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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (3)
Articles by Kimberly H. Wood in JoVE
Investigating the Neural Mechanisms of Aware and Unaware Fear Memory with fMRI
David C. Knight, Kimberly H. Wood
Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
A methodology to investigate the neural mechanisms that support aware and unaware memory processes during fear conditioning is described. This method monitors blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging, skin conductance response, and unconditioned stimulus expectancy during Pavlovian fear conditioning to assess the neural correlates of distinct memory processes.
Other articles by Kimberly H. Wood on PubMed
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18759551
Schizophrenia is a debilitating lifelong disorder affecting up to 1% of the population worldwide, producing significant financial and emotional hardship for patients and their families. As yet, the causes of schizophrenia and the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs are unknown, and many patients do not respond well to currently available medications. Attempts to find risk factors for the disorder using epidemiological methods have shown that schizophrenia is highly heritable, and path analyses predict that the disorder is caused by several genes in combination with nongenetic factors. Therefore, intensive research efforts have been made to identify genes creating vulnerability to schizophrenia and also genes predicting response to treatment. Interactions of the glutamatergic system with dopaminergic and serotonergic circuitry are crucial for normal brain function, and their disruption may be a mechanism by which the pathophysiology of schizophrenia is manifest. Genes within the glutamatergic system are therefore strong candidates for investigation, and these include the glutamate receptor genes in addition to genes encoding neuregulin, dysbindin, D-amino acid oxidase and G72/G30. These genetic studies could eventually reveal new targets for antipsychotic drug treatment, which currently focuses on inhibition of the dopaminergic system. However, a recent breakthrough indicates clinical efficacy of a drug stimulating the metabotropic glutamate receptor II, LY2140023, which has improved efficacy for negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Studies of larger patient samples are required to consolidate these data. Further investigation of glutamatergic targets is likely to reinvigorate antipsychotic drug development.
Behavioral Neuroscience. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21688887
During Pavlovian conditioning the expression of a conditioned response typically serves as evidence that an association between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) has been learned. However, learning-related changes in the unconditioned response (UCR) produced by a predictable UCS can also develop. In the present study, we investigated learning-related reductions in the magnitude of the unconditioned skin conductance response (SCR). Healthy volunteers participated in a differential conditioning study in which one tone (CS+) was paired with a loud white-noise UCS and a second tone (CS-) was presented alone. In addition, probe trials that consisted of UCS presentations paired with the CS+ (CS + UCS) and CS- (CS - UCS), as well as presentations of the UCS alone were included to assess UCR diminution. SCR and participants' expectations of UCS presentation were monitored during conditioning. Greater diminution of the UCR was observed to the UCS when it followed the CS+ compared to when it followed the CS- or was presented alone. Further, UCR amplitude showed an inverse relationship with the participants' ratings of UCS expectancy. However, conditioned UCR diminution was also observed independent of differential UCS expectancies. Our findings demonstrate conditioned diminution of the unconditioned SCR. Further, these findings suggest that although UCR amplitude is modified by conscious expectations of the UCS, conditioned diminution of the UCR can be expressed independent of learning-related changes in these expectations.
NeuroImage. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22227141
Recognizing cues that predict an aversive event allows one to react more effectively under threatening conditions, and minimizes the reaction to the threat itself. This is demonstrated during Pavlovian fear conditioning when the unconditioned response (UCR) to a predictable unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is diminished compared to the UCR to an unpredictable UCS. The present study investigated the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal response associated with Pavlovian conditioned UCR diminution to better understand the relationship between individual differences in behavior and the neural mechanisms of the threat-related emotional response. Healthy volunteers participated in a fear conditioning study in which trait anxiety, skin conductance response (SCR), UCS expectancy, and the fMRI signal were assessed. During acquisition trials, a tone (CS+) was paired with a white noise UCS and a second tone (CS-) was presented without the UCS. Test trials consisted of the CS+ paired with the UCS, CS- paired with the UCS, and presentations of the UCS alone to assess conditioned UCR diminution. UCR diminution was observed within the dorsolateral PFC, dorsomedial PFC, cingulate cortex, inferior parietal lobule (IPL), anterior insula, and amygdala. The threat-related activity within the dorsolateral PFC, dorsomedial PFC, posterior cingulate cortex, and IPL varied with individual differences in trait anxiety. In addition, anticipatory (i.e. CS elicited) activity within the PFC showed an inverse relationship with threat-related (i.e. UCS elicited) activity within the PFC, IPL, and amygdala. Further, the emotional response (indexed via SCR) elicited by the threat was closely linked to amygdala activity. These findings are consistent with the view that the amygdala and PFC support learning-related processes that influence the emotional response evoked by a threat.