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Altered fusiform connectivity during processing of fearful faces in social anxiety disorder.

Frick A, Howner K, Fischer H, Kristiansson M, Furmark T - Transl Psychiatry (2013)

Bottom Line: SAD patients exhibited hyper-reactivity in the bilateral fusiform gyrus in response to fearful faces, as well as greater connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and amygdala, and decreased connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.Within the SAD group, social anxiety severity correlated positively with amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, amygdala-fusiform connectivity and connectivity between the amygdala and superior temporal sulcus (STS).These findings point to a pivotal role for the fusiform gyrus in SAD neuropathology, and further suggest that altered amygdala-fusiform and amygdala-STS connectivity could underlie previous findings of aberrant socio-emotional information processing in this anxiety disorder.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

ABSTRACT
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been associated with hyper-reactivity in limbic brain regions like the amygdala, both during symptom provocation and emotional face processing tasks. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study we sought to examine brain regions implicated in emotional face processing, and the connectivity between them, in patients with SAD (n=14) compared with healthy controls (n=12). We furthermore aimed to relate brain reactivity and connectivity to self-reported social anxiety symptom severity. SAD patients exhibited hyper-reactivity in the bilateral fusiform gyrus in response to fearful faces, as well as greater connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and amygdala, and decreased connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Within the SAD group, social anxiety severity correlated positively with amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, amygdala-fusiform connectivity and connectivity between the amygdala and superior temporal sulcus (STS). These findings point to a pivotal role for the fusiform gyrus in SAD neuropathology, and further suggest that altered amygdala-fusiform and amygdala-STS connectivity could underlie previous findings of aberrant socio-emotional information processing in this anxiety disorder.

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Changes in fusiform gyrus connectivity in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) compared with healthy controls (HC) during processing of fearful over neutral faces. The fusiform showed greater connectivity (SAD>HC) with the amygdala (left, coronal plane at y=−7; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.05 uncorrected) and less connectivity (SAD<HC) with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC; right, sagittal plane at x=−3; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.005). The colorbar indicates t-values. The graphs display extracted measures of connectivity. Error bars represent s.e.m.
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fig2: Changes in fusiform gyrus connectivity in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) compared with healthy controls (HC) during processing of fearful over neutral faces. The fusiform showed greater connectivity (SAD>HC) with the amygdala (left, coronal plane at y=−7; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.05 uncorrected) and less connectivity (SAD<HC) with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC; right, sagittal plane at x=−3; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.005). The colorbar indicates t-values. The graphs display extracted measures of connectivity. Error bars represent s.e.m.

Mentions: The PPI analyses showed greater connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and right amygdala for the patients compared with the HC group when viewing fearful relative to neutral faces (Table 2 and Figure 2). An exploratory whole brain PPI analysis, further revealed less connectivity (SAD<HC) between the fusiform gyrus and a cluster with its statistical maxium in the ventromedial PFC (vmPFC; see Table 2 and Figure 2).


Altered fusiform connectivity during processing of fearful faces in social anxiety disorder.

Frick A, Howner K, Fischer H, Kristiansson M, Furmark T - Transl Psychiatry (2013)

Changes in fusiform gyrus connectivity in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) compared with healthy controls (HC) during processing of fearful over neutral faces. The fusiform showed greater connectivity (SAD>HC) with the amygdala (left, coronal plane at y=−7; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.05 uncorrected) and less connectivity (SAD<HC) with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC; right, sagittal plane at x=−3; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.005). The colorbar indicates t-values. The graphs display extracted measures of connectivity. Error bars represent s.e.m.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3818016&req=5

fig2: Changes in fusiform gyrus connectivity in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) compared with healthy controls (HC) during processing of fearful over neutral faces. The fusiform showed greater connectivity (SAD>HC) with the amygdala (left, coronal plane at y=−7; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.05 uncorrected) and less connectivity (SAD<HC) with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC; right, sagittal plane at x=−3; illustrative P-threshold of P<0.005). The colorbar indicates t-values. The graphs display extracted measures of connectivity. Error bars represent s.e.m.
Mentions: The PPI analyses showed greater connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and right amygdala for the patients compared with the HC group when viewing fearful relative to neutral faces (Table 2 and Figure 2). An exploratory whole brain PPI analysis, further revealed less connectivity (SAD<HC) between the fusiform gyrus and a cluster with its statistical maxium in the ventromedial PFC (vmPFC; see Table 2 and Figure 2).

Bottom Line: SAD patients exhibited hyper-reactivity in the bilateral fusiform gyrus in response to fearful faces, as well as greater connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and amygdala, and decreased connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.Within the SAD group, social anxiety severity correlated positively with amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, amygdala-fusiform connectivity and connectivity between the amygdala and superior temporal sulcus (STS).These findings point to a pivotal role for the fusiform gyrus in SAD neuropathology, and further suggest that altered amygdala-fusiform and amygdala-STS connectivity could underlie previous findings of aberrant socio-emotional information processing in this anxiety disorder.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

ABSTRACT
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been associated with hyper-reactivity in limbic brain regions like the amygdala, both during symptom provocation and emotional face processing tasks. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study we sought to examine brain regions implicated in emotional face processing, and the connectivity between them, in patients with SAD (n=14) compared with healthy controls (n=12). We furthermore aimed to relate brain reactivity and connectivity to self-reported social anxiety symptom severity. SAD patients exhibited hyper-reactivity in the bilateral fusiform gyrus in response to fearful faces, as well as greater connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and amygdala, and decreased connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Within the SAD group, social anxiety severity correlated positively with amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, amygdala-fusiform connectivity and connectivity between the amygdala and superior temporal sulcus (STS). These findings point to a pivotal role for the fusiform gyrus in SAD neuropathology, and further suggest that altered amygdala-fusiform and amygdala-STS connectivity could underlie previous findings of aberrant socio-emotional information processing in this anxiety disorder.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus