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Sample records for greater amygdala activity

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. An earlier time of scan is associated with greater threat-related amygdala reactivity.

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    Baranger, David A A; Margolis, Seth; Hariri, Ahmad R; Bogdan, Ryan

    2017-08-01

    Time-dependent variability in mood and anxiety suggest that related neural phenotypes, such as threat-related amygdala reactivity, may also follow a diurnal pattern. Here, using data from 1,043 young adult volunteers, we found that threat-related amygdala reactivity was negatively coupled with time of day, an effect which was stronger in the left hemisphere (β = -0.1083, p-fdr = 0.0012). This effect was moderated by subjective sleep quality (β = -0.0715, p-fdr = 0.0387); participants who reported average and poor sleep quality had relatively increased left amygdala reactivity in the morning. Bootstrapped simulations suggest that similar cross-sectional samples with at least 300 participants would be able to detect associations between amygdala reactivity and time of scan. In control analyses, we found no associations between time and V1 activation. Our results provide initial evidence that threat-related amygdala reactivity may vary diurnally, and that this effect is potentiated among individuals with average to low sleep quality. More broadly, our results suggest that considering time of scan in study design or modeling time of scan in analyses, as well as collecting additional measures of circadian variation, may be useful for understanding threat-related neural phenotypes and their associations with behavior, such as fear conditioning, mood and anxiety symptoms, and related phenotypes. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Psychopaths show enhanced amygdala activation during fear conditioning

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    Douglas eSchultz

    2016-03-01

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

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

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Amygdala activity associated with social choice in mice.

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

    2017-08-14

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Dynamic Changes in Amygdala Activation and Functional Connectivity in Children and Adolescents with Anxiety Disorders

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    Swartz, Johnna R.; Phan, K. Luan; Angstadt, Mike; Fitzgerald, Kate D.; Monk, Christopher S.

    2015-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are associated with abnormalities in amygdala function and prefrontal cortex-amygdala connectivity. The majority of fMRI studies have examined mean group differences in amygdala activation or connectivity in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders relative to controls, but emerging evidence suggests that abnormalities in amygdala function are dependent on the timing of the task and may vary across the course of a scanning session. The goal of the present study was to extend our knowledge of the dynamics of amygdala dysfunction by examining whether changes in amygdala activation and connectivity over scanning differ in pediatric anxiety disorder patients relative to typically developing controls during an emotion processing task. Examining changes in activation over time allows for a comparison of how brain function differs during initial exposure to novel stimuli versus more prolonged exposure. Participants included 34 anxiety disorder patients and 19 controls 7 to 19 years old. Participants performed an emotional face matching task during fMRI scanning and the task was divided into thirds in order to examine change in activation over time. Results demonstrated that patients exhibited an abnormal pattern of amygdala activation characterized by an initially heightened amygdala response relative to controls at the beginning of scanning, followed by significant decreases in activation over time. In addition, controls evidenced greater prefrontal cortex-amygdala connectivity during the beginning of scanning relative to patients. These results indicate that differences in emotion processing between the groups vary from initial exposure to novel stimuli relative to more prolonged exposure. Implications are discussed regarding how this pattern of neural activation may relate to altered early-occurring or anticipatory emotion-regulation strategies and maladaptive later-occurring strategies in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. PMID

  10. Changes in prefrontal and amygdala activity during olanzapine treatment in schizophrenia.

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    Blasi, Giuseppe; Popolizio, Teresa; Taurisano, Paolo; Caforio, Grazia; Romano, Raffaella; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Sambataro, Fabio; Rubino, Valeria; Latorre, Valeria; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Fazio, Leonardo; Nardini, Marcello; Weinberger, Daniel R; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2009-07-15

    Earlier imaging studies in schizophrenia have reported abnormal amygdala and prefrontal cortex activity during emotion processing. We investigated with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during emotion processing changes in activity of the amygdala and of prefrontal cortex in patients with schizophrenia during 8 weeks of olanzapine treatment. Twelve previously drug-free/naive patients with schizophrenia were treated with olanzapine for 8 weeks and underwent two fMRI scans after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment during implicit and explicit emotional processing. Twelve healthy subjects were also scanned twice to control for potential repetition effects. Results showed a diagnosis by time interaction in left amygdala and a diagnosis by time by task interaction in right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. In particular, activity in left amygdala was greater in patients than in controls at the first scan during both explicit and implicit processing, while it was lower in patients at the second relative to the first scan. Furthermore, during implicit processing, right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity was lower in patients than controls at the first scan, while it was greater in patients at the second relative to the first scan. These results suggest that longitudinal treatment with olanzapine may be associated with specific changes in activity of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex during emotional processing in schizophrenia.

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

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

    2016-11-29

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

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

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    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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-05

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

  17. Amygdala activation for eye contact despite complete cortical blindness

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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

    2007-04-01

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

  19. Growth hormone biases amygdala network activation after fear learning

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Yuki Motomura

    2017-06-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Right and left amygdalae activation in patients with major depression receiving antidepressant treatment, as revealed by fMRI.

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    Chen, Yen-Ting; Huang, Min-Wei; Hung, I-Chung; Lane, Hsien-Yuan; Hou, Chun-Ju

    2014-10-08

    A differential contribution of the right and left amygdalae to affective information processing has been proposed. However, the direction of this lateralization has not been confirmed. In this study, we used a pre- and post-treatment (escitalopram) design to analyze the relative differences between neural activity in the right and left amygdalae during exposure to emotional stimuli in currently depressed patients. To the best of our knowledge, this study is to compare neural activity between the left and right amygdalae in people with depression. Our findings could lead to the development of parameters or biomarkers for depressive symptoms and treatment response. We used a pre-post-test design without a control group. Twenty currently depressed participants underwent an emotion processing task during fMRI. These participants were then treated with an antidepressant for 6 weeks. We used amygdala region-of-interest analysis to evaluate the hemodynamic response during exposure to colored emotional pictures. In total, thirteen of the 20 participants were placed into a separate group based on degree of response to antidepressants. The partial response group had an averaged HDRS score of 10.75 ± 2.25 and an averaged DBOLDLR signal of 189.18 ± 140.23 (m1 = 8), and the remitted group had an averaged HDRS score of 4.80 ± 1.64 and an averaged DBOLDLR signal of 421.26 ± 109.19 (m2 = 5). Each individual had lateralized amygdala activity, and the direction of asymmetry persisted following treatment. Amygdala responses to four types of emotional stimuli did not significantly change (p > 0.05) with treatment in either the right or the left amygdala. However, the difference in neural activity between the right and left amygdalae was greater after treatment, and the variation in neural activity was larger in the left amygdala. We found that the response between the right and left amygdala did not differ in terms of time series, although activity increased after pharmaceutical

  3. Sibutramine promotes amygdala activity under fasting conditions in obese women.

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    Oltmanns, Kerstin M; Heldmann, Marcus; Daul, Susanne; Klose, Silke; Rotte, Michael; Schäfer, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Münte, Thomas F; Lehnert, Hendrik

    2012-06-01

    Sibutramine, a centrally-acting selective monoamine reuptake inhibitor, has been used as an appetite suppressant drug in obesity. To gain insight into the central nervous actions of sibutramine, brain responses to pictures of food items after sibutramine vs placebo application were assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in obese women. In a randomized double-blind crossover design, 10 healthy obese women (BMI 31.8-39.9 kg/m(2)) received 15 mg/d of sibutramine vs placebo for 14 d. Obese participants, and a group of 10 age-matched normal weight controls, viewed pictures of food items and control objects in hungry and satiated states while lying in the MR scanner. The paradigm followed a block design. In obese participants, fMRI measurements were conducted prior and after two weeks of daily sibutramine or placebo administration, whereas control participants were scanned only at one point in time. Upon food item presentation, obese participants showed increased brain activity in areas related to emotional and reward processing, perceptual processing, and cognitive control as compared to normal weight controls. Sibutramine exerted a divergent satiety-dependent effect on amygdala activity in obese participants, increasing activity in the hungry state while decreasing it under conditions of satiation. Our results demonstrate a modulatory influence of sibutramine on amygdala activity in obese women which may underlie the appetite suppressant effects of the drug.

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

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

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

    2007-04-15

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

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

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

    1999-03-01

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

  7. Conservatism and the neural circuitry of threat: economic conservatism predicts greater amygdala-BNST connectivity during periods of threat vs safety.

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    Pedersen, Walker S; Muftuler, L Tugan; Larson, Christine L

    2018-01-01

    Political conservatism is associated with an increased negativity bias, including increased attention and reactivity toward negative and threatening stimuli. Although the human amygdala has been implicated in the response to threatening stimuli, no studies to date have investigated whether conservatism is associated with altered amygdala function toward threat. Furthermore, although an influential theory posits that connectivity between the amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is important in initiating the response to sustained or uncertain threat, whether individual differences in conservatism modulate this connectivity is unknown. To test whether conservatism is associated with increased reactivity in neural threat circuitry, we measured participants' self-reported social and economic conservatism and asked them to complete high-resolution fMRI scans while under threat of an unpredictable shock and while safe. We found that economic conservatism predicted greater connectivity between the BNST and a cluster of voxels in the left amygdala during threat vs safety. These results suggest that increased amygdala-BNST connectivity during threat may be a key neural correlate of the enhanced negativity bias found in conservatism. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Brain activation in response to visceral stimulation in rats with amygdala implants of corticosterone: an FMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony C Johnson

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although visceral pain of gastrointestinal (GI origin is the major complaint in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS it remains poorly understood. Brain imaging studies suggest a defect in brain-gut communication in IBS with a greater activation of central arousal circuits including the amygdala. Previously, we found that stereotaxic implantation of corticosterone (CORT onto the amygdala in rats induced anxiety and colonic hypersensitivity. In the present study we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to identify specific brain sites activated in a rat model characterized by anxiety and colonic hypersensitivity.Anesthetized male rats received micropellets (30 microg each of either CORT or cholesterol (CHOL, to serve as a control, implanted stereotaxically on the dorsal margin of each amygdala. Seven days later, rats were anesthetized and placed in the fMRI magnet (7T. A series of isobaric colorectal balloon distensions (CRD - 90s 'off', 30s 'on', 8 replicates at two pressures (40 and 60 mmHg were performed in a standard block-design. Cross correlation statistical analysis was used to determine significant differences between distended and non-distended states in CORT and CHOL-treated animals. Analysis of the imaging data demonstrated greater overall brain activation in response to CRD in rats with CORT implants compared to CHOL controls. Additionally, CORT implants produced significant positive bilateral increases in MRI signal in response to CRD in specific nuclei known as integration sites important in anxiety and pain perception.These data indicate that chronic exposure of the amygdala to elevated levels of CORT enhances overall brain activation in response to CRD, and identified other specific brain regions activated in response to mechanical distension of the colon. These results demonstrate the feasibility of performing fMRI imaging in a rodent model that supports clinical observations in IBS patients with enhanced

  11. Attention and amygdala activity: an fMRI study with spider pictures in spider phobia.

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    Alpers, Georg W; Gerdes, Antje B M; Lagarie, Bernadette; Tabbert, Katharina; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf

    2009-06-01

    Facilitated detection of threatening visual cues is thought to be adaptive. In theory, detection of threat cues should activate the amygdala independently from allocation of attention. However, previous studies using emotional facial expressions as well as phobic cues yielded contradictory results. We used fMRI to examine whether the allocation of attention to components of superimposed spider and bird displays modulates amygdala activation. Nineteen spider-phobic women were instructed to identify either a moving or a stationary animal in briefly presented double-exposure displays. Amygdala activation followed a dose-response relationship: Compared to congruent neutral displays (two birds), amygdala activation was most pronounced in response to congruent phobic displays (two spiders) and less but still significant in response to mixed displays (spider and bird) when attention was focused on the phobic component. When attention was focused on the neutral component, mixed displays did not result in significant amygdala activation. This was confirmed in a significant parametric graduation of the amygdala activation in the order of congruent phobic displays, mixed displays with attention focus on the spider, mixed displays with focus on the bird and congruent neutral displays. These results challenge the notion that amygdala activation in response to briefly presented phobic cues is independent from attention.

  12. Elevated amygdala activity during reappraisal anticipation predicts anxiety in avoidant personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denny, Bryan T; Fan, Jin; Liu, Xun; Ochsner, Kevin N; Guerreri, Stephanie; Mayson, Sarah Jo; Rimsky, Liza; McMaster, Antonia; New, Antonia S; Goodman, Marianne; Siever, Larry J; Koenigsberg, Harold W

    2015-02-01

    Avoidant personality disorder is characterized by pervasive anxiety, fear of criticism, disapproval, and rejection, particularly in anticipation of exposure to social situations. An important but underexplored question concerns whether anxiety in avoidant patients is associated with an impaired ability to engage emotion regulatory strategies in anticipation of and during appraisal of negative social stimuli. We examined the use of an adaptive emotion regulation strategy, cognitive reappraisal, in avoidant patients. In addition to assessing individual differences in state and trait anxiety levels, self-reported affect as well as measures of neural activity were compared between 17 avoidant patients and 21 healthy control participants both in anticipation of and during performance of a reappraisal task. Avoidant patients showed greater state and trait-related anxiety relative to healthy participants. In addition, relative to healthy participants, avoidant patients showed pronounced amygdala hyper-reactivity during reappraisal anticipation, and this hyper-reactivity effect was positively associated with increasing self-reported anxiety levels. Our finding of exaggerated amygdala activity during reappraisal anticipation could reflect anxiety about the impending need to reappraise, anxiety about the certainty of an upcoming negative image, or anxiety relating to anticipated scrutiny of task responses by the experimenters. While we believe that all of these possibilities are consistent with the phenomenology of avoidant personality disorder, future research may clarify this ambiguity. These results suggest that amygdala reactivity in anticipation of receiving negative social information may represent a key component of the neural mechanisms underlying the heightened anxiety present in avoidant patients. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Voogd, Lycia D; Fernández, Guillén; Hermans, Erno J

    2016-09-01

    A large body of evidence in animals and humans implicates the amygdala in promoting memory for arousing experiences. Although the amygdala can trigger threat-related noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal, in humans amygdala activation and noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal do not always concur. This raises the question how these two processes play a role in enhancing emotional declarative memory. This study was designed to disentangle these processes in a combined subsequent-memory/fear-conditioning paradigm with neutral items belonging to two conceptual categories as conditioned stimuli. Functional MRI, skin conductance (index of sympathetic activity), and pupil dilation (indirect index of central noradrenergic activity) were acquired throughout procedures. Recognition memory for individual items was tested 24 h later. We found that pupil dilation and skin conductance responses were higher on CS+ (associated with a shock) compared with CS- trials, irrespective of later memory for those items. By contrast, amygdala activity was only higher for CS+ items that were later confidently remembered compared with CS+ items that were later forgotten. Thus, amygdala activity and not noradrenergic-sympathetic arousal, predicted enhanced declarative item memory. This dissociation is in line with animal models stating that the amygdala integrates arousal-related neuromodulatory changes to alter mnemonic processes elsewhere in the brain. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. A Model of Differential Amygdala Activation in Psychopathy

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Odor discrimination learning in the Indian greater short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx): differential expression of Egr-1, C-fos and PP-1 in the olfactory bulb, amygdala and hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukilan, Murugan; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Marimuthu, Ganapathy; Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel

    2018-04-19

    Activity-dependent expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) is induced by exposure to odor. The present study was designed to investigate whether there is differential expression of IEGs ( Egr-1 , C-fos ) in the brain region mediating olfactory memory in the Indian greater short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx We assumed that differential expression of IEGs in different brain regions may orchestrate a preference odor (PO) and aversive odor (AO) memory in C. sphinx We used preferred (0.8% wt/wt of cinnamon powder) and aversive (0.4% wt/vol of citral) odor substances, with freshly-prepared chopped apple, to assess the behavioural response and induction of IEGs in the olfactory bulb, hippocampus and amygdala. After experiencing PO and AO, the bats initially responded to both, later only engaging in feeding bouts in response to the PO food. The expression pattern of Egr-1 and C-fos in the olfactory bulb, hippocampus and amygdala was similar at different time points (15, 30 and 60 min) following the response to PO, but different for AO. The response to AO elevated the level of C-fos expression within 30 min and reduced it at 60 min in both the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus, as opposed to the continuous increase noted in the amygdala. In addition, we tested whether an epigenetic mechanism entailing protein phosphatase-1 (PP-1) acts on IEG expression. The observed PP-1 expression and the level of unmethylated/methylated promoter revealed that the C-fos expression is possibly controlled by an odor-mediated regulation of PP-1. These results in turn imply that the differential expression of C-fos in the hippocampus and amygdala may contribute to olfactory learning and memory in C. sphinx . © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Altered time course of amygdala activation during speech anticipation in social anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Carolyn D; Young, Katherine; Torre, Jared B; Burklund, Lisa J; Goldin, Philippe R; Brown, Lily A; Niles, Andrea N; Lieberman, Matthew D; Craske, Michelle G

    2017-02-01

    Exaggerated anticipatory anxiety is common in social anxiety disorder (SAD). Neuroimaging studies have revealed altered neural activity in response to social stimuli in SAD, but fewer studies have examined neural activity during anticipation of feared social stimuli in SAD. The current study examined the time course and magnitude of activity in threat processing brain regions during speech anticipation in socially anxious individuals and healthy controls (HC). Participants (SAD n=58; HC n=16) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during which they completed a 90s control anticipation task and 90s speech anticipation task. Repeated measures multi-level modeling analyses were used to examine group differences in time course activity during speech vs. control anticipation for regions of interest, including bilateral amygdala, insula, ventral striatum, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. The time course of amygdala activity was more prolonged and less variable throughout speech anticipation in SAD participants compared to HCs, whereas the overall magnitude of amygdala response did not differ between groups. Magnitude and time course of activity was largely similar between groups across other regions of interest. Analyses were restricted to regions of interest and task order was the same across participants due to the nature of deception instructions. Sustained amygdala time course during anticipation may uniquely reflect heightened detection of threat or deficits in emotion regulation in socially anxious individuals. Findings highlight the importance of examining temporal dynamics of amygdala responding. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Amygdala activation in response to facial expressions in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britton, Jennifer C.; Stewart, S. Evelyn; Killgore, William D.S.; Rosso, Isabelle M.; Price, Lauren M.; Gold, Andrea L.; Pine, Daniel S.; Wilhelm, Sabine; Jenike, Michael A.; Rauch, Scott L.

    2010-01-01

    Background Exaggerated amygdala activation to threatening faces has been detected in adults and children with anxiety disorders, compared to healthy comparison subjects. However, the profile of amygdala activation in response to facial expressions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be a distinguishing feature; a prior study found that compared with healthy adults, adults with OCD exhibited less amygdala activation to emotional and neutral faces, relative to fixation (Cannistraro et al., 2004). Methods In the current event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, a pediatric OCD sample (N=12) and a healthy comparison sample (HC, N=17) performed a gender discrimination task while viewing emotional faces (happy, fear, disgust) and neutral faces. Results Compared to the HC group, the OCD group showed less amygdala/hippocampus activation in all emotion and neutral conditions relative to fixation. Conclusions Like previous reports in adult OCD, pediatric OCD may have a distinct neural profile from other anxiety disorders, with respect to amygdala activation in response to emotional stimuli that are not disorder-specific. PMID:20602430

  19. Preregistered Replication of "Affective Flexibility: Evaluative Processing Goals Shape Amygdala Activity".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumian, Daniel S; McRae, Kateri

    2017-09-01

    The human amygdala is sensitive to stimulus characteristics, and growing evidence suggests that it is also responsive to cognitive framing in the form of evaluative goals. To examine whether different evaluations of stimulus characteristics shape amygdala activation, we conducted a preregistered replication of Cunningham, Van Bavel, and Johnsen's (2008) study demonstrating flexible mapping of amygdala activation to stimulus characteristics, depending on evaluative goals. Participants underwent functional MRI scanning while viewing famous names under three conditions: They were asked to report their overall attitude toward each name, their positive associations only, or their negative associations only. We observed an interaction between condition and rating type, identified as the effect of interest in Cunningham et al. (2008). Specifically, postscan positivity, but not negativity, ratings predicted left amygdala activation when participants were asked to evaluate positive, but not negative, associations with the names. These results provide convergent evidence that cognitive framing, in the form of evaluative goals, can significantly alter whether amygdala activation indexes positivity or negativity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roozendaal, Benno; Barsegyan, Areg; Lee, Sangkwan

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-29

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derntl Birgit

    2012-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2014-12-03

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

  6. Interest in politics modulates neural activity in the amygdala and ventral striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gozzi, Marta; Zamboni, Giovanna; Krueger, Frank; Grafman, Jordan

    2010-11-01

    Studies on political participation have found that a person's interest in politics contributes to the likelihood that he or she will be involved in the political process. Here, we looked at whether or not interest in politics affects patterns of brain activity when individuals think about political matters. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we scanned individuals (either interested or uninterested in politics based on a self-report questionnaire) while they were expressing their agreement or disagreement with political opinions. After scanning, participants were asked to rate each political opinion presented in the scanner for emotional valence and emotional intensity. Behavioral results showed that those political opinions participants agreed with were perceived as more emotionally intense and more positive by individuals interested in politics relative to individuals uninterested in politics. In addition, individuals interested in politics showed greater activation in the amygdala and the ventral striatum (ventral putamen) relative to individuals uninterested in politics when reading political opinions in accordance with their own views. This study shows that having an interest in politics elicits activations in emotion- and reward-related brain areas even when simply agreeing with written political opinions. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina A Strigo

    2010-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelsch, Stefan; Fritz, Thomas; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2008-12-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-30

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

  20. Self-Regulation of Amygdala Activation Using Real-Time fMRI Neurofeedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Raquel; Alvarez, Ruben P.; Simmons, W. Kyle; Bellgowan, Patrick; Drevets, Wayne C.; Bodurka, Jerzy

    2011-01-01

    Real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rtfMRI) with neurofeedback allows investigation of human brain neuroplastic changes that arise as subjects learn to modulate neurophysiological function using real-time feedback regarding their own hemodynamic responses to stimuli. We investigated the feasibility of training healthy humans to self-regulate the hemodynamic activity of the amygdala, which plays major roles in emotional processing. Participants in the experimental group were provided with ongoing information about the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) activity in the left amygdala (LA) and were instructed to raise the BOLD rtfMRI signal by contemplating positive autobiographical memories. A control group was assigned the same task but was instead provided with sham feedback from the left horizontal segment of the intraparietal sulcus (HIPS) region. In the LA, we found a significant BOLD signal increase due to rtfMRI neurofeedback training in the experimental group versus the control group. This effect persisted during the Transfer run without neurofeedback. For the individual subjects in the experimental group the training effect on the LA BOLD activity correlated inversely with scores on the Difficulty Identifying Feelings subscale of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. The whole brain data analysis revealed significant differences for Happy Memories versus Rest condition between the experimental and control groups. Functional connectivity analysis of the amygdala network revealed significant widespread correlations in a fronto-temporo-limbic network. Additionally, we identified six regions — right medial frontal polar cortex, bilateral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, left anterior cingulate cortex, and bilateral superior frontal gyrus — where the functional connectivity with the LA increased significantly across the rtfMRI neurofeedback runs and the Transfer run. The findings demonstrate that healthy subjects can learn to regulate their amygdala

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Intermittent compared to continuous real-time fMRI neurofeedback boosts control over amygdala activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellrung, Lydia; Dietrich, Anja; Hollmann, Maurice; Pleger, Burkhard; Kalberlah, Christian; Roggenhofer, Elisabeth; Villringer, Arno; Horstmann, Annette

    2018-02-01

    Real-time fMRI neurofeedback is a feasible tool to learn the volitional regulation of brain activity. So far, most studies provide continuous feedback information that is presented upon every volume acquisition. Although this maximizes the temporal resolution of feedback information, it may be accompanied by some disadvantages. Participants can be distracted from the regulation task due to (1) the intrinsic delay of the hemodynamic response and associated feedback and (2) limited cognitive resources available to simultaneously evaluate feedback information and stay engaged with the task. Here, we systematically investigate differences between groups presented with different variants of feedback (continuous vs. intermittent) and a control group receiving no feedback on their ability to regulate amygdala activity using positive memories and feelings. In contrast to the feedback groups, no learning effect was observed in the group without any feedback presentation. The group receiving intermittent feedback exhibited better amygdala regulation performance when compared with the group receiving continuous feedback. Behavioural measurements show that these effects were reflected in differences in task engagement. Overall, we not only demonstrate that the presentation of feedback is a prerequisite to learn volitional control of amygdala activity but also that intermittent feedback is superior to continuous feedback presentation. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  5. Metabolic activation of amygdala, lateral septum and accumbens circuits during food anticipatory behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivo, Diana; Caba, Mario; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco; Rodríguez-Landa, Juan F; Corona-Morales, Aleph A

    2017-01-01

    When food is restricted to a brief fixed period every day, animals show an increase in temperature, corticosterone concentration and locomotor activity for 2-3h before feeding time, termed food anticipatory activity. Mechanisms and neuroanatomical circuits responsible for food anticipatory activity remain unclear, and may involve both oscillators and networks related to temporal conditioning. Rabbit pups are nursed once-a-day so they represent a natural model of circadian food anticipatory activity. Food anticipatory behavior in pups may be associated with neural circuits that temporally anticipate feeding, while the nursing event may produce consummatory effects. Therefore, we used New Zealand white rabbit pups entrained to circadian feeding to investigate the hypothesis that structures related to reward expectation and conditioned emotional responses would show a metabolic rhythm anticipatory of the nursing event, different from that shown by structures related to reward delivery. Quantitative cytochrome oxidase histochemistry was used to measure regional brain metabolic activity at eight different times during the day. We found that neural metabolism peaked before nursing, during food anticipatory behavior, in nuclei of the extended amygdala (basolateral, medial and central nuclei, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis), lateral septum and accumbens core. After pups were fed, however, maximal metabolic activity was expressed in the accumbens shell, caudate, putamen and cortical amygdala. Neural and behavioral activation persisted when animals were fasted by two cycles, at the time of expected nursing. These findings suggest that metabolic activation of amygdala-septal-accumbens circuits involved in temporal conditioning may contribute to food anticipatory activity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  9. ADRA2B genotype differentially modulates stress-induced neural activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during emotional memory retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shijia; Weerda, Riklef; Milde, Christopher; Wolf, Oliver T; Thiel, Christiane M

    2015-02-01

    Noradrenaline interacts with stress hormones in the amygdala and hippocampus to enhance emotional memory consolidation, but the noradrenergic-glucocorticoid interaction at retrieval, where stress impairs memory, is less understood. We used a genetic neuroimaging approach to investigate whether a genetic variation of the noradrenergic system impacts stress-induced neural activity in amygdala and hippocampus during recognition of emotional memory. This study is based on genotype-dependent reanalysis of data from our previous publication (Li et al. Brain Imaging Behav 2014). Twenty-two healthy male volunteers were genotyped for the ADRA2B gene encoding the α2B-adrenergic receptor. Ten deletion carriers and 12 noncarriers performed an emotional face recognition task, while their brain activity was measured with fMRI. During encoding, 50 fearful and 50 neutral faces were presented. One hour later, they underwent either an acute stress (Trier Social Stress Test) or a control procedure which was followed immediately by the retrieval session, where participants had to discriminate between 100 old and 50 new faces. A genotype-dependent modulation of neural activity at retrieval was found in the bilateral amygdala and right hippocampus. Deletion carriers showed decreased neural activity in the amygdala when recognizing emotional faces in control condition and increased amygdala activity under stress. Noncarriers showed no differences in emotional modulated amygdala activation under stress or control. Instead, stress-induced increases during recognition of emotional faces were present in the right hippocampus. The genotype-dependent effects of acute stress on neural activity in amygdala and hippocampus provide evidence for noradrenergic-glucocorticoid interaction in emotional memory retrieval.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clewett, David; Schoeke, Andrej; Mather, Mara

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Are Plasma Oxytocin and Vasopressin Levels Reflective of Amygdala Activation during the Processing of Negative Emotions? A Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motoki, Kosuke; Sugiura, Motoaki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nakagawa, Seishu; Yokoyama, Ryoichi; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2016-01-01

    Plasma oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are associated with individual differences in emotional responses and behaviors. The amygdala is considered to be an important brain region for regulating emotion-based behavior, with OT and AVP modulating activity in the amygdala during the processing of negative emotions. In particular, increased OT levels may diminish amygdala activation (anxiolytic effects) and enhanced AVP levels may augment amygdala activation (anxiogenic effects) when negative emotions are processed. A growing body of research has shown that the effects of OT and AVP are modulated by sex: the aforementioned anxiolytic effects of OT and the anxiogenic effects of AVP occur in men, but not in women. However, we have little knowledge regarding the biological mechanisms underlying OT and AVP plasma levels or their respective anxiogenic and anxiolytic effects; similarly, little is known about the causes and nature of sex differences related to these neuropeptides and their effects on emotional processing. In the current study, we focused on the neural functions associated with the biological mechanisms underlying such effects. We hypothesized that amygdala activation would correlate with trait plasma OT (anxiolytic effects) and AVP (anxiogenic effects) levels because the amygdala is thought to affect the coordinated release of these neuropeptides following affective experiences. We further hypothesized that the effects would be modulated by sex. We assessed 51 participants (male and female) using a paradigm involving negative emotion in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging and measurements of plasma OT and AVP levels. We determined that increased plasma AVP levels were positively associated with amygdala activation (anxiogenic effects) in men, but not in women. These findings highlight the potential underlying neural mechanisms of plasma AVP levels in men.

