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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.

    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

  3. 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...

  4. The amygdala and decision making

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

    Decision-making is a complex process that requires the orchestration of multiple neural systems. For example, decision-making is believed to involve areas of the brain involved in emotion (e.g., amygdala, ventromedial prefrontal cortex) and memory (e.g., hippocampus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). In this article, we will present findings related to the amygdala’s role in decision-making, and differentiate the contributions of the amygdala from those of other structurally and functionally c...

  5. 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

  6. [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

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. MRI Amygdala Volume in Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. 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–...

  12. MRI amygdala volume in Williams syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Capitão, Liliana; Sampaio, Adriana; Sampaio, Cassandra; Vasconcelos, Cristiana; Férnandez, Montse; Garayzábal Heinze, Elena; Shenton, Martha E.; Gonçalves, Óscar F.

    2011-01-01

    One of the most intriguing characteristics of Williams Syndrome individuals is their hypersociability. The amygdala has been consistently implicated in the etiology of this social profile, particularly given its role in emotional and social behavior. This study examined amygdala volume and symmetry in WS individuals and in age and sex matched controls. Magnetic resonance imaging scans were obtained on a GE 1.5-T magnet with 1.5- mm contiguous slices and were used to measure who...

  13. 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

  14. The amygdala: securing pleasure and avoiding pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anushka B P Fernando

    2013-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Neonatal Amygdala Lesions Alter Responsiveness to Objects in Juvenile Macaques

    OpenAIRE

    Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Toscano, Jessica E.; Bauman, Melissa; Mason, William A.; Amaral, David G.

    2011-01-01

    The amygdala is widely recognized to play a central role in emotional processing. In nonhuman primates, the amygdala appears to be critical for generating appropriate behavioral responses in emotionally salient contexts. One common finding is that macaque monkeys that receive amygdala lesions as adults are behaviorally uninhibited in the presence of potentially dangerous objects. While control animals avoid these objects, amygdala-lesioned animals readily interact with them. Despite a large l...

  19. 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...

  20. Amygdala lesions in rhesus macaques decrease attention to threat

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from animal and human studies has suggested that the amygdala plays a role in detecting threat and in directing attention to the eyes. Nevertheless, there has been no systematic investigation of whether the amygdala specifically facilitates attention to the eyes or whether other features can also drive attention via amygdala processing. The goal of the present study was to examine the effects of amygdala lesions in rhesus monkeys on attentional capture by specific facial features, as...

  1. 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.

  2. Serotonin, Amygdala and Fear: Assembling the Puzzle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocchio, Marco; McHugh, Stephen B.; Bannerman, David M.; Sharp, Trevor; Capogna, Marco

    2016-01-01

    The fear circuitry orchestrates defense mechanisms in response to environmental threats. This circuitry is evolutionarily crucial for survival, but its dysregulation is thought to play a major role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric conditions in humans. The amygdala is a key player in the processing of fear. This brain area is prominently modulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT). The 5-HT input to the amygdala has drawn particular interest because genetic and pharmacological alterations of the 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) affect amygdala activation in response to emotional stimuli. Nonetheless, the impact of 5-HT on fear processing remains poorly understood.The aim of this review is to elucidate the physiological role of 5-HT in fear learning via its action on the neuronal circuits of the amygdala. Since 5-HT release increases in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) during both fear memory acquisition and expression, we examine whether and how 5-HT neurons encode aversive stimuli and aversive cues. Next, we describe pharmacological and genetic alterations of 5-HT neurotransmission that, in both rodents and humans, lead to altered fear learning. To explore the mechanisms through which 5-HT could modulate conditioned fear, we focus on the rodent BLA. We propose that a circuit-based approach taking into account the localization of specific 5-HT receptors on neurochemically-defined neurons in the BLA may be essential to decipher the role of 5-HT in emotional behavior. In keeping with a 5-HT control of fear learning, we review electrophysiological data suggesting that 5-HT regulates synaptic plasticity, spike synchrony and theta oscillations in the BLA via actions on different subcellular compartments of principal neurons and distinct GABAergic interneuron populations. Finally, we discuss how recently developed optogenetic tools combined with electrophysiological recordings and behavior could progress the knowledge of the mechanisms underlying 5

  3. The Intrinsic Connectome of the Rat Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Schmitt, Oliver; Eipert, Peter; Philipp, Konstanze; Kettlitz, Richard; Fuellen, Georg; Wree, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    The connectomes of nervous systems or parts there of are becoming important subjects of study as the amount of connectivity data increases. Because most tract-tracing studies are performed on the rat, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the amygdala connectome of this species resulting in a meta-study. The data were imported into the neuroVIISAS system, where regions of the connectome are organized in a controlled ontology and network analysis can be performed. A weighted digraph represe...

  4. Amygdala lesions in rhesus macaques decrease attention to threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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...... and rejected gambles with equal probability. Amygdala activity increased the more the gain-loss ratio deviated from the individual decision boundary showing that the amygdala codes action value. This response pattern was more strongly expressed in loss aversive individuals, linking amygdala activity...... with individual differences in loss aversion. Together, the results show that the amygdala signals subjective appetitiveness or aversiveness of gain-loss ratios at the time of choice. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved....

  6. 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...

  7. The Information Processing Role of the Amygdala in Emotion

    OpenAIRE

    Sato, Wataru

    2008-01-01

    This article reviewed research on the amygdala and discussed its role in emotion. Psychological studies have revealed that emotion is a series of information processes that evaluates the adaptive significance of stimuli and generates adaptive responses accordingly. Neuroscientific evidence indicates that in terms of emotion, the amygdala is involved in appraising the significance of stimuli and generating response commands for other regions. Emotion is appraised rapidly in the amygdala throug...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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....

  12. Specialized Pathways from the Primate Amygdala to Posterior Orbitofrontal Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Timbie, Clare; Barbas, Helen

    2014-01-01

    The primate amygdala sends dense projections to posterior orbitofrontal cortex (pOFC) in pathways that are critical for processing emotional content, but the synaptic mechanisms are not understood. We addressed this issue by investigating pathways in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) from the amygdala to pOFC at the level of the system and synapse. Terminations from the amygdala were denser and larger in pOFC compared with the anterior cingulate cortex, which is also strongly connected with the...

  13. 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

  14. Childhood Cumulative Risk Exposure and Adult Amygdala Volume and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Gary W; Swain, James E; King, Anthony P; Wang, Xin; Javanbakht, Arash; Ho, S Shaun; Angstadt, Michael; Phan, K Luan; Xie, Hong; Liberzon, Israel

    2016-06-01

    Considerable work indicates that early cumulative risk exposure is aversive to human development, but very little research has examined the neurological underpinnings of these robust findings. This study investigates amygdala volume and reactivity to facial stimuli among adults (mean 23.7 years of age, n = 54) as a function of cumulative risk exposure during childhood (9 and 13 years of age). In addition, we test to determine whether expected cumulative risk elevations in amygdala volume would mediate functional reactivity of the amygdala during socioemotional processing. Risks included substandard housing quality, noise, crowding, family turmoil, child separation from family, and violence. Total and left hemisphere adult amygdala volumes were positively related to cumulative risk exposure during childhood. The links between childhood cumulative risk exposure and elevated amygdala responses to emotionally neutral facial stimuli in adulthood were mediated by the corresponding amygdala volumes. Cumulative risk exposure in later adolescence (17 years of age), however, was unrelated to subsequent adult amygdala volume or function. Physical and socioemotional risk exposures early in life appear to alter amygdala development, rendering adults more reactive to ambiguous stimuli such as neutral faces. These stress-related differences in childhood amygdala development might contribute to the well-documented psychological distress as a function of early risk exposure. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26469872

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  18. 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

  19. The Role of Actin Cytoskeleton in Memory Formation in Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamprecht, Raphael

    2016-01-01

    The central, lateral and basolateral amygdala (BLA) nuclei are essential for the formation of long-term memories including emotional and drug-related memories. Studying cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory in amygdala may lead to better understanding of how memory is formed and of fear and addiction-related disorders. A challenge is to identify molecules activated by learning that subserve cellular changes needed for memory formation and maintenance in amygdala. Recent studies show that activation of synaptic receptors during fear and drug-related learning leads to alteration in actin cytoskeleton dynamics and structure in amygdala. Such changes in actin cytoskeleton in amygdala are essential for fear and drug-related memories formation. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton subserves, after learning, changes in neuronal morphogenesis and glutamate receptors trafficking in amygdala. These cellular events are involved in fear and drug-related memories formation. Actin polymerization is also needed for the maintenance of drug-associated memories in amygdala. Thus, the actin cytoskeleton is a key mediator between receptor activation during learning and cellular changes subserving long-term memory (LTM) in amygdala. The actin cytoskeleton may serve as a target for pharmacological treatment of fear memory associated with fear and anxiety disorders and drug addiction to prevent the debilitating consequences of these diseases. PMID:27065800

  20. Amygdala and Hippocampus Enlargement during Adolescence in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. The association between perceived social support and amygdala structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Wataru; Kochiyama, Takanori; Kubota, Yasutaka; Uono, Shota; Sawada, Reiko; Yoshimura, Sayaka; Toichi, Motomi

    2016-05-01

    The subjective perception of social support plays a crucial role in human well-being. However, its structural neural substrates remain unknown. We hypothesized that the amygdala, specifically its laterobasal and superficial subregions, which have been suggested to serve social functions, could be associated with the level of perceived social support. To test this hypothesis, we assessed perceived social support using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. In addition, we measured the volume and shape of the amygdala using structural magnetic resonance imaging in 49 healthy participants. Global amygdala volume in the left hemisphere was positively associated with the perceived social support score after adjusting for total cerebral volume, sex, age, intelligence, and five-factor personality domains. The local shape of the laterobasal and superficial subregions of the left amygdala showed the same association with perceived social support. These data suggest that the social subregions of the left amygdala are associated with the implementation of perceived social support. PMID:27039164

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Distinctive amygdala subregions involved in emotion-modulated Stroop interference

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Hyun Jung; Lee, Kanghee; Kim, Hyun Taek; Kim, Hackjin

    2013-01-01

    Despite the well-known role of the amygdala in mediating emotional interference during tasks requiring cognitive resources, no definite conclusion has yet been reached regarding the differential roles of functionally and anatomically distinctive subcomponents of the amygdala in such processes. In this study, we examined female participants and attempted to separate the neural processes for the detection of emotional information from those for the regulation of cognitive interference from emot...

  9. Fear and panic in humans with bilateral amygdala damage

    OpenAIRE

    Feinstein, Justin S.; Buzza, Colin; Hurlemann, Rene; Follmer, Robin L.; Dahdaleh, Nader S.; Coryell, William H.; Welsh, Michael J.; Tranel, Daniel; Wemmie, John A.

    2013-01-01

    Decades of research have highlighted the amygdala’s influential role in fear. Surprisingly, we found that inhalation of 35% CO2 evoked not only fear, but also panic attacks, in three rare patients with bilateral amygdala damage. These results indicate that the amygdala is not required for fear and panic, and make an important distinction between fear triggered by external threats from the environment versus fear triggered internally by CO2.

  10. 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...

  11. The Effect of Threat on Novelty Evoked Amygdala Responses

    OpenAIRE

    Balderston, Nicholas L.; Schultz, Doug H.; Helmstetter, Fred J.

    2013-01-01

    A number of recent papers have suggested that the amygdala plays a role in the brain’s novelty detection circuit. In a recent study, we showed that this role may be specific to certain classes of biologically-relevant stimuli, such as human faces. The purpose of the present experiment was to determine whether other biologically-relevant stimuli also evoke novelty specific amygdala responses. To test this idea, we presented novel and repeated images of snakes and flowers while measuring BOLD. ...

  12. Neonatal Amygdala or Hippocampus Lesions Influence Responsiveness to Objects

    OpenAIRE

    Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Toscano, Jessica E.; Bauman, Melissa; Mason, William A.; Amaral, David G.

    2010-01-01

    Medial temporal lobe brain structures, such as the amygdala, play an important role in the normal perception and generation of emotional behavior. Little research, however, has assessed the role of such structures across the neurodevelopmental trajectory. We assessed emotional behavioral responses of rhesus macaques that received bilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala or hippocampus at two weeks of age and sham-operated controls. At 9 and 18 months of age, animals interacted with nov...

  13. 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...

  14. What does the amygdala contribute to social cognition?

    OpenAIRE

    Adolphs, Ralph

    2010-01-01

    The amygdala has received intense recent attention from neuroscientists investigating its function at the molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive, and clinical level. It clearly contributes to processing emotionally and socially relevant information, yet a unifying description and computational account have been lacking. The difficulty of tying together the various studies stems in part from the sheer diversity of approaches and species studied, in part from the amygdala's inherent heterogene...

  15. Performance on Indirect Measures of Race Evaluation Predicts Amygdala Activation

    OpenAIRE

    Phelps, Elizabeth A.; O'Connor, Kevin J.; Cunningham, William A.; Funayama, E. Sumie; Gatenby, J. Christopher; Gore, John C.; Banaji, Mahzarin R.

    2000-01-01

    We used fMRI to explore the neural substrates involved in the unconscious evaluation of Black and White social groups. Specifically, we focused on the amygdala, a subcortical structure known to play a role in emotional learning and evaluation. In Experiment 1, White American subjects observed faces of unfamiliar Black and White males. The strength of amygdala activation to Black-versus-White faces was correlated with two indirect (unconscious) measures of race evaluation (Implicit Association...

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    Humans' closest living relatives are bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), yet these great ape species differ considerably from each other in terms of social behavior. Bonobos are more tolerant of conspecifics in competitive contexts and often use sexual behavior to mediate social interactions. Chimpanzees more frequently employ aggression during conflicts and actively patrol territories between communities. Regulation of emotional responses is facilitated by the amygdala, which also modulates social decision-making, memory and attention. Amygdala responsiveness is further regulated by the neurotransmitter serotonin. We hypothesized that the amygdala of bonobos and chimpanzees would differ in its neuroanatomical organization and serotonergic innervation. We measured volumes of regions and the length density of serotonin transporter-containing axons in the whole amygdala and its lateral, basal, accessory basal and central nuclei. Results showed that accessory basal nucleus volume was larger in chimpanzees than in bonobos. Of particular note, the amygdala of bonobos had more than twice the density of serotonergic axons than chimpanzees, with the most pronounced differences in the basal and central nuclei. These findings suggest that variation in serotonergic innervation of the amygdala may contribute to mediating the remarkable differences in social behavior exhibited by bonobos and chimpanzees. PMID:26475872

  19. Oxytocin Modulates Amygdala Reactivity to Masked Fearful Eyes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanat, Manuela; Heinrichs, Markus; Mader, Irina; van Elst, Ludger Tebartz; Domes, Gregor

    2015-10-01

    The amygdala reveals enhanced reactivity to fearful eye whites, even when they are backwardly masked by a neutral face and therefore processed with limited visual awareness. In our fMRI study, we investigated whether this effect is indeed associated with fear detection within the eyes of the neutral face mask, or more generally, with reactivity to any salient increase in eye white area. In addition, we examined whether a single dose of intranasal oxytocin would modulate amygdala responses to masked fearful eye whites via a double-blind, placebo-controlled pharmacological protocol. We found that increased amygdala responses to salient changes within a face's eye region occurred specifically for masked fearful eyes but not for similar increases in white area as induced by nonsocial control stimuli. Administration of oxytocin attenuated amygdala responses to masked fearful eye whites. Our results suggest that the amygdala is particularly tuned to potential threat signals from the eye region. The dampening effects of oxytocin on early amygdala reactivity may reflect reduced vigilance for facial threat cues at a preconscious level. Future studies may investigate whether this early modulation accounts for the beneficial effects of oxytocin on social cognition in anxiety-related disorders, as suggested by previous studies. PMID:25881796

  20. The intercalated cells of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millhouse, O E

    1986-05-01

    The intercalated cell groups, or massa intercalata, of the amygdala have been studied in rodent brains with Golgi methods. They also have been examined in gallocyanin-chromalum-, AChE-, and Timm-stained rat brains. The Golgi data indicate that the intercalated cells are not confined to a series of isolated cell clumps but form a neuronal net that covers the rostral half of the lateral-basolateral nuclear complex, stretches across a major portion of rostral amygdala, and continues rostrally beneath the anterior commissure. There are two general types of intercalated neuron--medium and large neurons. The medium intercalated neurons are more common. They have round to elongate somata, 9-18 microns in diameter, and round to bipolar dendritic trees, depending on their location. Most of the dendrites are spine-bearing, as are 20% of the somata. Their axons often have locally ramifying collaterals. The parent axons apparently terminate in either the lateral-basolateral or central nuclei and some of them appear to enter the external capsule. There is a unique medium intercalated neuron that has nearly spine-free, varicose dendrites and an axon that is typical of short axon (Golgi II) cells. There are two varieties of large intercalated neuron-spiny and aspiny. Most of them are aspiny, although they usually have a few spines scattered along their dendrites. Both varieties have elongate, sometimes round, somata that can be as much as 60 microns long. Their dendrites are long, thick, and have few branch points. Only the initial part of the large aspiny cell axon has been impregnated. The large spiny cell axons have several local collaterals; the destination of the parent axons is unknown. The intercalated cells occur along fiber bundles, which are probably afferent to them. The axons that travel among the intercalated cells give off short collaterals and boutons en passant. The sources of these fibers are not known. From the published experimental data, it is likely that they

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Depression/anxiety disorder and amygdala

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baur Volker

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Effects of Repeated Stress on Excitatory Drive of Basal Amygdala Neurons In Vivo

    OpenAIRE

    Padival, Mallika; Quinette, Danielle; Rosenkranz, J. Amiel

    2013-01-01

    Chronic stress leads to heightened affective behaviors, and can precipitate the emergence of depression and anxiety. These disorders are associated with increased amygdala activity. In animal models, chronic stress leads to increased amygdala-dependent behaviors, as well as hyperactivity of amygdala neurons. However, it is not known whether increased excitatory synaptic drive after chronic stress contributes to hyperactivity of basolateral amygdala (BLA; comprised of basal, lateral, and acces...

  11. Sex differences in the correlation of emotional control and amygdala volumes in adolescents

    OpenAIRE

    Blanton, Rebecca E.; CHAPLIN, TARA M.; Sinha, Rajita

    2010-01-01

    We examined male and female adolescents (8–18 years of age) that were scanned with structural brain MRI and looked for a correlation between volume of the right or the left amygdala and parent-reported ability of emotional control. A sex difference was found in the correlation between emotional control and the corrected volume of the left amygdala (that is the amygdala volume adjusted for total cranial volume). In girls, smaller left amygdala volumes were associated with better emotional cont...

  12. Performance on indirect measures of race evaluation predicts amygdala activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phelps, E A; O'Connor, K J; Cunningham, W A; Funayama, E S; Gatenby, J C; Gore, J C; Banaji, M R

    2000-09-01

    We used fMRI to explore the neural substrates involved in the unconscious evaluation of Black and White social groups. Specifically, we focused on the amygdala, a subcortical structure known to play a role in emotional learning and evaluation. In Experiment 1, White American subjects observed faces of unfamiliar Black and White males. The strength of amygdala activation to Black-versus-White faces was correlated with two indirect (unconscious) measures of race evaluation (Implicit Association Test [IAT] and potentiated startle), but not with the direct (conscious) expression of race attitudes. In Experiment 2, these patterns were not obtained when the stimulus faces belonged to familiar and positively regarded Black and White individuals. Together, these results suggest that amygdala and behavioral responses to Black-versus-White faces in White subjects reflect cultural evaluations of social groups modified by individual experience. PMID:11054916

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    CONTEXT: Limbic structures are implicated in the genesis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by the presence of mood and cognitive disturbances in affected individuals and by elevated rates of mood disorders in family members of probands with ADHD. OBJECTIVE: To study the morphology...... of the hippocampus and amygdala in children with ADHD. DESIGN: A cross-sectional case-control study of the hippocampus and amygdala using anatomical magnetic resonance imaging. SETTINGS: University research institute. PATIENTS: One hundred fourteen individuals aged 6 to 18 years, 51 with combined......-type ADHD and 63 healthy controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Volumes and measures of surface morphology for the hippocampus and amygdala. RESULTS: The hippocampus was larger bilaterally in the ADHD group than in the control group (t = 3.35; P <.002). Detailed surface analyses of the hippocampus further...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Specialized pathways from the primate amygdala to posterior orbitofrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timbie, Clare; Barbas, Helen

    2014-06-11

    The primate amygdala sends dense projections to posterior orbitofrontal cortex (pOFC) in pathways that are critical for processing emotional content, but the synaptic mechanisms are not understood. We addressed this issue by investigating pathways in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) from the amygdala to pOFC at the level of the system and synapse. Terminations from the amygdala were denser and larger in pOFC compared with the anterior cingulate cortex, which is also strongly connected with the amygdala. Axons from the amygdala terminated most densely in the upper layers of pOFC through large terminals. Most of these terminals innervated spines of presumed excitatory neurons and many were frequently multisynaptic and perforated, suggesting high synaptic efficacy. These amygdalar synapses in pOFC exceeded in size and specialization even thalamocortical terminals from the prefrontal-related thalamic mediodorsal nucleus to the middle cortical layers, which are thought to be highly efficient drivers of cortical neurons. Pathway terminals in the upper layers impinge on the apical dendrites of neurons in other layers, suggesting that the robust amygdalar projections may also activate neurons in layer 5 that project back to the amygdala and beyond to autonomic structures. Among inhibitory neurons, the amygdalar pathway innervated preferentially the neurochemical classes of calbindin and calretinin neurons in the upper layers of pOFC, which are synaptically suited to suppress noise and enhance signals. These features provide a circuit mechanism for flexibly shifting focus and adjusting emotional drive in processes disrupted in psychiatric disorders, such as phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder. PMID:24920616

  18. 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

  19. 4-Hz oscillations synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits during fear behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karalis, Nikolaos; Dejean, Cyril; Chaudun, Fabrice; Khoder, Suzana; Rozeske, Robert R; Wurtz, Hélène; Bagur, Sophie; Benchenane, Karim; Sirota, Anton; Courtin, Julien; Herry, Cyril

    2016-04-01

    Fear expression relies on the coordinated activity of prefrontal and amygdala circuits, yet the mechanisms allowing long-range network synchronization during fear remain unknown. Using a combination of extracellular recordings, pharmacological and optogenetic manipulations, we found that freezing, a behavioral expression of fear, temporally coincided with the development of sustained, internally generated 4-Hz oscillations in prefrontal-amygdala circuits. 4-Hz oscillations predict freezing onset and offset and synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Optogenetic induction of prefrontal 4-Hz oscillations coordinates prefrontal-amygdala activity and elicits fear behavior. These results unravel a sustained oscillatory mechanism mediating prefrontal-amygdala coupling during fear behavior. PMID:26878674

  20. Distinctive amygdala subregions involved in emotion-modulated Stroop interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Hyun Jung; Lee, Kanghee; Kim, Hyun Taek; Kim, Hackjin

    2014-05-01

    Despite the well-known role of the amygdala in mediating emotional interference during tasks requiring cognitive resources, no definite conclusion has yet been reached regarding the differential roles of functionally and anatomically distinctive subcomponents of the amygdala in such processes. In this study, we examined female participants and attempted to separate the neural processes for the detection of emotional information from those for the regulation of cognitive interference from emotional distractors by adding a temporal gap between emotional stimuli and a subsequent cognitive Stroop task. Reaction time data showed a significantly increased Stroop interference effect following emotionally negative stimuli compared with neutral stimuli, and functional magnetic resonance imaging data revealed that the anterior ventral amygdala (avAMYG) showed greater responses to negative stimuli compared with neutral stimuli. In addition, individuals who scored high in neuroticism showed greater posterior dorsal amygdala (pdAMYG) responses to incongruent compared with congruent Stroop trials following negative stimuli, but not following neutral stimuli. Taken together, the findings of this study demonstrated functionally distinctive contributions of the avAMYG and pdAMYG to the emotion-modulated Stroop interference effect and suggested that the avAMYG encodes associative values of emotional stimuli whereas the pdAMYG resolves cognitive interference from emotional distractors. PMID:23543193

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Contribution of amygdala pathology to comorbid emotional disturbances in temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yilmazer-Hanke, Deniz; O'Loughlin, Elaine; McDermott, Kieran

    2016-06-01

    The amygdala contributes to the generation and propagation of epileptiform activity in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Ictal symptoms such as fear, dreamy states (déjà vu, memory flashbacks, experiential hallucinations), epigastric auras, or sympathetic outflow with cardiovascular changes are often linked to a seizure focus in the amygdala. However, the amygdala may also play a role in comorbid anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric symptoms experienced in the interictal phase, especially in pharmacoresistant TLE. The few studies available on TLE-related alterations in surgical amygdala specimens indicate loss of both excitatory spiny projection neurons as well as interneurons in nuclei with a cortex-like architecture, which may influence mechanisms of feedforward and feedback inhibition. Studies of the human amygdala indicate global alterations in the density of AMPA/kainate, metabotropic glutamate, γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA ), muscarinic M2 and M3, serotonergic 5-HT1A, and adrenergic α1 receptors. Also, amygdala GABAergic and neuropeptide Y (NPY) systems affected in human TLE are both involved in antiepileptic and anxiolytic effects. Experimental and human positron emission tomography studies indicate changes in amygdala serotonergic, NPY Y1 receptor, neurokinin, and opioid systems in emotional disturbances in TLE. Of particular interest is the reduction in amygdala volume in conjunction with ictal fear, seizure focus in the amygdala, and amygdala and hippocampal sclerosis in TLE patients. In contrast, patients with interictal depression often have an intact or even enlarged amygdala and a negative MRI associated with amygdala hypometabolism, which can be associated with limbic autoimmune encephalitis. These findings suggest a differential role of TLE-related amygdala changes in ictal and interictal emotional disturbances. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26525920

  5. 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...

  6. Test-Retest Reliability of Amygdala Response to Emotional Faces

    OpenAIRE

    Sauder, Colin L.; Hajcak, Greg; Angstadt, Mike; Phan, K. Luan

    2013-01-01

    In the current study we evaluated the test-retest reliability of amygdala response using an emotional face-matching task that has been widely usedto examine pathophysiology and treatment mechanisms in psychiatric populations. Activation within the fusiform face area (FFA) was also examined. Twenty-sevenhealthy volunteers completed a variation of the face-matching paradigm developed by Hariri et al. (2000) at two time-points approximately 90 days apart. Estimates of test-retest reliability of ...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. NMDA receptors in the basolateral amygdala and gustatory neophobia

    OpenAIRE

    Figueroa-Guzmán, Yazmín; Reilly, Steve

    2008-01-01

    The attenuation of gustatory neophobia occurs during repeated exposures to an initially novel taste solution that is increasingly perceived as safe and familiar. The present study examined whether NMDA receptors in the basolateral region of the amygdala (BLA) are involved in this important behavioral phenomenon. The results, which show that the attenuation, but not initial occurrence, of gustatory neophobia is dependent upon NMDA receptors in the BLA, are discussed with reference to a similar...

  10. The Amygdala, Arousal and Memory: From Lesions to Neuroimaging

    OpenAIRE

    Åhs, Fredrik

    2009-01-01

    Emotional events are better remembered than neutral events. But what are the mechanisms behind this memory enhancing effect? It seems that they depend on the arousal level at the moment we experience the event to be remembered. The first study of the present thesis mapped the brain areas that changed their activity in a highly arousing situation in subjects with snake or spider phobia. Looking at pictures of their feared object engaged the amygdala, situated in the medial temporal lobe. This ...

  11. 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...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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...

  14. Preoperative amygdala fMRI in temporal lobe epilepsy

    OpenAIRE

    Bonelli, S. B.; Powell, R.; Yogarajah, M; Thompson, P.J.; Symms, M. R.; Koepp, M.J.; Duncan, J.S.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: Anterior temporal lobe resections (ATLR) benefit 70% of patients with refractory mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), but may be complicated by emotional disturbances. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the role of the amygdala in processing emotions in TLE and whether this may be a potential preoperative predictive marker for emotional disturbances following surgery. Methods: We studied 54 patients with refractory mesial TLE due to hippocampal sc...

  15. Muscarinic Receptors in Amygdala Control Trace Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Baysinger, Amber N.; Kent, Brianne A.; Brown, Thomas H.

    2012-01-01

    Intelligent behavior requires transient memory, which entails the ability to retain information over short time periods. A newly-emerging hypothesis posits that endogenous persistent firing (EPF) is the neurophysiological foundation for aspects or types of transient memory. EPF is enabled by the activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs) and is triggered by suprathreshold stimulation. EPF occurs in several brain regions, including the lateral amygdala (LA). The present study ex...

