopram on postsynaptic 5-hydroxytryptamine(1A) receptor-mediated feedback : a microdialysis study in the amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosker, FJ; Cremers, TIFH; Jongsma, ME; Westerink, BHC; Wikstrom, VH; den Boer, JA

    2001-01-01

    Microdialysis was used to assess the involvement of postsynaptic 5-hydroxytryptamine(1A) (5-HT1A) receptors in the regulation of extracellular 5-HT in the amygdala. Local infusion of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist flesinoxan (0.3, 1, 3 muM) for 30 min into the amygdala maximally decreased 5-HT to 50% o

  4. Synaptic maturation at cortical projections to the lateral amygdala in a mouse model of Rett syndrome.

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    Frédéric Gambino

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome (RTT is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by loss of function of Mecp2--methyl-CpG-binding protein 2--an epigenetic factor controlling DNA transcription. In mice, removal of Mecp2 in the forebrain recapitulates most of behavioral deficits found in global Mecp2 deficient mice, including amygdala-related hyper-anxiety and lack of social interaction, pointing a role of Mecp2 in emotional learning. Yet very little is known about the establishment and maintenance of synaptic function in the adult amygdala and the role of Mecp2 in these processes. Here, we performed a longitudinal examination of synaptic properties at excitatory projections to principal cells of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in Mecp2 mutant mice and their wild-type littermates. We first show that during animal life, Cortico-LA projections switch from a tonic to a phasic mode, whereas Thalamo-LA synapses are phasic at all ages. In parallel, we observed a specific elimination of Cortico-LA synapses and a decrease in their ability of generating presynaptic long term potentiation. In absence of Mecp2, both synaptic maturation and synaptic elimination were exaggerated albeit still specific to cortical projections. Surprisingly, associative LTP was unaffected at Mecp2 deficient synapses suggesting that synaptic maintenance rather than activity-dependent synaptic learning may be causal in RTT physiopathology. Finally, because the timing of synaptic evolution was preserved, we propose that some of the developmental effects of Mecp2 may be exerted within an endogenous program and restricted to synapses which maturate during animal life.

  5. Activation of adenosine receptor potentiates the anticonvulsant effect of phenytoin against amygdala kindled seizures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhen; Zhong, Xiao-Ling; Zong, Yu; Wu, Zhong-Chen; Zhang, Qun; Yu, Jin-Tai; Tan, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Drug resistance in epilepsy is considered as a complicated and multifactorial problem. Poor penetration of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) across blood-brain barrier (BBB) into the brain, which results in insufficient level of the drugs at the targeted brain region, has been discussed as one mechanism contributing to pharmacoresistance of epilepsies. Therefore, modulating permeability of BBB is the effective treatment strategy since it facilitates the entry of AEDs into the central nervous system (CNS). Recently, signaling through receptors for the adenosine has been identified as a potent modulator of BBB permeability. This paper aimed to investigate the effects of auxiliary application of adenosine receptor (AR) agonist on amygdala-kindled seizures in adult male Wistar rats. When fully kindled seizures were achieved by daily electrical stimulation of the amygdala, rats were randomly divided into three groups: control, phenytoin, and phenytoin (PHT)+5'-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA) groups. NECA (0.08 mg/kg, i.v.) was applied to the PHT+NECA group after the administration of PHT (75 mg/kg, i.p. on the first day; 50mg/kg, i.p. on the following 9 days). Intravenous infusion of NECA resulted in a significant increase in brain PHT levels as compared with the PHT treatment alone. On the other hand, the auxiliary application of NECA dramatically decreased the frequency of generalized seizures and seizure stage, shortened duration of afterdischarge and generalized seizures, as well as the elevated the afterdischarge threshold and generalized seizures threshold. Our study demonstrated that auxiliary application of AR agonist enhanced brain antiepileptic drug levels and strengthened the anticonvulsant properties of PHT against amygdala kindled seizures.

  6. Carbamazepine, but not valproate, displays pharmacoresistance in lamotrigine-resistant amygdala kindled rats.

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    Srivastava, Ajay K; White, H Steve

    2013-03-01

    The voltage gated sodium channel (VGSC) blocker lamotrigine (LTG), when administered during kindling acquisition, leads to the development of resistance to LTG. The present study aimed to assess whether LTG-resistant amygdala-kindled rats display subsequent resistance to the VGSC blocker carbamazepine (CBZ) and the broad-spectrum antiepileptic drug (AED) sodium valproate (VPA). Two groups of male Sprague Dawley rats received either 0.5% methylcellulose (MC) or LTG (5mg/kg, i.p.) 1h before each amygdala kindling stimulation. Treatments were stopped once both the groups were fully kindled. Two days later, both groups were challenged with a higher dose of LTG (15mg/kg, i.p.) to verify LTG-resistance in the experimental group (i.e., LTG-pretreated rats). The efficacy of CBZ and VPA was then evaluated in both groups. A higher dose of LTG blocked fully kindled seizures in the vehicle-treated rats but not seizures in the LTG-treated group. The mean seizure score, of the control group (1.2±0.3) was significantly lower (Pkindling acquisition) (28.5% vs. 62%, respectively). Interestingly, CBZ (10, 20, and 40mg/kg) displayed a dose-dependent anticonvulsant effect in the vehicle-kindled group, but was less effective in LTG-treated animals. In contrast, VPA (300mg/kg) effectively blocked the behavioral seizure and decreased the afterdischarge duration (ADD) in both vehicle and LTG groups. These findings suggest that the LTG-resistant, amygdala-kindled rat may represent a novel model of pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

  7. The Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Phase Synchronization during Epileptogenesis in Amygdala-Kindling Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jia-Jia; Li, Yong-Hua; Gong, Hai-Qing; Liang, Pei-Ji; Zhang, Pu-Ming; Lu, Qin-Chi

    2016-01-01

    The synchronization among the activities of neural populations in functional regions is one of the most important electrophysiological phenomena in epileptic brains. The spatiotemporal dynamics of phase synchronization was investigated to reveal the reciprocal interaction between different functional regions during epileptogenesis. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded simultaneously from the basolateral amygdala (BLA), the cornu ammonis 1 of hippocampus (CA1) and the mediodorsal nucleus of thalamus (MDT) in the mouse amygdala-kindling models during the development of epileptic seizures. The synchronization of LFPs was quantified between BLA, CA1 and MDT using phase-locking value (PLV). During amygdala kindling, behavioral changes (from stage 0 to stage 5) of mice were accompanied by after-discharges (ADs) of similar waveforms appearing almost simultaneously in CA1, MDT, as well as BLA. AD durations were positively related to the intensity of seizures. During seizures at stages 1~2, PLVs remained relatively low and increased dramatically shortly after the termination of the seizures; by contrast, for stages 3~5, PLVs remained a relatively low level during the initial period but increased dramatically before the seizure termination. And in the theta band, the degree of PLV enhancement was positively associated with seizure intensity. The results suggested that during epileptogenesis, the functional regions were kept desynchronized rather than hyper-synchronized during either the initial or the entire period of the seizures; so different dynamic patterns of phase synchronization may be involved in different periods of the epileptogenesis, and this might also reflect that during seizures at different stages, the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of phase synchronization were different.

  8. Abnormal anatomical connectivity between the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in conduct disorder.

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    Luca Passamonti

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: Previous research suggested that structural and functional abnormalities within the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex contribute to the pathophysiology of Conduct Disorder (CD. Here, we investigated whether the integrity of the white-matter pathways connecting these regions is abnormal and thus may represent a putative neurobiological marker for CD. METHODS: Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI was used to investigate white-matter microstructural integrity in male adolescents with childhood-onset CD, compared with healthy controls matched in age, sex, intelligence, and socioeconomic status. Two approaches were employed to analyze DTI data: voxel-based morphometry of fractional anisotropy (FA, an index of white-matter integrity, and virtual dissection of white-matter pathways using tractography. RESULTS: Adolescents with CD displayed higher FA within the right external capsule relative to controls (T = 6.08, P<0.05, Family-Wise Error, whole-brain correction. Tractography analyses showed that FA values within the uncinate fascicle (connecting the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex were abnormally increased in individuals with CD relative to controls. This was in contrast with the inferior frontal-occipital fascicle, which showed no significant group differences in FA. The finding of increased FA in the uncinate fascicle remained significant when factoring out the contribution of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms. There were no group differences in the number of streamlines in either of these anatomical tracts. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence that CD is associated with white-matter microstructural abnormalities in the anatomical tract that connects the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex, the uncinate fascicle. These results implicate abnormal maturation of white-matter pathways which are fundamental in the regulation of emotional behavior in CD.

  9. Disconnection of the amygdala from visual association cortex impairs visual reward-association learning in monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaffan, E A; Gaffan, D; Harrison, S

    1988-09-01

    Cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were trained in a task that assessed their ability to associate visual stimuli with food reward. Acquisition of stimulus-reward associations was measured under 2 conditions, a 2-stimuli acquisition condition and a 1-stimulus acquisition condition. On each trial in the 2-stimuli condition, the positive (correct) and negative (incorrect) stimuli were presented side by side and the animal chose one by touching it; if the choice was correct, a food reward was dispensed. On each trial in the 1-stimulus condition, either the positive or the negative stimulus was presented alone; if the stimulus was the positive, it was followed by reward delivery, regardless of the animal's response to it, and if it was the negative, it was not followed by reward delivery. Thus, reward delivery was contingent upon the animal's response to the stimuli in the 2-stimuli condition but not in the 1-stimulus condition. The effect of acquisition trials under these 2 conditions was measured, in both conditions, by the animal's subsequent choice when presented with the 2 stimuli side by side. Following preoperative training in this task, the animals were first subjected to unilateral ablation of the inferotemporal cortex. This operation had little effect on the animals' learning ability. Then, the amygdala was ablated in the hemisphere contralateral to that in which the unilateral inferotemporal ablation had been carried out. This combination of crossed unilateral lesions of the amygdala and of the inferotemporal cortex, which disconnects the amygdala from the output of visual association cortex, produced a profound impairment in stimulus-reward-associative learning.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3171671

  10. Prenatal Thyroxine Treatment Disparately Affects Peripheral and Amygdala Thyroid Hormone Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shukla, Pradeep K.; Sittig, Laura J.; Andrus, Brian M.; Schaffer, Daniel J.; Batra, Kanchi K.; Redei, Eva E.

    2009-01-01

    Summary A prenatal hypothyroid state is associated with behavioral abnormalities in adulthood. Wistar–Kyoto (WKY) rats exhibit hypothyroidism and increased depressive and anxiety-like behaviors. Thus, the WKY could illuminate the mechanisms by which the reversal of developmental hypothyroidism in humans and animals results in adult behavioral improvement. We examined the outcome of maternal thyroxine (T4) treatment on thyroid hormone-regulated functions and adult behavior of the WKY offspring. Pregnant WKY dams completed gestation with and without T4 administration and their adult male offspring were tested. Measures included depressive and anxiety-like behaviors, and thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations in both plasma and specific brain regions. In addition, the expression of two proteins affecting thyroid hormone trafficking and metabolism, monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT-8) and iodothyronine deiodinase type III (Dio3), and of several behavior-altering molecules, glucocorticoid receptor (GR), prepro-thyrotropin releasing hormone (prepro-TRH) and corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), were determined in the hippocampus and amygdala of the offspring. Prenatal T4 treatment of WKYs did not affect adult depressive behavior but increased anxiety-like behavior and decreased plasma levels of THs. In the hippocampus of males treated with T4 in utero, Dio3 and MCT-8 protein levels were increased, while in the amygdala, there were increases of free T4, MCT-8, GR, prepro-TRH protein and CRH mRNA levels. These results show that T4 administration in utero programs adult peripheral and amygdalar thyroid hormone levels divergently, and that the resulting upregulation of anxiety-related genes in the amygdala could be responsible for the exacerbated anxiety-like behavior seen in WKYs after prenatal T4 treatment. PMID:20005050

  11. The Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Phase Synchronization during Epileptogenesis in Amygdala-Kindling Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Hai-Qing; Liang, Pei-Ji; Zhang, Pu-Ming; Lu, Qin-Chi

    2016-01-01

    The synchronization among the activities of neural populations in functional regions is one of the most important electrophysiological phenomena in epileptic brains. The spatiotemporal dynamics of phase synchronization was investigated to reveal the reciprocal interaction between different functional regions during epileptogenesis. Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded simultaneously from the basolateral amygdala (BLA), the cornu ammonis 1 of hippocampus (CA1) and the mediodorsal nucleus of thalamus (MDT) in the mouse amygdala-kindling models during the development of epileptic seizures. The synchronization of LFPs was quantified between BLA, CA1 and MDT using phase-locking value (PLV). During amygdala kindling, behavioral changes (from stage 0 to stage 5) of mice were accompanied by after-discharges (ADs) of similar waveforms appearing almost simultaneously in CA1, MDT, as well as BLA. AD durations were positively related to the intensity of seizures. During seizures at stages 1~2, PLVs remained relatively low and increased dramatically shortly after the termination of the seizures; by contrast, for stages 3~5, PLVs remained a relatively low level during the initial period but increased dramatically before the seizure termination. And in the theta band, the degree of PLV enhancement was positively associated with seizure intensity. The results suggested that during epileptogenesis, the functional regions were kept desynchronized rather than hyper-synchronized during either the initial or the entire period of the seizures; so different dynamic patterns of phase synchronization may be involved in different periods of the epileptogenesis, and this might also reflect that during seizures at different stages, the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of phase synchronization were different. PMID:27100891

  12. Individual attachment style modulates human amygdala and striatum activation during social appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrticka, Pascal; Andersson, Frédéric; Grandjean, Didier; Sander, David; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2008-01-01

    Adult attachment style refers to individual personality traits that strongly influence emotional bonds and reactions to social partners. Behavioral research has shown that adult attachment style reflects profound differences in sensitivity to social signals of support or conflict, but the neural substrates underlying such differences remain unsettled. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined how the three classic prototypes of attachment style (secure, avoidant, anxious) modulate brain responses to facial expressions conveying either positive or negative feedback about task performance (either supportive or hostile) in a social game context. Activation of striatum and ventral tegmental area was enhanced to positive feedback signaled by a smiling face, but this was reduced in participants with avoidant attachment, indicating relative impassiveness to social reward. Conversely, a left amygdala response was evoked by angry faces associated with negative feedback, and correlated positively with anxious attachment, suggesting an increased sensitivity to social punishment. Secure attachment showed mirror effects in striatum and amygdala, but no other specific correlate. These results reveal a critical role for brain systems implicated in reward and threat processing in the biological underpinnings of adult attachment style, and provide new support to psychological models that have postulated two separate affective dimensions to explain these individual differences, centered on the ventral striatum and amygdala circuits, respectively. These findings also demonstrate that brain responses to face expressions are not driven by facial features alone but determined by the personal significance of expressions in current social context. By linking fundamental psychosocial dimensions of adult attachment with brain function, our results do not only corroborate their biological bases but also help understand their impact on behavior. PMID:18682729

  13. Uncertainty-Dependent Extinction of Fear Memory in an Amygdala-mPFC Neural Circuit Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda

    2016-09-01

    Uncertainty of fear conditioning is crucial for the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Fear memory acquired through partial pairings of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) is more resistant to extinction than that acquired through full pairings; this effect is known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Although the PREE has been explained by psychological theories, the neural mechanisms underlying the PREE remain largely unclear. Here, we developed a neural circuit model based on three distinct types of neurons (fear, persistent and extinction neurons) in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In the model, the fear, persistent and extinction neurons encode predictions of net severity, of unconditioned stimulus (US) intensity, and of net safety, respectively. Our simulation successfully reproduces the PREE. We revealed that unpredictability of the US during extinction was represented by the combined responses of the three types of neurons, which are critical for the PREE. In addition, we extended the model to include amygdala subregions and the mPFC to address a recent finding that the ventral mPFC (vmPFC) is required for consolidating extinction memory but not for memory retrieval. Furthermore, model simulations led us to propose a novel procedure to enhance extinction learning through re-conditioning with a stronger US; strengthened fear memory up-regulates the extinction neuron, which, in turn, further inhibits the fear neuron during re-extinction. Thus, our models increased the understanding of the functional roles of the amygdala and vmPFC in the processing of uncertainty in fear conditioning and extinction. PMID:27617747

  14. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

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    Melissa S Monsey

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

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

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    Margaret Grace McCue

    2014-09-01

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

  16. Epigenetic alterations are critical for fear memory consolidation and synaptic plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monsey, Melissa S; Ota, Kristie T; Akingbade, Irene F; Hong, Ellie S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2011-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms, including histone acetylation and DNA methylation, have been widely implicated in hippocampal-dependent learning paradigms. Here, we have examined the role of epigenetic alterations in amygdala-dependent auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in the rat. Using Western blotting, we first show that auditory fear conditioning is associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA, and that training-related alterations in histone acetylation and DNMT3A expression in the LA are downstream of ERK/MAPK signaling. Next, we show that intra-LA infusion of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor TSA increases H3 acetylation and enhances fear memory consolidation; that is, long-term memory (LTM) is enhanced, while short-term memory (STM) is unaffected. Conversely, intra-LA infusion of the DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor 5-AZA impairs fear memory consolidation. Further, intra-LA infusion of 5-AZA was observed to impair training-related increases in H3 acetylation, and pre-treatment with TSA was observed to rescue the memory consolidation deficit induced by 5-AZA. In our final series of experiments, we show that bath application of either 5-AZA or TSA to amygdala slices results in significant impairment or enhancement, respectively, of long-term potentiation (LTP) at both thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA. Further, the deficit in LTP following treatment with 5-AZA was observed to be rescued at both inputs by co-application of TSA. Collectively, these findings provide strong support that histone acetylation and DNA methylation work in concert to regulate memory consolidation of auditory fear conditioning and associated synaptic plasticity in the LA.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caitlin A Orsini

    2013-12-01

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

  18. The Role of the Subgenual Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Amygdala in Environmental Sensitivity to Infant Crying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschler, Isabella; Ball, Tonio; Kirmse, Ursula; Wieckhorst, Birgit; Pluess, Michael; Klarhöfer, Markus; Meyer, Andrea H.; Wilhelm, Frank H.; Seifritz, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Newborns and infants communicate their needs and physiological states through crying and emotional facial expressions. Little is known about individual differences in responding to infant crying. Several theories suggest that people vary in their environmental sensitivity with some responding generally more and some generally less to environmental stimuli. Such differences in environmental sensitivity have been associated with personality traits, including neuroticism. This study investigated whether neuroticism impacts neuronal, physiological, and emotional responses to infant crying by investigating blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a large sample of healthy women (N = 102) with simultaneous skin conductance recordings. Participants were repeatedly exposed to a video clip that showed crying infants and emotional responses (valence, arousal, and irritation) were assessed after every video clip presentation. Increased BOLD signal during the perception of crying infants was found in brain regions that are associated with emotional responding, the amygdala and anterior insula. Significant BOLD signal decrements (i.e., habituation) were found in the fusiform gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, Broca’s homologue on the right hemisphere, (laterobasal) amygdala, and hippocampus. Individuals with high neuroticism showed stronger activation in the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) when exposed to infant crying compared to individuals with low neuroticism. In contrast to our prediction we found no evidence that neuroticism impacts fMRI-based measures of habituation. Individuals with high neuroticism showed elevated skin conductance responses, experienced more irritation, and perceived infant crying as more unpleasant. The results support the hypothesis that individuals high in neuroticism are more emotionally responsive, experience more negative emotions, and

  19. The Role of the Subgenual Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Amygdala in Environmental Sensitivity to Infant Crying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutschler, Isabella; Ball, Tonio; Kirmse, Ursula; Wieckhorst, Birgit; Pluess, Michael; Klarhöfer, Markus; Meyer, Andrea H; Wilhelm, Frank H; Seifritz, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Newborns and infants communicate their needs and physiological states through crying and emotional facial expressions. Little is known about individual differences in responding to infant crying. Several theories suggest that people vary in their environmental sensitivity with some responding generally more and some generally less to environmental stimuli. Such differences in environmental sensitivity have been associated with personality traits, including neuroticism. This study investigated whether neuroticism impacts neuronal, physiological, and emotional responses to infant crying by investigating blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a large sample of healthy women (N = 102) with simultaneous skin conductance recordings. Participants were repeatedly exposed to a video clip that showed crying infants and emotional responses (valence, arousal, and irritation) were assessed after every video clip presentation. Increased BOLD signal during the perception of crying infants was found in brain regions that are associated with emotional responding, the amygdala and anterior insula. Significant BOLD signal decrements (i.e., habituation) were found in the fusiform gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, Broca's homologue on the right hemisphere, (laterobasal) amygdala, and hippocampus. Individuals with high neuroticism showed stronger activation in the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) when exposed to infant crying compared to individuals with low neuroticism. In contrast to our prediction we found no evidence that neuroticism impacts fMRI-based measures of habituation. Individuals with high neuroticism showed elevated skin conductance responses, experienced more irritation, and perceived infant crying as more unpleasant. The results support the hypothesis that individuals high in neuroticism are more emotionally responsive, experience more negative emotions, and may

  20. Amphetamine sensitization alters reward processing in the human striatum and amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen G O'Daly

    Full Text Available Dysregulation of mesolimbic dopamine transmission is implicated in a number of psychiatric illnesses characterised by disruption of reward processing and goal-directed behaviour, including schizophrenia, drug addiction and impulse control disorders associated with chronic use of dopamine agonists. Amphetamine sensitization (AS has been proposed to model the development of this aberrant dopamine signalling and the subsequent dysregulation of incentive motivational processes. However, in humans the effects of AS on the dopamine-sensitive neural circuitry associated with reward processing remains unclear. Here we describe the effects of acute amphetamine administration, following a sensitising dosage regime, on blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD signal in dopaminoceptive brain regions during a rewarded gambling task performed by healthy volunteers. Using a randomised, double-blind, parallel-groups design, we found clear evidence for sensitization to the subjective effects of the drug, while rewarded reaction times were unchanged. Repeated amphetamine exposure was associated with reduced dorsal striatal BOLD signal during decision making, but enhanced ventromedial caudate activity during reward anticipation. The amygdala BOLD response to reward outcomes was blunted following repeated amphetamine exposure. Positive correlations between subjective sensitization and changes in anticipation- and outcome-related BOLD signal were seen for the caudate nucleus and amygdala, respectively. These data show for the first time in humans that AS changes the functional impact of acute stimulant exposure on the processing of reward-related information within dopaminoceptive regions. Our findings accord with pathophysiological models which implicate aberrant dopaminergic modulation of striatal and amygdala activity in psychosis and drug-related compulsive disorders.

