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The effect of threat on novelty evoked amygdala responses.

Balderston NL, Schultz DH, Helmstetter FJ - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Surprisingly, we found that novel images of snakes and flowers evoke more amygdala activity than repeated images of snakes and flowers.Our results further confirm the robustness of the novelty evoked amygdala responses, even when compared with effects more traditionally associated with the amygdala.In addition, our results suggest that threatening stimuli may prime the amygdala to respond to other types of stimuli as well.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
A number of recent papers have suggested that the amygdala plays a role in the brain's novelty detection circuit. In a recent study, we showed that this role may be specific to certain classes of biologically-relevant stimuli, such as human faces. The purpose of the present experiment was to determine whether other biologically-relevant stimuli also evoke novelty specific amygdala responses. To test this idea, we presented novel and repeated images of snakes and flowers while measuring BOLD. Surprisingly, we found that novel images of snakes and flowers evoke more amygdala activity than repeated images of snakes and flowers. Our results further confirm the robustness of the novelty evoked amygdala responses, even when compared with effects more traditionally associated with the amygdala. In addition, our results suggest that threatening stimuli may prime the amygdala to respond to other types of stimuli as well.

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Images of snakes and flowers evoke distinct patterns of activity in visual cortical areas.(a) Series of axial sections displaying the results from the whole brain Snake>Flower comparison. Colors indicate size and direction of F-statistic depicted on brain slice, and correspond to the colors on the scale to the left. (b) Flowers evoke more activity than snakes in lower-level visual processing areas. (c) Snakes evoke more activity than flowers in higher-level visual processing areas. Bar graphs represent the percent signal change in the structures marked by the colored arrows.
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pone-0063220-g004: Images of snakes and flowers evoke distinct patterns of activity in visual cortical areas.(a) Series of axial sections displaying the results from the whole brain Snake>Flower comparison. Colors indicate size and direction of F-statistic depicted on brain slice, and correspond to the colors on the scale to the left. (b) Flowers evoke more activity than snakes in lower-level visual processing areas. (c) Snakes evoke more activity than flowers in higher-level visual processing areas. Bar graphs represent the percent signal change in the structures marked by the colored arrows.

Mentions: In addition to sampling BOLD activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, we also performed a mixed-effects ANOVA across voxels in the entire brain (See Table 2). We used novelty and stimulus type as fixed factors, and subject as a random factor. Interestingly, flowers and snakes tended to evoke different patterns of visual cortical activity (See Figure 4). Flowers evoked more activity in early visual processing areas like the calcarine sulcus. In contrast, snakes evoked more activity in later visual processing areas like the lateral occipital cortex and the fusiform gyrus.


The effect of threat on novelty evoked amygdala responses.

Balderston NL, Schultz DH, Helmstetter FJ - PLoS ONE (2013)

Images of snakes and flowers evoke distinct patterns of activity in visual cortical areas.(a) Series of axial sections displaying the results from the whole brain Snake>Flower comparison. Colors indicate size and direction of F-statistic depicted on brain slice, and correspond to the colors on the scale to the left. (b) Flowers evoke more activity than snakes in lower-level visual processing areas. (c) Snakes evoke more activity than flowers in higher-level visual processing areas. Bar graphs represent the percent signal change in the structures marked by the colored arrows.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3643910&req=5

pone-0063220-g004: Images of snakes and flowers evoke distinct patterns of activity in visual cortical areas.(a) Series of axial sections displaying the results from the whole brain Snake>Flower comparison. Colors indicate size and direction of F-statistic depicted on brain slice, and correspond to the colors on the scale to the left. (b) Flowers evoke more activity than snakes in lower-level visual processing areas. (c) Snakes evoke more activity than flowers in higher-level visual processing areas. Bar graphs represent the percent signal change in the structures marked by the colored arrows.
Mentions: In addition to sampling BOLD activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, we also performed a mixed-effects ANOVA across voxels in the entire brain (See Table 2). We used novelty and stimulus type as fixed factors, and subject as a random factor. Interestingly, flowers and snakes tended to evoke different patterns of visual cortical activity (See Figure 4). Flowers evoked more activity in early visual processing areas like the calcarine sulcus. In contrast, snakes evoked more activity in later visual processing areas like the lateral occipital cortex and the fusiform gyrus.

Bottom Line: Surprisingly, we found that novel images of snakes and flowers evoke more amygdala activity than repeated images of snakes and flowers.Our results further confirm the robustness of the novelty evoked amygdala responses, even when compared with effects more traditionally associated with the amygdala.In addition, our results suggest that threatening stimuli may prime the amygdala to respond to other types of stimuli as well.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
A number of recent papers have suggested that the amygdala plays a role in the brain's novelty detection circuit. In a recent study, we showed that this role may be specific to certain classes of biologically-relevant stimuli, such as human faces. The purpose of the present experiment was to determine whether other biologically-relevant stimuli also evoke novelty specific amygdala responses. To test this idea, we presented novel and repeated images of snakes and flowers while measuring BOLD. Surprisingly, we found that novel images of snakes and flowers evoke more amygdala activity than repeated images of snakes and flowers. Our results further confirm the robustness of the novelty evoked amygdala responses, even when compared with effects more traditionally associated with the amygdala. In addition, our results suggest that threatening stimuli may prime the amygdala to respond to other types of stimuli as well.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus