Type

Journal Article

Authors

Hugh Garavan

Subjects

Psychiatry

Topics
mental disorders cognitive processing learning functional magnetic resonance imaging anterior cingulate cortex pavlovian fear conditioning dorsolateral prefrontal cortex anxiety disorders

Aversive learning in adolescents: modulation by amygdala-prefrontal and amygdala-hippocampal connectivity and neuroticism. (2014)

Abstract Neuroticism involves a tendency for enhanced emotional and cognitive processing of negative affective stimuli and a propensity to worry and be anxious. It is known that this trait modulates fear learning and the activation of brain regions involved in it such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex and their connectivity. Thirty-nine (21 female) 14-year-old healthy adolescents participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of aversive pavlovian differential delay conditioning. An unpleasant sound served as unconditioned stimulus (US) and pictures of neutral male faces as conditioned stimuli (CS+ followed by the US in 50% of the cases; CS- never followed by the US). During acquisition (CS+/- differentiation), higher levels of neuroticism were associated with a stronger interaction between the right amygdala and the right hippocampus as well as the right amygdala and prefrontal cortical regions, specifically ventromedial prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex. The association of stronger conditionability of fear and connectivity of brain regions related to consolidation of fear associations and neuroticism points to underlying mechanisms of the enhanced propensity for anxiety disorders in highly neurotic participants. This is especially important in adolescence, a vulnerable time for the onset of mental disorders such as anxiety disorders.
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Full list of authors on original publication

Hugh Garavan

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Hugh Garavan
Trinity College Dublin
Total Publications: 160