  1. Individual attachment style modulates human amygdala and striatum activation during social appraisal.

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    Pascal Vrticka

    Full Text Available Adult attachment style refers to individual personality traits that strongly influence emotional bonds and reactions to social partners. Behavioral research has shown that adult attachment style reflects profound differences in sensitivity to social signals of support or conflict, but the neural substrates underlying such differences remain unsettled. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, we examined how the three classic prototypes of attachment style (secure, avoidant, anxious modulate brain responses to facial expressions conveying either positive or negative feedback about task performance (either supportive or hostile in a social game context. Activation of striatum and ventral tegmental area was enhanced to positive feedback signaled by a smiling face, but this was reduced in participants with avoidant attachment, indicating relative impassiveness to social reward. Conversely, a left amygdala response was evoked by angry faces associated with negative feedback, and correlated positively with anxious attachment, suggesting an increased sensitivity to social punishment. Secure attachment showed mirror effects in striatum and amygdala, but no other specific correlate. These results reveal a critical role for brain systems implicated in reward and threat processing in the biological underpinnings of adult attachment style, and provide new support to psychological models that have postulated two separate affective dimensions to explain these individual differences, centered on the ventral striatum and amygdala circuits, respectively. These findings also demonstrate that brain responses to face expressions are not driven by facial features alone but determined by the personal significance of expressions in current social context. By linking fundamental psychosocial dimensions of adult attachment with brain function, our results do not only corroborate their biological bases but also help understand their impact on behavior.

  2. Bidirectional synaptic plasticity in intercalated amygdala neurons and the extinction of conditioned fear responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Royer, S; Paré, D

    2002-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning is believed to result from potentiation of conditioned synaptic inputs in the basolateral amygdala. That is, the conditioned stimulus would excite more neurons in the central nucleus and, via their projections to the brainstem and hypothalamus, evoke fear responses. However, much data suggests that extinction of fear responses does not depend on the reversal of these changes but on a parallel NMDA-dependent learning that competes with the first one. Because they control impulse traffic from the basolateral amygdala to the central nucleus, GABAergic neurons of the intercalated cell masses are ideally located to implement this second learning. Consistent with this hypothesis, the present study shows that low- and high-frequency stimulation of basolateral afferents respectively induce long-term depression (LTD) and potentiation (LTP) of responses in intercalated cells. Moreover, induction of LTP and LTD is prevented by application of an NMDA antagonist. To determine how these activity-dependent changes are expressed, we tested whether LTD and LTP induction are associated with modifications in paired-pulse facilitation, an index of transmitter release probability. Only LTP induction was associated with a change in paired-pulse facilitation. Depotentiation of previously potentiated synapses did not revert the modification in paired pulse facilitation, suggesting that LTP is associated with presynaptic alterations, but that LTD and depotentiation depend on postsynaptic changes. Taken together, our results suggest that basolateral synapses onto intercalated neurons can express NMDA-dependent LTP and LTD, consistent with the possibility that intercalated neurons are a critical locus of plasticity for the extinction of conditioned fear responses. Ultimately, these plastic events may prevent conditioned amygdala responses from exciting neurons of the central nucleus, and thus from evoking conditioned fear responses.

  3. Uncertainty-Dependent Extinction of Fear Memory in an Amygdala-mPFC Neural Circuit Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuzhe; Nakae, Ken; Ishii, Shin; Naoki, Honda

    2016-01-01

    Uncertainty of fear conditioning is crucial for the acquisition and extinction of fear memory. Fear memory acquired through partial pairings of a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) is more resistant to extinction than that acquired through full pairings; this effect is known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Although the PREE has been explained by psychological theories, the neural mechanisms underlying the PREE remain largely unclear. Here, we developed a neural circuit model based on three distinct types of neurons (fear, persistent and extinction neurons) in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In the model, the fear, persistent and extinction neurons encode predictions of net severity, of unconditioned stimulus (US) intensity, and of net safety, respectively. Our simulation successfully reproduces the PREE. We revealed that unpredictability of the US during extinction was represented by the combined responses of the three types of neurons, which are critical for the PREE. In addition, we extended the model to include amygdala subregions and the mPFC to address a recent finding that the ventral mPFC (vmPFC) is required for consolidating extinction memory but not for memory retrieval. Furthermore, model simulations led us to propose a novel procedure to enhance extinction learning through re-conditioning with a stronger US; strengthened fear memory up-regulates the extinction neuron, which, in turn, further inhibits the fear neuron during re-extinction. Thus, our models increased the understanding of the functional roles of the amygdala and vmPFC in the processing of uncertainty in fear conditioning and extinction. PMID:27617747

  4. Androgen Receptors Mediate Masculinization of Astrocytes in the Rat Posterodorsal Medial Amygdala During Puberty

    OpenAIRE

    JOHNSON, RYAN T.; Breedlove, S. Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L.

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes in the posterodorsal portion of the medial amygdala (MePD) are sexually dimorphic in adult rats: males have more astrocytes in the right MePD and more elaborate processes in the left MePD than do females. Functional androgen receptors (ARs) are required for masculinization of MePD astrocytes, as these measures are demasculinized in adult genetic males carrying the testicular feminization mutation (Tfm) of the AR gene, which renders AR dysfunctional. We now report that the number of...

  5. Fear and safety engage competing patterns of theta-gamma coupling in the basolateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Stujenske, Joseph M.; Likhtik, Ekaterina; A.Topiwala, Mihir; Gordon, Joshua A.

    2014-01-01

    Theta oscillations synchronize the basolateral amygdala (BLA) with the hippocampus (HPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during fear expression. The role of gamma-frequency oscillations in the BLA is less well characterized. We examined gamma- and theta-frequency activity in recordings of neural activity from the BLA-HPC-mPFC circuit during fear conditioning, extinction, and exposure to an open field. In the BLA, slow (40-70 Hz) and fast (70-120 Hz) gamma oscillations were coupled to dist...

  6. Distinct molecular components for thalamic- and cortical-dependent plasticity in the lateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Osvaldo eMirante; Federico eBrandalise; Johannes eBohacek; Isabelle M Mansuy

    2014-01-01

    N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent long-term depression (LTD) in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) is a form of synaptic plasticity thought to be a cellular substrate for the extinction of fear memory. The LA receives converging inputs from the sensory thalamus and neocortex that are weakened following fear extinction. Combining field and patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings in mice, we show that paired-pulse low-frequency stimulation can induce a robust LTD at thal...

  7. Effects of Repeated Stress on Age-Dependent GABAergic Regulation of the Lateral Nucleus of the Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Rosenkranz, J Amiel

    2016-08-01

    The adolescent age is associated with lability of mood and emotion. The onset of depression and anxiety disorders peaks during adolescence and there are differences in symptomology during adolescence. This points to differences in the adolescent neural circuitry that underlies mood and emotion, such as the amygdala. The human adolescent amygdala is more responsive to evocative stimuli, hinting to less local inhibitory regulation of the amygdala, but this has not been explored in adolescents. The amygdala, including the lateral nucleus (LAT) of the basolateral amygdala complex, is sensitive to stress. The amygdala undergoes maturational processes during adolescence, and therefore may be more vulnerable to harmful effects of stress during this time period. However, little is known about the effects of stress on the LAT during adolescence. GABAergic inhibition is a key regulator of LAT activity. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to test whether there are differences in the local GABAergic regulation of the rat adolescent LAT, and differences in its sensitivity to repeated stress. We found that LAT projection neurons are subjected to weaker GABAergic inhibition during adolescence. Repeated stress reduced in vivo endogenous and exogenous GABAergic inhibition of LAT projection neurons in adolescent rats. Furthermore, repeated stress decreased measures of presynaptic GABA function and interneuron activity in adolescent rats. In contrast, repeated stress enhanced glutamatergic drive of LAT projection neurons in adult rats. These results demonstrate age differences in GABAergic regulation of the LAT, and age differences in the mechanism for the effects of repeated stress on LAT neuron activity. These findings provide a substrate for increased mood lability in adolescents, and provide a substrate by which adolescent repeated stress can induce distinct behavioral outcomes and psychiatric symptoms. PMID:26924679

  8. Different patterns of amygdala priming differentially affect dentate gyrus plasticity and corticosterone, but not CA1 plasticity.

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    Rose-Marie eVouimba

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Stress-induced activation of the amygdala is involved in the modulation of memory processes in the hippocampus. However, stress effects on amygdala and memory remain complex. The activation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA was found to modulate plasticity in other brain areas, including the hippocampus. We previously demonstrated a differential effect of BLA priming on LTP in the CA1 and the dentate gyrus (DG. While BLA priming suppressed long term potentiation (LTP in CA1, it was found to enhance it in the DG. However, since the amygdala itself is amenable to experience-induced plasticity it is thus conceivable that when activity within the amygdala is modified this will have impact on the way the amygdala modulates activity and plasticity in other brain areas. In the current study we examined the effects of different patterns of BLA activation on the modulation of LTP in the DG and CA1, as well as on serum corticosterone (CORT. In CA1, BLA priming impaired LTP induction as was reported before. In contrast, in the DG, varying BLA stimulation intensity and frequency resulted in differential effects on LTP, ranging from no effect to strong impairment or enhancement. Varying BLA stimulation patterns resulted in also differential alterations in Serum CORT, leading to higher CORT levels being positively correlated with LTP magnitude in DG but not in CA1.The results support the notion of a differential role for the DG in aspects of memory, and add to this view the possibility that DG-associated aspects of memory will be enhanced under more emotional or stressful conditions. It is interesting to think of BLA patterns of activation and the differential levels of circulating CORT as two arms of the emotional and stress response that attempt to synchronize brain activity to best meet the challenge. It is foreseeable to think of abnormal such synchronization under extreme conditions, which would lead to the development of maladaptive behavior.

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

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    Lily S Chau

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. 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.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:27752543

  11. MRI Volumetry of Hippocampus and Amygdala in Normal Aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease Subjects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can affect memory and daily living. Non- invasive diagnostic tools such as MRI can be useful to discriminate the patients from normal group.This study aims to compare the relative volumes of hippocampus and amygdala, to suggest the relative normal volumes, and to evaluate MRI automatic volumetry as a diagnostic tool. The MRI images of 130 subjects were retrospectively studied (Turbo field echo (TFE), acquired with a 3-Tesla Philips scanner). The image data were processed with Free Surfer (automatic segmentation and volumetry). The resultant volumes were corrected for brain size differences with intracranial volumes (ICV), and then analysed with SPSS (v. 17.0). There are differences of hippocampus and amygdala relative volumes between normal, MCI, and AD subjects at p < 0.001. The volume reductions of hippocampus in MCI and AD groups compared to normal group are about 8 % and 28 %, while those of amygdala are about 10 % and 34 %, respectively. The relative volumes of hippocampus (compared to ICV) in normal aging are 0.002617 ± 0.000278 (right) and 0.002553 ± 0.000257 (left), while those of amygdala are 0.001231 ± 0.000165 (right) and 0.001096 ± 0.000144 (left). There are no differences of relative volumes affected by gender in normal, MCI, and AD. There is a highly significant difference of relative volume affected by brain side in normal group (p < 0.001) but not in MCI (p = 0.119 and 0.077) and AD (p = 0.713 and 0.250), for hippocampus and amygdala, respectively. These results demonstrate that there are volume losses of hippocampus and amygdala in both diseases. Automatically measured hippocampus and amygdala volumes can be used as a measure indicating MCI and AD. The abnormal disturbance of volume affected by brain side may indicate the progression of both diseases. The hippocampus and amygdala volumes can be used as one of diagnostic tools to confirm the diagnosis of MCI or AD. The volume

  12. Regulation of emotional memory by hydrogen sulfide: role of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Can-Ming; Yang, Yuan-Jian; Zhang, Jie-Ting; Liu, Jue; Guan, Xin-Lei; Li, Ming-Xing; Lu, Hai-Feng; Wu, Peng-Fei; Chen, Jian-Guo; Wang, Fang

    2015-01-01

    As an endogenous gaseous molecule, hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) has attracted extensive attention because of its multiple biological effects. However, the effect of H2 S on amygdala-mediated emotional memory has not been elucidated. Here, by employing Pavlovian fear conditioning, an animal model widely used to explore the neural substrates of emotion, we determined whether H2 S could regulate emotional memory. It was shown that the H2 S levels in the amygdala of rats were significantly elevated after cued fear conditioning. Both intraamygdala and systemic administrations of H2 S markedly enhanced amygdala-dependent cued fear memory in rats. Moreover, it was found that H2 S selectively increased the surface expression and currents of NMDA-type glutamate receptor subunit 2B (GluN2B)-containing NMDA receptors (NMDARs) in lateral amygdala of rats, whereas blockade of GluN2B-containing NMDARs in lateral amygdala eliminated the effects of H2 S to enhance amygdalar long-term potentiation and cued fear memory. These results demonstrate that H2 S can regulate amygdala-dependent emotional memory by promoting the function of GluN2B-containing NMDARs in amygdala, suggesting that H2 S-associated signaling may hold potential as a new target for the treatment of emotional disorders. In our study, the effect of hydrogen sulfide (H2 S) on amygdala-mediated emotional memory was investigated. It was found that H2 S could enhance amygdala-dependent emotional memory and long-term potentiation (LTP) in rats by selectively increasing the function of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptors in the amygdala. These results suggest that H2 S-associated signaling may be a new target for the treatment of emotional disorders. PMID:25279828

  13. Heritable influences on amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex contribute to genetic variation in core dimensions of personality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, G.J.; Panizzon, M.S.; Eyler, L.; Fennema-Notestine, C.; Chen, C.-H.; Neale, M.C.; Jernigan, T.L.; Lyons, M.J.; Dale, A.M.; Kremen, W.S.; Franz, C.E.

    2015-01-01

    While many studies have reported that individual differences in personality traits are genetically influenced, the neurobiological bases mediating these influences have not yet been well characterized. To advance understanding concerning the pathway from genetic variation to personality, here we examined whether measures of heritable variation in neuroanatomical size in candidate regions (amygdala and medial orbitofrontal cortex) were associated with heritable effects on personality. A sample of 486 middle-aged (mean = 55 years) male twins (complete MZ pairs = 120; complete DZ pairs = 84) underwent structural brain scans and also completed measures of two core domains of personality: positive and negative emotionality. After adjusting for estimated intracranial volume, significant phenotypic (rp) and genetic (rg) correlations were observed between left amygdala volume and positive emotionality (rp = .16, p < .01; rg = .23, p < .05, respectively). In addition, after adjusting for mean cortical thickness, genetic and nonshared-environmental correlations (re) between left medial orbitofrontal cortex thickness and negative emotionality were also observed (rg = .34, p < .01; re = −.19, p < .05, respectively). These findings support a model positing that heritable bases of personality are, at least in part, mediated through individual differences in the size of brain structures, although further work is still required to confirm this causal interpretation. PMID:25263286

  14. Color harmony represented by activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi eIkeda

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Observing paired colors with a different hue (in terms of chroma and lightness engenders pleasantness from such harmonious combinations; however, negative reactions can emerge from disharmonious combinations. Currently, neural mechanisms underlying the aesthetic and emotional aspects of color perception remain unknown. The current study reports evidence regarding the neural correlates of color harmony and disharmony. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess brain regions activated by harmonious or disharmonious color combinations in comparison to other stimuli. Results showed that the left medial orbitofrontal cortex and left amygdala were activated when participants observed harmonious and disharmonious stimuli, respectively. Taken together, these findings suggest that color disharmony may depend on stimulus properties and more automatic neural processes mediated by the amygdala, whereas color harmony is harder to discriminate based on color characteristics and is reflected by the aesthetic value represented in the medial orbitofrontal cortex. This study has a limitation that we could not exclude the effect of preference for color combination, which has a strong positive correlation with color harmony.

  15. Corticotropin releasing factor and catecholamines enhance glutamatergic neurotransmission in the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberman, Yuval; Winder, Danny G

    2013-07-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays an important role in many behaviors including anxiety, memory consolidation and cardiovascular responses. While these behaviors can be modulated by corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and catecholamine signaling, the mechanism(s) by which these signals modify CeA glutamatergic neurotransmission remains unclear. Utilizing whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology recordings from neurons in the lateral subdivision of the CeA (CeAL), we show that CRF, dopamine (DA) and the β-adrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol (ISO) all enhance the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC) without altering sEPSC kinetics, suggesting they increase presynaptic glutamate release. The effect of CRF on sEPSCs was mediated by a combination of CRFR1 and CRFR2 receptors. While previous work from our lab suggests that CRFRs mediate the effect of catecholamines on excitatory transmission in other subregions of the extended amygdala, blockade of CRFRs in the CeAL failed to significantly alter effects of DA and ISO on glutamatergic transmission. These findings suggest that catecholamine and CRF enhancement of glutamatergic transmission onto CeAL neurons occurs via distinct mechanisms. While CRF increased spontaneous glutamate release in the CeAL, CRF caused no significant changes to optogenetically evoked glutamate release in this region. The dissociable effects of CRF on different types of glutamatergic neurotransmission suggest that CRF may specifically regulate spontaneous excitatory transmission.