  16. REM sleep depotentiates amygdala activity to previous emotional experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Helm, Els; Yao, Justin; Dutt, Shubir; Rao, Vikram; Saletin, Jared M; Walker, Matthew P

    2011-12-01

    Clinical evidence suggests a potentially causal interaction between sleep and affective brain function; nearly all mood disorders display co-occurring sleep abnormalities, commonly involving rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep. Building on this clinical evidence, recent neurobiological frameworks have hypothesized a benefit of REM sleep in palliatively decreasing next-day brain reactivity to recent waking emotional experiences. Specifically, the marked suppression of central adrenergic neurotransmitters during REM (commonly implicated in arousal and stress), coupled with activation in amygdala-hippocampal networks that encode salient events, is proposed to (re)process and depotentiate previous affective experiences, decreasing their emotional intensity. In contrast, the failure of such adrenergic reduction during REM sleep has been described in anxiety disorders, indexed by persistent high-frequency electroencephalographic (EEG) activity (>30 Hz); a candidate factor contributing to hyperarousal and exaggerated amygdala reactivity. Despite these neurobiological frameworks, and their predictions, the proposed benefit of REM sleep physiology in depotentiating neural and behavioral responsivity to prior emotional events remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that REM sleep physiology is associated with an overnight dissipation of amygdala activity in response to previous emotional experiences, altering functional connectivity and reducing next-day subjective emotionality. PMID:22119526

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Shuo; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu; New, Joshua; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala is thought to play a critical role in detecting salient stimuli. Several studies have taken ecological approaches to investigating such saliency, and argue for domain-specific effects for processing certain natural stimulus categories, in particular faces and animals. Linking this to the amygdala, neurons in the human amygdala have been found to respond strongly to faces and also to animals. However, the amygdala’s necessary role for such category-specific effects at the behavior...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Oxytocin antagonist disrupts male mouse medial amygdala response to chemical-communication signals

    OpenAIRE

    Samuelsen, Chad L.; Meredith, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The male mouse medial amygdala is an important site for integration of main and accessory olfactory information. Exposure to biologically relevant chemical signals from the same species (conspecific) results in a general pattern of immediate early gene (IEG) expression in medial amygdala different from that elicited by chemical signals from other species (heterospecific), of no demonstrable biological relevance. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) in the medial amygdala has been shown to be necess...

  5. Multiple anxiogenic drugs recruit a parvalbumin-containing subpopulation of GABAergic interneurons in the basolateral amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Hale, Matthew W.; Johnson, Philip L.; Westerman, Alex M.; Abrams, Jolane K.; Shekhar, Anantha; Lowry, Christopher A.

    2010-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala is a nodal structure within a distributed and interconnected network that regulates anxiety states and anxiety-related behavior. Administration of multiple anxiogenic drugs increases cellular responses (i.e., increases c-Fos expression) in a subregion of the basolateral amygdala, but the neurochemical phenotypes of these cells are not known. The basolateral amygdala contains glutamatergic projection neurons and several populations of γ-aminobutyric acid-synthesizing (...

  6. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Fisler, Melanie S; Federspiel, Andrea; Horn, Helge; Dierks, Thomas; Schmitt, Wolfgang; Wiest, Roland; de Quervain, Dominique J-F; Soravia, Leila M

    2013-01-01

    Evidence from animal and human studies imply the amygdala as the most critical structure involved in processing of fear-relevant stimuli. In phobias, the amygdala seems to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis and maintenance of the disorder. However, the neuropathology of specific phobias remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated whether patients with spider phobia show altered amygdala volumes as compared to healthy control subjects.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Fisler, Melanie S; Federspiel, Andrea; Horn, Helge; Dierks, Thomas; Schmitt, Wolfgang; Wiest, Roland; de Quervain, Dominique J-F; Soravia, Leila M

    2013-01-01

    Background Evidence from animal and human studies imply the amygdala as the most critical structure involved in processing of fear-relevant stimuli. In phobias, the amygdala seems to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis and maintenance of the disorder. However, the neuropathology of specific phobias remains poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated whether patients with spider phobia show altered amygdala volumes as compared to healthy control subjects. Methods Twenty female...

  9. Guanfacine Modulates the Emotional Biasing of Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity for Cognitive Control

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Functional interactions between amygdala and prefrontal cortex provide a cortical entry point for emotional cues to bias cognitive control. Stimulation of α2 adrenoceptors enhances the prefrontal control functions and blocks the amygdala-dependent encoding of emotional cues. However, the impact of this stimulation on amygdala-prefrontal interactions and the emotional biasing of cognitive control have not been established. We tested the effect of the α2 adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine on psych...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Amygdala responses to salient social cues vary with oxytocin receptor genotype in youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marusak, Hilary A; Furman, Daniella J; Kuruvadi, Nisha; Shattuck, David W; Joshi, Shantanu H; Joshi, Anand A; Etkin, Amit; Thomason, Moriah E

    2015-12-01

    Depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder are linked to altered limbic morphology, dysregulated neuroendocrine function, and heightened amygdala responses to salient social cues. Oxytocin appears to be a potent modulator of amygdala reactivity and neuroendocrine responses to psychosocial stress. Given these stress regulatory effects, there is increasing interest in understanding the role of oxytocin in vulnerability to stress-related clinical disorders. The present study examines the impact of a common functional variant within the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene (rs2254298) on structure and function of the amygdala in a high-risk sample of urban, low-income, minority youth with a high incidence of early life stress (ELS). Compared to G/G homozygotes, youth carrying the OXTR A-allele showed increased amygdala volume, reduced behavioral performance, and heightened amygdala response during two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks that involved viewing socially-relevant face stimuli. Higher amygdala response was related to ELS in A-allele carriers but not G/G homozygotes. These findings underscore a series of relations among a common oxytocin system gene variant, ELS exposure, and structure and function of the amygdala in early life. Heightened amygdala response to salient social cues in OXTR A-allele carriers may elevate risk for emotional psychopathology by increasing amygdala involvement in disambiguating environmental cues, particularly for individuals with ELS. PMID:26477647

  13. 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

  14. Early life stress and macaque amygdala hypertrophy: preliminary evidence for a role for the serotonin transporter gene

    OpenAIRE

    Jeremy D. Coplan; Hassan M. Fathy; Andrea P. Jackowski; Tang, Cheuk Y; Perera, Tarique D.; Mathew, Sanjay J.; Martinez, Jose; Abdallah, Chadi G.; Dwork, Andrew J.; Pantol, Gustavo; Carpenter, David; Gorman, Jack M.; Charles B Nemeroff; Owens, Michael J; Kaffman, Arie

    2014-01-01

    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 s...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terada, Satoshi; Takahashi, Susumu; Sakurai, Yoshio

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to examine how the amygdala and hippocampus interact for behavioral performance modulated by different Reward-expectations (REs). 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 RE 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) (90–150 Hz) between the amygdala and the hippocampus was present during high RE. 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 REs, and the distinctive band of coherence between the amygdala and the hippocampus contributes to behavioral modulation on the basis of REs. 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. PMID:24348352

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Correlates of Intellectual Ability with Morphology of the Hippocampus and Amygdala in Healthy Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amat, Jose A.; Bansal, Ravi; Whiteman, Ronald; Haggerty, Rita; Royal, Jason; Peterson, Bradley S.

    2008-01-01

    Several prior imaging studies of healthy adults have correlated volumes of the hippocampus and amygdala with measures of general intelligence (IQ), with variable results. In this study, we assessed correlations between volumes of the hippocampus and amygdala and full-scale IQ scores (FSIQ) using a method of image analysis that permits detailed…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Temporary Basolateral Amygdala Lesions Disrupt Acquisition of Socially Transmitted Food Preferences in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontanini, Alfredo; Katz, Donald B.; Wang, Yunyan

    2006-01-01

    Lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) have long been associated with abnormalities of taste-related behaviors and with failure in a variety of taste- and odor-related learning paradigms, including taste-potentiated odor aversion, conditioned taste preference, and conditioned taste aversion. Still, the general role of the amygdala in…

  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. Representation of economic preferences in the structure and function of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fermin, Alan S R; Sakagami, Masamichi; Kiyonari, Toko; Li, Yang; Matsumoto, Yoshie; Yamagishi, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    Social value orientations (SVOs) are economic preferences for the distribution of resources - prosocial individuals are more cooperative and egalitarian than are proselfs. Despite the social and economic implications of SVOs, no systematic studies have examined their neural correlates. We investigated the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) structures and functions in prosocials and proselfs by functional magnetic resonance imaging and evaluated cooperative behavior in the Prisoner's Dilemma game. We found for the first time that amygdala volume was larger in prosocials and positively correlated with cooperation, while DLPFC volume was larger in proselfs and negatively correlated with cooperation. Proselfs' decisions were marked by strong DLPFC and weak amygdala activity, and prosocials' decisions were marked by strong amygdala activity, with the DLPFC signal increasing only in defection. Our findings suggest that proselfs' decisions are controlled by DLPFC-mediated deliberative processes, while prosocials' decisions are initially guided by automatic amygdala processes. PMID:26876988

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The human amygdala is necessary for developing and expressing normal interpersonal trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koscik, Timothy R; Tranel, Daniel

    2011-03-01

    The human amygdala is known to be involved in processing social, emotional, and reward-related information. Previous reports have indicated that the amygdala is involved in extracting trustworthiness information from faces. Interestingly, functional neuroimaging research using economic tasks that presumably require developing and/or expressing interpersonal trust, such as the Trust Game (TG), have not routinely identified involvement of the amygdala. The present study sought to explore the role of the amygdala in developing and expressing interpersonal trust, via a multi-round, multiplayer economic exchange, a version of the TG, in a large sample of participants with focal brain damage. Participants with unilateral damage to the amygdala displayed increased benevolent behavior in the TG, and specifically, they tended to increase trust in response to betrayals. On the other hand, neurologically normal adults tended to repay trust in kind, i.e., they decreased interpersonal trust in response to betrayals or increased trust in response to increases from others. Comparison participants, with brain damage that does not include the amygdala, ventromedial prefrontal or insular cortices, tended to behave ambivalently to the expressed trust or betrayal of others. Our data suggest that the amygdala is necessary for developing and expressing normal interpersonal trust. This increased tendency to behave benevolently in response to defections from others may be related to the abnormal social behavior observed in this group. Moreover, increased benevolence may increase the likelihood or opportunity to be taken advantage of by others. PMID:20920512

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. 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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Amygdala volume linked to individual differences in mental state inference in early childhood and adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Rice

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the role of the amygdala in mental state inference in a sample of adults and in a sample of children aged 4 and 6 years. This period in early childhood represents a time when mentalizing abilities undergo dramatic changes. Both children and adults inferred mental states from pictures of others’ eyes, and children also inferred the mental states of others from stories (e.g., a false belief task. We also collected structural MRI data from these participants, to determine whether larger amygdala volumes (controlling for age and total gray matter volume were related to better face-based and story-based mentalizing. For children, larger amygdala volumes were related to better face-based, but not story-based, mentalizing. In contrast, in adults, amygdala volume was not related to face-based mentalizing. We next divided the face-based items into two subscales: cognitive (e.g., thinking, not believing versus affective (e.g., friendly, kind items. For children, performance on cognitive items was positively correlated with amygdala volume, but for adults, only performance on affective items was positively correlated with amygdala volume. These results indicate that the amygdala's role in mentalizing may be specific to face-based tasks and that the nature of its involvement may change over development.

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Auditory responses in the amygdala to social vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadziola, Marie A.

    The underlying goal of this dissertation is to understand how the amygdala, a brain region involved in establishing the emotional significance of sensory input, contributes to the processing of complex sounds. The general hypothesis is that communication calls of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) transmit relevant information about social context that is reflected in the activity of amygdalar neurons. The first specific aim analyzed social vocalizations emitted under a variety of behavioral contexts, and related vocalizations to an objective measure of internal physiological state by monitoring the heart rate of vocalizing bats. These experiments revealed a complex acoustic communication system among big brown bats in which acoustic cues and call structure signal the emotional state of a sender. The second specific aim characterized the responsiveness of single neurons in the basolateral amygdala to a range of social syllables. Neurons typically respond to the majority of tested syllables, but effectively discriminate among vocalizations by varying the response duration. This novel coding strategy underscores the importance of persistent firing in the general functioning of the amygdala. The third specific aim examined the influence of acoustic context by characterizing both the behavioral and neurophysiological responses to natural vocal sequences. Vocal sequences differentially modify the internal affective state of a listening bat, with lower aggression vocalizations evoking the greatest change in heart rate. Amygdalar neurons employ two different coding strategies: low background neurons respond selectively to very few stimuli, whereas high background neurons respond broadly to stimuli but demonstrate variation in response magnitude and timing. Neurons appear to discriminate the valence of stimuli, with aggression sequences evoking robust population-level responses across all sound levels. Further, vocal sequences show improved discrimination among stimuli

  7. Mesolimbic dopaminergic supersensitivity following electrical kindling of the amygdala

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 3H-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

  8. Mesolimbic dopaminergic supersensitivity following electrical kindling of the amygdala

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  9. Dopamine Regulation of Amygdala Inhibitory Circuits for Expression of Learned Fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Oh-Bin; Lee, Joo Han; Kim, Hyun Jin; Lee, Seungho; Lee, Sanghyeon; Jeong, Min-Jae; Kim, Su-Jeong; Jo, Hee-Jung; Ko, Bumjin; Chang, Sunghoe; Park, Sang Ki; Choi, Yun-Beom; Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R; Kim, Joung-Hun

    2015-10-21

    GABAergic signaling in the amygdala controls learned fear, and its dysfunction potentially contributes to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We find that sub-threshold fear conditioning leads to dopamine receptor D4-dependent long-term depression (LTD) of glutamatergic excitatory synapses by increasing inhibitory inputs onto neurons of the dorsal intercalated cell mass (ITC) in the amygdala. Pharmacological, genetic, and optogenetic manipulations of the amygdala regions centered on the dorsal ITC reveal that this LTD limits less salient experiences from forming persistent memories. In further support of the idea that LTD has preventive and discriminative roles, we find that LTD at the dorsal ITC is impaired in mice exhibiting PTSD-like behaviors. These findings reveal a novel role of inhibitory circuits in the amygdala, which serves to dampen and restrict the level of fear expression. This mechanism is interfered with by stimuli that give rise to PTSD and may also be recruited for fear-related psychiatric diseases. PMID:26412489

  10. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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 is...... 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....... not fully understood. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we evaluated independent and interactive effects of the 5-HTTLPR genotype and neuroticism on amygdala functional connectivity during an emotional faces paradigm in 76 healthy individuals. Functional connectivity between left amygdala...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Dialectical behavior therapy alters emotion regulation and amygdala activity in patients with borderline personality disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Marianne; Carpenter, David; Tang, Cheuk Y.; Goldstein, Kim E.; Avedon, Jennifer; Fernandez, Nicolas; Mascitelli, Kathryn A.; Blair, Nicholas J.; New, Antonia S.; Triebwasser, Joseph; Siever, Larry J.; Hazlett, Erin A.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Siever and Davis’ (1991) psychobiological framework of borderline personality disorder (BPD) identifies affective instability (AI) as a core dimension characterized by prolonged and intense emotional reactivity. Recently, deficient amygdala habituation, defined as a change in response to repeated relative to novel unpleasant pictures within a session, has emerged as a biological correlate of AI in BPD. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), an evidence-based treatment, targets AI by teaching emotion-regulation skills. This study tested the hypothesis that BPD patients would exhibit decreased amygdala activation and improved habituation, as well as improved emotion regulation with standard 12-month DBT. Methods Event-related fMRI was obtained pre- and post-12-months of standard-DBT in unmedicated BPD patients. Healthy controls (HCs) were studied as a benchmark for normal amygdala activity and change over time (n = 11 per diagnostic-group). During each scan, participants viewed an intermixed series of unpleasant, neutral and pleasant pictures presented twice (novel, repeat). Change in emotion regulation was measured with the Difficulty in Emotion Regulation (DERS) scale. Results fMRI results showed the predicted Group × Time interaction: compared with HCs, BPD patients exhibited decreased amygdala activation with treatment. This post-treatment amygdala reduction in BPD was observed for all three pictures types, but particularly marked in the left hemisphere and during repeated-emotional pictures. Emotion regulation measured with the DERS significantly improved with DBT in BPD patients. Improved amygdala habituation to repeated-unpleasant pictures in patients was associated with improved overall emotional regulation measured by the DERS (total score and emotion regulation strategy use subscale). Conclusion These findings have promising treatment implications and support the notion that DBT targets amygdala hyperactivity—part of the disturbed neural

  20. Altered amygdala resting-state functional connectivity in post-traumatic stress disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Rabinak, Christine A.; Angstadt, Mike; Welsh, Robert C.; Kenndy, Amy E.; Lyubkin, Mark; Martis, Brian; Phan, K. Luan

    2011-01-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often characterized by aberrant amygdala activation and functional abnormalities in corticolimbic circuitry, as elucidated by functional neuroimaging. These “activation” studies have primarily relied on tasks designed to induce region-specific, and task-dependent brain responses in limbic (e.g., amygdala) and paralimbic brain areas through the use of aversive evocative probes. It remains unknown if these corticolimbic circuit abnormalities exist at bas...

  1. Is the medial amygdala part of the neural circuit modulating conditioned defeat in Syrian hamsters?

    OpenAIRE

    Markham, Chris M.; Huhman, Kim L.

    2008-01-01

    Conditioned defeat is a model wherein hamsters that have previously experienced a single social defeat subsequently exhibit heightened levels of avoidance and submission in response to a smaller, non-aggressive intruder. While we have previously demonstrated the critical involvement of the basolateral and central nuclei of the amygdala in the acquisition and expression of conditioned defeat, the role of the medial amygdala has yet to be investigated. In Experiment 1, muscimol, a GABAA recepto...

  2. Double Dissociation of Amygdala and Hippocampal Contributions to Trace and Delay Fear Conditioning

    OpenAIRE

    Raybuck, Jonathan D.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2011-01-01

    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 b...

  3. 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...

  4. Preschool Anxiety Disorders Predict Different Patterns of Amygdala-Prefrontal Connectivity at School-Age

    OpenAIRE

    Carpenter, Kimberly L. H.; Angold, Adrian; Chen, Nan-kuei; Copeland, William E.; Gaur, Pooja; Pelphrey, Kevin; Song, Allen W.; Egger, Helen L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective 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. Methods Participants were children taking part in a 5-year study of early childhood brain development and anxi...

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Expression of amygdala mineralocorticoid receptor and glucocorticoid receptor in the single-prolonged stress rats

    OpenAIRE

    Han, Fang; Ding, Jinlan; Shi, Yuxiu

    2014-01-01

    Background Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxious disorder associated with low levels of corticosterone and enhanced negative feedback of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Previous studies showed that the amygdala not only has an excitatory effect on the HPA axis but also plays a key role in fear-related behaviors. Coticosterone exert actions through binding to the mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which are abundant in the amygdala. In our pre...

  13. A pavlovian model of the amygdala and its influence within the medial temporal lobe

    OpenAIRE

    Maxime Carrere; Frederic Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in neuroscience give us a better view of the inner structure of the amygdala, of its relations with other regions in the Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL) and of the prominent role of neuromodulation. They have particularly shed light on two kinds of neurons in the basal nucleus of the amygdala, the so-called fear neurons and extinction neurons. Fear neurons mediate context-dependent fear by receiving contextual information from the hippocampus, whereas extinctio...

  14. Reduced 5-HT2A receptor signaling following selective bilateral amygdala damage

    OpenAIRE

    Hurlemann, René; Schlaepfer, Thomas E; Matusch, Andreas; Reich, Harald; Shah, Nadim J.; Zilles, Karl; Maier, Wolfgang; Bauer, Andreas

    2009-01-01

    Neurobiological evidence implicates the amygdala as well as serotonergic (serotonin, 5-HT) signaling via postsynaptic 5-HT2A receptors as essential substrates of anxiety behaviors. Assuming a functional interdependence of these substrates, we hypothesized that a low-fear behavioral phenotype due to bilateral lesion of the amygdala would be associated with significant 5-HT2A receptor changes. Thus, we used [18F]altanserin positron emission tomography (PET) referenced to radioligand plasma leve...

  15. A pavlovian model of the amygdala and its influence within the medial temporal lobe

    OpenAIRE

    Carrere, Maxime; Alexandre, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in neuroscience give us a better view of the inner structure of the amygdala, of its relations with other regions in the Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL) and of the prominent role of neuromodulation. They have particularly shed light on two kinds of neurons in the basal nucleus of the amygdala, the so-called fear neurons and extinction neurons. Fear neurons mediate context-dependent fear by receiving contextual information from the hippocampus, whereas extinction neurons are linked ...

  16. Intact performance on an indirect measure of race bias following amygdala damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phelps, Elizabeth A; Cannistraci, Christopher J; Cunningham, William A

    2003-01-01

    Recent brain imaging and lesion studies provide converging evidence for amygdala involvement in judgments of fear and trust based on facial expression [Adolphs et al., Nature 393 (1998) 470; Adolphs et al., Neuropsychologia 37 (1999) 1111; Breiter et al., Neuron 17 (1996) 875; Winston et al., Nat. Neurosci. 5 (3) (2002) 277]. Another type of social information apparent in face stimuli is social group membership. Imaging studies have reported amygdala activation to face stimuli of different racial groups [Hart et al., NeuroReport 11 (11) (2000) 2351]. In White American subjects, amygdala activation to Black versus White faces was correlated with indirect, implicit measures of racial evaluation [Phelps et al., J. Cogn. Neurosci. 12 (5) (2000) 729]. To determine if the amygdala plays a critical role in indirect social group evaluation, as suggested by the imaging results, a patient with bilateral amygdala damage and control subjects were given two measures of race bias. All subjects were female, White Americans. The Modern Racism Scale (MRS) is a direct, self-report measure of race attitudes and beliefs. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is an indirect, automatic evaluation task. Performance on the two tasks did not differ between the patient with amygdala damage and control subjects. All subjects showed a pro-Black bias on the direct, explicit measure of race beliefs, the MRS, and a negative evaluation towards Black faces on the indirect measure of race evaluation, the IAT. These results indicate that even though amygdala activation to Black versus White faces is correlated with performance on indirect measures of race bias [Phelps et al., J. Cogn. Neurosci. 12 (5) (2000) 729], the amygdala is not critical for normal performance on the IAT. PMID:12459218

  17. The anxious amygdala: CREB signaling and predisposition to anxiety and alcoholism

    OpenAIRE

    Wand, Gary

    2005-01-01

    The amygdala is believed to play a key role in assigning emotional significance to specific sensory input, and conditions such as anxiety, autism, stress, and phobias are thought to be linked to its abnormal function. Growing evidence has also implicated the amygdala in mediation of the stress-dampening properties of alcohol. In this issue of the JCI, Pandey and colleagues identify a central amygdaloid signaling pathway involved in anxiety-like and alcohol-drinking behaviors in rats. They rep...

  18. 5-HT1A-receptor agonist modified amygdala activity and amygdala-associated social behavior in a valproate-induced rat autism model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao-Chuan; Lin, Hui-Ching; Chan, Yun-Han; Gean, Po-Wu; Yang, Yen Kung; Chen, Po See

    2013-10-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dysfunction of the amygdala is related to abnormal fear processing, anxiety, and social behaviors noted in autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). In addition, studies have shown that disrupted brain serotonin homeostasis is linked to ASD. With a valproate (VPA)-induced rat ASD model, we investigated the possible role of amygdala serotonin homeostasis in autistic phenotypes and further explored the underlying mechanism. We first discovered that the distribution of tryptophan hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the caudal raphe system was modulated on postnatal day (PD) 28 of the VPA-exposed offspring. Then, we found a significantly higher serotonin transporter availability in the amygdala of the VPA-exposed offspring on PD 56 by using single photon emission computed tomography and computed tomography co-registration following injection of (123)I-labeled 2-((2-(dimethylamino)methyl)phenyl)thio)-5-iodophenylamine((123)I[ADAM]). Furthermore, treatment with 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT), a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, increased social interaction and improved fear memory extinction in the VPA-exposed offspring. 8-OH-DPAT treatment also reversed the characteristics of miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents as well as paired pulse facilitation observed in lateral amygdala slices. These results provided further evidence to support the role of the amygdala in characteristic behavioral changes in the rat ASD model. The serotonergic projections that modulate the amygdala function might play a certain role in the development and treatment of behavioral symptoms exhibited in individuals with ASD. PMID:23823694

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paret, Christian; Ruf, Matthias; Gerchen, Martin Fungisai; Kluetsch, Rosemarie; Demirakca, Traute; Jungkunz, Martin; Bertsch, Katja; Schmahl, Christian; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-15

    Down-regulation of the amygdala with real-time fMRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI NF) potentially allows targeting brain circuits of emotion processing and may involve prefrontal-limbic networks underlying effective emotion regulation. Little research has been dedicated to the effect of rtfMRI NF on the functional connectivity of the amygdala and connectivity patterns in amygdala down-regulation with neurofeedback have not been addressed yet. Using psychophysiological interaction analysis of fMRI data, we present evidence that voluntary amygdala down-regulation by rtfMRI NF while viewing aversive pictures was associated with increased connectivity of the right amygdala with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in healthy subjects (N=16). In contrast, a control group (N=16) receiving sham feedback did not alter amygdala connectivity (Group×Condition t-contrast: pneurofeedback to influence functional connectivity in key networks of emotion processing and regulation. This may be beneficial for patients suffering from severe emotion dysregulation by improving neural self-regulation. PMID:26481674

  20. A case of hyperthymesia: Rethinking the role of the amygdala in autobiographical memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ally, Brandon A.; Hussey, Erin P.; Donahue, Manus J.

    2012-01-01

    Much controversy has been focused on the extent to which the amygdala belongs to the autobiographical memory core network. Early evidence suggested the amygdala played a vital role in emotional processing, likely helping to encode emotionally charged stimuli. However, recent work has highlighted the amygdala’s role in social and self-referential processing, leading to speculation that the amygdala likely supports the encoding and retrieval of autobiographical memory. Here, cognitive as well as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected from an extremely rare individual with near-perfect autobiographical memory, or hyperthymesia. Right amygdala hypertrophy (approximately 20%) and enhanced amygdala-to-hippocampus connectivity (> 10 standard deviations) was observed in this volunteer relative to controls. Based on these findings and previous literature, we speculate that the amygdala likely charges autobiographical memories with emotional, social, and self-relevance. In heightened memory, this system may be hyperactive, allowing for many types of autobiographical information, including emotionally benign, to be more efficiently processed as self-relevant for encoding and storage. PMID:22519463

  1. The role of the amygdala in the perception of positive emotions: an “intensity detector”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Bonnet

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Although the development of functional imaging techniques has established the implication of the amygdala in the emotional process, its specific role remains controversial. The aim of this study was to highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to emotional intensity (arousal. We conducted an analysis of the modulation of amygdala activation according to variation in emotional intensity via an fMRI event-related protocol. Monitoring of electrodermal activity, a marker of psychophysiological emotional perception and which reflects the activation of the autonomic nervous system, was carried out concurrently. Eighteen subjects (10 men; aged from 22 to 29 years looked at emotionally positive photographs. We demonstrated that the left and right amygdalae were sensitive to changes in emotional intensity, activating more in response to stimuli with higher intensity. Furthermore, electrodermal responses were more frequent for the most intense stimuli, demonstrating the concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system. These results highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to the intensity of positively-valenced visual stimuli, and in conjunction with results in the literature on negative emotions, reinforce the role of the amygdala in the perception of intensity.

  2. The role of the amygdala in the perception of positive emotions: an "intensity detector".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, Louise; Comte, Alexandre; Tatu, Laurent; Millot, Jean-Louis; Moulin, Thierry; Medeiros de Bustos, Elisabeth

    2015-01-01

    The specific role of the amygdala remains controversial even though the development of functional imaging techniques has established its implication in the emotional process. The aim of this study was to highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to emotional intensity (arousal). We conducted an analysis of the modulation of amygdala activation according to variation in emotional intensity via an fMRI event-related protocol. Monitoring of electrodermal activity, a marker of psychophysiological emotional perception and a reflection of the activation of the autonomic nervous system, was carried out concurrently. Eighteen subjects (10 men; aged from 22 to 29 years) looked at emotionally positive photographs. We demonstrated that the left and right amygdalae were sensitive to changes in emotional intensity, activating more in response to stimuli with higher intensity. Furthermore, electrodermal responses were more frequent for the most intense stimuli, demonstrating the concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system. These results highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to the intensity of positively valenced visual stimuli, and in conjunction with results in the literature on negative emotions, reinforce the role of the amygdala in the perception of intensity. PMID:26217205

  3. 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. PMID:25964500

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  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. PMID:25618591

  6. 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

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

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    Rauch Scott L

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amygdala habituates in response to repeated human facial expressions; however, it is unclear whether this brain region habituates to schematic faces (i.e., simple line drawings or caricatures of faces. Using an fMRI block design, 16 healthy participants passively viewed repeated presentations of schematic and human neutral and negative facial expressions. Percent signal changes within anatomic regions-of-interest (amygdala and fusiform gyrus were calculated to examine the temporal dynamics of neural response and any response differences based on face type. Results The amygdala and fusiform gyrus had a within-run "U" response pattern of activity to facial expression blocks. The initial block within each run elicited the greatest activation (relative to baseline and the final block elicited greater activation than the preceding block. No significant differences between schematic and human faces were detected in the amygdala or fusiform gyrus. Conclusion The "U" pattern of response in the amygdala and fusiform gyrus to facial expressions suggests an initial orienting, habituation, and activation recovery in these regions. Furthermore, this study is the first to directly compare brain responses to schematic and human facial expressions, and the similarity in brain responses suggest that schematic faces may be useful in studying amygdala activation.

