The neural correlates of anxious anticipation have been primarily studied with aversive and neutral stimuli. In this study, we examined the effect of valence on anticipation by using high arousal aversive and positive stimuli and a condition of uncertainty (i.e. either positive or aversive). The task consisted of predetermined cues warning participants of upcoming aversive, positive, 'uncertain' (either aversive or positive) and neutral movie clips. Anticipation of all affective clips engaged common regions including the anterior insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, thalamus, caudate, inferior parietal and prefrontal cortex that are associated with emotional experience, sustained attention and appraisal. In contrast, the nucleus accumbens and medial prefrontal cortex, regions implicated in reward processing, were selectively engaged during anticipation of positive clips (depicting sexually explicit content) and the mid-insula, which has been linked to processing aversive stimuli, was selectively engaged during anticipation of aversive clips (depicting graphic medical procedures); these three areas were also activated during anticipation of 'uncertain' clips reflecting a broad preparatory response for both aversive and positive stimuli. These results suggest that a common circuitry is recruited in anticipation of affective clips regardless of valence, with additional areas preferentially engaged depending on whether expected stimuli are negative or positive.
The ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been primarily implicated in reward-motivated behavior. Recently, aberrant dopaminergic VTA signaling has also been implicated in anxiety-like behaviors in animal models. These findings, however, have yet to be extended to anxiety in humans. Here we hypothesized that clinical anxiety is linked to dysfunction of the mesocorticolimbic circuit during threat processing in humans; specifically, excessive or dysregulated activity of the mesocorticolimbic aversion circuit may be etiologically related to errors in distinguishing cues of threat versus safety, also known as "overgeneralization of fear." To test this, we recruited 32 females with generalized anxiety disorder and 25 age-matched healthy control females. We measured brain activity using fMRI while participants underwent a fear generalization task consisting of pseudo-randomly presented rectangles with systematically varying widths. A mid-sized rectangle served as a conditioned stimulus (CS; 50% electric shock probability) and rectangles with widths of CS ±20%, ±40%, and ±60% served as generalization stimuli (GS; never paired with electric shock). Healthy controls showed VTA reactivity proportional to the cue's perceptual similarity to CS (threat). In contrast, patients with generalized anxiety disorder showed heightened and less discriminating VTA reactivity to GS, a feature that was positively correlated with trait anxiety, as well as increased mesocortical and decreased mesohippocampal coupling. Our results suggest that the human VTA and the mesocorticolimbic system play a crucial role in threat processing, and that abnormalities in this system are implicated in maladaptive threat processing in clinical anxiety.
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) plays a critical role in a number of evaluative processes, including risk assessment. Impaired discrimination between threat and safety is considered a hallmark of clinical anxiety. Here, we investigated the circuit-wide structural and functional mechanisms underlying vmPFC threat-safety assessment in humans. We tested patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; n = 32, female) and healthy controls (n = 25, age-matched female) on a task that assessed the generalization of conditioned threat during fMRI scanning. The task consisted of seven rectangles of graded widths presented on a screen; only the midsize one was paired with mild electric shock [conditioned stimulus (CS)], while the others, safety cues, systematically varied in width by ±20, 40, and 60% [generalization stimuli (GS)] compared with the CS. We derived an index reflecting vmPFC functioning from the BOLD reactivity on a continuum of threat (CS) to safety (GS least similar to CS); patients with GAD showed less discrimination between threat and safety cues, compared with healthy controls (Greenberg et al., 2013b). Using structural, functional (i.e., resting-state), and diffusion MRI, we measured vmPFC thickness, vmPFC functional connectivity, and vmPFC structural connectivity within the corticolimbic systems. The results demonstrate that all three factors predict individual variability of vmPFC threat assessment in an independent fashion. Moreover, these neural features are also linked to GAD, most likely via an vmPFC fear generalization. Our results strongly suggest that vmPFC threat processing is closely associated with broader corticolimbic circuit anomalies, which may synergistically contribute to clinical anxiety.