  16. Dispositional mindfulness co-varies with smaller amygdala and caudate volumes in community adults.

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    Adrienne A Taren

    Full Text Available Mindfulness, a psychological process reflecting attention and awareness to what is happening in the present moment, has been associated with increased well-being and decreased depression and anxiety in both healthy and patient populations. However, little research has explored underlying neural pathways. Recent work suggests that mindfulness (and mindfulness training interventions may foster neuroplastic changes in cortico-limbic circuits responsible for stress and emotion regulation. Building on this work, we hypothesized that higher levels of dispositional mindfulness would be associated with decreased grey matter volume in the amgydala. In the present study, a self-report measure of dispositional mindfulness and structural MRI images were obtained from 155 healthy community adults. Volumetric analyses showed that higher dispositional mindfulness is associated with decreased grey matter volume in the right amygdala, and exploratory analyses revealed that higher dispositional mindfulness is also associated with decreased grey matter volume in the left caudate. Moreover, secondary analyses indicate that these amygdala and caudate volume associations persist after controlling for relevant demographic and individual difference factors (i.e., age, total grey matter volume, neuroticism, depression. Such volumetric differences may help explain why mindful individuals have reduced stress reactivity, and suggest new candidate structural neurobiological pathways linking mindfulness with mental and physical health outcomes.

  17. Rodent anxiety and kindling of the central amygdala and nucleus basalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamec, R; Shallow, T

    We studied lasting behavioral effects of kindling of three parts of the central nucleus of the amygdala and the anterior nucleus basalis in the right hemisphere of male Wistar rats. Kindling lastingly changed two measures of anxiety in the elevated plus-maze. The nature of the change depended on the location of the kindled focus. Kindling of the posterior central nucleus decreased both open-arm exploration and frequency of risk assessment in the elevated plus-maze 1 week after the fourth stage 5 seizure. Kindling of the middle parts of the central nucleus was without behavioral effects. Kindling of the anterior central nucleus and the anterior nucleus basalis increased risk assessment, which was interpreted as an anxiolytic effect. Changes in risk assessment produced by kindling of the central nucleus were dependent on open-arm avoidance, whereas the effects of nucleus basalis kindling were independent of open-arm avoidance. Analysis of covariance and factor analysis support the view that control of risk assessment is by circuitry, which is independent of that which controls open-arm avoidance. Moreover, part of this circuitry appears to involve the anterior nucleus basalis. Changes in plus-maze behavior were independent of changes in exploration or activity in either the plus-maze or hole board. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggests that subtle differences in location of a kindled focus within the rat amygdala lead to different behavioral outcomes.

  18. Dissociation between mossy fiber sprouting and rapid kindling with low-frequency stimulation of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, L L; Mohapel, P; Jenkins, E M; Hannesson, D K; Corcoran, M E

    1998-01-19

    In an attempt to determine whether sprouting of mossy fibers is invariably correlated with kindling of seizures, we subjected rats to rapid kindling with long trains of low-frequency stimulation of the amygdala that resulted in development of generalized seizures within a mean of five stimulations. For comparison, we subjected other rats to conventional kindling with short trains of high-frequency stimulation of the amygdala that resulted in development of generalized seizures within a mean of 13 stimulations. We found no evidence of mossy fiber sprouting in the dentate gyrus of rats killed one day after completion of rapid kindling, as compared to yoked controls, although significant sprouting was seen in rats killed one day after completion of conventional kindling. When we examined tissue from rats killed 20 days after rapid kindling, however, we did find significant sprouting, suggesting that mossy fiber sprouting can be triggered by rapid kindling if sufficient survival time is allowed. The observed disparity between completion of rapid low-frequency kindling and detection of mossy fiber sprouting suggests that mossy fiber sprouting may be associated more with sustained survival time after neuronal activation than with kindling per se. Furthermore, the similar time course of conventional kindling and of mossy fiber sprouting obscures the determination of a causal role of mossy fiber sprouting in conventional kindling.

  19. Enhancement of synaptic facilitation during the progression of kindling epilepsy by amygdala stimulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, S; Hirayama, K; Murata, R

    1993-08-01

    1. A quantitative analysis of facilitation during the kindling stimulation to the amygdala was conducted by measuring the area between the excitatory potential and the baseline in the averaged tetanic response recorded at the entorhinal cortex. The changes in facilitation were then compared with the development of electrographic afterdischarges (AD) and behavioral seizures in response to successive kindling stimulations. 2. Kindling train pulses (n = 99 or 100; duration: 0.5 ms; frequency: 10 Hz; intensity: AD threshold) were applied to conscious rats until at least one generalized seizure occurred or until 13 stimuli were delivered. 3. Facilitation of the entorhinal responses by kindling stimulation first occurred in the monosynaptic excitatory component and was then followed by a progressive increase in the polysynaptic component that was manifested as the later negative peaks. A clear progressive enhancement was observed in the facilitation by successive kindling stimulations, which also induced prolongation of the AD duration and progression of the seizure stages, indicating that activity-dependent enhancement of facilitation (EF) occurred during the progression of kindling epilepsy. 4. Quantitative analysis revealed that the EF that occurred with the progression of seizure stages was statistically significant (P < 0.001, Friedman test). The AD duration (r = 0.89) and the long-term potentiation (r = 0.85) of the entorhinal responses by single test amygdala stimuli showed a very good linear relation to the EF.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  20. Amygdala kindling increases fear responses and decreases glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression in hippocampal regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalynchuk, Lisa E; Meaney, Michael J

    2003-12-01

    Amygdala kindling dramatically increases fearful behavior in rats. Because kindling-induced fear increases in magnitude as rats receive more stimulations, kindling provides an excellent model for studying the nature and neural mechanisms of fear sensitization. In the present experiment, we studied whether the development of kindling-induced fear is related to changes in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression in various brain regions. Rats received 20, 60 or 100 amygdala kindling stimulations or 100 sham stimulations. One day after the final stimulation, their fearful behavior was assessed in an unfamiliar open field. Then, the rats were sacrificed and their brains were processed for in situ hybridization of GR mRNA expression. We found that compared with the sham-stimulated rats, the rats that received 60 or 100 kindling stimulations were significantly more fearful in the open field and also had significantly less GR mRNA expression in the dentate gyrus and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus. Importantly, the changes in fearful behavior were significantly correlated with the changes in GR mRNA expression. These results suggest that alterations in GR mRNA expression in hippocampal regions may play a role in the development of kindling-induced fear.

  1. Kindling of the lateral septum and the amygdala: effects on anxiety in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Earl; Gunton, Deborah J

    2011-10-24

    Long-term kindling of limbic system structures may produce substantial changes in emotional behavior in rats. This study examined long-term changes in two kindled structures that have opposite effects on anxiety, the lateral septum and the central nucleus of the amygdala. The purpose of the experiment was to examine the specificity of the emotional effects of kindling by employing a double dissociation design. Animals were tested in two common animal models of anxiety, the water-lick conflict test and the elevated plus-maze. In the conflict test amygdala-kindled animals demonstrated a significant anxiolytic effect when compared with sham-kindled animals. This effect was potentiated by chlordiazepoxide. Septally-kindled animals exhibited a significant anticonflict effect when compared to sham-kindled animals in the first session. Septally-kindled animals spent significantly more time on the open arms of the elevated plus-maze than did sham-kindled animals. Observed changes persisted 6weeks after the termination of 150 kindling sessions. The effects of long-term kindling were highly consistent with those of disruption rather than facilitation.

  2. Increased susceptibility to hippocampal and amygdala kindling following intrahippocampal kainic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldblum, S; Ackermann, R F

    1987-08-01

    The effects of unilateral intrahippocampal injection of kainic acid, a potent neuroexcitant and neurotoxin, on subsequent susceptibility to kindling of the contralateral hippocampus or contralateral amygdala were investigated in albino rats. At the chosen doses (0.20 to 1.25 micrograms dissolved in physiologic saline), the kainic acid-induced lesion was confined to the injected hippocampus and in two cases the ipsilateral entorhinal cortex; never were there contralateral lesions. Approximately 2 to 6 weeks post-injection, each animal received daily afterdischarge-producing electrical stimulations until stage 5 kindled limbic seizures occurred. Kindling in pretreated animals was significantly accelerated compared with controls; the hippocampal kindling rate decreased from 13.2 stimulations to 3.7, the amygdala kindling rate from 7.8 stimulations to 3.0. Many treated animals had first-stimulation stage 5 seizures, compared with none for controls. Importantly, this facilitation of kindling was not reversed by suppression of the acute, induced seizures with the anticonvulsants, diazepam and phenobarbital, which have repeatedly been demonstrated to effectively suppress limbic kindling. Such results, considered together with findings from the literature, suggest that partial kindling does not occur during kainic acid-induced seizures, and that the observed susceptibility to kindling and other epileptogenic agents subsequent to kainic acid treatment may in fact be related to neurophysiologic and neurochemical consequences of kainic acid-induced lesions.

  3. Spinacia oleracea retards the development of Amygdala kindled epilepsy in rats

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    Sutapa Das and Debjani Guha*

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The protective role of Spinacia oleracea (SO has been evaluated against the development of Amygdala kindled (AMK experimental epileptogenesis. Thirty six Holtzman strain adult male albino rats (200-250 g were equally divided into 1 control, 2 SO, 3 AMK, 4 SO+AMK, 5 DZ+AMK group. After discharge duration (ADD were used as indices of kindled seizures. In AMK group, seizure stages reached upto stage 4–5 within the second week. EEG tracings showed that pretreatment with SO in AMK group decreased the ADD and seizure stages of SO pretreated rats were limited within stage 1–2 from 1st to 4th week of kindling. Brain monoamine content of Serotonin (5-HT was decreased in cerebral cortex (CC, cerebellum (CB, caudate nucleus (CN, midbrain (MB and pons-medulla (PM of AMK group which was increased by SO pre-treatment. Alteration of Dopamine (DA and Norepinephrine (NE in different brain regions of AMK group was also modulated by SO pre-treatment. Thus SO pre-treatment retards the development of amygdala kindled epilepsy in experimental animals by modulating behavioural and neurochemical aspects

  4. Astaxanthin rescues neuron loss and attenuates oxidative stress induced by amygdala kindling in adult rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yan; Xie, Tao; He, Xue-Xin; Mao, Zhuo-Feng; Jia, Li-Jing; Wang, Wei-Ping; Zhen, Jun-Li; Liu, Liang-Min

    2015-06-15

    Oxidative stress plays an important role in the neuronal damage induced by epilepsy. The present study assessed the possible neuroprotective effects of astaxanthin (ATX) on neuronal damage, in hippocampal CA3 neurons following amygdala kindling. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were chronically kindled in the amygdala and ATX or equal volume of vehicle was given by intraperitoneally. Twenty-four hours after the last stimulation, the rats were sacrificed by decapitation. Histopathological changes and the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were measured, cytosolic cytochrome c (CytC) and caspase-3 activities in the hippocampus were also recorded. We found extensive neuronal damage in the CA3 region in the kindling group, which was preceded by increases of ROS level and MDA concentration and was followed by caspase-3 activation and an increase in cytosolic CytC. Treatment with ATX markedly attenuated the neuronal damage. In addition, ATX significantly decreased ROS and MDA concentrations and increased GSH levels. Moreover, ATX suppressed the translation of CytC release and caspase-3 activation in hippocampus. Together, these results suggest that ATX protects against neuronal loss due to epilepsy in the rat hippocampus by attenuating oxidative damage, lipid peroxidation and inhibiting the mitochondrion-related apoptotic pathway.

  5. Amygdala kindling induces nestin expression in the leptomeninges of the neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninomiya, Shogo; Esumi, Shigeyuki; Ohta, Kunimasa; Fukuda, Takaichi; Ito, Tetsufumi; Imayoshi, Itaru; Kageyama, Ryoichiro; Ikeda, Toshio; Itohara, Shigeyoshi; Tamamaki, Nobuaki

    2013-02-01

    Nestin is an intermediate filament found in neurogenic progenitors and non-neuronal cells. Nestin-immunoreactivity (IR) in the brain often increases after brain damage. Here we show that amygdala kindling, which mimics the epileptic seizures, also induces nestin expression in the brain. Nestin-IR was greatly enhanced in the leptomeninges (pia and arachnoid maters) and neocortical parenchyma, but not much in the SVZ around the lateral ventricle, SGZ in the dentate gyrus, or the endothelial progenitor cells of blood vessels, fimbria, or choroid plexus after kindling. Electron microscopy revealed that nestin-IR in the leptomeninges was localized to granule cells, where it co-localized with GAD67-IR after electrical stimulation. The nestin-positive granule cells in the leptomeninges, especially around the emissary vein, were proliferative. However, nestin-IR in the neocortical parenchyma was expressed in NG2 glia and did not co-localize with GAD67-IR. Deletion of nestin-positive cells resulted in a high susceptibility to electrical stimulation. Consequently, almost all of the mice died or dropped out during kindling progression in 20 days, from naturally generated epileptic seizure or exhaustion. We speculate that the nestin-positive cells activated by amygdala kindling may involve in the protection of the brain from epilepsy.

  6. Inhibitory Effect of High Dose of the Flavonoid Quercetin on Amygdala Electrical Kindling in Rats

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    Tourandokht Baluchnejadmojarad

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available A B S T R A C T Introduction: Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which patients experience spontaneous recurrent seizures. Although the most commonly recommended therapy is drug treatment, some patients do not achieve adequate control of their seizures on existing drugs. New medications with novel mechanisms of action are needed to help those patients whose seizures are resistant to currently-available drugs. Therefore, the anti-convulsant effect of a high dose of quercetin was evaluated in amygdala kindling model in male rats. Methods: Rats were divided into sham-operated group, quercetintreated SH, kindled, and quercetin-treated kindled rats. Quercetin was administered i.p. one day before amygdale kindling for 3 weeks (40 mg/kg/day. The parameters seizure stage, AD duration, the latency to the onset of stage 4, and the duration of stage 5 were analyzed. Results: The results showed that quercetin pretreatment causes a lower seizure intensity in treated kindled rats (p<0.05-0.01, a lower after-discharge duration (p<0.05-0.01, and a higher latency to stage IV (p<0.05 as compared to untreated kindled ones. Discussion: To conclude, chronic administration of quercetin inhibits amygdala electrical kindling and more studies are warranted to clarify its underlying mechanisms.

  7. Forming a negative impression of another person correlates with activation in medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2011-09-01

    Neural correlates involved in the formation of negative impression from face were investigated using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and a partial conditioning paradigm. Eighteen normal volunteers underwent imaging while they viewed the faces of two unfamiliar individuals: one individual's face was partially accompanied by negative emotion but the other's was not. After the volunteers learned the relationship between the faces and the emotion, they formed a more negative impression of the person's face when the emotion was presented. Subtraction analysis of the individuals' neutral faces revealed activation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal sulcus, but this activity did not correlate with the change of impression from face. On the other hand, the response in the left amygdala negatively correlated with the change of impression from face in the first run. Time modulation analysis revealed that activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex associated with negative emotion was the largest in the initial part of the acquisition. These results suggest that a negative impression from face may be formed by orchestrated activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and amygdala, and that the activity has a prominent role in the initial acquisition of negative emotion.

  8. Amphetamine sensitization and amygdala kindling: pharmacological evaluation of catecholaminergic and cholinergic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkby, R D; Kokkinidis, L

    1991-03-01

    Chronic pharmacological experiments were conducted to evaluate the relationship between sensitization induced by repeated administration of amphetamine (AMPH) and electrical stimulation of the amygdala. While AMPH withdrawal did not influence the kindling process, AMPH administered during the kindling procedure increased the rate at which seizures evolved, and under these conditions withdrawal from chronic AMPH further facilitated the propensity to kindle. Haloperidol (HAL) treatment failed to block the stimulant-induced increase in kindling acquisition indicating that changes in dopamine (DA) are not necessary for the AMPH/kindling synergism to develop. Scopolamine dose-dependently retarded kindling evolution irrespective of prior AMPH pretreatment also ruling out a cholinergic mechanism in the kindling sensitization. Subsequent experiments assessed the interactive effects of AMPH and desipramine (DMI) on the kindling process. Animals chronically exposed to AMPH and switched to DMI treatment during the kindling procedure kindled faster than control subjects. In addition, withdrawal from DMI preexposure advanced the AMPH-induced increase in kindling rate. These results were discussed in terms of the role of norepinephrine-mediated inhibition of the kindling process, and were related to drug-elicited alterations in beta-adrenergic receptor functioning. Taken together, these findings implicate the amygdala as an important structure in the development of non-DA forms of AMPH sensitization.

  9. High-resolution functional MRI of the human amygdala at 7 T

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become the primary non-invasive method for investigating the human brain function. With an increasing number of ultra-high field MR systems worldwide possibilities of higher spatial and temporal resolution in combination with increased sensitivity and specificity are expected to advance detailed imaging of distinct cortical brain areas and subcortical structures. One target region of particular importance to applications in psychiatry and psychology is the amygdala. However, ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging of these ventral brain regions is a challenging endeavor that requires particular methodological considerations. Ventral brain areas are particularly prone to signal losses arising from strong magnetic field inhomogeneities along susceptibility borders. In addition, physiological artifacts from respiration and cardiac action cause considerable fluctuations in the MR signal. Here we show that, despite these challenges, fMRI data from the amygdala may be obtained with high temporal and spatial resolution combined with increased signal-to-noise ratio. Maps of neural activation during a facial emotion discrimination paradigm at 7 T are presented and clearly show the gain in percental signal change compared to 3 T results, demonstrating the potential benefits of ultra-high field functional MR imaging also in ventral brain areas

  10. Divergent Routing of Positive and Negative Information from the Amygdala during Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyeler, Anna; Namburi, Praneeth; Glober, Gordon F; Simonnet, Clémence; Calhoon, Gwendolyn G; Conyers, Garrett F; Luck, Robert; Wildes, Craig P; Tye, Kay M

    2016-04-20

    Although the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is known to play a critical role in the formation of memories of both positive and negative valence, the coding and routing of valence-related information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded BLA neurons during the retrieval of associative memories and used optogenetic-mediated phototagging to identify populations of neurons that synapse in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), the central amygdala (CeA), or ventral hippocampus (vHPC). We found that despite heterogeneous neural responses within each population, the proportions of BLA-NAc neurons excited by reward predictive cues and of BLA-CeA neurons excited by aversion predictive cues were higher than within the entire BLA. Although the BLA-vHPC projection is known to drive behaviors of innate negative valence, these neurons did not preferentially code for learned negative valence. Together, these findings suggest that valence encoding in the BLA is at least partially mediated via divergent activity of anatomically defined neural populations.

  11. Early experience shapes amygdala sensitivity to race: an international adoption design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telzer, Eva H; Flannery, Jessica; Shapiro, Mor; Humphreys, Kathryn L; Goff, Bonnie; Gabard-Durman, Laurel; Gee, Dylan D; Tottenham, Nim

    2013-08-14

    In the current study, we investigated how complete infant deprivation to out-group race impacts behavioral and neural sensitivity to race. Although monkey models have successfully achieved complete face deprivation in early life, this is typically impossible in human studies. We overcame this barrier by examining youths with exclusively homogenous racial experience in early postnatal development. These were youths raised in orphanage care in either East Asia or Eastern Europe as infants and later adopted by American families. The use of international adoption bolsters confidence of infant exposure to race (e.g., to solely Asian faces or European faces). Participants completed an emotional matching task during functional MRI. Our findings show that deprivation to other-race faces in infancy disrupts recognition of emotion and results in heightened amygdala response to out-group faces. Greater early deprivation (i.e., later age of adoption) is associated with greater biases to race. These data demonstrate how early social deprivation to race shapes amygdala function later in life and provides support that early postnatal development may represent a sensitive period for race perception.