  8. 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.

  9. Oxytocin modulation of amygdala functional connectivity to fearful faces in generalized social anxiety disorder.

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    Gorka, Stephanie M; Fitzgerald, Daniel A; Labuschagne, Izelle; Hosanagar, Avinash; Wood, Amanda G; Nathan, Pradeep J; Phan, K Luan

    2015-01-01

    The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is thought to attenuate anxiety by dampening amygdala reactivity to threat in individuals with generalized social anxiety disorder (GSAD). Because the brain is organized into networks of interconnected areas, it is likely that OXT impacts functional coupling between the amygdala and other socio-emotional areas of the brain. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to examine the effects of OXT on amygdala functional connectivity during the processing of fearful faces in GSAD subjects and healthy controls (HCs). In a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PBO)-controlled, within-subjects design, 18 HCs and 17 GSAD subjects performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging task designed to probe amygdala response to fearful faces following acute intranasal administration of PBO or OXT. Functional connectivity between the amygdala and the rest of the brain was compared between OXT and PBO sessions using generalized psychophysiological interaction analyses. Results indicated that within individuals with GSAD, but not HCs, OXT enhanced functional connectivity between the amygdala and the bilateral insula and middle cingulate/dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus during the processing of fearful faces. These findings suggest that OXT may have broad pro-social implications such as enhancing the integration and modulation of social responses. PMID:24998619

  10. Altered Resting-State Amygdala Functional Connectivity after Real-Time fMRI Emotion Self-Regulation Training

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    Zhonglin Li; Li Tong; Min Guan; Wenjie He; Linyuan Wang; Haibin Bu; Dapeng Shi; Bin Yan

    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 BL...

  11. Alterations of amygdala-prefrontal connectivity with real-time fMRI neurofeedback in BPD patients.

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    Paret, Christian; Kluetsch, Rosemarie; Zaehringer, Jenny; Ruf, Matthias; Demirakca, Traute; Bohus, Martin; Ende, Gabriele; Schmahl, Christian

    2016-06-01

    With the use of real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback (NF), amygdala activitiy can be visualized in real time. In this study, continuous amygdala NF was provided to patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) with the instruction to down-regulate. During four sessions of NF training, patients viewed aversive pictures and received feedback from a thermometer display, which showed the amygdala blood oxygenation level-dependent signal. Conditions of regulation and viewing without regulation were presented. Each session started with a resting-state scan and was followed by a transfer run without NF. Amygdala regulation, task-related and resting-state functional brain connectivity were analyzed. Self-ratings of dissociation and difficulty in emotion regulation were collected. BPD patients down-regulated right amygdala activation but there were no improvements over time. Task-related amygdala-ventromedial prefrontal cortex connectivity was altered across the four sessions, with an increased connectivity when regulating vs viewing pictures. Resting-state amygdala-lateral prefrontal cortex connectivity was altered and dissociation, as well as scores for 'lack of emotional awareness', decreased with training. Results demonstrated that amygdala NF may improve healthy brain connectivity, as well as emotion regulation. A randomized-controlled trial is needed to investigate whether amygdala NF is instrumental for improving neural regulation and emotion regulation in BPD patients. PMID:26833918

  12. Panic Anxiety in Humans with Bilateral Amygdala Lesions: Pharmacological Induction via Cardiorespiratory Interoceptive Pathways

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    Feinstein, Justin S.; Li, Wei; Feusner, Jamie D.; Adolphs, Ralph; Hurlemann, Rene

    2016-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that carbon dioxide inhalation could induce panic anxiety in a group of rare lesion patients with focal bilateral amygdala damage. To further elucidate the amygdala-independent mechanisms leading to aversive emotional experiences, we retested two of these patients (B.G. and A.M.) to examine whether triggering palpitations and dyspnea via stimulation of non-chemosensory interoceptive channels would be sufficient to elicit panic anxiety. Participants rated their affective and sensory experiences following bolus infusions of either isoproterenol, a rapidly acting peripheral β-adrenergic agonist akin to adrenaline, or saline. Infusions were administered during two separate conditions: a panic induction and an assessment of cardiorespiratory interoception. Isoproterenol infusions induced anxiety in both patients, and full-blown panic in one (patient B.G.). Although both patients demonstrated signs of diminished awareness for cardiac sensation, patient A.M., who did not panic, reported a complete lack of awareness for dyspnea, suggestive of impaired respiratory interoception. These findings indicate that the amygdala may play a role in dynamically detecting changes in cardiorespiratory sensation. The induction of panic anxiety provides further evidence that the amygdala is not required for the conscious experience of fear induced via interoceptive sensory channels. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We found that monozygotic twins with focal bilateral amygdala lesions report panic anxiety in response to intravenous infusions of isoproterenol, a β-adrenergic agonist similar to adrenaline. Heightened anxiety was evident in both twins, with one twin experiencing a panic attack. The twin who did not panic displayed signs of impaired cardiorespiratory interoception, including a complete absence of dyspnea sensation. These findings highlight that the amygdala is not strictly required for the experience of panic anxiety, and suggest that neural systems beyond

  13. 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

  14. Reduced intrinsic connectivity of amygdala in adults with major depressive disorder

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    RajamannarRamasubbu

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Imaging studies of major depressive disorder (MDD have demonstrated enhanced resting-state activity of the amygdala as well as exaggerated reactivity to negative emotional stimuli relative to healthy controls. However, the abnormalities in the intrinsic connectivity of the amygdala in MDD still remain unclear. As the resting-state activity and functional connectivity (RSFC reflect fundamental brain processes, we compared the RSFC of the amygdala between unmedicated MDD patients and healthy controls. Seventy-four subjects, 55 adults meeting the DSM IV criteria for MDD and 19 healthy controls, underwent a resting state 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI scan. An amygdala seed-based low frequency RSFC map for the whole brain was generated for each group. Compared with healthy controls, MDD patients showed a wide-spread reduction in the intrinsic connectivity of the amygdala with a variety of brain regions involved in emotional processing and regulation, including the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, insula, caudate, middle and superior temporal regions, occipital cortex, and cerebellum, as well as increased connectivity with the bilateral temporal poles (p< 0.05 corrected. The increase in the intrinsic connectivity of amygdala with the temporal poles was inversely correlated with symptom severity and anxiety scores. Although the directionality of connections between regions cannot be inferred from temporal correlations, the reduced intrinsic connectivity of the amygdala predominantly with regions involved in emotional processing may reflect impaired bottom-up signaling for top-down cortical modulation of limbic regions leading to abnormal affect regulation in MDD.

  15. Amygdala FAAH and anandamide: mediating protection and recovery from stress.

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    Gunduz-Cinar, Ozge; Hill, Matthew N; McEwen, Bruce S; Holmes, Andrew

    2013-11-01

    A long-standing literature linking endocannabinoids (ECBs) to stress, fear, and anxiety has led to growing interest in developing novel anxiolytics targeting the ECB system. Following rapid on-demand biosynthesis and degradation upon neuronal activation, the ECB N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA) is actively degraded by the serine hydrolase enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Exposure to stress rapidly mobilizes FAAH to deplete the signaling pool of AEA and increase neuronal excitability in a key anxiety-mediating region--the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Gene deletion or pharmacological inhibition of FAAH prevents stress-induced reductions in AEA and associated increases in BLA dendritic hypertrophy and anxiety-like behavior. Additionally, inhibition of FAAH facilitates long-term fear extinction and rescues deficient fear extinction in rodent models by enhancing AEA-CB1 (cannabinoid type 1) receptor signaling and synaptic plasticity in the BLA. These preclinical findings propose restoring deficient BLA AEA levels by pharmacologically inhibiting FAAH as a mechanism to therapeutically mitigate the effects of traumatic stress. PMID:24325918

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Tau and α-Synuclein Pathology in Amygdala of Parkinsonism-Dementia Complex Patients of Guam

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    Forman, Mark S.; Schmidt, M. Luise; Kasturi, Sanjay; Perl, Daniel P.; Lee, Virginia M.-Y.; Trojanowski, John Q.

    2002-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex (ALS/PDC) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of Chamorro residents of Guam and the Mariana Islands, characterized by abundant neuron loss and tau neurofibrillary pathology similar to that observed in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A variety of neurodegenerative diseases with tau pathology including ALS/PDC also have α-synuclein positive pathology, primarily in the amygdala. We further characterized the tau and α-synuclein pathology in the amygdala of a large series of 30 Chamorros using immunohistochemical and biochemical techniques. Tau pathology was readily detected in both affected and unaffected Chamorros. In contrast, α-synuclein pathology was detected in 37% of patients with PDC but not detected in Chamorros without PDC or AD. The α-synuclein aggregates often co-localized within neurons harboring neurofibrillary tangles suggesting a possible interaction between the two proteins. Tau and α-synuclein pathology within the amygdala is biochemically similar to that observed in AD and synucleinopathies, respectively. Thus, the amygdala may be selectively vulnerable to developing both tau and α-synuclein pathology or tau pathology may predispose it to synuclein aggregation. Furthermore, in PDC, tau and α-synuclein pathology occurs independent of β-amyloid deposition in amygdala thereby implicating the aggregation of these molecules in the severe neurodegeneration frequently observed in this location. PMID:12000724

  20. Recurrent hypoglycemia increases anxiety and amygdala norepinephrine release during subsequent hypoglycemia

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    Ewan eMcNay

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Recurrent hypoglycemia (RH is a common and debilitating side effect of therapy in patients with both type 1 and, increasingly, type 2 diabetes. Previous studies in rats have shown marked effects of RH on subsequent hippocampal behavioral, metabolic, and synaptic processes. In addition to impaired memory, patients experiencing RH report alterations in cognitive processes that include mood and anxiety, suggesting that RH may also affect amygdala function. We tested the impact of RH on amygdala function using an elevated plus-maze test of anxiety together with in vivo amygdala microdialysis for norepinephrine (NEp, a widely used marker of basolateral amygdala cognitive processes. In contrast to findings in the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex, neither RH nor acute hypoglycemia alone significantly affected plus-maze performance or NEp release. However, animals tested when hypoglycemic who had previously experienced RH had elevated amygdala NEp during plus-maze testing, accompanied by increased anxiety (i.e. less time spent in the open arms of the plus-maze. The results show that RH has widespread effects on subsequent brain function, which vary by neural system.

  1. 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

  2. Diet-induced obesity induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and insulin resistance in the amygdala of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Gisele; C Areias, Maria Fernanda; Weissmann, Lais; Quaresma, Paula G F; Katashima, Carlos K; Saad, Mario J A; Prada, Patricia O

    2013-01-01

    Insulin acts in the hypothalamus, decreasing food intake (FI) by the IR/PI3K/Akt pathway. This pathway is impaired in obese animals and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and low-grade inflammation are possible mechanisms involved in this impairment. Here, we highlighted the amygdala as an important brain region for FI regulation in response to insulin. This regulation was dependent on PI3K/AKT pathway similar to the hypothalamus. Insulin was able to decrease neuropeptide Y (NPY) and increase oxytocin mRNA levels in the amygdala via PI3K, which may contribute to hypophagia. Additionally, obese rats did not reduce FI in response to insulin and AKT phosphorylation was decreased in the amygdala, suggesting insulin resistance. Insulin resistance was associated with ER stress and low-grade inflammation in this brain region. The inhibition of ER stress with PBA reverses insulin action/signaling, decreases NPY and increases oxytocin mRNA levels in the amygdala from obese rats, suggesting that ER stress is probably one of the mechanisms that induce insulin resistance in the amygdala. PMID:24251109

  3. Diet-induced obesity induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and insulin resistance in the amygdala of rats☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Gisele; C. Areias, Maria Fernanda; Weissmann, Lais; Quaresma, Paula G.F.; Katashima, Carlos K.; Saad, Mario J.A.; Prada, Patricia O.

    2013-01-01

    Insulin acts in the hypothalamus, decreasing food intake (FI) by the IR/PI3K/Akt pathway. This pathway is impaired in obese animals and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and low-grade inflammation are possible mechanisms involved in this impairment. Here, we highlighted the amygdala as an important brain region for FI regulation in response to insulin. This regulation was dependent on PI3K/AKT pathway similar to the hypothalamus. Insulin was able to decrease neuropeptide Y (NPY) and increase oxytocin mRNA levels in the amygdala via PI3K, which may contribute to hypophagia. Additionally, obese rats did not reduce FI in response to insulin and AKT phosphorylation was decreased in the amygdala, suggesting insulin resistance. Insulin resistance was associated with ER stress and low-grade inflammation in this brain region. The inhibition of ER stress with PBA reverses insulin action/signaling, decreases NPY and increases oxytocin mRNA levels in the amygdala from obese rats, suggesting that ER stress is probably one of the mechanisms that induce insulin resistance in the amygdala. PMID:24251109

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jung Soonwoong

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. The anxious amygdala: CREB signaling and predisposition to anxiety and alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wand, Gary

    2005-10-01

    The amygdala is believed to play a key role in assigning emotional significance to specific sensory input, and conditions such as anxiety, autism, stress, and phobias are thought to be linked to its abnormal function. Growing evidence has also implicated the amygdala in mediation of the stress-dampening properties of alcohol. In this issue of the JCI, Pandey and colleagues identify a central amygdaloid signaling pathway involved in anxiety-like and alcohol-drinking behaviors in rats. They report that decreased phosphorylation of cAMP responsive element-binding protein (CREB) resulted in decreased neuropeptide Y (NPY) expression in the central amygdala of alcohol-preferring rats, causing high anxiety-like behavior. Alcohol intake by these animals was shown to increase PKA-dependent CREB phosphorylation and thereby NPY expression, subsequently ameliorating anxiety-like behavior. These provocative data suggest that a CREB-dependent neuromechanism underlies high anxiety-like and excessive alcohol-drinking behavior. PMID:16200206

  18. Histogenetic Compartments of the Mouse Centromedial and Extended Amygdala Based on Gene Expression Patterns during Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-López, Margarita; Abellán, Antonio; Legaz, Isabel; Rubenstein, John L.R.; Puelles, Luis; Medina, Loreta

    2016-01-01

    The amygdala controls emotional and social behavior and regulates instinctive reflexes such as defense and reproduction by way of descending projections to the hypothalamus and brainstem. The descending amygdalar projections are suggested to show a cortico-striato-pallidal organization similar to that of the basal ganglia (Swanson [2000] Brain Res 886:113–164). To test this model we investigated the embryological origin and molecular properties of the mouse centromedial and extended amygdalar subdivisions, which constitute major sources of descending projections. We analyzed the distribution of key regulatory genes that show restricted expression patterns within the subpallium (Dlx5, Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Lhx7/8, Lhx9, Shh, and Gbx1), as well as genes considered markers for specific subpallial neuronal subpopulations. Our results indicate that most of the centromedial and extended amygdala is formed by cells derived from multiple subpallial subdivisions. Contrary to a previous suggestion, only the central—but not the medial—amygdala derives from the lateral ganglionic eminence and has striatal-like features. The medial amygdala and a large part of the extended amygdala (including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis) consist of subdivisions or cell groups that derive from subpallial, pallial (ventral pallium), or extratelencephalic progenitor domains. The subpallial part includes derivatives from the medial ganglionic eminence, the anterior peduncular area, and possibly a novel subdivision, called here commissural preoptic area, located at the base of the septum and related to the anterior commissure. Our study provides a molecular and morphological foundation for understanding the complex embryonic origins and adult organization of the centromedial and extended amygdala. PMID:17990271

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    The amygdala and the hippocampus are associated with emotional processing and declarative memory, respectively. Studies have shown that patients with bilateral hippocampal damage caused by anoxia/ischemia, and patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), can experience emotions for prolonged periods of time, even when they cannot remember what caused the emotion in the first place (Feinstein et al. (2010) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:7674-7679; Guzmán-Vélez et al. (2014) Cogn Behav Neurol 27:117-129). This study aimed to investigate, for the first time, the roles of the amygdala and hippocampus in the dissociation between feelings of emotion and declarative memory for emotion-inducing events in patients with AD. Individuals with probable AD (N = 12) and age-matched healthy comparisons participants (HCP; N = 12) completed a high-resolution (0.44 × 0.44 × 0.80 mm) T2-weighted structural MR scan of the medial temporal lobe. Each of these individuals also completed two separate emotion induction procedures (sadness and happiness) using film clips. We collected real-time emotion ratings at baseline and multiple times postinduction, and administered a test of declarative memory shortly after each induction. Consistent with previous research, hippocampal volume was significantly smaller in patients with AD compared with HCP, and was positively correlated with memory for the film clips. Sustained feelings of emotion and amygdala volume did not significantly differ between patients with AD and HCP. Follow-up analyses showed a significant negative correlation between amygdala volume and sustained sadness, and a significant positive correlation between amygdala volume and sustained happiness. Our findings suggest that the amygdala is important for regulating and sustaining an emotion independent of hippocampal function and declarative memory for the emotion-inducing event. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26606553

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Saskia Bj; van Zuiden, Mirjam; Nawijn, Laura; Frijling, Jessie L; Veltman, Dick J; Olff, Miranda

    2016-05-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disabling psychiatric disorder. As a substantial part of PTSD patients responds poorly to currently available psychotherapies, pharmacological interventions boosting treatment response are needed. Because of its anxiolytic and pro-social properties, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been proposed as promising strategy for treatment augmentation in PTSD. As a first step to investigate the therapeutic potential of OT in PTSD, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over functional MRI study examining OT administration effects (40 IU) on amygdala reactivity toward emotional faces in unmedicated male and female police officers with (n=37, 21 males) and without (n=40, 20 males) PTSD. Trauma-exposed controls were matched to PTSD patients based on age, sex, years of service and educational level. Under placebo, the expected valence-dependent amygdala reactivity (ie, greater activity toward fearful-angry faces compared with happy-neutral faces) was absent in PTSD patients. OT administration dampened amygdala reactivity toward all emotional faces in male and female PTSD patients, but enhanced amygdala reactivity in healthy male and female trauma-exposed controls, independent of sex and stimulus valence. In PTSD patients, greater anxiety prior to scanning and amygdala reactivity during the placebo session were associated with greater reduction of amygdala reactivity after OT administration. Taken together, our results indicate presumably beneficial neurobiological effects of OT administration in male and female PTSD patients. Future studies should investigate OT administration in clinical settings to fully appreciate its therapeutic potential. PMID:26404844

  3. A pavlovian model of the amygdala and its influence within the medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrere, Maxime; Alexandre, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in neuroscience give us a better view of the inner structure of the amygdala, of its relations with other regions in the Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL) and of the prominent role of neuromodulation. They have particularly shed light on two kinds of neurons in the basal nucleus of the amygdala, the so-called fear neurons and extinction neurons. Fear neurons mediate context-dependent fear by receiving contextual information from the hippocampus, whereas extinction neurons are linked with the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and involved in fear extinction. The computational model of the amygdala that we describe in this paper is primarily a model of pavlovian conditioning, but its architecture also emphasizes the central role of the amygdala in the MTL memory processes through three main information flows. (i) Thalamic and higher order sensory cortical inputs including from the perirhinal cortex are received in the lateral amygdalar nucleus, where CS-US associations can be acquired. (ii) These associations are subsequently modulated, in the basal nucleus of the amygdala, by contextual inputs coming from the hippocampus and the mPFC. Basal fear and extinction neurons indicate the currently valid association to their main targets including in the MTL and the mPFC. (iii) The competition for the choice of the pavlovian response is ultimately performed by projection of these amygdalar neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala where, beyond motor responding, a hormonal response, including cholinergic modulation, is also triggered via the basal forebrain. In turn, acetylcholine modulates activation in the basal nucleus and facilitates learning in the hippocampus. Based on biologically founded arguments, our model replicates a number of biological experiments, proposes some predictions about the role of amygdalar regions and describes pavlovian conditioning as a distributed systemic learning, binding memory processes in the MTL. PMID:25852499

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly L H Carpenter

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

  6. Memory consolidation of fear conditioning: bi-stable amygdala connectivity with dorsal anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Pan; Feng, Tingyong; Chen, Zhencai; Lei, Xu

    2014-11-01

    Investigations of fear conditioning in rodents and humans have illuminated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition and extinction. However, the neural mechanism of memory consolidation of fear conditioning is not well understood. To address this question, we measured brain activity and the changes in functional connectivity following fear acquisition using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The amygdala-dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and hippocampus-insula functional connectivity were enhanced, whereas the amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) functional coupling was decreased during fear memory consolidation. Furthermore, the amygdala-mPFC functional connectivity was negatively correlated with the subjective fear ratings. These findings suggest the amygdala functional connectivity with dACC and mPFC may play an important role in memory consolidation of fear conditioning. The change of amygdala-mPFC functional connectivity could predict the subjective fear. Accordingly, this study provides a new perspective for understanding fear memory consolidation. PMID:24194579

  7. The role of the Cholinergic System on Plasticity in the Basolateral Nucleus of the Amygdala

    OpenAIRE

    Cline, Brandon H.

    2010-01-01

    The amygdala and the cholinergic system play important roles in learning and memory. The amygdala receives substantial cholinergic innervation and in itself ex-presses differences in this innervation. p75NTR is one of the primary receptors of cho-linergic neurons and transgenic mice that are missing exon IV of the p75 neurotro-phin receptor locus, display a change in cholinergic innervation. The loss of p75NTR can induce changes in learning and memory so it was hypothesized p75EXIV animals wo...

  8. ACTIVATION OF BASOLATERAL AMYGDALA CRF1 RECEPTORS MODULATES THE CONSOLIDATION OF CONTEXTUAL FEAR

    OpenAIRE

    Hubbard, D. T.; Nakashima, B. R.; Lee, I.; Takahashi, L. K.

    2007-01-01

    The basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) and central amygdala nucleus (CeA) are involved in fear and anxiety. In addition, the BLA contains a high density of corticotropin-releasing factor 1 (CRF1) receptors in comparison to the CeA. However, the role of BLA CRF1 receptors in contextual fear conditioning is poorly understood. In the present study, we first demonstrated that oral administration of DMP696, the selective CRF1 receptor antagonist, had no significant effects on the acquisition of co...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhao Baixiao

    2008-11-01

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

  14. Transcriptional regulation of glutamic acid decarboxylase in the male mouse amygdala by dietary phyto-oestrogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandhu, K V; Yanagawa, Y; Stork, O

    2015-04-01

    Phyto-oestrogens are biologically active components of many human and laboratory animal diets. In the present study, we investigated, in adult male mice with C57BL/6 genetic background, the effects of a reduced phyto-oestrogens intake on anxiety-related behaviour and associated gene expression in the amygdala. After 6 weeks on a low-phyto-oestrogen diet (fear memory task, in contrast, was not affected. We hypothesised that this mildly increased anxiety may involve changes in the function of GABAergic local circuit neurones in the amygdala. Using GAD67(+/GFP) mice, we could demonstrate reduced transcription of the GAD67 gene in the lateral and basolateral amygdala under the low-phyto-oestrogen diet. Analysis of mRNA levels in microdissected samples confirmed this regulation and demonstrated concomitant changes in expression of the second glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) isoform, GAD65, as well as the anxiolytic neuropeptide Y. These molecular and behavioural alterations occurred without apparent changes in circulating oestrogens or testosterone levels. Our data suggest that expression regulation of interneurone-specific gene products in the amygdala may provide a mechanism for the control of anxiety-related behaviour through dietary phyto-oestrogens. PMID:25650988

  15. 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…

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

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    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevelinges, Yannick; Desgranges, Bertrand; Ferreira, Guillaume

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26836417

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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 ...

  4. Is the Medial Amygdala Part of the Neural Circuit Modulating Conditioned Defeat in Syrian Hamsters?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Chris M.; Huhman, Kim L.

    2008-01-01

    Conditioned defeat is a model wherein hamsters that have previously experienced a single social defeat subsequently exhibit heightened levels of avoidance and submission in response to a smaller, non-aggressive intruder. While we have previously demonstrated the critical involvement of the basolateral and central nuclei of the amygdala in the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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. PMID:24752071

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Arruda Sanchez

    2015-03-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Altered amygdala activation during face processing in Iraqi and Afghanistani war veterans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simmons Alan N

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure to combat can have a significant impact across a wide array of domains, and may manifest as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, a debilitating mental illness that is associated with neural and affective sequelae. This study tested the hypothesis that combat-exposed individuals with and without PTSD, relative to healthy control subjects with no history of PTSD or combat exposure, would show amygdala hyperactivity during performance of a well-validated face processing task. We further hypothesized that differences in the prefrontal cortex would best differentiate the combat-exposed groups with and without PTSD. Methods Twelve men with PTSD related to combat in Operations Enduring Freedom and/or Iraqi Freedom, 12 male combat-exposed control patients with a history of Operations Enduring Freedom and/or Iraqi Freedom combat exposure but no history of PTSD, and 12 healthy control male patients with no history of combat exposure or PTSD completed a face-matching task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results The PTSD group showed greater amygdala activation to fearful versus happy faces than both the combat-exposed control and healthy control groups. Both the PTSD and the combat-exposed control groups showed greater amygdala activation to all faces versus shapes relative to the healthy control group. However, the combat-exposed control group relative to the PTSD group showed greater prefrontal/parietal connectivity with the amygdala, while the PTSD group showed greater connectivity with the subgenual cingulate. The strength of connectivity in the PTSD group was inversely related to avoidance scores. Conclusions These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that PTSD is associated with a deficiency in top-down modulation of amygdala activation by the prefrontal cortex and shows specific sensitivity to fearful faces.

  7. Translational neuroscience of basolateral amygdala lesions: Studies of urbach-wiethe disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koen, N; Fourie, J; Terburg, D; Stoop, R; Morgan, B; Stein, D J; van Honk, J

    2016-06-01

    Urbach-Wiethe disease (UWD) is an extremely rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by mutations in the extracellular matrix protein 1 gene on chromosome 1. Typical clinical manifestations include voice hoarseness in early infancy and neuropsychiatric, laryngeal, and dermatological pathologies later in life. Neuroimaging studies have revealed a pattern of brain calcification often but not exclusively leading to selective bilateral amygdala damage. A large body of work on amygdala lesions in rodents exists, generally employing a subregion model focused on the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the central-medial amygdala. However, human work usually considers the amygdala as a unified structure, not only complicating the translation of animal findings to humans but also providing a unique opportunity for further research. To compare data from rodent models with human cases and to complement existing data from Europe and North America, a series of investigations was undertaken on UWD subjects with selective BLA damage in the Namaqualand region, South Africa. This review presents key findings from this work, including fear processing, social-economic behavior, and emotional conflict processing. Our findings are broadly consistent with and support rodent models of selective BLA lesions and show that the BLA is integral to processing sensory stimuli and exhibits inhibitory regulation of responses to unconditioned innate fear stimuli. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the human BLA mediates calculative-instrumental economic behaviors and may compromise working memory via competition for attentional resources between the BLA salience detection system and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex working memory system. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27091312

  8. 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

  9. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have emphasized that antisocial personality disorder (APD) and psychopathy overlap highly but differ critically in several features, notably negative emotionality (NEM) and possibly amygdala reactivity to social signals of threat and distress. Here we examined whether dimensions of psychopathy and APD correlate differentially with NEM and amygdala reactivity to emotional faces. Testing these relationships among healthy individuals, dimensions of psychopathy and APD were gener...

  11. Increased Amygdala and Visual Cortex Activity and Functional Connectivity towards Stimulus Novelty Is Associated with State Anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Ousdal, Olga T; Andreassen, Ole A; Server, Andres; Jensen, Jimmy

    2014-01-01

    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 t...

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

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    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 t...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Delta activity from amygdala in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus): influence of social and environmental context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, R L; Kling, A S

    1991-04-01

    A previous study reported that power in the delta band of the amygdala is selectively elevated when primates are exposed to affectively ladened stimuli (Kling, Steklis, & Deutsch, 1979). Radiotelemetric recordings suggested that this elevation was greatest when the animal was confronted with conspecific behaviors that could be interpreted as "ambiguous." In the present study, a specific elevation of delta activity was observed when the animal was placed in an environment in which uncued shock had previously been received, in relation to environments in which shock had always been cued. This occurred even though the conditioned stimulus or unconditioned stimulus (or both) was not presented. A specific elevation in delta activity also occurred when a conspecific was present, in relation to when the animal was alone. Finally, recordings in an environment in which shock training had previously occurred showed a striking lateralization of delta activity in the right amygdala but not in the cortex. At other times, no lateralization was observed. PMID:2043270

  4. 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.

  5. Visual presentation of phobic stimuli: amygdala activation via an extrageniculostriate pathway?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossens, Liesbet; Schruers, Koen; Peeters, Ronald; Griez, Eric; Sunaert, Stefan

    2007-07-15

    In the present study, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine the neural correlates of phobic fear by exposing spider phobic subjects to a visual presentation of spiders. In contrast to control subjects, spider phobics showed significantly increased activation in the amygdala and the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus on the basis of region of interest (ROI) analysis. Furthermore, voxelwise analysis revealed increased activation related to phobia-specific pictures bilaterally in the anterior cingulate cortex, the left insular cortex and bilaterally in the supplementary motor area. These findings confirm the involvement of the amygdala in the processing of phobia-relevant stimuli as found earlier in a recent study. Moreover, the thalamus findings support the involvement of an extrageniculostriate pathway in the process of phobic fear. PMID:17499485

  6. 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...

  7. Control of stress-induced persistent anxiety by an extra-amygdala septohypothalamic circuit

    OpenAIRE

    Anthony, Todd E.; Dee, Nick; Bernard, Amy; Lerchner, Walter; Heintz, Nathaniel; Anderson, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The extended amygdala has dominated research on the neural circuitry of fear and anxiety, but the septo-hippocampal axis plays an important role as well. The lateral septum (LS) is thought to suppress fear and anxiety, through its outputs to the hypothalamus. However, this structure has not yet been dissected using modern tools. The type 2 CRF receptor (Crfr2) marks a subset of LS neurons, whose functional connectivity we have investigated using optogenetics. Crfr2+ cells in...

  8. 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...

  9. Lhx6 Delineates a Pathway Mediating Innate Reproductive Behaviors from the Amygdala to the Hypothalamus

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

    In mammals, innate reproductive and defensive behaviors are mediated by anatomically segregated connections between the amygdala and hypothalamus. This anatomic segregation poses the problem of how the brain integrates activity in these circuits when faced with conflicting stimuli eliciting such mutually exclusive behaviors. Using genetically encoded and conventional axonal tracers, we have found that the transcription factor Lhx6 delineates the reproductive branch of this pathway. Other Lhx ...

  10. 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...

  11. The epileptic amygdala: Toward the development of a neural prosthesis by temporally coded electrical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cota, Vinícius Rosa; Drabowski, Bruna Marcela Bacellar; de Oliveira, Jasiara Carla; Moraes, Márcio Flávio Dutra

    2016-06-01

    Many patients with epilepsy do not obtain proper control of their seizures through conventional treatment. We review aspects of the pathophysiology underlying epileptic phenomena, with a special interest in the role of the amygdala, stressing the importance of hypersynchronism in both ictogenesis and epileptogenesis. We then review experimental studies on electrical stimulation of mesiotemporal epileptogenic areas, the amygdala included, as a means to treat medically refractory epilepsy. Regular high-frequency stimulation (HFS) commonly has anticonvulsant effects and sparse antiepileptogenic properties. On the other hand, HFS is related to acute and long-term increases in excitability related to direct neuronal activation, long-term potentiation, and kindling, raising concerns regarding its safety and jeopardizing in-depth understanding of its mechanisms. In turn, the safer regular low-frequency stimulation (LFS) has a robust antiepileptogenic effect, but its pro- or anticonvulsant effect seems to vary at random among studies. As an alternative, studies by our group on the development and investigation of temporally unstructured electrical stimulation applied to the amygdala have shown that nonperiodic stimulation (NPS), which is a nonstandard form of LFS, is capable of suppressing both acute and chronic spontaneous seizures. We hypothesize two noncompetitive mechanisms for the therapeutic role of amygdala in NPS, 1) a direct desynchronization of epileptic circuitry in the forebrain and brainstem and 2) an indirect desynchronization/inhibition through nucleus accumbens activation. We conclude by reintroducing the idea that hypersynchronism, rather than hyperexcitability, may be the key for epileptic phenomena and epilepsy treatment. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27091311

  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. 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

  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. [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

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Amygdala-Orbitofrontal Resting State Functional Connectivity is Associated with Trait Anger

    OpenAIRE

    Fulwiler, Carl E.; King, Jean A; Zhang, Nanyin

    2012-01-01

    An important distinction in research on the neural mechanisms of emotion regulation involves the relatively limited duration of emotional states vs. emotional traits which are defined as the stable tendency to experience particular emotions in daily life. Neuroimaging investigations of the regulation of anger states point to involvement of reciprocal changes in prefrontal cortex and amygdala activity, but the neural substrate of trait anger has received less attention. We used resting-state f...

  20. Identification of Hyperactive Intrinsic Amygdala Network Connectivity Associated with Impulsivity in Abstinent Heroin Addicts

    OpenAIRE

    Xie, Chunming; Shao, Yongcong; Fu, Liping; Goveas, Joseph; Ye, Enmao; Li, Wenjun; Cohen, Alexander D.; Chen, Gang; Zhang, Zhijun; Yang, Zheng

    2010-01-01

    Impulsivity is a pathological hallmark of drug addiction. However, little is known about the neuropsychological underpinnings of this impaired impulsive control network on drug addiction. Twenty two abstinent heroin dependent (HD) subjects and fifteen cognitively normal (CN) subjects participated in this study. Resting-state functional connectivity MRI was employed to measure abnormalities in the intrinsic amygdala functional connectivity (iAFC) network activity and the Barratt Impulsive Scal...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. A Recurrent Network in the Lateral Amygdala: A Mechanism for Coincidence Detection

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Luke R.; Hou, Mian; Ponce-Alvarez, Adrian; Gribelyuk, Leo M.; Alphs, Hannah H.; Albert, Ladislau; Brown, Bruce L.; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Doyère, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic changes at sensory inputs to the dorsal nucleus of the lateral amygdala (LAd) play a key role in the acquisition and storage of associative fear memory. However, neither the temporal nor spatial architecture of the LAd network response to sensory signals is understood. We developed a method for the elucidation of network behavior. Using this approach, temporally patterned polysynaptic recurrent network responses were found in LAd (intra-LA), both in vitro and in vivo, in response to ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Anxiety-potentiated amygdala-medial frontal coupling and attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, O J; Krimsky, M; Lieberman, L; Vytal, K; Ernst, M; Grillon, C

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety disorders can be treated both pharmacologically and psychologically, but many individuals either fail to respond to treatment or relapse. Improving outcomes is difficult, in part because we have incomplete understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying current treatments. In a sequence of studies, we have identified 'affective bias-related' amygdala-medial cortical coupling as a candidate substrate underlying adaptive anxiety (that is, anxiety elicited by threat of shock in healthy individuals) and shown that it is also chronically engaged in maladaptive anxiety disorders. We have provided evidence that this circuit can be modulated pharmacologically, but whether this mechanism can be shifted by simple psychological instruction is unknown. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we extend a previously used translational anxiety induction (threat of shock) in healthy subjects (N=43) and cognitive task to include an element of instructed attentional control. Replicating our previous findings, we show that induced anxiety engages 'affective bias-related' amygdala-dorsal medial frontal coupling during the processing of emotional faces. By contrast, instructing subjects to attend to neutral shapes (and ignore faces) disengages this circuitry and increases putative 'attentional control-related' coupling between the amygdala and a more rostral prefrontal region. These neural coupling changes are accompanied by corresponding modulation of behavioural performance. Taken together, these findings serve to further highlight the potential role of amygdala-medial frontal coupling in the pathogenesis of anxiety and highlight a mechanism by which it can be modulated via psychological instructions. This, in turn, generates hypotheses for future work exploring the mechanisms underlying psychological therapeutic interventions for anxiety. PMID:27271859

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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...

  15. Amygdala-prefrontal pathways and the dopamine system affect nociceptive responses in the prefrontal cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Onozawa Kitaro; Yagasaki Yuki; Izawa Yumi; Abe Hiroyuki; Kawakami Yoriko

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background We previously demonstrated nociceptive discharges to be evoked by mechanical noxious stimulation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The nociceptive responses recorded in the PFC are conceivably involved in the affective rather than the sensory-discriminative dimension of pain. The PFC receives dense projection from the limbic system. Monosynaptic projections from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) to the PFC are known to produce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. We...

  16. Cannabis Use Is Quantitatively Associated with Nucleus Accumbens and Amygdala Abnormalities in Young Adult Recreational Users

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, but little is known about its effects on the human brain, particularly on reward/aversion regions implicated in addiction, such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Animal studies show structural changes in brain regions such as the nucleus accumbens after exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, but less is known about cannabis use and brain morphometry in these regions in humans. We collected high-resolution MRI scans on y...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AnaCarolinaCoan

    2013-10-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sargin, Derya; Mercaldo, Valentina; Yiu, Adelaide P.; Higgs, Gemma; Han, Jin-Hee; Frankland, Paul W; Josselyn, Sheena A.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons may compete against one another for integration into a memory trace. Specifically, neurons in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala with relatively higher levels of cAMP Responsive Element Binding Protein (CREB) seem to be preferentially allocated to a fear memory trace, while neurons with relatively decreased CREB function seem to be excluded from a fear memory trace. CREB is a ubiquitous transcription factor that modulates many diverse cellular processes, raising the question as to wh...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. REM sleep de-potentiates amygdala activity to previous emotional experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Helm, Els; Yao, Justin; Dutt, Shubir; Rao, Vikram; Saletin, Jared M.; Walker, Matthew P.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Clinical evidence suggests a potentially causal interaction between sleep and affective brain function; nearly all mood disorders display co-occurring sleep abnormalities, commonly involving rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep [1–4]. Building on this clinical evidence, recent neurobiological frameworks have hypothesized a benefit of REM sleep in palliatively decreasing next-day brain reactivity to recent waking emotional experiences [5, 6]. Specifically, the marked suppression of central adrenergic neurotransmitters during REM (commonly implicated in arousal and stress), coupled with activation in amygdala-hippocampal networks that encode salient events, is proposed to (re)process and de-potentiate previous affective experiences, decreasing their emotional intensity [3]. In contrast, the failure of such adrenergic reduction during REM sleep has been described in anxiety disorders, indexed by persistent high-frequency electroencephalographic (EEG) activity (>30Hz) [7–10]; a candidate factor contributing to hyper-arousal and exaggerated amygdala reactivity [3, 11–13]. Despite these neurobiological frameworks, and their predictions, the proposed benefit of REM sleep physiology in de-potentiating neural and behavioral responsivity to prior emotional events remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that REM sleep physiology is associated with an overnight dissipation of amygdala activity in response to previous emotional experiences, altering functional-connectivity and reducing next-day subjective emotionality. PMID:22119526

  4. 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. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26569130

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Amygdala and cingulate structure is associated with stereotype on sex-role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Nouchi, Rui; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Iizuka, Kunio; Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Shinada, Takamitsu; Yamamoto, Yuki; Hanawa, Sugiko; Araki, Tsuyoshi; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Kunitoki, Keiko; Sassa, Yuko; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2015-01-01

    Sex-role egalitarianism (SRE) is the belief that the sex of an individual should not influence the perception of his or her rights, abilities, obligations, and opportunities. Thus, low SRE reflects a more conservative stereotypical view on sex-role. Here we investigated anatomical correlates of individual differences in SRE in the present study. We used voxel-based morphometry, a questionnaire to determine an individual's SRE and associated psychological measures, and determined the association of SRE with gray matter structures and their cognitive nature in healthy individuals (375 men and 306 women; age, 20.6 ± 1.8 years). We demonstrated that higher SRE was associated with smaller regional gray matter density (rGMD) in the anterior part of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and higher rGMD in the right amygdala. Post-hoc analyses revealed psychological measures characterized by contentious interpersonal orientations, such as contentious achievement motivation, were associated with lower SRE and higher rGMD in the anterior part of PCC. Depressive tendencies were associated with lower SRE and higher rGMD in the right amygdala. These findings suggest that variations in stereotype on sex role have roots in the limbic brain structures linked to contentious interpersonal orientation (cingulate) and negative mood (amygdala). PMID:26420574

  8. Threat of punishment motivates memory encoding via amygdala, not midbrain, interactions with the medial temporal lobe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murty, Vishnu P; Labar, Kevin S; Adcock, R Alison

    2012-06-27

    Neural circuits associated with motivated declarative encoding and active threat avoidance have both been described, but the relative contribution of these systems to punishment-motivated encoding remains unknown. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans to examine mechanisms of declarative memory enhancement when subjects were motivated to avoid punishments that were contingent on forgetting. A motivational cue on each trial informed participants whether they would be punished or not for forgetting an upcoming scene image. Items associated with the threat of shock were better recognized 24 h later. Punishment-motivated enhancements in subsequent memory were associated with anticipatory activation of right amygdala and increases in its functional connectivity with parahippocampal and orbitofrontal cortices. On a trial-by-trial basis, right amygdala activation during the motivational cue predicted hippocampal activation during encoding of the subsequent scene; across participants, the strength of this interaction predicted memory advantages due to motivation. Of note, punishment-motivated learning was not associated with activation of dopaminergic midbrain, as would be predicted by valence-independent models of motivation to learn. These data are consistent with the view that motivation by punishment activates the amygdala, which in turn prepares the medial temporal lobe for memory formation. The findings further suggest a brain system for declarative learning motivated by punishment that is distinct from that for learning motivated by reward. PMID:22745496

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Oxytocin enhances amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlemann, René; Patin, Alexandra; Onur, Oezguer A; Cohen, Michael X; Baumgartner, Tobias; Metzler, Sarah; Dziobek, Isabel; Gallinat, Juergen; Wagner, Michael; Maier, Wolfgang; Kendrick, Keith M

    2010-04-01

    Oxytocin (OT) is becoming increasingly established as a prosocial neuropeptide in humans with therapeutic potential in treatment of social, cognitive, and mood disorders. However, the potential of OT as a general facilitator of human learning and empathy is unclear. The current double-blind experiments on healthy adult male volunteers investigated first whether treatment with intranasal OT enhanced learning performance on a feedback-guided item-category association task where either social (smiling and angry faces) or nonsocial (green and red lights) reinforcers were used, and second whether it increased either cognitive or emotional empathy measured by the Multifaceted Empathy Test. Further experiments investigated whether OT-sensitive behavioral components required a normal functional amygdala. Results in control groups showed that learning performance was improved when social rather than nonsocial reinforcement was used. Intranasal OT potentiated this social reinforcement advantage and greatly increased emotional, but not cognitive, empathy in response to both positive and negative valence stimuli. Interestingly, after OT treatment, emotional empathy responses in men were raised to levels similar to those found in untreated women. Two patients with selective bilateral damage to the amygdala (monozygotic twins with congenital Urbach-Wiethe disease) were impaired on both OT-sensitive aspects of these learning and empathy tasks, but performed normally on nonsocially reinforced learning and cognitive empathy. Overall these findings provide the first demonstration that OT can facilitate amygdala-dependent, socially reinforced learning and emotional empathy in men. PMID:20371820

  12. Larger amygdala but no change in hippocampal volume in 10-year-old children exposed to maternal depressive symptomatology since birth

    OpenAIRE

    Lupien, Sonia J.; Parent, Sophie; Evans, Alan C.; Tremblay, Richard E.; Zelazo, Philip David; Corbo, Vincent; Pruessner, Jens C.; Séguin, Jean R.

    2011-01-01

    Maternal separation and poor maternal care in animals have been shown to have important effects on the developing hippocampus and amygdala. In humans, children exposed to abuse/maltreatment or orphanage rearing do not present changes in hippocampal volumes. However, children reared in orphanages present enlarged amygdala volumes, suggesting that the amygdala may be particularly sensitive to severely disturbed (i.e., discontinous, neglectful) care in infancy. Maternal depressive symptomatology...

  13. A study of 1H-MR spectroscopy in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of heroine abusers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Objective: To explore the characteristic findings of 1H-MR spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala of patients with heroine dependence (HD), and the relationship to total cumulative dose of inhaled heroine. Methods: Fourteen male HD patients and 12 healthy controls (HC) underwent 1H-MRS at the prefrontal cortex and amygdala regions. The total cumulative in haled heroin dose was (852±341) g in HD. Ratios of N-acetylaspartate/creatine(NAA/Cr) and choline/creatine (Cho/Cr) were respectively measured in the prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdale regions. The student's t test and the linear correlation were employed for statistical analysis. Results: Compared to HC group, HD patients had a significant lower ratio of NAA/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (1.44±0.46 vs 1.50±0.75, t=1.77, P< 0.05), left amygdala region (1.32±0.08 vs 1.42±0.08, t=3.41, P<0.05), and right amygdala region (1.34±0.09 vs 1.44±0.10, t=2.63, P<0.05), the HD patients had a significant increased ratio of Cho/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (0.92±0.06 vs 0.86±0.08, t=2.31, P<0.05), left amygdala region (1.20±0.12 vs 1.07±0.04, t=3.60, P<0.05) and right amygdala region(1.26±0.15 vs 1.12±0.11, t=2.60, P<0.05). There was a negative linear correlation between the total cumulative inhaled heroine dose and the ratio of NAA/Cr in the prefrontal cortex (r=-0.9159, P<0.01), left amygdala region( r= -0.8756, P<0.01), and right amygdala region (r=-0.9399, P<0.01) respectively. Conclusions: The study indicates that neuronal damage and glial proliferation may occur in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala region, which suggests the abnormalities of executive function and emotion in patients with HD. A relationship exists between the heroin-induced metabolic abnormality and the total cumulative dose of inhaled heroine. (authors)

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E. LeDoux

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Noradrenergic modulation of basolateral amygdala neuronal activity: opposing influences of alpha-2 and beta receptor activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffalari, Deanne M; Grace, Anthony A

    2007-11-01

    Substantial data exists demonstrating the importance of the amygdala and the locus ceruleus (LC) in responding to stress, aversive memory formation, and the development of stress-related disorders; however, little is known about the effects of norepinephrine (NE) on amygdala neuronal activity in vivo. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) receives dense NE projections from the LC, NE increases in the BLA in response to stress, and the BLA can also modulate the LC via reciprocal projections. These experiments examined the effects of noradrenergic agents on spontaneous and evoked responses of BLA neurons. NE iontophoresis inhibited spontaneous firing and decreased the responsiveness of BLA neurons to electrical stimulation of entorhinal cortex and sensory association cortex (Te3). Confirmed BLA projection neurons exhibited exclusively inhibitory responses to NE. Systemic administration of propranolol, a beta-receptor antagonist, decreased the spontaneous firing rate and potentiated the NE-evoked inhibition of BLA neurons. In addition, iontophoresis of the alpha-2 agonist clonidine, footshock administration, and LC stimulation mimicked the effects of NE iontophoresis on spontaneous activity. Furthermore, the effects of LC stimulation were partially blocked by systemic administration of alpha 2 and beta receptor antagonists. This is the first study to demonstrate the actions of directly applied and stimulus-evoked NE in the BLA in vivo, and provides a mechanism by which beta receptors can mediate the important behavioral consequences of NE within the BLA. The interaction between these two structures is particularly relevant with regard to their known involvement in stress responses and stress-related disorders. PMID:17989300

  2. 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

  3. Subgenual Cingulate-Amygdala Functional Disconnection and Vulnerability to Melancholic Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workman, Clifford I; Lythe, Karen E; McKie, Shane; Moll, Jorge; Gethin, Jennifer A; Deakin, John Fw; Elliott, Rebecca; Zahn, Roland

    2016-07-01

    The syndromic heterogeneity of major depressive disorder (MDD) hinders understanding of the etiology of predisposing vulnerability traits and underscores the importance of identifying neurobiologically valid phenotypes. Distinctive fMRI biomarkers of vulnerability to MDD subtypes are currently lacking. This study investigated whether remitted melancholic MDD patients, who are at an elevated lifetime risk for depressive episodes, demonstrate distinctive patterns of resting-state connectivity with the subgenual cingulate cortex (SCC), known to be of core pathophysiological importance for severe and familial forms of MDD. We hypothesized that patterns of disrupted SCC connectivity would be a distinguishing feature of melancholia. A total of 63 medication-free remitted MDD (rMDD) patients (33 melancholic and 30 nonmelancholic) and 39 never-depressed healthy controls (HC) underwent resting-state fMRI scanning. SCC connectivity was investigated with closely connected bilateral a priori regions of interest (ROIs) relevant to MDD (anterior temporal, ventromedial prefrontal, dorsomedial prefrontal cortices, amygdala, hippocampus, septal region, and hypothalamus). Decreased (less positive) SCC connectivity with the right parahippocampal gyrus and left amygdala distinguished melancholic rMDD patients from the nonmelancholic rMDD and HC groups (cluster-based familywise error-corrected p⩽0.007 over individual a priori ROIs corresponding to approximate Bonferroni-corrected p⩽0.05 across all seven a priori ROIs). No areas demonstrating increased (more positive) connectivity were observed. Abnormally decreased connectivity of the SCC with the amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus distinguished melancholic from nonmelancholic rMDD. These results provide the first resting-state neural signature distinctive of melancholic rMDD and may reflect a subtype-specific primary vulnerability factor given a lack of association with the number of previous episodes. PMID:26781519

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. Out with the old and in with the new: Synaptic mechanisms of extinction in the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen

    2015-09-24

    Considerable research indicates that long-term synaptic plasticity in the amygdala underlies the acquisition of emotional memories, including those learned during Pavlovian fear conditioning. Much less is known about the synaptic mechanisms involved in other forms of associative learning, including extinction, that update fear memories. Extinction learning might reverse conditioning-related changes (e.g., depotentiation) or induce plasticity at inhibitory synapses (e.g., long-term potentiation) to suppress conditioned fear responses. Either mechanism must account for fear recovery phenomena after extinction, as well as savings of extinction after fear recovery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory. PMID:25312830

  7. 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...

  8. 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

    -treated animals displayed several symptoms common to autism, among them impaired social interactions and increased repetitive behaviors. Furthermore, VPA-treated rats were more anxious and exhibited abnormally high and longer lasting fear memories, which were overgeneralized and harder to extinguish. On the...... cellular level, the amygdala was hyperreactive to electrical stimulation and displayed boosted synaptic plasticity as well as a deficit in inhibition. We show for the first time enhanced, overgeneralized and resistant conditioned fear memories in an animal model of autism. Such hyperfear could be caused by...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Evidence that the medial amygdala projects to the anterior/ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei to inhibit maternal behavior in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, T; Paul, M; Amaral, E; Numan, M J; Numan, M

    2001-01-01

    The maternal behaviors shown by a rat that has given birth are not shown by a virgin female rat when she is first presented with young. This absence of maternal behavior in virgins has been attributed to the activity of a neural circuit that inhibits maternal behavior in nulliparae. The medial amygdala and regions of the medial hypothalamus such as the anterior and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei have previously been shown to inhibit maternal behavior, in that lesions to these regions promote maternal responding. Furthermore, we have recently shown that these and other regions, such as the principal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, the ventral lateral septum, and the dorsal premammillary nucleus, show higher pup-induced Fos-immunoreactivity in non-maternal rats exposed to pups than during the performance of maternal behavior, indicating that they too could be involved in preventing maternal responsiveness. The current study tested whether the medial amygdala projects to the anterior/ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei in a neural circuit that inhibits maternal behavior, as well as to see what other brain regions could participate in this circuit. Bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the medial amygdala, or of the anterior/ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei, promoted maternal behavior. Unilateral medial amygdala lesions caused a reduction of pup-induced Fos-immunoreactivity in the anterior/ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei in non-maternal rats ipsilateral to the lesion, as well as in the principal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, ventral lateral septum, and dorsal premammillary nucleus. Finally, unilateral medial amygdala lesions paired with contralateral anterior/ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei lesions promoted maternal behavior, although ipsilateral lesion placements were also effective.Together, these results indicate that the medial amygdala projects to the anterior/ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei in a neural circuit that inhibits maternal behavior, and that

  14. 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

  15. Ethanol untangles the amygdala-anxiety circuit through tonic GABA inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Marvin R; Morton, Russell A

    2014-03-01

    The central amygdala (CeA) has a unique role in integrating stress and the rewarding effects of ethanol (EtOH) and plays a major role in the development of EtOH dependence via signaling of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). A recent report by Herman and colleagues (2013) entitled "Novel Subunit-Specific Tonic GABA Currents and Differential Effects of Ethanol in the Central Amygdala of CRF Receptor-1 Reporter Mice" is the first study to investigate inhibitory tonic currents in relation to CRF signaling in the CeA. The findings of that study significantly enhance our understanding of inhibitory tonic currents in the CeA and give insight into how EtOH may differentially affect CRF signaling within the CeA, leading to the development of EtOH dependence. This commentary will focus on the recent findings of Herman and colleagues and will discuss the effects of EtOH on the entire anxiety/emotion circuitry. PMID:24224844

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

  18. 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.