  12. Are plasma oxytocin and vasopressin levels reflective of amygdala activation during the processing of negative emotions? A preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kosuke eMotoki

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Plasma oxytocin (OT and arginine vasopressin (AVP are associated with individual differences in emotional responses and behaviors. The amygdala is considered to be an important brain region for regulating emotion-based behavior, with OT and AVP modulating activity in the amygdala during the processing of negative emotions. In particular, increased OT levels may diminish amygdala activation (anxiolytic effects and enhanced AVP levels may augment amygdala activation (anxiogenic effects when negative emotions are processed. A growing body of research has shown that the effects of OT and AVP are modulated by sex: the aforementioned anxiolytic effects of OT and the anxiogenic effects of AVP occur in men, but not in women. However, we have little knowledge regarding the biological mechanisms underlying OT and AVP plasma levels or their respective anxiogenic and anxiolytic effects; similarly, little is known about the causes and nature of sex differences related to these neuropeptides and their effects on emotional processing. In the current study, we focused on the neural functions associated with the biological mechanisms underlying such effects. We hypothesized that amygdala activation would correlate with plasma OT (anxiolytic effects and AVP (anxiogenic effects levels because the amygdala is thought to affect the coordinated release of these neuropeptides following affective experiences. We further hypothesized that the effects would be modulated by sex. We assessed 51 participants (male and female using a paradigm involving negative emotion in conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging and measurements of plasma OT and AVP levels. We determined that increased plasma AVP levels were positively associated with amygdala activation (anxiogenic effects in men, but not in women. These findings highlight the potential underlying neural mechanisms of plasma AVP levels in men.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Speech Disfluency-dependent Amygdala Activity in Adults Who Stutter: Neuroimaging of Interpersonal Communication in MRI Scanner Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyomura, Akira; Fujii, Tetsunoshin; Yokosawa, Koichi; Kuriki, Shinya

    2018-03-15

    Affective states, such as anticipatory anxiety, critically influence speech communication behavior in adults who stutter. However, there is currently little evidence regarding the involvement of the limbic system in speech disfluency during interpersonal communication. We designed this neuroimaging study and experimental procedure to sample neural activity during interpersonal communication between human participants, and to investigate the relationship between the amygdala activity and speech disfluency. Participants were required to engage in live communication with a stranger of the opposite sex in the MRI scanner environment. In the gaze condition, the stranger gazed at the participant without speaking, while in the live conversation condition, the stranger asked questions that the participant was required to answer. The stranger continued to gaze silently at the participant while the participant answered. Adults who stutter reported significantly higher discomfort than fluent controls during the experiment. Activity in the right amygdala, a key anatomical region in the limbic system involved in emotion, was significantly correlated with stuttering occurrences in adults who stutter. Right amygdala activity from pooled data of all participants also showed a significant correlation with discomfort level during the experiment. Activity in the prefrontal cortex, which forms emotion regulation neural circuitry with the amygdala, was decreased in adults who stutter than in fluent controls. This is the first study to demonstrate that amygdala activity during interpersonal communication is involved in disfluent speech in adults who stutter. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Methamphetamine facilitates female sexual behavior and enhances neuronal activation in the medial amygdala and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holder, Mary K; Hadjimarkou, Maria M; Zup, Susan L; Blutstein, Tamara; Benham, Rebecca S; McCarthy, Margaret M; Mong, Jessica A

    2010-02-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Users of MA report dramatic increases in sexual drive that have been associated with increased engagement in risky sexual behavior leading to higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies. The ability of MA to enhance sexual drive in females is enigmatic since related psychostimulants like amphetamine and cocaine appear not to affect sexual drive in women, and in rodents models, amphetamine has been reported to be inhibitory to female sexual behavior. Examination of MA's effects on female sexual behavior in an animal model is lacking. Here, using a rodent model, we have demonstrated that MA enhanced female sexual behavior. MA (5mg/kg) or saline vehicle was administered once daily for 3 days to adult ovariectomized rats primed with ovarian steroids. MA treatment significantly increased the number of proceptive events and the lordosis response compared to hormonally primed, saline controls. The effect of MA on the neural circuitry underlying the motivation for sexual behavior was examined using Fos immunoreactivity. In the medial amygdala and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, nuclei implicated in motivated behaviors, ovarian hormones and MA independently enhance the neuronal activation, but more striking was the significantly greater activation induced by their combined administration. Increases in dopamine neurotransmission may underlie the MA/hormone mediated increase in neuronal activation. In support of this possibility, ovarian hormones significantly increased tyrosine hydroxylase (the rate limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis) immunoreactivity in the medial amygdala. Thus our present data suggest that the interactions of MA and ovarian hormones leads to changes in the neural substrate of key nuclei involved in mediating female sexual behaviors, and these changes may underlie MA's ability to enhance these behaviors. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-25

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

  18. Combining D-cycloserine with appetitive extinction learning modulates amygdala activity during recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebrahimi, Claudia; Koch, Stefan P; Friedel, Eva; Crespo, Ilsoray; Fydrich, Thomas; Ströhle, Andreas; Heinz, Andreas; Schlagenhauf, Florian

    2017-07-01

    Appetitive Pavlovian conditioning plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of drug addiction and conditioned reward cues can trigger craving and relapse even after long phases of abstinence. Promising preclinical work showed that the NMDA-receptor partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS) facilitates Pavlovian extinction learning of fear and drug cues. Furthermore, DCS-augmented exposure therapy seems to be beneficial in various anxiety disorders, while the supposed working mechanism of DCS during human appetitive or aversive extinction learning is still not confirmed. To test the hypothesis that DCS administration before extinction training improves extinction learning, healthy adults (n=32) underwent conditioning, extinction, and extinction recall on three successive days in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled fMRI design. Monetary wins and losses served as unconditioned stimuli during conditioning to probe appetitive and aversive learning. An oral dose of 50mg of DCS or placebo was administered 1h before extinction training and DCS effects during extinction recall were evaluated on a behavioral and neuronal level. We found attenuated amygdala activation in the DCS compared to the placebo group during recall of the extinguished appetitive cue, along with evidence for enhanced functional amygdala-vmPFC coupling in the DCS group. While the absence of additional physiological measures of conditioned responses during recall in this study prevent the evaluation of a behavioral DCS effect, our neuronal findings are in accordance with recent theories linking successful extinction recall in humans to modulatory top-down influences from the vmPFC that inhibit amygdala activation. Our results should encourage further translational studies concerning the usefulness of DCS to target maladaptive Pavlovian reward associations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Elevated amygdala activity to sad facial expressions: a state marker of bipolar but not unipolar depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Jorge R C; Versace, Amelia; Hassel, Stefanie; Kupfer, David J; Phillips, Mary L

    2010-03-01

    Difficulties in emotion processing and poor social function are common to bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) depression, resulting in many BD depressed individuals being misdiagnosed with MDD. The amygdala is a key region implicated in processing emotionally salient stimuli, including emotional facial expressions. It is unclear, however, whether abnormal amygdala activity during positive and negative emotion processing represents a persistent marker of BD regardless of illness phase or a state marker of depression common or specific to BD and MDD depression. Sixty adults were recruited: 15 depressed with BD type 1 (BDd), 15 depressed with recurrent MDD, 15 with BD in remission (BDr), diagnosed with DSM-IV and Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Research Version criteria; and 15 healthy control subjects (HC). Groups were age- and gender ratio-matched; patient groups were matched for age of illness onset and illness duration; depressed groups were matched for depression severity. The BDd were taking more psychotropic medication than other patient groups. All individuals participated in three separate 3T neuroimaging event-related experiments, where they viewed mild and intense emotional and neutral faces of fear, happiness, or sadness from a standardized series. The BDd-relative to HC, BDr, and MDD-showed elevated left amygdala activity to mild and neutral facial expressions in the sad (p sad and neutral faces might be a depression-specific marker in BD but not MDD, suggesting different pathophysiologic processes for BD versus MDD depression. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Avoidant Responses to Interpersonal Provocation Are Associated with Increased Amygdala and Decreased Mentalizing Network Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krämer, Ulrike M.

    2017-01-01

    When intentionally pushed or insulted, one can either flee from the provoker or retaliate. The implementation of such fight-or-flight decisions is a central aspect in the genesis and evolution of aggression episodes, yet it is usually investigated only indirectly or in nonsocial situations. In the present fMRI study, we aimed to distinguish brain regions associated with aggressive and avoidant responses to interpersonal provocation in humans. Participants (thirty-six healthy young women) could either avoid or face a highly (HP) and a lowly (LP) provoking opponent in a competitive reaction time task: the fight-or-escape (FOE) paradigm. Subjects avoided the HP more often, but retaliated when facing her. Moreover, they chose to fight the HP more quickly, and showed increased heart rate (HR) right before confronting her. Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and sensorimotor cortex were more active when participants decided to fight, whereas the mentalizing network was engaged when deciding to avoid. Importantly, avoiding the HP relative to the LP was associated with both higher activation in the right basolateral amygdala and lower relative activity in several mentalizing regions [e.g., medial and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), temporal-parietal junction (TPJ)]. These results suggest that avoidant responses to provocation might result from heightened threat anticipation and are associated with reduced perspective taking. Furthermore, our study helps to reconcile conflicting findings on the role of the mentalizing network, the amygdala, and the OFC in aggression. PMID:28660251

  1. Cognitively Engaging Activity is Associated with Greater Cortical and Subcortical Volumes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Talia R. Seider

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available As the population ages and dementia becomes a growing healthcare concern, it is increasingly important to identify targets for intervention to delay or attenuate cognitive decline. Research has shown that the most successful interventions aim at altering lifestyle factors. Thus, this study examined how involvement in physical, cognitive, and social activity is related to brain structure in older adults. Sixty-five adults (mean age = 71.4 years, standard deviation = 8.9 received the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS, a questionnaire that polls everyday activities in which older adults may be involved, and also underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging. Stepwise regression with backwards selection was used to predict weekly time spent in either social, cognitive, light physical, or heavy physical activity from the volume of one of the cortical or subcortical regions of interest (corrected by intracranial volume as well as age, education, and gender as control variables. Regressions revealed that more time spent in cognitive activity was associated with greater volumes of all brain regions studied: total cortex (β = .289, p = .014, frontal (β = .276, p = .019, parietal (β = .305, p = .009, temporal (β = .275, p = .020, and occipital (β = .256, p = .030 lobes, and thalamus (β = .310, p = .010, caudate (β = .233, p = .049, hippocampus (β = .286, p = .017, and amygdala (β = .336, p = .004. These effects remained even after accounting for the positive association between cognitive activity and education. No other activity variable was associated with brain volumes. Results indicate that time spent in cognitively engaging activity is associated with greater cortical and subcortical brain volume. Findings suggest that interventions aimed at increasing levels of cognitive activity may delay cognitive consequences of aging and decrease the risk of developing dementia.

  2. Uncovering Camouflage: Amygdala Activation Predicts Long-Term Memory of Induced Perceptual Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludmer, Rachel; Dudai, Yadin; Rubin, Nava

    2012-01-01

    What brain mechanisms underlie learning of new knowledge from single events? We studied encoding in long-term memory of a unique type of one-shot experience, induced perceptual insight. While undergoing an fMRI brain scan, participants viewed degraded images of real-world pictures where the underlying objects were hard to recognize (‘camouflage’), followed by brief exposures to the original images (‘solution’), which led to induced insight (“Aha!”). A week later, participants’ memory was tested; a solution image was classified as ‘remembered’ if detailed perceptual knowledge was elicited from the camouflage image alone. During encoding, subsequently remembered images enjoyed higher activity in mid-level visual cortex and medial frontal cortex, but most pronouncedly in the amygdala, whose activity could be used to predict which solutions will remain in long-term memory. Our findings extend the known roles of amygdala in memory to include promoting of long-term memory of the sudden reorganization of internal representations. PMID:21382558

  3. Differential activation of amygdala, dorsal and ventral hippocampus following an exposure to a reminder ofunderwater trauma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilad eRitov

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recollection of emotional memories is attributed in part to the activation of the amygdala and the hippocampus. Recent hypothesis suggest a pivotal role for the ventral hippocampus in traumatic stress processing and emotional memory retrieval. Persistent re-experiencing and intrusive recollections are core symptoms in acute and posttraumatic stress disorders (ASD; PTSD. Such intrusive recollections are often triggered by reminders associated with the trauma.We examined the impact of exposure to a trauma reminder (under water trauma on the activation of the basolateral amygdala (BLA, dorsal and ventral hippocampus. Rats were exposed to underwater trauma and 24 hours later were re-exposed to the context of the trauma. Phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK was used as a marker for level of activation of these regions. Significant increase in ERK activation was found in the ventral hippocampus and BLA. Such pattern of activation was not found in animals exposed only to the trauma or in animals exposed only to the trauma reminder. Additionally, the dissociative pattern of activation of the ventral hippocampus sub-regions positively correlated with the activation of the BLA.Our findings suggest a specific pattern of neural activation during recollection of a trauma reminder, with a unique contribution of the ventral hippocampus. Measured 24 hrs after the exposure to the traumatic experience, the current findings relate to relatively early stages of traumatic memory consolidation. Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying these initial stages may contribute to developing intervention strategies that could reduce the risk of eventually developing PTSD.

  4. 5-HTTLPR polymorphism impacts task-evoked and resting-state activities of the amygdala in Han Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Sufang; Zou, Qihong; Li, Jun; Li, Jin; Wang, Deyi; Yan, Chaogan; Dong, Qi; Zang, Yu-Feng

    2012-01-01

    Prior research has shown that the amygdala of carriers of the short allele (s) of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene (5-HTTLPR) have a larger response to negative emotional stimuli and higher spontaneous activity during the resting state than non-carriers. However, recent studies have suggested that the effects of 5-HTTLPR may be specific to different ethnic groups. Few studies have been conducted to address this issue. Blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was conducted on thirty-eight healthy Han Chinese subjects (l/l group, n = 19; s/s group, n = 19) during the resting state and during an emotional processing task. Compared with the s/s group, the l/l group showed significantly increased regional homogeneity or local synchronization in the right amygdala during the resting state (|t|>2.028, pemotional processing task. 5-HTTLPR can alter the spontaneous activity of the amygdala in Han Chinese. However, the effect of 5-HTTLPR on the amygdala both in task state and resting state in Asian population was no similar with Caucasians. They suggest that the effect of 5-HTTLPR on the amygdala may be modulated by ethnic differences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-15

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

  10. Activation of NF-κB in basolateral amygdala is required for memory reconsolidation in auditory fear conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Jijian; Yang, Jianli; Xue, Lifen; Yang, Chenhao; Luo, Yixiao; Shi, Haishui; Lu, Lin

    2012-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC). We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.

  11. Activation of NF-κB in basolateral amygdala is required for memory reconsolidation in auditory fear conditioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jijian Si

    Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is characterized by acute and chronic changes in the stress response, manifested as conditioned fear memory. Previously formed memories that are susceptible to disruption immediately after retrieval undergo a protein synthesis-dependent process to become persistent, termed reconsolidation, a process that is regulated by many distinct molecular mechanisms that control gene expression. Increasing evidence supports the participation of the transcription factor NF-κB in the different phases of memory. Here, we demonstrate that inhibition of NF-κB in the basolateral amygdala (BLA, but not central nucleus of the amygdala, after memory reactivation impairs the retention of amygdala-dependent auditory fear conditioning (AFC. We used two independent pharmacological strategies to disrupt the reconsolidation of AFC. Bilateral intra-BLA infusion of sulfasalazine, an inhibitor of IκB kinase that activates NF-κB, and bilateral intra-BLA infusion of SN50, a direct inhibitor of the NF-κB DNA-binding complex, immediately after retrieval disrupted the reconsolidation of AFC. We also found that systemic pretreatment with sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that enhances histone acetylation, in the amygdala rescued the disruption of reconsolidation induced by NF-κB inhibition in the BLA. These findings indicate that NF-κB activity in the BLA is required for memory reconsolidation in AFC, suggesting that NF-κB might be a potential pharmacotherapy target for posttraumatic stress disorder.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  13. The antiepileptic activity of Vitex agnus castus extract on amygdala kindled seizures in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saberi, Mehdi; Rezvanizadeh, Alireza; Bakhtiarian, Azam

    2008-08-22

    The antiepileptic activity of hydrophilic extract of Vitex agnus castus fruit (Vitex) was evaluated by the kindling model of epilepsy. Intact male rats (250-300 g) were stereotaxically implanted with a tripolar and two monopolar electrodes in amygdala and dura, respectively. The afterdischarge (AD) threshold was determined in each animal and stimulated daily until fully kindled. The animals were administered different doses (60, 120 or 180 mg/kg) of Vitex or 0.1 ml of hydro alcoholic solvent intra-peritoneally (i.p.) and kindling parameters including AD threshold, seizure stages (SS), afterdischarge duration (ADD), stage 4 latency (S4L) and stage 5 duration (S5D) were recorded 30 min post-injection. The obtained data showed that even low dose (60 mg/kg) of Vitex could significantly increase the AD threshold and decrease the ADD and S5D (PVitex at the dose of 120 mg/kg, induced significant increment in S4L (PVitex can reduce or prevent epileptic activity as demonstrated by reduction of ADD and S5D (length of convulsion) in a dose dependent manner. In conclusion, Vitex at appropriate dose can probably reduce or control epileptic activities.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. The Interplay of Attention and Emotion: Top-down Attention Modulates Amygdala Activation in Psychopathy

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence demonstrates that fear potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention but, to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala, or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopa...

  16. The Active Structure of the Greater Dead Sea Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamir, G.

    2002-12-01

    The Greater Dead Sea Basin (GDSB) is a 220km long depression situated along the southern section of the Dead Sea Transform (DST), between two structurally and gravitationally elevated points, Wadi Malih in the north and Paran fault zone in the south. In its center is the Dead Sea basin 'sensu strictu' (DSB), which has been described since the 1970s as a pull-apart basin at a left step-over along the DST. However, several observations, or their lack thereof, contradict this scheme, e.g. (i) It is not supported by recent seismological and geomorphic data; (ii) It does not explain the fault pattern and mixed sinistral and dextral offset along the DSB western boundary; (iii) It does not simply explain the presence of intense deformation outside the presumed fault step zone; (iv) It is inconsistent with the orientation of seismically active faults within the Dead Sea and Jericho Valley; (v) The length of the DSB exceeds the total offset along the Dead Sea Transform, while its subsidence is about the age of the DST. In this study, newly acquired and analyzed data (high resolution seismic reflection and earthquake relocation and fault plane solutions) has been integrated with previously published data (structural mapping, fracture orientation distribution, Bouguer anomaly maps, sinkhole distribution, geomorphic lineaments). The results show that the GDSB is dominated by two active fault systems, one trending NNE and showing normal-dextral motion, the other trending NW. These systems are identified by earthquake activity, seismic reflection observations, alignment of recent sinkholes, and distribution of Bouguer anomaly gradients. As a result, the intra-basin structure is of a series of rectangular blocks. The dextral slip component along NNE trending faults, the mixed sense of lateral offset along the western boundary of the DSB and temporal change in fracture orientation in the Jericho Valley suggest that the intra-basin blocks have rotated counterclockwise since the

  17. Involvement of serotonin 2A receptor activation in modulating medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala neuronal activation during novelty-exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervig, Mona El-Sayed; Jensen, Nadja Cecilie Hvid; Rasmussen, Nadja Bredo; Rydbirk, Rasmus; Olesen, Mikkel Vestergaard; Hay-Schmidt, Anders; Pakkenberg, Bente; Aznar, Susana

    2017-05-30

    The medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a major role in executive function by exerting a top-down control onto subcortical areas. Novelty-induced frontal cortex activation is 5-HT 2A receptor (5-HT 2A R) dependent. Here, we further investigated how blockade of 5-HT 2A Rs in mice exposed to a novel open-field arena affects medial PFC activation and basolateral amygdala (BLA) reactivity. We used c-Fos immunoreactivity (IR) as a marker of neuronal activation and stereological quantification for obtaining the total number of c-Fos-IR neurons as a measure of regional activation. We further examined the impact of 5-HT 2A R blockade on the striatal-projecting BLA neurons. Systemic administration of ketanserin (0.5mg/kg) prior to novel open-field exposure resulted in reduced total numbers of c-Fos-IR cells in dorsomedial PFC areas and the BLA. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between the relative time spent in the centre of the open-field and BLA c-Fos-IR in the ketanserin-treated animals. Unilateral medial PFC lesions blocked this effect, ascertaining an involvement of this frontal cortex area. On the other hand, medial PFC lesioning exacerbated the more anxiogenic-like behaviour of the ketanserin-treated animals, upholding its involvement in modulating averseness. Ketanserin did not affect the number of activated striatal-projecting BLA neurons (measured by number of Cholera Toxin b (CTb) retrograde labelled neurons also being c-Fos-IR) following CTb injection in the ventral striatum. These results support a role of 5-HT 2A R activation in modulating mPFC and BLA activation during exposure to a novel environment, which may be interrelated. Conversely, 5-HT 2A R blockade does not seem to affect the amygdala-striatal projection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Reconsolidation of a cocaine associated memory requires DNA methyltransferase activity in the basolateral amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Hai-Shui; Luo, Yi-Xiao; Yin, Xi; Wu, Hong-Hai; Xue, Gai; Geng, Xu-Hong; Hou, Yan-Ning

    2015-01-01

    Drug addiction is considered an aberrant form of learning, and drug-associated memories evoked by the presence of associated stimuli (drug context or drug-related cues) contribute to recurrent craving and reinstatement. Epigenetic changes mediated by DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) have been implicated in the reconsolidation of fear memory. Here, we investigated the role of DNMT activity in the reconsolidation of cocaine-associated memories. Rats were trained over 10 days to intravenously self-administer cocaine by nosepokes. Each injection was paired with a light/tone conditioned stimulus (CS). After acquisition of stable self-administration behaviour, rats underwent nosepoke extinction (10 d) followed by cue-induced reactivation and subsequent cue-induced and cocaine-priming + cue-induced reinstatement tests or subsequently tested to assess the strength of the cocaine-associated cue as a conditioned reinforcer to drive cocaine seeking behaviour. Bilateral intra-basolateral amygdala (BLA) infusion of the DNMT inhibitor5-azacytidine (5-AZA, 1 μg per side) immediately following reactivation decreased subsequent reinstatement induced by cues or cocaine priming as well as cue-maintained cocaine-seeking behaviour. In contrast, delayed intra-BLA infusion of 5-AZA 6 h after reactivation or 5-AZA infusion without reactivation had no effect on subsequent cue-induced reinstatement. These findings indicate that memory reconsolidation for a cocaine-paired stimulus depends critically on DNMT activity in the BLA. PMID:26289919

  19. Attention and awareness influence amygdala activity for dynamic bodily expressions - A short review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatrice eDe Gelder

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The amygdala (AMG has long been viewed as the gateway to sensory processing of emotions and is also known to play an importanta role at the interface between cognition and emotion. However, the debate continues on whether AMG activation is independent of attentional demands. Recently, researchers started exploring AMG functions using dynamic stimuli rather than the traditional pictures of facial expressions. Our present goal is to review some recent studies using dynamic stimuli to investigate AMG activation and discuss the impact of different viewing conditions, including oddball detection, explicit or implicit recognition, variable cognitive task load, and non-conscious perception. In the second part we relate these different effects to a dynamic dual route model of affective processing and discuss its implications for AMG activity. We sketch a dynamic dual route perspective of affective perception and we argue that this allows for multiple AMG involvement in separate networks and at different times in the processing streams. Attention has a different impact on these separate but interacting networks. Route I is engaged in early emotion processing, is partly supported by AMG activity and is possibly independent of attention, whereas activity in the later emotion processing is influenced by attention. Route II is a cortical-based network that underlies body recognition and action representation. The end result of route I and II is reflexive and voluntary behavior respectively. We conclude that using dynamic emotion stimuli and a dynamic dual route model of affective perception can provide new insights into the varieties of AMG activation.

  20. The amygdala, reward and emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Elisabeth A

    2007-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brashers-Krug, Tom; Jorge, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Successful emotion regulation is predicted by amygdala activity and aspects of personality: A latent variable approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morawetz, Carmen; Alexandrowicz, Rainer W; Heekeren, Hauke R

    2017-04-01

    The experience of emotions and their cognitive control are based upon neural responses in prefrontal and subcortical regions and could be affected by personality and temperamental traits. Previous studies established an association between activity in reappraisal-related brain regions (e.g., inferior frontal gyrus and amygdala) and emotion regulation success. Given these relationships, we aimed to further elucidate how individual differences in emotion regulation skills relate to brain activity within the emotion regulation network on the one hand, and personality/temperamental traits on the other. We directly examined the relationship between personality and temperamental traits, emotion regulation success and its underlying neuronal network in a large sample (N = 82) using an explicit emotion regulation task and functional MRI (fMRI). We applied a multimethodological analysis approach, combing standard activation-based analyses with structural equation modeling. First, we found that successful downregulation is predicted by activity in key regions related to emotion processing. Second, the individual ability to successfully upregulate emotions is strongly associated with the ability to identify feelings, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. Third, the successful downregulation of emotion is modulated by openness to experience and habitual use of reappraisal. Fourth, the ability to regulate emotions is best predicted by a combination of brain activity and personality as well temperamental traits. Using a multimethodological analysis approach, we provide a first step toward a causal model of individual differences in emotion regulation ability by linking biological systems underlying emotion regulation with descriptive constructs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Activation of protein kinase A in the amygdala modulates anxiety-like behaviors in social defeat exposed mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Liu; Shi, Li-Jun; Yu, Jin; Zhang, Yu-Qiu

    2016-01-08

    Social defeat (SD) stress induces social avoidance and anxiety-like phenotypes. Amygdala is recognized as an emotion-related brain region such as fear, aversion and anxiety. It is conceivable to hypothesize that activation of amygdala is involved in SD-dependent behavioral defects. SD model was established using C57BL/6J mice that were physically defeated by different CD-1 mice for 10 days. Stressed mice exhibited decreased social interaction level in social interaction test and significant anxiety-like behaviors in elevated plus maze and open field tests. Meanwhile, a higher phosphorylation of PKA and CREB with a mutually linear correlation, and increased Fos labeled cells in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) were observed. Activation of PKA in the BLA by 8-Br-cAMP, a PKA activitor, significantly upregulated pCREB and Fos expression. To address the role of PKA activation on SD stress-induced social avoidance and anxiety-like behaviors, 8-Br-cAMP or H-89, a PKA inhibitor, was continuously administered into the bilateral BLA by a micro-osmotic pump system during the 10-day SD period. Neither H-89 nor 8-Br-cAMP affected the social behavior. Differently, 8-Br-cAMP significantly relieved anxiety-like behaviors in both general and moderate SD protocols. H-89 per se did not have anxiogenic effect in naïve mice, but aggravated moderate SD stress-induced anxiety-like behaviors. The antidepressant clomipramine reduced SD-induced anxiety and up-regulated pPKA level in the BLA. These results suggest that SD-driven PKA activation in the basolateral amygdala is actually a compensatory rather than pathogenic response in the homeostasis, and modulating amygdaloid PKA may exhibit potency in the therapy of social derived disorders.

  4. Optogenetic dissection of amygdala functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eLalumiere

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Activity of human hippocampal formation and amygdala neurons during memory testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halgren, E; Babb, T L; Crandall, P H

    1978-11-01

    Single and multiple unit recordings were made from fine wires stereotaxically implanted in the hippocampus (HC), hippocampal gyrus (HCG), and amygdala (Am) of psychomotor epileptics. During a series of memory and control tests presented on slides, 21 of 155 HCG units, 15 of 59 HC units, and 2 of 54 Am units showed what appeared to be simple phasic or tonic visual responses. Twenty-seven other units, found only in the HCG, changed firing only during slides requiring a choice ('choice units'). A given choice unit responded during choices indicated verbally or manually, and during tasks requiring recall of Recent Memory, various visual discriminations, and expressions of preference. Choice units were not affected by sensory stimulation or motor activity in contexts not requiring choice. Phasically inhibited choice units had higher firing rates and lower signal-to-noise ratios than tonically excited units. Whether an electrode recorded a choice unit was unrelated to if it recorded a response to hyperventilation, or was in an area of epileptic pathology. Recordings were also made during an interview lasting several hours and eliciting a wide range of behaviors. Five of the 131 HCG units fired in repeated extended bursts, at least 50 times background during recall of word pairs or of the patient's hospital room. The unit response did not occur during numerous control tasks possessing similar overt sensory, motor, and social concomitants, but not requiring Recent Memory.

  6. Higher-Order Sensory Cortex Drives Basolateral Amygdala Activity during the Recall of Remote, but Not Recently Learned Fearful Memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cambiaghi, Marco; Grosso, Anna; Likhtik, Ekaterina; Mazziotti, Raffaele; Concina, Giulia; Renna, Annamaria; Sacco, Tiziana; Gordon, Joshua A; Sacchetti, Benedetto

    2016-02-03

    Negative experiences are quickly learned and long remembered. Key unresolved issues in the field of emotional memory include identifying the loci and dynamics of memory storage and retrieval. The present study examined neural activity in the higher-order auditory cortex Te2 and basolateral amygdala (BLA) and their crosstalk during the recall of recent and remote fear memories. To this end, we obtained local field potentials and multiunit activity recordings in Te2 and BLA of rats that underwent recall at 24 h and 30 d after the association of an acoustic conditioned (CS, tone) and an aversive unconditioned stimulus (US, electric shock). Here we show that, during the recall of remote auditory threat memories in rats, the activity of the Te2 and BLA is highly synchronized in the theta frequency range. This functional connectivity stems from memory consolidation processes because it is present during remote, but not recent, memory retrieval. Moreover, the observed increase in synchrony is cue and region specific. A preponderant Te2-to-BLA directionality characterizes this dialogue, and the percentage of time Te2 theta leads the BLA during remote memory recall correlates with a faster latency to freeze to the auditory conditioned stimulus. The blockade of this information transfer via Te2 inhibition with muscimol prevents any retrieval-evoked neuronal activity in the BLA and animals are unable to retrieve remote memories. We conclude that memories stored in higher-order sensory cortices drive BLA activity when distinguishing between learned threatening and neutral stimuli. How and where in the brain do we store the affective/motivational significance of sensory stimuli acquired through life experiences? Scientists have long investigated how "limbic" structures, such as the amygdala, process affective stimuli. Here we show that retrieval of well-established threat memories requires the functional interplay between higher-order components of the auditory cortex and the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Childhood family adversity (CFA) increases the risk for conduct disorder (CD) and has been associated with alterations in regions of affective processing like ventral striatum (VS) and amygdala. However, no study so far has demonstrated neural converging effects of CFA and CD in the same sample. At

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-10

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

  13. Reversible Inactivation of the Higher Order Auditory Cortex during Fear Memory Consolidation Prevents Memory-Related Activity in the Basolateral Amygdala during Remote Memory Retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cambiaghi, Marco; Renna, Annamaria; Milano, Luisella; Sacchetti, Benedetto

    2017-01-01

    Recent findings have shown that the auditory cortex, and specifically the higher order Te2 area, is necessary for the consolidation of long-term fearful memories and that it interacts with the amygdala during the retrieval of long-term fearful memories. Here, we tested whether the reversible blockade of Te2 during memory consolidation may affect the activity changes occurring in the amygdala during the retrieval of fearful memories. To address this issue, we blocked Te2 in a reversible manner during memory consolidation processes. After 4 weeks, we assessed the activity of Te2 and individual nuclei of the amygdala during the retrieval of long-term memories. Rats in which Te2 was inactivated upon memory encoding showed a decreased freezing and failed to show Te2-to-basolateral amygdala (BLA) synchrony during memory retrieval. In addition, the expression of the immediate early gene zif268 in the lateral, basal and central amygdala nuclei did not show memory-related enhancement. As all sites were intact upon memory retrieval, we propose that the auditory cortex represents a key node in the consolidation of fear memories and it is essential for amygdala nuclei to support memory retrieval process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  15. Activity of the greater padloper, Homopus femoralis (Testudinidae ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... or imminent rain, perhaps to avoid avian predators or physiological costs of water and food shortages. Future studies might locate active tortoises in the highest rainfall months, and use telemetry to identify activity patterns throughout the year. Key words: behaviour, ecology, Karoo, morphology, predation, reptile, tortoise.

  16. Differential Activation in Amygdala and Plasma Noradrenaline during Colorectal Distention by Administration of Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone between Healthy Individuals and Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukari Tanaka

    Full Text Available Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS often comorbids mood and anxiety disorders. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH is a major mediator of the stress response in the brain-gut axis, but it is not clear how CRH agonists change human brain responses to interoceptive stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that brain activation in response to colorectal distention is enhanced after CRH injection in IBS patients compared to healthy controls. Brain H215O- positron emission tomography (PET was performed in 16 male IBS patients and 16 age-matched male controls during baseline, no distention, mild and intense distention of the colorectum using barostat bag inflation. Either CRH (2 μg/kg or saline (1:1 was then injected intravenously and the same distention protocol was repeated. Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH, serum cortisol and plasma noradrenaline levels were measured at each stimulation. At baseline, CRH without colorectal distention induced more activation in the right amygdala in IBS patients than in controls. During intense distention after CRH injection, controls showed significantly greater activation than IBS patients in the right amygdala. Plasma ACTH and serum cortisol secretion showed a significant interaction between drug (CRH, saline and distention. Plasma noradrenaline at baseline significantly increased after CRH injection compared to before injection in IBS. Further, plasma noradrenaline showed a significant group (IBS, controls by drug by distention interaction. Exogenous CRH differentially sensitizes brain regions of the emotional-arousal circuitry within the visceral pain matrix to colorectal distention and synergetic activation of noradrenergic function in IBS patients and healthy individuals.