  12. Cannabis use in early adolescence: Evidence of amygdala hypersensitivity to signals of threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spechler, Philip A; Orr, Catherine A; Chaarani, Bader; Kan, Kees-Jan; Mackey, Scott; Morton, Aaron; Snowe, Mitchell P; Hudson, Kelsey E; Althoff, Robert R; Higgins, Stephen T; Cattrell, Anna; Flor, Herta; Nees, Frauke; Banaschewski, Tobias; Bokde, Arun L W; Whelan, Robert; Büchel, Christian; Bromberg, Uli; Conrod, Patricia; Frouin, Vincent; Papadopoulos, Dimitri; Gallinat, Jurgen; Heinz, Andreas; Walter, Henrik; Ittermann, Bernd; Gowland, Penny; Paus, Tomáš; Poustka, Luise; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Artiges, Eric; Smolka, Michael N; Schumann, Gunter; Garavan, Hugh

    2015-12-01

    Cannabis use in adolescence may be characterized by differences in the neural basis of affective processing. In this study, we used an fMRI affective face processing task to compare a large group (n=70) of 14-year olds with a history of cannabis use to a group (n=70) of never-using controls matched on numerous characteristics including IQ, SES, alcohol and cigarette use. The task contained short movies displaying angry and neutral faces. Results indicated that cannabis users had greater reactivity in the bilateral amygdalae to angry faces than neutral faces, an effect that was not observed in their abstinent peers. In contrast, activity levels in the cannabis users in cortical areas including the right temporal-parietal junction and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex did not discriminate between the two face conditions, but did differ in controls. Results did not change after excluding subjects with any psychiatric symptomology. Given the high density of cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala, our findings suggest cannabis use in early adolescence is associated with hypersensitivity to signals of threat. Hypersensitivity to negative affect in adolescence may place the subject at-risk for mood disorders in adulthood. PMID:26347227

  13. Plasticity of inhibitory synaptic network interactions in the lateral amygdala upon fear conditioning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szinyei, Csaba; Narayanan, Rajeevan T; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2007-02-01

    After fear conditioning, plastic changes of excitatory synaptic transmission occur in the amygdala. Fear-related memory also involves the GABAergic system, although no influence on inhibitory synaptic transmission is known. In the present study we assessed the influence of Pavlovian fear conditioning on the plasticity of GABAergic synaptic interactions in the lateral amygdala (LA) in brain slices prepared from fear-conditioned, pseudo-trained and naïve adult mice. Theta-burst tetanization of thalamic afferent inputs to the LA evoked an input-specific potentiation of inhibitory postsynaptic responses in projection neurons; the cortical input was unaffected. Philanthotoxin (10 microM), an antagonist of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors, disabled this plastic phenomenon. Surgical isolation of the LA, extracellular application of a GABA(B) receptor antagonist (CGP 55845A, 10 microM) or an NMDA receptor antagonist (APV, 50 microM), or intracellular application of BAPTA (10 mM), did not influence the plasticity. The plasticity also showed as a potentiation of monosynaptic excitatory responses in putative GABAergic interneurons. Pavlovian fear conditioning, but not pseudo-conditioning, resulted in a significant reduction in this potentiation that was evident 24 h after training. Two weeks after training, the potentiation returned to control levels. In conclusion, a reduction in potentiation of inhibitory synaptic interactions occurs in the LA and may contribute to a shift in synaptic balance towards excitatory signal flow during the processes of fear-memory acquisition or consolidation.

  14. Yohimbine-induced amygdala activation in pathological gamblers: a pilot study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Elman

    Full Text Available RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: There is evidence that drug addiction is associated with increased physiological and psychological responses to stress. In this pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study we assessed whether a prototype behavioral addiction, pathological gambling (PG, is likewise associated with an enhanced response to stress. METHODS: We induced stress by injecting yohimbine (0.2-0.3 mg/kg, IV, an alpha-2 adrenoceptor antagonist that elicits stress-like physiological and psychological effects in humans and in laboratory animals, to four subjects with PG and to five non-gamblers mentally healthy control subjects. Their fMRI brain responses were assessed along with subjective stress and gambling urges ratings. RESULTS: Voxelwise analyses of data sets from individual subjects, utilizing generalized linear model approach, revealed significant left amygdala activation in response to yohimbine across all PG subjects. This amygdala effect was not observed in the five control individuals. Yohimbine elicited subjective stress ratings in both groups with greater (albeit not statically significantly average response in the PG subjects. On the other hand, yohimbine did not induce urges to gamble. CONCLUSIONS: The present data support the hypothesis of brain sensitization to pharmacologically-induced stress in PG.

  15. Forming a negative impression of another person correlates with activation in medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2011-09-01

    Neural correlates involved in the formation of negative impression from face were investigated using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and a partial conditioning paradigm. Eighteen normal volunteers underwent imaging while they viewed the faces of two unfamiliar individuals: one individual's face was partially accompanied by negative emotion but the other's was not. After the volunteers learned the relationship between the faces and the emotion, they formed a more negative impression of the person's face when the emotion was presented. Subtraction analysis of the individuals' neutral faces revealed activation in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and superior temporal sulcus, but this activity did not correlate with the change of impression from face. On the other hand, the response in the left amygdala negatively correlated with the change of impression from face in the first run. Time modulation analysis revealed that activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex associated with negative emotion was the largest in the initial part of the acquisition. These results suggest that a negative impression from face may be formed by orchestrated activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and amygdala, and that the activity has a prominent role in the initial acquisition of negative emotion. PMID:20693390

  16. Oxytocin promotes facial emotion recognition and amygdala reactivity in adults with asperger syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  17. High-resolution functional MRI of the human amygdala at 7 T

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sladky, Ronald, E-mail: ronald.sladky@meduniwien.ac.at [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Baldinger, Pia; Kranz, Georg S. [Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Tröstl, Jasmin [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Höflich, Anna; Lanzenberger, Rupert [Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Moser, Ewald [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Windischberger, Christian, E-mail: christian.windischberger@meduniwien.ac.at [MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, 1090 Vienna (Austria); Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna (Austria)

    2013-05-15

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become the primary non-invasive method for investigating the human brain function. With an increasing number of ultra-high field MR systems worldwide possibilities of higher spatial and temporal resolution in combination with increased sensitivity and specificity are expected to advance detailed imaging of distinct cortical brain areas and subcortical structures. One target region of particular importance to applications in psychiatry and psychology is the amygdala. However, ultra-high field magnetic resonance imaging of these ventral brain regions is a challenging endeavor that requires particular methodological considerations. Ventral brain areas are particularly prone to signal losses arising from strong magnetic field inhomogeneities along susceptibility borders. In addition, physiological artifacts from respiration and cardiac action cause considerable fluctuations in the MR signal. Here we show that, despite these challenges, fMRI data from the amygdala may be obtained with high temporal and spatial resolution combined with increased signal-to-noise ratio. Maps of neural activation during a facial emotion discrimination paradigm at 7 T are presented and clearly show the gain in percental signal change compared to 3 T results, demonstrating the potential benefits of ultra-high field functional MR imaging also in ventral brain areas.

  18. Extraversion is linked to volume of the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henk Cremers

    Full Text Available Neuroticism and extraversion are personality factors associated with the vulnerability for developing depression and anxiety disorders, and are possibly differentially related to brain structures implicated in the processing of emotional information and the generation of mood states. To date, studies on brain morphology mainly focused on neuroticism, a dimension primarily related to negative affect, yielding conflicting findings concerning the association with personality, partially due to methodological issues and variable population samples under study. Recently, extraversion, a dimension primarily related to positive affect, has been repeatedly inversely related to with symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. In the present study, high resolution structural T1-weighted MR images of 65 healthy adults were processed using an optimized Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM approach. Multiple regression analyses were performed to test for associations of neuroticism and extraversion with prefrontal and subcortical volumes. Orbitofrontal and right amygdala volume were both positively related to extraversion. Extraversion was differentially related to volume of the anterior cingulate cortex in males (positive and females (negative. Neuroticism scores did not significantly correlate with these brain regions. As extraversion is regarded a protective factor for developing anxiety disorders and depression and has been related to the generation of positive affect, the present results indicate that the reduced likelihood of developing affective disorders in individuals high on extraversion is related to modulation of emotion processing through the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala.

  19. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the extended amygdala is recruited during the transition to alcohol dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2012-12-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is abundant in the extended amygdala, a conceptual macrostructure in the basal forebrain important for regulation of negative affective states. NPY has been attributed a central role in anxiety-like behavior, fear, nociception, and reward in rodents. Deletion of the NPY gene in mice produces a high-anxiety high-alcohol-drinking phenotype. NPY infused into the brains of rats selectively bred to consume high quantities of alcohol suppresses alcohol drinking by those animals, an effect that is mediated by central amygdala (CeA). Likewise, alcohol-preferring rats exhibit basal NPY deficits in CeA. NPY infused into the brains of alcohol-dependent rats blocks excessive alcohol drinking by those animals, an effect that also has been localized to the CeA. NPY in CeA may rescue dependence-induced increases in anxiety and alcohol drinking via inhibition of downstream effector regions that receive GABAergic inputs from CeA. It is hypothesized here that NPY modulates anxiety-like behavior via Y2R regulation of NPY release, whereas NPY modulation of alcohol-drinking behavior in alcohol-dependent animals occurs via Y2R regulation of GABA release.

  20. Childhood Poverty Predicts Adult Amygdala and Frontal Activity and Connectivity in Response to Emotional Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javanbakht, Arash; King, Anthony P.; Evans, Gary W.; Swain, James E.; Angstadt, Michael; Phan, K. Luan; Liberzon, Israel

    2015-01-01

    Childhood poverty negatively impacts physical and mental health in adulthood. Altered brain development in response to social and environmental factors associated with poverty likely contributes to this effect, engendering maladaptive patterns of social attribution and/or elevated physiological stress. In this fMRI study, we examined the association between childhood poverty and neural processing of social signals (i.e., emotional faces) in adulthood. Fifty-two subjects from a longitudinal prospective study recruited as children, participated in a brain imaging study at 23–25 years of age using the Emotional Faces Assessment Task. Childhood poverty, independent of concurrent adult income, was associated with higher amygdala and medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) responses to threat vs. happy faces. Also, childhood poverty was associated with decreased functional connectivity between left amygdala and mPFC. This study is unique, because it prospectively links childhood poverty to emotional processing during adulthood, suggesting a candidate neural mechanism for negative social-emotional bias. Adults who grew up poor appear to be more sensitive to social threat cues and less sensitive to positive social cues. PMID:26124712

  1. Cannabis use in early adolescence: Evidence of amygdala hypersensitivity to signals of threat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip A. Spechler

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Cannabis use in adolescence may be characterized by differences in the neural basis of affective processing. In this study, we used an fMRI affective face processing task to compare a large group (n = 70 of 14-year olds with a history of cannabis use to a group (n = 70 of never-using controls matched on numerous characteristics including IQ, SES, alcohol and cigarette use. The task contained short movies displaying angry and neutral faces. Results indicated that cannabis users had greater reactivity in the bilateral amygdalae to angry faces than neutral faces, an effect that was not observed in their abstinent peers. In contrast, activity levels in the cannabis users in cortical areas including the right temporal-parietal junction and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex did not discriminate between the two face conditions, but did differ in controls. Results did not change after excluding subjects with any psychiatric symptomology. Given the high density of cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala, our findings suggest cannabis use in early adolescence is associated with hypersensitivity to signals of threat. Hypersensitivity to negative affect in adolescence may place the subject at-risk for mood disorders in adulthood.

  2. Antagonistic control of social versus repetitive self-grooming behaviors by separable amygdala neuronal subsets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Weizhe; Kim, Dong-Wook; Anderson, David J

    2014-09-11

    Animals display a range of innate social behaviors that play essential roles in survival and reproduction. While the medial amygdala (MeA) has been implicated in prototypic social behaviors such as aggression, the circuit-level mechanisms controlling such behaviors are not well understood. Using cell-type-specific functional manipulations, we find that distinct neuronal populations in the MeA control different social and asocial behaviors. A GABAergic subpopulation promotes aggression and two other social behaviors, while neighboring glutamatergic neurons promote repetitive self-grooming, an asocial behavior. Moreover, this glutamatergic subpopulation inhibits social interactions independently of its effect to promote self-grooming, while the GABAergic subpopulation inhibits self-grooming, even in a nonsocial context. These data suggest that social versus repetitive asocial behaviors are controlled in an antagonistic manner by inhibitory versus excitatory amygdala subpopulations, respectively. These findings provide a framework for understanding circuit-level mechanisms underlying opponency between innate behaviors, with implications for their perturbation in psychiatric disorders.

  3. Childhood Poverty Predicts Adult Amygdala and Frontal Activity and Connectivity in Response to Emotional Faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arash eJavanbakht

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Childhood poverty negatively impacts physical and mental health in adulthood. Altered brain development in response to social and environmental factors associated with poverty likely contributes to this effect, engendering maladaptive patterns of social attribution and/or elevated physiological stress. In this fMRI study, we examined the association between childhood poverty and neural processing of social signals (i.e., emotional faces in adulthood. 52 subjects from a longitudinal prospective study recruited as children, participated in a brain imaging study at 23-25 years of age using the Emotional Faces Assessment Task (EFAT. Childhood poverty, independent of concurrent adult income, was associated with higher amygdala and mPFC responses to threat vs. happy faces. Also, childhood poverty was associated with decreased functional connectivity between left amygdala and mPFC. This study is unique because it prospectively links childhood poverty to emotional processing during adulthood, suggesting a candidate neural mechanism for negative social-emotional bias. Adults who grew up poor appear to be more sensitive to social threat cues and less sensitive to positive social cues.

  4. Childhood Poverty Predicts Adult Amygdala and Frontal Activity and Connectivity in Response to Emotional Faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javanbakht, Arash; King, Anthony P; Evans, Gary W; Swain, James E; Angstadt, Michael; Phan, K Luan; Liberzon, Israel

    2015-01-01

    Childhood poverty negatively impacts physical and mental health in adulthood. Altered brain development in response to social and environmental factors associated with poverty likely contributes to this effect, engendering maladaptive patterns of social attribution and/or elevated physiological stress. In this fMRI study, we examined the association between childhood poverty and neural processing of social signals (i.e., emotional faces) in adulthood. Fifty-two subjects from a longitudinal prospective study recruited as children, participated in a brain imaging study at 23-25 years of age using the Emotional Faces Assessment Task. Childhood poverty, independent of concurrent adult income, was associated with higher amygdala and medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) responses to threat vs. happy faces. Also, childhood poverty was associated with decreased functional connectivity between left amygdala and mPFC. This study is unique, because it prospectively links childhood poverty to emotional processing during adulthood, suggesting a candidate neural mechanism for negative social-emotional bias. Adults who grew up poor appear to be more sensitive to social threat cues and less sensitive to positive social cues.

  5. Memory Enhancement Induced by Post-Training Intrabasolateral Amygdala Infusions of [beta]-Adrenergic or Muscarinic Agonists Requires Activation of Dopamine Receptors: Involvement of Right, but Not Left, Basolateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaLumiere, Ryan T.; McGaugh, James L.

    2005-01-01

    Previous findings indicate that the noradrenergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic innervations of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulate memory consolidation. The current study investigated whether memory enhancement induced by post-training intra-BLA infusions of a [beta]-adrenergic or muscarinic cholinergic agonist requires concurrent activation…

  6. Distinct Contributions of the Basolateral Amygdala and the Medial Prefrontal Cortex to Learning and Relearning Extinction of Context Conditioned Fear

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    Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2008-01-01

    We studied the roles of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in learning and relearning to inhibit context conditioned fear (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, pre-extinction BLA infusion of the NMDA receptor (NMDAr) antagonist, ifenprodil, impaired the development and retention of inhibition but…

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

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    Timothy J Jarome

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

  8. Basolateral Amygdala Projections to Ventral Hippocampus Modulate the Consolidation of Footshock, but Not Contextual, Learning in Rats

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    Huff, Mary L.; Emmons, Eric B.; Narayanan, Nandakumar S.; LaLumiere, Ryan T.

    2016-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulates memory consolidation for a variety of types of learning, whereas other brain regions play more selective roles in specific kinds of learning suggesting a role for differential consolidation via distinct BLA pathways. The ventral hippocampus (VH), an efferent target of the BLA, has been suggested to…

  9. Differential Transcriptional Response to Nonassociative and Associative Components of Classical Fear Conditioning in the Amygdala and Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isiegas, Carolina; Stein, Joel; Hellman, Kevin; Hannenhalli, Sridhar; Abel, Ted; Keeley, Michael B.; Wood, Marcelo A.

    2006-01-01

    Classical fear conditioning requires the recognition of conditioned stimuli (CS) and the association of the CS with an aversive stimulus. We used Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarrays to characterize changes in gene expression compared to naive mice in both the amygdala and the hippocampus 30 min after classical fear conditioning and 30 min after…

  10. AMYGDALA KINDLING-INDUCED SEIZURES SELECTIVELY IMPAIR SPATIAL MEMORY .2. EFFECTS ON HIPPOCAMPAL NEURONAL AND GLIAL MUSCARINIC ACETYLCHOLINE-RECEPTOR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BELDHUIS, HJA; EVERTS, HGJ; VANDERZEE, EA; LUITEN, PGM; BOHUS, B

    1992-01-01

    The muscarinic acetylcholine receptor is linked via hydrolysis of phosphoinositides to the protein kinase C pathway. In a preceding paper (Beldhuis, H. J. A., H. G. J. Everts, E. A. Vander Zee, P. G. M. Luiten, and B. Bohus (1992) Amygdala kindling-induced seizures selectively impair spatial memory.

  11. PROPAGATION OF EPILEPTIFORM ACTIVITY DURING DEVELOPMENT OF AMYGDALA KINDLING IN RATS - LINEAR AND NONLINEAR ASSOCIATION BETWEEN IPSILATERAL AND CONTRALATERAL SITES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BELDHUIS, HJA; SUZUKI, T; PIJN, JPM; TEISMAN, A; DASILVA, FHL; BOHUS, B

    1993-01-01

    The relationship between ipsi- and contralateral epileptiform electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was investigated in rats that were kindled daily in the amygdala. Two types of relationship-linear and non-linear associations-were studied and used to estimate time delays of EEG activity between ho

  12. Noradrenergic activation of the basolateral amygdala enhances object recognition memory and induces chromatin remodeling in the insular cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beldjoud, H.; Barsegyan, A.; Roozendaal, B.

    2015-01-01

    It is well established that arousal-induced memory enhancement requires noradrenergic activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) and modulatory influences on information storage processes in its many target regions. While this concept is well accepted, the molecular basis of such BL

  13. Long-Term Synaptic Changes in Two Input Pathways into the Lateral Nucleus of the Amygdala Underlie Fear Extinction

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    Park, Junchol; Choi, June-Seek

    2010-01-01

    Plasticity in two input pathways into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and the sensory thalamus, have been suggested to underlie extinction, suppression of a previously acquired conditioned response (CR) following repeated presentations of the conditioned stimulus (CS). However, little is known about…

  14. The interplay between the hippocampus and the amygdala in regulating aberrant hippocampal neurogenesis during protracted abstinence from alcohol dependence

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    Chitra D Mandyam

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The development of alcohol dependence involves elevated anxiety, low mood, and increased sensitivity to stress, collectively labeled negative affect. Particularly interesting is the recent accumulating evidence that sensitized extrahypothalamic stress systems (e.g., hyperglutamatergic activity, blunted hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal [HPA] hormonal levels, altered corticotropin-releasing factor signaling, and altered glucocorticoid receptor signaling in the extended amygdala are evident in withdrawn dependent rats, supporting the hypothesis that pathological neuroadaptations in the extended amygdala contribute to the negative affective state. Notably, hippocampal neurotoxicity observed as aberrant dentate gyrus (DG neurogenesis (neurogenesis is a process where neural stem cells in the adult hippocampal subgranular zone generate DG granule cell neurons and DG neurodegeneration are observed in withdrawn dependent rats. These correlations between withdrawal and aberrant neurogenesis in dependent rats suggest that alterations in the DG could be hypothesized to be due to compromised HPA axis activity and associated hyperglutamatergic activity originating from the basolateral amygdala in withdrawn dependent rats. This review discusses a possible link between the neuroadaptations in the extended amygdala stress systems and the resulting pathological plasticity that could facilitate recruitment of new emotional memory circuits in the hippocampus as a function of aberrant DG neurogenesis.

  15. Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Microinfusion in the Central Amygdala Enhances Active Behaviour Responses in the Conditioned Defensive Burying Paradigm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wiersma, A.; Bohus, B.; Koolhaas, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) is known to be involved in the regulation of autonomic, neuroendocrine, and behavioural responses in stress situations. The CeA contains large numbers of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) cell bodies, terminals and functional recognition sites. In the pr

  16. A link between serotonin-related gene polymorphisms, amygdala activity, and placebo-induced relief from social anxiety.