Measures of complexity are sensitive in detecting disease, which has made them attractive candidates for diagnostic biomarkers; one complexity measure that has shown promise in fMRI is power spectrum scale invariance (PSSI). Even if scale-free features of neuroimaging turn out to be diagnostically useful, however, their underlying neurobiological basis is poorly understood. Using modeling and simulations of a schematic prefrontal-limbic meso-circuit, with excitatory and inhibitory networks of nodes, we present here a framework for how network density within a control system can affect the complexity of signal outputs. Our model demonstrates that scale-free behavior, similar to that observed in fMRI PSSI data, can be obtained for sufficiently large networks in a context as simple as a linear stochastic system of differential equations, although the scale-free range improved when introducing more realistic, nonlinear behavior in the system. PSSI values (reflective of complexity) vary as a function of both input type (excitatory, inhibitory) and input density (mean number of long-range connections, or strength), independent of their node-specific geometric distribution. Signals show pink noise (1/f) behavior when excitatory and inhibitory influences are balanced. As excitatory inputs are increased and decreased, signals shift towards white and brown noise, respectively. As inhibitory inputs are increased and decreased, signals shift towards brown and white noise, respectively. The results hold qualitatively at the hemodynamic scale, which was modeled by introducing a neurovascular component. Comparing hemodynamic simulation results to fMRI PSSI results from 97 individuals across a wide spectrum of anxiety-levels, we show how our model can generate concrete and testable hypotheses for understanding how connectivity affects regulation of meso-circuits in the brain.
An attentional bias to threat has been causally related to anxiety. Recent research has linked nonconscious attentional bias to threat with variability in the integrity of the amygdala - anterior cingulate pathway, which sheds light on the neuroanatomical basis for a behavioral precursor to anxiety. However, the extent to which structural variability in amygdala - anterior cingulate integrity relates to the functional connectivity within this pathway and how such functional connectivity may relate to attention bias behavior, remain critical missing pieces of the puzzle. In 15 individuals we measured the structural integrity of the amygdala - prefrontal pathway with diffusion tensor-weighted MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), amygdala-seeded intrinsic functional connectivity to the anterior cingulate, and attentional bias toward backward masked fearful faces with a dot-probe task. We found that greater biases in attention to threat predicted greater levels of uncinate fasciculus integrity, greater positive amygdala - anterior cingulate functional connectivity, and greater amygdala coupling with a broader social perception network including the superior temporal sulcus, tempoparietal junction (TPJ), and somatosensory cortex. Additionally, greater levels of uncinate fasciculus integrity correlated with greater levels of amygdala - anterior cingulate intrinsic functional connectivity. Thus, high bias individuals displayed a heightened degree of amygdala - anterior cingulate connectivity during basal conditions, which we believe predisposes these individuals to focus their attention on signals of threat within their environment.
Cognitive processing biases, such as increased attention to threat, are gaining recognition as causal factors in anxiety. Yet, little is known about the anatomical pathway by which threat biases cognition and how genetic factors might influence the integrity of this pathway, and thus, behavior. For 40 normative adults, we reconstructed the entire amygdalo-prefrontal white matter tract (uncinate fasciculus) using diffusion tensor weighted MRI and probabilistic tractography to test the hypothesis that greater fiber integrity correlates with greater nonconscious attention bias to threat as measured by a backward masked dot-probe task. We used path analysis to investigate the relationship between brain-derived nerve growth factor genotype, uncinate fasciculus integrity, and attention bias behavior. Greater structural integrity of the amygdalo-prefrontal tract correlates with facilitated attention bias to nonconscious threat. Genetic variability associated with brain-derived nerve growth factor appears to influence the microstructure of this pathway and, in turn, attention bias to nonconscious threat. These results suggest that the integrity of amygdalo-prefrontal projections underlie nonconscious attention bias to threat and mediate genetic influence on attention bias behavior. Prefrontal cognition and attentional processing in high bias individuals appear to be heavily influenced by nonconscious threat signals relayed via the uncinate fasciculus.
Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an emerging imaging technique that is relatively inexpensive, portable, and particularly well suited for collecting data in ecological settings. Therefore, it holds promise as a potential neurodiagnostic for young children. We set out to explore whether NIRS could be utilized in assessing the risk of developmental psychopathology in young children. A growing body of work indicates that temperament at young age is associated with vulnerability to psychopathology later on in life. In particular, it has been shown that low effortful control (EC), which includes the focusing and shifting of attention, inhibitory control, perceptual sensitivity, and a low threshold for pleasure, is linked to conditions such as anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Physiologically, EC has been linked to a control network spanning among other sites the prefrontal cortex. Several psychopathologies, such as depression and ADHD, have been shown to result in compromised small-world network properties. Therefore we set out to explore the relationship between EC and the small-world properties of PFC using NIRS. NIRS data were collected from 44 toddlers, ages 3-5, while watching naturalistic stimuli (movie clips). Derived complex network measures were then correlated to EC as derived from the Childrens Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ). We found that reduced levels of EC were associated with compromised small-world properties of the prefrontal network. Our results suggest that the longitudinal NIRS studies of complex network properties in young children hold promise in furthering our understanding of developmental psychopathology.