  17. Auditory Tones and Foot-Shock Recapitulate Spontaneous Sub-Threshold Activity in Basolateral Amygdala Principal Neurons and Interneurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François Windels

    Full Text Available In quiescent states such as anesthesia and slow wave sleep, cortical networks show slow rhythmic synchronized activity. In sensory cortices this rhythmic activity shows a stereotypical pattern that is recapitulated by stimulation of the appropriate sensory modality. The amygdala receives sensory input from a variety of sources, and in anesthetized animals, neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA show slow rhythmic synchronized activity. Extracellular field potential recordings show that these oscillations are synchronized with sensory cortex and the thalamus, with both the thalamus and cortex leading the BLA. Using whole-cell recording in vivo we show that the membrane potential of principal neurons spontaneously oscillates between up- and down-states. Footshock and auditory stimulation delivered during down-states evokes an up-state that fully recapitulates those occurring spontaneously. These results suggest that neurons in the BLA receive convergent input from networks of cortical neurons with slow oscillatory activity and that somatosensory and auditory stimulation can trigger activity in these same networks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thibaud Dumas

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Stress during puberty boosts metabolic activation associated with fear-extinction learning in hippocampus, basal amygdala and cingulate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo-Rodriguez, Maria; Pitiot, Alain; Paus, Tomáš; Sandi, Carmen

    2012-07-01

    Adolescence is characterized by major developmental changes that may render the individual vulnerable to stress and the development of psychopathologies in a sex-specific manner. Earlier we reported lower anxiety-like behavior and higher risk-taking and novelty seeking in rats previously exposed to peri-pubertal stress. Here we studied whether peri-pubertal stress affected the acquisition and extinction of fear memories and/or the associated functional engagement of various brain regions, as assessed with 2-deoxyglucose. We showed that while peri-pubertal stress reduced freezing during the acquisition of fear memories (training) in both sexes, it had a sex-specific effect on extinction of these memories. Moreover hippocampus, basal amygdala and cingulate and motor cortices showed higher metabolic rates during extinction in rats exposed to peri-pubertal stress. Interestingly, activation of the infralimbic cortex was negatively correlated with freezing during extinction only in control males, while only males stressed during puberty showed a significant correlation between behavior during extinction and metabolic activation of hippocampus, amygdala and paraventricular nucleus. No correlations between brain activation and behavior during extinction were observed in females (control or stress). These results indicate that exposure to peri-pubertal stress affects behavior and brain metabolism when the individual is exposed to an additional stressful challenge. Some of these effects are sex-specific. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    2007-01-01

    The amygdala plays a critical role in the neural system involved in emotional responses and conditioned fear. The dysfunction of this system is thought to be a cause of several neuropsychiatric disorders. A neuroimaging study provides a unique opportunity for noninvasive investigation of the human amygdala. We studied the activity of this structure in normal subjects and patients with schizophrenia by using the face recognition task. Our results showed that the amygdala was activated by presentation of face stimuli, and negative face activated the amygdala to a greater extent than a neutral face. Under the happy face condition, the activation of the amygdala was higher in the schizophrenic patients than in control subjects. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the regulatory region of the serotonin type 3 receptor gene had modulatory effects on the amygdaloid activity. The emotion regulation had a significant impact on neural interaction between the amygdala and prefrontal cortices. Thus, studies on the human amygdala would greatly contribute to the elucidation of the neural system that determines emotional and stress responses. To clarify the relevance of the neural dysfunction and neuropsychiatric disorders, further studies using physiological, genetic, and hormonal approaches are essential. (author)

  2. Neuroimaging Study of the Human Amygdala - Toward an Understanding of Emotional and Stress Responses -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    The amygdala plays a critical role in the neural system involved in emotional responses and conditioned fear. The dysfunction of this system is thought to be a cause of several neuropsychiatric disorders. A neuroimaging study provides a unique opportunity for noninvasive investigation of the human amygdala. We studied the activity of this structure in normal subjects and patients with schizophrenia by using the face recognition task. Our results showed that the amygdala was activated by presentation of face stimuli, and negative face activated the amygdala to a greater extent than a neutral face. Under the happy face condition, the activation of the amygdala was higher in the schizophrenic patients than in control subjects. A single nucleotide polymorphism in the regulatory region of the serotonin type 3 receptor gene had modulatory effects on the amygdaloid activity. The emotion regulation had a significant impact on neural interaction between the amygdala and prefrontal cortices. Thus, studies on the human amygdala would greatly contribute to the elucidation of the neural system that determines emotional and stress responses. To clarify the relevance of the neural dysfunction and neuropsychiatric disorders, further studies using physiological, genetic, and hormonal approaches are essential.

  3. Early experience of a novel-environment in isolation primes a fearful phenotype characterized by persistent amygdala activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daskalakis, Nikolaos P; Diamantopoulou, Anastasia; Claessens, Sanne E F; Remmers, Elisa; Tjälve, Marika; Oitzl, Melly S; Champagne, Danielle L; de Kloet, E Ronald

    2014-01-01

    Prolonged maternal separation (MS) activates the neonate's hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis causing elevated basal and stress-induced corticosterone levels that may initiate amygdala-dependent fear learning. Here we test the hypothesis that the adult fearful phenotype is programmed by the pup's stressful experience during prolonged MS rather than by prolonged maternal absence per se. For this purpose, Wistar rat pups were exposed, on postnatal-day (pnd) 3, to: (i) repeated-MS in home-environment (HOME-SEP), 8h-MS daily for three days with the pups remaining together in the home-cage; (ii) repeated-MS in a novel-environment (NOVEL-SEP), with the same separation procedure, but now the pups were individually housed in a novel-environment during the 8h dam's absence; (iii) repeated handling, which consisted of daily brief (15 min instead of 8h) MS in the home-altogether or in a novel-environment individually (HOME-HAN and NOVEL-HAN, respectively); (iv) no-separation/no-handling (NON-SEP/NON-HAN) control condition, in which pups were left undisturbed in their home-cage. Compared to HOME-SEP rats, the NOVEL-SEP rats showed one day after the last MS enhanced stress-induced amygdala c-Fos expression and ACTH-release, despite of reduced adrenal corticosterone secretion. The higher amygdala c-Fos expression, ACTH-release and reduced corticosterone output observed postnatally, persisted into adulthood of the NOVEL-SEP animals. Behaviorally, NOVEL-SEP juvenile rats displayed deficits in social play, had intact spatial memory in the peri-pubertal period and showed more contextual fear memory compared to HOME-SEP in adulthood. Finally, NOVEL-HAN, compared to HOME-HAN, displayed increased stress-induced corticosterone output, no deficits in social play and reduced contextual fear. In conclusion, programming of an adult fearful phenotype linked to amygdala priming develops if pups are repeatedly isolated from peers in a novel-environment, while away from the dam for a prolonged

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

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

    2017-04-04

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

  5. Childhood Poverty Predicts Adult Amygdala and Frontal Activity and Connectivity in Response to Emotional Faces

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    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.

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

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    Erin C. Kerfoot

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerfoot, Erin C; Williams, Cedric L

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Functional effects of polymorphisms on glucocorticoid receptor modulation of human anxiogenic substance-P gene promoter activity in primary amygdala neurones

    OpenAIRE

    Hay, Colin W.; Shanley, Lynne; Davidson, Scott; Cowie, Philip; Lear, Marissa; McGuffin, Peter; Riedel, Gernot; McEwan, Iain J.; MacKenzie, Alasdair

    2014-01-01

    Summary Expression or introduction of the neuropeptide substance-P (SP; encoded by the TAC1 gene in humans and Tac1 in rodents) in the amygdala induces anxiety related behaviour in rodents. In addition, pharmacological antagonism of the main receptor of SP in humans; NK1, is anxiolytic. In the current study, we show that the Tac1 locus is up-regulated in primary rat amygdala neurones in response to activation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR); a classic component of the stress response. Usi...

  9. Human amygdala activation by the sound produced during dental treatment: A fMRI study

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    Jen-Fang Yu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available During dental treatments, patients may experience negative emotions associated with the procedure. This study was conducted with the aim of using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to visualize cerebral cortical stimulation among dental patients in response to auditory stimuli produced by ultrasonic scaling and power suction equipment. Subjects (n = 7 aged 23-35 years were recruited for this study. All were right-handed and underwent clinical pure-tone audiometry testing to reveal a normal hearing threshold below 20 dB hearing level (HL. As part of the study, subjects initially underwent a dental calculus removal treatment. During the treatment, subjects were exposed to ultrasonic auditory stimuli originating from the scaling handpiece and salivary suction instruments. After dental treatment, subjects were imaged with fMRI while being exposed to recordings of the noise from the same dental instrument so that cerebral cortical stimulation in response to aversive auditory stimulation could be observed. The independent sample confirmatory t-test was used. Subjects also showed stimulation in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, indicating that the ultrasonic auditory stimuli elicited an unpleasant response in the subjects. Patients experienced unpleasant sensations caused by contact stimuli in the treatment procedure. In addition, this study has demonstrated that aversive auditory stimuli such as sounds from the ultrasonic scaling handpiece also cause aversive emotions. This study was indicated by observed stimulation of the auditory cortex as well as the amygdala, indicating that noise from the ultrasonic scaling handpiece was perceived as an aversive auditory stimulus by the subjects. Subjects can experience unpleasant sensations caused by the sounds from the ultrasonic scaling handpiece based on their auditory stimuli.

  10. How stable is activation in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in adolescence? A study of emotional face processing across three measurements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bulk, B.G.; Koolschijn, P.C.M.P.; Meens, P.H.F.; van Lang, N.D.J.; van der Wee, N.J.A.; Rombouts, S.A.R.B.; Vermeiren, R.R.J.M.; Crone, E.A.

    2013-01-01

    Prior developmental functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated elevated activation patterns in the amygdala and prefrontal cortex (PFC) in response to viewing emotional faces. As adolescence is a time of substantial variability in mood and emotional responsiveness, the

  11. Intra-Amygdala ZIP Injections Impair the Memory of Learned Active Avoidance Responses and Attenuate Conditioned Taste-Aversion Acquisition in Rats

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    Gamiz, Fernando; Gallo, Milagros

    2011-01-01

    We have investigated the effect of protein kinase Mzeta (PKM[zeta]) inhibition in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) upon the retention of a nonspatial learned active avoidance response and conditioned taste-aversion (CTA) acquisition in rats. ZIP (10 nmol/[mu]L) injected into the BLA 24 h after training impaired retention of a learned…

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

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  14. Basal μ-opioid receptor availability in the amygdala predicts the inhibition of pain-related brain activity during heterotopic noxious counter-stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piché, Mathieu; Watanabe, Nobuhiro; Sakata, Muneyuki; Oda, Keiichi; Toyohara, Jun; Ishii, Kenji; Ishiwata, Kiichi; Hotta, Harumi

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the magnitude of anti-nociceptive effects induced by heterotopic noxious counter-stimulation (HNCS) and the basal μ-opioid receptor availability in the amygdala. In 8 healthy volunteers (4 females and 4 males), transcutaneous electrical stimulation was applied to the right sural nerve to produce the nociceptive flexion reflex (RIII-reflex), moderate pain, and scalp somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). Immersion of the left hand in cold water for 20min was used as HNCS. In a separate session, basal μ-opioid receptor availability was measured using positron emission tomography with the radiotracer [(11)C]carfentanil. HNCS produced a reduction of the P260 amplitude (pbasal μ-opioid receptor availability in the amygdala on the right (R(2)=0.55, p=0.03) with a similar trend on the left (R(2)=0.24, p=0.22). Besides, HNCS did not induce significant changes in pain and RIII-reflex amplitude (p>0.05). These results suggest that activation of μ-opioid receptors in the amygdala may contribute to the anti-nociceptive effects of HNCS. The lack of RIII-reflex modulation further suggests that μ-opioid receptor activation in the amygdala contributes to decrease pain-related brain activity through a cerebral mechanism independent of descending modulation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. The effects of stimulus novelty and familiarity on neuronal activity in the amygdala of monkeys performing recognition memory tasks.

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    Wilson, F A; Rolls, E T

    1993-01-01

    The function of the amygdala in behavioural responses to novel stimuli and its possible function in recognition memory were investigated by recording the responses of 659 amygdaloid neurons in monkeys performing recognition memory and visual discrimination tasks. The aim was to determine the contribution of the amygdala in the encoding of familiarity and therefore its role in supporting memory-related neuronal mechanisms in the basal forebrain. The responses of three groups of neurons reflected different forms of memory. One group (n = 10) responded maximally to novel stimuli and significantly less so to the same stimuli when they were familiar. The calculated memory spans of these neurons were in the range of 2-10 intervening trials, and this short-term retention of information may reflect the operation of a neural mechanism encoding memory for the recency of stimulus presentation. Two other groups responded to the sight of particular categories of familiar stimuli: to foods (n = 6) or to faces (n = 10). The responses of some of these stimulus-selective neurons declined with repeated presentations of foods (3/4 tests) and faces (2/6 tests). The activity of these latter two groups of neurons may be involved in behavioural responses to familiar visual stimuli, particularly when such stimuli have affective or motivational significance. We conclude that the neurophysiological data provide evidence of amygdaloid mechanisms for the recognition of recently seen visual stimuli. However, these amygdaloid mechanisms do not appear to be sufficient to support the performance of long-term recognition memory tasks without additional and complementary functions carried out by other ventromedial temporal, prefrontal and diencephalic structures which also project to the basal forebrain.

  17. Activation of ERK2 in basolateral amygdala underlies the promoting influence of stress on fear memory and anxiety: influence of midazolam pretreatment.

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    Maldonado, N M; Espejo, P J; Martijena, I D; Molina, V A

    2014-02-01

    Exposure to emotionally arousing experiences elicits a robust and persistent memory and enhances anxiety. The amygdala complex plays a key role in stress-induced emotional processing and in the fear memory formation. It is well known that ERK activation in the amygdala is a prerequisite for fear memory consolidation. Moreover, stress elevates p-ERK2 levels in several areas of the brain stress circuitry. Therefore, given that the ERK1/2 cascade is activated following stress and that the role of this cascade is critical in the formation of fear memory, the present study investigated the potential involvement of p-ERK2 in amygdala subnuclei in the promoting influence of stress on fear memory formation and on anxiety-like behavior. A robust and persistent ERK2 activation was noted in the Basolateral amygdala (BLA), which was evident at 5min after restraint and lasted at least one day after the stressful experience. Midazolam, a short-acting benzodiazepine ligand, administered prior to stress prevented the increase in the p-ERK2 level in the BLA. Pretreatment with intra-BLA infusion of U0126 (MEK inhibitor), but not into the adjacent central nucleus of the amygdala, attenuated the stress-induced promoting influence on fear memory formation. Finally, U0126 intra-BLA infusion prevented the enhancement of anxiety-like behavior in stressed animals. These findings suggest that the selective ERK2 activation in BLA following stress exposure is an important mechanism for the occurrence of the promoting influence of stress on fear memory and on anxiety-like behavior. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.

  18. Fear Conditioning Downregulates Rac1 Activity in the Basolateral Amygdala Astrocytes to Facilitate the Formation of Fear Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Zhaohui; Tao, Yezheng; Guo, Xiaomu; Cheng, Deqin; Wang, Feifei; Liu, Xing; Ma, Lan

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes are well known to scale synaptic structural and functional plasticity, while the role in learning and memory, such as conditioned fear memory, is poorly elucidated. Here, using pharmacological approach, we find that fluorocitrate (FC) significantly inhibits the acquisition of fear memory, suggesting that astrocyte activity is required for fear memory formation. We further demonstrate that fear conditioning downregulates astrocytic Rac1 activity in basolateral amygdala (BLA) in mice and promotes astrocyte structural plasticity. Ablation of astrocytic Rac1 in BLA promotes fear memory acquisition, while overexpression or constitutive activation of astrocytic Rac1 attenuates fear memory acquisition. Furthermore, temporal activation of Rac1 by photoactivatable Rac1 (Rac1-PA) induces structural alterations in astrocytes and in vivo activation of Rac1 in BLA astrocytes during fear conditioning attenuates the formation of fear memory. Taken together, our study demonstrates that fear conditioning-induced suppression of BLA astrocytic Rac1 activity, associated with astrocyte structural plasticity, is required for the formation of conditioned fear memory.

  19. Patterns of coupled theta activity in amygdala-hippocampal-prefrontal cortical circuits during fear extinction.

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    Jörg Lesting

    Full Text Available Signals related to fear memory and extinction are processed within brain pathways involving the lateral amygdala (LA for formation of aversive stimulus associations, the CA1 area of the hippocampus for context-dependent modulation of these associations, and the infralimbic region of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC for extinction processes. While many studies have addressed the contribution of each of these modules individually, little is known about their interactions and how they function as an integrated system. Here we show, by combining multiple site local field potential (LFP and unit recordings in freely behaving mice in a fear conditioning paradigm, that theta oscillations may provide a means for temporally and functionally connecting these modules. Theta oscillations occurred with high specificity in the CA1-LA-mPFC network. Theta coupling increased between all areas during retrieval of conditioned fear, and declined during extinction learning. During extinction recall, theta coupling partly rebounded in LA-mPFC and CA1-mPFC, and remained at a low level in CA1-LA. Interfering with theta coupling through local electrical microstimulation in CA1-LA affected conditioned fear and extinction recall depending on theta phase. These results support the hypothesis that theta coupling provides a means for inter-areal coordination in conditioned behavioral responsiveness. More specifically, theta oscillations seem to contribute to a population code indicating conditioned stimuli during recall of fear memory before and after extinction.

  20. The amygdala and decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-18

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

  2. Tracking the fear memory engram: discrete populations of neurons within amygdala, hypothalamus, and lateral septum are specifically activated by auditory fear conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Yvette M.; Gunnersen, Jenny M.; Murphy, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Memory formation is thought to occur via enhanced synaptic connectivity between populations of neurons in the brain. However, it has been difficult to localize and identify the neurons that are directly involved in the formation of any specific memory. We have previously used fos-tau-lacZ (FTL) transgenic mice to identify discrete populations of neurons in amygdala and hypothalamus, which were specifically activated by fear conditioning to a context. Here we have examined neuronal activation due to fear conditioning to a more specific auditory cue. Discrete populations of learning-specific neurons were identified in only a small number of locations in the brain, including those previously found to be activated in amygdala and hypothalamus by context fear conditioning. These populations, each containing only a relatively small number of neurons, may be directly involved in fear learning and memory. PMID:26179231

  3. CRF1 receptor activation increases the response of neurons in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala to afferent stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available The basolateral nucleus (BLA of the amygdala contributes to the consolidation of memories for emotional or stressful events. The nucleus contains a high density of CRF1 receptors that are activated by corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF. Modulation of the excitability of neurons in the BLA by CRF may regulate the immediate response to stressful events and the formation of associated memories. In the present study, CRF was found to increase the amplitude of field potentials recorded in the BLA following excitatory afferent stimulation, in vitro. The increase was mediated by CRF1 receptors, since it could be blocked by the selective, non-peptide antagonists, NBI30775 and NBI35583, but not by the CRF2-selective antagonist, astressin 2B. Furthermore, the CRF2-selective agonist, urocortin II had no effect on field potential amplitude. The increase induced by CRF was long-lasting, could not be reversed by subsequent administration of NBI35583, and required the activation of protein kinase C. This effect of CRF in the BLA may be important for increasing the salience of aversive stimuli under stressful conditions, and for enhancing the consolidation of associated memories. The results provide further justification for studying the efficacy of selective antagonists of the CRF1 receptor to reduce memory formation linked to emotional or traumatic events, and suggest that these compounds might be useful as prophylactic treatment for stress-related illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. 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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    Carina eSauer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Although oxytocin (OT has become a major target for the investigation of positive social processes, it can be assumed that it exerts its effects in concert with other neurotransmitters. One candidate for such an interaction is dopamine (DA. For both systems, genetic variants have been identified that influence the availability of the particular substance. A variant of the gene coding for the transmembrane protein CD38 (rs3796863, which is engaged in OT secretion, has been associated with OT plasma level. The common catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT val158met polymorphism is known to influence COMT activity and therefore the degradation of DA. The present study aimed to investigate OTxDA interactions in the context of an OT challenge study. Hence, we tested the influence of the above mentioned genetic variants and their interaction on the activation of different brain regions (amygdala, VTA, ventral striatum and fusiform gyrus during the presentation of social stimuli. In a pharmacological cross-over design 55 participants were investigated under OT and placebo (PLA by means of fMRI.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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-04-03

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

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

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    Francisco Velasquez

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cora eHübner

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Hippocampal Regulation of Context-Dependent Neuronal Activity in the Lateral Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maren, Stephen; Hobin, Jennifer A.

    2007-01-01

    Pavlovian fear conditioning is a robust and enduring form of emotional learning that provides an ideal model system for studying contextual regulation of memory retrieval. After extinction the expression of fear conditional responses (CRs) is context-specific: A conditional stimulus (CS) elicits greater conditional responding outside compared with…

  11. Peering into the Brain to Predict Behavior: Peer-Reported, but not Self-Reported, Conscientiousness Links Threat-Related Amygdala Activity to Future Problem Drinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Johnna R.; Knodt, Annchen R.; Radtke, Spenser R.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2016-01-01

    Personality traits such as conscientiousness as self-reported by individuals can help predict a range of outcomes, from job performance to longevity. Asking others to rate the personality of their acquaintances often provides even better predictive power than using self-report. Here, we examine whether peer-reported personality can provide a better link between brain function, namely threat-related amygdala activity, and future health-related behavior, namely problem drinking, than self-reported personality. Using data from a sample of 377 young adult university students who were rated on five personality traits by peers, we find that higher threat-related amygdala activity to fearful facial expressions is associated with higher peer-reported, but not self-reported, conscientiousness. Moreover, higher peer-reported, but not self-reported, conscientiousness predicts lower future problem drinking more than one year later, an effect specific to men. Remarkably, relatively higher amygdala activity has an indirect effect on future drinking behavior in men, linked by peer-reported conscientiousness to lower future problem drinking. Our results provide initial evidence that the perceived conscientiousness of an individual by their peers uniquely reflects variability in a core neural mechanism supporting threat responsiveness. These novel patterns further suggest that incorporating peer-reported measures of personality into individual differences research can reveal novel predictive pathways of risk and protection for problem behaviors. PMID:27717769

  12. Peering into the brain to predict behavior: Peer-reported, but not self-reported, conscientiousness links threat-related amygdala activity to future problem drinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swartz, Johnna R; Knodt, Annchen R; Radtke, Spenser R; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2017-02-01

    Personality traits such as conscientiousness as self-reported by individuals can help predict a range of outcomes, from job performance to longevity. Asking others to rate the personality of their acquaintances often provides even better predictive power than using self-report. Here, we examine whether peer-reported personality can provide a better link between brain function, namely threat-related amygdala activity, and future health-related behavior, namely problem drinking, than self-reported personality. Using data from a sample of 377 young adult university students who were rated on five personality traits by peers, we find that higher threat-related amygdala activity to fearful facial expressions is associated with higher peer-reported, but not self-reported, conscientiousness. Moreover, higher peer-reported, but not self-reported, conscientiousness predicts lower future problem drinking more than one year later, an effect specific to men. Remarkably, relatively higher amygdala activity has an indirect effect on future drinking behavior in men, linked by peer-reported conscientiousness to lower future problem drinking. Our results provide initial evidence that the perceived conscientiousness of an individual by their peers uniquely reflects variability in a core neural mechanism supporting threat responsiveness. These novel patterns further suggest that incorporating peer-reported measures of personality into individual differences research can reveal novel predictive pathways of risk and protection for problem behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Functional effects of polymorphisms on glucocorticoid receptor modulation of human anxiogenic substance-P gene promoter activity in primary amygdala neurones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hay, Colin W; Shanley, Lynne; Davidson, Scott; Cowie, Philip; Lear, Marissa; McGuffin, Peter; Riedel, Gernot; McEwan, Iain J; MacKenzie, Alasdair

    2014-09-01

    Expression or introduction of the neuropeptide substance-P (SP; encoded by the TAC1 gene in humans and Tac1 in rodents) in the amygdala induces anxiety related behaviour in rodents. In addition, pharmacological antagonism of the main receptor of SP in humans; NK1, is anxiolytic. In the current study, we show that the Tac1 locus is up-regulated in primary rat amygdala neurones in response to activation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR); a classic component of the stress response. Using a combination of bioinformatics, electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) and reporter plasmid magnetofection into rat primary amygdala neurones we identified a highly conserved GR response sequence (2GR) in the human TAC1 promoter that binds GR in response to dexamethasone (Dex) or forskolin. We also identified a second GR binding site in the human promoter that was polymorphic and whose T-allele is only found in Japanese and Chinese populations. We present evidence that the T-allele of SNPGR increases the activity of the TAC1 promoter through de-sequestration or de-repression of 2GR. The identification of Dex/forskolin response elements in the TAC1 promoter in amygdala neurones suggests a possible link in the chain of molecular events connecting GR activation and anxiety. In addition, the discovery of a SNP which can alter this response may have implications for our understanding of the role of regulatory variation in susceptibility to stress in specific populations. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Noradrenergic Activation of the Basolateral Amygdala Enhances Object Recognition Memory and Induces Chromatin Remodeling in the Insular Cortex

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    Hassiba eBeldjoud

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 training induces chromatin remodeling through histone post-translational modifications in the insular cortex (IC, a brain region that is importantly involved in object recognition memory. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were trained on an object recognition task, followed immediately by bilateral microinfusions of norepinephrine (1.0 µg or saline administered into the BLA. Saline-treated control rats exhibited poor 24-h retention, whereas norepinephrine treatment induced robust 24-h object recognition memory. Most importantly, this memory-enhancing dose of norepinephrine induced a global reduction in the acetylation levels of histone H3 at lysine 14, H2B and H4 in the IC 1 h later, whereas it had no effect on the phosphorylation of histone H3 at serine 10 or tri-methylation of histone H3 at lysine 27. Norepinephrine administered into the BLA of non-trained control rats did not induce any changes in the histone marks investigated in this study. These findings indicate that noradrenergic activation of the BLA induces training-specific effects on chromatin remodeling mechanisms, and presumably gene transcription, in its target regions, which may contribute to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of stress and emotional arousal effects on memory consolidation.

  16. 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.…

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

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    Timothy J Jarome

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

  18. Testosterone reduces amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex coupling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Amygdala activity at encoding correlated with long-term, free recall of emotional information.

    OpenAIRE

    Cahill, L; Haier, R J; Fallon, J; Alkire, M T; Tang, C; Keator, D; Wu, J; McGaugh, J L

    1996-01-01

    Positron emission tomography of cerebral glucose metabolism in adult human subjects was used to investigate amygdaloid complex (AC) activity associated with the storage of long-term memory for emotionally arousing events. Subjects viewed two videos (one in each of two separate positron emission tomography sessions, separated by 3-7 days) consisting either of 12 emotionally arousing film clips ("E" film session) or of 12 relatively emotionally neutral film clips ("N" film session), and rated t...

  20. Murine GRPR and stathmin control in opposite directions both cued fear extinction and neural activities of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Martel

    Full Text Available Extinction is an integral part of normal healthy fear responses, while it is compromised in several fear-related mental conditions in humans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Although much research has recently been focused on fear extinction, its molecular and cellular underpinnings are still unclear. The development of animal models for extinction will greatly enhance our approaches to studying its neural circuits and the mechanisms involved. Here, we describe two gene-knockout mouse lines, one with impaired and another with enhanced extinction of learned fear. These mutant mice are based on fear memory-related genes, stathmin and gastrin-releasing peptide receptor (GRPR. Remarkably, both mutant lines showed changes in fear extinction to the cue but not to the context. We performed indirect imaging of neuronal activity on the second day of cued extinction, using immediate-early gene c-Fos. GRPR knockout mice extinguished slower (impaired extinction than wildtype mice, which was accompanied by an increase in c-Fos activity in the basolateral amygdala and a decrease in the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, stathmin knockout mice extinguished faster (enhanced extinction and showed a decrease in c-Fos activity in the basolateral amygdala and an increase in the prefrontal cortex. At the same time, c-Fos activity in the dentate gyrus was increased in both mutant lines. These experiments provide genetic evidence that the balance between neuronal activities of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex defines an impairment or facilitation of extinction to the cue while the hippocampus is involved in the context-specificity of extinction.

  1. Agents that affect cAMP levels or protein kinase A activity modulate memory consolidation when injected into rat hippocampus but not amygdala

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    L. Bevilaqua

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available Male Wistar rats were trained in one-trial step-down inhibitory avoidance using a 0.4-mA footshock. At various times after training (0, 1.5, 3, 6 and 9 h for the animals implanted into the CA1 region of the hippocampus; 0 and 3 h for those implanted into the amygdala, these animals received microinfusions of SKF38393 (7.5 µg/side, SCH23390 (0.5 µg/side, norepinephrine (0.3 µg/side, timolol (0.3 µg/side, 8-OH-DPAT (2.5 µg/side, NAN-190 (2.5 µg/side, forskolin (0.5 µg/side, KT5720 (0.5 µg/side or 8-Br-cAMP (1.25 µg/side. Rats were tested for retention 24 h after training. When given into the hippocampus 0 h post-training, norepinephrine enhanced memory whereas KT5720 was amnestic. When given 1.5 h after training, all treatments were ineffective. When given 3 or 6 h post-training, 8-Br-cAMP, forskolin, SKF38393, norepinephrine and NAN-190 caused memory facilitation, while KT5720, SCH23390, timolol and 8-OH-DPAT caused retrograde amnesia. Again, at 9 h after training, all treatments were ineffective. When given into the amygdala, norepinephrine caused retrograde facilitation at 0 h after training. The other drugs infused into the amygdala did not cause any significant effect. These data suggest that in the hippocampus, but not in the amygdala, a cAMP/protein kinase A pathway is involved in memory consolidation at 3 and 6 h after training, which is regulated by D1, ß, and 5HT1A receptors. This correlates with data on increased post-training cAMP levels and a dual peak of protein kinase A activity and CREB-P levels (at 0 and 3-6 h in rat hippocampus after training in this task. These results suggest that the hippocampus, but not the amygdala, is involved in long-term storage of step-down inhibitory avoidance in the rat.

  2. Activation of the basolateral amygdala induces long-term enhancement of specific memory representations in the cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavez, Candice M; McGaugh, James L; Weinberger, Norman M

    2013-03-01

    The basolateral amygdala (BLA) modulates memory, particularly for arousing or emotional events, during post-training periods of consolidation. It strengthens memories whose substrates in part or whole are stored remotely, in structures such as the hippocampus, striatum and cerebral cortex. However, the mechanisms by which the BLA influences distant memory traces are unknown, largely because of the need for identifiable target mnemonic representations. Associative tuning plasticity in the primary auditory cortex (A1) constitutes a well-characterized candidate specific memory substrate that is ubiquitous across species, tasks and motivational states. When tone predicts reinforcement, the tuning of cells in A1 shifts toward or to the signal frequency within its tonotopic map, producing an over-representation of behaviorally important sounds. Tuning shifts have the cardinal attributes of forms of memory, including associativity, specificity, rapid induction, consolidation and long-term retention and are therefore likely memory representations. We hypothesized that the BLA strengthens memories by increasing their cortical representations. We recorded multiple unit activity from A1 of rats that received a single discrimination training session in which two tones (2.0 s) separated by 1.25 octaves were either paired with brief electrical stimulation (400 ms) of the BLA (CS+) or not (CS-). Frequency response areas generated by presenting a matrix of test tones (0.5-53.82 kHz, 0-70 dB) were obtained before training and daily for 3 weeks post-training. Tuning both at threshold and above threshold shifted predominantly toward the CS+ beginning on day 1. Tuning shifts were maintained for the entire 3 weeks. Absolute threshold and bandwidth decreased, producing less enduring increases in sensitivity and selectivity. BLA-induced tuning shifts were associative, highly specific and long-lasting. We propose that the BLA strengthens memory for important experiences by increasing the

  3. Behavioral Inhibition System activity is associated with increased amygdala and hippocampal gray matter volume: A voxel-based morphometry study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrós-Loscertales, A; Meseguer, V; Sanjuán, A; Belloch, V; Parcet, M A; Torrubia, R; Avila, C

    2006-11-15

    Recent research has examined anxiety and hyperactivity in the amygdala and the anterior hippocampus while processing aversive stimuli. In order to determine whether these functional differences have a structural basis, optimized voxel-based morphometry was used to study the relationship between gray matter concentration in the brain and scores on a Behavioral Inhibition System measure (the Sensitivity to Punishment scale) in a sample of 63 male undergraduates. Results showed a positive correlation between Sensitivity to Punishment scores and gray matter volume in the amygdala and the hippocampal formation, that is, in areas that Gray, J.A., and McNaughton, N.J. (2000). The neuropsychology of anxiety. Oxford: Oxford Medical Publications. associated with the Behavioral Inhibition System.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Optogenetic Inhibition Reveals Distinct Roles for Basolateral Amygdala Activity at Discrete Time Points during Risky Decision Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orsini, Caitlin A; Hernandez, Caesar M; Singhal, Sarthak; Kelly, Kyle B; Frazier, Charles J; Bizon, Jennifer L; Setlow, Barry

    2017-11-29

    Decision making is a multifaceted process, consisting of several distinct phases that likely require different cognitive operations. Previous work showed that the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is a critical substrate for decision making involving risk of punishment; however, it is unclear how the BLA is recruited at different stages of the decision process. To this end, the current study used optogenetics to inhibit the BLA during specific task phases in a model of risky decision making (risky decision-making task) in which rats choose between a small, "safe" reward and a large reward accompanied by varying probabilities of footshock punishment. Male Long-Evans rats received intra-BLA microinjections of viral vectors carrying either halorhodopsin (eNpHR3.0-mCherry) or mCherry alone (control) followed by optic fiber implants and were trained in the risky decision-making task. Laser delivery during the task occurred during intertrial interval, deliberation, or reward outcome phases, the latter of which was further divided into the three possible outcomes (small, safe; large, unpunished; large, punished). Inhibition of the BLA selectively during the deliberation phase decreased choice of the large, risky outcome (decreased risky choice). In contrast, BLA inhibition selectively during delivery of the large, punished outcome increased risky choice. Inhibition had no effect during the other phases, nor did laser delivery affect performance in control rats. Collectively, these data indicate that the BLA can either inhibit or promote choice of risky options, depending on the phase of the decision process in which it is active. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT To date, most behavioral neuroscience research on neural mechanisms of decision making has used techniques that preclude assessment of distinct phases of the decision process. Here we show that optogenetic inhibition of the BLA has opposite effects on choice behavior in a rat model of risky decision making, depending on the phase

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

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    Kymberly D. Young

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-04-01

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

  8. The shaking signal of the honey bee informs workers to prepare for greater activity

    OpenAIRE

    Seeley, Thomas D.; Weidenmüller, Anja; Kühnholz, Susanne

    2010-01-01

    One of the most conspicuous activities o f worker bees inside a hive is the shaking of other wc~rliersT. his shaking has long been suspected to be a communication behavior, but its information content and function have until recently remained mysterious. Prior studies of the colony-level patterns of the production of ihc shaking signal supgest strongly that this signal semes to arouse workers to greater activity, such as at times of good foraging. Data from our obsenrauons of mdividual bees h...