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    Furmark, Tomas; Appel, Lieuwe; Henningsson, Susanne; Ahs, Fredrik; Faria, Vanda; Linnman, Clas; Pissiota, Anna; Frans, Orjan; Bani, Massimo; Bettica, Paolo; Pich, Emilio Merlo; Jacobsson, Eva; Wahlstedt, Kurt; Oreland, Lars; Långström, Bengt; Eriksson, Elias; Fredrikson, Mats

    2008-12-01

    Placebo may yield beneficial effects that are indistinguishable from those of active medication, but the factors underlying proneness to respond to placebo are widely unknown. Here, we used functional neuroimaging to examine neural correlates of anxiety reduction resulting from sustained placebo treatment under randomized double-blind conditions, in patients with social anxiety disorder. Brain activity was assessed during a stressful public speaking task by means of positron emission tomography before and after an 8 week treatment period. Patients were genotyped with respect to the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and the G-703T polymorphism in the tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) gene promoter. Results showed that placebo response was accompanied by reduced stress-related activity in the amygdala, a brain region crucial for emotional processing. However, attenuated amygdala activity was demonstrable only in subjects who were homozygous for the long allele of the 5-HTTLPR or the G variant of the TPH2 G-703T polymorphism, and not in carriers of short or T alleles. Moreover, the TPH2 polymorphism was a significant predictor of clinical placebo response, homozygosity for the G allele being associated with greater improvement in anxiety symptoms. Path analysis supported that the genetic effect on symptomatic improvement with placebo is mediated by its effect on amygdala activity. Hence, our study shows, for the first time, evidence of a link between genetically controlled serotonergic modulation of amygdala activity and placebo-induced anxiety relief. PMID:19052197

  17. Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Mice Impairs Long-Term Fear Memory Consolidation through Dysfunction of the Cortex and Amygdala.

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    Ihara, Fumiaki; Nishimura, Maki; Muroi, Yoshikage; Mahmoud, Motamed Elsayed; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Nagamune, Kisaburo; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi

    2016-10-01

    Chronic infection with Toxoplasma gondii becomes established in tissues of the central nervous system, where parasites may directly or indirectly modulate neuronal function. Epidemiological studies have revealed that chronic infection in humans is a risk factor for developing mental diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying parasite-induced neuronal dysfunction in the brain remain unclear. Here, we examined memory associated with conditioned fear in mice and found that T. gondii infection impairs consolidation of conditioned fear memory. To examine the brain pathology induced by T. gondii infection, we analyzed the parasite load and histopathological changes. T. gondii infects all brain areas, yet the cortex exhibits more severe tissue damage than other regions. We measured neurotransmitter levels in the cortex and amygdala because these regions are involved in fear memory expression. The levels of dopamine metabolites but not those of dopamine were increased in the cortex of infected mice compared with those in the cortex of uninfected mice. In contrast, serotonin levels were decreased in the amygdala and norepinephrine levels were decreased in the cortex and amygdala of infected mice. The levels of cortical dopamine metabolites were associated with the time spent freezing in the fear-conditioning test. These results suggest that T. gondii infection affects fear memory through dysfunction of the cortex and amygdala. Our findings provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurological changes seen during T. gondii infection. PMID:27456832

  18. Differential involvement of glutamatergic and catecholaminergic activity within the amygdala during taste aversion retrieval on memory expression and updating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, Osorio-Gómez; Kioko, Guzmán-Ramos; Federico, Bermúdez-Rattoni

    2016-07-01

    During memory retrieval, consolidated memories are expressed and destabilized in order to maintain or update information through a memory reconsolidation process. Despite the key role of the amygdala during memory acquistion and consolidation, the participation of neurotransmitter signals in memory retrieval is poorly understood. Hence, we used conditioned taste aversion and in vivo microdialysis to evaluate changes in glutamate, norepinephrine and dopamine concentrations within the amygdala during memory retrieval. We observed that exposure to an aversive-conditioned stimulus induced an augmentation in glutamate, norepinephrine and dopamine levels within the amygdala, while exposure to a familiar and safe stimulus did not induce changes in these neurotransmitters levels. Also, we evaluated the amygdalar blockade of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), β-adrenergic and dopamine D1 receptors in memory retrieval and updating. Results showed that during retrieval, behavioural expression was impaired by intra-amygdalar blockade of AMPA and β-adrenergic receptors, whereas NMDA, D1 and β-adrenergic receptors blockade hindered memory updating. In summary, during conditioned taste aversion retrieval there was an increase in the extracellular levels of glutamate, norepinephrine and dopamine within the amygdala, and their receptors activity were differentially involved in the behavioural expression and memory updating during retrieval.

  19. p300/CBP Histone Acetyltransferase Activity Is Required for Newly Acquired and Reactivated Fear Memories in the Lateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddox, Stephanie A.; Watts, Casey S.; Schafe, Glenn E.

    2013-01-01

    Modifications in chromatin structure have been widely implicated in memory and cognition, most notably using hippocampal-dependent memory paradigms including object recognition, spatial memory, and contextual fear memory. Relatively little is known, however, about the role of chromatin-modifying enzymes in amygdala-dependent memory formation.…

  20. Analysis of the effects of depression associated polymorphisms on the activity of the BICC1 promoter in amygdala neurones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, S; Shanley, L; Cowie, P; Lear, M; McGuffin, P; Quinn, J P; Barrett, P; MacKenzie, A

    2016-08-01

    The Bicaudal C Homolog 1 (BICC1) gene, which encodes an RNA binding protein, has been identified by genome wide association studies (GWAS) as a candidate gene associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). We explored the hypothesis that MDD associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affected the ability of cis-regulatory elements within intron 3 of the BICC1 gene to modulate the activity of the BICC1 promoter region. We initially established that the BICC1 promoter drove BICC1 mRNA expression in amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus. Intriguingly, we provide evidence that MDD associated polymorphisms alter the ability of the BICC1 promoter to respond to PKA signalling within amygdala neurones. Considering the known role of amygdala PKA pathways in fear learning and mood these observations suggest a possible mechanism through which allelic changes in the regulation of the BICC1 gene in amygdala neurones may contribute to mood disorders. Our findings also suggest a novel direction for the identification of novel drug targets and the design of future personalised therapeutics.The Pharmacogenomics Journal advance online publication, 6 October 2015; doi:10.1038/tpj.2015.62. PMID:26440730

  1. Real-time neurofeedback using functional MRI could improve down-regulation of amygdala activity during emotional stimulation: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühl, Annette Beatrix; Scherpiet, Sigrid; Sulzer, James; Stämpfli, Philipp; Seifritz, Erich; Herwig, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    The amygdala is a central target of emotion regulation. It is overactive and dysregulated in affective and anxiety disorders and amygdala activity normalizes with successful therapy of the symptoms. However, a considerable percentage of patients do not reach remission within acceptable duration of treatment. The amygdala could therefore represent a promising target for real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) neurofeedback. rtfMRI neurofeedback directly improves the voluntary regulation of localized brain activity. At present, most rtfMRI neurofeedback studies have trained participants to increase activity of a target, i.e. up-regulation. However, in the case of the amygdala, down-regulation is supposedly more clinically relevant. Therefore, we developed a task that trained participants to down-regulate activity of the right amygdala while being confronted with amygdala stimulation, i.e. negative emotional faces. The activity in the functionally-defined region was used as online visual feedback in six healthy subjects instructed to minimize this signal using reality checking as emotion regulation strategy. Over a period of four training sessions, participants significantly increased down-regulation of the right amygdala compared to a passive viewing condition to control for habilitation effects. This result supports the concept of using rtfMRI neurofeedback training to control brain activity during relevant stimulation, specifically in the case of emotion, and has implications towards clinical treatment of emotional disorders.

  2. Segregation of face sensitive areas within the fusiform gyrus using global signal regression? A study on amygdala resting-state functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruschwitz, Johann D; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Veer, Ilya M; Wackerhagen, Carolin; Erk, Susanne; Mohnke, Sebastian; Pöhland, Lydia; Haddad, Leila; Grimm, Oliver; Tost, Heike; Romanczuk-Seiferth, Nina; Heinz, Andreas; Walter, Martin; Walter, Henrik

    2015-10-01

    The application of global signal regression (GSR) to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data and its usefulness is a widely discussed topic. In this article, we report an observation of segregated distribution of amygdala resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) within the fusiform gyrus (FFG) as an effect of GSR in a multi-center-sample of 276 healthy subjects. Specifically, we observed that amygdala rs-FC was distributed within the FFG as distinct anterior versus posterior clusters delineated by positive versus negative rs-FC polarity when GSR was performed. To characterize this effect in more detail, post hoc analyses revealed the following: first, direct overlays of task-functional magnetic resonance imaging derived face sensitive areas and clusters of positive versus negative amygdala rs-FC showed that the positive amygdala rs-FC cluster corresponded best with the fusiform face area, whereas the occipital face area corresponded to the negative amygdala rs-FC cluster. Second, as expected from a hierarchical face perception model, these amygdala rs-FC defined clusters showed differential rs-FC with other regions of the visual stream. Third, dynamic connectivity analyses revealed that these amygdala rs-FC defined clusters also differed in their rs-FC variance across time to the amygdala. Furthermore, subsample analyses of three independent research sites confirmed reliability of the effect of GSR, as revealed by similar patterns of distinct amygdala rs-FC polarity within the FFG. In this article, we discuss the potential of GSR to segregate face sensitive areas within the FFG and furthermore discuss how our results may relate to the functional organization of the face-perception circuit. PMID:26178527

  3. μ-Opioid and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the amygdala contribute to minocycline-induced potentiation of morphine analgesia in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazvini, Hamed; Rezayof, Ameneh; Ghasemzadeh, Zahra; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2015-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the amygdala in the potentiative effect of minocycline, a semisynthetic tetracycline antibiotic, on morphine analgesia in male Wistar rats. We also examined the involvement of the amygdala μ-opioid and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the minocycline-induced potentiation of morphine analgesia. Intraperitoneal administration of morphine (3-9 mg/kg) induced analgesia in a tail-flick test. Bilateral intra-amygdala injection of minocycline (10-20 μg/rat) enhanced the analgesic response of an ineffective dose of morphine (3 mg/kg). Injection of a higher dose of minocycline into the amygdala also induced analgesia. Moreover, bilateral intra-amygdala injection of naloxone (0.5-1.5 µg/rat) reversed minocycline-induced potentiation of morphine analgesia. Pretreatment of animals with NMDA (0.01-0.1 μg/rat, intra-amygdala) also inhibited the potentiative effect of minocycline on morphine response. Bilateral intra-amygdala injection of the same doses of naloxone or NMDA plus morphine had no effect on the tail-flick latency in the absence of minocycline. It can be concluded that the amygdala has a key role in the potentiative effect of minocycline on morphine analgesia. In addition, amygdala opioidergic and glutamatergic mechanisms may be involved, probably through μ-opioid and NMDA receptors, in the modulation of the minocycline-induced potentiation of morphine analgesia in the tail-flick test. PMID:25563202

  4. Ashley's Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimes, Tiffany

    2012-01-01

    Many fingers are pointed at today's youth who are maligned for problems of bullying, school dropout, teen violence, suicide, and sexual encounters at ever younger ages. But these are symptoms of the culture of discord adults have created for youth. Too many youth lack positive adult and peer relationships, a loving and caring community, and a…

  5. Amygdala response predicts trajectory of symptom reduction during Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy among adolescent girls with PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisler, Josh M; Sigel, Benjamin A; Kramer, Teresa L; Smitherman, Sonet; Vanderzee, Karin; Pemberton, Joy; Kilts, Clinton D

    2015-12-01

    Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is the gold standard treatment for pediatric PTSD. Nonetheless, clinical outcomes in TF-CBT are highly variable, indicating a need to identify reliable predictors that allow forecasting treatment response. Here, we test the hypothesis that functional neuroimaging correlates of emotion processing predict PTSD symptom reduction during Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) among adolescent girls with PTSD. Thirty-four adolescent girls with PTSD related to physical or sexual assault were enrolled in TF-CBT, delivered in an approximately 12 session format, in an open trial. Prior to treatment, they were engaged in an implicit threat processing task during 3T fMRI, during which they viewed faces depicting fearful or neutral expressions. Among adolescent girls completing TF-CBT (n = 23), slopes of PTSD symptom trajectories during TF-CBT were significantly related to pre-treatment degree of bilateral amygdala activation while viewing fearful vs neutral images. Adolescents with less symptom reduction were characterized by greater amygdala activation to both threat and neutral images (i.e., less threat-safety discrimination), whereas adolescents with greater symptom reduction were characterized by amygdala activation only to threat images. These clinical outcome relationships with pre-treatment bilateral amygdala activation remained when controlling for possible confounding demographic or clinical variables (e.g., concurrent psychotropic medication, comorbid diagnoses). While limited by a lack of a control group, these preliminary results suggest that pre-treatment amygdala reactivity to fear stimuli, a component of neurocircuitry models of PTSD, positively predicts symptom reduction during TF-CBT among assaulted adolescent girls, providing support for an objective measure for forecasting treatment response in this vulnerable population.

  6. Amygdala activation during emotional face processing in adolescents with affective disorders: the role of underlying depression and anxiety symptoms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca G Van Den Bulk

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available AbstractDepressive and anxiety disorders are often first diagnosed during adolescence and it is known that they persist into adulthood. Previous studies often tried to dissociate depressive and anxiety disorders, but high comorbidity makes this difficult and maybe even impossible. The goal of this study was to use neuroimaging to test what the unique contribution is of depression and anxiety symptomatology on emotional processing and amygdala activation, and to compare the results with a healthy control group. We included 25 adolescents with depressive and/or anxiety disorders and 26 healthy adolescents. Participants performed an emotional face processing task while in the MRI scanner. We were particularly interested in the relation between depression/anxiety symptomatology and patterns of amygdala activation. There were no significant differences in activation patterns between the control group and the clinical group on whole brain level and ROI level. However, we found that dimensional scores on an anxiety but not a depression subscale significantly predicted brain activation in the right amygdala when processing fearful, happy and neutral faces. These results suggest that anxiety symptoms are a better predictor for differentiating activation patterns in the amygdala than depression symptoms. Although the current study includes a relatively large sample of treatment naïve adolescents with depression/anxiety disorders, results might be influenced by differences between studies in recruitment strategies or methodology. Future research should include larger samples with a more equal distribution of adolescents with a clinical diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety. To conclude, this study shows that abnormal amygdala responses to emotional faces in depression and anxiety seems to be more dependent on anxiety symptoms than on depression symptoms, and thereby highlights the need for more research to better characterize clinical groups in future

  7. The acceleration of amygdala kindling epileptogenesis by chronic low-dose corticosterone involves both mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Gaurav; Couper, Abbie; O'Brien, Terence J; Salzberg, Michael R; Jones, Nigel C; Rees, Sandra M; Morris, Margaret J

    2007-08-01

    We have previously demonstrated that low-dose corticosterone (CS) administration, used as a model of the effect of chronic stress, accelerates epileptogenesis in the electrical amygdala kindling rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). This current study examined the relative contributions to this effect of mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid (GR) subtypes of glucocorticoid receptors. Female non-epileptic wistar rats 10-13 weeks of age were implanted with a bipolar electrode into the left amygdala. Five treatment groups were subjected to rapid amygdala kindling: water-control (n=9), CS treated (6 mg/100 ml added to drinking water; n=9), CS+spironolactone (MR antagonist, 50 mg/kg sc; n=9), CS+mifepristone (GR antagonist, 25 mg/kg sc; n=9), and CS+both antagonists (n=7). Rats were injected with vehicle or the relevant antagonist twice daily for the entire kindling period. Experimental groups differed significantly in the number of stimulations required to reach the 'fully kindled state' (Racine, 1972) ANOVA, F(4,38)=2.73, p=0.04). Amygdala kindling was accelerated in the CS-treated group compared with water controls (mean stimulations for full kindling: 45.2 vs. 86.5, pkindling rates in these groups not significantly different from water-treated subjects (p=0.26 and 0.29, respectively). The kindling rates in the MR and GR antagonist treatment groups did not significantly differ from each other (p=0.93), nor from the combined treatment group (mean stimulations: 62.8, p=0.59 and 0.54, respectively). This study demonstrates that activation of both high-affinity (MR) and low-affinity (GR) glucocorticoid receptors are involved in mediating CS-induced acceleration of amygdala kindling epileptogenesis.

  8. Associative processes in addiction and reward. The role of amygdala-ventral striatal subsystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everitt, B J; Parkinson, J A; Olmstead, M C; Arroyo, M; Robledo, P; Robbins, T W

    1999-06-29

    Only recently have the functional implications of the organization of the ventral striatum, amygdala, and related limbic-cortical structures, and their neuroanatomical interactions begun to be clarified. Processes of activation and reward have long been associated with the NAcc and its dopamine innervation, but the precise relationships between these constructs have remained elusive. We have sought to enrich our understanding of the special role of the ventral striatum in coordinating the contribution of different functional subsystems to confer flexibility, as well as coherence and vigor, to goal-directed behavior, through different forms of associative learning. Such appetitive behavior comprises many subcomponents, some of which we have isolated in these experiments to reveal that, not surprisingly, the mechanisms by which an animal sequences responding to reach a goal are complex. The data reveal how the different components, pavlovian approach (or sign-tracking), conditioned reinforcement (whereby pavlovian stimuli control goal-directed action), and also more general response-invigorating processes (often called "activation," "stress," or "drive") may be integrated within the ventral striatum through convergent interactions of the amygdala, other limbic cortical structures, and the mesolimbic dopamine system to produce coherent behavior. The position is probably not far different when considering aversively motivated behavior. Although it may be necessary to employ simplified, even abstract, paradigms for isolating these mechanisms, their concerted action can readily be appreciated in an adaptive, functional setting, such as the responding by rats for intravenous cocaine under a second-order schedule of reinforcement. Here, the interactions of primary reinforcement, psychomotor activation, pavlovian conditioning, and the control that drug cues exert over the integrated drug-seeking response can be seen to operate both serially and concurrently. The power of

  9. Effects of baseline anxiety on response to kindling of the right medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamec, R; Shallow, T

    The effects of kindling of the right anterior medial amygdala of Wistar rats was studied. Kindling lastingly increased anxiety (decreased open-arm exploration) in the elevated plus-maze 1 week after the last kindled seizure, replicating previous findings. Changes in anxiety were independent of changes in exploration or activity in either the plus-maze or hole board. A new finding is the dependence on baseline behavior of kindling induced behavioral changes. Using a novel-retest paradigm, it was possible to retest rats in the plus-maze without changes in their open arm explorations. This permitted pretesting rats to determine their baseline levels of plus-maze anxiety. Controls proved to be stable in their plus-maze behavior over a retest interval of 3 weeks. Rats below the median level of Test 1 open-arm exploration were unaffected by kindling. Those above the Test 1 median level of open-arm exploration showed reduced exploration following kindling. Kindling did not affect closed-arm entries in the plus-maze in this analysis. However, it was discovered that rats with arm entries below a critical level on Test 1 showed an increase in closed-arm entries following kindling. These findings point out how baseline behaviors can interact with kindling to influence behavioral outcome. Risk assessment was unchanged by kindling in this study, unlike previous reports. Subtle changes in focus location within the medial amygdala may have altered the effects of kindling on risk assessment. The electrodes in this study were in a slightly but significantly different location in the medial amygdala than in previous studies. As in previous studies, risk assessment was measured as frequency and duration of stretch attend postures toward the open arm of the plus maze when the hind quarters were in the closed arms. Risk assessment was taken as a ratio of time spent in the closed arms of the maze. This study, along with others reviewed elsewhere, suggest that a complex set of factors

  10. Synaptic and non-synaptic mechanisms of amygdala recruitment into temporolimbic epileptiform activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klueva, Julia; Munsch, Thomas; Albrecht, Doris; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2003-11-01

    Lateral amygdala (LA) activity during synchronized-epileptiform discharges in temporolimbic circuits was investigated in rat horizontal slices containing the amygdala, hippocampus (Hip), perirhinal (Prh) and lateral entorhinal (LEnt) cortex, through multiple-site extra- and intracellular recording techniques and measurement of the extracellular K+ concentration. Application of 4-aminopyridine (50 microm) induced epileptiform discharges in all regions under study. Slow interictal-like burst discharges persisted in the Prh/LEnt/LA after disconnection of the Hip, seemed to originate in the Prh as shown from time delay analyses, and often preceded the onset of ictal-like activity. Disconnection of the amygdala resulted in de-synchronization of epileptiform discharges in the LA from those in the Prh/LEnt. Interictal-like activity was intracellularly reflected in LA projection neurons as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A/B receptor-mediated synaptic responses, and depolarizing electrogenic events (spikelets) residing on the initial phase of the GABA response. Spikelets were considered antidromically conducted ectopic action potentials generated at axon terminals, as they were graded in amplitude, were not abolished through hyperpolarizing membrane responses (which effectively blocked evoked orthodromic action potentials), lacked a clear prepotential or synaptic potential, were not affected through blockers of gap junctions, and were blocked through remote application of tetrodotoxin at putative target areas of LA projection neurons. Remote application of a GABAB receptor antagonist facilitated spikelet generation. A transient elevation in the extracellular K+ level averaging 3 mm above baseline occurred in conjunction with interictal-like activity in all areas under study. We conclude that interictal-like discharges in the LA/LEnt/Prh spread in a predictable manner through the synaptic network with the Prh playing a leading role. The rise in extracellular K+ may provide a

  11. 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

    Emotions are often understood in relation to conditioned responses. Narrative emotions, however, cannot be reduced to a simple associative relationship between emotion words and their experienced counterparts. Intensity in stories may arise without any overt emotion depicting words and vice versa....... In this fMRI study we investigated BOLD-responses to naturally fluctuating emotions evoked by listening to a story. The emotional intensity profile of the text was found through a rating study. The validity of this profile was supported by heart rate variability (HRV) data showing a significant...... 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...