It has previously been established that, in threatening situations, animals use alarm pheromones to communicate danger. There is emerging evidence of analogous chemosensory "stress" cues in humans. For this study, we collected alarm and exercise sweat from "donors," extracted it, pooled it and presented it to 16 unrelated "detector" subjects undergoing fMRI. The fMRI protocol consisted of four stimulus runs, with each combination of stimulus condition and donor gender represented four times. Because olfactory stimuli do not follow the canonical hemodynamic response, we used a model-free approach. We performed minimal preprocessing and worked directly with block-average time series and step-function estimates. We found that, while male stress sweat produced a comparably strong emotional response in both detector genders, female stress sweat produced a markedly stronger arousal in female than in male detectors. Our statistical tests pinpointed this gender-specificity to the right amygdala (strongest in the superficial nuclei). When comparing the olfactory bulb responses to the corresponding stimuli, we found no significant differences between male and female detectors. These imaging results complement existing behavioral evidence, by identifying whether gender differences in response to alarm chemosignals are initiated at the perceptual versus emotional level. Since we found no significant differences in the olfactory bulb (primary processing site for chemosensory signals in mammals), we infer that the specificity in responding to female fear is likely based on processing meaning, rather than strength, of chemosensory cues from each gender.
Complexity in the brain has been well-documented at both neuronal and hemodynamic scales, with increasing evidence supporting its use in sensitively differentiating between mental states and disorders. However, application of complexity measures to fMRI time-series, which are short, sparse, and have low signal/noise, requires careful modality-specific optimization.
Complex network analysis (CNA), a subset of graph theory, is an emerging approach to the analysis of functional connectivity in the brain, allowing quantitative assessment of network properties such as functional segregation, integration, resilience, and centrality. Here, we show how a classification framework complements complex network analysis by providing an efficient and objective means of selecting the best network model characterizing given functional connectivity data. We describe a novel kernel-sum learning approach, block diagonal optimization (BDopt), which can be applied to CNA features to single out graph-theoretic characteristics and/or anatomical regions of interest underlying discrimination, while mitigating problems of multiple comparisons. As a proof of concept for the methods applicability to future neurodiagnostics, we apply BDopt classification to two resting state fMRI data sets: a trait (between-subjects) classification of patients with schizophrenia vs. controls, and a state (within-subjects) classification of wake vs. sleep, demonstrating powerful discriminant accuracy for the proposed framework.
Threat signals facilitate spatial attention, even when awareness of these signals has been restricted through the use of backward masking. However, unrestricted/unmasked threat cues tend to delay the disengagement of attention, whereas restricted/masked threat facilitates orienting, suggesting different underlying mechanisms. Within the general population, the serotonin transporter gene polymorphism (5HTTLPR) is associated with ones allocation of attention to unmasked threat signals. However, it is unclear to what extent the 5HTTLPR gene may be involved in nonconscious biases to masked threat, and whether or not such biases are driven by facilitated orienting or delayed disengagement. Participants were genotyped and performed a dot-probe task with backward masked fearful and neutral faces. Results indicate that short-allele carriers of the 5HTTLPR gene nonconsciously orient spatial attention to masked fearful faces. On the other hand, homozygous long-allele individuals tended to direct attention away from masked fearful faces. All participants performance was at chance in a posttask assessment of awareness for the masked faces. The results add to current literature on the 5HTTLPR and attention biases, and suggest that threat signals facilitate the orienting of attention in short-allele carriers of the 5HTTLPR gene even under restricted processing conditions.