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

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

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    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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Altered cerebellar-amygdala connectivity in violent offenders: A resting-state fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leutgeb, Verena; Wabnegger, Albert; Leitner, Mario; Zussner, Thomas; Scharmüller, Wilfried; Klug, Doris; Schienle, Anne

    2016-01-01

    It has repeatedly been reported, that there are differences in grey matter volume (GMV) between violent offenders and non-violent controls. However, it remains unclear, if structural brain abnormalities influence resting-state functional connectivity (RS-fc) between brain regions. Therefore, in the present investigation, 31 male high-risk violent prisoners were compared to 30 non-criminal controls with respect to RS-fc between brain areas. Seed regions for resting-state analysis were selected based on GMV differences between the two groups. Overall, inmates had more GMV in the cerebellum than controls and revealed higher RS-fc between the cerebellum and the amygdala. In contrast, controls relative to prisoners showed higher RS-fc between the cerebellum and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). In addition, controls showed more GMV in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Inmates relative to controls had higher RS-fc within the DLPFC. Results are discussed with respect to cerebellar contributions to a brain network underlying moral behavior and violence. Enhanced cerebellar-amygdala connectivity in violent offenders might reflect alterations in the processing of moral emotions. Heightened functional connectivity between cerebellar hemispheres and the OFC in controls could be a correlate of enhanced emotion regulation capacities. Higher functional intra-DLPFC connectivity in violent offenders might represent an effort to regulate emotions. PMID:26523791

  6. Yohimbine-induced amygdala activation in pathological gamblers: a pilot study.

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    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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. PMID:27018173

  10. The interplay between the hippocampus and the amygdala in regulating aberrant hippocampal neurogenesis during protracted abstinence from alcohol dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Basolateral Amygdala Projections to Ventral Hippocampus Modulate the Consolidation of Footshock, but Not Contextual, Learning in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  12. Chronic Nicotine Exposure Induces a Long-Lasting and Pathway-Specific Facilitation of LTP in the Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yan-You; Kandel, Eric R.; Levine, Amir

    2008-01-01

    Nicotine, in the form of tobacco, is the most commonly used drug of abuse. In addition to its rewarding properties, nicotine also affects many cognitive and emotional processes that involve several brain regions, including hippocampus and amygdala. Long-term changes in synaptic strength in these brain regions after drug exposure may be importantly…

  13. 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.…

  14. 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

  15. A link between serotonin-related gene polymorphisms, amygdala activity, and placebo-induced relief from social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Jarome

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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  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. Repeated restraint stress exerts different impact on structure of neurons in the lateral and basal nuclei of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padival, M A; Blume, S R; Rosenkranz, J A

    2013-08-29

    Chronic stress exacerbates and can induce symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. Chronic stress causes amygdala hyperactivity, which may contribute to these detrimental effects. One potential mechanism for amygdala hyperactivity is an increase of excitatory drive after stress. Excitatory inputs to the amygdala predominantly synapse upon dendritic spines, and repeated stress has been demonstrated to increase dendritic spines in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). However, the BLA is comprised of several nuclei, including the lateral nucleus (LAT) and the basal nucleus (BA), which exert functionally distinct roles in amygdala-dependent behaviors. Furthermore, while an increase of dendritic spines can impart significant functional ramifications, a shift of spine distribution can also exert significant impact. However, differences in the effects of repeated stress on LAT and BA have not been examined, nor differential effects on spine distribution. This study examined the effects of repeated restraint stress on dendritic structure of principal neurons from the LAT and BA in Golgi-stained tissue. This study found that repeated stress increased spine number in LAT and BA, but in very distinct patterns, with proximal increases in LAT neurons and non-proximal increases in BA neurons. Furthermore, repeated stress increased dendritic length in the BA, but not the LAT, leading to a global change of spine density in BA, but a focal change in LAT. These distinct effects of repeated stress in the LAT and BA may exert significant functional effects on fear behavior, and may underlie differences in the effects of repeated stress on acquisition, contextual modulation and extinction of fear behavior. PMID:23660193

  4. 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

  5. Orexin gene transfer into the amygdala suppresses both spontaneous and emotion-induced cataplexy in orexin-knockout mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meng; Blanco-Centurion, Carlos; Konadhode, Roda Rani; Luan, Liju; Shiromani, Priyattam J

    2016-03-01

    Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder linked to the loss of orexin-producing neurons in the hypothalamus. Cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone during waking, is an important distinguishing symptom of narcolepsy and it is often triggered by strong emotions. The neural circuit underlying cataplexy attacks is not known, but is likely to involve the amygdala, a region implicated in regulating emotions. In mice models of narcolepsy, transfer of the orexin gene into surrogate neurons has been successful in ameliorating narcoleptic symptoms. However, it is not known whether this method also blocks cataplexy triggered by strong emotions. To examine this possibility, the gene encoding mouse prepro-orexin was transferred into amygdala neurons of orexin-knockout (KO) mice (rAAV-orexin; n = 8). Orexin-KO mice that did not receive gene transfer (no-rAAV; n = 7) or received only the reporter gene (rAAV-GFP; n = 7) served as controls. Three weeks later, the animal's sleep and behaviour were recorded at night (no-odour control night), followed by another recording at night in the presence of predator odour (odour night). Orexin-KO mice given the orexin gene transfer into surrogate amygdala neurons had significantly less spontaneous bouts of cataplexy, and predator odour did not induce cataplexy compared with control mice. Moreover, the mice with orexin gene transfer were awake more during the odour night. These results demonstrate that orexin gene transfer into amygdala neurons can suppress both spontaneous and emotion-induced cataplexy attacks in narcoleptic mice. It suggests that manipulating amygdala pathways is a potential strategy for treating cataplexy in narcolepsy. PMID:26741960

  6. 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

  7. Control of stress-induced persistent anxiety by an extra-amygdala septohypothalamic circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, Todd E; Dee, Nick; Bernard, Amy; Lerchner, Walter; Heintz, Nathaniel; Anderson, David J

    2014-01-30

    The extended amygdala has dominated research on the neural circuitry of fear and anxiety, but the septohippocampal axis also plays an important role. The lateral septum (LS) is thought to suppress fear and anxiety through its outputs to the hypothalamus. However, this structure has not yet been dissected using modern tools. The type 2 CRF receptor (Crfr2) marks a subset of LS neurons whose functional connectivity we have investigated using optogenetics. Crfr2(+) cells include GABAergic projection neurons that connect with the anterior hypothalamus. Surprisingly, we find that these LS outputs enhance stress-induced behavioral measures of anxiety. Furthermore, transient activation of Crfr2(+) neurons promotes, while inhibition suppresses, persistent anxious behaviors. LS Crfr2(+) outputs also positively regulate circulating corticosteroid levels. These data identify a subset of LS projection neurons that promote, rather than suppress, stress-induced behavioral and endocrinological dimensions of persistent anxiety states and provide a cellular point of entry to LS circuitry. PMID:24485458

  8. Sex differences in Gadd45b expression and methylation in the developing rodent amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kigar, Stacey L; Chang, Liza; Hayne, Margaret R; Karls, Nicolette T; Auger, Anthony P

    2016-07-01

    Precise spatiotemporal epigenetic regulation of the genome facilitates species-typical development; sexual differentiation of the brain by gonadal hormones and sex chromosomes causes extensive epigenetic reprogramming of many cells in the body, including the brain, and may indirectly predispose males and females to different psychiatric conditions. We and others have demonstrated sex differences in DNA methylation, as well as in the enzymes that form, or 'write', this epigenetic modification. However, while a growing body of evidence suggests that DNA methylation undergoes rapid turnover and is dynamically regulated in vivo, to our knowledge no studies have been done investigating whether sex differences exist in the epigenetic 'erasers' during postnatal development. Here we report sex differences in the expression of growth arrest and DNA damage inducible factor β (Gadd45b), but not family members α (a) or γ (g), in the neonatal and juvenile rodent amygdala. PMID:27086974

  9. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Morten; Ratner, Cecilia; Rudenko, Olga;

    2016-01-01

    overexpression on anxiety-related behavior before and after acute stress and measured the modulation of serotonin receptor expression. RESULTS: We found that ghrelin caused an anxiolytic-like effect in both the open field and elevated plus maze tests. Additionally, it attenuated air-puff induced stress in the......BACKGROUND: Besides the well-known effects of ghrelin on adiposity and food intake regulation, the ghrelin system has been shown to regulate aspects of behavior including anxiety and stress. However, the effect of virus-mediated overexpression of the ghrelin receptor in the amygdala has not...... previously been addressed directly. METHOD: First, we examined the acute effect of peripheral ghrelin administration on anxiety- and depression-like behavior using the open field, elevated plus maze, forced swim and tail suspension tests. Next, we examined the effect of peripheral ghrelin administration and...

  11. 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.

  12. A recurrent network in the lateral amygdala: a mechanism for coincidence detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic changes at sensory inputs to the dorsal nucleus of the lateral amygdala (LAd play a key role in the acquisition and storage of associative fear memory. However, neither the temporal nor spatial architecture of the LAd network response to sensory signals is understood. We developed a method for the elucidation of network behavior. Using this approach, temporally patterned polysynaptic recurrent network responses were found in LAd (intra-LA, both in vitro and in vivo, in response to activation of thalamic sensory afferents. Potentiation of thalamic afferents resulted in a depression of intra-LA synaptic activity, indicating a homeostatic response to changes in synaptic strength within the LAd network. Additionally; the latencies of thalamic afferent triggered recurrent network activity within the LAd overlap with known later occurring cortical afferent latencies. Thus, this recurrent network may facilitate temporal coincidence of sensory afferents within LAd during associative learning.

  13. 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

  14. The basolateral amygdala γ-aminobutyric acidergic system in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, Eric M; Bergstrom, Hadley C; Wynn, Gary H; Braga, Maria F M

    2016-06-01

    The brain comprises an excitatory/inhibitory neuronal network that maintains a finely tuned balance of activity critical for normal functioning. Excitatory activity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a brain region that plays a central role in emotion and motivational processing, is tightly regulated by a relatively small population of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibitory neurons. Disruption in GABAergic inhibition in the BLA can occur when there is a loss of local GABAergic interneurons, an alteration in GABAA receptor activation, or a dysregulation of mechanisms that modulate BLA GABAergic inhibition. Disruptions in GABAergic control of the BLA emerge during development, in aging populations, or after trauma, ultimately resulting in hyperexcitability. BLA hyperexcitability manifests behaviorally as an increase in anxiety, emotional dysregulation, or development of seizure activity. This Review discusses the anatomy, development, and physiology of the GABAergic system in the BLA and circuits that modulate GABAergic inhibition, including the dopaminergic, serotonergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic systems. We highlight how alterations in various neurotransmitter receptors, including the acid-sensing ion channel 1a, cannabinoid receptor 1, and glutamate receptor subtypes, expressed on BLA interneurons, modulate GABAergic transmission and how defects of these systems affect inhibitory tonus within the BLA. Finally, we discuss alterations in the BLA GABAergic system in neurodevelopmental (autism/fragile X syndrome) and neurodegenerative (Alzheimer's disease) diseases and after the development of epilepsy, anxiety, and traumatic brain injury. A more complete understanding of the intrinsic excitatory/inhibitory circuit balance of the amygdala and how imbalances in inhibitory control contribute to excessive BLA excitability will guide the development of novel therapeutic approaches in neuropsychiatric diseases. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26586374

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Cortico-amygdala coupling as a marker of early relapse risk in cocaine-addicted individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MeredithJMchugh

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Addiction to cocaine is a chronic condition characterized by high rates of early relapse. This study builds on efforts to identify neural markers of relapse risk by studying resting state functional connectivity (rsFC in neural circuits arising from the amygdala; a brain region implicated in relapse-related processes including craving and reactivity to stress following acute and protracted withdrawal from cocaine. Whole-brain resting-state fMRI connectivity (6 min was assessed in 45 cocaine-addicted individuals and 22 healthy controls. Cocaine-addicted individuals completed scans in the final week of a residential treatment episode. To approximate preclinical models of relapse-related circuitry separate seeds were derived for the left and right basolateral (BLA and corticomedial (CMA amygdala. Participants also completed the Iowa Gambling Task, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Cocaine Craving Questionnaire, Obsessive Compulsive Cocaine Use scale, Temperament and Character Inventory and the NEO-PI-R. Relapse within the first 30 days post-treatment (n = 24 was associated with reduced rsFC between the left CMA and ventromedial prefrontal cortex/rostral anterior cingulate cortex (vmPFC/rACC relative to cocaine-addicted individuals who remained abstinent (non-relapse, n = 21. Non-relapse participants evidenced reduced rsFC between the bilateral BLA and visual processing regions (lingual gyrus/cuneus compared to controls and relapsed participants. Early relapse was associated with fewer years of education but unrelated to trait reactivity to stress, neurocognitive and clinical characteristics or cocaine use history. Findings suggest that rsFC within neural circuits implicated in preclinical models of relapse may provide a promising marker of relapse risk in cocaine-addicted individuals. Future efforts to replicate the current findings and alter connectivity within these circuits may yield novel interventions and improve treatment outcomes.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Abnormal left-sided orbitomedial prefrontal cortical-amygdala connectivity during happy and fear face processing: a potential neural mechanism of female MDD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JorgeAlmeida

    2011-12-01

    Conclusions: Different patterns of abnormal prefrontal cortical-amygdala connectivity to happy and fearful stimuli might represent neural mechanisms for the excessive self-reproach and comorbid anxiety that characterize female MDD.

  1. 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

  2. Inhibition of the amygdala central nucleus by stimulation of cerebellar output in rats: a putative mechanism for extinction of the conditioned fear response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magal, Ari; Mintz, Matti

    2014-11-01

    The amygdala and the cerebellum serve two distinctively different functions. The amygdala plays a role in the expression of emotional information, whereas the cerebellum is involved in the timing of discrete motor responses. Interaction between these two systems is the basis of the two-stage theory of learning, according to which an encounter with a challenging event triggers fast classical conditioning of fear-conditioned responses in the amygdala and slow conditioning of motor-conditioned responses in the cerebellum. A third stage was hypothesised when an apparent interaction between amygdala and cerebellar associative plasticity was observed: an adaptive rate of cerebellum-dependent motor-conditioned responses was associated with a decrease in amygdala-dependent fear-conditioned responses, and was interpreted as extinction of amygdala-related fear-conditioned responses by the cerebellar output. To explore this hypothesis, we mimicked some components of classical eyeblink conditioning in anesthetised rats by applying an aversive periorbital pulse as an unconditioned stimulus and a train of pulses to the cerebellar output nuclei as a cerebellar neuronal-conditioned response. The central amygdala multiple unit response to the periorbital pulse was measured with or without a preceding train to the cerebellar output nuclei. The results showed that activation of the cerebellar output nuclei prior to periorbital stimulation produced diverse patterns of inhibition of the amygdala response to the periorbital aversive stimulus, depending upon the nucleus stimulated, the laterality of the nucleus stimulated, and the stimulus interval used. These results provide a putative extinction mechanism of learned fear behavior, and could have implications for the treatment of pathologies involving abnormal fear responses by using motor training as therapy. PMID:25185877

  3. Central amygdala opioid transmission is necessary for increased high-fat intake following 24-h food deprivation, but not following intra-accumbens opioid administration

    OpenAIRE

    Parker, Kyle E.; Johns, Howard W.; Floros, Ted G.; Will, Matthew J.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated a dissociation of certain neural mediators that contribute to the increased consumption of a high-fat diet that follows intra-accumbens (Acb) administration of µ-opioid receptor agonists vs. 24-h food deprivation. These two models, both which induce rapid consumption of the diet, have been shown to involve a distributed corticolimbic circuitry, including the amygdala. Specifically, the central amygdala (CeA) has been shown to be involved in high-fat feeding ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. NMDA Receptor Antagonism in the Lateral/Basolateral but Not Central Nucleus of the Amygdala Prevents the Induction of Facilitated Learning in Response to Stress

    OpenAIRE

    Shors, Tracey J.; Mathew, Pramod R.

    1998-01-01

    Exposure to an acute stressful event facilitates classical eye-blink conditioning in the male rat. The facilitation persists for days after the stressor and its induction is prevented by antagonism of the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) type of glutamate receptor. To determine whether NMDA receptor antagonists prevent the facilitated conditioning by activity in the amygdala, a competitive antagonist, AP5, was injected bilaterally into the lateral/basolateral versus central nuclei of the amygdala....

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Søren Hofman Oliveira; Olesen, Mikkel Vestergaard; Gøtzsche, Casper René; Woldbye, David Paul Drucker

    2014-01-01

    Neuropeptide Y (NPY) causes anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects after central administration in rodents. These effects could theoretically be utilized in future gene therapy for anxiety and depression using viral vectors for induction of overexpression of NPY in specific brain regions....... Using a recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vector, we addressed this idea by testing effects on anxiolytic- and depression-like behaviours in adult mice after overexpression of NPY transgene in the amygdala and/or hippocampus, two brain regions implicated in emotional behaviours. In the amygdala......, injections of rAAV-NPY caused significant anxiolytic-like effect in the open field, elevated plus maze, and light-dark transition tests. In the hippocampus, rAAV-NPY treatment was associated with anxiolytic-like effect only in the elevated plus maze. No additive effect was observed after combined r...

  12. 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

  13. Intergenerational transmission of emotional trauma through amygdala-dependent mother-to-infant transfer of specific fear

    OpenAIRE

    Debiec, Jacek; Sullivan, Regina Marie

    2014-01-01

    Despite clinical evidence that specific fear is transmitted across generations, we have little understanding of mechanisms. Here, we model social transmission of mother-to-infant fear in rodents. We show that maternal fear responses to a conditioned fear odor are sufficient to induce robust fear learning throughout infancy, with robust retention. Assessment of mechanism showed that maternal fear expression increases pups’ stress hormone corticosterone and amygdala activation to induce this cu...

  14. A Unified Kernel Regression for Diffusion Wavelets on Manifolds Detects Aging-Related Changes in the Amygdala and Hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    Chung, Moo K.; Schaefer, Stacey M.; van Reekum, Carien M.; Peschke-Schmitz, Lara; Sutterer, Mattew J.; Davidson, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    We present a new unified kernel regression framework on manifolds. Starting with a symmetric positive definite kernel, we formulate a new bivariate kernel regression framework that is related to heat diffusion, kernel smoothing and recently popular diffusion wavelets. Various properties and performance of the proposed kernel regression framework are demonstrated. The method is subsequently applied in investigating the influence of age and gender on the human amygdala and hippocampus shapes. W...

  15. Amygdala activation during emotional face processing in adolescents with affective disorders: the role of underlying depression and anxiety symptoms

    OpenAIRE

    van den Bulk, Bianca G.; Meens, Paul H. F.; van Lang, Natasja D. J.; de Voogd, E. L.; van der Wee, Nic J. A.; Rombouts, Serge A.R.B.; Crone, Eveline A; Vermeiren, Robert R.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Depressive 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 cont...

  16. The Basolateral Amygdala Determines the Effects of Fear Memory on Sleep in an Animal Model of PTSD

    OpenAIRE

    Wellman, Laurie L.; Fitzpatrick, Mairen E.; Machida, Mayumi; Sanford, Larry D.

    2014-01-01

    Fear conditioning (inescapable shock training (ST)) and fearful context re-exposure (CR) alone can produce significant fear indicated by increased freezing and reductions in subsequent REM sleep. Damage to or inactivation of the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) prior to or after ST or prior to CR generally has been found to attenuate freezing in the shock training context. However, no one has examined the impact of BLA inactivation on fear-induced changes in sleep. Here, we used the ...

  17. Serotonergic responses to stress are enhanced in the central amygdala and inhibited in the ventral hippocampus during amphetamine withdrawal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hao; Scholl, Jamie L; Tu, Wenyu; Hassell, James E; Watt, Michael J; Forster, Gina L; Renner, Kenneth J

    2014-12-01

    Withdrawal from amphetamine increases anxiety and reduces the ability to cope with stress, which are factors that are believed to contribute to drug relapse. Stress-induced serotonergic transmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala is associated with anxiety states and fear. Conversely, stress-induced increases in ventral hippocampal serotonin (5-HT) levels have been linked to coping mechanisms. The goal of this study was to investigate the neurobiological changes induced by amphetamine that contribute to stress sensitivity during withdrawal. We tested the hypothesis that limbic serotonergic responses to restraint stress would be altered in male Sprague-Dawley rats chronically pretreated with amphetamine (2.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) and then subjected to 2 weeks of withdrawal. Amphetamine withdrawal resulted in increased stress-induced behavioral arousal relative to control treatment, suggesting that drug withdrawal induced greater sensitivity to the stressor. When microdialysis was used to determine the effects of restraint on extracellular 5-HT, stress-induced increases in 5-HT levels were abolished in the ventral hippocampus and augmented in the central amygdala during amphetamine withdrawal. Reverse dialysis of the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone into the ventral hippocampus blocked the stress-induced increase in 5-HT levels in saline-pretreated rats, suggesting that glucocorticoid receptors mediate stress-induced increases in 5-HT levels in the ventral hippocampus. However, mifepristone had no effect on stress-induced increases in 5-HT levels in the central amygdala, indicating that stress increases 5-HT levels in this region independently of glucocorticoid receptors. During amphetamine withdrawal, the absence of stress-induced increases in ventral hippocampal 5-HT levels combined with enhanced stress-induced serotonergic responses in the central amygdala may contribute to drug relapse by decreasing stress-coping ability and heightening

  18. Serotonergic responses to stress are enhanced in the central amygdala and inhibited in the ventral hippocampus during amphetamine withdrawal

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Hao; Scholl, Jamie L.; Tu, Wenyu; Hassell, James; Watt, Michael J.; Forster, Gina L.; Renner, Kenneth J.

    2014-01-01

    Withdrawal from amphetamine increases anxiety and reduces the ability to cope with stress, factors that are believed to contribute to drug relapse. Stress-induced serotonergic transmission in the central nucleus of the amygdala is associated with anxiety states and fear. Conversely, increases in stress-induced ventral hippocampal serotonin have been linked to coping mechanisms. The goal of this study is to understand neurobiological changes induced by amphetamine that contribute to stress-sen...

  19. 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...

  20. Input-specific synaptic plasticity in the amygdala is regulated by neuroligin-1 via postsynaptic NMDA receptors

    OpenAIRE

    Jung, Sang-Yong; Kim, Juhyun; Kwon, Oh Bin; Jung, Jung Hoon; An, Kyongman; Jeong, A Young; Lee, C. Justin; Choi, Yun-Beom; Bailey, Craig H.; Kandel, Eric R.; Kim, Joung-Hun

    2010-01-01

    Despite considerable evidence for a critical role of neuroligin-1 in the specification of excitatory synapses, the cellular mechanisms and physiological roles of neuroligin-1 in mature neural circuits are poorly understood. In mutant mice deficient in neuroligin-1, or adult rats in which neuroligin-1 was depleted, we have found that neuroligin-1 stabilizes the NMDA receptors residing in the postsynaptic membrane of amygdala principal neurons, which allows for a normal range of NMDA receptor-m...

  1. 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...

  2. Noradrenergic activation of the basolateral amygdala enhances object recognition memory and induces chromatin remodeling in the insular cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Beldjoud, Hassiba; Barsegyan, Areg; Roozendaal, Benno

    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 BLA effects on neural plasticity changes within other brain regions remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated whether noradrenergic activation of the BLA after object recognition train...

  3. The role of amygdala nuclei in the expression of auditory signaled two-way active avoidance in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, June-Seek; Cain, Christopher K.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2010-01-01

    Using a two-way signaled active avoidance (2-AA) learning procedure, where rats were trained in a shuttle box to avoid a footshock signaled by an auditory stimulus, we tested the contributions of the lateral (LA), basal (B), and central (CE) nuclei of the amygdala to the expression of instrumental active avoidance conditioned responses (CRs). Discrete or combined lesions of the LA and B, performed after the rats had reached an asymptotic level of avoidance performance, produced deficits in th...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Stimulation of the Basal and Central Amygdala in the Mustached Bat Triggers Echolocation and Agonistic Vocalizations within Multimodal Output

    OpenAIRE

    JagmeetSKanwal

    2014-01-01

    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 uncl...

  9. Differential regulation of Neuropeptide Y (NPY in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex during recovery from chronic variable stress (CVS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Lynne McGuire

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence from clinical studies and pre-clinical animal models supports a role for neuropeptide Y (NPY in adaptive emotional response following stress. The long-term impact of stress, particularly chronic stress, on availability and function of resilience factors such as NPY may be critical to understanding the etiology of stress-related psychopathology. In these studies, we examined expression of NPY during recovery from a chronic variable stress (CVS model of repetitive trauma in rats. Due to the importance of amygdala and prefrontal cortex in regulating emotional responses, we predicted chronic changes in NPY expression could contribute to persistent behavioral deficits seen in this model. Consistent with the hypothesis, ELISA for NPY peptide identified a significant reduction in NPY at the delayed (7 days recovery timepoint. Interestingly, a significant increase in prefrontal NPY was observed at the same recovery timepoint.. The mRNA expression for NPY was not changed in the amygdala or PFC, although there was a modest but not statistically significant increase in NPY mRNA at the delayed recovery timepoint in the prefrontal cortex. The observed changes in NPY expression are consistent with maladaptive coping and enhanced emotionality, due to the nature of NPY signaling within these respective regions, and the nature of reciprocal connections between amygdala and prefrontal cortex.

  10. Altered Resting-State Amygdala Functional Connectivity after Real-Time fMRI Emotion Self-Regulation Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. Morphine Reduces Expression of TRPV1 Receptors in the Amygdala but not in the Hippocampus of Male Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham Hakimizadeh

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Chronic use of opioids usually results in physical dependence. The underlying mechanisms for this dependence are still being evaluated. Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1 are important receptors of pain perception. Their role during opioid dependence has not been studied well. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of morphine-dependence on the expression of TRPV1 receptors in the amygdala and CA1 region of the hippocampus. Methods: This study used four groups of rats. Two groups of rats (morphine and morphine+naloxone received morphine based on the following protocol: 10 mg/kg (twice daily, 3 days followed by 20, 30, 40 and 50 mg/kg (twice daily, respectively, for 4 consecutive days. Another group received vehicle (1 ml/kg instead of morphine given using the same schedule. The morphine+naloxone group of rats additionally received naloxone (5 mg/kg at the end of the protocol. The control group rats received no injections or intervention. The amygdala and CA1 regions of the morphine, saline-treated and intact animals were isolated and prepared for real-time PCR analysis. Results: Administration of naloxone induced withdrawal signs in morphine-treated animals. The results showed a significant decrease in TRPV1 gene expression in the amygdala (P<0.05 but not the CA1 region of morphine dependent rats. Conclusion: TRPV1 receptors may be involved in morphine-induced dependence.

  12. Neural activity during self-referential working memory and the underlying role of the amygdala in social anxiety disorder.

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    Yoon, Hyung-Jun; Kim, Jin Seong; Shin, Yu-Bin; Choi, Soo-Hee; Lee, Seung-Koo; Kim, Jae-Jin

    2016-08-01

    Self-referential processing, theory of mind, and working memory are distorted in social anxiety disorder (SAD). This study aimed to investigate characteristics of altered self-referential working memory processing and resting-state functional connectivity in patients with SAD. Twenty patients and 20 healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at resting-state and while performing a working memory task containing faces with self-referential positive or negative comments and three memory phases (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval). Task-related results were compared between groups and tested for correlations. Resting-state connectivity between amygdala subregions and regions showing a task-related difference was also compared between groups. Patients compared to controls showed augmented memory for the negative comments, hyperactivation of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal junction during encoding, and hypoactivation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and insula during retrieval. At resting-state, increased connectivity of amygdala subregions with multiple task-related regions was found in patients. These findings suggest that the encoding process in SAD is accompanied by altered involvement of self-referential processing and theory of mind, whereas the retrieval process reflects impaired cognitive control. These memory-related processing may be affected by predisposing resting-state hyperconnectivity with the amygdala, and may underlie a hypersensitivity to negative comments and post-event reflection in SAD. PMID:27260987

  13. Stimulation of the Basal and Central Amygdala in the Mustached Bat Triggers Echolocation and Agonistic Vocalizations within Multimodal Output

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    JagmeetSKanwal

    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.

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

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    Zhiguo Nie

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Determination of the rCBF in the Amygdala and Rhinal Cortex Using a FAIR-TrueFISP Sequence

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    Ludescher, Burkhard; Martirosian, Petros; Klose, Uwe; Naegele, Thomas; Schick, Fritz; Ernemann, Ulrike [Eberhard-Karls-University, Tuebingen (Germany)

    2011-10-15

    Brain perfusion can be assessed non-invasively by modern arterial spin labeling MRI. The FAIR (flow-sensitive alternating inversion recovery)-TrueFISP (true fast imaging in steady precession) technique was applied for regional assessment of cerebral blood flow in brain areas close to the skull base, since this approach provides low sensitivity to magnetic susceptibility effects. The investigation of the rhinal cortex and the amygdala is a potentially important feature for the diagnosis and research on dementia in its early stages. Twenty-three subjects with no structural or psychological impairment were investigated. FAIR-True-FISP quantitative perfusion data were evaluated in the amygdala on both sides and in the pons. A preparation of the radiofrequency FOCI (frequency offset corrected inversion) pulse was used for slice selective inversion. After a time delay of 1.2 sec, data acquisition began. Imaging slice thickness was 5 mm and inversion slab thickness for slice selective inversion was 12.5 mm. Image matrix size for perfusion images was 64 X 64 with a field of view of 256 X 256 mm, resulting in a spatial resolution of 4 X 4 X 5 mm. Repetition time was 4.8 ms; echo time was 2.4 ms. Acquisition time for the 50 sets of FAIR images was 6:56 min. Data were compared with perfusion data from the literature. Perfusion values in the right amygdala, left amygdala and pons were 65.2 ({+-} 18.2) mL/100 g/minute, 64.6 ({+-} 21.0) mL/100 g/minute, and 74.4 ({+-} 19.3) mL/100 g/minute, respectively. These values were higher than formerly published data using continuous arterial spin labeling but similar to 15O-PET (oxygen-15 positron emission tomography) data. The FAIR-TrueFISP approach is feasible for the quantitative assessment of perfusion in the amygdala. Data are comparable with formerly published data from the literature. The applied technique provided excellent image quality, even for brain regions located at the skull base in the vicinity of marked susceptibility

  16. Maternal separation enhances conditioned fear and decreases the mRNA levels of the neurotensin receptor 1 gene with hypermethylation of this gene in the rat amygdala.

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    Hiroyuki Toda

    Full Text Available Stress during postnatal development is associated with an increased risk for depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse later in life, almost as if mental illness is able to be programed by early life stressors. Recent studies suggest that such "programmed" effects can be caused by epigenetic regulation. With respect to conditioned fear, previous studies have indicated that early life stress influences its development in adulthood, whereas no potential role of epigenetic regulation has been reported. Neurotensin (NTS is an endogenous neuropeptide that has receptors densely located in the amygdala and hippocampus. Recently, NTS systems have constituted an emerging target for the treatment of anxiety. The aim of the present work is to clarify whether the NTS system is involved in the disturbance of conditioned fear in rats stressed by maternal separation (MS. The results showed that MS enhanced freezing behaviors in fear-conditioned stress and reduced the gene expression of NTS receptor (NTSR 1 but not of NTS or NTSR2 in the amygdalas of adult rats. The microinjection of a NTSR1 antagonist into the amygdala increased the percentage of freezing in conditioned fear, whereas the microinjection of NTSR1 agonist decreased freezing. These results suggest that NTSR1 in the amygdala may play a role in the effects of MS on conditioned fear stress in adult rats. Moreover, MS increased DNA methylation in the promoter region of NTSR1 in the amygdala. Taken together, MS may leave epigenetic marks in the NTSR1 gene in the amygdala, which may enhance conditioned fear in adulthood. The MS-induced alternations of DNA methylation in the promoter region of NTSR1 in the amygdala may be associated with vulnerability to the development of anxiety disorders and depression in adulthood.

  17. Dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity in an amygdala inhibitory circuit controls fear memory expression.