  12. Lack of spatial segregation in the representation of pheromones and kairomones in the mouse medial amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vinicius Miessler de Andrade Carvalho

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The nervous system is organized to detect, internally represent and process sensory information to generate appropriate behaviors. Despite the crucial importance of odors that elicit instinctive behaviors, such as pheromones and kairomones, their neural representation remains little characterized in the mammalian brain. Here we used expression of the immediate early gene product c-Fos as a marker of neuronal activity to find that a wide range of pheromones and kairomones produces activation in the medial nucleus of the amygdala, a brain area anatomically connected with the olfactory sensory organs. We see that activity in this nucleus depends on vomeronasal organ input, and that distinct vomeronasal stimuli activate a dispersed ensemble of cells, without any apparent spatial segregation. This activity pattern does not reflect the chemical category of the stimuli, their valence or the induced behaviors. These findings will help build a complete understanding of how odor information is processed in the brain to generate instinctive behaviors.

  13. Kindling of the interpeduncular nucleus and its influence on subsequent amygdala kindling in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiba, S; Wada, J A

    1995-04-01

    We examined the effect of interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) kindling on subsequent amygdala (AM) kindling in rats (n = 9). Eleven to 15 daily IPN stimulations at an afterdischarge (AD)-inducing threshold (400-1000 microA, biphasic sine waves, 1-3 s) produced progressive AD growth (9 of 9 rats) and recruitment of behavioral seizures (7 of 9 rats). The final form of the latter was generalized tonic-clonic seizures with or without a limbic seizure component. The latter was associated with ictal involvement of AM and sensorimotor cortex. Subsequent AM kindling resulted not only in more rapid kindling, but also in tonic seizure associated with a protracted loss of postural control (5-20 s) not observed in animals undergoing AM kindling without previous IPN kindling (n = 5). These findings indicate that the IPN can be kindled and that subsequent AM kindling utilizes the proconvulsant neuroplastic changes that have been already established by IPN kindling.

  14. Low-frequency stimulation of the kindling focus delays basolateral amygdala kindling in immature rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velísek, Libor; Velísková, Jana; Stanton, Patric K

    2002-06-21

    Stimulation of deep brain sites is a new approach for treatment of intractable seizures. In adult rats, low-frequency stimulation (LFS; 1-3 Hz) of the kindling site interferes with the course of kindling epileptogenesis. In this study we determined whether the LFS will be effective against the fast kindling in the basolateral amygdala in immature, 15 day old rats. LFS (15 min of 1 Hz stimulation) was applied after each of the 1 s, 60 Hz kindling stimulus. LFS suppressed afterdischarge duration and seizure stage throughout the course of kindling, which indicates a strong antiepileptogenic potential. As the kindling and LFS stimulation patterns are similar to those used for induction of long-term potentiation and long-term depression (LTD), respectively, LTD or depotentiation may play a role in the mechanism of action.

  15. Toward a systems-oriented approach to the role of the extended amygdala in adaptive responding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waraczynski, Meg

    2016-09-01

    Research into the structure and function of the basal forebrain macrostructure called the extended amygdala (EA) has recently seen considerable growth. This paper reviews that work, with the objectives of identifying underlying themes and developing a common goal towards which investigators of EA function might work. The paper begins with a brief review of the structure and the ontological and phylogenetic origins of the EA. It continues with a review of research into the role of the EA in both aversive and appetitive states, noting that these two seemingly disparate avenues of research converge on the concept of reinforcement - either negative or positive - of adaptive responding. These reviews lead to a proposal as to where the EA may fit in the organization of the basal forebrain, and an invitation to investigators to place their findings in a unifying conceptual framework of the EA as a collection of neural ensembles that mediate adaptive responding.

  16. Lack of spatial segregation in the representation of pheromones and kairomones in the mouse medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Vinicius M A; Nakahara, Thiago S; Cardozo, Leonardo M; Souza, Mateus A A; Camargo, Antonio P; Trintinalia, Guilherme Z; Ferraz, Eliana; Papes, Fabio

    2015-01-01

    The nervous system is organized to detect, internally represent and process sensory information to generate appropriate behaviors. Despite the crucial importance of odors that elicit instinctive behaviors, such as pheromones and kairomones, their neural representation remains little characterized in the mammalian brain. Here we used expression of the immediate early gene product c-Fos as a marker of neuronal activity to find that a wide range of pheromones and kairomones produces activation in the medial nucleus of the amygdala, a brain area anatomically connected with the olfactory sensory organs. We see that activity in this nucleus depends on vomeronasal organ input, and that distinct vomeronasal stimuli activate a dispersed ensemble of cells, without any apparent spatial segregation. This activity pattern does not reflect the chemical category of the stimuli, their valence or the induced behaviors. These findings will help build a complete understanding of how odor information is processed in the brain to generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:26321906

  17. Beyond the amygdala: Linguistic threat modulates peri-sylvian semantic access cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisholtz, Daniel S; Root, James C; Butler, Tracy; Tüscher, Oliver; Epstein, Jane; Pan, Hong; Protopopescu, Xenia; Goldstein, Martin; Isenberg, Nancy; Brendel, Gary; LeDoux, Joseph; Silbersweig, David A; Stern, Emily

    2015-12-01

    In this study, healthy volunteers were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural systems involved in processing the threatening content conveyed via visually presented "threat words." The neural responses elicited by these words were compared to those elicited by matched neutral control words. The results demonstrate that linguistic threat, when presented in written form, can selectively engage areas of lateral temporal and inferior frontal cortex, distinct from the core language areas implicated in aphasia. Additionally, linguistic threat modulates neural activity in visceral/emotional systems (amygdala, parahippocampal gyrus and periaqueductal gray), and at earlier stages of the visual-linguistic processing stream involved in visual word form representations (ventral occipitotemporal cortex). We propose a model whereby limbic activation modulates activity at multiple nodes along the visual-linguistic-semantic processing stream, including a perisylvian "semantic access network" involved in decoding word meaning, suggesting a dynamic interplay between feedforward and feedback processes. PMID:26575986

  18. Changes in aminoacidergic and monoaminergic neurotransmission in the hippocampus and amygdala of rats after ayahuasca ingestion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Eduardo; Ferreira; de; Castro-Neto; Rafael; Henrique; da; Cunha; Dartiu; Xavier; da; Silveira; Mauricio; Yonamine; Telma; Luciana; Furtado; Gouveia; Esper; Abro; Cavalheiro; Débora; Amado; Maria; da; Graa; Naffah-Mazzacoratti

    2013-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate changes in neurotransmission induced by a psychoactive beverage ayahuasca in the hippocampus and amygdala of naive rats. METHODS: The level of monoamines, their main metabolites and amino acid neurotransmitters concentrations were quantified using high performance liquid chromatography(HPLC). Four groups of rats were employed: saline-treated and rats receiving 250, 500 and 800 mg/kg of ayahuasca infusion(gavage). Animals were killed 40 min after drug ingestion and the structures stored at-80 ℃ until HPLC assay. The data from all groups were compared using Analysis of variance and Scheffé as post test and P < 0.05 was accepted as significant. RESULTS: The results showed decreased concentrations of glycine(GLY)(0.13 ± 0.03 vs 0.29 ± 0.07, P < 0.001) and γ-aminobutyric acid(GABA)(1.07 ± 0.14 vs 1.73 ± 0.25, P < 0.001) in the amygdala of rats that received 500 of ayahuasca. Animals that ingested 800 mg/kg of ayahuasca also showed a reduction of GLY level(0.11 ± 0.01 vs 0.29 ± 0.07, P < 0.001) and GABA(0.98 ± 0.06 vs 1.73 ± 0.25, P < 0.001). In the hippocampus, increased GABA levels were found in rats that received all ayahuasca doses: 250 mg/kg(1.29 ± 0.19 vs 0.84 ± 0.21, P < 0.05); 500 mg/kg(2.23 ± 038 vs 084 ± 0.21, P < 0.05) and 800 mg/kg(1.98 ± 0.92 vs 0.84 ± 0.21, P < 0.05). In addition, an increased utilization rate of all monoamines was found in the amygdala after ayahuasca administration in doses: 250 mg/kg(noradrenaline: 0.16 ± 0.02 vs 0.36 ± 0.06, P < 0.01; dopamine: 0.39 ± 0.012 vs 2.39 ± 0.84, P < 0.001; serotonin: 1.02 ± 0.22 vs 4.04 ± 0.91, P < 0.001), 500 mg/kg(noradrenaline: 0.08 ± 0.02 vs 0.36 ± 0.06, P < 0.001; dopamine: 0.33 ± 0.19 vs 2.39 ± 0.84, P < 0.001; serotonin: 0.59 ± 0.08 vs 4.04 ± 0.91, P < 0.001) and 800 mg/kg(noradrenaline: 0.16 ± 0.04 vs 0.36 ± 0.06, P < 0.001; dopamine: 0.84 ± 0.65 vs2.39 ± 0.84, P < 0.05; serotonin: 0.36 ± 0.02 vs 4.04 ± 0.91, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Our data suggest

  19. Amygdala kindling and associated changes of entorhinal responses in suckling rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawawaki, H; Matsuura, S; Murata, R

    1990-02-01

    Entorhinal field potential with amygdala stimulation in suckling (16-18 days old) and adult rats was recorded with a tungsten wire electrode (tip diameter 2-5 microns) to study the developmental changes in behavioral seizures and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the responses to amygdala kindling stimulations. Stimulating (twisted enamel-coated wires) and recording electrodes were implanted in anesthetized rats 2-3 days before kindling. The mean amplitude of the responses to test pulses (600 microA, 0.3 Hz) in the sucklings (0.58 mV) was smaller than in the adults (1.32 mV), and latency was about 3.3 ms longer. Kindling stimulations consisted of 0.5-ms monophasic rectangular pulses of 10 Hz with a 10-s train duration; the intensity was the afterdischarge (AD) threshold. Kindling stimulation in the sucklings usually increased the amplitude of the test responses evoked 10 min or 1 h after the kindling stimulation. The increased amplitude persisted for at least 24 h, showing LTP in the synaptic transmission. The LTP was especially prominent in the first kindling stimulation, and the LTP gradually increased with successive stimulations, with gradual progression of AD and the behavioral seizure stage as well. The mean number of kindling stimulations to cause generalized seizures in the suckling rats (10.5) was less than that for adults (12.5), and the continued evolution of LTP over the course of kindling was more or less easier in the sucklings than in the adults.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  20. Amygdala kindling potentiates seizure-stimulated immediate-early gene expression in rat cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duman, R S; Craig, J S; Winston, S M; Deutch, A Y; Hernandez, T D

    1992-11-01

    Kindling induces long-term adaptations in neuronal function that lead to a decreased threshold for induction of seizures. In the present study, the influence of amygdala kindling on levels of mRNA for the immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-fos, c-jun, and NGF1-A were examined both before and after an acute electroconvulsive seizure (ECS). Although amygdala kindling did not significantly influence resting levels of c-fos mRNA in cerebral cortex, ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA (examined 45 min after ECS) were approximately twofold greater in the cerebral cortex of kindled rats relative to sham-treated controls. The influence of kindling on IEG expression was dependent on the time course of kindling, as ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA were not significantly increased in stage 2 kindled animals. ECS-stimulated levels of c-jun and NGF1-A mRNA were also significantly increased in cerebral cortex of kindled rats relative to sham-treated controls. The influence of kindling on IEG expression was long-lasting because an acute ECS stimulus significantly elevated levels of c-fos and c-jun mRNA in the cerebral cortex of animals that were kindled 5 months previously. In contrast to these effects in cerebral cortex, kindling did not influence ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA in hippocampus. Finally, immunohistochemical studies revealed lamina-specific changes in the cerebral cortex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. Are differences in dorsal hippocampal kindling related to amygdala-piriform area excitability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, D C; Kelly, M E

    1993-01-01

    It has been suggested that several structures associated with the amygdala-piriform (A-P) area are important, if not critical, for convulsive generalization of limbic seizures. In experiment 1, when examining the development of convulsive seizures kindled from the dorsal hippocampus (cornus ammonis; DH), a broad range of kindling rates was observed. Independent of electrode location within the hippocampus, kindling rates were correlated positively with both local and, more dramatically, distant excitability (measured by the duration of the primary and secondary hippocampal afterdischarges, respectively) at all stages of epileptogenesis. Because kindling rates were bimodally distributed, we bisected the distribution into 'faster' and 'slower' kindling rats. Here we examined the magnitude of both electrophysiological and behavioral differences between 'faster' and 'slower' rats and their changes over time. The 'faster' rats had longer primary and secondary afterdischarge (AD) durations than 'slower' rats throughout all stages of kindling. With the appearance of generalized convulsions, the 'faster' rats showed longer latencies to clonus onset, with longer clonus and AD durations than 'slower' rats. Also, the generalized convulsions of 'faster' rats appeared during a much enlarged secondary AD period, while 'slower' rats convulsed during primary AD. In both groups, convulsions were invariably associated with increased discharge in A-P associated structures. We interpreted the differences between 'faster' and 'slower' DH rats to reflect genetic differences in excitability in both local and A-P associated structures. If the DH kindling profile of the 'faster' rats differed from 'slower' rats largely because of naturally greater excitability in A-P associated structures, then experimentally increased excitability in those structures (via amygdala kindling) in a random sample of rats should duplicate much of the 'faster' DH kindling profile. In experiment 2, this outcome

  2. Effects of chronic ethanol exposure on neuronal function in the prefrontal cortex and extended amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleil, Kristen E; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G; Crowley, Nicole A; Li, Chia; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A; Rose, Jamie H; McCall, Nora M; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Morrow, A Leslie; Jones, Sara R; Kash, Thomas L

    2015-12-01

    Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal leads to anxiety, escalated alcohol drinking behavior, and alcohol dependence. Alterations in the function of key structures within the cortico-limbic neural circuit have been implicated in underlying the negative behavioral consequences of chronic alcohol exposure in both humans and rodents. Here, we used chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in male C57BL/6J mice to evaluate the effects of chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal on anxiety-like behavior and basal synaptic function and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortical and extended amygdala brain regions. Forty-eight hours after four cycles of CIE, mice were either assayed in the marble burying test (MBT) or their brains were harvested and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings were performed in the prelimbic and infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PLC and ILC), the lateral and medial central nucleus of the amygdala (lCeA and mCeA), and the dorsal and ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST and vBNST). Ethanol-exposed mice displayed increased anxiety in the MBT compared to air-exposed controls, and alterations in neuronal function were observed in all brain structures examined, including several distinct differences between subregions within each structure. Chronic ethanol exposure induced hyperexcitability of the ILC, as well as a shift toward excitation in synaptic drive and hyperexcitability of vBNST neurons; in contrast, there was a net inhibition of the CeA. This study reveals extensive effects of chronic ethanol exposure on the basal function of cortico-limbic brain regions, suggests that there may be complex interactions between these regions in the regulation of ethanol-dependent alterations in anxiety state, and highlights the need for future examination of projection-specific effects of ethanol in cortico-limbic circuitry.

  3. Enhancing second-order conditioning with lesions of the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Peter C

    2016-04-01

    Because the occurrence of primary reinforcers in natural environments is relatively rare, conditioned reinforcement plays an important role in many accounts of behavior, including pathological behaviors such as the abuse of alcohol or drugs. As a result of pairing with natural or drug reinforcers, initially neutral cues acquire the ability to serve as reinforcers for subsequent learning. Accepting a major role for conditioned reinforcement in everyday learning is complicated by the often-evanescent nature of this phenomenon in the laboratory, especially when primary reinforcers are entirely absent from the test situation. Here, I found that under certain conditions, the impact of conditioned reinforcement could be extended by lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Rats received first-order Pavlovian conditioning pairings of 1 visual conditioned stimulus (CS) with food prior to receiving excitotoxic or sham lesions of the BLA, and first-order pairings of another visual CS with food after that surgery. Finally, each rat received second-order pairings of a different auditory cue with each visual first-order CS. As in prior studies, relative to sham-lesioned control rats, lesioned rats were impaired in their acquisition of second-order conditioning to the auditory cue paired with the first-order CS that was trained after surgery. However, lesioned rats showed enhanced and prolonged second-order conditioning to the auditory cue paired with the first-order CS that was trained before amygdala damage was made. Implications for an enhanced role for conditioned reinforcement by drug-related cues after drug-induced alterations in neural plasticity are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26795578

  4. Subjective somatosensory experiences disclosed by focused attention: cortical-hippocampal-insular and amygdala contributions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clemens C C Bauer

    Full Text Available In order to explore the neurobiological foundations of qualitative subjective experiences, the present study was designed to correlate objective third-person brain fMRI measures with subjective first-person identification and scaling of local, subtle, and specific somatosensory sensations, obtained directly after the imaging procedure. Thus, thirty-four volunteers were instructed to focus and sustain their attention to either provoked or spontaneous sensations of each thumb during the fMRI procedure. By means of a Likert scale applied immediately afterwards, the participants recalled and evaluated the intensity of their attention and identified specific somatosensory sensations (e.g. pulsation, vibration, heat. Using the subject's subjective scores as covariates to model both attention intensity and general somatosensory experiences regressors, the whole-brain random effect analyses revealed activations in the frontopolar prefrontal cortex (BA10, primary somatosensory cortex (BA1, premotor cortex (BA 6, precuneus (BA 7, temporopolar cortex (BA 38, inferior parietal lobe (BA 39, hippocampus, insula and amygdala. Furthermore, BA10 showed differential activity, with ventral BA10 correlating exclusively with attention (r(32 = 0.54, p = 0.0013 and dorsal BA10 correlating exclusively with somatosensory sensation (r(32 = 0.46, p = 0.007. All other reported brain areas showed significant positive correlations solely with subjective somatosensory experiences reports. These results provide evidence that the frontopolar prefrontal cortex has dissociable functions depending on specific cognitive demands; i.e. the dorsal portion of the frontopolar prefrontal cortex in conjunction with primary somatosensory cortex, temporopolar cortex, inferior parietal lobe, hippocampus, insula and amygdala are involved in the processing of spontaneous general subjective somatosensory experiences disclosed by focused and sustained attention.