An important aspect of the fear response is the allocation of spatial attention toward threatening stimuli. This response is so powerful that modulations in spatial attention can occur automatically without conscious awareness. Functional neuroimaging research suggests that the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) form a network involved in the rapid orienting of attention to threat. A hyper-responsive attention bias to threat is a common component of anxiety disorders. Yet, little is known of how individual differences in underlying brain morphometry relate to variability in attention bias to threat. Here, we performed two experiments using dot-probe tasks that measured individuals attention bias to backward masked fearful faces. We collected whole-brain structural magnetic resonance images and used voxel-based morphometry to measure brain morphometry. We tested the hypothesis that reduced gray matter within the amygdala and ACC would be associated with reduced attention bias to threat. In Experiment 1, we found that backward masked fearful faces captured spatial attention and that elevated attention bias to masked threat was associated with greater ACC gray matter volumes. In Experiment 2, this association was replicated in a separate sample. Thus, we provide initial and replicating evidence that ACC gray matter volume is correlated with biased attention to threat. Importantly, we demonstrate that variability in affective attention bias within the healthy population is associated with ACC morphometry. This result opens the door for future research into the underlying brain morphometry associated with attention bias in clinically anxious populations.
Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive optical imaging technique that can be used to measure cortical hemodynamic responses to specific stimuli or tasks. While analyses of NIRS data are normally adapted from established fMRI techniques, there are nevertheless substantial differences between the two modalities. Here, we investigate the impact of NIRS-specific noise; e.g., systemic (physiological), motion-related artifacts, and serial autocorrelations, upon the validity of statistical inference within the framework of the general linear model. We present a comprehensive framework for noise reduction and statistical inference, which is custom-tailored to the noise characteristics of NIRS. These methods have been implemented in a public domain Matlab toolbox, the NIRS Analysis Package (NAP). Finally, we validate NAP using both simulated and actual data, showing marked improvement in the detection power and reliability of NIRS.
Recent studies on fear generalization have demonstrated that fear-potentiated startle and skin conductance responses to a conditioned stimulus (CS) generalize to similar stimuli, with the strength of the fear response linked to perceptual similarity to the CS. The aim of the present study was to extend this work by examining neural correlates of fear generalization. An initial experiment (N=8) revealed that insula reactivity tracks the conditioned fear gradient. We then replicated this effect in a larger independent sample (N=25). Activation in the insula, anterior cingulate, right supplementary motor cortex and caudate increased reactivity as generalization stimuli (GS) were more similar to the CS, consistent with participants overall ratings of perceived shock likelihood and pupillary response to each stimulus.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research suggests that the ventral striatum (VS)/nucleus accumbens, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and broader mesocorticolimbic dopamine system mediate aspects of reward processing from expectation of reward to pleasantness experienced upon reward attainment. In parallel, research utilizing event-related potentials (ERP) indicates that the feedback negativity (FN) is sensitive to reward vs. non-reward feedback and outcome expectation. The FN has been source localized to the mPFC and dorsal striatum, and converging evidence suggests that the FN reflects reward processing in the mesocorticolimbic system. However, the extent to which ERP and fMRI measures of reward processing are correlated has yet to be explored within the same individuals. The primary aim of the current study was to examine the convergence between fMRI (i.e., VS and mPFC) and ERP (i.e., FN) measures of reward processing in forty-two participants who completed counterbalanced fMRI and ERP sessions while performing the same monetary gambling task. For the Win>Loss comparison, fMRI activation in the mesocorticolimbic reward circuit including the VS and mPFC was positively correlated with the FN. Here, we demonstrate that monetary gains activate the VS, mPFC, caudate, amygdala, and orbital frontal cortex, enhance the FN ERP component within 300 ms post feedback, and that these measures are related. Thus, fMRI and ERP measures provide complementary information about mesocorticolimbic activity during reward processing, which may be useful in assessing pathological reward sensitivity.
Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive cortical imaging technique that provides many of the advantages of cortical fMRI with additional benefits of low cost, portability, and increased temporal resolution-features that make it potentially ideal for clinical diagnostic applications. However, the usefulness of NIRS is contingent on the ability to reliably localize the measured signal cortically. Although this can be achieved by supplementing NIRS data collection with an MRI scan, a much more appealing alternative is to use a portable magnetic measuring system to record the locations of optodes. Previous work has shown that optode skull measurements can be projected to the brain consistently within reasonable error bounds. Yet, as we show, if this is done without explicitly modeling the geometry of the holder securing the NIR optodes to participants heads, considerable bias in the projection loci results. Here, we describe an algorithm that not only overcomes this bias but also corrects for measurement error in both optode position and skull reference points (which are used to register the measurements to standard brain templates) by applying geometric constraints. This method has been implemented as part of our NIRS Analysis Package (NAP), a public domain Matlab toolbox for analysis of NIRS data.