  9. Distress calls of the greater short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx activate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in conspecifics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariappan, Subramanian; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Marimuthu, Ganapathy; Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel

    2013-09-01

    In a stressful situation, greater short-nosed fruit bats (Cynopterus sphinx) emit audible vocalization either to warn or to inform conspecifics. We examined the effect of distress calls on bats emitting the call as well as the bats receiving the distress signal through analysis of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and catacholaminargic systems. We measured the levels of neurotransmitters [serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE)] and stress hormones [(adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT)]. Our results showed that distress call emission elevated the level of ACTH and CORT, as well as 5-HT, DA and NE in the amygdala, for both the call emitting bat and the responding bat. Subsequently, we observed increased activity of glucocorticoid receptor and its steroid receptor co-activator (SRC-1). An expression of SRC-1 was up-regulated in the distress call emitter only, whereas it was at a similar level in both the call responder and silent bats. These findings suggest that bats emitting distress calls and also bats responding to such calls have similar neurotransmitter expression patterns, and may react similarly in response to stress.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  12. Active convergence between the Lesser and Greater Caucasus in Georgia: Constraints on the tectonic evolution of the Lesser-Greater Caucasus continental collision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokhadze, G.; Floyd, M.; Godoladze, T.; King, R.; Cowgill, E. S.; Javakhishvili, Z.; Hahubia, G.; Reilinger, R.

    2018-01-01

    We present and interpret newly determined site motions derived from GPS observations made from 2008 through 2016 in the Republic of Georgia, which constrain the rate and locus of active shortening in the Lesser-Greater Caucasus continental collision zone. Observation sites are located along two ∼160 km-long profiles crossing the Lesser-Greater Caucasus boundary zone: one crossing the Rioni Basin in western Georgia and the other crossing further east near the longitude of Tbilisi. Convergence across the Rioni Basin Profile occurs along the southern margin of the Greater Caucasus, near the surface trace of the north-dipping Main Caucasus Thrust Fault (MCTF) system, and is consistent with strain accumulation on the fault that generated the 1991 MW6.9 Racha earthquake. In contrast, convergence along the Tbilisi Profile occurs near Tbilisi and the northern boundary of the Lesser Caucasus (near the south-dipping Lesser Caucasus Thrust Fault), approximately 50-70 km south of the MCTF, which is inactive within the resolution of geodetic observations (< ± 0.5 mm/yr) at the location of the Tbilisi Profile. We suggest that the southward offset of convergence along strike of the range is related to the incipient collision of the Lesser-Greater Caucasus, and closing of the intervening Kura Basin, which is most advanced along this segment of the collision zone. The identification of active shortening near Tbilisi requires a reevaluation of seismic hazards in this area.

  13. 15. Amygdala pain mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neugebauer, Volker

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Enhanced temporal variability of amygdala-frontal functional connectivity in patients with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Jing-Li; Li, Peng; Shi, Le; Lin, Xiao; Sun, Hong-Qiang; Lu, Lin

    2018-01-01

    The "dysconnectivity hypothesis" was proposed 20 years ago. It characterized schizophrenia as a disorder with dysfunctional connectivity across a large range of distributed brain areas. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data have supported this theory. Previous studies revealed that the amygdala might be responsible for the emotion regulation-related symptoms of schizophrenia. However, conventional methods oversimplified brain activities by assuming that it remained static throughout the entire scan duration, which may explain why inconsistent results have been reported for the same brain region. An emerging technique is sliding time window analysis, which is used to describe functional connectivity based on the temporal variability of regions of interest (e.g., amygdala) in patients with schizophrenia. Conventional analysis of the static functional connectivity between the amygdala and whole brain was also conducted. Static functional connectivity between the amygdala and orbitofrontal region was impaired in patients with schizophrenia. The variability of connectivity between the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex was enhanced (i.e., greater dynamics) in patients with schizophrenia. A negative relationship was found between the variability of connectivity and information processing efficiency. A positive correlation was found between the variability of connectivity and symptom severity. The findings suggest that schizophrenia was related to abnormal patterns of fluctuating communication among brain areas that are involved in emotion regulations. Unveiling the temporal properties of functional connectivity could disentangle the inconsistent results of previous functional connectivity studies.

  15. Major depressive disorder is characterized by greater reward network activation to monetary than pleasant image rewards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smoski, Moria J; Rittenberg, Alison; Dichter, Gabriel S

    2011-12-30

    Anhedonia, the loss of interest or pleasure in normally rewarding activities, is a hallmark feature of unipolar Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). A growing body of literature has identified frontostriatal dysfunction during reward anticipation and outcomes in MDD. However, no study to date has directly compared responses to different types of rewards such as pleasant images and monetary rewards in MDD. To investigate the neural responses to monetary and pleasant image rewards in MDD, a modified Monetary Incentive Delay task was used during functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess neural responses during anticipation and receipt of monetary and pleasant image rewards. Participants included nine adults with MDD and 13 affectively healthy controls. The MDD group showed lower activation than controls when anticipating monetary rewards in right orbitofrontal cortex and subcallosal cortex, and when anticipating pleasant image rewards in paracingulate and supplementary motor cortex. The MDD group had relatively greater activation in right putamen when anticipating monetary versus pleasant image rewards, relative to the control group. Results suggest reduced reward network activation in MDD when anticipating rewards, as well as relatively greater hypoactivation to pleasant image than monetary rewards. 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Activation of exchange protein activated by cAMP in the rat basolateral amygdala impairs reconsolidation of a memory associated with self-administered cocaine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Xun; Torregrossa, Mary M; Sanchez, Hayde; Nairn, Angus C; Taylor, Jane R

    2014-01-01

    The intracellular mechanisms underlying memory reconsolidation critically involve cAMP signaling. These events were originally attributed to PKA activation by cAMP, but the identification of Exchange Protein Activated by cAMP (Epac), as a distinct mediator of cAMP signaling, suggests that cAMP-regulated processes that subserve memory reconsolidation are more complex. Here we investigated how activation of Epac with 8-pCPT-cAMP (8-CPT) impacts reconsolidation of a memory that had been associated with cocaine self-administration. Rats were trained to lever press for cocaine on an FR-1 schedule, in which each cocaine delivery was paired with a tone+light cue. Lever pressing was then extinguished in the absence of cue presentations and cocaine delivery. Following the last day of extinction, rats were put in a novel context, in which the conditioned cue was presented to reactivate the cocaine-associated memory. Immediate bilateral infusions of 8-CPT into the basolateral amygdala (BLA) following reactivation disrupted subsequent cue-induced reinstatement in a dose-dependent manner, and modestly reduced responding for conditioned reinforcement. When 8-CPT infusions were delayed for 3 hours after the cue reactivation session or were given after a cue extinction session, no effect on cue-induced reinstatement was observed. Co-administration of 8-CPT and the PKA activator 6-Bnz-cAMP (10 nmol/side) rescued memory reconsolidation while 6-Bnz alone had no effect, suggesting an antagonizing interaction between the two cAMP signaling substrates. Taken together, these studies suggest that activation of Epac represents a parallel cAMP-dependent pathway that can inhibit reconsolidation of cocaine-cue memories and reduce the ability of the cue to produce reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior.

  17. Activation of exchange protein activated by cAMP in the rat basolateral amygdala impairs reconsolidation of a memory associated with self-administered cocaine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xun Wan

    Full Text Available The intracellular mechanisms underlying memory reconsolidation critically involve cAMP signaling. These events were originally attributed to PKA activation by cAMP, but the identification of Exchange Protein Activated by cAMP (Epac, as a distinct mediator of cAMP signaling, suggests that cAMP-regulated processes that subserve memory reconsolidation are more complex. Here we investigated how activation of Epac with 8-pCPT-cAMP (8-CPT impacts reconsolidation of a memory that had been associated with cocaine self-administration. Rats were trained to lever press for cocaine on an FR-1 schedule, in which each cocaine delivery was paired with a tone+light cue. Lever pressing was then extinguished in the absence of cue presentations and cocaine delivery. Following the last day of extinction, rats were put in a novel context, in which the conditioned cue was presented to reactivate the cocaine-associated memory. Immediate bilateral infusions of 8-CPT into the basolateral amygdala (BLA following reactivation disrupted subsequent cue-induced reinstatement in a dose-dependent manner, and modestly reduced responding for conditioned reinforcement. When 8-CPT infusions were delayed for 3 hours after the cue reactivation session or were given after a cue extinction session, no effect on cue-induced reinstatement was observed. Co-administration of 8-CPT and the PKA activator 6-Bnz-cAMP (10 nmol/side rescued memory reconsolidation while 6-Bnz alone had no effect, suggesting an antagonizing interaction between the two cAMP signaling substrates. Taken together, these studies suggest that activation of Epac represents a parallel cAMP-dependent pathway that can inhibit reconsolidation of cocaine-cue memories and reduce the ability of the cue to produce reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior.

  18. Effect of exposure to greater active videogame variety on time spent in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raynor, Hollie A; Cardoso, Chelsi; Bond, Dale S

    2016-07-01

    This investigation examined whether exposure to greater active videogame variety increases moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA). Twenty-three participants (age=22.7±4.2yrs; body mass index=23.5±3.0kg/m(2); self-reported MVPA=298.7±116.7min/wk; 62.2% female; 73.9% Caucasian) participated in VARIETY (4 different active videogames during 4, 15-min bouts) and NON-VARIETY (only 1 active videogame during 4, 15-min bouts) counterbalanced sessions. VARIETY provided a different active videogame in each bout. NON-VARIETY provided participants their most highly liked active videogame in each bout. The Sensewear Mini Armband objectively assessed MVPA. For MVPA minutes, a session×bout (p<0.05) interaction occurred. In NON-VARIETY, bouts 2, 3, and 4 had significantly (p<0.05) fewer minutes than bout 1, with no decrease occurring in VARIETY. In bout 4, VARIETY had significantly (p<0.05) more minutes than NON-VARIETY. A main effect of session (p<0.05) occurred for MVPA minutes and energy expenditure, with VARIETY achieving greater amounts (31.8±14.3min vs. 27.6±16.9min; 186.1±96.8kcal vs. 171.2±102.8kcal). Exposure to greater activity variety within a session increased MVPA. Future research should examine exposure to a variety of activities over a longer time frame with participants of differing lifestyles in free-living environments. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  20. Involvement of serotonin 2A receptor activation in modulating medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala neuronal activation during novelty-exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hervig, Mona El-Sayed; Jensen, Nadja Cecilie Hvid; Rasmussen, Nadja Bredo

    2017-01-01

    The medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a major role in executive function by exerting a top-down control onto subcortical areas. Novelty-induced frontal cortex activation is 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) dependent. Here, we further investigated how blockade of 5-HT2ARs in mice exposed to a novel open-field...... of 5-HT2AR blockade on the striatal-projecting BLA neurons. Systemic administration of ketanserin (0.5 mg/kg) prior to novel open-field exposure resulted in reduced total numbers of c-Fos-IR cells in dorsomedial PFC areas and the BLA. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between the relative time...... spent in the centre of the open-field and BLA c-Fos-IR in the ketanserin-treated animals. Unilateral medial PFC lesions blocked this effect, ascertaining an involvement of this frontal cortex area. On the other hand, medial PFC lesioning exacerbated the more anxiogenic-like behaviour of the ketanserin...

  1. Amygdala activation and GABAergic gene expression in hippocampal sub-regions at the interplay of stress and spatial learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osnat eHadad-Ophir

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Molecular processes in GABAergic local circuit neurons critically contribute to information processing in the hippocampus and to stress-induced activation of the amygdala. In the current study, we determined expression changes in GABA-related factors induced in subregions of the dorsal hippocampus as well as in the BLA of rats 5h after spatial learning in a Morris Water maze, using laser microdissection and quantitative real-time PCR. Spatial learning resulted in highly selective pattern of changes in hippocampal subregions: gene expression levels of neuropeptide Y were reduced in the hilus of the dentate gyrus, whereas somatostatin was increased in the stratum oriens of CA3. The GABA-synthesizing enzymes GAD65 and GAD67 as well as the neuropeptide cholecystokinin were reduced in stratum oriens of CA1. In the BLA, expression of GAD65 and GAD67 were reduced compared to a handled Control group. These expression patterns were further compared to alterations in a group of rats that have been exposed to the water maze but were not provided with an invisible escape platform. In this Water Exposure group, no expression changes were observed in any of the hippocampal subregions, but a differential regulation of all selected target genes was evident in the BLA. These findings suggest that expression changes of GABAergic factors in the hippocampus are associated with spatial learning, while additional stress effects modulate expression alterations in the BLA. Indeed, while in both experimental groups plasma corticosterone levels were enhanced, only Water Exposure stress activated the basolateral amygdala, as indicated by increased levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2. Altered GABAergic function in the BLA may thus contribute to memory consolidation in the hippocampus, in relation to levels of stress and emotionality associated with the experience.

  2. The magical activation of left amygdala when reading Harry Potter: an fMRI study on how descriptions of supra-natural events entertain and enchant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chun-Ting; Jacobs, Arthur M; Altmann, Ulrike; Conrad, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Literature containing supra-natural, or magical events has enchanted generations of readers. When reading narratives describing such events, readers mentally simulate a text world different from the real one. The corresponding violation of world-knowledge during this simulation likely increases cognitive processing demands for ongoing discourse integration, catches readers' attention, and might thus contribute to the pleasure and deep emotional experience associated with ludic immersive reading. In the present study, we presented participants in an MR scanner with passages selected from the Harry Potter book series, half of which described magical events, while the other half served as control condition. Passages in both conditions were closely matched for relevant psycholinguistic variables including, e.g., emotional valence and arousal, passage-wise mean word imageability and frequency, and syntactic complexity. Post-hoc ratings showed that readers considered supra-natural contents more surprising and more strongly associated with reading pleasure than control passages. In the fMRI data, we found stronger neural activation for the supra-natural than the control condition in bilateral inferior frontal gyri, bilateral inferior parietal lobules, left fusiform gyrus, and left amygdala. The increased activation in the amygdala (part of the salience and emotion processing network) appears to be associated with feelings of surprise and the reading pleasure, which supra-natural events, full of novelty and unexpectedness, brought about. The involvement of bilateral inferior frontal gyri likely reflects higher cognitive processing demand due to world knowledge violations, whereas increased attention to supra-natural events is reflected in inferior frontal gyri and inferior parietal lobules that are part of the fronto-parietal attention network.

  3. The magical activation of left amygdala when reading Harry Potter: an fMRI study on how descriptions of supra-natural events entertain and enchant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Ting Hsu

    Full Text Available Literature containing supra-natural, or magical events has enchanted generations of readers. When reading narratives describing such events, readers mentally simulate a text world different from the real one. The corresponding violation of world-knowledge during this simulation likely increases cognitive processing demands for ongoing discourse integration, catches readers' attention, and might thus contribute to the pleasure and deep emotional experience associated with ludic immersive reading. In the present study, we presented participants in an MR scanner with passages selected from the Harry Potter book series, half of which described magical events, while the other half served as control condition. Passages in both conditions were closely matched for relevant psycholinguistic variables including, e.g., emotional valence and arousal, passage-wise mean word imageability and frequency, and syntactic complexity. Post-hoc ratings showed that readers considered supra-natural contents more surprising and more strongly associated with reading pleasure than control passages. In the fMRI data, we found stronger neural activation for the supra-natural than the control condition in bilateral inferior frontal gyri, bilateral inferior parietal lobules, left fusiform gyrus, and left amygdala. The increased activation in the amygdala (part of the salience and emotion processing network appears to be associated with feelings of surprise and the reading pleasure, which supra-natural events, full of novelty and unexpectedness, brought about. The involvement of bilateral inferior frontal gyri likely reflects higher cognitive processing demand due to world knowledge violations, whereas increased attention to supra-natural events is reflected in inferior frontal gyri and inferior parietal lobules that are part of the fronto-parietal attention network.

  4. Differential Expression of Phosphorylated Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (pMAPK) in the Lateral Amygdala of Mice Selectively Bred for High and Low Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-02

    conditions, box geometry, flooring surface (smooth surface with sawdust bedding as opposed to the conducting rod floor), wall color and olfactory cues...lateral nucleus of the amygdala. Behavioral neuroscience 107:444-50 112. Romanski LM, LeDoux JE. 1992. Equipotentiality of thalamo-amygdala and

  5. Chemosensory function of the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Lizard activity and abundance greater in burned habitat of a xeric montane forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouts, Kevin L.; Moore, Clinton; Johnson, Kristine D.; Maerz, John C.

    2017-01-01

    Restoring the natural or historical state of ecosystems is a common objective among resource managers, but determining whether desired system responses to management actions are occurring is often protracted and challenging. For wildlife, the integration of mechanistic habitat modeling with population monitoring may provide expedited measures of management effectiveness and improve understanding of how management actions succeed or fail to recover populations. Southern Appalachia is a region of high biodiversity that has undergone dramatic change as a result of human activities such as historic logging, exotic invasions, and alteration of disturbance regimes—including reduction in application of fire. Contemporary efforts to restore fire-maintained ecosystems within southern Appalachian forests require tools to assess the effects of fire management practices on individual animal fitness and relate them to corresponding influences on species abundance. Using automated sensing equipment, we investigated the effects of burned forests on reptile habitat suitability within the western portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. Specifically, we used microclimate measurements to model northern fence lizard Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus diurnal activity budgets in unburned and variable burn age (3–27-y) forest stands. We estimated northern fence lizard occurrence and abundance along transects through burned and unburned forests. Burned forest stands had microclimates that resulted in longer modeled daily activity periods under most conditions during summer. S. undulatus abundance was 4.75 times greater on burned stands compared to paired unburned stands, although the relationship between burn age and abundance was not well determined. Results suggest the more open habitat structure of burned areas within these xeric pine–oak forests may benefit S. undulatus.

  8. The central amygdala circuits in fear regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo

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

  9. Which Cue to ‘Want?’ Central Amygdala Opioid Activation Enhances and Focuses Incentive Salience on a Prepotent Reward Cue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahler, Stephen V.; Berridge, Kent C.

    2009-01-01

    The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) helps translate learning into motivation, and here we show that opioid stimulation of CeA magnifies and focuses learned incentive salience onto a specific reward cue (Pavlovian conditioned stimulus, or CS). This motivation enhancement makes that cue more attractive, noticeable, and liable to elicit appetitive and consummatory behaviors. To reveal the focusing of incentive salience, we exploited individual differences in an autoshaping paradigm in which a rat prefers to approach, nibble and sniff one of two reward-associated stimuli (its prepotent stimulus). The individually-prepotent cue is either a predictive CS+ that signals reward (8sec metal lever insertion), or instead the metal cup that delivers sucrose pellets (the reward source). Results indicated that CeA opioid activation by microinjection of the μ agonist DAMGO (0.1μg) selectively and reversibly enhanced the attractiveness of whichever reward CS was that rat's prepotent cue. CeA DAMGO microinjections made rats more vigorously approach their particular prepotent CS, and to energetically sniff and nibble it in a nearly frenzied consummatory fashion. Only the prepotent cue was enhanced as an incentive target, and alternative cues were not enhanced. Conversely, inactivation of CeA by muscimol microinjection (0.25μg) suppressed approach, nibbles and sniffs of the prepotent CS. Confirming modulation of incentive salience, unconditioned food intake was similarly increased by DAMGO microinjection and decreased by muscimol in CeA. We conclude that opioid neurotransmission in central amygdala helps determine which environmental stimuli become most ‘wanted,’ and how ‘wanted’ they become. This may powerfully guide reward-seeking behavior. PMID:19458221

  10. Framing effect following bilateral amygdala lesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  11. Amygdala signals subjective appetitiveness and aversiveness of mixed gambles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Versatility of cooperative transcriptional activation: a thermodynamical modeling analysis for greater-than-additive and less-than-additive effects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Till D Frank

    Full Text Available We derive a statistical model of transcriptional activation using equilibrium thermodynamics of chemical reactions. We examine to what extent this statistical model predicts synergy effects of cooperative activation of gene expression. We determine parameter domains in which greater-than-additive and less-than-additive effects are predicted for cooperative regulation by two activators. We show that the statistical approach can be used to identify different causes of synergistic greater-than-additive effects: nonlinearities of the thermostatistical transcriptional machinery and three-body interactions between RNA polymerase and two activators. In particular, our model-based analysis suggests that at low transcription factor concentrations cooperative activation cannot yield synergistic greater-than-additive effects, i.e., DNA transcription can only exhibit less-than-additive effects. Accordingly, transcriptional activity turns from synergistic greater-than-additive responses at relatively high transcription factor concentrations into less-than-additive responses at relatively low concentrations. In addition, two types of re-entrant phenomena are predicted. First, our analysis predicts that under particular circumstances transcriptional activity will feature a sequence of less-than-additive, greater-than-additive, and eventually less-than-additive effects when for fixed activator concentrations the regulatory impact of activators on the binding of RNA polymerase to the promoter increases from weak, to moderate, to strong. Second, for appropriate promoter conditions when activator concentrations are increased then the aforementioned re-entrant sequence of less-than-additive, greater-than-additive, and less-than-additive effects is predicted as well. Finally, our model-based analysis suggests that even for weak activators that individually induce only negligible increases in promoter activity, promoter activity can exhibit greater

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari Dass, Shantala Arundhati; Vyas, Ajai

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Beaver Activity, Holocene Climate and Riparian Landscape Change Across Stream Scales in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, R.; Meyer, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    Beaver (Castor canadensis) have been part of the fluvial and riparian landscape across much of North America since the Pleistocene, increasing channel habitat complexity and expanding riparian landscapes. The fur trade, however, decimated beaver populations by the 1840s, and other human activities have limited beaver in many areas, including parts of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Understanding fluctuations in beaver occupation through the Holocene will aid in understanding the natural range of variability in beaver activity as well as climatic and anthropogenic impacts to fluvial systems. We are developing a detailed chronology of beaver-assisted sedimentation and overall fluvial activity for Odell and Red Rock Creeks (basin areas 83 and 99 km2) in Centennial Valley (CV), Montana, to augment related studies on the long-term effects of beaver on smaller GYE fluvial systems (basin areas 0.1-50 km2). In developing the CV chronology, we use the presence of concentrations of beaver-chewed sticks as a proxy for beaver occupancy. Beaver-stick deposits are found in paleochannel and fluvial terrace exposures. The relative ages of exposures were determined by elevation data from airborne LiDAR and ground surveys. Numerical ages were obtained from 36 14C ages (~30 more are pending) of beaver-stick wood collected during investigation of the stratigraphy. Most beaver-stick deposits are associated with ~ 1 meter of fine-grained sediment, interpreted as overbank deposits, commonly overlying gravelly sand or pebble gravel channel deposits which is consistent with enhanced overbank sedimentation associated with active beaver dams in CV streams. The CV deposits differ from those on smaller GYE streams where beaver-stick deposits are associated with abandoned dams (berms), infilled ponds and laminated sediments. The lack of pond-related deposition associated with CV beaver-stick deposits is consistent with frequent dam breaching (≤ 5 years) in the modern channel of Odell

  15. Amygdala response to emotional faces in seasonal affective disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Abigail A; Kauffman, Matthew J; Middleton, Arthur D; Jimenez, Michael D; McWhirter, Douglas E; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Kenneth

    2012-12-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human-wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf-livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40-60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into areas

  17. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Abigail; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Middleton, Arthur D.; Jimenez, Mike; McWhirter, Douglas; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human–wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf–livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40–60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into

  18. Overview of Milestone E activities, greater confinement than shallow land burial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mezga, L.J.

    1981-01-01

    In summary, the objective of Milestone E is to provide the technology and documentation needed to open a site providing greater confinement than shallow land burial. To that end, ORNL has prepared a technical position paper defining greater confinement disposal, options for achieving it, and the need for this disposal technology. In order to meet the objective of the milestones, the LLWMP evaluated the full range of options to shallow land burial and decided to focus on a combination of greater depth solidification containment and engineered barriers. The program identified a series of research needs and then focused program efforts on resolving those needs. These tasks are proceeding on schedule at this time but budget reductions may have an impact on our ability to maintain the schedule

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R Bruchas

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shelton Richard C

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Impact Of anthropogenic activities on the water quality of Songor Lagoon, Ada, Greater Accra Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sackey, Justice

    2014-06-01

    Wetlands are vital ecosystems with important social, economic and environmental functions. The Ada Songor lagoon (located in the Dangbe East district, Greater Accra Region), is an internationally designated wetland (Ramsar site). Intense anthropogenic activities have impacted negatively on the quality of water and sediment in the lagoon. The study assessed the extent of heavy metal, pesticide residues and nutrients contamination of surface water and sediment in the Ada Songor Lagoon. The objective of the study was achieved through the determination of physico-chemical parameters [pH, temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), salinity, total dissolved solids (TDS), alkalinity, turbidity, biological oxygen demand (BOD), total hardness)]; the nutrients load (SO_4"2"- , PO_4"3"- , NO_3"- ) using UV-Visible Spectrophotometry; major ions (Na"+, K"+, Ca"2"+, HCO_3 "-); trace metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Co, Zn, Cu, As and Hg) using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS); and pesticides residues [organochlorines (OC’s), and synthetic pyrethroids by gas chromatography-electron capture detection (GC-ECD) and organophosphorus (OP’s) by gas chromatography-pulse flame photometric detection (G C-PFPD)]. Na and K contents were determined by Flame Emission Photometry. The water temperature (25.7 to 26.6 "oC), fall in the range of 25 to 30 "oC suitable for sustainability fish and aquatic organisms. The pH range (8.18 to 9.70) which is typical of coastal waters in Ghana is ideal for aquatic organisms. The TDS range (591 to 1,046 mg/L) is not ideal for water birds spawning since it makes it harder for them to find food. BOD ranges from 1.19 to 5.35 mg/L. The pattern of ionic dominance in the lagoon during the present study was K"+ > Na"+ > Ca"2"+ > Mg"2"+. The cationic dominance pattern was similar to that of seawater as observed by other works. Nitrate levels ranges from 0.83 to 0.92 mg/L. PO_4"3"- in this study varied from 0.05 to 2.92 mg/L which exceeds the levels in most natural

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. A survey of joint activities and travel of household members in the Greater Copenhagen Metropolitan Region

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorhauge, Mikkel; Vuk, Goran; Kaplan, Sigal

    2012-01-01

    and family quality time, within a daily schedule. The current study unveils the joint activity and travel patterns of household members in the Copenhagen area, as part of the ACTUM research project, funded by the Danish Strategic Research Council, for the development of a new generation of activity......The traditional approach for modeling transport-related choices in Denmark refers to individual decision makers. However, in daily activities and travel choices individuals function according to the commitments as family members, and thus their choices derive from the welfare needs of other family...... members. A family-based approach enables to capture intra-household interactions and the priorities of household members in scheduling their daily activities, thus adding to the realism and the predictive strength of transport models. Joint activities and travel occur in order to maximize efficiency...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Motor competence and cardiorespiratory fitness have greater influence on body fatness than physical activity across time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lima, R A; Pfeiffer, K A; Bugge, A

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the longitudinal associations among physical activity (PA), motor competence (MC), cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak ), and body fatness across 7 years, and also analyzed the possible mediation effects of PA, MC, and VO2peak on the relationships with body fatness. This was a seven...

  10. Lateral/Basolateral Amygdala Serotonin Type-2 Receptors Modulate Operant Self-administration of a Sweetened Ethanol Solution via Inhibition of Principal Neuron Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eMccool

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The lateral/basolateral amygdala (BLA forms an integral part of the neural circuitry controlling innate anxiety and learned fear. More recently, BLA dependent modulation of self-administration behaviors suggests a much broader role in the regulation of reward evaluation. To test this, we employed a self-administration paradigm that procedurally segregates ‘seeking’ (exemplified as lever-press behaviors from consumption (drinking directed at a sweetened ethanol solution. Microinjection of the nonselective serotonin type-2 receptor agonist, alpha-methyl-5-hydroxytryptamine (-m5HT into the BLA reduced lever pressing behaviors in a dose-dependent fashion. This was associated with a significant reduction in the number of response-bouts expressed during non-reinforced sessions without altering the size of a bout or the rate of responding. Conversely, intra-BLA -m5HT only modestly effected consumption-related behaviors; the highest dose reduced the total time spent consuming a sweetened ethanol solution but did not inhibit the total number of licks, number of lick bouts, or amount of solution consumed during a session. In vitro neurophysiological characterization of BLA synaptic responses showed that -m5HT significantly reduced extracellular field potentials. This was blocked by the 5-HT2A/C antagonist ketanserin suggesting that 5-HT2-like receptors mediate the behavioral effect of -m5HT. During whole-cell patch current-clamp recordings, we subsequently found that -m5HT increased action potential threshold and hyperpolarized the resting membrane potential of BLA pyramidal neurons. Together, our findings show that the activation of BLA 5-HT2A/C receptors inhibits behaviors related to reward-seeking by suppressing BLA principal neuron activity. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the BLA modulates reward-related behaviors and provides specific insight into BLA contributions during operant self-administration of a

  11. Fostering Culture Change in an Undergraduate Business Program: "Nudging" Students towards Greater Involvement in Extra-Curricular Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Elizabeth M.

    2013-01-01

    A report on a successfully implemented program to increase student participation in extra-curricular activities in an undergraduate business program with a high percentage of first-generation college students. A market-research study offered insight as to why students were not participating before the program was launched. Greater participation in…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clewett, David; Bachman, Shelby; Mather, Mara

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clewett, David; Bachman, Shelby; Mather, Mara

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Active unicameral bone cysts in the upper limb are at greater risk of fracture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tey, Inn Kuang; Mahadev, Arjandas; Lim, Kevin Boon Leong; Lee, Eng Hin; Nathan, Saminathan Suresh

    2009-08-01

    To elucidate the natural history of unicameral bone cyst (UBC) and risk factors for pathological fracture. 14 males and 8 females (mean age, 9 years) diagnosed with UBC were reviewed. Cyst location, symptoms, and whether there was any fracture or surgery were recorded. Cyst parameters were measured on radiographs, and included (1) the cyst index, (2) the ratio of the widest cyst diameter to the growth plate diameter, and (3) the adjusted distance of the cyst border from the growth plate. There were 11 upper- and 11 lower-limb cysts. 13 patients had pathological fractures and 9 did not. 20 patients were treated conservatively with limb immobilisation; 2 underwent curettage and bone grafting (one resolved and one did not). Seven cysts resolved (5 had fractures and 2 did not). The risk of fracture was higher in the upper than lower limbs (100% vs 18%, pFractured cysts were larger than unfractured cysts (mean cyst index, 4.5 vs. 2.2, p=0.07). Active cysts were more likely to fracture. Conservative management had a 30% resolution rate. Surgery should be considered for large active cysts in the upper limbs in order to minimise the fracture risk.