  5. The central amygdala nucleus is critical for incubation of methamphetamine craving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuan; Zeric, Tamara; Kambhampati, Sarita; Bossert, Jennifer M; Shaham, Yavin

    2015-04-01

    Cue-induced methamphetamine seeking progressively increases after withdrawal but mechanisms underlying this 'incubation of methamphetamine craving' are unknown. Here we studied the role of central amygdala (CeA), ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), brain regions implicated in incubation of cocaine and heroin craving, in incubation of methamphetamine craving. We also assessed the role of basolateral amygdala (BLA) and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). We trained rats to self-administer methamphetamine (10 days; 9 h/day, 0.1 mg/kg/infusion) and tested them for cue-induced methamphetamine seeking under extinction conditions during early (2 days) or late (4-5 weeks) withdrawal. We first confirmed that 'incubation of methamphetamine craving' occurs under our experimental conditions. Next, we assessed the effect of reversible inactivation of CeA or BLA by GABAA+GABAB receptor agonists (muscimol+baclofen, 0.03+0.3 nmol) on cue-induced methamphetamine seeking during early and late withdrawal. We also assessed the effect of muscimol+baclofen reversible inactivation of vmPFC, dmPFC, and OFC on 'incubated' cue-induced methamphetamine seeking during late withdrawal. Lever presses in the cue-induced methamphetamine extinction tests were higher during late withdrawal than during early withdrawal (incubation of methamphetamine craving). Muscimol+baclofen injections into CeA but not BLA decreased cue-induced methamphetamine seeking during late but not early withdrawal. Muscimol+baclofen injections into dmPFC, vmPFC, or OFC during late withdrawal had no effect on incubated cue-induced methamphetamine seeking. Together with previous studies, results indicate that the CeA has a critical role in incubation of both drug and non-drug reward craving and demonstrate an unexpected dissociation in mechanisms of incubation of methamphetamine vs cocaine craving.

  6. Altered neurotransmission in the lateral amygdala in aged human apoE4 targeted replacement mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Rebecca C; Acheson, Shawn K; Mace, Brian E; Sullivan, Patrick M; Moore, Scott D

    2014-09-01

    The human APOE4 allele is associated with an early age of onset and increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Apolipoprotein E is secreted as part of a high-density lipoprotein-like particle by glial cells in the brain for the primary purpose of transport of lipophilic compounds involved in the maintenance of synapses. Previous studies examining synaptic integrity in the amygdala of human apoE targeted replacement (TR) mice showed a decrease in spontaneous excitatory synaptic activity, dendritic arbor, and spine density associated with apoE4 compared with apoE3 and apoE2 in adult male mice. In the present study, we assessed how APOE genotype affects synaptic integrity of amygdala neurons by comparing electrophysiological and morphometric properties in human apoE3, E4, and E2/4 TR mice at the age of 18-20 months. In contrast to adult mice, we found that aged apoE4 TR mice exhibited the highest level of excitatory synaptic activity compared with other cohorts. Additionally, apoE4 mice had significantly greater spontaneous inhibitory activity than all other cohorts. Taken together, there was a significant interaction between genotypes when comparing inhibition relative to excitation; there was a simple main effect of frequency type with an imbalance toward inhibition in apoE4 mice but not in apoE3 or apoE2/4 mice. These results suggest that apoE isoforms differentially influence synaptic transmission throughout the life span, where aging coupled with apoE4 expression, results in an imbalance in maintaining integrity of synaptic transmission.

  7. Differential efferent projections of the anterior, posteroventral and posterodorsal subdivisions of the medial amygdala in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecília ePardo-Bellver

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The medial amygdaloid nucleus (Me is a key structure in the control of sociosexual behaviour in mice. It receives direct projections from the main and accessory olfactory bulbs, as well as an important hormonal input. To better understand its behavioural role, in this work we investigate the structures receiving information from the Me, by analysing the efferent projections from its anterior (MeA, posterodorsal (MePD and posteroventral (MePV subdivisions, using anterograde neuronal tracing with biotinylated and tetrametylrhodamine-conjugated dextranamines.The Me is strongly interconnected with the rest of the chemosensory amygdala, but shows only moderate projections to the central nucleus and light projections to the associative nuclei of the basolateral amygdaloid complex. In addition, the MeA originates a strong feedback projection to the deep mitral cell layer of the accessory olfactory bulb, whereas the MePV projects to its granule cell layer. The medial amygdaloid nucleus (especially the MeA has also moderate projections to different olfactory structures, including the piriform cortex. The densest outputs of the Me target the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST and the hypothalamus. The MeA and MePV project to key structures of the circuit involved in the defensive response against predators (medial posterointermediate BST, anterior hypothalamic area, dorsomedial aspect of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, although less dense projections also innervate reproductive-related nuclei. In contrast, the MePD projects mainly to structures that control reproductive behaviours (medial posteromedial BST, medial preoptic nucleus, and ventrolateral aspect of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, although less dense projections to defensive-related nuclei also exist. These results confirm and extend previous results in other rodents and suggest that the medial amygdala is anatomically and functionally compartmentalized.

  8. Distinct patterns of outcome valuation and amygdala-prefrontal cortex synaptic remodeling in adolescence and adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eStolyarova

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Adolescent behavior is typified by increased risk-taking, reward- and novelty-seeking, as well as an augmented need for social and environmental stimulation. This behavioral phenotype may result from alterations in outcome valuation or reward learning. In the present set of experiments, we directly compared adult and adolescent animals on tasks measuring both of these processes. Additionally, we examined developmental differences in dopamine D1-like receptor (D1R, dopamine D2-like receptor (D2R, and polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM expression in animals that were trained on an effortful reward valuation task, given that these proteins play an important role in the functional development of the amygdala-prefrontocortical (PFC circuit and mesocorticolimbic dopamine system. We found that adolescent animals were not different from adults in appetitive associative learning, but exhibited distinct pattern of responses to differences in outcome values, which was paralleled by an enhanced motivation to invest effort to obtain larger rewards. There were no differences in D2 receptor expression, but D1 receptor expression was significantly reduced in the striatum of animals that had experiences with reward learning during adolescence compared to animals that went through the same experiences in adulthood. We observed increased levels of PSA-NCAM expression in both PFC and amygdala of late adolescents compared to adults that were previously trained on an effortful reward valuation task. PSA-NCAM levels in PFC were strongly and positively associated with high effort/reward choices in adolescents, but not in adult animals. Increased levels of PSA-NCAM expression in adolescents may index increased structural plasticity and represent a neural correlate of a reward sensitive endophenotype.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. Effects of chronic ethanol exposure on neuronal function in the prefrontal cortex and extended amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleil, Kristen E; Lowery-Gionta, Emily G; Crowley, Nicole A; Li, Chia; Marcinkiewcz, Catherine A; Rose, Jamie H; McCall, Nora M; Maldonado-Devincci, Antoniette M; Morrow, A Leslie; Jones, Sara R; Kash, Thomas L

    2015-12-01

    Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal leads to anxiety, escalated alcohol drinking behavior, and alcohol dependence. Alterations in the function of key structures within the cortico-limbic neural circuit have been implicated in underlying the negative behavioral consequences of chronic alcohol exposure in both humans and rodents. Here, we used chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in male C57BL/6J mice to evaluate the effects of chronic alcohol exposure and withdrawal on anxiety-like behavior and basal synaptic function and neuronal excitability in prefrontal cortical and extended amygdala brain regions. Forty-eight hours after four cycles of CIE, mice were either assayed in the marble burying test (MBT) or their brains were harvested and whole-cell electrophysiological recordings were performed in the prelimbic and infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (PLC and ILC), the lateral and medial central nucleus of the amygdala (lCeA and mCeA), and the dorsal and ventral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST and vBNST). Ethanol-exposed mice displayed increased anxiety in the MBT compared to air-exposed controls, and alterations in neuronal function were observed in all brain structures examined, including several distinct differences between subregions within each structure. Chronic ethanol exposure induced hyperexcitability of the ILC, as well as a shift toward excitation in synaptic drive and hyperexcitability of vBNST neurons; in contrast, there was a net inhibition of the CeA. This study reveals extensive effects of chronic ethanol exposure on the basal function of cortico-limbic brain regions, suggests that there may be complex interactions between these regions in the regulation of ethanol-dependent alterations in anxiety state, and highlights the need for future examination of projection-specific effects of ethanol in cortico-limbic circuitry. PMID:26188147

  11. Fluoxetine exerts age-dependent effects on behavior and amygdala neuroplasticity in the rat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith R Homberg

    Full Text Available The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI Prozac® (fluoxetine is the only registered antidepressant to treat depression in children and adolescents. Yet, while the safety of SSRIs has been well established in adults, serotonin exerts neurotrophic actions in the developing brain and thereby may have harmful effects in adolescents. Here we treated adolescent and adult rats chronically with fluoxetine (12 mg/kg at postnatal day (PND 25 to 46 and from PND 67 to 88, respectively, and tested the animals 7-14 days after the last injection when (norfluoxetine in blood plasma had been washed out, as determined by HPLC. Plasma (norfluoxetine levels were also measured 5 hrs after the last fluoxetine injection, and matched clinical levels. Adolescent rats displayed increased behavioral despair in the forced swim test, which was not seen in adult fluoxetine treated rats. In addition, beneficial effects of fluoxetine on wakefulness as measured by electroencephalography in adults was not seen in adolescent rats, and age-dependent effects on the acoustic startle response and prepulse inhibition were observed. On the other hand, adolescent rats showed resilience to the anorexic effects of fluoxetine. Exploratory behavior in the open field test was not affected by fluoxetine treatment, but anxiety levels in the elevated plus maze test were increased in both adolescent and adult fluoxetine treated rats. Finally, in the amygdala, but not the dorsal raphe nucleus and medial prefrontal cortex, the number of PSA-NCAM (marker for synaptic remodeling immunoreactive neurons was increased in adolescent rats, and decreased in adult rats, as a consequence of chronic fluoxetine treatment. No fluoxetine-induced changes in 5-HT(1A receptor immunoreactivity were observed. In conclusion, we show that fluoxetine exerts both harmful and beneficial age-dependent effects on depressive behavior, body weight and wakefulness, which may relate, in part, to differential

  12. Longitudinal changes of amygdala and default mode activation in adolescents prenatally exposed to cocaine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhihao; Coles, Claire D; Lynch, Mary Ellen; Luo, Yuejia; Hu, Xiaoping

    2016-01-01

    Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) is associated with long-term and negative effect on arousal regulation. Recent neuroimaging studies have examined brain mechanisms related to arousal dysregulation with cross-sectional experimental designs; but longitudinal changes in the brain, reflecting group differences in neurodevelopment, have never been directly examined. To directly assess the interaction of PCE and neurodevelopment, the present study used a longitudinal design to analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data collected from 33 adolescents (21 with PCE and 12 non-exposed controls) while they performed the same working memory task with emotional distracters at two points in time. The mean age of participants was 14.3 years at time_1 and 16.7 years at time_2. With confounding factors statistically controlled, the fMRI data revealed significant exposure-by-time interaction in the activations of the amygdala and default mode network (DMN). For the control adolescents, brain activations associated with emotional arousal (amygdala) and cognitive effort (DMN) were both reduced at time_2 as compared to that at time_1. However, these activation reductions were not observed in the PCE group, indicating persistently high levels of emotional arousal and cognitive effort. In addition, correlations between longitudinal changes in the brain and in behavior have shown that adolescents with persistently high emotional arousal were more likely in need of high cognitive effort; and their cognitive performance was more likely to be affected by distractive challenges. The present results complement and extend previous findings from cross-sectional studies with further evidence supporting the view of PCE associated long-term teratogenic effects on arousal regulation.

  13. 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism and neuroticism are linked by resting state functional connectivity of amygdala and fusiform gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruschwitz, J D; Walter, M; Varikuti, D; Jensen, J; Plichta, M M; Haddad, L; Grimm, O; Mohnke, S; Pöhland, L; Schott, B; Wold, A; Mühleisen, T W; Heinz, A; Erk, S; Romanczuk-Seiferth, N; Witt, S H; Nöthen, M M; Rietschel, M; Meyer-Lindenberg, A; Walter, H

    2015-07-01

    The s/s-genotype of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the personality trait of neuroticism have both been associated with experiences of negative affect, anxiety and mood disorders, as well as an emotional processing bias towards negative facial emotions. On a neural level, this bias can be characterized by altered amygdala and fusiform gyrus (FFG) activity during perception of negative facial expressions. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in a multi-center-sample of 178 healthy subjects of European descent, this study investigated the association of 5-HTTLPR (short s- and long l-allele) including the genotype of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs25531 (A/G) within this region polymorphism, and trait neuroticism on resting-state functional connectivity (rs-FC) between amygdala and the FFG. Moreover, we aimed to identify additional brain regions with associations of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 (combined according to its expression; low: s/s; high: l(A)/l(A); intermediate: s/l(A), s/l(G), l(G)/l(G), l(A)/l(G)) and trait neuroticism to amygdala rs-FC. Separate analyses for 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 and neuroticism (controlling for age, gender, handedness, and research site) revealed that s/s-homozygotes and individuals high in neuroticism obtained altered amygdala rs-FC in the right occipital face area, which is considered to be a "core component" of the face processing system. Importantly, effects of neuroticism were replicated across three independent research sites. Additionally, associations of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 genotype and amygdala rs-FC were observed in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, whereas neuroticism was not related to rs-FC in these areas. The presented data implies that 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 variants and neuroticism are linked by resting state functional connectivity of amygdala and fusiform gyrus and suggests that variants of 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 genotype and different levels of neuroticism may partly account for altered processing of

  14. A direct main olfactory bulb projection to the ‘vomeronasal’ amygdala in female mice selectively responds to volatile pheromones from males

    OpenAIRE

    Kang, Ningdong; Baum, Michael J.; Cherry, James A.

    2009-01-01

    The main olfactory system, like the accessory olfactory system, responds to pheromones involved in social communication. Whereas pheromones detected by the accessory system are transmitted to the hypothalamus via the medial (‘vomeronasal’) amygdala, the pathway by which pheromones are detected and transmitted by the main system is not well understood. We examined in female mice whether a direct projection from mitral/tufted (M/T) cells in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) to the medial amygdala e...

  15. The vomeronasal organ is required for the male mouse medial amygdala response to chemical-communication signals, as assessed by immediate early gene expression

    OpenAIRE

    Samuelsen, Chad L.; Meredith, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Many species use chemical signals to convey information relevant to social and reproductive status between members of the same species (conspecific), but some chemical signals may also provide information to another species (heterospecific). Both of these types of complex chemical signals may be detected by the vomeronasal organ, which sends projections to the accessory olfactory bulb and on to the medial amygdala. Previous reports in hamster and mouse suggest that the medial amygdala sorts t...

  16. Acquisition of contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning is blocked by application of an NMDA receptor antagonist D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid to the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanselow, M S; Kim, J J

    1994-02-01

    Rats, with chronic cannula placed bilaterally in the amygdala, received infusions of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV) before contextual Pavlovian fear conditioning. Administration of APV to the basolateral nucleus prevented acquisition of fear. Central nucleus infusions had no effect. It is concluded that an NMDA-mediated process near the basolateral region of the amygdala (e.g., lateral or basolateral nucleus) is essential for the learning of fear.

  17. Qualitatively different effect of repeated stress during adolescence on principal neuron morphology across lateral and basal nuclei of the rat amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Padival, Mallika A.; Shannon R Blume; Vantrease, Jaime E.; Rosenkranz, J. Amiel

    2015-01-01

    Repeated stress can elicit symptoms of depression and anxiety. The amygdala is a significant contributor to the expression of emotion and the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a major target for the effects of stress on emotion. The adolescent time period may be particularly susceptible to the effects of stress on emotion. While repeated stress has been demonstrated to modify the morphology of BLA neurons in adult rats, little is known about its effects on BLA neurons during adolescence. This stu...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yohan J John

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Yohan J; Zikopoulos, Basilis; Bullock, Daniel; Barbas, Helen

    2016-02-01

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

  20. Memory enhancement induced by post-training intrabasolateral amygdala infusions of β-adrenergic or muscarinic agonists requires activation of dopamine receptors: Involvement of right, but not left, basolateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    LaLumiere, Ryan T; McGaugh, James L.

    2005-01-01

    Previous findings indicate that the noradrenergic, dopaminergic, and cholinergic innervations of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulate memory consolidation. The current study investigated whether memory enhancement induced by post-training intra-BLA infusions of a β-adrenergic or muscarinic cholinergic agonist requires concurrent activation of dopamine (DA) receptors in the BLA. Rats with implanted BLA cannulae were trained on an inhibitory avoidance (IA) task and, 48 h later, tested for re...

  1. LH-RH agonists modulate amygdala response to visual sexual stimulation: a single case fMRI study in pedophilia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habermeyer, Benedikt; Händel, Nadja; Lemoine, Patrick; Klarhöfer, Markus; Seifritz, Erich; Dittmann, Volker; Graf, Marc

    2012-01-01

    Pedophilia is characterized by a persistent sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Treatment with anti-androgen agents, such as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonists, reduces testosterone levels and thereby sexual drive and arousal. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare visual erotic stimulation pre- and on-treatment with the LH-RH agonist leuprolide acetate in the case of homosexual pedophilia. The pre-treatment contrasts of the erotic pictures against the respective neutral pictures showed an activation of the right amygdala and adjacent parahippocampal gyrus that decreased significantly under treatment with leuprolide acetate. Our single case fMRI study supports the notion that anti-androgens may modify amygdala response to visual erotic stimulation, a hypothesis that should be further examined in larger studies.

  2. Tension-related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala: an fMRI study with music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehne, Moritz; Rohrmeier, Martin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2014-10-01

    Tonal music is characterized by a continuous flow of tension and resolution. This flow of tension and resolution is closely related to processes of expectancy and prediction and is a key mediator of music-evoked emotions. However, the neural correlates of subjectively experienced tension and resolution have not yet been investigated. We acquired continuous ratings of musical tension for four piano pieces. In a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, we identified blood oxygen level-dependent signal increases related to musical tension in the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (pars orbitalis of the inferior frontal gyrus). In addition, a region of interest analysis in bilateral amygdala showed activation in the right superficial amygdala during periods of increasing tension (compared with decreasing tension). This is the first neuroimaging study investigating the time-varying changes of the emotional experience of musical tension, revealing brain activity in key areas of affective processing.

  3. Associative Pavlovian conditioning leads to an increase in spinophilin-immunoreactive dendritic spines in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radley, Jason J; Johnson, Luke R; Janssen, William G M; Martino, Jeremiah; Lamprecht, Raphael; Hof, Patrick R; LeDoux, Joseph E; Morrison, John H

    2006-08-01

    Changes in dendritic spine number and shape are believed to reflect structural plasticity consequent to learning. Previous studies have strongly suggested that the dorsal subnucleus of the lateral amygdala is an important site of physiological plasticity in Pavlovian fear conditioning. In the present study, we examined the effect of auditory fear conditioning on dendritic spine numbers in the dorsal subnucleus of the lateral amygdala using an immunolabelling procedure to visualize the spine-associated protein spinophilin. Associatively conditioned rats that received paired tone and shock presentations had 35% more total spinophilin-immunoreactive spines than animals that had unpaired stimulation, consistent with the idea that changes in the number of dendritic spines occur during learning and account in part for memory.