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    Lee, Joo Han; Kim, Joung-Hun

    2016-01-01

    Of the numerous events that occur in daily life, we readily remember salient information, but do not retain most less-salient events for a prolonged period. Although some of the episodes contain putatively emotional aspects, the information with lower saliency is rarely stored in neural circuits via an unknown mechanism. We provided substantial evidence indicating that synaptic plasticity in the dorsal ITC of amygdala allows for selective storage of salient emotional experiences, while it deters less-salient experience from entering long-term memory. After activation of D4R or weak fear conditioning, STDP stimulation induces LTD in the LA-ITC synapses. This form of LTD is dependent upon presynaptic D4R, and is likely to result from enhancement of GABA release. Both optogenetic abrogation of LTD and ablation of D4R at the dorsal ITC in vivo lead to heightened and over-generalized fear responses. Finally, we demonstrated that LTD was impaired at the dorsal ITC of PTSD model mice, which suggests that maladaptation of GABAergic signaling and the resultant LTD impairment contribute to the endophenotypes of PTSD. PMID:26674344

  18. FAAH genetic variation enhances fronto-amygdala function in mouse and human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dincheva, Iva; Drysdale, Andrew T; Hartley, Catherine A; Johnson, David C; Jing, Deqiang; King, Elizabeth C; Ra, Stephen; Gray, J Megan; Yang, Ruirong; DeGruccio, Ann Marie; Huang, Chienchun; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Glatt, Charles E; Hill, Matthew N; Casey, B J; Lee, Francis S

    2015-01-01

    Cross-species studies enable rapid translational discovery and produce the broadest impact when both mechanism and phenotype are consistent across organisms. We developed a knock-in mouse that biologically recapitulates a common human mutation in the gene for fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) (C385A; rs324420), the primary catabolic enzyme for the endocannabinoid anandamide. This common polymorphism impacts the expression and activity of FAAH, thereby increasing anandamide levels. Here, we show that the genetic knock-in mouse and human variant allele carriers exhibit parallel alterations in biochemisty, neurocircuitry and behaviour. Specifically, there is reduced FAAH expression associated with the variant allele that selectively enhances fronto-amygdala connectivity and fear extinction learning, and decreases anxiety-like behaviours. These results suggest a gain of function in fear regulation and may indicate for whom and for what anxiety symptoms FAAH inhibitors or exposure-based therapies will be most efficacious, bridging an important translational gap between the mouse and human. PMID:25731744

  19. Histamine in the basolateral amygdala promotes inhibitory avoidance learning independently of hippocampus.

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    Benetti, Fernando; Furini, Cristiane Regina Guerino; de Carvalho Myskiw, Jociane; Provensi, Gustavo; Passani, Maria Beatrice; Baldi, Elisabetta; Bucherelli, Corrado; Munari, Leonardo; Izquierdo, Ivan; Blandina, Patrizio

    2015-05-12

    Recent discoveries demonstrated that recruitment of alternative brain circuits permits compensation of memory impairments following damage to brain regions specialized in integrating and/or storing specific memories, including both dorsal hippocampus and basolateral amygdala (BLA). Here, we first report that the integrity of the brain histaminergic system is necessary for long-term, but not for short-term memory of step-down inhibitory avoidance (IA). Second, we found that phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) responsive-element-binding protein, a crucial mediator in long-term memory formation, correlated anatomically and temporally with histamine-induced memory retrieval, showing the active involvement of histamine function in CA1 and BLA in different phases of memory consolidation. Third, we found that exogenous application of histamine in either hippocampal CA1 or BLA of brain histamine-depleted rats, hence amnesic, restored long-term memory; however, the time frame of memory rescue was different for the two brain structures, short lived (immediately posttraining) for BLA, long lasting (up to 6 h) for the CA1. Moreover, long-term memory was formed immediately after training restoring of histamine transmission only in the BLA. These findings reveal the essential role of histaminergic neurotransmission to provide the brain with the plasticity necessary to ensure memorization of emotionally salient events, through recruitment of alternative circuits. Hence, our findings indicate that the histaminergic system comprises parallel, coordinated pathways that provide compensatory plasticity when one brain structure is compromised. PMID:25918368

  20. Social attachment in juvenile monkeys with neonatal lesion of the hippocampus, amygdala and orbital frontal cortex.

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    Goursaud, Anne-Pierre S; Bachevalier, Jocelyne

    2007-01-10

    Non-human primates, like humans, develop and maintain social relationships and attachments throughout their life. The first and most crucial relationship in a primate life is that with its mother. Yet, in absence of their biological mother, infant primates form attachment to surrogate mothers. Although, this early attachment is critical for the development of normal species-typical social and emotional skills, the neural substrates underlying the formation of social relationships in primates are still unclear. The present study assessed, in infant rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) reared by human caregivers and social interactions with peers, the effects of bilateral neonatal (1-2 weeks of age) ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala and hippocampus (N=6 in each group), aspiration lesions of the orbital frontal cortex (N=6) or sham lesions (N=5) on the development of a social attachment with the principal human caregiver. A specific preference for the later was assessed at 11 months of age, in a two-choice discrimination task, opposing the principal human caregiver to another familiar human, in a familiar environment. None of the lesions impaired the expression of preferential responses toward the principal human caregiver. Nevertheless, lesions of the orbital frontal cortex led to a weaker preference, suggesting that this structure may play a role in the quality and/or strength of the infant/mother relationships. The present non-human primate findings are discussed in terms of their relevance for autism. PMID:17084912

  1. Reorganization of Basolateral Amygdala-Subiculum Circuitry in Mouse Epilepsy Model

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    Dongliang eMa

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we investigated the reorganized basolateral amygdala (BLA-subiculum pathway in a status epilepticus (SE mouse model with epileptic episodes induced by pilocarpine. We have previously observed a dramatic loss of neurons in the CA1-3 fields of the hippocampus in epileptic mice. Herein, we observed a 43-57 % reduction in the number of neurons in the BLA of epileptic mice. However, injection of an anterograde tracer, Phaseolus vulgaris leucoagglutinin (PHA-L into the BLA indicated 25.63 % increase in the number of PHA-L-immunopositive terminal-like structures in the ventral subiculum (v-Sub of epileptic mice as compared to control mice. These data suggest that the projections from the basal nucleus at BLA to the vSub in epileptic mice are resistant to epilepsy-induced damage. Consequently, these epileptic mice exhibit partially impairment but not total loss of context-dependent fear memory. Epileptic mice also show increased c-Fos expression in the BLA and vSub when subjected to contextual memory test, suggesting the participation of these 2 brain areas in foot shock-dependent fear conditioning. These results indicate the presence of functional neural connections between the BLA-vSub regions that participate in learning and memory in epileptic mice.

  2. Leptin receptor expression in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala of conditioned taste aversion rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhen Han; Jian-Qun Yan; Guo-Gang Luo; Yong Liu; Yi-Li Wang

    2003-01-01

    AIM: To determine whether serum leptin level and the leptin receptor (OB-R) expression in the basolateral amygdala (BLA)change following conditioned taste aversion (CTA) formation.METHODS: The serum leptin concentration was measured by rat leptin RIA kit, long and short forms of leptin receptor (OB-Rb and OB-Ra) mRNA in the brain sections were examined by in situ hybridization (ISH) and the expression of OB-R was assessed by immunohistochemistry ABC method with a highly specific goat anti-OB-R antibody.RESULTS: The level of serum leptin didn't show significant difference between CTA and control group. Comparing with the control group, the CTA group had an increase on count of OB-R immunohistochemistry positive-stained cells in the BLA (127±12 vs 48±9 per 1 mm2). The OB-Rb mRNA expression level enhanced by 11.9 % in the BLA, while OBRa mRNA level increased by 7.4 % on the choroid plexus in CTA group. So BLA was supposed to be a region where interactions between gustatory and vagal signals take place.CONCLUSION: BLA is one of the sites, which are responsible for CTA formation in the brain. Leptin and OB-R maybe involved in neuronal communication for CTA. So leptin and its receptors probably take part in CTA and integration of autonomic and extroceptive information.

  3. Multinodular and vacuolating neuronal tumor affecting amygdala and hippocampus: A quasi-tumor?

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    Yamaguchi, Maki; Komori, Takashi; Nakata, Yasuhiro; Yagishita, Akira; Morino, Michiharu; Isozaki, Eiji

    2016-01-01

    Multinodular and vacuolating neuronal tumors (MVNT) have been referred to as distinctive neuronal tumors whose characteristic features include multiple nodules localized in the subcortical white matter. MVNT are composed of vacuolating dysplastic neurons reactive to HuC/HuD. A significant overexpression of alpha-internexin (INA) limited to the stroma of nodules was reported in one tumor. Since genetic analyses have failed to demonstrate any consistent alterations, the nosological position as well as the nature of MVNT, namely, neoplastic or dysplastic, remains unclear. We herein present another example of MVNT involving the amygdala and anterior hippocampus in a 41-year-old man. In addition to the nodular lesions described earlier, we found INA-positive ribbon-like lesions that replaced neuropil and extended along the hippocampal gray matter. We also identified dysplastic neurons infiltrating into the CA4 hilus of the hippocampus. Intense INA expression was present in the stroma as well as the cytoplasmic membrane of dysplastic neurons and their processes. While the invasiveness suggested a neoplasm, a relatively restrictive, either nodular or ribbon-like growth pattern with INA-positive abnormal neuropil suggested a hamartoma. Such quasi-tumors should be accommodated in the World Health Organization classification of tumors of the central nervous system, as are dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor and Lhermitte-Duclos disease. PMID:26644357

  4. Involvement of basolateral amygdala GABAA receptors in the effect of dexamethasone on memory in rats

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lotfollah KHAJEHPOUR; Acieh ALIZADEH-MAKVANDI; Mahnaz KESMATI; Hooman ESHAGH-HAROONI

    2011-01-01

    In this study we investigated whether GABAA receptors of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) interact with the effect of dexamethasone on the retrieval stage of memory.Adult male Wistar rats were bilaterally cannulated in the BLA by stereotaxic surgery.The animals were trained in step-through apparatus by induction of electric shock (1.5 mA,3 s) and were tested for memory retrieval after 1 d.The time of latency for entering the dark compartment of the instrument and the time spent by rats in this chamber were recorded for evaluation of the animals' retrieval in passive avoidance memory.Administration of dexamethasone (0.3 and 0.9 mg/kg,subcutaneously (s.c.)),immediately after training,enhanced memory retrieval.This effect was reduced by intra-BLA microinjection of muscimol (0.125,0.250 and 0.500 μg/rat),when administered before 0.9 mg/kg of dexamethasone.Microinjection of bicuculline (0.75 μg/rat,intra-BLA) with an ineffective dose of dexamethasone (0.1 mg/kg,s.c.) increased memory retrieval.However,the same doses of muscimol and bicuculline without dexamethasone did not affect memory processes.Our data support reports that dexamethasone enhances memory retrieval.It seems that GABAA receptors of the BLA mediate the effect of dexamethasone on memory retrieval in rats.

  5. Sex-specific processing of social cues in the medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergan, Joseph F; Ben-Shaul, Yoram; Dulac, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Animal-animal recognition within, and across species, is essential for predator avoidance and social interactions. Despite its essential role in orchestrating responses to animal cues, basic principles of information processing by the vomeronasal system are still unknown. The medial amygdala (MeA) occupies a central position in the vomeronasal pathway, upstream of hypothalamic centers dedicated to defensive and social responses. We have characterized sensory responses in the mouse MeA and uncovered emergent properties that shed new light onto the transformation of vomeronasal information into sex- and species-specific responses. In particular, we show that the MeA displays a degree of stimulus selectivity and a striking sexually dimorphic sensory representation that are not observed in the upstream relay of the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB). Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the development of sexually dimorphic circuits in the MeA requires steroid signaling near the time of puberty to organize the functional representation of sensory stimuli.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02743.001. PMID:24894465

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

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    Osvaldo eMirante

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available 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 a paired-pulse low-frequency stimulation can induce a robust LTD at thalamic and cortical inputs to LA, and we identify different underlying molecular components at these pathways. We show that while LTD depends on NMDARs and activation of the protein phosphatases PP2B and PP1 at both pathways, it requires NR2B-containing NMDARs at the thalamic pathway, but NR2C/D-containing NMDARs at the cortical pathway. LTD appears to be induced postsynaptically at the thalamic input but presynaptically at the cortical input, since postsynaptic calcium chelation and NMDAR blockade prevent thalamic but not cortical LTD. These results highlight distinct molecular features of LTD in LA that may be relevant for traumatic memory and its erasure, and for pathologies such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.

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

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    Yousef Mohamadi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 hypothesized damage to the nuclei of this circuit can cause reproductive dysfunctions. Therefore in this project we assessed diabetic effect on these nuclei. For this purpose neuron tracing technique and TUNEL assay were used. We injected HRP in the MPOA and counted labeled cells in the Me and BNST to evaluate the reduction of neurons in diabetic animals. Also, coronal sections were analyzed with the TMB histochemistry method. Animals in this study were adult male Wistar rats (230 ± 8g divided to control and 10-week streptozotocin-induced diabetic groups. After data analysis by SPSS 16 software, a significant reduction of HRP-labeled neurons was shown in both Me and BNST nuclei in the diabetic group. Moreover, apoptotic cells were significantly observed in diabetic animals in contrast to control the group. In conclusion, these alterations of the circuit as a result of diabetes might be one of the reasons for reproductive dysfunctions.

  8. Reduced amygdala and ventral striatal activity to happy faces in PTSD is associated with emotional numbing.

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    Kim L Felmingham

    Full Text Available There has been a growing recognition of the importance of reward processing in PTSD, yet little is known of the underlying neural networks. This study tested the predictions that (1 individuals with PTSD would display reduced responses to happy facial expressions in ventral striatal reward networks, and (2 that this reduction would be associated with emotional numbing symptoms. 23 treatment-seeking patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder were recruited from the treatment clinic at the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, Westmead Hospital, and 20 trauma-exposed controls were recruited from a community sample. We examined functional magnetic resonance imaging responses during the presentation of happy and neutral facial expressions in a passive viewing task. PTSD participants rated happy facial expression as less intense than trauma-exposed controls. Relative to controls, PTSD participants revealed lower activation to happy (-neutral faces in ventral striatum and and a trend for reduced activation in left amygdala. A significant negative correlation was found between emotional numbing symptoms in PTSD and right ventral striatal regions after controlling for depression, anxiety and PTSD severity. This study provides initial evidence that individuals with PTSD have lower reactivity to happy facial expressions, and that lower activation in ventral striatal-limbic reward networks may be associated with symptoms of emotional numbing.

  9. [Involvement of protein kinase C in NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation in rat amygdala.].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ai-Qin; Chen, Xiao-Chun; Zhou, Rui-Xiang; Wang, Wei

    2008-12-25

    The mechanism of long-term potentiation (LTP) in basolateral amygdala (BLA) was explored using field potential recording in rat brain slice preparation. Field potentials (field excitatory post-synaptic potentials, fEPSPs) in BLA were evoked with sharpened steel bipolar stimulating electrodes placed in the external capsule (EC). Two theta burst stimulations (TBS, interval=10 min) induced LTP in BLA. TBS-induced synaptic potentiation lasted for more than 30 min after the second TBS. LTP in BLA was input-specific and was blocked by N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV). The effect of protein kinase C (PKC) on LTP was then determined using PKC inhibitor chelerythrine chloride. Bath application of chelerythringe chloride had no effect on basic field potentials and paired-pulse ratio (PPR). However, in the presence of chelerythrine chloride, two TBS failed to induce LTP. In contrast, bath application of chelerythrine chloride 10 min after the second TBS did not affect the maintenance of LTP in BLA. These results indicate that LTP is NMDAR-dependent and PKC is involved in the induction and early maintenance of LTP in BLA. PMID:19082429

  10. FKBP5 is associated with amygdala volume in the human brain and mood state: A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirakawa, Hirofumi; Akiyoshi, Jotaro; Muronaga, Masaaki; Tanaka, Yoshihiro; Ishitobi, Yoshinobu; Inoue, Ayako; Oshita, Harumi; Aizawa, Saeko; Masuda, Koji; Higuma, Haruka; Kanehisa, Masayuki; Ninomiya, Taiga; Kawano, Yoshihisa

    2016-06-01

    The present study was to investigate the effects of 6 FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP5) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on brain structure using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and the psychological tests to psychological stress. We genotyped 112 healthy controls with respect to 6 SNPs (rs) of FKBP5. We examined the Beck Depression Inventory and the State (STAI-S) and Trait (STAI-T) versions of the Spielberger Anxiety Inventory and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) to evaluate mood. The right amygdala was larger in subjects with the minor allele (C) of rs3800373 and rs992105 and the minor allele (T) of rs1360780. The right middle orbitofrontal region in those with the minor allele (C) of rs3800373 and the right inferior orbitofrontal region in those with the minor allele (T) of rs9470080 was larger. Both the amygdala volumes were associated significantly with FKBP5 SNPs. We found significant relationships between factors in POMS and the right and left amygdala and left insula. Our results suggest that FKBP5 SNPs are associated with the alternations of volumes in right amygdala and the right middle and inferior orbitofrontal region. Genetic variants of FKBP5 may be associated with depressive and anxiety state via differential effects on amygdala and orbitofrontal region. PMID:26982819

  11. Age-related changes in the structure and function of prefrontal cortex-amygdala circuitry in children and adolescents: a multi-modal imaging approach.

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    Swartz, Johnna R; Carrasco, Melisa; Wiggins, Jillian Lee; Thomason, Moriah E; Monk, Christopher S

    2014-02-01

    The uncinate fasciculus is a major white matter tract that provides a crucial link between areas of the human brain that underlie emotion processing and regulation. Specifically, the uncinate fasciculus is the major direct fiber tract that connects the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. The aim of the present study was to use a multi-modal imaging approach in order to simultaneously examine the relation between structural connectivity of the uncinate fasciculus and functional activation of the amygdala in a youth sample (children and adolescents). Participants were 9 to 19years old and underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results indicate that greater structural connectivity of the uncinate fasciculus predicts reduced amygdala activation to sad and happy faces. This effect is moderated by age, with younger participants exhibiting a stronger relation. Further, decreased amygdala activation to sad faces predicts lower internalizing symptoms. These results provide important insights into brain structure-function relationships during adolescence, and suggest that greater structural connectivity of the uncinate fasciculus may facilitate regulation of the amygdala, particularly during early adolescence. These findings also have implications for understanding the relation between brain structure, function, and the development of emotion regulation difficulties, such as internalizing symptoms. PMID:23959199

  12. Increased training prevents the impairing effect of intra-amygdala infusion of the non-NMDA receptor antagonist CNQX on inhibitory avoidance expression

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    Roesler R.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Intra-amygdala infusion of the non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor antagonist 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX prior to testing impairs inhibitory avoidance retention test performance. Increased training attenuates the impairing effects of amygdala lesions and intra-amygdala infusions of CNQX. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of additional training on the impairing effects of intra-amygdala CNQX on expression of the inhibitory avoidance task. Adult female Wistar rats bilaterally implanted with cannulae into the border between the central and the basolateral nuclei of the amygdala were submitted to a single session or to three training sessions (0.2 mA, 24-h interval between sessions in a step-down inhibitory avoidance task. A retention test session was held 48 h after the last training. Ten minutes prior to the retention test session, the animals received a 0.5-µl infusion of CNQX (0.5 µg or its vehicle (25% dimethylsulfoxide in saline. The CNQX infusion impaired, but did not block, retention test performance in animals submitted to a single training session. Additional training prevented the impairing effect of CNQX. The results suggest that amygdaloid non-NMDA receptors may not be critical for memory expression in animals given increased training.

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

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    Nikolova Yuliya S

    2012-11-01

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

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

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    Vafaei A.L.

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available 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 circular (80-cm diameter arena. The rats were injected bilaterally in the BLA specific ARS (Adrenergic receptors agonist norepinephrine (NE, 0.5 and 1 µg/µl and specific β-ARs antagonist propranolol (PRO, 0.5 and 1 µg/µl before acquisition, after training or before retrieval of the place avoidance task. Control rats received vehicle at the same volume. The learning in a single 30-min session was assessed 24h later by a 30-min extinction trial in which the time to first entrance and the number of entrances to the shocked area measured the avoidance memory. Results: Acquisition and consolidation were enhanced and impaired significantly by NE and PRO when the drugs were injected 10 min before or immediately after training, respectively. In contrast, neither NE nor PRO influenced animal performances when injected before retention testing. Conclusion: Findings of this study indicates that adrenergic system of the BLA plays an important role in regulation of memory storage and show further evidences for the opinion that the BLA plays an important role in integrating hormonal and neurotransmitter influences on memory storage.

  15. The roles of the amygdala in the affective regulation of body, brain, and behaviour

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    Mirolli, Marco; Mannella, Francesco; Baldassarre, Gianluca

    2010-09-01

    Despite the great amount of knowledge produced by the neuroscientific literature on affective phenomena, current models tackling non-cognitive aspects of behaviour are often bio-inspired but rarely bio-constrained. This paper presents a theoretical account of affective systems centred on the amygdala (Amg). This account aims to furnish a general framework and specific pathways to implement models that are more closely related to biological evidence. The Amg, which receives input from brain areas encoding internal states, innately relevant stimuli, and innately neutral stimuli, plays a fundamental role in the motivational and emotional processes of organisms. This role is based on the fact that Amg implements the two associative processes at the core of Pavlovian learning (conditioned stimulus (CS)-unconditioned stimulus (US) and CS-unconditioned response (UR) associations), and that it has the capacity of modulating these associations on the basis of internal states. These functionalities allow the Amg to play an important role in the regulation of the three fundamental classes of affective responses (namely, the regulation of body states, the regulation of brain states via neuromodulators, and the triggering of a number of basic behaviours fundamental for adaptation) and in the regulation of three high-level cognitive processes (namely, the affective labelling of memories, the production of goal-directed behaviours, and the performance of planning and complex decision-making). Our analysis is conducted within a methodological approach that stresses the importance of understanding the brain within an evolutionary/adaptive framework and with the aim of isolating general principles that can potentially account for the wider possible empirical evidence in a coherent fashion.

  16. Amygdala mediated connectivity in perceptual decision-making of emotional facial expressions.

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    Bajaj, Sahil; Lamichhane, Bidhan; Adhikari, Bhim Mani; Dhamala, Mukesh

    2013-01-01

    Recognizing emotional facial expressions is a part of perceptual decision-making processes in the brain. Arriving at a decision for the brain becomes more difficult when available sensory information is limited or ambiguous. We used clear and noisy pictures with happy and angry emotional expressions and asked 32 participants to categorize these pictures based on emotions. There were significant differences in behavioral accuracy and reaction time between the decisions of clear and noisy images. The functional magnetic resonance imaging activations showed that the inferior occipital gyrus (IOG), fusiform gyrus (FG), amygdala (AMG) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VPFC) along with other regions were active during the perceptual decision-making process. Using dynamic causal modeling analysis, we obtained three important results. First, from Bayesian model selection (BMS) approach, we found that the feed-forward network activity was enhanced during the processing of clear and noisy happy faces more than during the processing of clear angry faces. The AMG mediated this feed-forward connectivity in processing of clear and noisy happy faces, whereas the AMG mediation was absent in case of clear angry faces. However, this network activity was enhanced in case of noisy angry faces. Second, connectivity parameters obtained from Bayesian model averaging (BMA) suggested that the forward connectivity dominated over the backward connectivity during such processes. Third, based on the BMA parameters, we found that the easier tasks modulated effective connectivity from IOG to FG, AMG, and VPFC more than the difficult tasks did. These findings suggest that both parallel and hierarchical brain processes are at work during perceptual decision-making of negative, positive, unambiguous and ambiguous emotional expressions, but the AMG-mediated feed-forward network plays a dominant role in such decisions. PMID:23705655

  17. Nitric oxide in central amygdala potentiates expression of conditioned withdrawal induced by morphine

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    Manizheh Karami

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate if nitric oxide (NO in the central amygdala (CeA is involved in the expression of withdrawal aspects induced by morphine. Materials and Methods: Male Wistar rats (weighing 200-250 g were bilaterally cannulated in the CeA and conditioned to morphine using an unbiased paradigm. Morphine (2.5-10 mg/kg was subcutaneously injected once a day throughout the conditioning phase of the procedure. This phase also included 3-saline paired sessions. Naloxone (0.1-0.4 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [i.p.], an antagonist of opioid receptors, was administered i.p. 10 min prior to testing of morphine-induced withdrawal features. The NO precursor, L-arginine (0.3-3 μg/rat was intra-CeA injected prior to testing of naloxone response. To evaluate the involvement of NO system an inhibitor of NO synthase (NOS, N G -nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME (0.3-3 μg/rat, was injected ahead of L-arginine. Control group received saline solely instead of drug. As a complementary study, the activation of NOS was studied by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPH-d. Results: Morphine induced a significant increase in wet dog shaking and grooming behaviors compared with controls. Injection of naloxone pre-testing of morphine response significantly reversed the response to morphine. However, pre-microinjection of L-arginine intra-CeA recovered the response to morphine. Injection of L-NAME intra-CeA ahead of L-arginine though had no effect behaviorally, but, inhibited the NOS which has been evidenced by NADPH-d. Conclusion: The present study shows that NO in the CeA potentiates the expression of conditioned withdrawal induced by morphine paired with naloxone.

  18. Rimonabant precipitates anxiety in rats withdrawn from palatable food: role of the central amygdala.

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    Blasio, Angelo; Iemolo, Attilio; Sabino, Valentina; Petrosino, Stefania; Steardo, Luca; Rice, Kenner C; Orlando, Pierangelo; Iannotti, Fabio Arturo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Zorrilla, Eric P; Cottone, Pietro

    2013-11-01

    The anti-obesity medication rimonabant, an antagonist of cannabinoid type-1 (CB(1)) receptor, was withdrawn from the market because of adverse psychiatric side effects, including a negative affective state. We investigated whether rimonabant precipitates a negative emotional state in rats withdrawn from palatable food cycling. The effects of systemic administration of rimonabant on anxiety-like behavior, food intake, body weight, and adrenocortical activation were assessed in female rats during withdrawal from chronic palatable diet cycling. The levels of the endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the CB(1) receptor mRNA and the protein in the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) were also investigated. Finally, the effects of microinfusion of rimonabant in the CeA on anxiety-like behavior, and food intake were assessed. Systemic administration of rimonabant precipitated anxiety-like behavior and anorexia of the regular chow diet in rats withdrawn from palatable diet cycling, independently from the degree of adrenocortical activation. These behavioral observations were accompanied by increased 2-AG, CB(1) receptor mRNA, and protein levels selectively in the CeA. Finally, rimonabant, microinfused directly into the CeA, precipitated anxiety-like behavior and anorexia. Our data show that (i) the 2-AG-CB(1) receptor system within the CeA is recruited during abstinence from palatable diet cycling as a compensatory mechanism to dampen anxiety, and (ii) rimonabant precipitates a negative emotional state by blocking the beneficial heightened 2-AG-CB(1) receptor signaling in this brain area. These findings help elucidate the link between compulsive eating and anxiety, and it will be valuable to develop better pharmacological treatments for eating disorders and obesity. PMID:23793355

  19. Neural traces of stress: cortisol related sustained enhancement of amygdala-hippocampal functional connectivity

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    Sharon eVaisvaser

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Stressful experiences modulate neuro-circuitry function, and the temporal trajectory of these alterations, elapsing from early disturbances to late recovery, heavily influences resilience and vulnerability to stress. Such effects of stress may depend on processes that are engaged during resting-state, through active recollection of past experiences and anticipation of future events, all known to involve the default mode network (DMN. By inducing social stress and acquiring resting-state fMRI before stress, immediately following it, and two hours later, we expanded the time-window for examining the trajectory of the stress response. Throughout the study repeated cortisol samplings and self-reports of stress levels were obtained from 51 healthy young males. Post-stress alterations were investigated by whole brain resting-state functional connectivity of two central hubs of the DMN: the posterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus. Results indicate a 'recovery' pattern of DMN connectivity, in which all alterations, ascribed to the intervening stress, returned to pre-stress levels. The only exception to this pattern was a stress-induced rise in amygdala-hippocampal connectivity, which was sustained for as long as two hours following stress induction. Furthermore, this sustained enhancement of limbic connectivity was inversely correlated to individual stress-induced cortisol responsiveness (AUCi and characterized only the group lacking such increased cortisol (i.e., non-responders. Our observations provide evidence of a prolonged post-stress response profile, characterized by both the comprehensive balance of most DMN functional connections and the distinct time and cortisol dependent ascent of intra-limbic connectivity. These novel insights into neuro-endocrine relations are another milestone in the ongoing search for individual markers in stress-related psychopathologies.

  20. Activation of endocannabinoid system in the rat basolateral amygdala improved scopolamine-induced memory consolidation impairment.