  15. Human Amygdala Represents the Complete Spectrum of Subjective Valence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Motor competence and cardiorespiratory fitness have greater influence on body fatness than physical activity across time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, R A; Pfeiffer, K A; Bugge, A; Møller, N C; Andersen, L B; Stodden, D F

    2017-12-01

    We investigated the longitudinal associations among physical activity (PA), motor competence (MC), cardiorespiratory fitness (VO 2peak ), and body fatness across 7 years, and also analyzed the possible mediation effects of PA, MC, and VO 2peak on the relationships with body fatness. This was a seven-year longitudinal study with three measuring points (mean ages [in years] and respective sample size: 6.75±0.37, n=696; 9.59±1.07, n=617; 13.35±0.34, n=513). PA (moderate-to-vigorous PA-MVPA and vigorous PA-VPA) was monitored using accelerometers. MC was assessed by the "Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder-KTK" test battery. VO 2peak was evaluated using a continuous running protocol until exhaustion. Body fatness was determined by the sum of four skinfolds. Structural equation modeling was performed to evaluate the longitudinal associations among PA, MC, VO 2peak, and body fatness and the potential mediation effects of PA, MC, and VO 2peak . All coefficients presented were standardized (z-scores). MC and VO 2peak directly influenced the development of body fatness, and VO 2peak mediated the associations between MVPA, VPA, MC, and body fatness. MC also mediated the associations between MVPA, VPA, and body fatness. In addition, VO 2peak had the largest total association with body fatness (β=-0.431; Pfitness and MC through developmentally appropriate physical activities, as the synergistic interactions of all three variables impacted body fatness. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Amygdala, Pulvinar & Inferior Parietal Cortex Contribute to Early Processing of Faces without Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa eTroiani

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The goals of the present study were twofold. First, we wished to investigate the neural correlates of stimulus-driven processing of stimuli strongly suppressed from awareness and in the absence of top-down influences. We accomplished this using a novel approach in which participants performed an orthogonal task atop a flash suppression noise image to prevent top-down search. Second, we wished to investigate the extent to which amygdala responses differentiate between suppressed stimuli (fearful faces and houses based on their motivational relevance. Using continuous flash suppression in conjunction with fMRI, we presented fearful faces, houses, and a no stimulus control to one eye while participants performed an orthogonal task that appeared atop the flashing Mondrian image presented to the opposite eye. In 29 adolescents, we show activation in subcortical regions, including the superior colliculus, amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus for suppressed objects (fearful faces and houses compared to a no stimulus control. Suppressed stimuli showed less activation compared to a no stimulus control in early visual cortex, indicating that object information was being suppressed from this region. Additionally, we find no activation in regions associated with conscious processing of these percepts (fusiform gyrus and/or parahippocampal cortex as assessed by mean activations and multi-voxel patterns. A psychophysiological interaction analysis that seeded the amygdala showed task-specific (fearful faces greater than houses modulation of right pulvinar and left inferior parietal cortex. Taken together, our results support a role for the amygdala in stimulus-driven attentional guidance towards objects of relevance and a potential mechanism for successful suppression of rivalrous stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Framing effect following bilateral amygdala lesion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. ABA renewal involves enhancements in both GluA2-lacking AMPA receptor activity and GluA1 phosphorylation in the lateral amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyungjoon Park

    Full Text Available Fear renewal, the context-specific relapse of fear following fear extinction, is a leading animal model of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD and fear-related disorders. Although fear extinction can diminish fear responses, this effect is restricted to the context where the extinction is carried out, and the extinguished fear strongly relapses when assessed in the original acquisition context (ABA renewal or in a context distinct from the conditioning and extinction contexts (ABC renewal. We have previously identified Ser831 phosphorylation of GluA1 subunit in the lateral amygdala (LA as a key molecular mechanism for ABC renewal. However, molecular mechanisms underlying ABA renewal remain to be elucidated. Here, we found that both the excitatory synaptic efficacy and GluA2-lacking AMPAR activity at thalamic input synapses onto the LA (T-LA synapses were enhanced upon ABA renewal. GluA2-lacking AMPAR activity was also increased during low-threshold potentiation, a potential cellular substrate of renewal, at T-LA synapses. The microinjection of 1-naphtylacetyl-spermine (NASPM, a selective blocker of GluA2-lacking AMPARs, into the LA attenuated ABA renewal, suggesting a critical role of GluA2-lacking AMPARs in ABA renewal. We also found that Ser831 phosphorylation of GluA1 in the LA was increased upon ABA renewal. We developed a short peptide mimicking the Ser831-containing C-tail region of GluA1, which can be phosphorylated upon renewal (GluA1S; thus, the phosphorylated GluA1S may compete with Ser831-phosphorylated GluA1. This GluA1S peptide blocked the low-threshold potentiation when dialyzed into a recorded neuron. The microinjection of a cell-permeable form of GluA1S peptide into the LA attenuated ABA renewal. In support of the GluA1S experiments, a GluA1D peptide (in which the serine at 831 is replaced with a phosphomimetic amino acid, aspartate attenuated ABA renewal when microinjected into the LA. These findings suggest that enhancements

  4. ABA renewal involves enhancements in both GluA2-lacking AMPA receptor activity and GluA1 phosphorylation in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kyungjoon; Song, Beomjong; Kim, Jeongyeon; Hong, Ingie; Song, Sangho; Lee, Junuk; Park, Sungmo; Kim, Jihye; An, Bobae; Lee, Hyun Woo; Lee, Seungbok; Kim, Hyun; Lee, Justin C; Lee, Sukwon; Choi, Sukwoo

    2014-01-01

    Fear renewal, the context-specific relapse of fear following fear extinction, is a leading animal model of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and fear-related disorders. Although fear extinction can diminish fear responses, this effect is restricted to the context where the extinction is carried out, and the extinguished fear strongly relapses when assessed in the original acquisition context (ABA renewal) or in a context distinct from the conditioning and extinction contexts (ABC renewal). We have previously identified Ser831 phosphorylation of GluA1 subunit in the lateral amygdala (LA) as a key molecular mechanism for ABC renewal. However, molecular mechanisms underlying ABA renewal remain to be elucidated. Here, we found that both the excitatory synaptic efficacy and GluA2-lacking AMPAR activity at thalamic input synapses onto the LA (T-LA synapses) were enhanced upon ABA renewal. GluA2-lacking AMPAR activity was also increased during low-threshold potentiation, a potential cellular substrate of renewal, at T-LA synapses. The microinjection of 1-naphtylacetyl-spermine (NASPM), a selective blocker of GluA2-lacking AMPARs, into the LA attenuated ABA renewal, suggesting a critical role of GluA2-lacking AMPARs in ABA renewal. We also found that Ser831 phosphorylation of GluA1 in the LA was increased upon ABA renewal. We developed a short peptide mimicking the Ser831-containing C-tail region of GluA1, which can be phosphorylated upon renewal (GluA1S); thus, the phosphorylated GluA1S may compete with Ser831-phosphorylated GluA1. This GluA1S peptide blocked the low-threshold potentiation when dialyzed into a recorded neuron. The microinjection of a cell-permeable form of GluA1S peptide into the LA attenuated ABA renewal. In support of the GluA1S experiments, a GluA1D peptide (in which the serine at 831 is replaced with a phosphomimetic amino acid, aspartate) attenuated ABA renewal when microinjected into the LA. These findings suggest that enhancements in both the

  5. Stress, memory and the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Corticotropin-releasing factor in the basolateral amygdala enhances memory consolidation via an interaction with the beta-adrenoceptor-cAMP pathway: dependence on glucocorticoid receptor activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roozendaal, Benno; Schelling, Gustav; McGaugh, James L

    2008-06-25

    Extensive evidence indicates that stress hormone effects on the consolidation of emotionally influenced memory involve noradrenergic activation of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA). The present experiments examined whether corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) modulates memory consolidation via an interaction with the beta-adrenoceptor-cAMP system in the BLA. In a first experiment, male Sprague Dawley rats received bilateral infusions of the CRF-binding protein ligand inhibitor CRF(6-33) into the BLA either alone or together with the CRF receptor antagonist alpha-helical CRF(9-41) immediately after inhibitory avoidance training. CRF(6-33) induced dose-dependent enhancement of 48 h retention latencies, which was blocked by coadministration of alpha-helical CRF(9-41), suggesting that CRF(6-33) enhances memory consolidation by displacing CRF from its binding protein, thereby increasing "free" endogenous CRF concentrations. In a second experiment, intra-BLA infusions of atenolol (beta-adrenoceptor antagonist) and Rp-cAMPS (cAMP inhibitor), but not prazosin (alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist), blocked CRF(6-33)-induced retention enhancement. In a third experiment, the CRF receptor antagonist alpha-helical CRF(9-41) administered into the BLA immediately after training attenuated the dose-response effects of concurrent intra-BLA infusions of clenbuterol (beta-adrenoceptor agonist). In contrast, alpha-helical CRF(9-41) did not alter retention enhancement induced by posttraining intra-BLA infusions of either cirazoline (alpha(1)-adrenoceptor agonist) or 8-br-cAMP (cAMP analog). These findings suggest that CRF facilitates the memory-modulatory effects of noradrenergic stimulation in the BLA via an interaction with the beta-adrenoceptor-cAMP cascade, at a locus between the membrane-bound beta-adrenoceptor and the intracellular cAMP formation site. Moreover, consistent with evidence that glucocorticoids enhance memory consolidation via a similar interaction with the

  8. Greater confinement disposal of high activity and special case wastes at the Nevada Test Site: A unified migration assessment approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, P.A.; Olague, N.E.; Johnson, V.L.; Dickman, P.T.; O'Neill, L.J.

    1993-01-01

    The Department of Energy's Nevada Field Office has disposed of a small quantity of high activity and special case wastes using Greater Confinement Disposal facilities in Area 5 of the Nevada Test Site. Because some of these wastes are transuranic radioactive wastes, the Environmental Protection Agency standards for their disposal under 40 CFR Part 191 which requires a compliance assessment. In conducting the 40 CFR Part 191 compliance assessment, review of the Greater Confinement Disposal inventory revealed potentially land disposal restricted hazardous wastes. The regulatory options for disposing of land disposal restricted wastes consist of (1) treatment and monitoring, or (2) developing a no-migration petition. Given that the waste is already buried without treatment, a no-migration petition becomes the primary option. Based on a desire to minimize costs associated with site characterization and performance assessment, a single approach has been developed for assessing compliance with 40 CFR Part 191, DOE Order 5820.2A (which regulates low-level radioactive wastes contained in Greater Confinement Disposal facilities) and developing a no-migration petition. The approach consists of common points of compliance, common time frame for analysis, and common treatment of uncertainty. The procedure calls for conservative bias of modeling assumptions, including model input parameter distributions and adverse processes and events that can occur over the regulatory time frame, coupled with a quantitative treatment of data and parameter uncertainty. This approach provides a basis for a defensible regulatory decision. In addition, the process is iterative between modeling and site characterization activities, where the need for site characterization activities is based on a quantitative definition of the most important and uncertain parameters or assumptions

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye-Ha Jung

    2018-04-01

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

  10. The contribution of human agricultural activities to increasing evapotranspiration is significantly greater than climate change effect over Heihe agricultural region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Minzhong; Niu, Jun; Kang, Shaozhong; Li, Xiaolin; Lu, Hongna

    2017-08-18

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is a major component linking the water, energy, and carbon cycles. Understanding changes in ET and the relative contribution rates of human activity and of climate change at the basin scale is important for sound water resources management. In this study, changes in ET in the Heihe agricultural region in northwest China during 1984-2014 were examined using remotely-sensed ET data with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Correlation analysis identified the dominant factors that influence change in ET per unit area and those that influence change in total ET. Factor analysis identified the relative contribution rates of the dominant factors in each case. The results show that human activity, which includes factors for agronomy and irrigation, and climate change, including factors for precipitation and relative humidity, both contribute to increases in ET per unit area at rates of 60.93% and 28.01%, respectively. Human activity, including the same factors, and climate change, including factors for relative humidity and wind speed, contribute to increases in total ET at rates of 53.86% and 35.68%, respectively. Overall, in the Heihe agricultural region, the contribution of human agricultural activities to increased ET was significantly greater than that of climate change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-16

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

  12. Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) distribution, activity patterns and relative abundance in the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Robert; Ayala, Guido; Viscarra, Maria

    2012-12-01

    Lowland tapir distribution is described in northwestern Bolivia and southeastern Peru within the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape, a priority Tapir Conservation Unit, using 1255 distribution points derived from camera trapping efforts, field research and interviews with park guards from 5 national protected areas and hunters from 19 local communities. A total of 392 independent camera trapping events from 14 camera trap surveys at 11 sites demonstrated the nocturnal and crepuscular activity patterns (86%) of the lowland tapir and provide 3 indices of relative abundance for spatial and temporal comparison. Capture rates for lowland tapirs were not significantly different between camera trapping stations placed on river beaches versus those placed in the forest. Lowland tapir capture rates were significantly higher in the national protected areas of the region versus indigenous territories and unprotected portions of the landscape. Capture rates through time suggested that lowland tapir populations are recovering within the Tuichi Valley, an area currently dedicated towards ecotourism activities, following the creation (1995) and subsequent implementation (1997) of the Madidi National Park in Bolivia. Based on our distributional data and published conservative estimates of population density, we calculated that this transboundary landscape holds an overall lowland tapir population of between 14 540 and 36 351 individuals, of which at least 24.3% are under protection from national and municipal parks. As such, the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape should be considered a lowland tapir population stronghold and priority conservation efforts are discussed in order to maintain this population. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  13. From circuits to behaviour in the amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janak, Patricia H.; Tye, Kay M.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Corticosteroid Induced Decoupling of the Amygdala in Men

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Greater-than-Class C low-level radioactive waste characterization: Estimated volumes, radionuclide activities, and other characteristics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hulse, R.A.

    1991-08-01

    Planning for storage or disposal of greater-than-Class C low-level radioactive waste (GTCC LLW) requires characterization of that waste to estimate volumes, radionuclide activities, and waste forms. Data from existing literature, disposal records, and original research were used to estimate the characteristics and project volumes and radionuclide activities to the year 2035. GTCC LLW is categorized as: nuclear utilities waste, sealed sources waste, DOE-held potential GTCC LLW; and, other generator waste. It has been determined that the largest volume of those wastes, approximately 57%, is generated by nuclear power plants. The Other Generator waste category contributes approximately 10% of the total GTCC LLW volume projected to the year 2035. Waste held by the Department of Energy, which is potential GTCC LLW, accounts for nearly 33% of all waste projected to the year 2035; however, no disposal determination has been made for that waste. Sealed sources are less than 0.2% of the total projected volume of GTCC LLW

  16. Greater anterior insula activation during anticipation of food images in women recovered from anorexia nervosa versus controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberndorfer, Tyson; Simmons, Alan; McCurdy, Danyale; Strigo, Irina; Matthews, Scott; Yang, Tony; Irvine, Zoe; Kaye, Walter

    2013-01-01

    Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) restrict food consumption and become severely emaciated. Eating food, even thinking of eating food, is often associated with heightened anxiety. However, food cue anticipation in AN is poorly understood. Fourteen women recovered from AN and 12 matched healthy control women performed an anticipation task viewing images of food and object images during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Comparing anticipation of food versus object images between control women and recovered AN groups showed significant interaction only in the right ventral anterior insula, with greater activation in recovered AN anticipating food images. These data support the hypothesis of a disconnect between anticipating and experiencing food stimuli in recovered AN. Insula activation positively correlated with pleasantness ratings of palatable foods in control women, while no such relationship existed in recovered AN, which is further evidence of altered interoceptive function. Finally, these findings raise the possibility that enhanced anterior insula anticipatory response to food cues in recovered AN could contribute to exaggerated sensitivity and anxiety related to food and eating. PMID:23993362

  17. 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.

  18. Dissociable contributions of the human amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex to incentive motivation and goal selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arana, F Sergio; Parkinson, John A; Hinton, Elanor; Holland, Anthony J; Owen, Adrian M; Roberts, Angela C

    2003-10-22

    Theories of incentive motivation attempt to capture the way in which objects and events in the world can acquire high motivational value and drive behavior, even in the absence of a clear biological need. In addition, for an individual to select the most appropriate goal, the incentive values of competing desirable objects need to be defined and compared. The present study examined the neural substrates by which appetitive incentive value influences prospective goal selection, using positron emission tomographic neuroimaging in humans. Sated subjects were shown a series of restaurant menus that varied in incentive value, specifically tailored for each individual, and in half the trials, were asked to make a selection from the menu. The amygdala was activated by high-incentive menus regardless of whether a choice was required. Indeed, activity in this region varied as a function of individual subjective ratings of incentive value. In contrast, distinct regions of the orbitofrontal cortex were recruited both during incentive judgments and goal selection. Activity in the medial orbital cortex showed a greater response to high-incentive menus and when making a choice, with the latter activity also correlating with subjective ratings of difficulty. Lateral orbitofrontal activity was observed selectively when participants had to suppress responses to alternative desirable items to select their most preferred. Taken together, these data highlight the differential contribution of the amygdala and regions within the orbitofrontal cortex in a neural system underlying the selection of goals based on the prospective incentive value of stimuli, over and above homeostatic influences.

  19. Greater-than-Class C low-level radioactive waste characterization: Estimated volumes, radionuclide activities, and other characteristics. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    The Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) planning for the disposal of greater-than-Class C low-level radioactive waste (GTCC LLW) requires characterization of the waste. This report estimates volumes, radionuclide activities, and waste forms of GTCC LLW to the year 2035. It groups the waste into four categories, representative of the type of generator or holder of the waste: Nuclear Utilities, Sealed Sources, DOE-Held, and Other Generator. GTCC LLW includes activated metals (activation hardware from reactor operation and decommissioning), process wastes (i.e., resins, filters, etc.), sealed sources, and other wastes routinely generated by users of radioactive material. Estimates reflect the possible effect that packaging and concentration averaging may have on the total volume of GTCC LLW. Possible GTCC mixed LLW is also addressed. Nuclear utilities will probably generate the largest future volume of GTCC LLW with 65--83% of the total volume. The other generators will generate 17--23% of the waste volume, while GTCC sealed sources are expected to contribute 1--12%. A legal review of DOE`s obligations indicates that the current DOE-Held wastes described in this report will not require management as GTCC LLW because of the contractual circumstances under which they were accepted for storage. This report concludes that the volume of GTCC LLW should not pose a significant management problem from a scientific or technical standpoint. The projected volume is small enough to indicate that a dedicated GTCC LLW disposal facility may not be justified. Instead, co-disposal with other waste types is being considered as an option.

  20. Greater-than-Class C low-level radioactive waste characterization: Estimated volumes, radionuclide activities, and other characteristics. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

    The Department of Energy's (DOE's) planning for the disposal of greater-than-Class C low-level radioactive waste (GTCC LLW) requires characterization of the waste. This report estimates volumes, radionuclide activities, and waste forms of GTCC LLW to the year 2035. It groups the waste into four categories, representative of the type of generator or holder of the waste: Nuclear Utilities, Sealed Sources, DOE-Held, and Other Generator. GTCC LLW includes activated metals (activation hardware from reactor operation and decommissioning), process wastes (i.e., resins, filters, etc.), sealed sources, and other wastes routinely generated by users of radioactive material. Estimates reflect the possible effect that packaging and concentration averaging may have on the total volume of GTCC LLW. Possible GTCC mixed LLW is also addressed. Nuclear utilities will probably generate the largest future volume of GTCC LLW with 65--83% of the total volume. The other generators will generate 17--23% of the waste volume, while GTCC sealed sources are expected to contribute 1--12%. A legal review of DOE's obligations indicates that the current DOE-Held wastes described in this report will not require management as GTCC LLW because of the contractual circumstances under which they were accepted for storage. This report concludes that the volume of GTCC LLW should not pose a significant management problem from a scientific or technical standpoint. The projected volume is small enough to indicate that a dedicated GTCC LLW disposal facility may not be justified. Instead, co-disposal with other waste types is being considered as an option

  1. Stress, memory and the amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  2. Central amygdala, stress and adaption

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roozendaal, Benno

    1992-01-01

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

  3. Resting-state functional connectivity between amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex following fear reminder predicts fear extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Pan; Zheng, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Investigations of fear conditioning have elucidated the neural mechanisms of fear acquisition, consolidation and extinction, but it is not clear how the neural activation following fear reminder influence the following extinction. To address this question, we measured human brain activity following fear reminder using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and investigated whether the extinction effect can be predicted by resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC). Behaviorally, we found no significant differences of fear ratings between the reminder group and the no reminder group at the fear acquisition and extinction stages, but spontaneous recovery during re-extinction stage appeared only in the no reminder group. Imaging data showed that functional connectivity between ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and amygdala in the reminder group was greater than that in the no reminder group after fear memory reactivation. More importantly, the functional connectivity between amygdala and vmPFC of the reminder group after fear memory reactivation was positively correlated with extinction effect. These results suggest RSFC between amygdala and the vmPFC following fear reminder can predict fear extinction, which provide important insight into the neural mechanisms of fear memory after fear memory reactivation. PMID:27013104

  4. Greater Glycaemic Response to an Oral Glucose Load in Healthy, Lean, Active and Young Chinese Adults Compared to Matched Caucasians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trevor Simper

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available There are ethnic differences recorded in glycaemic response and rates of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM between Chinese and Caucasian populations. Whether these differences are evident in matched healthy, lean, active, young adults is unclear. This study compares the postprandial glycaemic response of a group of Chinese participants (n = 49 with a group of similar Caucasians, (n = 48 aged 23.8 (±4.35 years, body mass index (BMI 22.7 (±2.6 kg/m2, healthy (free from non-communicable disease, and lean (body fat % 23.28% (±5.04. Participants undertook an oral glucose tolerance test to identify any significant differences in postprandial blood glucose response. Body fat percentage, body mass, age, physical activity, baseline glucose and HbA1c did not significantly differ between groups. Data from food frequency questionnaires indicated that the Chinese participants consumed less starchy foods, candy and “other” sweets and sugary drinks, and more rice than the Caucasians (all p ≤ 0.001, but not a greater overall intake of carbohydrates or any other macronutrient (all p > 0.05. The two groups’ postprandial blood glucose responses and 2-h incremental area under the curve values (iAUC—156.67 (74.12 mmol/L 120 min for Caucasians versus 214.03 (77.49 mmol/L 120 min for Chinese—indicate significant differences (p = 0.003 and p < 0.001 respectively between groups. Findings suggest that the difference between the two groups’ iAUC values do not relate to obvious lifestyle factors. The Chinese group were eating the least sugary and starchy food but had the highest iAUC. It is argued that the Chinese group in this investigation have the most favourable BMI, body fat percentage, and body mass, yet “poorest” glycaemic response.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Protracted dendritic growth in the typically developing human amygdala and increased spine density in young ASD brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, R K; Bauman, M D; Jacobs, B; Schumann, C M

    2018-02-01

    The amygdala is a medial temporal lobe structure implicated in social and emotional regulation. In typical development (TD), the amygdala continues to increase volumetrically throughout childhood and into adulthood, while other brain structures are stable or decreasing in volume. In autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the amygdala undergoes rapid early growth, making it volumetrically larger in children with ASD compared to TD children. Here we explore: (a) if dendritic arborization in the amygdala follows the pattern of protracted growth in TD and early overgrowth in ASD and (b), if spine density in the amygdala in ASD cases differs from TD from youth to adulthood. The amygdala from 32 postmortem human brains (7-46 years of age) were stained using a Golgi-Kopsch impregnation. Ten principal neurons per case were selected in the lateral nucleus and traced using Neurolucida software in their entirety. We found that both ASD and TD individuals show a similar pattern of increasing dendritic length with age well into adulthood. However, spine density is (a) greater in young ASD cases compared to age-matched TD controls (ASD age into adulthood, a phenomenon not found in TD. Therefore, by adulthood, there is no observable difference in spine density in the amygdala between ASD and TD age-matched adults (≥18 years old). Our findings highlight the unique growth trajectory of the amygdala and suggest that spine density may contribute to aberrant development and function of the amygdala in children with ASD. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  9. Preferential responses in amygdala and insula during presentation of facial contempt and disgust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sambataro, Fabio; Dimalta, Savino; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Taurisano, Paolo; Blasi, Giuseppe; Scarabino, Tommaso; Giannatempo, Giuseppe; Nardini, Marcello; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2006-10-01

    Some authors consider contempt to be a basic emotion while others consider it a variant of disgust. The neural correlates of contempt have not so far been specifically contrasted with disgust. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the neural networks involved in the processing of facial contempt and disgust in 24 healthy subjects. Facial recognition of contempt was lower than that of disgust and of neutral faces. The imaging data indicated significant activity in the amygdala and in globus pallidus and putamen during processing of contemptuous faces. Bilateral insula and caudate nuclei and left as well as right inferior frontal gyrus were engaged during processing of disgusted faces. Moreover, direct comparisons of contempt vs. disgust yielded significantly different activations in the amygdala. On the other hand, disgusted faces elicited greater activation than contemptuous faces in the right insula and caudate. Our findings suggest preferential involvement of different neural substrates in the processing of facial emotional expressions of contempt and disgust.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Windischberger Christian

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability to recognize emotions in facial expressions relies on an extensive neural network with the amygdala as the key node as has typically been demonstrated for the processing of fearful stimuli. A sufficient characterization of the factors influencing and modulating amygdala function, however, has not been reached now. Due to lacking or diverging results on its involvement in recognizing all or only certain negative emotions, the influence of gender or ethnicity is still under debate. This high-resolution fMRI study addresses some of the relevant parameters, such as emotional valence, gender and poser ethnicity on amygdala activation during facial emotion recognition in 50 Caucasian subjects. Stimuli were color photographs of emotional Caucasian and African American faces. Results Bilateral amygdala activation was obtained to all emotional expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happy, and sad and neutral faces across all subjects. However, only in males a significant correlation of amygdala activation and behavioral response to fearful stimuli was observed, indicating higher amygdala responses with better fear recognition, thus pointing to subtle gender differences. No significant influence of poser ethnicity on amygdala activation occurred, but analysis of recognition accuracy revealed a significant impact of poser ethnicity that was emotion-dependent. Conclusion Applying high-resolution fMRI while subjects were performing an explicit emotion recognition task revealed bilateral amygdala activation to all emotions presented and neutral expressions. This mechanism seems to operate similarly in healthy females and males and for both in-group and out-group ethnicities. Our results support the assumption that an intact amygdala response is fundamental in the processing of these salient stimuli due to its relevance detecting function.

  13. Cannabinoid receptors activation and glucocorticoid receptors deactivation in the amygdala prevent the stress-induced enhancement of a negative learning experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramot, Assaf; Akirav, Irit

    2012-05-01

    The enhancement of emotional memory is clearly important as emotional stimuli are generally more significant than neutral stimuli for surviving and reproduction purposes. Yet, the enhancement of a negative emotional memory following exposure to stress may result in dysfunctional or intrusive memory that underlies several psychiatric disorders. Here we examined the effects of stress exposure on a negative emotional learning experience as measured by a decrease in the magnitude of the expected quantity of reinforcements in an alley maze. In contrast to other fear-related negative experiences, reward reduction is more associated with frustration and is assessed by measuring the latency to run the length of the alley to consume the reduced quantity of reward. We also examined whether the cannabinoid receptors agonist WIN55,212-2 (5 μg/side) and the glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) antagonist RU-486 (10 ng/side) administered into the rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) could prevent the stress-induced enhancement. We found that intra-BLA RU-486 or WIN55,212 before stress exposure prevented the stress-induced enhancement of memory consolidation for reduction in reward magnitude. These findings suggest that cannabinoid receptors and GRs in the BLA are important modulators of stress-induced enhancement of emotional memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-11

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

  15. Amygdala reactivity to sad faces in preschool children: An early neural marker of persistent negative affect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael S. Gaffrey

    2016-02-01

    Conclusions: The current findings provide preliminary evidence for amygdala activity as a potential biomarker of persistent negative affect during early childhood and suggest future work examining the origins and long-term implications of this relationship is necessary.

  16. Increased amygdala reactivity following early life stress: a potential resilience enhancer role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Tetsuya; Toki, Shigeru; Siegle, Greg J; Takamura, Masahiro; Takaishi, Yoshiyuki; Yoshimura, Shinpei; Okada, Go; Matsumoto, Tomoya; Nakao, Takashi; Muranaka, Hiroyuki; Kaseda, Yumiko; Murakami, Tsuneji; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2017-01-18

    Amygdala hyper-reactivity is sometimes assumed to be a vulnerability factor that predates depression; however, in healthy people, who experience early life stress but do not become depressed, it may represent a resilience mechanism. We aimed to test these hypothesis examining whether increased amygdala activity in association with a history of early life stress (ELS) was negatively or positively associated with depressive symptoms and impact of negative life event stress in never-depressed adults. Twenty-four healthy participants completed an individually tailored negative mood induction task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessment along with evaluation of ELS. Mood change and amygdala reactivity were increased in never-depressed participants who reported ELS compared to participants who reported no ELS. Yet, increased amygdala reactivity lowered effects of ELS on depressive symptoms and negative life events stress. Amygdala reactivity also had positive functional connectivity with the bilateral DLPFC, motor cortex and striatum in people with ELS during sad memory recall. Increased amygdala activity in those with ELS was associated with decreased symptoms and increased neural features, consistent with emotion regulation, suggesting that preservation of robust amygdala reactions may reflect a stress buffering or resilience enhancing factor against depression and negative stressful events.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1996-01-01

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

  18. Violent offenders respond to provocations with high amygdala and striatal reactivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    magnetic resonance imaging point-subtraction aggression paradigm in 44 men, of whom 18 were incarcerated violent offenders and 26 were control non-offenders. We measured brain activation following provocations (monetary subtractions), while the subjects had the possibility to behave aggressively or pursue...... monetary rewards. The violent offenders behaved more aggressively than controls (aggression frequency 150 us 84, P = 0.03) and showed significantly higher brain reactivity to provocations within the amygdala and striatum, as well as reduced amygdala-prefrontal and striato-prefrontal connectivity. Amygdala...

  19. Value encoding in single neurons in the human amygdala during decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenison, Rick L; Rangel, Antonio; Oya, Hiroyuki; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Howard, Matthew A

    2011-01-05

    A growing consensus suggests that the brain makes simple choices by assigning values to the stimuli under consideration and then comparing these values to make a decision. However, the network involved in computing the values has not yet been fully characterized. Here, we investigated whether the human amygdala plays a role in the computation of stimulus values at the time of decision making. We recorded single neuron activity from the amygdala of awake patients while they made simple purchase decisions over food items. We found 16 amygdala neurons, located primarily in the basolateral nucleus that responded linearly to the values assigned to individual items.

  20. A phenotype of early infancy predicts reactivity of the amygdala in male adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, C E; Kunwar, P S; Greve, D N; Kagan, J; Snidman, N C; Bloch, R B

    2012-10-01

    One of the central questions that has occupied those disciplines concerned with human development is the nature of continuities and discontinuities from birth to maturity. The amygdala has a central role in the processing of novelty and emotion in the brain. Although there is considerable variability among individuals in the reactivity of the amygdala to novel and emotional stimuli, the origin of these individual differences is not well understood. Four-month old infants called high reactive (HR) demonstrate a distinctive pattern of vigorous motor activity and crying to specific unfamiliar visual, auditory and olfactory stimuli in the laboratory. Low-reactive infants show the complementary pattern. Here, we demonstrate that the HR infant phenotype predicts greater amygdalar reactivity to novel faces almost two decades later in adults. A prediction of individual differences in brain function at maturity can be made on the basis of a single behavioral assessment made in the laboratory at 4 months of age. This is the earliest known human behavioral phenotype that predicts individual differences in patterns of neural activity at maturity. These temperamental differences rooted in infancy may be relevant to understanding individual differences in vulnerability and resilience to clinical psychiatric disorder. Males who were HR infants showed particularly high levels of reactivity to novel faces in the amygdala that distinguished them as adults from all other sex/temperament subgroups, suggesting that their amygdala is particularly prone to engagement by unfamiliar faces. These findings underline the importance of taking gender into account when studying the developmental neurobiology of human temperament and anxiety disorders. The genetic study of behavioral and biologic intermediate phenotypes (or 'endophenotypes') indexing anxiety-proneness offers an important alternative to examining phenotypes based on clinically defined disorder. As the HR phenotype is characterized

  1. Amygdala Signaling during Foraging in a Hazardous Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-23

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

  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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip A. Spechler

    2015-12-01

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

  4. 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. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-05

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

  7. Summary of science, activities, programs, and policies that influence the rangewide conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manier, D.J.; Wood, David J.A.; Bowen, Z.H.; Donovan, R.M.; Holloran, M.J.; Juliusson, L.M.; Mayne, K.S.; Oyler-McCance, S.J.; Quamen, F.R.; Saher, D.J.; Titolo, A.J.