Theory and experimental evidence suggest that complex living systems function close to the boundary of chaos, with erroneous organization to an improper dynamical range (too stiff or chaotic) underlying system-wide dysregulation and disease. We hypothesized that erroneous organization might therefore also characterize paranoid schizophrenia, via optimization abnormalities in the prefrontal-limbic circuit regulating emotion. To test this, we acquired fMRI scans from 35 subjects (N = 9 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and N = 26 healthy controls), while they viewed affect-valent stimuli. To quantify dynamic regulation, we analyzed the power spectrum scale invariance (PSSI) of fMRI time-courses and computed the geometry of time-delay (Poincaré) maps, a measure of variability. Patients and controls showed distinct PSSI in two clusters (k(1) : Z = 4.3215, P = 0.00002 and k(2) : Z = 3.9441, P = 0.00008), localized to the orbitofrontal/medial prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 10), represented by ? close to white noise in patients (? ? 0) and in the pink noise range in controls (? ? -1). Interpreting the meaning of PSSI differences, the Poincaré maps indicated less variability in patients than controls (Z = -1.9437, P = 0.05 for k(1) ; Z = -2.5099, P = 0.01 for k(2) ). That the dynamics identified Brodmann Area 10 is consistent with previous schizophrenia research, which implicates this area in deficits of working memory, executive functioning, emotional regulation and underlying biological abnormalities in synaptic (glutamatergic) transmission. Our results additionally cohere with a large body of work finding pink noise to be the normal range of central function at the synaptic, cellular, and small network levels, and suggest that patients show less supple responsivity of this region.
This study investigated whether human chemosensory-stress cues affect neural activity related to the evaluation of emotional stimuli. Chemosensory stimuli were obtained from the sweat of 64 male donors during both stress (first-time skydive) and control (exercise) conditions, indistinguishable by odor. We then recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) from an unrelated group of 14 participants while they viewed faces morphed with neutral-to-angry expressions and inhaled nebulized stress and exercise sweat in counter-balanced blocks, blind to condition. Results for the control condition ERPs were consistent with previous findings: the late positive potential (LPP; 400-600?ms post stimulus) in response to faces was larger for threatening than both neutral and ambiguous faces. In contrast, the stress condition was associated with a heightened LPP across all facial expressions; relative to control, the LPP was increased for both ambiguous and neutral faces in the stress condition. These results suggest that stress sweat may impact electrocortical activity associated with attention to salient environmental cues, potentially increasing attentiveness to otherwise inconspicuous stimuli.
The human stress response evolved to maximize an individuals probability of survival when threatened. The present study addressed whether physical danger modulates perception of an unrelated ambiguous threat and, if so, to what extent this response is sex- specific. The authors utilized a first-time tandem skydive as a stressor, which had been previously validated as producing a highly-controlled, genuinely stressful environment. In a counter-balanced within-subjects design, participants wore a virtual reality helmet to complete an emotion-identification task during the planes ascent (stress condition) and in the laboratory (control condition). Participants were presented static male faces morphed between 20-80% aggression, which gradually emerged from degraded images. Using a binary forced-choice design, participants identified each ambiguous face as aggressive or neutral. Results showed that participants characterized emotion more rapidly under stress versus control conditions. Unexpectedly, the results also show that while women were more sensitive to affect ambiguity than men under control conditions, they exhibited a marked decrease in sensitivity equivalent to men while under stress.
Anticipation is a central component of anxiety and the anterior insula appears to be an important neural substrate in which this process is mediated. The anterior insula is also thought to underlie the interoceptive representation of ones affective state. However, the degree to which individual differences in anticipation-related insula reactivity are associated with variability in the subjective experience of anxious anticipation is untested. To assess this possibility, functional magnetic resonance images were acquired while participants completed an auditory anticipation task with trial-by-trial self-report ratings of anxious anticipation. We hypothesized that the anterior insula would be positively associated with an individuals subjective experience of anticipatory anxiety. The results provide evidence for an amygdalo-insular system involved in anxious auditory anticipation. Reactivity in the right anterior insula was predictive of individuals subjective experience of anxious anticipation for both aversive and neutral stimuli, whereas the amygdala was predictive of anticipatory anxiety for aversive stimuli. In addition, anxious anticipatory activation in the left insula and left amygdala covaried with participants level of trait anxiety, particularly when the anticipated event was proximal.