  4. Tension-related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala: an fMRI study with music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehne, Moritz; Rohrmeier, Martin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2014-10-01

    Tonal music is characterized by a continuous flow of tension and resolution. This flow of tension and resolution is closely related to processes of expectancy and prediction and is a key mediator of music-evoked emotions. However, the neural correlates of subjectively experienced tension and resolution have not yet been investigated. We acquired continuous ratings of musical tension for four piano pieces. In a subsequent functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, we identified blood oxygen level-dependent signal increases related to musical tension in the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (pars orbitalis of the inferior frontal gyrus). In addition, a region of interest analysis in bilateral amygdala showed activation in the right superficial amygdala during periods of increasing tension (compared with decreasing tension). This is the first neuroimaging study investigating the time-varying changes of the emotional experience of musical tension, revealing brain activity in key areas of affective processing. PMID:23974947

  5. Altered activity of the medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala during acquisition and extinction of an active avoidance task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xilu eJiao

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Altered medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and amygdala function is associated with anxiety-related disorders. While the mPFC-amygdala pathway has a clear role in fear conditioning, these structures are also involved in active avoidance. Given that avoidance perseveration represents a core symptom of anxiety disorders, the neural substrate of avoidance, especially its extinction, requires better understanding. The present study was designed to investigate the activity of mPFC and amygdala neurons during acquisition and extinction of lever-press avoidance in rats. In particular, neural activity was examined in the mPFC, intercalated cell clusters (ITCs, lateral (LA, basal (BA and central (CeA amygdala, at various time points during acquisition and extinction, using induction of the immediate early gene product, c-Fos. Neural activity was greater in the mPFC, LA, BA, and ITC during the extinction phase as compared to the acquisition phase. In contrast, the CeA was the only region that was more activated during acquisition than during extinction. Our results indicate that elevated activity in the mPFC, BA, LA and ITCs, and reduced CeA activity is associated with extinction of active avoidance. Moreover, inhibitory neurons are activated differently in the mPFC and BA during early and late phase of acquisition and extinction, suggesting their dynamic involvement in the development of avoidance response. Together, these data start to identify the key brain regions important in active avoidance behavior, areas that could be associated with avoidance perseveration in anxiety disorders.

  6. Inhibition of adenylyl cyclase in amygdala blocks the effect of audiogenic seizure kindling in genetically epilepsy-prone rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tupal, Srinivasan; Faingold, Carl

    2010-01-01

    Genetically epilepsy-prone rats of the severe seizure strain (GEPR-9s) exhibit audiogenic seizures (AGS) beginning with wild running and ending with tonic hind limb extension (TE). AGS kindling in GEPR-9s involves periodic repetition of >/=14 seizures over 7-21 days and results in prolonged seizures and an additional phase of generalized post-tonic clonus (PTC) that follows TE. AGS kindling behavior changes are long-lasting and involve expansion of the requisite seizure neuronal network from the brainstem to include the amygdala, mediated by neuroplasticity in lateral amygdala. Recent evidence indicates that focal activation of adenylyl cyclase (AC) in lateral amygdala leads to precipitous acquisition of AGS-kindled seizure behaviors, suggesting that activation of AC activity is important in development and maintenance of AGS kindling. The present study further examined the role of AC in AGS-kindled seizures in GEPR-9s by focally inhibiting AC in the amygdala. Bilateral microinjection of an AC inhibitor, SQ22,536 (0.25 and 0.50 nmol/side), in AGS-kindled GEPR-9s selectively blocked PTC during AGS at 1 h after microinjection, but the pre-kindled AGS behaviors remained intact. The incidence of PTC during AGS returned to pre-drug levels 12 h after the lower dose of SQ22,536 (0.25 nmol/side). However, after the higher dose of SQ22,536 (0.5 nmol/side), complete return to AGS with PTC was seen in all GEPR-9s at 120 h. These results indicate that maintenance of AGS kindling-mediated PTC in GEPR-9s may involve activation of AC. These data provide further evidence for the involvement of AC in the epileptogenic mechanisms subserving AGS kindling.

  7. Bilateral lesions of the central but not anterior or posterior parts of the piriform cortex retard amygdala kindling in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwabe, K; Ebert, U; Löscher, W

    2000-01-01

    The piriform cortex is thought to be involved in temporal lobe seizure propagation, such as that occurring during kindling of the amygdala or hippocampus. A number of observations suggested that the circuits of the piriform cortex might act as a critical pathway for limbic seizure discharges to assess motor systems, but direct evidence for this suggestion is scarce. Furthermore, the piriform cortex is not a homogeneous structure, which complicates studies on its role in limbic epileptogenesis. We have previously reported data indicating that the central part of the piriform cortex might be particularly involved during amygdala kindling. In order to further evaluate the role of different parts of the piriform cortex during kindling development, we bilaterally destroyed either the central, anterior or posterior piriform cortex by microinjections of ibotenate two weeks before onset of amygdala kindling. Lesions of the anterior piriform cortex hardly affected kindling acquisition, except that fewer animals exhibited stage 3 (unilateral forelimb) seizures compared to sham controls. Lesions of the central piriform cortex significantly retarded kindling, which was due to a decreased progression from stage 3 to stage 4/5 seizures, i.e. the lesioned rats needed significantly longer for the acquisition of generalized clonic seizures in the late stages of kindling development. Lesions of the posterior piriform cortex did not significantly affect kindling development. The data demonstrate that different parts of the piriform cortex mediate qualitatively different effects on amygdala kindling. The central piriform cortex seems to be a neural substrate involved in the continuous development of kindling from stage 3 to stages 4/5, indicating that this part of the piriform cortex may have preferred access, either directly or indirectly, to structures capable of supporting generalized kindled seizure expression.

  8. Involvement of the Rostral Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Consolidation of Inhibitory Avoidance Memory: Interaction with the Basolateral Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Malin, Emily L.; Ibrahim, Deena Y.; Tu, Jessica W.; McGaugh, James L.

    2006-01-01

    Previous findings suggest that the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) is involved in memory for emotionally arousing training. There is also extensive evidence that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulates the consolidation of emotional arousing training experiences via interactions with other brain regions. The present experiments examined the effects of posttraining intra-rACC infusions of the cholinergic agonist oxotremorine (OXO) on inhibitory avoidance (IA) retention and investigat...

  9. Prefrontal control of the amygdala during real-time fMRI neurofeedback training of emotion regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vadim Zotev

    Full Text Available We observed in a previous study (PLoS ONE 6:e24522 that the self-regulation of amygdala activity via real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf with positive emotion induction was associated, in healthy participants, with an enhancement in the functional connectivity between the left amygdala (LA and six regions of the prefrontal cortex. These regions included the left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC, bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC, bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG, and right medial frontopolar cortex (MFPC. Together with the LA, these six prefrontal regions thus formed the functional neuroanatomical network engaged during the rtfMRI-nf procedure. Here we perform a structural vector autoregression (SVAR analysis of the effective connectivity for this network. The SVAR analysis demonstrates that the left rACC plays an important role during the rtfMRI-nf training, modulating the LA and the other network regions. According to the analysis, the rtfMRI-nf training leads to a significant enhancement in the time-lagged effect of the left rACC on the LA, potentially consistent with the ipsilateral distribution of the monosynaptic projections between these regions. The training is also accompanied by significant increases in the instantaneous (contemporaneous effects of the left rACC on four other regions - the bilateral DMPFC, the right MFPC, and the left SFG. The instantaneous effects of the LA on the bilateral DMPFC are also significantly enhanced. Our results are consistent with a broad literature supporting the role of the rACC in emotion processing and regulation. Our exploratory analysis provides, for the first time, insights into the causal relationships within the network of regions engaged during the rtfMRI-nf procedure targeting the amygdala. It suggests that the rACC may constitute a promising target for rtfMRI-nf training along with the amygdala in patients with affective disorders, particularly posttraumatic stress

  10. Prefrontal control of the amygdala during real-time fMRI neurofeedback training of emotion regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zotev, Vadim; Phillips, Raquel; Young, Kymberly D; Drevets, Wayne C; Bodurka, Jerzy

    2013-01-01

    We observed in a previous study (PLoS ONE 6:e24522) that the self-regulation of amygdala activity via real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf) with positive emotion induction was associated, in healthy participants, with an enhancement in the functional connectivity between the left amygdala (LA) and six regions of the prefrontal cortex. These regions included the left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG), and right medial frontopolar cortex (MFPC). Together with the LA, these six prefrontal regions thus formed the functional neuroanatomical network engaged during the rtfMRI-nf procedure. Here we perform a structural vector autoregression (SVAR) analysis of the effective connectivity for this network. The SVAR analysis demonstrates that the left rACC plays an important role during the rtfMRI-nf training, modulating the LA and the other network regions. According to the analysis, the rtfMRI-nf training leads to a significant enhancement in the time-lagged effect of the left rACC on the LA, potentially consistent with the ipsilateral distribution of the monosynaptic projections between these regions. The training is also accompanied by significant increases in the instantaneous (contemporaneous) effects of the left rACC on four other regions - the bilateral DMPFC, the right MFPC, and the left SFG. The instantaneous effects of the LA on the bilateral DMPFC are also significantly enhanced. Our results are consistent with a broad literature supporting the role of the rACC in emotion processing and regulation. Our exploratory analysis provides, for the first time, insights into the causal relationships within the network of regions engaged during the rtfMRI-nf procedure targeting the amygdala. It suggests that the rACC may constitute a promising target for rtfMRI-nf training along with the amygdala in patients with affective disorders, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder

  11. Genetic variants in AVPR1A linked to autism predict amygdala activation and personality traits in healthy humans

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer-Lindenberg, A; Kolachana, B; Gold, B; Olsh, A; Nicodemus, KK; Mattay, V; Dean, M.; Weinberger, DR

    2008-01-01

    In mammals, the neuropeptide vasopressin is a key molecule for complex emotional and social behaviours. Two microsatellite polymorphisms, RS1 and RS3, near the promoter of AVPR1A, encoding the receptor subtype most heavily implicated in behaviour regulation, have been linked to autism and behavioural traits. However, the impact of these variants on human brain function is unknown. Here we show that human amygdala function is strongly associated with genetic variation in AVPR1A. Using an imagi...

  12. Overshadowed by the amygdala: the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis emerges as key to psychiatric disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Lebow, M A; Chen, A.(National Central University, 32054, Chung-li, Taiwan)

    2016-01-01

    The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is a center of integration for limbic information and valence monitoring. The BNST, sometimes referred to as the extended amygdala, is located in the basal forebrain and is a sexually dimorphic structure made up of between 12 and 18 sub-nuclei. These sub-nuclei are rich with distinct neuronal subpopulations of receptors, neurotransmitters, transporters and proteins. The BNST is important in a range of behaviors such as: the stress response, exten...

  13. Sustained anxiety increases amygdala-dorsomedial prefrontal coupling: A mechanism for maintaining an anxious state in healthy adults

    OpenAIRE

    Vytal, K. E.; Overstreet, C.; Charney, D. R.; Robinson, O J; Grillon, C.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Neuroimaging research has traditionally explored fear and anxiety in response to discrete threat cues (e.g., during fear conditioning). However, anxiety is a sustained aversive state that can persist in the absence of discrete threats. Little is known about mechanisms that maintain anxiety states over a prolonged period. Here, we used a robust translational paradigm (threat of shock) to inducesustained anxiety. Recent translational work has implicated an amygdala-prefrontal cortex...

  14. Stress leads to contrasting effects on the levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus and amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harini Lakshminarasimhan

    Full Text Available Recent findings on stress induced structural plasticity in rodents have identified important differences between the hippocampus and amygdala. The same chronic immobilization stress (CIS, 2 h/day causes growth of dendrites and spines in the basolateral amygdala (BLA, but dendritic atrophy in hippocampal area CA3. CIS induced morphological changes also differ in their temporal longevity--BLA hypertrophy, unlike CA3 atrophy, persists even after 21 days of stress-free recovery. Furthermore, a single session of acute immobilization stress (AIS, 2 h leads to a significant increase in spine density 10 days, but not 1 day, later in the BLA. However, little is known about the molecular correlates of the differential effects of chronic and acute stress. Because BDNF is known to be a key regulator of dendritic architecture and spines, we investigated if the levels of BDNF expression reflect the divergent effects of stress on the hippocampus and amygdala. CIS reduces BDNF in area CA3, while it increases it in the BLA of male Wistar rats. CIS-induced increase in BDNF expression lasts for at least 21 days after the end of CIS in the BLA. But CIS-induced decrease in area CA3 BDNF levels, reverses to normal levels within the same period. Finally, BDNF is up regulated in the BLA 1 day after AIS and this increase persists even 10 days later. In contrast, AIS fails to elicit any significant change in area CA3 at either time points. Together, these findings demonstrate that both acute and chronic stress trigger opposite effects on BDNF levels in the BLA versus area CA3, and these divergent changes also follow distinct temporal profiles. These results point to a role for BDNF in stress-induced structural plasticity across both hippocampus and amygdala, two brain areas that have also been implicated in the cognitive and affective symptoms of stress-related psychiatric disorders.

  15. Seizure susceptibility of neuropeptide-Y null mutant mice in amygdala kindling and chemical-induced seizure models.

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    Shannon, Harlan E; Yang, Lijuan

    2004-01-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) administered exogenously is anticonvulsant, and, NPY null mutant mice are more susceptible to kainate-induced seizures. In order to better understand the potential role of NPY in epileptogenesis, the present studies investigated the development of amygdala kindling, post-kindling seizure thresholds, and anticonvulsant effects of carbamazepine and levetiracetam in 129S6/SvEv NPY(+/+) and NPY(-/-) mice. In addition, susceptibility to pilocarpine- and kainate-induced seizures was compared in NPY(+/+) and (-/-) mice. The rate of amygdala kindling development did not differ in the NPY(-/-) and NPY(+/+) mice either when kindling stimuli were presented once daily for at least 20 days, or, 12 times daily for 2 days. However, during kindling development, the NPY(-/-) mice had higher seizure severity scores and longer afterdischarge durations than the NPY(+/+) mice. Post-kindling, the NPY(-/-) mice had markedly lower afterdischarge thresholds and longer afterdischarge durations than NPY (+/+) mice. Carbamazepine and levetiracetam increased the seizure thresholds of both NPY (-/-) and (+/+) mice. In addition, NPY (-/-) mice had lower thresholds for both kainate- and pilocarpine-induced seizures. The present results in amygdala kindling and chemical seizure models suggest that NPY may play a more prominent role in determining seizure thresholds and severity of seizures than in events leading to epileptogenesis. In addition, a lack of NPY does not appear to confer drug-resistance in that carbamazepine and levetiracetam were anticonvulsant in both wild type (WT) and NPY null mutant mice.

  16. Altered Resting-State Amygdala Functional Connectivity after Real-Time fMRI Emotion Self-Regulation Training.

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    Li, Zhonglin; Tong, Li; Guan, Min; He, Wenjie; Wang, Linyuan; Bu, Haibin; Shi, Dapeng; Yan, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf) is a promising tool for enhancing emotion regulation capability of subjects and for the potential alleviation of neuropsychiatric disorders. The amygdala is composed of structurally and functionally distinct nuclei, such as the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and centromedial amygdala (CMA), both of which are involved in emotion processing, generation, and regulation. However, the effect of rtfMRI-nf on the resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of BLA and CMA remains to be elucidated. In our study, participants were provided with ongoing information on their emotion states by using real-time multivariate voxel pattern analysis. Results showed that participants presented significantly increased rsFC of BLA and CMA with prefrontal cortex, rostral anterior cingulate cortex, and some others related to emotion after rtfMRI-nf training. The findings provide important evidence for the emotion regulation effectiveness of rtfMRI-nf training and indicate its usefulness as a tool for the self-regulation of emotion. PMID:26998482

  17. β-Adrenergic activation enhances NMDA-induced current in pyramidal cells of the basolateral nucleus of amygdala

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xinqiu; CAO Xiaohua; LI Bao-ming

    2005-01-01

    NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) in the amygdala complex is critical for both long-term potentiation (LTP) and formation of conditioned fear memory. It is reported that activation of β-adrenoceptors (β-AR) in the amygdala facilitates LTP and enhances memory consolidation. The present study examined the regulatory effect of β-AR activation on NMDA-R mediated current in pyramidal cells of the basolateral nucleus of amygdala (BLA), using whole-cell recording technique. Bath application of the β-AR agonist isoproterenol enhanced NMDA-induced current, and this facilitatory effect was blocked by co-administered propranolol, a β-AR antagonist. The facilitatory effect of isoproterenol on NMDA-induced current could not be induced when the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor Rp-cAMPs was added in electrode internal solution.The present results suggest that β-AR activation in the BLA could modulate NMDA-R activity directly and positively, probably via PKA.

  18. Activation of ERK/MAP kinase in the amygdala is required for memory consolidation of pavlovian fear conditioning.

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    Schafe, G E; Atkins, C M; Swank, M W; Bauer, E P; Sweatt, J D; LeDoux, J E

    2000-11-01

    Although much has been learned about the neurobiological mechanisms underlying Pavlovian fear conditioning at the systems and cellular levels, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying fear memory consolidation. The present experiments evaluated the role of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK/MAPK) signaling cascade in the amygdala during Pavlovian fear conditioning. We first show that ERK/MAPK is transiently activated-phosphorylated in the amygdala, specifically the lateral nucleus (LA), at 60 min, but not 15, 30, or 180 min, after conditioning, and that this activation is attributable to paired presentations of tone and shock rather than to nonassociative auditory stimulation, foot shock sensitization, or unpaired tone-shock presentations. We next show that infusions of U0126, an inhibitor of ERK/MAPK activation, aimed at the LA, dose-dependently impair long-term memory of Pavlovian fear conditioning but leaves short-term memory intact. Finally, we show that bath application of U0126 impairs long-term potentiation in the LA in vitro. Collectively, these results demonstrate that ERK/MAPK activation is necessary for both memory consolidation of Pavlovian fear conditioning and synaptic plasticity in the amygdala.

  19. Pavlovian fear conditioning regulates Thr286 autophosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II at lateral amygdala synapses.

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    Rodrigues, Sarina M; Farb, Claudia R; Bauer, Elizabeth P; LeDoux, Joseph E; Schafe, Glenn E

    2004-03-31

    Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) plays a critical role in synaptic plasticity and memory formation in a variety of learning systems and species. The present experiments examined the role of CaMKII in the circuitry underlying pavlovian fear conditioning. First, we reveal by immunocytochemical and tract-tracing methods that alphaCaMKII is postsynaptic to auditory thalamic inputs and colocalized with the NR2B subunit of the NMDA receptor. Furthermore, we show that fear conditioning results in an increase of the autophosphorylated (active) form of alphaCaMKII in lateral amygdala (LA) spines. Next, we demonstrate that intra-amygdala infusion of a CaMK inhibitor, 1-[NO-bis-1,5-isoquinolinesulfonyl]-N-methyl-l-tyrosyl-4-phenylpiperazine, KN-62, dose-dependently impairs the acquisition, but not the expression, of auditory and contextual fear conditioning. Finally, in electrophysiological experiments, we demonstrate that an NMDA receptor-dependent form of long-term potentiation at thalamic input synapses to the LA is impaired by bath application of KN-62 in vitro. Together, the results of these experiments provide the first comprehensive view of the role of CaMKII in the amygdala during fear conditioning.

  20. Stimulation of the Basal and Central Amygdala in the Mustached Bat Triggers Echolocation and Agonistic Vocalizations within Multimodal Output

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie eMa

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The neural substrate for the perception of vocalization is relatively well described, but we know much less about how the timing and specificity of vocalizations is tightly coupled with audiovocal communication behavior. In many vocal species, well-timed vocalizations accompany fear, vigilance and aggression. These emotive responses likely originate within the amygdala and other limbic structures, but the organization of motor outputs for triggering species-appropriate behaviors remains unclear. We performed electrical microstimulation at 461 highly restricted loci within the basal and central amygdala in awake mustached bats. At a subset of these sites, high frequency stimulation with weak constant current pulses presented at near-threshold levels triggered vocalization of either echolocation pulses or social calls. At the vast majority of locations, microstimulation produced a constellation of changes in autonomic and somatomotor outputs. These changes included widespread co-activation of significant tachycardia and hyperventilation and/or rhythmic ear pinna movements. In a few locations, responses were constrained to vocalization and/or pinna movements despite increases in the intensity of stimulation. The probability of eliciting echolocation pulses versus social calls decreased in a medial-posterior to anterolateral direction within the centrobasal amygdala. Microinjections of kainic acid at stimulation sites confirmed the contribution of cellular activity rather than fibers-of-passage in the control of multimodal outputs. The results suggest that multimodal clusters of neurons may simultaneously modulate the activity of multiple central pattern generators present within the brainstem.