    2013-01-01

    The Greater Sage-Grouse, has been observed, hunted, and counted for decades. The sagebrush biome, home to the Greater Sage-Grouse, includes sagebrush-steppe and Great Basin sagebrush communities, interspersed with grasslands, salt flats, badlands, mountain ranges, springs, intermittent creeks and washes, and major river systems, and is one of the most widespread and enigmatic components of Western U.S. landscapes. Over time, habitat conversion, degradation, and fragmentation have accumulated across the entire range such that local conditions as well as habitat distributions at local and regional scales are negatively affecting the long-term persistence of this species. Historic patterns of human use and settlement of the sagebrush ecosystem have contributed to the current condition and status of sage-grouse populations. The accumulation of habitat loss, persistent habitat degradation, and fragmentation by industry and urban infrastructure, as indicated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) findings, presents a significant challenge for conservation of this species and sustainable management of the sagebrush ecosystem. Because of the wide variations in natural and human history across these landscapes, no single prescription for management of sagebrush ecosystems (including sage-grouse habitats) will suffice to guide the collective efforts of public and private entities to conserve the species and its habitat. This report documents and summarizes several decades of work on sage-grouse populations, sagebrush as habitat, and sagebrush community and ecosystem functions based on the recent assessment and findings of the USFWS under consideration of the Endangered Species Act. As reflected here, some of these topics receive a greater depth of discussion because of the perceived importance of the issue for sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse populations. Drawing connections between the direct effects on sagebrush ecosystems and the effect of ecosystem condition on

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, Dylan G.; Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Flannery, Jessica; Goff, Bonnie; Telzer, Eva H.; Shapiro, Mor; Hare, Todd A.; Bookheimer, Susan Y.; Tottenham, Nim

    2013-01-01

    Recent human imaging and animal studies highlight the importance of frontoamygdala circuitry in the regulation of emotional behavior and its disruption in anxiety-related disorders. While tracing studies have suggested changes in amygdala-cortical connectivity through the adolescent period in rodents, less is known about the reciprocal connections within this circuitry across human development, when these circuits are being fine-tuned and substantial changes in emotional control are observed. The present study examined developmental changes in amygdala-prefrontal circuitry across the ages of 4 to 22 years using task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Results suggest positive amygdala-prefrontal connectivity in early childhood that switches to negative functional connectivity during the transition to adolescence. Amygdala-mPFC functional connectivity was significantly positive (greater than zero) among participants younger than ten, whereas functional connectivity was significantly negative (less than zero) among participants ten years and older, over and above the effect of amygdala reactivity. The developmental switch in functional connectivity was paralleled by a steady decline in amygdala reactivity. Moreover, the valence switch might explain age-related improvement in task performance and a developmentally normative decline in anxiety. Initial positive connectivity followed by a valence shift to negative connectivity provides a neurobiological basis for regulatory development and may present novel insight into a more general process of developing regulatory connections. PMID:23467374

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederique Chaperon

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

  12. Divergent responses of the amygdala and ventral striatum predict stress-related problem drinking in young adults: possible differential markers of affective and impulsive pathways of risk for alcohol use disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolova, Y S; Knodt, A R; Radtke, S R; Hariri, A R

    2016-03-01

    Prior work suggests that there may be two distinct pathways of alcohol use disorder (AUD) risk: one associated with positive emotion enhancement and behavioral impulsivity, and another associated with negative emotion relief and coping. We sought to map these two pathways onto individual differences in neural reward and threat processing assessed using blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging in a sample of 759 undergraduate students (426 women, mean age 19.65±1.24 years) participating in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. We demonstrate that problem drinking is highest in the context of stress and in those with one of two distinct neural phenotypes: (1) a combination of relatively low reward-related activity of the ventral striatum (VS) and high threat-related reactivity of the amygdala; or (2) a combination of relatively high VS activity and low amygdala reactivity. In addition, we demonstrate that the relationship between stress and problem alcohol use is mediated by impulsivity, as reflected in monetary delay discounting rates, for those with high VS-low amygdala reactivity, and by anxious/depressive symptomatology for those with the opposite neural risk phenotype. Across both neural phenotypes, we found that greater divergence between VS and amygdala reactivity predicted greater risk for problem drinking. Finally, for those individuals with the low VS-high amygdala risk phenotype we found that stress not only predicted the presence of AUD diagnosis at the time of neuroimaging but also subsequent problem drinking reported 3 months following study completion. These results offer new insight into the neural basis of AUD risk and suggest novel biological targets for early individualized treatment or prevention.

  13. Divergent responses of the amygdala and ventral striatum predict stress-related problem drinking in young adults: Possible differential markers of affective and impulsive pathways of risk for alcohol use disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Knodt, Annchen R.; Radtke, Spenser R.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2015-01-01

    Prior work suggests there may be two distinct pathways of alcohol use disorder (AUD) risk: one associated with positive emotion enhancement and behavioral impulsivity, and one associated with negative emotion relief and coping. We sought to map these two pathways onto individual differences in neural reward and threat processing assessed using BOLD fMRI in a sample of 759 undergraduate students (426 women, mean age 19.65±1.24) participating in the Duke Neurogenetics Study. We demonstrate that problem drinking is highest in the context of stress and in those with one of two distinct neural phenotypes: 1) a combination of relatively low reward-related activity of the ventral striatum (VS) and high threat-related reactivity of the amygdala; or 2) a combination of relatively high VS activity and low amygdala reactivity. In addition, we demonstrate that the relationship between stress and problem alcohol use is mediated by impulsivity, as reflected in monetary delay discounting rates, for those with high VS-low amygdala reactivity, and by anxious/depressive symptomatology for those with the opposite neural risk phenotype. Across both neural phenotypes, we found that greater divergence between VS and amygdala reactivity predicted greater risk for problem drinking. Finally, for those individuals with the low VS-high amygdala risk phenotype we found that stress not only predicted the presence of a DSM-IV diagnosed AUD at the time of neuroimaging, but also subsequent problem drinking reported three months following study completion. These results offer new insight into the neural basis of AUD risk and suggest novel biological targets for early individualized treatment or prevention. PMID:26122584

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    Mindfulness practice is beneficial for emotion regulation; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The current study focuses on effects of attention-to-breath (ATB) as a basic mindfulness practice on aversive emotions at behavioral and brain levels. A key finding across different emotion regulation strategies is the modulation of amygdala and prefrontal activity. It is unclear how ATB relevant brain areas in the prefrontal cortex integrate with amygdala activation during emotional stimulation. We proposed that, during emotional stimulation, ATB down-regulates activation in the amygdala and increases its integration with prefrontal regions. To address this hypothesis, 26 healthy controls were trained in mindfulness-based attention-to-breath meditation for two weeks and then stimulated with aversive pictures during both attention-to-breath and passive viewing while undergoing fMRI. Data were controlled for breathing frequency. Results indicate that (1) ATB was effective in regulating aversive emotions. (2) Left dorso-medial prefrontal cortex was associated with ATB in general. (3) A fronto-parietal network was additionally recruited during emotional stimulation. (4) ATB down regulated amygdala activation and increased amygdala-prefrontal integration, with such increased integration being associated with mindfulness ability. Results suggest amygdala-dorsal prefrontal cortex integration as a potential neural pathway of emotion regulation by mindfulness practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. GREATER HEMOCYTE BACTERICIDAL ACTIVITY IN OYSTERS (CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA) FROM A RELATIVELY CONTAMINATED SITE IN PENSACOLA BAY, FLORIDA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bivalve mollusks such as Crassostrea virginica inhabiting polluted estuaries and coastal areas may bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants without apparent ill effects. However, changes in putative internal defense activities have been associated with contaminant accumu...

  16. Higher percent body fat in young women with lower physical activity level and greater proportion Pacific Islander ancestry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Nate; Nabokov, Vanessa; Vijayadeva, Vinutha; Novotny, Rachel

    2011-11-01

    Samoan women exhibit high rates of obesity, which can possibly be attenuated through diet and physical activity. Obesity, and body fatness in particular, is associated with increased risk for chronic diseases. Ancestry, physical activity, and dietary patterns have been associated with body composition. Using a cross-sectional design, the relative importance of proportion of Pacific Islander (PI) ancestry, level of physical activity, and macronutrients among healthy women in Honolulu, Hawai'i, ages 18 to 28 years was examined. All data were collected between January 2003 and December 2004. Percent body fat (%BF) was determined by whole body dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Nutrient data were derived from a three-day food record. Means and standard deviations were computed for all variables of interest. Bivariate correlation analysis was used to determine correlates of %BF. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine relative contribution of variables significantly associated with %BF. Proportion of PI ancestry was significantly positively associated with %BF (P=0.0001). Physical activity level was significantly negatively associated with %BF (P=0.0006). Intervention to increase physical activity level of young Samoan women may be effective to decrease body fat and improve health. CRC-NIH grant: 0216.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderston, Nicholas L.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Hopkins, Lauren

    2015-01-01

    Although the amygdala is often directly linked with fear and emotion, amygdala neurons are activated by a wide variety of emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Different subregions within the amygdala may be engaged preferentially by different aspects of emotional and non-emotional tasks. To test this hypothesis, we measured and compared the effects of novelty and fear on amygdala activity. We used high-resolution blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) imaging and streamline tractography to subdivide the amygdala into three distinct functional subunits. We identified a laterobasal subregion connected with the visual cortex that responds generally to visual stimuli, a non-projecting region that responds to salient visual stimuli, and a centromedial subregion connected with the diencephalon that responds only when a visual stimulus predicts an aversive outcome. We provide anatomical and functional support for a model of amygdala function where information enters through the laterobasal subregion, is processed by intrinsic circuits in the interspersed tissue, and is then passed to the centromedial subregion, where activation leads to behavioral output. PMID:25969533

  18. Positive Facial Affect – An fMRI Study on the Involvement of Insula and Amygdala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Anna; Anders, Silke; Schulte-Rüther, Martin; Mathiak, Klaus; Kircher, Tilo

    2013-01-01

    Imitation of facial expressions engages the putative human mirror neuron system as well as the insula and the amygdala as part of the limbic system. The specific function of the latter two regions during emotional actions is still under debate. The current study investigated brain responses during imitation of positive in comparison to non-emotional facial expressions. Differences in brain activation of the amygdala and insula were additionally examined during observation and execution of facial expressions. Participants imitated, executed and observed happy and non-emotional facial expressions, as well as neutral faces. During imitation, higher right hemispheric activation emerged in the happy compared to the non-emotional condition in the right anterior insula and the right amygdala, in addition to the pre-supplementary motor area, middle temporal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. Region-of-interest analyses revealed that the right insula was more strongly recruited by (i) imitation and execution than by observation of facial expressions, that (ii) the insula was significantly stronger activated by happy than by non-emotional facial expressions during observation and imitation and that (iii) the activation differences in the right amygdala between happy and non-emotional facial expressions were increased during imitation and execution, in comparison to sole observation. We suggest that the insula and the amygdala contribute specifically to the happy emotional connotation of the facial expressions depending on the task. The pattern of the insula activity might reflect increased bodily awareness during active execution compared to passive observation and during visual processing of the happy compared to non-emotional facial expressions. The activation specific for the happy facial expression of the amygdala during motor tasks, but not in the observation condition, might reflect increased autonomic activity or feedback from facial muscles to the amygdala. PMID

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Pohl

    Full Text Available Imitation of facial expressions engages the putative human mirror neuron system as well as the insula and the amygdala as part of the limbic system. The specific function of the latter two regions during emotional actions is still under debate. The current study investigated brain responses during imitation of positive in comparison to non-emotional facial expressions. Differences in brain activation of the amygdala and insula were additionally examined during observation and execution of facial expressions. Participants imitated, executed and observed happy and non-emotional facial expressions, as well as neutral faces. During imitation, higher right hemispheric activation emerged in the happy compared to the non-emotional condition in the right anterior insula and the right amygdala, in addition to the pre-supplementary motor area, middle temporal gyrus and the inferior frontal gyrus. Region-of-interest analyses revealed that the right insula was more strongly recruited by (i imitation and execution than by observation of facial expressions, that (ii the insula was significantly stronger activated by happy than by non-emotional facial expressions during observation and imitation and that (iii the activation differences in the right amygdala between happy and non-emotional facial expressions were increased during imitation and execution, in comparison to sole observation. We suggest that the insula and the amygdala contribute specifically to the happy emotional connotation of the facial expressions depending on the task. The pattern of the insula activity might reflect increased bodily awareness during active execution compared to passive observation and during visual processing of the happy compared to non-emotional facial expressions. The activation specific for the happy facial expression of the amygdala during motor tasks, but not in the observation condition, might reflect increased autonomic activity or feedback from facial muscles to the

  20. Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortical Modulation on the Medial Prefrontal Cortex-Amygdala Pathway: Differential Regulation of Intra-Amygdala GABAA and GABAB Receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chun-Hui

    2017-07-01

    The basolateral complex of the amygdala receives inputs from neocortical areas, including the medial prefrontal cortex and lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Earlier studies have shown that lateral orbitofrontal cortex activation exerts an inhibitory gating on medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala information flow. Here we examined the individual role of GABAA and GABAB receptors in this process. In vivo extracellular single-unit recordings were done in anesthetized rats. We searched amygdala neurons that fire in response to medial prefrontal cortex activation, tested lateral orbitofrontal cortex gating at different delays (lateral orbitofrontal cortex-medial prefrontal cortex delays: 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 milliseconds), and examined differential contribution of GABAA and GABAB receptors with iontophoresis. Relative to baseline, lateral orbitofrontal cortex stimulation exerted an inhibitory modulatory gating on the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway and was effective up to a long delay of 500 ms (long-delay latencies at 100, 250, and 500 milliseconds). Moreover, blockade of intra-amygdala GABAA receptors with bicuculline abolished the lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory gating at both short- (25 milliseconds) and long-delay (100 milliseconds) intervals, while blockade of GABAB receptors with saclofen reversed the inhibitory gating at long delay (100 milliseconds) only. Among the majority of the neurons examined (8 of 9), inactivation of either GABAA or GABAB receptors during baseline did not change evoked probability per se, suggesting that local feed-forward inhibitory mechanism is pathway specific. Our results suggest that the effect of lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory modulatory gating was effective up to 500 milliseconds and that intra-amygdala GABAA and GABAB receptors differentially modulate the short- and long-delay lateral orbitofrontal cortex inhibitory gating on the medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala pathway. © The Author 2017

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. A Rapid Subcortical Amygdala Route for Faces Irrespective of Spatial Frequency and Emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadyen, Jessica; Mermillod, Martial; Mattingley, Jason B; Halász, Veronika; Garrido, Marta I

    2017-04-05

    There is significant controversy over the existence and function of a direct subcortical visual pathway to the amygdala. It is thought that this pathway rapidly transmits low spatial frequency information to the amygdala independently of the cortex, and yet the directionality of this function has never been determined. We used magnetoencephalography to measure neural activity while human participants discriminated the gender of neutral and fearful faces filtered for low or high spatial frequencies. We applied dynamic causal modeling to demonstrate that the most likely underlying neural network consisted of a pulvinar-amygdala connection that was uninfluenced by spatial frequency or emotion, and a cortical-amygdala connection that conveyed high spatial frequencies. Crucially, data-driven neural simulations revealed a clear temporal advantage of the subcortical connection over the cortical connection in influencing amygdala activity. Thus, our findings support the existence of a rapid subcortical pathway that is nonselective in terms of the spatial frequency or emotional content of faces. We propose that that the "coarseness" of the subcortical route may be better reframed as "generalized." SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The human amygdala coordinates how we respond to biologically relevant stimuli, such as threat or reward. It has been postulated that the amygdala first receives visual input via a rapid subcortical route that conveys "coarse" information, namely, low spatial frequencies. For the first time, the present paper provides direction-specific evidence from computational modeling that the subcortical route plays a generalized role in visual processing by rapidly transmitting raw, unfiltered information directly to the amygdala. This calls into question a widely held assumption across human and animal research that fear responses are produced faster by low spatial frequencies. Our proposed mechanism suggests organisms quickly generate fear responses to a wide range

  3. AMYGDALA MICROCIRCUITS CONTROLLING LEARNED FEAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvarci, Sevil; Pare, Denis

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Depression/anxiety disorder and amygdala

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iidaka, Tetsuya

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  6. Myosin light chain kinase regulates synaptic plasticity and fear learning in the lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamprecht, R; Margulies, D S; Farb, C R; Hou, M; Johnson, L R; LeDoux, J E

    2006-01-01

    Learning and memory depend on signaling molecules that affect synaptic efficacy. The cytoskeleton has been implicated in regulating synaptic transmission but its role in learning and memory is poorly understood. Fear learning depends on plasticity in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. We therefore examined whether the cytoskeletal-regulatory protein, myosin light chain kinase, might contribute to fear learning in the rat lateral amygdala. Microinjection of ML-7, a specific inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase, into the lateral nucleus of the amygdala before fear conditioning, but not immediately afterward, enhanced both short-term memory and long-term memory, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase is involved specifically in memory acquisition rather than in posttraining consolidation of memory. Myosin light chain kinase inhibitor had no effect on memory retrieval. Furthermore, ML-7 had no effect on behavior when the training stimuli were presented in a non-associative manner. Anatomical studies showed that myosin light chain kinase is present in cells throughout lateral nucleus of the amygdala and is localized to dendritic shafts and spines that are postsynaptic to the projections from the auditory thalamus to lateral nucleus of the amygdala, a pathway specifically implicated in fear learning. Inhibition of myosin light chain kinase enhanced long-term potentiation, a physiological model of learning, in the auditory thalamic pathway to the lateral nucleus of the amygdala. When ML-7 was applied without associative tetanic stimulation it had no effect on synaptic responses in lateral nucleus of the amygdala. Thus, myosin light chain kinase activity in lateral nucleus of the amygdala appears to normally suppress synaptic plasticity in the circuits underlying fear learning, suggesting that myosin light chain kinase may help prevent the acquisition of irrelevant fears. Impairment of this mechanism could contribute to pathological fear learning.

  7. Human Amygdala Tracks a Feature-Based Valence Signal Embedded within the Facial Expression of Surprise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, M Justin; Mattek, Alison M; Bennett, Randi H; Solomon, Kimberly M; Shin, Jin; Whalen, Paul J

    2017-09-27

    Human amygdala function has been traditionally associated with processing the affective valence (negative vs positive) of an emotionally charged event, especially those that signal fear or threat. However, this account of human amygdala function can be explained by alternative views, which posit that the amygdala might be tuned to either (1) general emotional arousal (activation vs deactivation) or (2) specific emotion categories (fear vs happy). Delineating the pure effects of valence independent of arousal or emotion category is a challenging task, given that these variables naturally covary under many circumstances. To circumvent this issue and test the sensitivity of the human amygdala to valence values specifically, we measured the dimension of valence within the single facial expression category of surprise. Given the inherent valence ambiguity of this category, we show that surprised expression exemplars are attributed valence and arousal values that are uniquely and naturally uncorrelated. We then present fMRI data from both sexes, showing that the amygdala tracks these consensus valence values. Finally, we provide evidence that these valence values are linked to specific visual features of the mouth region, isolating the signal by which the amygdala detects this valence information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT There is an open question as to whether human amygdala function tracks the valence value of cues in the environment, as opposed to either a more general emotional arousal value or a more specific emotion category distinction. Here, we demonstrate the utility of surprised facial expressions because exemplars within this emotion category take on valence values spanning the dimension of bipolar valence (positive to negative) at a consistent level of emotional arousal. Functional neuroimaging data showed that amygdala responses tracked the valence of surprised facial expressions, unconfounded by arousal. Furthermore, a machine learning classifier identified

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-09-19

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

  9. ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple glutamatergic synapses in amygdala network is required for fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Po-Han; Chien, Ta-Chun; Chen, Chih-Cheng; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Lien, Cheng-Chang

    2015-05-19

    Genetic variants in the human ortholog of acid-sensing ion channel-1a subunit (ASIC1a) gene are associated with panic disorder and amygdala dysfunction. Both fear learning and activity-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of cortico-basolateral amygdala (BLA) synapses are impaired in ASIC1a-null mice, suggesting a critical role of ASICs in fear memory formation. In this study, we found that ASICs were differentially expressed within the amygdala neuronal population, and the extent of LTP at various glutamatergic synapses correlated with the level of ASIC expression in postsynaptic neurons. Importantly, selective deletion of ASIC1a in GABAergic cells, including amygdala output neurons, eliminated LTP in these cells and reduced fear learning to the same extent as that found when ASIC1a was selectively abolished in BLA glutamatergic neurons. Thus, fear learning requires ASIC-dependent LTP at multiple amygdala synapses, including both cortico-BLA input synapses and intra-amygdala synapses on output neurons.

  10. Amygdala-dependent fear is regulated by Oprl1 in mice and humans with PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andero, Raül; Brothers, Shaun P; Jovanovic, Tanja; Chen, Yen T; Salah-Uddin, Hasib; Cameron, Michael; Bannister, Thomas D; Almli, Lynn; Stevens, Jennifer S; Bradley, Bekh; Binder, Elisabeth B; Wahlestedt, Claes; Ressler, Kerry J

    2013-06-05

    The amygdala-dependent molecular mechanisms driving the onset and persistence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are poorly understood. Recent observational studies have suggested that opioid analgesia in the aftermath of trauma may decrease the development of PTSD. Using a mouse model of dysregulated fear, we found altered expression within the amygdala of the Oprl1 gene (opioid receptor-like 1), which encodes the amygdala nociceptin (NOP)/orphanin FQ receptor (NOP-R). Systemic and central amygdala infusion of SR-8993, a new highly selective NOP-R agonist, impaired fear memory consolidation. In humans, a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) within OPRL1 is associated with a self-reported history of childhood trauma and PTSD symptoms (n = 1847) after a traumatic event. This SNP is also associated with physiological startle measures of fear discrimination and magnetic resonance imaging analysis of amygdala-insula functional connectivity. Together, these data suggest that Oprl1 is associated with amygdala function, fear processing, and PTSD symptoms. Further, our data suggest that activation of the Oprl1/NOP receptor may interfere with fear memory consolidation, with implications for prevention of PTSD after a traumatic event.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Aubry

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent Myers

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herringa, Ryan J; Burghy, Cory A; Stodola, Diane E; Fox, Michelle E; Davidson, Richard J; Essex, Marilyn J

    2016-07-01

    Much research has focused on the deleterious neurobiological effects of childhood adversity that may underlie internalizing disorders. While most youth show emotional adaptation following adversity, the corresponding neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. In this longitudinal community study, we examined the associations among childhood family adversity, adolescent internalizing symptoms, and their interaction on regional brain activation and amygdala/hippocampus functional connectivity during emotion processing in 132 adolescents. Consistent with prior work, childhood adversity predicted heightened amygdala reactivity to negative, but not positive, images in adolescence. However, amygdala reactivity was not related to internalizing symptoms. Furthermore, childhood adversity predicted increased fronto-amygdala connectivity to negative, but not positive, images, yet only in lower internalizing adolescents. Childhood adversity also predicted increased fronto-hippocampal connectivity to negative images, but was not moderated by internalizing. These findings were unrelated to adolescence adversity or externalizing symptoms, suggesting specificity to childhood adversity and adolescent internalizing. Together, these findings suggest that adaptation to childhood adversity is associated with augmentation of fronto-subcortical circuits specifically for negative emotional stimuli. Conversely, insufficient enhancement of fronto-amygdala connectivity, with increasing amygdala reactivity, may represent a neural signature of vulnerability for internalizing by late adolescence. These findings implicate early childhood as a critical period in determining the brain's adaptation to adversity, and suggest that even normative adverse experiences can have significant impact on neurodevelopment and functioning. These results offer potential neural mechanisms of adaptation and vulnerability which could be used in the prediction of risk for psychopathology following childhood

  15. Active vs. Reactive Threat Responding is Associated with Differential c-Fos Expression in Specific Regions of Amygdala and Prefrontal Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Raquel C. R.; Gupta, Nikita; Lazaro-Munoz, Gabriel; Sears, Robert M.; Kim, Soojeong; Moscarello, Justin M.; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Cain, Christopher K.

    2013-01-01

    Active avoidance (AA) is an important paradigm for studying mechanisms of aversive instrumental learning, pathological anxiety, and active coping. Unfortunately, AA neurocircuits are poorly understood, partly because behavior is highly variable and reflects a competition between Pavlovian reactions and instrumental actions. Here we exploited the…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Increased amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus activation in schizophrenic patients with auditory hallucinations : An fMRI study using independent component analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jose Escarti, Maria; de la Iglesia-Vaya, Maria; Marti-Bonmati, Luis; Robles, Montserrat; Carbonell, Jose; Jose Lull, Juan; Garcia-Marti, Gracian; Vicente Manjon, Jose; Jesus Aguilar, Eduardo; Aleman, Andre; Sanjuan, Julio

    Objective: Hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia have strong emotional connotations. Functional neuroimaging techniques have been widely used to study brain activity in patients with schizophrenia with hallucinations or emotional impairments. However, few of these Studies have investigated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The neuroendocrine state of new mothers may alter their neural processing of stressors in the environment through modulatory actions of oxytocin on the limbic system. We predicted that amygdala sensitivity to negatively arousing stimuli would be suppressed in postpartum compared to nulliparous women and that this suppression would be modulated by administration of oxytocin nasal spray. We measured brain activation (fMRI) and subjective arousal in response to negatively arousing pictures in 29 postpartum and 30 nulliparous women who received either oxytocin nasal spray or placebo before scanning. Pre- and post-exposure urinary cortisol levels were also measured. Postpartum women (placebo) demonstrated lower right amygdala activation in response to negative images, lower cortisol and lower negative photo arousal ratings to nulliparous women. Nulliparous women receiving oxytocin had lower right amygdala activation compared to placebo. Cortisol levels in the placebo group, and ratings of arousal across all women, were positively associated with right amygdala activation. Together, these findings demonstrate reductions in both amygdala activation and subjective negative arousal in untreated postpartum vs nulliparous women, supporting the hypothesis of an attenuated neural response to arousing stimuli in postpartum women. A causal role of oxytocin and the timing of potential effects require future investigation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Z; Richter-Levin, G

    2013-08-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month is associated with greater bilateral amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) rsFC in a sample of community adults (n = 130). A follow-up, single-blind randomized controlled trial shows that a 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation training intervention (relative to a well-matched 3-day relaxation training intervention without a mindfulness component) reduced right amygdala-sgACC rsFC in a sample of stressed unemployed community adults (n = 35). Although stress may increase amygdala-sgACC rsFC, brief training in mindfulness meditation could reverse these effects. This work provides an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training promotes functional neuroplastic changes, suggesting an amygdala-sgACC pathway for stress reduction effects. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. The effects of neonatal amygdala or hippocampus lesions on adult social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Moadab, Gilda; Santistevan, Anthony; Amaral, David G

    2017-03-30

    The present report details the final phase of a longitudinal evaluation of the social behavior in a cohort of adult rhesus monkeys that received bilateral neurotoxic lesions of the amygdala or hippocampus, or sham operations at 2 weeks of age. Results were compared to previous studies in which adult animals received amygdala lesions and were tested in a similar fashion. Social testing with four novel interaction partners occurred when the animals were between 7 and 8 years of age. Experimental animals interacted with two male and two female partners in two conditions - one in which physical access was restricted (the constrained social access condition) and a second in which physical access was unrestricted (the unconstrained social access condition). Across conditions and interaction partners, there were no significant effects of lesion condition on the frequency or duration of social interactions. As a group, the hippocampus-lesioned animals generated the greatest number of communicative signals during the constrained social access condition. Amygdala-lesioned animals generated more frequent stress-related behaviors and were less exploratory. Amygdala and hippocampus-lesioned animals demonstrated greater numbers of stereotypies than control animals. Subtle, lesion-based differences in the sequencing of behaviors were observed. These findings suggest that alterations of adult social behavior are much less prominent when damage to the amygdala occurs early in life rather than in adulthood. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Differential Patterns of Abnormal Activity and Connectivity in the Amygdala-Prefrontal Circuitry in Bipolar-I and Bipolar-NOS Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladouceur, Cecile D.; Farchione, Tiffany; Diwadkar, Vaibhav; Pruitt, Patrick; Radwan, Jacqueline; Axelson, David A.; Birmaher, Boris; Phillips, Mary L.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The functioning of neural systems supporting emotion processing and regulation in youth with bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS) remains poorly understood. We sought to examine patterns of activity and connectivity in youth with BP-NOS relative to youth with bipolar disorder type I (BP-I) and healthy controls (HC). Method:…

  5. The role of the amygdala in naturalistic mentalising in typical development and in autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblau, Gabriela; Kliemann, Dorit; Lemme, Benjamin; Walter, Henrik; Heekeren, Hauke R; Dziobek, Isabel

    2016-06-01

    The substantial discrepancy between mentalising in experimental settings v. real-life social interactions hinders the understanding of the neural basis of real-life social cognition and of social impairments in psychiatric disorders. To determine the neural mechanisms underlying naturalistic mentalising in individuals with and without autism spectrum disorder. We investigated mentalising with a new video-based functional magnetic resonance imaging task in 20 individuals with autism spectrum disorder and 22 matched healthy controls. Naturalistic mentalising implicated regions of the traditional mentalising network (medial prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction), and additionally the insula and amygdala. Moreover, amygdala activity predicted implicit mentalising performance on an independent behavioural task. Compared with controls, the autism spectrum disorder group did not show differences in neural activity within classical mentalising regions. They did, however, show reduced amygdala activity and a reduced correlation between amygdala activity and mentalising accuracy on the behavioural task, compared with controls. These findings highlight the crucial role of the amygdala in making accurate implicit mental state inferences in typical development and in the social cognitive impairments of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016.

  6. Activation of corticotropin-releasing factor receptors from the basolateral or central amygdala increases the tonic immobility response in guinea pigs: an innate fear behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donatti, Alberto Ferreira; Leite-Panissi, Christie Ramos Andrade

    2011-11-20

    The tonic immobility (TI) behavior is an innate response associated with extreme threat situations such as a predator attack. Several studies have provided evidence suggesting an important role for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the regulation of the endocrine system, defensive behaviors and behavioral responses to stress. TI has been shown to be positively correlated with the basal plasma levels of corticosterone. CRF receptors and neurons that are immunoreactive to CRF are found in many cerebral regions, especially in the amygdaloid complex. Previous reports have demonstrated the involvement of the basolateral amygdaloid (BLA) and central amygdaloid (CeA) nuclei in the TI response. In this study, we evaluated the CRF system of the BLA and the CeA in the modulation of the TI response in guinea pigs. The activation of CRF receptors in the BLA and in the CeA promoted an increase in the TI response. In contrast, the inhibition of these receptors via alpha-helical-CRF(9-41) decreased the duration of the TI response. Moreover, neither the activation nor inhibition of CRF receptors in the BLA or the CeA altered spontaneous motor activity in the open-field test. These data suggest that the activation of the CRF receptors in the BLA or the CeA probably potentiates fear and anxiety, which may be one of the factors that promote an increase in the TI behavior. Therefore, these data support the role of the CRF system in the control of emotional responses, particularly in the modulation of innate fear. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Stimulus Intensity-dependent Modulations of Hippocampal Long-term Potentiation by Basolateral Amygdala Priming

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    Zexuan eLi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available There is growing realization that the relationship between memory and stress/emotionality is complicated, and may include both memory enhancing and memory impairing aspects. It has been suggested that the underlying mechanisms involve amygdalar modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP. We recently reported that while in CA1 basolateral amygdala (BLA priming impaired theta stimulation induced LTP, it enhanced LTP in the dentate gyrus (DG. However, emotional and stressfull experiences were found to activate synaptic plasticity within the BLA, rasing the possibility that BLA modulation of other brain regions may be altered as well, as it may depend on the way the BLA is activated or is responding. In previous studies BLA priming stimulation was relatively weak (1V, 50 µs pulse duration. In the present study we assessed the effects of two stronger levels of BLA priming stimulation (1V or 2V, 100 µs pulse duration on LTP induction in hippocampal DG and CA1, in anesthetized rats. Results show that 1V-BLA priming stimulation enhanced but 2V-BLA priming stimulation impaired DG LTP; however, both levels of BLA priming stimulation impaired CA1 LTP, suggesting that modulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity by amygdala is dependent on the degree of amygdala activation. These findings suggest that plasticity induced within the amygdala, by stressful experiences induces a form of metaplasticity that would alter the way the amygdala may modulate memory-related processes in other brain areas, such as the hippocampus.