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    Nedaei, Seyed Ershad; Rezayof, Ameneh; Pourmotabbed, Ali; Nasehi, Mohammad; Zarrindast, Mohammad-Reza

    2016-09-15

    The current study was designed to examine the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in scopolamine-induced memory impairment in adult male Wistar rats. The animals were bilaterally implanted with the cannulas in the BLA and submitted to a step-through type passive avoidance task to measure the memory formation. The results showed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of different doses of scopolamine (0.5-1.5mg/kg) immediately after the training phase (post-training) impaired memory consolidation. Bilateral microinjection of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist, arachydonilcyclopropylamide (ACPA; 1-4ng/rat), into the BLA significantly improved scopolamine-induced memory consolidation impairment. On the other hand, co-administration of AM251, a cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist (0.25-1ng/rat, intra-BLA), with an ineffective dose of scopolamine (0.5mg/kg, i.p.), significantly impaired memory consolidation and mimicked the response of a higher dose of scopolamine. It is important to note that post-training intra-BLA microinjections of the same doses of ACPA or AM251 alone had no effect on memory consolidation. Moreover, the blockade of the BLA CB1 receptors by 0.3ng/rat of AM251 prevented ACPA-induced improvement of the scopolamine response. In view of the known actions of the drugs used, the present data pointed to the involvement of the BLA CB1 receptors in scopolamine-induced memory consolidation impairment. Furthermore, it seems that a functional interaction between the BLA endocannabinoid and cholinergic muscarinic systems may be critical for memory formation. PMID:27230394

  1. Kappa Opioid Receptor-Mediated Dysregulation of GABAergic Transmission in the Central Amygdala in Cocaine Addiction

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    Kallupi, Marsida; Wee, Sunmee; Edwards, Scott; Whitfield, Tim W.; Oleata, Christopher S.; Luu, George; Schmeichel, Brooke E.; Koob, George F.; Roberto, Marisa

    2013-01-01

    Background Studies have demonstrated an enhanced dynorphin/kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) system following repeated cocaine exposure, but few reports have focused on neuroadaptations within the central amygdala (CeA). Methods We identified KOR-related physiological changes in the CeA following escalation of cocaine self-administration in rats. We used in vitro slice electrophysiological (intracellular and whole-cell recordings) methods to assess whether differential cocaine access in either 1h (short access, ShA) or 6h (long access, LgA) sessions induced plasticity at CeA GABAergic synapses, or altered the sensitivity of these synapses to KOR agonism (U50488) or antagonism (nor-BNI). We then determined the functional effects of CeA KOR blockade in cocaine-related behaviors. Results Baseline evoked GABAergic transmission was enhanced in the CeA from ShA and LgA rats compared to cocaine-naïve rats. Acute cocaine (1 uM) application significantly decreased GABA release in all groups (naïve, ShA, and LgA rats). Application of U50488 (1 uM) significantly decreased GABAergic transmission in the CeA from naïve rats, but increased it in LgA rats. Conversely, nor-BNI (200 nM) significantly increased GABAergic transmission in the CeA from naïve rats, but decreased it in LgA rats. Nor-BNI did not alter the acute cocaine-induced inhibition of GABAergic responses. Finally, CeA microinfusion of nor-BNI blocked cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization and attenuated the heightened anxiety-like behavior observed during withdrawal from chronic cocaine exposure in the defensive burying paradigm. Conclusion Together these data demonstrate that CeA dynorphin/KOR systems are dysregulated following excessive cocaine exposure and suggest KOR antagonism as a viable therapeutic strategy for cocaine addiction. PMID:23751206

  2. Neuropeptides in the posterodorsal medial amygdala modulate central cardiovascular reflex responses in awake male rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The rat posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) links emotionally charged sensory stimuli to social behavior, and is part of the supramedullary control of the cardiovascular system. We studied the effects of microinjections of neuroactive peptides markedly found in the MePD, namely oxytocin (OT, 10 ng and 25 pg; n=6/group), somatostatin (SST, 1 and 0.05 μM; n=8 and 5, respectively), and angiotensin II (Ang II, 50 pmol and 50 fmol; n=7/group), on basal cardiovascular activity and on baroreflex- and chemoreflex-mediated responses in awake adult male rats. Power spectral and symbolic analyses were applied to pulse interval and systolic arterial pressure series to identify centrally mediated sympathetic/parasympathetic components in the heart rate variability (HRV) and arterial pressure variability (APV). No microinjected substance affected basal parameters. On the other hand, compared with the control data (saline, 0.3 µL; n=7), OT (10 ng) decreased mean AP (MAP50) after baroreflex stimulation and increased both the mean AP response after chemoreflex activation and the high-frequency component of the HRV. OT (25 pg) increased overall HRV but did not affect any parameter of the symbolic analysis. SST (1 μM) decreased MAP50, and SST (0.05 μM) enhanced the sympathovagal cardiac index. Both doses of SST increased HRV and its low-frequency component. Ang II (50 pmol) increased HRV and reduced the two unlike variations pattern of the symbolic analysis (P<0.05 in all cases). These results demonstrate neuropeptidergic actions in the MePD for both the increase in the range of the cardiovascular reflex responses and the involvement of the central sympathetic and parasympathetic systems on HRV and APV

  3. Nitric oxide signaling exerts bidirectional effects on plasticity inductions in amygdala.

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    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 cortical input to the LA, plays the role on the plasticity induction and fear memory. Here we report that the diffusion of NO, released in response to activation of presynaptic NMDAR on cortical afferent fibers in the LA, could suppress heterosynaptically a form of presynaptic kainate receptor (KAR) dependent LTP (pre-LTP) in thalamic input, which was induced by low-frequency presynaptic stimuli without postsynaptic depolarization. We also confirmed that NO, produced by activation of postsynaptic NMDAR in thalamic input, can promote postsynaptic NMDAR-dependent LTP (post-LTP), which was induced by pairing protocol. These LTPs were occluded following fear conditioning, indicating that they could contribute to encoding of conditioned fear memory. However, their time courses are different; Post-LTP was more rapidly formed than pre-LTP in the course of fear conditioning. NO, produced by activation of presynaptic NMDAR in cortical input and postsynaptic NMDAR in thalamic input, may control conditioned fear by suppressing pre-LTP and promoting post-LTP, respectively, in thalamic input to the LA. PMID:24086360

  4. Nitric oxide signaling exerts bidirectional effects on plasticity inductions in amygdala.

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    Ryong-Moon Shin

    Full Text Available 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 cortical input to the LA, plays the role on the plasticity induction and fear memory. Here we report that the diffusion of NO, released in response to activation of presynaptic NMDAR on cortical afferent fibers in the LA, could suppress heterosynaptically a form of presynaptic kainate receptor (KAR dependent LTP (pre-LTP in thalamic input, which was induced by low-frequency presynaptic stimuli without postsynaptic depolarization. We also confirmed that NO, produced by activation of postsynaptic NMDAR in thalamic input, can promote postsynaptic NMDAR-dependent LTP (post-LTP, which was induced by pairing protocol. These LTPs were occluded following fear conditioning, indicating that they could contribute to encoding of conditioned fear memory. However, their time courses are different; Post-LTP was more rapidly formed than pre-LTP in the course of fear conditioning. NO, produced by activation of presynaptic NMDAR in cortical input and postsynaptic NMDAR in thalamic input, may control conditioned fear by suppressing pre-LTP and promoting post-LTP, respectively, in thalamic input to the LA.

  5. Sex and laterality differences in medial amygdala neurons and astrocytes of adult mice.

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    Pfau, Daniel R; Hobbs, Nicholas J; Breedlove, S Marc; Jordan, Cynthia L

    2016-08-15

    The posterodorsal aspect of the medial amygdala (MePD) in rats is sexually dimorphic, being larger and containing more and larger neurons in males than in females. It is also highly lateralized, with the right MePD larger than the left in both sexes, but with the smaller left MePD actually containing more and larger neurons than the larger right. Astrocytes are also strikingly sexually differentiated, with male-biased numbers and lateralized favoring the right in the rat MePD. However, comparable information is scant for mice where genetic tools offer greater experimental power. Hence, we examined the MePD from adult male and female C57Bl/6(J) mice. We now report that the MePD is larger in males than in females, with the MePD in males containing more astrocytes and neurons than in females. However, we did not find sex differences in astrocyte complexity or overall glial number nor effects of laterality in either measure. While the mouse MePD is generally less lateralized than in rats, we did find that the sex difference in astrocyte number is only on the right because of a significant lateralization in females, with significantly fewer astrocytes on the right than the left but only in females. A sex difference in neuronal soma size favoring males was also evident, but only on the left. Sex differences in the number of neurons and astrocytes common to both rodent species may represent core morphological features that critically underlie the expression of sex-specific behaviors that depend on the MePD. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2492-2502, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26780286

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

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    Areg eBarsegyan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 consolidation of object-in-context recognition memory, a low-arousing training task assessing episodic-like memory. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed to two identical objects in one context for either 3 or 10 min, immediately followed by exposure to two other identical objects in a distinctly different context. Immediately after the training they received bilateral intra-BLA infusions of norepinephrine (0.3, 1.0 or 3.0 μg or the β-adrenoceptor antagonist propranolol (0.1, 0.3 or 1.0 μg. On the 24-h retention test, rats were placed back into one of the training contexts with one copy of each of the two training objects. Thus, although both objects were familiar, one of the objects had not previously been encountered in this particular test context. Hence, if the animal generated a long-term memory for the association between an object and its context, it would spend significantly more time exploring the object that was not previously experienced in this context. Saline-infused control rats exhibited poor 24-h retention when given 3 min of training and good retention when given 10 min of training. Norepinephrine administered after 3 min of object-in-context training induced a dose-dependent memory enhancement, whereas propranolol administered after 10 min of training produced memory impairment. These findings provide evidence that posttraining noradrenergic activation of the BLA also enhances the consolidation of memory of object-in-context recognition training, enabling accuracy of episodic-like memories.

  7. Synaptic organization of perisomatic GABAergic inputs onto the principal cells of the mouse basolateral amygdala

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    Viktoria eVereczki

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Spike generation is most effectively controlled by inhibitory inputs that target the perisomatic region of neurons. Despite the critical importance of this functional domain, very little is known about the organization of the GABAergic inputs contacting the perisomatic region of principal cells (PCs in the basolateral amygdala. Using immunocytochemistry combined with in vitro single-cell labeling we determined in mice the number and sources of GABAergic inputs of PCs at light and electron microscopic levels. We found that the soma and proximal dendrites of PCs were innervated primarily by two neurochemically distinct basket cell types expressing parvalbumin (PVBC or cholecystokinin and CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CCK/CB1BC. The innervation of the initial segment of PC axons was found to be parceled out by PVBCs and axo-axonic cells (AAC, as the majority of GABAergic inputs onto the region nearest to the soma (between 0-10 µm originated from PVBCs, while the largest portion of the axon initial segment was innervated by AACs. Detailed morphological investigations revealed that the three perisomatic region-targeting interneuron types significantly differed in dendritic and axonal arborization properties. We found that, although individual PVBCs targeted PCs via more terminals than CCK/CB1BCs, similar numbers (15-17 of the two BC types converge onto single PCs, whereas fewer (6-7 AACs innervate the axon initial segment of single PCs. Furthermore, we estimated that a PVBC and a CCK/CB1BC may target 800-900 and 700-800 PCs, respectively, while an AAC can innervate 600-650 PCs. Thus, BCs and AACs innervate approximately 10 % and 20 % of PC population, respectively, within their axonal cloud. Our results collectively suggest that these interneuron types may be differently affiliated within the local amygdalar microcircuits in order to fulfill specific functions in network operation during various brain states.

  8. Synaptic Organization of Perisomatic GABAergic Inputs onto the Principal Cells of the Mouse Basolateral Amygdala.

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    Vereczki, Viktória K; Veres, Judit M; Müller, Kinga; Nagy, Gergö A; Rácz, Bence; Barsy, Boglárka; Hájos, Norbert

    2016-01-01

    Spike generation is most effectively controlled by inhibitory inputs that target the perisomatic region of neurons. Despite the critical importance of this functional domain, very little is known about the organization of the GABAergic inputs contacting the perisomatic region of principal cells (PCs) in the basolateral amygdala. Using immunocytochemistry combined with in vitro single-cell labeling we determined the number and sources of GABAergic inputs of PCs at light and electron microscopic levels in mice. We found that the soma and proximal dendrites of PCs were innervated primarily by two neurochemically distinct basket cell types expressing parvalbumin (PVBC) or cholecystokinin and CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CCK/CB1BC). The innervation of the initial segment of PC axons was found to be parceled out by PVBCs and axo-axonic cells (AAC), as the majority of GABAergic inputs onto the region nearest to the soma (between 0 and 10 μm) originated from PVBCs, while the largest portion of the axon initial segment was innervated by AACs. Detailed morphological investigations revealed that the three perisomatic region-targeting interneuron types significantly differed in dendritic and axonal arborization properties. We found that, although individual PVBCs targeted PCs via more terminals than CCK/CB1BCs, similar numbers (15-17) of the two BC types converge onto single PCs, whereas fewer (6-7) AACs innervate the axon initial segment of single PCs. Furthermore, we estimated that a PVBC and a CCK/CB1BC may target 800-900 and 700-800 PCs, respectively, while an AAC can innervate 600-650 PCs. Thus, BCs and AACs innervate ~10 and 20% of PC population, respectively, within their axonal cloud. Our results collectively suggest, that these interneuron types may be differently affiliated within the local amygdalar microcircuits in order to fulfill specific functions in network operation during various brain states. PMID:27013983

  9. Neuropeptides in the posterodorsal medial amygdala modulate central cardiovascular reflex responses in awake male rats

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    Quagliotto, E. [Departamento de Ciências Básicas da Saúde/Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Programa de Pós-Graduação em Neurociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Casali, K.R. [Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Dal Lago, P. [Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Rasia-Filho, A.A. [Departamento de Ciências Básicas da Saúde/Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil); Programa de Pós-Graduação em Neurociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS (Brazil)

    2014-11-21

    The rat posterodorsal medial amygdala (MePD) links emotionally charged sensory stimuli to social behavior, and is part of the supramedullary control of the cardiovascular system. We studied the effects of microinjections of neuroactive peptides markedly found in the MePD, namely oxytocin (OT, 10 ng and 25 pg; n=6/group), somatostatin (SST, 1 and 0.05 μM; n=8 and 5, respectively), and angiotensin II (Ang II, 50 pmol and 50 fmol; n=7/group), on basal cardiovascular activity and on baroreflex- and chemoreflex-mediated responses in awake adult male rats. Power spectral and symbolic analyses were applied to pulse interval and systolic arterial pressure series to identify centrally mediated sympathetic/parasympathetic components in the heart rate variability (HRV) and arterial pressure variability (APV). No microinjected substance affected basal parameters. On the other hand, compared with the control data (saline, 0.3 µL; n=7), OT (10 ng) decreased mean AP (MAP{sub 50}) after baroreflex stimulation and increased both the mean AP response after chemoreflex activation and the high-frequency component of the HRV. OT (25 pg) increased overall HRV but did not affect any parameter of the symbolic analysis. SST (1 μM) decreased MAP{sub 50}, and SST (0.05 μM) enhanced the sympathovagal cardiac index. Both doses of SST increased HRV and its low-frequency component. Ang II (50 pmol) increased HRV and reduced the two unlike variations pattern of the symbolic analysis (P<0.05 in all cases). These results demonstrate neuropeptidergic actions in the MePD for both the increase in the range of the cardiovascular reflex responses and the involvement of the central sympathetic and parasympathetic systems on HRV and APV.

  10. Cannabinoids and Glucocorticoids in the Basolateral Amygdala Modulate Hippocampal-Accumbens Plasticity After Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segev, Amir; Akirav, Irit

    2016-03-01

    Acute stress results in release of glucocorticoids, which are potent modulators of learning and plasticity. This process is presumably mediated by the basolateral amygdala (BLA) where cannabinoids CB1 receptors have a key role in regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Growing attention has been focused on nucleus accumbens (NAc) plasticity, which regulates mood and motivation. The NAc integrates affective and context-dependent input from the BLA and ventral subiculum (vSub), respectively. As our previous data suggest that the CB1/2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (WIN) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU-38486 (RU) can prevent the effects of stress on emotional memory, we examined whether intra-BLA WIN and RU can reverse the effects of acute stress on NAc plasticity. Bilateral, ipsilateral, and contralateral BLA administration of RU or WIN reversed the stress-induced impairment in vSub-NAc long-term potentiation (LTP) and the decrease in cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) activity in the NAc. BLA CB1 receptors were found to mediate the preventing effects of WIN on plasticity, but not the preventing effects of RU, after stress. Inactivating the ipsilateral BLA, but not the contralateral BLA, impaired LTP. The possible mechanisms underlying the effects of BLA on NAc plasticity are discussed; the data suggest that BLA-induced changes in the NAc may be mediated through neural pathways in the brain's stress circuit rather than peripheral pathways. The results suggest that glucocorticoid and cannabinoid systems in the BLA can restore normal function of the NAc and hence may have a central role in the treatment of a variety of stress-related disorders. PMID:26289146

  11. Amygdala-prefrontal pathways and the dopamine system affect nociceptive responses in the prefrontal cortex

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    Onozawa Kitaro

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We previously demonstrated nociceptive discharges to be evoked by mechanical noxious stimulation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The nociceptive responses recorded in the PFC are conceivably involved in the affective rather than the sensory-discriminative dimension of pain. The PFC receives dense projection from the limbic system. Monosynaptic projections from the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA to the PFC are known to produce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. We examined effects of high frequency stimulation (HFS delivered to the BLA on nociceptive responses in the rat PFC. Results HFS induced long lasting suppression (LLS of the specific high threshold responses of nociceptive neurons in the PFC. Microinjection of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA receptor antagonists (2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid (APV, dizocilpine (MK-801 and also metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR group antagonists (α-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG, and 2-[(1S,2S-2-carboxycyclopropyl]-3-(9H-xanthen-9-yl-D-alanine (LY341495, prevented the induction of LLS of nociceptive responses. We also examined modulatory effects of dopamine (DA on the LLS of nociceptive responses. With depletion of DA in response to 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA injection into the ipsilateral forebrain bundle, LLS of nociceptive responses was decreased, while nociceptive responses were normally evoked. Antagonists of DA receptor subtypes D2 (sulpiride and D4 (3-{[4-(4-chlorophenyl piperazin-1-yl] methyl}-1H-pyrrolo [2, 3-b] pyridine (L-745,870, microinjected into the PFC, inhibited LLS of nociceptive responses. Conclusions Our results indicate that BLA-PFC pathways inhibited PFC nociceptive cell activities and that the DA system modifies the BLA-PFC regulatory function.

  12. Activity-dependent structural plasticity after aversive experiences in amygdala and auditory cortex pyramidal neurons.

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    Gruene, Tina; Flick, Katelyn; Rendall, Sam; Cho, Jin Hyung; Gray, Jesse; Shansky, Rebecca

    2016-07-22

    The brain is highly plastic and undergoes changes in response to many experiences. Learning especially can induce structural remodeling of dendritic spines, which is thought to relate to memory formation. Classical Pavlovian fear conditioning (FC) traditionally pairs an auditory cue with an aversive footshock, and has been widely used to study neural processes underlying associative learning and memory. Past research has found dendritic spine changes after FC in several structures. But, due to heterogeneity of cells within brain structures and limitations of traditional neuroanatomical techniques, it is unclear if all cells included in analyses were actually active during learning processes, even if known circuits are isolated. In this study, we employed a novel approach to analyze structural plasticity explicitly in neurons activated by exposure to either cued or uncued footshocks. We used male and female Arc-dVenus transgenic mice, which express the Venus fluorophore driven by the activity-related Arc promoter, to identify neurons that were active during either scenario. We then targeted fluorescent microinjections to Arc+ and neighboring Arc- neurons in the basolateral area of the amygdala (BLA) and auditory association cortex (TeA). In both BLA and TeA, Arc+ neurons had reduced thin and mushroom spine densities compared to Arc- neurons. This effect was present in males and females alike and also in both cued and uncued shock groups. Overall, this study adds to our understanding of how neuronal activity affects structural plasticity, and represents a methodological advance in the ways we can directly relate structural changes to experience-related neural activity. PMID:27155146

  13. Reduced hippocampal and amygdala activity predicts memory distortions for trauma reminders in combat-related PTSD.

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    Hayes, Jasmeet Pannu; LaBar, Kevin S; McCarthy, Gregory; Selgrade, Elizabeth; Nasser, Jessica; Dolcos, Florin; Morey, Rajendra A

    2011-05-01

    Neurobiological models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suggest that altered activity in the medial temporal lobes (MTL) during encoding of traumatic memories contribute to the development and maintenance of the disorder. However, there is little direct evidence in the PTSD literature to support these models. The goal of the present study was to examine MTL activity during trauma encoding in combat veterans using the subsequent memory paradigm. Fifteen combat veterans diagnosed with PTSD and 14 trauma-exposed control participants viewed trauma-related and neutral pictures while undergoing event-related fMRI. Participants returned one week after scanning for a recognition memory test. Region-of-interest (ROI) and voxel-wise whole brain analyses were conducted to examine the neural correlates of successful memory encoding. Patients with PTSD showed greater false alarm rates for novel lures than the trauma-exposed control group, suggesting reliance on gist-based representations in lieu of encoding contextual details. Imaging analyses revealed reduced activity in the amygdala and hippocampus in PTSD patients during successful encoding of trauma-related stimuli. Reduction in left hippocampal activity was associated with high arousal symptoms on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). The behavioral false alarm rate for traumatic stimuli co-varied with activity in the bilateral precuneus. These results support neurobiological theories positing reduced hippocampal activity under conditions of high stress and arousal. Reduction in MTL activity for successfully encoded stimuli and increased precuneus activity may underlie reduced stimulus-specific encoding and greater gist memory in patients with PTSD, leading to maintenance of the disorder. PMID:21047644

  14. Cholinergic-opioidergic interaction in the central amygdala induces antinociception in the guinea pig

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    Leite-Panissi C.R.A.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Several studies have demonstrated the involvement of the central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA in the modulation of defensive behavior and in antinociceptive regulation. In a previous study, we demonstrated the existence of a cholinergic-opioidergic interaction in the CEA, modulating the defensive response of tonic immobility in guinea pigs. In the present study, we investigated a similar interaction in the CEA, but now involved in the regulation of the nociceptive response. Microinjection of carbachol (2.7 nmol and morphine (2.2 nmol into the CEA promoted antinociception up to 45 min after microinjection in guinea pigs as determined by a decrease in the vocalization index in the vocalization test. This test consists of the application of a peripheral noxious stimulus (electric shock into the subcutaneous region of the thigh that provokes the emission of a vocalization response by the animal. Furthermore, the present results demonstrated that the antinociceptive effect of carbachol (2.7 nmol; N = 10 was blocked by previous administration of atropine (0.7 nmol; N = 7 or naloxone (1.3 nmol; N = 7 into the same site. In addition, the decrease in the vocalization index induced by the microinjection of morphine (2.2 nmol; N = 9 into the CEA was prevented by pretreatment with naloxone (1.3 nmol; N = 11. All sites of injection were confirmed by histology. These results indicate the involvement of the cholinergic and opioidergic systems of the CEA in the modulation of antinociception in guinea pigs. In addition, the present study suggests that cholinergic transmission may activate the release of endorphins/enkephalins from interneurons of the CEA, resulting in antinociception.

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

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

    2016-02-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is considered a disorder of recovery where individuals fail to learn and retain extinction of the traumatic fear response. In maltreated youth, PTSD is common, chronic, and associated with comorbidity. Studies of extinction-related structural volumes (amygdala, hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)) and this stress diathesis, in maltreated youth were not previously investigated. In this cross-sectional study, neuroanatomical volumes associated with extinction in maltreated youth with PTSD (N=31), without PTSD (N=32), and in non-maltreated healthy volunteers (n=57) were examined using magnetic resonance imaging. Groups were sociodemographically similar. Participants underwent extensive assessments for strict inclusion/exclusion criteria and DSM-IV disorders. Maltreated youth with PTSD demonstrated decreased right vmPFC volumes compared with both maltreated youth without PTSD and non-maltreated controls. Maltreated youth without PTSD demonstrated larger left amygdala and right hippocampal volumes compared with maltreated youth with PTSD and non-maltreated control youth. PTSD symptoms inversely correlated with right and left hippocampal and left amygdala volumes. Confirmatory masked voxel base morphometry analyses demonstrated greater medial orbitofrontal cortex gray matter intensity in controls than maltreated youth with PTSD. Volumetric results were not influenced by psychopathology or maltreatment variables. We identified volumetric differences in extinction-related structures between maltreated youth with PTSD from those without PTSD. Alterations of the vmPFC may be one mechanism that mediates the pathway from PTSD to comorbidity. Further longitudinal work is needed to determine neurobiological factors related to chronic and persistent PTSD, and to PTSD resilience despite maltreatment. PMID:26171720

  16. Multiple Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Subtypes in the Mouse Amygdala Regulate Affective Behaviors and Response to Social Stress.

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    Mineur, Yann S; Fote, Gianna M; Blakeman, Sam; Cahuzac, Emma L M; Newbold, Sylvia A; Picciotto, Marina R

    2016-05-01

    Electrophysiological and neurochemical studies implicate cholinergic signaling in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in behaviors related to stress. Both animal studies and human clinical trials suggest that drugs that alter nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) activity can affect behaviors related to mood and anxiety. Clinical studies also suggest that abnormalities in cholinergic signaling are associated with major depressive disorder, whereas pre-clinical studies have implicated both β2 subunit-containing (β2*) and α7 nAChRs in the effects of nicotine in models of anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. We therefore investigated whether nAChR signaling in the amygdala contributes to stress-mediated behaviors in mice. Local infusion of the non-competitive non-selective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine or viral-mediated downregulation of the β2 or α7 nAChR subunit in the amygdala all induced robust anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects in several mouse behavioral models. Further, whereas α7 nAChR subunit knockdown was somewhat more effective at decreasing anxiety-like behavior, only β2 subunit knockdown decreased resilience to social defeat stress and c-fos immunoreactivity in the BLA. In contrast, α7, but not β2, subunit knockdown effectively reversed the effect of increased ACh signaling in a mouse model of depression. These results suggest that signaling through β2* nAChRs is essential for baseline excitability of the BLA, and a decrease in signaling through β2 nAChRs alters anxiety- and depression-like behaviors even in unstressed animals. In contrast, stimulation of α7 nAChRs by acetylcholine may mediate the increased depression-like behaviors observed during the hypercholinergic state observed in depressed individuals. PMID:26471256

  17. Ultrasonic vocalization ratios reflect the influence of motivational state and amygdala lesions on different types of taste avoidance learning.

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    Hamdani, Selma; White, Norman M

    2011-02-01

    Consumption of a sweet solution (the CS) and ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) emitted by rats were recorded in a conditioned taste avoidance paradigm. The rats' affective states were inferred from a ratio of high to low-frequency ultrasonic calls, which have been associated with positive and negative affect, respectively. The interacting effects of deprivation state and lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) on CS consumption and affective state were examined. Rats were trained during the light phase while either 23 h or 3h water deprived by exposing them to the CS and then injecting them with LiCl or saline. They were tested by re-exposing them to the CS while either 23 or 3h deprived. Sham-lesioned rats that received LiCl injections consumed significantly less of the CS and evidenced relatively negative affect (inferred from the USV ratio) compared to control rats that received saline injections, regardless of the deprivation state in which they were trained or tested. Rats with BLA lesions trained while 23 h deprived failed to exhibit either reduced consumption or negative affect, regardless of whether they were tested while deprived for 23 or 3h. Identical lesions had no effect on reduced consumption or on negative affect in rats trained while 3h deprived, regardless of whether they were tested while deprived for 3 or 23 h. The findings suggest that both reduced consumption and negative affect are the results of different learning processes in deprived (23 h) and nearly satiated (3h, during the light phase) rats. The amygdala-dependent negative affective shift observed in deprived rats may be due to an aversive Pavlovian conditioned response that acts to suppress drinking. The amygdala-independent negative affective response and reduced consumption in nearly satiated rats could be due to a form of latent learning of a stimulus-outcome association. PMID:20888864

  18. Neonatal Whisker Trimming Impairs Fear/Anxiety-Related Emotional Systems of the Amygdala and Social Behaviors in Adult Mice.

