Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Are Inversely Coupled During Regulation of Negative Affect and Predict the Diurnal Pattern of Cortisol Secretion Among Older Adults
ABSTRACT Among younger adults, the ability to willfully regulate negative affect, enabling effective responses to stressful experiences, engages regions of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the amygdala. Because regions of PFC and the amygdala are known to influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, here we test whether PFC and amygdala responses during emotion regulation predict the diurnal pattern of salivary cortisol secretion. We also test whether PFC and amygdala regions are engaged during emotion regulation in older (62- to 64-year-old) rather than younger individuals. We measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging as participants regulated (increased or decreased) their affective responses or attended to negative picture stimuli. We also collected saliva samples for 1 week at home for cortisol assay. Consistent with previous work in younger samples, increasing negative affect resulted in ventral lateral, dorsolateral, and dorsomedial regions of PFC and amygdala activation. In contrast to previous work, decreasing negative affect did not produce the predicted robust pattern of higher PFC and lower amygdala activation. Individuals demonstrating the predicted effect (decrease < attend in the amygdala), however, exhibited higher signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) for the same contrast. Furthermore, participants displaying higher VMPFC and lower amygdala signal when decreasing compared with the attention control condition evidenced steeper, more normative declines in cortisol over the course of the day. Individual differences yielded the predicted link between brain function while reducing negative affect in the laboratory and diurnal regulation of endocrine activity in the home environment.
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- "Similarly, in humans, recall of extinguished fear memories increases vmPFC reactivity in response to the CS+ (Milad et al., 2007; Phelps et al., 2004), and is positively associated with vmPFC thickness (Milad et al., 2005). Also, on a different emotion regulation task involving cognitive reappraisal of a negative event, the amygdala showed stronger coupling with the dlPFC, OFC, Subgenual ACC, and dmPFC, with the extent of such coupling being positively associated with post-reappraisal attenuation of negative affect (Banks et al., 2007; Ochsner et al., 2002; Urry et al., 2006). Indeed, weak amygdala-mPFC connections result in pathological emotional over-arousal (Milad et al., 2008; Milad et al., 2009; Motzkin et al., 2015). "
ABSTRACT: Early experiences critically shape the structure and function of the brain. Perturbations in typical/species-expected early experiences are known to have profound neural effects, especially in regions important for emotional responding. Parental care is one species-expected stimulus that plays a fundamental role in the development of emotion neurocircuitry. Emerging evidence across species suggests that phasic variation in parental presence during the sensitive period of childhood affects the recruitment of emotional networks on a moment-to-moment basis. Also, it appears that increasing independence from caregivers cues the termination of the sensitive period for environmental input into emotion network development. In this review, we examine how early parental care, the central nervous system, and behaviour come together to form a 'neuro-environmental loop', contributing to the formation of stable emotion regulation circuits. To achieve this end, we focus on the interaction of parental care and the developing amygdala-medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) network-which is at the core of human emotional functioning. Using this model, we discuss how individual or group variations in parental-independence, across chronic and brief timescales, might contribute to neural and emotional phenotypes that have implications for long-term mental health.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 21 July 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.204.Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2015; DOI:10.1038/npp.2015.204 · 7.83 Impact Factor
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- "Thus, the amygdalo-hippocampal complex, orbitofrontal cortex , anterior cingulum and insula have been shown to be activated by both mental and physical tests, which are useful to evoke an autonomic stress response (Critchley et al., 2003; Williamson et al., 1997; Soufer et al., 1998; Harper et al., 1998). Stressors which require the completion of demanding and uncontrollable cognitive challenges in a context of negative social evaluation, such as the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) induce increased activity of the medial prefrontal cortex (Kern et al., 2008; Urry et al., 2006), anterior cingulum (which may be of particular importance for generating autonomic cardiovascular responses; Critchley et al., 2000a,b, 2005; Critchley, 2005), insula (which probably works together with anterior cingulum, as both are components of a system underlying self awareness; Medford and Critchley, 2010), and deactivation of the hippocampalamygdala complex (Kern et al., 2008), probably to disinhibit the hypothalamus which commands the HPA and ANS (McEwen and Gianaros, 2010) responses. Dedovic et al. (2005) have used a variety of tests to induce stress by generating a social evaluative threat combining an arithmetic task and a social evaluative component, such as the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST). "
ABSTRACT: Environmental influences are critical for the expression of genes putatively related to the behavioral and cognitive phenotypes of schizophrenia. Among such factors, psychosocial stress has been proposed to play a major role in the expression of symptoms. However, it is unsettled how stress interacts with pathophysiological pathways to produce the disease. We studied 21 patients with schizophrenia and 21 healthy controls aged 18 to 50years with 3T-fMRI, in which a period of 6min of resting state acquisition was followed by a block design, with three blocks of 1-min control-task, 1-min stress-task and 1-min rest after-task. Self-report of stress and PANSS were measured. Limbic structures were activated in schizophrenia patients by simple tasks and remained active during, and shortly after stress. In controls, stress-related brain activation was more time-focused, and restricted to the stressful task itself. Negative symptom severity was inversely related to activation of anterior cingulum and orbitofrontal cortex. Results might represent the neurobiological aspect of hyper-reactivity to normal stressful situations previously described in schizophrenia, thus providing evidence on the involvement of limbic areas in the response to stress in schizophrenia. Patients present a pattern of persistent limbic activation probably contributing to hypervigilance and subsequent psychotic thought distortions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Schizophrenia Research 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2015.07.008 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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- " cognitive reappraisal may modulate empathy by altering emotional responding . Zaki ( 2014 ) presents a detailed model of empathy - specific appraisals that are influenced by approach and avoidance motivations to determine empathy across contexts . In general , cognitive strategies activate the lateral ( Ochsner et al . , 2002 ) and ventromedial ( Urry et al . , 2006 ) prefrontal cortex . Interestingly , cognitive reappraisal strate - gies involving prefrontal regions are generally linked with reduced activation of the amygdala ( e . g . , Banks et al . , 2007 ) , suggesting that , while cognitive reappraisal is certainly not mutually exclu - sive with attention - shifting , the two different types "
ABSTRACT: Although kindness-based contemplative practices are increasingly employed by clinicians and cognitive researchers to enhance prosocial emotions, social cognitive skills, and well-being, and as a tool to understand the basic workings of the social mind, we lack a coherent theoretical model with which to test the mechanisms by which kindness-based meditation may alter the brain and body. Here, we link contemplative accounts of compassion and loving-kindness practices with research from social cognitive neuroscience and social psychology to generate predictions about how diverse practices may alter brain structure and function and related aspects of social cognition. Contingent on the nuances of the practice, kindness-based meditation may enhance the neural systems related to faster and more basic perceptual or motor simulation processes, simulation of another's affective body state, slower and higher-level perspective-taking, modulatory processes such as emotion regulation and self/other discrimination, and combinations thereof.This theoretical model will be discussed alongside best practices for testing such a model and potential implications and applications of future work.Frontiers in Psychology 03/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00109 · 2.80 Impact Factor