  11. Effects of incentives, age, and behavior on brain activation during inhibitory control: A longitudinal fMRI study

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    David J. Paulsen

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We investigated changes in brain function supporting inhibitory control under age-controlled incentivized conditions, separating age- and performance-related activation in an accelerated longitudinal design including 10- to 22-year-olds. Better inhibitory control correlated with striatal activation during neutral trials, while Age X Behavior interactions in the striatum indicated that in the absence of extrinsic incentives, younger subjects with greater reward circuitry activation successfully engage in greater inhibitory control. Age was negatively correlated with ventral amygdala activation during Loss trials, suggesting that amygdala function more strongly mediates bottom-up processing earlier in development when controlling the negative aspects of incentives to support inhibitory control. Together, these results indicate that with development, reward-modulated cognitive control may be supported by incentive processing transitions in the amygdala, and from facilitative to obstructive striatal function during inhibitory control.

  12. 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

  13. Development of White Matter Microstructure and Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Between the Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex: Associations With Anxiety and Depression.

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    Jalbrzikowski, Maria; Larsen, Bart; Hallquist, Michael N; Foran, William; Calabro, Finnegan; Luna, Beatriz

    2017-10-01

    Connectivity between the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is compromised in multiple psychiatric disorders, many of which emerge during adolescence. To identify to what extent the deviations in amygdala-vmPFC maturation contribute to the onset of psychiatric disorders, it is essential to characterize amygdala-vmPFC connectivity changes during typical development. Using an accelerated cohort longitudinal design (1-3 time points, 10-25 years old, n = 246), we characterized developmental changes of the amygdala-vmPFC subregion functional and structural connectivity using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging. Functional connectivity between the centromedial amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), anterior vmPFC, and subgenual cingulate significantly decreased from late childhood to early adulthood in male and female subjects. Age-associated decreases were also observed between the basolateral amygdala and the rACC. Importantly, these findings were replicated in a separate cohort (10-22 years old, n = 327). Similarly, structural connectivity, as measured by quantitative anisotropy, significantly decreased with age in the same regions. Functional connectivity between the centromedial amygdala and the rACC was associated with structural connectivity in these same regions during early adulthood (22-25 years old). Finally, a novel time-varying coefficient analysis showed that increased centromedial amygdala-rACC functional connectivity was associated with greater anxiety and depression symptoms during early adulthood, while increased structural connectivity in centromedial amygdala-anterior vmPFC white matter was associated with greater anxiety/depression during late childhood. Specific developmental periods of functional and structural connectivity between the amygdala and the prefrontal systems may contribute to the emergence of anxiety and depressive symptoms and may play a critical role in

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

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

    2016-04-21

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

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

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    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…

  16. Developmental disruption of amygdala transcriptome and socioemotional behavior in rats exposed to valproic acid prenatally.

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    Barrett, Catherine E; Hennessey, Thomas M; Gordon, Katelyn M; Ryan, Steve J; McNair, Morgan L; Ressler, Kerry J; Rainnie, Donald G

    2017-01-01

    The amygdala controls socioemotional behavior and has consistently been implicated in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Precocious amygdala development is commonly reported in ASD youth with the degree of overgrowth positively correlated to the severity of ASD symptoms. Prenatal exposure to VPA leads to an ASD phenotype in both humans and rats and has become a commonly used tool to model the complexity of ASD symptoms in the laboratory. Here, we examined abnormalities in gene expression in the amygdala and socioemotional behavior across development in the valproic acid (VPA) rat model of ASD. Rat dams received oral gavage of VPA (500 mg/kg) or saline daily between E11 and 13. Socioemotional behavior was tracked across development in both sexes. RNA sequencing and proteomics were performed on amygdala samples from male rats across development. Effects of VPA on time spent in social proximity and anxiety-like behavior were sex dependent, with social abnormalities presenting in males and heightened anxiety in females. Across time VPA stunted developmental and immune, but enhanced cellular death and disorder, pathways in the amygdala relative to saline controls. At postnatal day 10, gene pathways involved in nervous system and cellular development displayed predicted activations in prenatally exposed VPA amygdala samples. By juvenile age, however, transcriptomic and proteomic pathways displayed reductions in cellular growth and neural development. Alterations in immune pathways, calcium signaling, Rho GTPases, and protein kinase A signaling were also observed. As behavioral, developmental, and genomic alterations are similar to those reported in ASD, these results lend support to prenatal exposure to VPA as a useful tool for understanding how developmental insults to molecular pathways in the amygdala give rise to ASD-related syndromes.

  17. Does the amygdala response correlate with the personality trait 'harm avoidance' while evaluating emotional stimuli explicitly?

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    Van Schuerbeek, Peter; Baeken, Chris; Luypaert, Robert; De Raedt, Rudi; De Mey, Johan

    2014-05-07

    The affective personality trait 'harm avoidance' (HA) from Cloninger's psychobiological personality model determines how an individual deals with emotional stimuli. Emotional stimuli are processed by a neural network that include the left and right amygdalae as important key nodes. Explicit, implicit and passive processing of affective stimuli are known to activate the amygdalae differently reflecting differences in attention, level of detailed analysis of the stimuli and the cognitive control needed to perform the required task. Previous studies revealed that implicit processing or passive viewing of affective stimuli, induce a left amygdala response that correlates with HA. In this new study we have tried to extend these findings to the situation in which the subjects were required to explicitly process emotional stimuli. A group of healthy female participants was asked to rate the valence of positive and negative stimuli while undergoing fMRI. Afterwards the neural responses of the participants to the positive and to the negative stimuli were separately correlated to their HA scores and compared between the low and high HA participants. Both analyses revealed increased neural activity in the left laterobasal (LB) amygdala of the high HA participants while they were rating the positive and the negative stimuli. Our results indicate that the left amygdala response to explicit processing of affective stimuli does correlate with HA.

  18. β-Adrenergic enhancement of neuronal excitability in the lateral amygdala is developmentally gated.

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    Fink, Ann E; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2018-05-01

    Noradrenergic signaling in the amygdala is important for processing threats and other emotionally salient stimuli, and β-adrenergic receptor activation is known to enhance neuronal spiking in the lateral amygdala (LA) of juvenile animals. Nevertheless, intracellular recordings have not yet been conducted to determine the effect of β-adrenergic receptor activation on spike properties in the adult LA, despite the potential significance of developmental changes between adolescence and adulthood. Here we demonstrate that the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol (15 μM) enhances spike frequency in dorsal LA principal neurons of juvenile male C57BL/6 mice and fails to do so in strain- and sex-matched adults. Furthermore, we find that the age-dependent effect of isoproterenol on spike frequency is occluded by the GABA A receptor blocker picrotoxin (75 μM), suggesting that β-adrenergic receptors downregulate tonic inhibition specifically in juvenile animals. These findings indicate a significant shift during adolescence in the cellular mechanisms of β-adrenergic modulation in the amygdala. NEW & NOTEWORTHY β-Adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) in amygdala are important in processing emotionally salient stimuli. Most cellular recordings have examined juvenile animals, while behavioral data are often obtained from adults. We replicate findings showing that β-ARs enhance spiking of principal cells in the lateral amygdala of juveniles, but we fail to find this in adults. These findings have notable scientific and clinical implications regarding the noradrenergic modulation of threat processing, alterations of which underlie fear and anxiety disorders.

  19. Comprehensive identification of age-related lipidome changes in rat amygdala during normal aging.

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    Roman Šmidák

    Full Text Available Brain lipids are integral components of brain structure and function. However, only recent advancements of chromatographic techniques together with mass spectrometry allow comprehensive identification of lipid species in complex brain tissue. Lipid composition varies between the individual areas and the majority of previous reports was focusing on individual lipids rather than a lipidome. Herein, a mass spectrometry-based approach was used to evaluate age-related changes in the lipidome of the rat amygdala obtained from young (3 months and old (20 months males of the Sprague-Dawley rat strain. A total number of 70 lipid species with significantly changed levels between the two animal groups were identified spanning four main lipid classes, i.e. glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids and sterol lipids. These included phospholipids with pleiotropic brain function, such as derivatives of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylethanolamine. The analysis also revealed significant level changes of phosphatidic acid, diacylglycerol, sphingomyelin and ceramide that directly represent lipid signaling and affect amygdala neuronal activity. The amygdala is a crucial brain region for cognitive functions and former studies on rats and humans showed that this region changes its activity during normal aging. As the information on amygdala lipidome is very limited the results obtained in the present study represent a significant novelty and may contribute to further studies on the role of lipid molecules in age-associated changes of amygdala function.

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

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    Vrticka, Pascal; Lordier, Lara; Bediou, Benoît; Sander, David

    2014-02-01

    Although brain imaging evidence accumulates to suggest that the amygdala plays a key role in the processing of novel stimuli, only little is known about its role in processing expressed novelty conveyed by surprised faces, and even less about possible interactive encoding of novelty and valence. Those investigations that have already probed human amygdala involvement in the processing of surprised facial expressions either used static pictures displaying negative surprise (as contained in fear) or "neutral" surprise, and manipulated valence by contextually priming or subjectively associating static surprise with either negative or positive information. Therefore, it still remains unresolved how the human amygdala differentially processes dynamic surprised facial expressions displaying either positive or negative surprise. Here, we created new artificial dynamic 3-dimensional facial expressions conveying surprise with an intrinsic positive (wonderment) or negative (fear) connotation, but also intrinsic positive (joy) or negative (anxiety) emotions not containing any surprise, in addition to neutral facial displays either containing ("typical surprise" expression) or not containing ("neutral") surprise. Results showed heightened amygdala activity to faces containing positive (vs. negative) surprise, which may either correspond to a specific wonderment effect as such, or to the computation of a negative expected value prediction error. Findings are discussed in the light of data obtained from a closely matched nonsocial lottery task, which revealed overlapping activity within the left amygdala to unexpected positive outcomes. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  1. Contribution of amygdala CRF neurons to chronic pain.

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    Andreoli, Matthew; Marketkar, Tanvi; Dimitrov, Eugene

    2017-12-01

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

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

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    Klumpers, Floris; Kroes, Marijn C W; Baas, Johanna M P; Fernández, Guillén

    2017-10-04

    The ability to adaptively regulate responses to the proximity of potential danger is critical to survival and imbalance in this system may contribute to psychopathology. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is implicated in defensive responding during uncertain threat anticipation whereas the amygdala may drive responding upon more acute danger. This functional dissociation between the BNST and amygdala is however controversial, and human evidence scarce. Here we used data from two independent functional magnetic resonance imaging studies [ n = 108 males and n = 70 (45 females)] to probe how coordination between the BNST and amygdala may regulate responses during shock anticipation and actual shock confrontation. In a subset of participants from Sample 2 ( n = 48) we demonstrate that anticipation and confrontation evoke bradycardic and tachycardic responses, respectively. Further, we show that in each sample when going from shock anticipation to the moment of shock confrontation neural activity shifted from a region anatomically consistent with the BNST toward the amygdala. Comparisons of functional connectivity during threat processing showed overlapping yet also consistently divergent functional connectivity profiles for the BNST and amygdala. Finally, childhood maltreatment levels predicted amygdala, but not BNST, hyperactivity during shock anticipation. Our results support an evolutionary conserved, defensive distance-dependent dynamic balance between BNST and amygdala activity. Shifts in this balance may enable shifts in defensive reactions via the demonstrated differential functional connectivity. Our results indicate that early life stress may tip the neural balance toward acute threat responding and via that route predispose for affective disorder. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Previously proposed differential contributions of the BNST and amygdala to fear and anxiety have been recently debated. Despite the significance of understanding their

  3. Impaired Emotional Declarative Memory Following Unilateral Amygdala Damage

    OpenAIRE

    Adolphs, Ralph; Tranel, Daniel; Denburg, Natalie

    2000-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gallagher, M; Holland, P C

    1994-01-01

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

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

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    Brittany Shane Cassidy

    2012-08-01

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

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

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

    2009-05-06

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antyukhov, A D

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Kimberly L H Carpenter

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-12

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

  12. Adjustment of Daily Activities: the Influence of Smartphone Adoption on the Travel Pattern of Mobile Professionals in the Greater Jakarta Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gloriani Novita Christin

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The swift augmentation in the adoption of smartphones, the gadget that resulted from the convergence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT, potentially transforms people's life in myriad dimensions. One potential change induced by smartphones, is how people restructure their daily agenda and consecutively influence their travel pattern. To understand it, this study theoretically reviews mobile professional work, smartphone adoption, and how people conduct their mobile interaction, planning and execution of daily activities. Mobile professionals, the cohort of professionals that spend more than 20% of their total working time moving around out of their work environment; they are important beneficiaries of smartphones and have been chosen as the target of this study. Empirical results of mobile professionals´ experiences in the Greater Jakarta Area are presented at this juncture. Furthermore, their adjustment of activities as a dynamic response to receiving extensive information via smartphones is also analysed. The results indicate that there is a strong adjustment of daily activities by mobile professionals. Through those changes, the transformation of daily travel patterns related to the activity is also brought about by the use of this high-end ICT contrivance.

  13. Memory retrieval of smoking-related images induce greater insula activation as revealed by an fMRI-based delayed matching to sample task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janes, Amy C; Ross, Robert S; Farmer, Stacey; Frederick, Blaise B; Nickerson, Lisa D; Lukas, Scott E; Stern, Chantal E

    2015-03-01

    Nicotine dependence is a chronic and difficult to treat disorder. While environmental stimuli associated with smoking precipitate craving and relapse, it is unknown whether smoking cues are cognitively processed differently than neutral stimuli. To evaluate working memory differences between smoking-related and neutral stimuli, we conducted a delay-match-to-sample (DMS) task concurrently with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in nicotine-dependent participants. The DMS task evaluates brain activation during the encoding, maintenance and retrieval phases of working memory. Smoking images induced significantly more subjective craving, and greater midline cortical activation during encoding in comparison to neutral stimuli that were similar in content yet lacked a smoking component. The insula, which is involved in maintaining nicotine dependence, was active during the successful retrieval of previously viewed smoking versus neutral images. In contrast, neutral images required more prefrontal cortex-mediated active maintenance during the maintenance period. These findings indicate that distinct brain regions are involved in the different phases of working memory for smoking-related versus neutral images. Importantly, the results implicate the insula in the retrieval of smoking-related stimuli, which is relevant given the insula's emerging role in addiction. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  14. Current Population Status and Activity Pattern of Lesser Flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor and Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus in Abijata-Shalla Lakes National Park (ASLNP, Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tewodros Kumssa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A study of the population status, habitat preference, and activity pattern of nonbreeding flamingos was carried out in Lakes Abijata, Shalla, and Chitu, part of the Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia, from 2011 to 2013. The current population status and habitat preference of flamingos in the area are still poorly known. Likewise, data on diurnal and seasonal activity pattern of the species are scarce and this leads to the misunderstanding of how Flamingos use local wetlands throughout the different seasons. Data regarding population size and activity pattern were gathered during the wet and dry seasons. Point-count method was used to estimate the population size. Behaviors were recorded using scan sampling techniques. A total of 53671 individuals representing two species of flamingo were counted during both wet and dry seasons from the three lakes. There were more flamingos during the dry season than the wet season in Lake Abijata contrary to Lakes Shalla and Chitu during the wet season. Lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor were the most abundant species comprising 95.39%, while Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus accounted for 4.61% of the total population. Lake Abijata is the major stronghold of Lesser Flamingos in the area. There was significant variation in the mean number of both species during the wet and dry season in the different study sites of the lake, respectively. The species were known to use varied habitats within the lakes. The Lesser Flamingo mainly preferred the shoreline and mudflat areas of the lakes. However, Greater Flamingo on several occasions showed preference to offshore area of the lakes. Seasonal average flock sizes were not similar between the species. There was a strong relationship between time allocated to each activity and time of day. Feeding activity varied among daylight hours and was higher in the evening (76.5% and late morning (74.56% and least during midday (54%. Some variations in activity breakdown were

  15. Bidirectional electric communication between the inferior occipital gyrus and the amygdala during face processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Wataru; Kochiyama, Takanori; Uono, Shota; Matsuda, Kazumi; Usui, Keiko; Usui, Naotaka; Inoue, Yushi; Toichi, Motomi

    2017-09-01

    Faces contain multifaceted information that is important for human communication. Neuroimaging studies have revealed face-specific activation in multiple brain regions, including the inferior occipital gyrus (IOG) and amygdala; it is often assumed that these regions constitute the neural network responsible for the processing of faces. However, it remains unknown whether and how these brain regions transmit information during face processing. This study investigated these questions by applying dynamic causal modeling of induced responses to human intracranial electroencephalography data recorded from the IOG and amygdala during the observation of faces, mosaics, and houses in upright and inverted orientations. Model comparisons assessing the experimental effects of upright faces versus upright houses and upright faces versus upright mosaics consistently indicated that the model having face-specific bidirectional modulatory effects between the IOG and amygdala was the most probable. The experimental effect between upright versus inverted faces also favored the model with bidirectional modulatory effects between the IOG and amygdala. The spectral profiles of modulatory effects revealed both same-frequency (e.g., gamma-gamma) and cross-frequency (e.g., theta-gamma) couplings. These results suggest that the IOG and amygdala communicate rapidly with each other using various types of oscillations for the efficient processing of faces. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4511-4524, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-28

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

    Stressful and traumatic events can create aversive memories, which are a predisposing factor for anxiety disorders. The amygdala is critical for transforming such stressful events into anxiety, and the recently discovered neuropeptide S transmitter system represents a promising candidate apt to control these interactions. Here we test the hypothesis that neuropeptide S can regulate stress-induced hyperexcitability in the amygdala, and thereby can interact with stress-induced alterations of fear memory. Mice underwent acute immobilization stress (IS), and neuropeptide S and a receptor antagonist were locally injected into the lateral amygdala (LA) during stress exposure. Ten days later, anxiety-like behavior, fear acquisition, fear memory retrieval, and extinction were tested. Furthermore, patch-clamp recordings were performed in amygdala slices prepared ex vivo to identify synaptic substrates of stress-induced alterations in fear responsiveness. (1) IS increased anxiety-like behavior, and enhanced conditioned fear responses during extinction 10 days after stress, (2) neuropeptide S in the amygdala prevented, while an antagonist aggravated, these stress-induced changes of aversive behaviors, (3) excitatory synaptic activity in LA projection neurons was increased on fear conditioning and returned to pre-conditioning values on fear extinction, and (4) stress resulted in sustained high levels of excitatory synaptic activity during fear extinction, whereas neuropeptide S supported the return of synaptic activity during fear extinction to levels typical of non-stressed animals. Together these results suggest that the neuropeptide S system is capable of interfering with mechanisms in the amygdala that transform stressful events into anxiety and impaired fear extinction.

  20. Extending the amygdala in theories of threat processing

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Environmental damage costs from airborne pollution of industrial activities in the greater Athens, Greece area and the resulting benefits from the introduction of BAT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mirasgedis, S.; Hontou, V.; Georgopoulou, E.; Sarafidis, Y.; Gakis, N.; Lalas, D.P.; Loukatos, A.; Gargoulas, N.; Mentzis, A.; Economidis, D.; Triantafilopoulos, T.; Korizi, K.; Mavrotas, G.

    2008-01-01

    Attributing costs to the environmental impacts associated with industrial activities can greatly assist in protecting human health and the natural environment as monetary values are capable of directly influencing technological and policy decisions without changing the rules of the market. This paper attempts to estimate the external cost attributable to the atmospheric pollution from 'medium and high environmental burden' industrial activities located in the greater Athens area and the benefits from Best Available Techniques (BAT) introduction. To this end a number of typical installations were defined to be used in conjunction with the Impact Pathway Approach developed in the context of the ExternE project to model all industrial sectors/sub-sectors located in the area of interest. Total environmental externalities due to air pollutants emitted by these industrial activities were found to reach 211 M Euro per year, associated mainly with human mortality and morbidity due to PM 10 emissions, as well as with climate change impacts due to CO 2 emissions for which non-metallic minerals and oil processing industries are the main sources. The results obtained can be used as the basis for an integrated evaluation of potential BAT, taking into account not only private costs and benefits but also the environmental externalities, thus leading to policy decisions that maximize social welfare in each industrial sector/sub-sector

  2. Noradrenergic enhancement of amygdala responses to fear

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  3. Greater Activity in the Frontal Cortex on Left Curves: A Vector-Based fNIRS Study of Left and Right Curve Driving.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noriyuki Oka

    Full Text Available In the brain, the mechanisms of attention to the left and the right are known to be different. It is possible that brain activity when driving also differs with different horizontal road alignments (left or right curves, but little is known about this. We found driver brain activity to be different when driving on left and right curves, in an experiment using a large-scale driving simulator and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS.The participants were fifteen healthy adults. We created a course simulating an expressway, comprising straight line driving and gentle left and right curves, and monitored the participants under driving conditions, in which they drove at a constant speed of 100 km/h, and under non-driving conditions, in which they simply watched the screen (visual task. Changes in hemoglobin concentrations were monitored at 48 channels including the prefrontal cortex, the premotor cortex, the primary motor cortex and the parietal cortex. From orthogonal vectors of changes in deoxyhemoglobin and changes in oxyhemoglobin, we calculated changes in cerebral oxygen exchange, reflecting neural activity, and statistically compared the resulting values from the right and left curve sections.Under driving conditions, there were no sites where cerebral oxygen exchange increased significantly more during right curves than during left curves (p > 0.05, but cerebral oxygen exchange increased significantly more during left curves (p < 0.05 in the right premotor cortex, the right frontal eye field and the bilateral prefrontal cortex. Under non-driving conditions, increases were significantly greater during left curves (p < 0.05 only in the right frontal eye field.Left curve driving was thus found to require more brain activity at multiple sites, suggesting that left curve driving may require more visual attention than right curve driving. The right frontal eye field was activated under both driving and non-driving conditions.

  4. A feasibility study of a culturally and gender-specific dance to promote physical activity for South Asian immigrant women in the greater Toronto area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vahabi, Mandana; Damba, Cynthia

    2015-01-01

    Despite ample evidence demonstrating the protective effect of physical activity, the uptake of regular physical activity among South Asian (SA) women remains relatively low. The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility and health impacts of implementing a culture- and gender-specific physical activity among SA immigrant women residing in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada. A community-based mixed methods approach combining cohort pretest and posttest design and qualitative methods employing in depth interviews was used. Twenty-seven SA women from the GTA participated in a 6-week, 2 days per week, Bollywood Dance exercise program led by a female SA instructor. The participation rate was considerably high (85%) and approximately 82% of the participants attended 10 or more of the classes offered. The participants' physical measurements (weight, waist and hip, and body mass index) decreased, although not significantly, over the 6-week period and there was an improvement in their physical, mental, and social health. During the face-to-face interviews, participants reported feeling less stressed and tired, being more mentally and physically robust, and having a sense of fulfillment and self-satisfaction. The only common criticism expressed was that the 6-week duration of the intervention was too short. The results showed that the Bollywood Dance was a feasible strategy in engaging SA immigrant women in physical activity. The key aspects when designing culture- and gender-specific dance interventions include community participation and active engagement in planning and implementation of the program, a supportive environment, same gender and culturally attuned dance instructor, easy access, and minimal to no cost. Copyright © 2015 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Greater Activity in the Frontal Cortex on Left Curves: A Vector-Based fNIRS Study of Left and Right Curve Driving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oka, Noriyuki; Yoshino, Kayoko; Yamamoto, Kouji; Takahashi, Hideki; Li, Shuguang; Sugimachi, Toshiyuki; Nakano, Kimihiko; Suda, Yoshihiro; Kato, Toshinori

    2015-01-01

    Objectives In the brain, the mechanisms of attention to the left and the right are known to be different. It is possible that brain activity when driving also differs with different horizontal road alignments (left or right curves), but little is known about this. We found driver brain activity to be different when driving on left and right curves, in an experiment using a large-scale driving simulator and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Research Design and Methods The participants were fifteen healthy adults. We created a course simulating an expressway, comprising straight line driving and gentle left and right curves, and monitored the participants under driving conditions, in which they drove at a constant speed of 100 km/h, and under non-driving conditions, in which they simply watched the screen (visual task). Changes in hemoglobin concentrations were monitored at 48 channels including the prefrontal cortex, the premotor cortex, the primary motor cortex and the parietal cortex. From orthogonal vectors of changes in deoxyhemoglobin and changes in oxyhemoglobin, we calculated changes in cerebral oxygen exchange, reflecting neural activity, and statistically compared the resulting values from the right and left curve sections. Results Under driving conditions, there were no sites where cerebral oxygen exchange increased significantly more during right curves than during left curves (p > 0.05), but cerebral oxygen exchange increased significantly more during left curves (p right premotor cortex, the right frontal eye field and the bilateral prefrontal cortex. Under non-driving conditions, increases were significantly greater during left curves (p right frontal eye field. Conclusions Left curve driving was thus found to require more brain activity at multiple sites, suggesting that left curve driving may require more visual attention than right curve driving. The right frontal eye field was activated under both driving and non-driving conditions

  6. Major contribution of the medial amygdala to hypertension in BPH/2J genetically hypertensive mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Kristy L; Palma-Rigo, Kesia; Nguyen-Huu, Thu-Phuc; Davern, Pamela J; Head, Geoffrey A

    2014-04-01

    BPH/2J mice are recognized as a neurogenic model of hypertension primarily based on overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system and greater neuronal activity in key autonomic cardiovascular regulatory brain regions. The medial amygdala (MeAm) is a forebrain region that integrates the autonomic response to stress and is the only region found to have greater Fos during the night and daytime in BPH/2J compared with BPN/3J mice. To determine the contribution of the MeAm to hypertension, the effect of neuronal ablation on blood pressure (BP) was assessed in BPH/2J (n=7) and normotensive BPN/3J mice (n=7). Mice were preimplanted with radiotelemetry devices to measure 24-hour BP and cardiovascular responses to stress, before and 1 to 3 weeks after bilateral lesions of the MeAm. Baseline BP was 121±4 mm Hg in BPH/2J and 101±2 mm Hg in BPN/3J mice (PstrainBPH/2J mice (PlesionBPH/2J mice was similar during both day and night, suggesting that the MeAm has tonic effects on BP, but the pressor response to stress was maintained in both strains. Midfrequency BP power was attenuated in both strains (PlesionBPH/2J mice (PlesionBPH/2J mice, which is independent of its role in stress reactivity or circadian BP influences.

  7. Is the intention-behaviour gap greater amongst the more deprived? A meta-analysis of five studies on physical activity, diet, and medication adherence in smoking cessation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasiljevic, Milica; Ng, Yin-Lam; Griffin, Simon J; Sutton, Stephen; Marteau, Theresa M

    2016-02-01

    Unhealthy behaviour is more common amongst the deprived, thereby contributing to health inequalities. The evidence that the gap between intention and behaviour is greater amongst the more deprived is limited and inconsistent. We tested this hypothesis using objective and self-report measures of three behaviours, both individual- and area-level indices of socio-economic status, and pooling data from five studies. Secondary data analysis. Multiple linear regressions and meta-analyses of data on physical activity, diet, and medication adherence in smoking cessation from 2,511 participants. Across five studies, we found no evidence for an interaction between deprivation and intention in predicting objective or self-report measures of behaviour. Using objectively measured behaviour and area-level deprivation, meta-analyses suggested that the gap between self-efficacy and behaviour was greater amongst the more deprived (B = .17 [95% CI = 0.02, 0.31]). We find no compelling evidence to support the hypothesis that the intention-behaviour gap is greater amongst the more deprived. What is already known on this subject? Unhealthy behaviour is more common in those who are more deprived. This may reflect a larger gap between intentions and behaviour amongst the more deprived. The limited evidence to date testing this hypothesis is mixed. What does this study add? In the most robust study to date, combining results from five trials, we found no evidence for this explanation. The gap between intentions and behaviour did not vary with deprivation for the following: diet, physical activity, or medication adherence in smoking cessation. We did, however, find a larger gap between perceived control over behaviour (self-efficacy) and behaviour in those more deprived. These findings add to existing evidence to suggest that higher rates of unhealthier behaviour in more deprived groups may be reduced by the following: ◦ Strengthening behavioural control mechanisms (such as executive

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  11. The Dissociative Subtype of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Unique Resting-State Functional Connectivity of Basolateral and Centromedial Amygdala Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Andrew A; Densmore, Maria; Frewen, Paul A; Théberge, Jean; Neufeld, Richard Wj; McKinnon, Margaret C; Lanius, Ruth A

    2015-09-01

    Previous studies point towards differential connectivity patterns among basolateral (BLA) and centromedial (CMA) amygdala regions in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as compared with controls. Here we describe the first study to compare directly connectivity patterns of the BLA and CMA complexes between PTSD patients with and without the dissociative subtype (PTSD+DS and PTSD-DS, respectively). Amygdala connectivity to regulatory prefrontal regions and parietal regions involved in consciousness and proprioception were expected to differ between these two groups based on differential limbic regulation and behavioral symptoms. PTSD patients (n=49) with (n=13) and without (n=36) the dissociative subtype and age-matched healthy controls (n=40) underwent resting-state fMRI. Bilateral BLA and CMA connectivity patterns were compared using a seed-based approach via SPM Anatomy Toolbox. Among patients with PTSD, the PTSD+DS group exhibited greater amygdala functional connectivity to prefrontal regions involved in emotion regulation (bilateral BLA and left CMA to the middle frontal gyrus and bilateral CMA to the medial frontal gyrus) as compared with the PTSD-DS group. In addition, the PTSD+DS group showed greater amygdala connectivity to regions involved in consciousness, awareness, and proprioception-implicated in depersonalization and derealization (left BLA to superior parietal lobe and cerebellar culmen; left CMA to dorsal posterior cingulate and precuneus). Differences in amygdala complex connectivity to specific brain regions parallel the unique symptom profiles of the PTSD subgroups and point towards unique biological markers of the dissociative subtype of PTSD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-16

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones are known to act synergistically with other stress-activated neuromodulatory systems, such as norepinephrine and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), within the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) to induce optimal strengthening of the consolidation of long-term memory

  14. 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,

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bianca G. van den Bulk

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Bulk, Bianca G; Somerville, Leah H; van Hoof, Marie-José; van Lang, Natasja D J; van der Wee, Nic J A; Crone, Eveline A; Vermeiren, Robert R J M

    2016-10-01

    Adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with childhood sexual abuse related post-traumatic stress disorder (CSA-related PTSD) show a large overlap in symptomatology. In addition, brain research indicated hyper-responsiveness and sustained activation instead of habituation of amygdala activation to emotional faces in both groups. Little is known, however, about whether the same patterns of amygdala habituation are present in these two groups. The current study examined habituation patterns of amygdala activity to emotional faces (fearful, happy and neutral) in adolescents with a DSM-IV depressive and/or anxiety disorder (N=25), adolescents with CSA-related PTSD (N=19) and healthy controls (N=26). Behaviourally, the adolescents from the internalizing and CSA-related PTSD group reported more anxiety to fearful and neutral faces than adolescents from the control group and adolescents from the CSA-related PTSD group reacted slower compared to the internalizing group. At the whole brain level, there was a significant interaction between time and group within the left amygdala. Follow-up ROI analysis showed elevated initial activity in the amygdala and rapid habituation in the CSA-related PTSD group compared to the internalizing group. These findings suggest that habituation patterns of amygdala activation provide additional information on problems with emotional face processing. Furthermore, the results suggest there are differences in the underlying neurobiological mechanisms related to emotional face processing for adolescents with internalizing disorders and adolescents with CSA-related PTSD. Possibly CSA-related PTSD is characterized by a stronger primary emotional response driven by the amygdala. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averbeck, Bruno B.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Past climate change and recent anthropogenic activities affect genetic structure and population demography of the greater long-tailed hamster in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Junbin; Xiao, Zhenlong; Li, Chuanhai; Wang, Fusheng; Liao, Jicheng; Fu, Jinzhong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2015-09-01

    The genetic diversity and the spatial structure of a species are likely consequences of both past and recent evolutionary processes, but relevant studies are still rare in East Asia where the Pleistocene climate has unique influences. In this study, we examined the impact of past climate change and recent anthropogenic activities on the genetic structure and population size of the greater long-tailed hamster (Tscherskia triton), an agricultural rodent pest species in northern China. DNA sequence data of 2 mitochondrial genes and genotypic data of 11 microsatellite DNA loci from 41 populations (545 individuals) were gathered. Phylogenetic and population genetic analyses, as well as species distribution modeling and coalescent simulations, were conducted to infer its historical and demographic patterns and processes. Two deeply diverged mitochondrial clades were recovered. A small one was restricted to the Shandong Peninsula while the main clade was further divided into 3 geographic clusters by their microsatellite DNA genotypes: Northwest, North-center and Northeast. Divergence dating indicated a Middle-to-Late Pleistocene divergence between the 2 clades. Demographic analysis indicated that all 3 and pooled populations showed consistent long-period expansions during last glacial period; but not during the Holocene, probably due to the impact of climate warming and human disturbances. Conflicting patterns between mtDNA and microsatellite markers imply an anthropogenic impact on North-center populations due to intensified agricultural cultivation in this region. Our study demonstrated that the impact of past glaciation on organisms in East Asia significantly differs from that of Europe and North America, and human activity is an important factor in determining the genetic diversity of a species, as well as its spatial structure. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-19

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

  10. Greater autonomy at work

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Houtman, I.L.D.