Heart rate variability (HRV) measures homeostatic regulation of the autonomic nervous system in response to perturbation and has been previously shown to quantify risk for cardiac events. Despite known interactions among stress vulnerability, psychiatric illness, and cardiac health, however, this is the first study to our knowledge to compare directly the value of laboratory HRV in predicting autonomic modulation of real-world emotional stress.
We investigated anger-related variability in the BOLD fMRI response to crude/masked and detailed/unmasked fearful faces. Anger expression positively covaried with amygdala activation to crude fear, while trait anger negatively covaried with amygdala responses to detailed fear. This differential processing may trigger aggression without the subsequent inhibition associated with distress cues.
A better understanding of individual differences in the human stress response may enhance prevention and treatment of operational stress reactions. In this study, we examined the relationships of anger experience and expression to stress indices during daily living and in response to military survival training in 45 men.
A better understanding of factors influencing human responses to acute stress is needed to enhance prevention and treatment of stress-related disorders. In the current study, the authors examined predictors of acute stress symptoms during intense military training in 35 men. In univariate and multivariate models, perceived stress, passive coping, and emotion-focused coping during daily living predicted acute stress symptoms in response to realistic survival training, whereas active coping and problem-focused coping did not. Baseline stress levels and coping styles, both of which may be modifiable, appear to play a fundamental role in the human response to acute uncontrollable stress. Additional research is needed to better elucidate the relative and interactive contributions of behavioral predictors of acute stress.
Alarm substances are airborne chemical signals, released by an individual into the environment, which communicate emotional stress between conspecifics. Here we tested whether humans, like other mammals, are able to detect emotional stress in others by chemosensory cues. Sweat samples collected from individuals undergoing an acute emotional stressor, with exercise as a control, were pooled and presented to a separate group of participants (blind to condition) during four experiments. In an fMRI experiment and its replication, we showed that scanned participants showed amygdala activation in response to samples obtained from donors undergoing an emotional, but not physical, stressor. An odor-discrimination experiment suggested the effect was primarily due to emotional, and not odor, differences between the two stimuli. A fourth experiment investigated behavioral effects, demonstrating that stress samples sharpened emotion-perception of ambiguous facial stimuli. Together, our findings suggest human chemosensory signaling of emotional stress, with neurobiological and behavioral effects.
We investigated neural regulation of emotional arousal. We hypothesized that the interactions between the components of the prefrontal-limbic system determine the global trajectories of the individuals brain activation, with the strengths and modulations of these interactions being potentially key components underlying the differences between healthy individuals and those with schizophrenia. Using affect-valent facial stimuli presented to 11 medicated schizophrenia patients and 65 healthy controls, we activated neural regions associated with the emotional arousal response during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Performing first a random effects analysis of the fMRI data to identify activated regions, we obtained 352 data-point time series for six brain regions: bilateral amygdala, hippocampus and two prefrontal regions (Brodmann Areas 9 and 45). Since standard statistical methods are not designed to capture system features and evolution, we used principal component analyses on two types of pre-processed data: contrasts and group averages. We captured an important characteristic of the evolution of our six-dimensional brain network: all subject trajectories are almost embedded in a two-dimensional plane. Moreover, the direction of the largest principal component was a significant differentiator between the control and patient populations: the left and right amygdala coefficients were substantially higher in the case of patients, and the coefficients of Brodmann Area 9 were, to a lesser extent, higher in controls. These results are evidence that modulations between the regions of interest are the important determinant factors for the systems dynamical behavior. We place our results within the context of other principal component analyses used in neuroimaging, as well as of our existing theoretical model of prefrontal-limbic dysregulation.
We tested whether dynamic interaction between limbic regions supports a control systems model of excitatory and inhibitory components of a negative feedback loop, and whether dysregulation of those dynamics might correlate with trait differences in anxiety and their cardiac characteristics among healthy adults.
Fear generalization is thought to contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety symptoms and accordingly has been the focus of recent research. Previously, we reported that in healthy individuals (N = 25) neural reactivity in the insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), supplementary motor area (SMA), and caudate follow a generalization gradient with a peak response to a conditioned stimulus (CS) that declines with greater perceptual dissimilarity of generalization stimuli (GS) to the CS. In contrast, reactivity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), a region linked to fear inhibition, showed an opposite response pattern. The aim of the current study was to examine whether neural responses to fear generalization differ in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). A second aim was to examine connectivity of primary regions engaged by the generalization task in the GAD group versus healthy group, using psychophysiological interaction analysis.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.