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    Hitomi Soumiya

    Full Text Available Abnormalities in tactile perception, such as sensory defensiveness, are common features in autism spectrum disorder (ASD. While not a diagnostic criterion for ASD, deficits in tactile perception contribute to the observed lack of social communication skills. However, the influence of tactile perception deficits on the development of social behaviors remains uncertain, as do the effects on neuronal circuits related to the emotional regulation of social interactions. In neonatal rodents, whiskers are the most important tactile apparatus, so bilateral whisker trimming is used as a model of early tactile deprivation. To address the influence of tactile deprivation on adult behavior, we performed bilateral whisker trimming in mice for 10 days after birth (BWT10 mice and examined social behaviors, tactile discrimination, and c-Fos expression, a marker of neural activation, in adults after full whisker regrowth. Adult BWT10 mice exhibited significantly shorter crossable distances in the gap-crossing test than age-matched controls, indicating persistent deficits in whisker-dependent tactile perception. In contrast to controls, BWT10 mice exhibited no preference for the social compartment containing a conspecific in the three-chamber test. Furthermore, the development of amygdala circuitry was severely affected in BWT10 mice. Based on the c-Fos expression pattern, hyperactivity was found in BWT10 amygdala circuits for processing fear/anxiety-related responses to height stress but not in circuits for processing reward stimuli during whisker-dependent cued learning. These results demonstrate that neonatal whisker trimming and concomitant whisker-dependent tactile discrimination impairment severely disturbs the development of amygdala-dependent emotional regulation.

  19. Neonatal Whisker Trimming Impairs Fear/Anxiety-Related Emotional Systems of the Amygdala and Social Behaviors in Adult Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soumiya, Hitomi; Godai, Ayumi; Araiso, Hiromi; Mori, Shingo; Furukawa, Shoei; Fukumitsu, Hidefumi

    2016-01-01

    Abnormalities in tactile perception, such as sensory defensiveness, are common features in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While not a diagnostic criterion for ASD, deficits in tactile perception contribute to the observed lack of social communication skills. However, the influence of tactile perception deficits on the development of social behaviors remains uncertain, as do the effects on neuronal circuits related to the emotional regulation of social interactions. In neonatal rodents, whiskers are the most important tactile apparatus, so bilateral whisker trimming is used as a model of early tactile deprivation. To address the influence of tactile deprivation on adult behavior, we performed bilateral whisker trimming in mice for 10 days after birth (BWT10 mice) and examined social behaviors, tactile discrimination, and c-Fos expression, a marker of neural activation, in adults after full whisker regrowth. Adult BWT10 mice exhibited significantly shorter crossable distances in the gap-crossing test than age-matched controls, indicating persistent deficits in whisker-dependent tactile perception. In contrast to controls, BWT10 mice exhibited no preference for the social compartment containing a conspecific in the three-chamber test. Furthermore, the development of amygdala circuitry was severely affected in BWT10 mice. Based on the c-Fos expression pattern, hyperactivity was found in BWT10 amygdala circuits for processing fear/anxiety-related responses to height stress but not in circuits for processing reward stimuli during whisker-dependent cued learning. These results demonstrate that neonatal whisker trimming and concomitant whisker-dependent tactile discrimination impairment severely disturbs the development of amygdala-dependent emotional regulation. PMID:27362655

  20. Imaging oxytocin x dopamine interactions: An epistasis effect of CD38 and COMT gene variants influences the impact of oxytocin on amygdala activation to social stimuli

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    PeterKirsch

    2013-04-01

    Brain imaging results revealed no significant effects for VTA or ventral striatum. Regarding the fusiform gyrus, we could not find any effects apart from those already described in (Sauer et al., 2012. Analyses of amygdala activation resulted in no gene main effect, no gene x substance interaction but a significant gene x gene x substance interaction. While under PLA the effect of CD38 on bilateral amygdala activation to social stimuli was modulated by the COMT genotype, no such epistasis effect was found under OT. Our results provide evidence for an OTxDA interaction during responses to social stimuli. We postulate that the effect of central OT secretion on amygdala response is modulated by the availability of DA. Therefore, for an understanding of the effect of social hormones on social behavior, interactions of OT with other transmitter systems have to be taken into account.

  1. A unified kernel regression for diffusion wavelets on manifolds detects aging-related changes in the amygdala and hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Moo K; Schaefer, Stacey M; Van Reekum, Carien M; Peschke-Schmitz, Lara; Sutterer, Mattew J; Davidson, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    We present a new unified kernel regression framework on manifolds. Starting with a symmetric positive definite kernel, we formulate a new bivariate kernel regression framework that is related to heat diffusion, kernel smoothing and recently popular diffusion wavelets. Various properties and performance of the proposed kernel regression framework are demonstrated. The method is subsequently applied in investigating the influence of age and gender on the human amygdala and hippocampus shapes. We detected a significant age effect on the posterior regions of hippocampi while there is no gender effect present. PMID:25485452

  2. Neuropeptide Y Administration into the Amygdala Suppresses Ethanol Drinking in Alcohol-Preferring (P) Rats Following Multiple Deprivations

    OpenAIRE

    Gilpin, Nicholas W.; Stewart, Robert B.; Badia-Elder, Nancy E.

    2008-01-01

    The present experiment examines the effects of NPY administered into the amygdala on ethanol drinking by alcohol-preferring P rats following long-term continuous ethanol access, with and without multiple periods of imposed ethanol abstinence. P rats had access to 15% (v/v) ethanol and water for 11 weeks followed by 2 weeks of ethanol abstinence, re-exposure to ethanol for 2 weeks, 2 more weeks of ethanol abstinence, and a final ethanol re-exposure. Immediately prior to the second ethanol re-e...

  3. Melanocortin-4 receptor in the medial amygdala regulates emotional stress-induced anxiety-like behaviour, anorexia and corticosterone secretion

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Jing; Garza, Jacob C.; Li, Wei; Lu, Xin-Yun

    2011-01-01

    The central melanocortin system has been implicated in emotional stress-induced anxiety, anorexia and activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. However, the underlying neural substrates have not been identified. The medial amygdala (MeA) is highly sensitive to emotional stress and expresses high levels of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R). This study investigated the effects of activation and blockade of MC4R in the MeA on anxiety-like behaviour, food intake and corticoster...

  4. HPA axis genetic variation, pubertal status, and sex interact to predict amygdala and hippocampus responses to negative emotional faces in school-age children.

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

    2015-04-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests a role for stress exposure, particularly during early life, and for variation in genes involved in stress response pathways in neural responsivity to emotional stimuli. Understanding how individual differences in these factors predict differences in emotional responsivity may be important for understanding both normative emotional development and for understanding the mechanisms underlying internalizing disorders, like anxiety and depression, that have often been related to increased amygdala and hippocampus responses to negatively valenced emotional stimuli. The present study examined whether stress exposure and genetic profile scores (10 single nucleotide polymorphisms within four hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genes: CRHR1, NR3C2, NR3C1, and FKBP5) predict individual differences in amygdala and hippocampus responses to fearful vs. neutral faces in school-age children (7-12 year olds; N = 107). Experience of more stressful and traumatic life events predicted greater left amygdala responses to negative emotional stimuli. Genetic profile scores interacted with sex and pubertal status to predict amygdala and hippocampus responses. Specifically, genetic profile scores were a stronger predictor of amygdala and hippocampus responses among pubertal vs. prepubertal children where they positively predicted responses to fearful faces among pubertal girls and positively predicted responses to neutral faces among pubertal boys. The current results suggest that genetic and environmental stress-related factors may be important in normative individual differences in responsivity to negative emotional stimuli, a potential mechanism underlying internalizing disorders. Further, sex and pubertal development may be key moderators of the effects of stress-system genetic variation on amygdala and hippocampus responsivity, potentially relating to sex differences in stress-related psychopathology. PMID:25583614

  5. Organic cation transporter 3 is densely expressed in the intercalated cell groups of the amygdala: anatomical evidence for a stress hormone-sensitive dopamine clearance system.

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    Hill, Jonathan E; Gasser, Paul J

    2013-09-01

    The intercalated cell groups of the amygdala (ITCs) are clusters of GABAergic neurons which exert powerful modulatory control of amygdala output, and are thought to play key roles in the extinction of conditioned fear responses. Dopamine, acting through D1 receptors, inhibits ITC neuronal activity, an action that has the potential to disinhibit amygdala activity, leading to changes in behavioral responses. Dopaminergic neurotransmission in the ITC occurs through a combination of synaptic and volume transmission. Thus, mechanisms, including transport mechanisms, that regulate extracellular dopamine concentrations in the ITC, are likely to be important determinants of amygdala function. We have recently demonstrated the expression of organic cation transporter 3 (OCT3), a high-capacity transporter for dopamine and other monoamines, throughout the rat brain. In this study, we used immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence techniques to examine the distribution of OCT3 in the ITC, to identify the phenotype of OCT3-expressing cells, and to describe the spatial relationships of OCT3 to dopaminergic terminals and dopamine D1 receptors in these areas. We observed high densities of OCT3-immunoreactive perikarya and punctae throughout the D1 receptor-rich main, anterior and paracapsular ITCs, in contrast with the basolateral amygdala, where OCT3 immunoreactive perikarya and puncta were observed at much lower density. OCT3-immunoreactive perikarya in the ITC were identified as neurons. Tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive fibers in the ITC were immunonegative for OCT3, though OCT3-immunoreactive punctae were observed in close proximity to TH+ terminals. Punctate OCT3-immunoreactivity in the ITCs was observed in very close proximity (mechanism. Inhibition of OCT3-mediated transport by corticosterone may represent a mechanism by which acute stress alters dopaminergic neurotransmission in the amygdala, leading to alterations in fear and anxiety-like behavior. PMID:23694905

  6. Organization of connections between the amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral hypothalamus: a single and double retrograde tracing study in rats.

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    Reppucci, Christina J; Petrovich, Gorica D

    2016-07-01

    The amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are highly interconnected telencephalic areas critical for cognitive processes, including associative learning and decision making. Both structures strongly innervate the lateral hypothalamus (LHA), an important component of the networks underlying the control of feeding and other motivated behaviors. The amygdala-prefrontal-lateral hypothalamic system is therefore well positioned to exert cognitive control over behavior. However, the organization of this system is not well defined, particularly the topography of specific circuitries between distinct cell groups within these complex, heterogeneous regions. This study used two retrograde tracers to map the connections from the amygdala (central and basolateral area nuclei) and mPFC to the LHA in detail, and to determine whether amygdalar pathways to the mPFC and to LHA originate from the same or different neurons. One tracer was placed into a distinct mPFC area (dorsal anterior cingulate, prelimbic, infralimbic, or rostromedial orbital), and the other into dorsal or ventral LHA. We report that the central nucleus and basolateral area of the amygdala send projections to distinct LHA regions, dorsal and ventral, respectively. The basolateral area, but not central nucleus, also sends substantial projections to the mPFC, topographically organized rostrocaudal to dorsoventral. The entire mPFC, in turn, projects to the LHA, providing a separate route for potential amygdalar influence following mPFC processing. Nearly all amygdalar projections to the mPFC and to the LHA originated from different neurons suggesting amygdala and amygdala-mPFC processing influence the LHA independently, and the balance of these parallel pathways ultimately controls motivated behaviors. PMID:26169110

  7. Calcitonin gene-related peptide erases the fear memory and facilitates long-term potentiation in the central nucleus of the amygdala in rats.

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    Wu, Xin; Zhang, Jie-Ting; Liu, Jue; Yang, Si; Chen, Tao; Chen, Jian-Guo; Wang, Fang

    2015-11-01

    Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37 amino acid neuropeptide, which plays a critical role in the central nervous system. CGRP binds to G protein-coupled receptors, including CGRP1, which couples positively to adenylyl cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA) activation. CGRP and CGRP1 receptors are enriched in central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA), the main part of the amygdala, which regulates conditioned fear memories. Here, we reported the importance of CGRP and CGRP1 receptor for synaptic plasticity in the CeA and the extinction of fear memory in rats. Our electrophysiological and behavioral in vitro and in vivo results showed exogenous application of CGRP induced an immediate and lasting long-term potentiation in the basolateral nucleus of amygdala-CeA pathway, but not in the lateral nucleus of amygdala-CeA pathway, while bilateral intra-CeA infusion CGRP (0, 5, 13 and 21 μM/side) dose dependently enhanced fear memory extinction. The effects were blocked by CGRP1 receptor antagonist (CGRP8-37 ), N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors antagonist MK801 and PKA inhibitor H89. These results demonstrate that CGRP can lead to long-term potentiation of basolateral nucleus of amygdala-CeA pathway through a PKA-dependent postsynaptic mechanism that involved N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors and enhance the extinction of fear memory in rats. Together, the results strongly support a pivotal role of CGRP in the synaptic plasticity of CeA and extinction of fear memory. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays an essential role in synaptic plasticity in the amygdala and fear memory. We found that CGRP-induced chemical long-term potentiation (LTP) in a dose-dependent way in the BLA-CeA (basolateral and central nucleus of amygdala, respectively) pathway and enhanced fear memory extinction in rats through a protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent postsynaptic mechanism that involved NMDA receptors. These results support a pivotal role of CGRP in amygdala. PMID:26179152

  8. Proteolytic cleavage of proBDNF into mature BDNF in the basolateral amygdala is necessary for defeat-induced social avoidance.

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    Dulka, Brooke N; Ford, Ellen C; Lee, Melissa A; Donnell, Nathaniel J; Goode, Travis D; Prosser, Rebecca; Cooper, Matthew A

    2016-04-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential for memory processes. The present study tested whether proteolytic cleavage of proBDNF into mature BDNF (mBDNF) within the basolateral amygdala (BLA) regulates the consolidation of defeat-related memories. We found that acute social defeat increases the expression of mBDNF, but not proBDNF, in the BLA/central amygdala. We also showed that blocking plasmin in the BLA with microinjection of α2-antiplasmin immediately following social defeat decreases social avoidance 24 h later. These data suggest the proteolytic cleavage of BDNF in the BLA is necessary for defeat-induced social avoidance. PMID:26980783

  9. Amygdala Reactivity to Emotional Faces in the Prediction of General and Medication-Specific Responses to Antidepressant Treatment in the Randomized iSPOT-D Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Leanne M; Korgaonkar, Mayuresh S; Song, Yun C; Paton, Rebecca; Eagles, Sarah; Goldstein-Piekarski, Andrea; Grieve, Stuart M; Harris, Anthony W F; Usherwood, Tim; Etkin, Amit

    2015-09-01

    Although the cost of poor treatment outcomes of depression is staggering, we do not yet have clinically useful methods for selecting the most effective antidepressant for each depressed person. Emotional brain activation is altered in major depressive disorder (MDD) and implicated in treatment response. Identifying which aspects of emotional brain activation are predictive of general and specific responses to antidepressants may help clinicians and patients when making treatment decisions. We examined whether amygdala activation probed by emotion stimuli is a general or differential predictor of response to three commonly prescribed antidepressants, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A test-retest design was used to assess patients with MDD in an academic setting as part of the International Study to Predict Optimized Treatment in Depression. A total of 80 MDD outpatients were scanned prior to treatment and 8 weeks after randomization to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors escitalopram and sertraline and the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, venlafaxine-extended release (XR). A total of 34 matched controls were scanned at the same timepoints. We quantified the blood oxygen level-dependent signal of the amygdala during subliminal and supraliminal viewing of facial expressions of emotion. Response to treatment was defined by ⩾50% symptom improvement on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Pre-treatment amygdala hypo-reactivity to subliminal happy and threat was a general predictor of treatment response, regardless of medication type (Cohen's d effect size 0.63 to 0.77; classification accuracy, 75%). Responders showed hypo-reactivity compared to controls at baseline, and an increase toward 'normalization' post-treatment. Pre-treatment amygdala reactivity to subliminal sadness was a differential moderator of non-response to venlafaxine-XR (Cohen's d effect size 1.5; classification accuracy, 81%). Non-responders to

  10. Double Dissociation of Monoacylglycerol Lipase Inhibition and CB1 Antagonism in the Central Amygdala, Basolateral Amygdala, and the Interoceptive Insular Cortex on the Affective Properties of Acute Naloxone-Precipitated Morphine Withdrawal in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wills, Kiri L; Petrie, Gavin N; Millett, Geneva; Limebeer, Cheryl L; Rock, Erin M; Niphakis, Micah J; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Parker, Linda A

    2016-06-01

    Both CB1 receptor antagonism and agonism, in particular by 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), have been shown to reduce somatic symptoms of morphine withdrawal (MWD). Here we evaluated the effects of both systemic pretreatment with the monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor MJN110 (which selectively elevates 2-AG) and central administration of both MJN110 and the CB1 antagonist (AM251) on the affective properties of MWD. Acute MWD induced place aversion occurs when naloxone is administered 24 h following a single exposure to a high dose of morphine. Systemic pretreatment with the MAGL inhibitor, MJN110, prevented the aversive effects of acute MWD by a CB1 receptor-dependent mechanism. Furthermore, in a double dissociation, AM251 infusions into the central amygdala, but MJN110 infusions into the basolateral amygdala, interfered with the naloxone-precipitated MWD induced place aversion. As well, MJN110, but not AM251, infusions into the interoceptive insular cortex (a region known to be activated in acute MWD) also prevented the establishment of the place aversion by a CB1 mechanism of action. These findings reveal the respective sites of action of systemically administered MJN110 and AM251 in regulating the aversive effects of MWD. PMID:26647976

  11. Increased GABAergic Efficacy of Central Amygdala Projections to Neuropeptide S Neurons in the Brainstem During Fear Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jüngling, Kay; Lange, Maren D; Szkudlarek, Hanna J; Lesting, Jörg; Erdmann, Frank S; Doengi, Michael; Kügler, Sebastian; Pape, Hans-Christian

    2015-11-01

    The canonical view on the central amygdala has evolved from a simple output station towards a highly organized microcircuitry, in which types of GABAergic neurons in centrolateral (CeL) and centromedial (CeM) subnuclei regulate fear expression and generalization. How these specific neuronal populations are connected to extra-amygdaloid target regions remains largely unknown. Here we show in mice that a subpopulation of GABAergic CeL and CeM neurons projects monosynaptically to brainstem neurons expressing neuropeptide S (NPS). The CeL neurons are PKCδ-negative and are activated during conditioned fear. During fear memory retrieval, the efficacy of this GABAergic influence on NPS neurons is enhanced. Moreover, a large proportion of these neurons (~50%) contain prodynorphin and somatostatin, two neuropeptides inhibiting NPS neurons. We conclude that CeL and CeM neurons inhibit NPS neurons in the brainstem by GABA release and that efficacy of this connection is strengthened upon fear memory retrieval. Thereby, this pathway provides a possible feedback mechanism between amygdala and brainstem routes involved in fear and stress coping. PMID:25936641

  12. Potential of zebrafish as a model for exploring the role of the amygdala in emotional memory and motivational behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perathoner, Simon; Cordero-Maldonado, Maria Lorena; Crawford, Alexander D

    2016-06-01

    Emotion is a key aspect of behavior, enabling humans and animals to assign either positive or negative values to sensory inputs and thereby to make appropriate decisions. Classical experiments in mammalian models, mainly in primates and rodents, have shown that the amygdala is essential for appetitive and aversive associative processing and that dysfunction of this brain region leads to various psychiatric conditions, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, autism, and posttraumatic stress disorder. In the past 2 decades, the zebrafish (Danio rerio; Cyprinidae) has emerged as a versatile, reliable vertebrate model organism for the in vivo study of development, gene function, and numerous aspects of human pathologies. Small size, high fecundity, rapid external development, transparency, genetic tractability, and high genetic and physiologic homology with humans are among the factors that have contributed to the success with this small fish in different biomedical research areas. Recent findings indicate that, despite the anatomical differences in the brain structure of teleosts and tetrapods, fish possess a structure homologous to the mammalian amygdala, a hypothesis that is supported by the expression of molecular markers, analyses of neuronal projections in different brain areas, and behavioral studies. This Review summarizes this evidence and highlights a number of relevant bioassays in zebrafish to study emotional memory and motivational behavior. PMID:26833658

  13. Optogenetic stimulation of lateral amygdala input to posterior piriform cortex modulates single-unit and ensemble odor processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald A Wilson

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory information is synthesized within the olfactory cortex to provide not only an odor percept, but also a contextual significance that supports appropriate behavioral response to specific odor cues. The piriform cortex serves as a communication hub within this circuit by sharing reciprocal connectivity with higher processing regions, such as the lateral entorhinal cortex and amygdala. The functional significance of these descending inputs on piriform cortical processing of odorants is currently not well understood. We have employed optogenetic methods to selectively stimulate lateral and basolateral amygdala (BLA afferent fibers innervating the posterior piriform cortex (pPCX to quantify BLA modulation of pPCX odor-evoked activity. Single unit odor-evoked activity of anaesthetized BLA-infected animals was significantly modulated compared with control animal recordings, with individual cells displaying either enhancement or suppression of odor-driven spiking. In addition, BLA activation induced a decorrelation of odor-evoked pPCX ensemble activity relative to odor alone. Together these results indicate a modulatory role in pPCX odor processing for the BLA complex, which could contribute to learned changes in PCX activity following associative conditioning.

  14. Amygdala response to explicit sad face stimuli at baseline predicts antidepressant treatment response to scopolamine in major depressive disorder.

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    Szczepanik, Joanna; Nugent, Allison C; Drevets, Wayne C; Khanna, Ashish; Zarate, Carlos A; Furey, Maura L

    2016-08-30

    The muscarinic antagonist scopolamine produces rapid antidepressant effects in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). In healthy subjects, manipulation of acetyl-cholinergic transmission modulates attention in a stimulus-dependent manner. This study tested the hypothesis that baseline amygdalar activity in response to emotional stimuli correlates with antidepressant treatment response to scopolamine and could thus potentially predict treatment outcome. MDD patients and healthy controls performed an attention shifting task involving emotional faces while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal in the amygdala acquired while MDD patients processed sad face stimuli correlated positively with antidepressant response to scopolamine. Amygdalar response to sad faces in MDD patients who did not respond to scopolamine did not differ from that of healthy controls. This suggests that the pre-treatment task elicited amygdalar activity that may constitute a biomarker of antidepressant treatment response to scopolamine. Furthermore, in MDD patients who responded to scopolamine, we observed a post-scopolamine stimulus processing shift towards a pattern demonstrated by healthy controls, indicating a change in stimulus-dependent neural response potentially driven by attenuated cholinergic activity in the amygdala. PMID:27366831

  15. Widespread blunting of hypothalamic and amygdala-septal activity and behavior in rats with long-term hyperglycemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Cortés, M L; Gutiérrez-García, A G; Guillén-Ruiz, G; Romo-González, T; Contreras, C M

    2016-09-01

    Anxiety and depression in diabetic patients contributes to a poor prognosis, but possible causal relationships have been controversial. Anxiety, fear, and anhedonia are mediated by interactions between different deep structures of the temporal lobe (e.g., amygdala complex and hippocampus) and other forebrain-related structures (e.g., lateral septal nucleus). Connections between these structures and the hypothalamic orexinergic system are necessary for the maintenance of energy and wakefulness. However, few studies have explored the impact of long-term hyperglycemia in these structures on anxiety. We induced long-term hyperglycemia (glucose levels of ∼500mg/dl) in Wistar rats by injecting them with alloxan and simultaneously protecting them from hyperglycemia by injecting them daily with a low dose of insulin (i.e., just enough insulin to avoid death), thus maintaining hyperglycemia and ketonuria for as long as 6 weeks. Compared with controls, long-term hyperglycemic rats exhibited a significant reduction of Fos expression in the lateral septal nucleus and basolateral amygdala, but no differences were found in cerebellar regions. Orexin-A cells appeared to be inactive in the lateral hypothalamus. No differences were found in sucrose consumption or behavior in the elevated plus maze compared with the control group, but a decrease in general locomotion was observed. These data indicate a generalized blunting of the metabolic brain response, accompanied by a decrease in locomotion but no changes in hedonic- or anxiety-like behavior. PMID:27173433

  16. Dopamine D(2)/D(3)-receptor and transporter densities in nucleus accumbens and amygdala of type 1 and 2 alcoholics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tupala, E; Hall, H; Bergström, K; Särkioja, T; Räsänen, P; Mantere, T; Callaway, J; Hiltunen, J; Tiihonen, J

    2001-05-01

    Alcohol acts through mechanisms involving the brain neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) with the nucleus accumbens as the key zone for mediating these effects. We evaluated the densities of DA D(2)/D(3) receptors and transporters in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala of post-mortem human brains by using [(125)l]epidepride and [(125)I]PE2I as radioligands in whole hemispheric autoradiography of Cloninger type 1 and 2 alcoholics and healthy controls. When compared with controls, the mean binding of [(125)I]epidepride to DA D(2)/D(3) receptors was 20% lower in the nucleus accumbens and 41% lower in the amygdala, and [(125)I]PE2I binding to DA transporters in the nucleus accumbens was 39% lower in type 1 alcoholics. These data indicate that dopaminergic functions in these limbic areas may be impaired among type 1 alcoholics, due to the substantially lower number of receptor sites. Our results suggest that such a reduction may result in the chronic overuse of alcohol as an attempt to stimulate DA function. PMID:11326293

  17. Prefrontal control of the amygdala during real-time fMRI neurofeedback training of emotion regulation

    CERN Document Server

    Zotev, Vadim; 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 signi...

  18. Altered dendritic arborization of amygdala neurons in young adult rats orally intubated with Clitorea ternatea aqueous root extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Kiranmai S; Murthy, K Dilip; Rao, Muddanna S; Karanth, K Sudhakar

    2005-07-01

    Young adult (60 day old) Wistar rats of either sex were orally intubated with 50 mg/kg body weight and 100 mg/kg body weight of aqueous root extract of Clitoria ternatea (CTR) for 30 days, along with age-matched saline controls. These rats were then subjected to passive avoidance tests and the results from these studies showed a significant increase in passive avoidance learning and retention. Subsequent to the passive avoidance tests, these rats were killed by decapitation. The amygdala was processed for Golgi staining and the stained neurons were traced using a camera lucida and analysed. The results showed a significant increase in dendritic intersections, branching points and dendritic processes arising from the soma of amygdaloid neurons in CTR treated rats especially in the 100 mg/kg group of rats, compared with age-matched saline controls. This improved dendritic arborization of amygdaloid neurons correlates with the increased passive avoidance learning and memory in the CTR treated rats as reported earlier. The results suggest that Clitoria ternatea aqueous root extract enhances memory by increasing the functional growth of neurons of the amygdala. PMID:16161034

  19. Dopaminergic drug effects during reversal learning depend on anatomical connections between the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marieke E. van der Schaaf

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine in the striatum is known to be important for reversal learning. However, the striatum does not act in isolation and reversal learning is also well accepted to depend on the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC and the amygdala. Here we assessed whether dopaminergic drug effects on human striatal BOLD signalling during reversal learning is associated with anatomical connectivity in an orbitofrontal-limbic-striatal network, as measured with diffusion tensor imaging. By using a fibre-based approach, we demonstrate that dopaminergic drug effects on striatal BOLD signal varied as a function of fractional anisotropy (FA in a pathway connecting the OFC with the amygdala. Moreover, our experimental design allowed us to establish that these white-matter dependent drug effects were mediated via D2 receptors. Thus, white matter dependent effects of the D2 receptor agonist bromocriptine on striatal BOLD signal were abolished by co-administration with the D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride. These data provide fundamental insight into the mechanism of action of dopaminergic drug effects during reversal learning. In addition, they may have important clinical implications by suggesting that white matter integrity can help predict dopaminergic drug effects on brain function, ultimately contributing to individual tailoring of dopaminergic drug treatment strategies in psychiatry.

  20. Anticonvulsant effect of ferula assa-foetida oleo gum resin on chemical and amygdala-kindled rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyyed Majid Bagheri

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: In Iranian traditional medicine, Ferula assa-foetida oleo gum resin (asafoetida have been used as anti-convulsant agents. Aims: This study was designed to evaluate the anti-convulsant effect of asafoetida on chemical and amygdala -kindled rats. Materials and Methods: In chemical model, rats received orally asafoetida at dose of 50 and 100 mg/kg 90 minutes prior to Pentylenetetrazol injection in dose of 35 mg/kg intraperitoneally (i.p. and control group received normal saline. Convulsive behavior was recorded for 30 minutes. For amygdala kindle model, bipolar stimulating and monopolar recording electrodes were implanted stereotaxically. After kindling, the effect of asafoetida (50 and 100mg/kg on after discharge duration, duration of stage 5 seizure and latency to the onset of bilateral forelimb clonuses was measured. Results: Pretreatment animals with asafoetida significantly reduced the mean seizure stage during the 20 kindling injection of Pentylenetetrazol. Seizure parameters in amigdala kindle model improved in treatment animals at both dose 50 and 100 mg/kg. The number of stimulations in stage 3, 4, and 5 in asafoetida-treated rats at both doses significantly increased. Conclusions: These results showed that asafoetida could prevent seizure in both chemical and electrical kindling model and this effect may partially be related to the terpenoids compounds.