    2004-01-01

    In the past 10 years, workers in the Netherlands increasingly report more decision-making power in their work. This is important for an economy in recession and where workers face greater work demands. It makes work more interesting, creates a healthier work environment, and provides opportunities

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hehan; Yue, Qiang; Gong, Qiyong

    2013-08-01

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

  13. Amygdala damage eliminates monetary loss aversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-02-23

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

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuyu Li

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

  16. 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.

  17. Amygdala fMRI Signal as a Predictor of Reaction Time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Riedel

    2016-10-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Camille Bond; Meredith, Michael

    2010-03-04

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

  2. Greater-confinement disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trevorrow, L.E.; Schubert, J.P.

    1989-01-01

    Greater-confinement disposal (GCD) is a general term for low-level waste (LLW) disposal technologies that employ natural and/or engineered barriers and provide a degree of confinement greater than that of shallow-land burial (SLB) but possibly less than that of a geologic repository. Thus GCD is associated with lower risk/hazard ratios than SLB. Although any number of disposal technologies might satisfy the definition of GCD, eight have been selected for consideration in this discussion. These technologies include: (1) earth-covered tumuli, (2) concrete structures, both above and below grade, (3) deep trenches, (4) augered shafts, (5) rock cavities, (6) abandoned mines, (7) high-integrity containers, and (8) hydrofracture. Each of these technologies employ several operations that are mature,however, some are at more advanced stages of development and demonstration than others. Each is defined and further described by information on design, advantages and disadvantages, special equipment requirements, and characteristic operations such as construction, waste emplacement, and closure

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-30

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

  4. 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

  5. Lifespan anxiety is reflected in human amygdala cortical connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ye; Xu, Ting; Zhang, Wei

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  7. More features, greater connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Sarah

    2015-09-01

    Changes in our political infrastructure, the continuing frailties of our economy, and a stark growth in population, have greatly impacted upon the perceived stability of the NHS. Healthcare teams have had to adapt to these changes, and so too have the technologies upon which they rely to deliver first-class patient care. Here Sarah Hunt, marketing co-ordinator at Aid Call, assesses how the changing healthcare environment has affected one of its fundamental technologies - the nurse call system, argues the case for wireless such systems in terms of what the company claims is greater adaptability to changing needs, and considers the ever-wider range of features and functions available from today's nurse call equipment, particularly via connectivity with both mobile devices, and ancillaries ranging from enuresis sensors to staff attack alert 'badges'.

  8. Greater oil investment opportunities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arenas, Ismael Enrique

    1997-01-01

    Geologically speaking, Colombia is a very attractive country for the world oil community. According to this philosophy new and important steps are being taken to reinforce the oil sector: Expansion of the exploratory frontier by including a larger number of sedimentary areas, and the adoption of innovative contracting instruments. Colombia has to offer, Greater economic incentives for the exploration of new areas to expand the exploratory frontier, stimulation of exploration in areas with prospectivity for small fields. Companies may offer Ecopetrol a participation in production over and above royalties, without it's participating in the investments and costs of these fields, more favorable conditions for natural gas seeking projects, in comparison with those governing the terms for oil

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-06

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Amygdala and hippocampus enlargement during adolescence in autism.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  16. The basolateral amygdala modulates specific sensory memory representations in the cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavez, Candice M; McGaugh, James L; Weinberger, Norman M

    2009-05-01

    Stress hormones released by an experience can modulate memory strength via the basolateral amygdala, which in turn acts on sites of memory storage such as the cerebral cortex [McGaugh, J. L. (2004). The amygdala modulates the consolidation of memories of emotionally arousing experiences. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 1-28]. Stimuli that acquire behavioral importance gain increased representation in the cortex. For example, learning shifts the tuning of neurons in the primary auditory cortex (A1) to the frequency of a conditioned stimulus (CS), and the greater the level of CS importance, the larger the area of representational gain [Weinberger, N. M. (2007). Associative representational plasticity in the auditory cortex: A synthesis of two disciplines. Learning & Memory, 14(1-2), 1-16]. The two lines of research suggest that BLA strengthening of memory might be accomplished in part by increasing the representation of an environmental stimulus. The present study investigated whether stimulation of the BLA can affect cortical memory representations. In male Sprague-Dawley rats studied under urethane general anesthesia, frequency receptive fields were obtained from A1 before and up to 75min after the pairing of a tone with BLA stimulation (BLAstm: 100 trials, 400ms, 100Hz, 400microA [+/-16.54]). Tone started before and continued after BLAstm. Group BLA/1.0 (n=16) had a 1s CS-BLAstm interval while Group BLA/1.6 (n=5) has a 1.6s interval. The BLA/1.0 group did develop specific tuning shifts toward and to the CS, which could change frequency tuning by as much as two octaves. Moreover, its shifts increased over time and were enduring, lasting 75min. However, group BLA/1.6 did not develop tuning shifts, indicating that precise CS-BLAstm timing is important in the anesthetized animal. Further, training in the BLA/1.0 paradigm but stimulating outside of the BLA did not produce tuning shifts. These findings demonstrate that the BLA is capable of exerting highly specific

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

    Sleep debt (SD) has been suggested to evoke emotional instability by diminishing the suppression of the amygdala by the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Here, we investigated how short-term SD affects resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC, self-reported mood, and sleep parameters. Eighteen healthy adult men aged 29 ± 8.24 years participated in a 2-day sleep control session (SC; time in bed [TIB], 9 hours) and 2-day SD session (TIB, 3 hours). On day 2 of each session, resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed, followed immediately by measuring self-reported mood on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-State subscale (STAI-S). STAI-S score was significantly increased, and functional connectivity between the amygdala and MPFC was significantly decreased in SD compared with SC. Significant correlations were observed between reduced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and reduced left amygdala-MPFC functional connectivity (FCL_amg-MPFC) and between reduced FCL_amg-MPFC and increased STAI-S score in SD compared with SC. These findings suggest that reduced MPFC functional connectivity of amygdala activity is involved in mood deterioration under SD, and that REM sleep reduction is involved in functional changes in the corresponding brain regions. Having adequate REM sleep may be important for mental health maintenance. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    B.S. Hosseini (Behdokht)

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Excitant amino acid projections from rat amygdala and thalamus to nucleus accumbens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robinson, T.G.; Beart, P.M.

    1988-01-01

    High affinity uptake of D-[ 3 H]aspartate, [ 3 H]choline and [ 3 H]GABA was examined in synaptosomal-containing preparations of rat nucleus accumbens septi 7 to 10 days after unilateral or bilateral N-methyl-D-aspartate lesions confined to the parataenial nucleus of the thalamus or the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala. Uptake of both D-[ 3 H]aspartate and [ 3 H]choline was significantly reduced (11% and 14% less than control, respectively) by unilateral lesion of the thalamus, whereas [ 3 H]GABA uptake was unaffected. Bilateral thalamic lesions significantly reduced D-[ 3 H]aspartate uptake (11% less than control) into homogenates of the nucleus accumbens, whilst [ 3 H]GABA uptake was unaltered. D-[ 3 H]aspartate uptake was significantly reduced (26% less than control) following unilateral lesion of the amygdala, whereas both [ 3 H]GABA and [ 3 H]choline uptake were unaffected. Bilateral amygdaloid lesions significantly increased D-[ 3 H]aspartate uptake (39% greater than control), whilst uptake of [ 3 H]GABA was not affected. The results implicate glutamate and/or aspartate as putative neurotransmitters in afferent projections from the basolateral amygdala and the parataenial thalamus to the nucleus accumbens. Thalamic afferents to the nucleus accumbens may also utilize acetylcholine as their transmitter

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-19

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

  7. 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. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. High Cellular Monocyte Activation in People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus on Combination Antiretroviral Therapy and Lifestyle-Matched Controls Is Associated With Greater Inflammation in Cerebrospinal Fluid

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booiman, Thijs; Wit, Ferdinand W.; Maurer, Irma; de Francesco, Davide; Sabin, Caroline A.; Harskamp, Agnes M.; Prins, Maria; Garagnani, Paolo; Pirazzini, Chiara; Franceschi, Claudio; Fuchs, Dietmar; Gisslén, Magnus; Winston, Alan; Reiss, Peter; Kootstra, Neeltje A.; Schouten, J.; Kooij, K. W.; van Zoest, R. A.; Elsenga, B. C.; Janssen, F. R.; Heidenrijk, M.; Zikkenheiner, W.; van der Valk, M.; Booiman, T.; Harskamp-Holwerda, A. M.; Boeser-Nunnink, B.; Maurer, I.; Mangas Ruiz, M. M.; Girigorie, A. F.; Villaudy, J.; Frankin, E.; Pasternak, A.; Berkhout, B.; van der Kuyl, T.; Portegies, P.; Schmand, B. A.; Geurtsen, G. J.; ter Stege, J. A.; Klein Twennaar, M.; Majoie, C. B. L. M.; Caan, M. W. A.; Su, T.; Weijer, K.; Bisschop, P. H. L. T.; Kalsbeek, A.; Wezel, M.; Visser, I.; Ruhé, H. G.; Franceschi, C.; Garagnani, P.

    2017-01-01

    Increased monocyte activation and intestinal damage have been shown to be predictive for the increased morbidity and mortality observed in treated people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV). A cross-sectional analysis of cellular and soluble markers of monocyte activation, coagulation,

  9. Disruption of Memory Reconsolidation Erases a Fear Memory Trace in the Human Amygdala: An 18-Month Follow-Up.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Björkstrand

    Full Text Available Fear memories can be attenuated by reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we recently showed that reactivation and reconsolidation of a conditioned fear memory trace in the basolateral amygdala predicts subsequent fear expression over two days, while reactivation followed by disrupted reconsolidation abolishes the memory trace and suppresses fear. In this follow-up study we demonstrate that the behavioral effect persists over 18 months reflected in superior reacquisition after undisrupted, as compared to disrupted reconsolidation, and that neural activity in the basolateral amygdala representing the initial fear memory predicts return of fear. We conclude that disrupting reconsolidation have long lasting behavioral effects and may permanently erase the fear component of an amygdala-dependent memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominguez, J M; Hull, E M

    2001-11-02

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Akirav, Irit; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2006-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    The neuroendocrine state of new mothers may alter their neural processing of stressors in the environment through modulatory actions of oxytocin on the limbic system. We predicted that amygdala sensitivity to negatively arousing stimuli would be suppressed in postpartum compared to nulliparous women and that this suppression would be modulated by administration of oxytocin nasal spray. We measured brain activation (fMRI) and subjective arousal in response to negatively arousing pictures in 29...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Cunningham, William A.; Kirkland, Tabitha

    2013-01-01

    Although much is known about the neural dynamics of maladaptive affective styles, the mechanisms of happiness and well-being are less clear. One possibility is that the neural processes of trait happiness are the opposite of those involved in depression/anxiety: ‘rose-colored glasses’ cause happy people to focus on positive cues while remaining oblivious to threats. Specifically, because negative affective styles have been associated with increased amygdala activation to negative stimuli, it ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) modulates the consolidation of memories for emotionally arousing experiences, an effect that involves the activation of the glucocorticoid system. Because the BLA expresses high densities of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, the present experiments investigated whether the endocannabinoid system in the BLA influences memory consolidation and whether glucocorticoids interact with this system. The CB1 receptor agonist WIN5...

  16. Neurons in the human amygdala selective for perceived emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  19. Infusions of allopregnanolone into the hippocampus and amygdala, but not into the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex, produce antidepressant effects on the learned helplessness rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirayama, Yukihiko; Muneoka, Katsumasa; Fukumoto, Makoto; Tadokoro, Shigenori; Fukami, Goro; Hashimoto, Kenji; Iyo, Masaomi

    2011-10-01

    Patients with depression showed a decrease in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid allopregnanolone (ALLO). But antidepressants increased the contents of ALLO in the rat brain. We examined the antidepressant-like effects of infusion of ALLO into the cerebral ventricle, hippocampus, amygdala, nucleus accumbens, or prefrontal cortex of learned helplessness (LH) rats (an animal model of depression). Of these regions, infusions of ALLO into the cerebral ventricle, the CA3 region of hippocampus, or the central region of amygdala exerted antidepressant-like effects. Infusion of ALLO into the hippocampal CA3 region or the central amygdala did not produce memory deficits or locomotor activation in the passive avoidance and open field tests. It is well documented that ALLO exerts its effects through GABA receptors. Therefore, we examined the antagonistic effects of flumazenil (a GABA receptor antagonist) on the antidepressant-like effects of ALLO. Coinfusion of flumazenil with ALLO into the hippocampal CA3 region, but not into the central amygdala, blocked the antidepressant-like effects of ALLO. However, coinfusion of (+)MK801 (an NMDA receptor antagonist), but not cycloheximide (a protein synthesis inhibitor), blocked the antidepressant-like effects of ALLO in the central amygdala. These results suggest that ALLO exerts antidepressant-like effects in the CA3 region of hippocampus through the GABA system and in the central region of amygdala, dependently on the activation of the glutamatergic mechanisms. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Inhibitory Gating of Basolateral Amygdala Inputs to the Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGarry, Laura M; Carter, Adam G

    2016-09-07

    Interactions between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) regulate emotional behaviors. However, a circuit-level understanding of functional connections between these brain regions remains incomplete. The BLA sends prominent glutamatergic projections to the PFC, but the overall influence of these inputs is predominantly inhibitory. Here we combine targeted recordings and optogenetics to examine the synaptic underpinnings of this inhibition in the mouse infralimbic PFC. We find that BLA inputs preferentially target layer 2 corticoamygdala over neighboring corticostriatal neurons. However, these inputs make even stronger connections onto neighboring parvalbumin and somatostatin expressing interneurons. Inhibitory connections from these two populations of interneurons are also much stronger onto corticoamygdala neurons. Consequently, BLA inputs are able to drive robust feedforward inhibition via two parallel interneuron pathways. Moreover, the contributions of these interneurons shift during repetitive activity, due to differences in short-term synaptic dynamics. Thus, parvalbumin interneurons are activated at the start of stimulus trains, whereas somatostatin interneuron activation builds during these trains. Together, these results reveal how the BLA impacts the PFC through a complex interplay of direct excitation and feedforward inhibition. They also highlight the roles of targeted connections onto multiple projection neurons and interneurons in this cortical circuit. Our findings provide a mechanistic understanding for how the BLA can influence the PFC circuit, with important implications for how this circuit participates in the regulation of emotion. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA) interact to control emotional behaviors. Here we show that BLA inputs elicit direct excitation and feedforward inhibition of layer 2 projection neurons in infralimbic PFC. BLA inputs are much stronger at corticoamygdala neurons compared

  1. Emotion, decision making, and the amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Ben; Dolan, Ray

    2008-06-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schümann, Dirk; Sommer, Tobias

    2018-06-01

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

  3. Live Faecalibacterium prausnitzii induces greater TLR2 and TLR2/6 activation than the dead bacterium in an apical anaerobic co-culture system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maier, Eva; Anderson, Rachel C; Altermann, Eric; Roy, Nicole C

    2018-02-01

    Inappropriate activation of intestinal innate immune receptors, such as toll-like receptors (TLRs), by pathogenic bacteria is linked to chronic inflammation. In contrast, a "tonic" level of TLR activation by commensal bacteria is required for intestinal homeostasis. A technical challenge when studying this activation in vitro is the co-culturing of oxygen-requiring mammalian cells with obligate anaerobic commensal bacteria. To overcome this, we used a novel apical anaerobic co-culture system to successfully adapt a TLR activation assay to be conducted in conditions optimised for both cell types. Live Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, an abundant obligate anaerobe of the colonic microbiota, induced higher TLR2 and TLR2/6 activation than the dead bacterium. This enhanced TLR induction by live F. prausnitzii, which until now has not previously been described, may contribute to maintenance of gastrointestinal homeostasis. This highlights the importance of using physiologically relevant co-culture systems to decipher the mechanisms of action of live obligate anaerobes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Impaired fear extinction in serotonin transporter knockout rats is associated with increased 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the amygdala

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shan, L.; Guo, Hang-Yuan; van den Heuvel, Corina N A M; van Heerikhuize, J.J.; Homberg, Judith R

    2018-01-01

    AIMS: One potential risk factor for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves the low activity (short; s) allelic variant of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR), possibly due to reduced prefrontal control over the amygdala. Evidence shows that DNA

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. High Cellular Monocyte Activation in People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus on Combination Antiretroviral Therapy and Lifestyle-Matched Controls Is Associated With Greater Inflammation in Cerebrospinal Fluid

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booiman, Thijs; Wit, Ferdinand W N M; Maurer, Irma; De Francesco, Davide; Sabin, Caroline A; Harskamp, Agnes M; Prins, Maria; Garagnani, Paolo; Pirazzini, Chiara; Franceschi, Claudio; Fuchs, Dietmar; Gisslén, Magnus; Winston, Alan; Reiss, Peter; Kootstra, Neeltje A; Kalsbeek, A.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Increased monocyte activation and intestinal damage have been shown to be predictive for the increased morbidity and mortality observed in treated people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV). METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of cellular and soluble markers of monocyte

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-11

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

  8. Physical Activity Might Be of Greater Importance for Good Spinal Control Than If You Have Had Pain or Not: A Longitudinal Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aasa, Ulrika; Lundell, Sara; Aasa, Björn; Westerståhl, Maria

    2015-12-01

    Longitudinal design. A cohort followed in 3 waves of data collection. The aim of the study was to describe the relationships between the performance of 2 tests of spinal control at the age of 52 years and low back pain, physical activity level, and fitness earlier in life, as well as to describe the cross-sectional relationships between these measures. Altered spinal control has been linked to pain; however, other stimuli may also lead to inability to control the movements of the spine. Participants answered questions about physical activity and low back pain, and performed physical fitness tests at the age of 16, 34, and 52 years. The fitness test battery included tests of endurance in the back and abdominal muscles, a submaximal bicycle ergometer test to estimate maximal oxygen uptake, and measurements of hip flexion, thoracic spine flexibility, and anthropometrics. Two tests were aggregated to a physical fitness index. At the age of 52, also 2 tests of spinal control, the standing Waiter's bow (WB) and the supine double leg lower (LL) were performed. Logistic regression analyses showed that higher back muscle endurance at the age of 34 years could positively predict WB performance at 52 years and higher physical fitness at the age of 34 could positively predict LL performance at 52 years. Regarding cross-sectional relationships, an inability to perform the WB correctly was associated with lower physical fitness, flexibility and physical activity, and larger waist circumference. An inability to correctly perform the LL was associated with lower physical fitness. One-year prevalence of pain was not significantly associated with WB or LL test performance. An active life resulting in higher physical fitness is related to better spinal control in middle-aged men and women. This further strengthens the importance of physical activity throughout the life span. 3.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Circadian modulation of anxiety: a role for somatostatin in the amygdala.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Albrecht

    Full Text Available Pharmacological evidence suggests that the neuropeptide somatostatin (SST exerts anxiolytic action via the amygdala, but findings concerning the putative role of endogenous SST in the regulation of emotional responses are contradictory. We hypothesized that an endogenous regulation of SST expression over the course of the day may determine its function and tested both SST gene expression and the behavior of SST knock out (SST⁻/⁻ mice in different aversive tests in relation to circadian rhythm. In an open field and a light/dark avoidance test, SST⁻/⁻ mice showed significant hyperactivity and anxiety-like behavior during the second, but not during the first half of the active phase, failing to show the circadian modulation of behavior that was evident in their wild type littermates. Behavioral differences occurred independently of changes of intrinsically motivated activity in the home cage. A circadian regulation of SST mRNA and protein expression that was evident in the basolateral complex of the amygdala of wild type mice may provide a neuronal substrate for the observed behavior. However, fear memory towards auditory cue or the conditioning context displayed neither a time- nor genotype-dependent modulation. Together this indicates that SST, in a circadian manner and putatively via its regulation of expression in the amygdala, modulates behavior responding to mildly aversive conditions in mice.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong V Wang

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

  12. Emotion regulation reduces loss aversion and decreases amygdala responses to losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokol-Hessner, Peter; Camerer, Colin F; Phelps, Elizabeth A

    2013-03-01

    Emotion regulation strategies can alter behavioral and physiological responses to emotional stimuli and the neural correlates of those responses in regions such as the amygdala or striatum. The current study investigates the brain systems engaged when using an emotion regulation technique during financial decisions. In decision making, regulating emotion with reappraisal-focused strategies that encourage taking a different perspective has been shown to reduce loss aversion as observed both in choices and in the relative arousal responses to actual loss and gain outcomes. In the current study, we find using fMRI that behavioral loss aversion correlates with amygdala activity in response to losses relative to gains. Success in regulating loss aversion also correlates with the reduction in amygdala responses to losses but not to gains. Furthermore, across both decisions and outcomes, we find the reappraisal strategy increases baseline activity in dorsolateral and ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the striatum. The similarity of the neural circuitry observed to that seen in emotion regulation, despite divergent tasks, serves as further evidence for a role of emotion in decision making, and for the power of reappraisal to change assessments of value and thereby choices.

  13. Clobazam and its active metabolite N-desmethylclobazam display significantly greater affinities for α₂- versus α₁-GABA(A-receptor complexes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrik Sindal Jensen

    Full Text Available Clobazam (CLB, a 1,5-benzodiazepine (BZD, was FDA-approved in October 2011 for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS in patients 2 years and older. BZDs exert various CNS effects through allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors. The structurally distinct, 1,4-BZD clonazepam (CLN is also approved to treat LGS. The precise mechanisms of action and clinical efficacy of both are unknown. Data show that the GABAA α₁-subunit-selective compound zolpidem [ZOL] exhibits hypnotic/sedative effects. Conversely, data from knock-in mice carrying BZD binding site mutations suggest that the α₂ subunit mediates anticonvulsant effects, without sedative actions. Hence, the specific pattern of interactions across the GABAA receptor complexes of BZDs might be reflected in their clinical efficacies and adverse effect profiles. In this study, GABAA-receptor binding affinities of CLB, N-desmethylclobazam (N-CLB, the major metabolite of CLB, CLN, and ZOL were characterized with native receptors from rat-brain homogenates and on cloned receptors from HEK293 cells transfected with combinations of α (α₁, α₂, α₃, or α₅, β₂, and γ₂ subtypes. Our results demonstrate that CLB and N-CLB have significantly greater binding affinities for α₂- vs. α₁-receptor complexes, a difference not observed for CLN, for which no distinction between α₂ and α₁ receptors was observed. Our experiments with ZOL confirmed the high preference for α₁ receptors. These results provide potential clues to a new understanding of the pharmacologic modes of action of CLB and N-CLB.

  14. Activity-dependent expression of miR-132 regulates immediate-early gene induction during olfactory learning in the greater short-nosed fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukilan, Murugan; Ragu Varman, Durairaj; Sudhakar, Sivasubramaniam; Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel

    2015-04-01

    The activity-dependent expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) and microRNA (miR)-132 has been implicated in synaptic plasticity and the formation of long-term memory (LTM). In the present study, we show that olfactory training induces the expression of IEGs (EGR-1, C-fos, C-jun) and miR-132 at similar time scale in olfactory bulb (OB) of Cynopterus sphinx. We examined the role of miR-132 in the OB using antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (AS-ODN) and demonstrated that a local infusion of AS-ODN in the OB 2h prior to training impaired olfactory memory formation in C. sphinx. However, the infusion of AS-ODN post-training did not cause a deficit in memory formation. Furthermore, the inhibition of miR-132 reduced the olfactory training-induced expression of IEGs and post synaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95) in the OB. Additionally, we show that miR-132 regulates the activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase-II (CaMKII) and cAMP response element binding protein (CREB), possibly through miR-148a. These data suggest that olfactory training induces the expression of miR-132 and IEGs, which in turn activates post-synaptic proteins that regulate olfactory memory formation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Effect of recycling activities on the heating value of solid waste: case study of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedini, Ali R; Atwater, James W; Fu, George Yuzhu

    2012-08-01

    Two main goals of the integrated solid waste management system (ISWMS) of Metro Vancouver (MV) include further recycling of waste and energy recovery via incineration of waste. These two very common goals, however, are not always compatible enough to fit in an ISWMS depending on waste characteristics and details of recycling programs. This study showed that recent recycling activities in MV have negatively affected the net heating value (NHV) of municipal solid waste (MSW) in this regional district. Results show that meeting MV's goal for additional recycling of MSW by 2015 will further reduce the NHV of waste, if additional recycling activities are solely focused on more extensive recycling of packaging materials (e.g. paper and plastic). It is concluded that 50% additional recycling of paper and plastic in MV will increase the overall recycling rate to 70% (as targeted by the MV for 2015) and result in more than 8% reduction in NHV of MSW. This reduction translates to up to 2.3 million Canadian dollar (CAD$) less revenue at a potential waste-to-energy (WTE) plant with 500 000 tonnes year(-1) capacity. Properly designed recycling programmes, however, can make this functional element of ISWMS compatible with green goals of energy recovery from waste. Herein an explanation of how communities can increase their recycling activities without affecting the feasibility of potential WTE projects is presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  17. Randomized Clinical Trial of Real-Time fMRI Amygdala Neurofeedback for Major Depressive Disorder: Effects on Symptoms and Autobiographical Memory Recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    Patients with depression show blunted amygdala hemodynamic activity to positive stimuli, including autobiographical memories. The authors examined the therapeutic efficacy of real-time functional MRI neurofeedback (rtfMRI-nf) training aimed at increasing the amygdala's hemodynamic response to positive memories in patients with depression. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, unmedicated adults with depression (N=36) were randomly assigned to receive two sessions of rtfMRI-nf either from the amygdala (N=19) or from a parietal control region not involved in emotional processing (N=17). Clinical scores and autobiographical memory performance were assessed at baseline and 1 week after the final rtfMRI-nf session. The primary outcome measure was change in score on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and the main analytic approach consisted of a linear mixed-model analysis. In participants in the experimental group, the hemodynamic response in the amygdala increased relative to their own baseline and to the control group. Twelve participants in the amygdala rtfMRI-nf group, compared with only two in the control group, had a >50% decrease in MADRS score. Six participants in the experimental group, compared with one in the control group, met conventional criteria for remission at study end, resulting in a number needed to treat of 4. In participants receiving amygdala rtfMRI-nf, the percent of positive specific memories recalled increased relative to baseline and to the control group. rtfMRI-nf training to increase the amygdala hemodynamic response to positive memories significantly decreased depressive symptoms and increased the percent of specific memories recalled on an autobiographical memory test. These data support a role of the amygdala in recovery from depression.

  18. Hippocampus and amygdala volumes in patients with vaginismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-22

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

  19. Pre-treatment amygdala volume predicts electroconvulsive therapy response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Extinction of relapsed fear does not require the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingawi, Nura W; Westbrook, R Frederick; Laurent, Vincent

    2017-03-01

    It is well established that extinguished fears are restored with the passage of time or a change in physical context. These fear restoration phenomena are believed to mimic the conditions under which relapse occurs in patients that have been treated for anxiety disorders by means of cue-exposure therapy. Here, we used a rodent model to extinguish relapsed fear and assess whether this new extinction prevents further relapse. We found that activity in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) is required to initially extinguish conditioned fear, but this activity was not necessary to subsequently extinguish relapsed fear. That is, extinction of spontaneously recovered or renewed fear was spared by BLA inactivation. Yet, this BLA-independent learning of extinction did not protect against further relapse: extinction of relapsed fear conducted without BLA activity was still likely to return after the passage of time or a shift in physical context. These findings have important clinical implications. They indicate that pharmacological agents with anxiolytic properties may disrupt initial cue-exposure therapy but may be useful when therapy is again needed due to relapse. However, they also suggest that these agents will not protect against further relapse, implying the need for developing drugs that target other brain regions involved in fear inhibition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Background synaptic activity in rat entorhinal cortex shows a progressively greater dominance of inhibition over excitation from deep to superficial layers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart David Greenhill

    Full Text Available The entorhinal cortex (EC controls hippocampal input and output, playing major roles in memory and spatial navigation. Different layers of the EC subserve different functions and a number of studies have compared properties of neurones across layers. We have studied synaptic inhibition and excitation in EC neurones, and we have previously compared spontaneous synaptic release of glutamate and GABA using patch clamp recordings of synaptic currents in principal neurones of layers II (L2 and V (L5. Here, we add comparative studies in layer III (L3. Such studies essentially look at neuronal activity from a presynaptic viewpoint. To correlate this with the postsynaptic consequences of spontaneous transmitter release, we have determined global postsynaptic conductances mediated by the two transmitters, using a method to estimate conductances from membrane potential fluctuations. We have previously presented some of this data for L3 and now extend to L2 and L5. Inhibition dominates excitation in all layers but the ratio follows a clear rank order (highest to lowest of L2>L3>L5. The variance of the background conductances was markedly higher for excitation and inhibition in L2 compared to L3 or L5. We also show that induction of synchronized network epileptiform activity by blockade of GABA inhibition reveals a relative reluctance of L2 to participate in such activity. This was associated with maintenance of a dominant background inhibition in L2, whereas in L3 and L5 the absolute level of inhibition fell below that of excitation, coincident with the appearance of synchronized discharges. Further experiments identified potential roles for competition for bicuculline by ambient GABA at the GABAA receptor, and strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors in residual inhibition in L2. We discuss our results in terms of control of excitability in neuronal subpopulations of EC neurones and what these may suggest for their functional roles.

  2. 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.

  3. Amygdala Volume and Social Network Size in Humans

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Synaptic dysfunction in amygdala in intellectual disorder models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    In a recent study, we demonstrated that rats prefer mutual rewards in a Prosocial Choice Task. Here, employing the same task, we show that the integrity of basolateral amygdala was necessary for the expression of mutual reward preferences. Actor rats received bilateral excitotoxic (n=12) or sham lesions (n=10) targeting the basolateral amygdala and were subsequently tested in a Prosocial Choice Task where they could decide between rewarding ("Both Reward") or not rewarding a partner rat ("Own Reward"), either choice yielding identical reward to th