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Increased anterior insula activity in anxious individuals is linked to diminished perceived control.

Alvarez RP, Kirlic N, Misaki M, Bodurka J, Rhudy JL, Paulus MP, Drevets WC - Transl Psychiatry (2015)

Bottom Line: Anticipation of unpredictable threat resulted in increased skin conductance responses, anxiety ratings and enhanced activation in bilateral insula, anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.Individuals with greater anxiety proneness and less perceived control showed greater activity in dorsal anterior insula (dAI).Increased dAI activity was associated with increased activity in aMCC, which correlated with increased exploratory behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, OK, USA [2] Faculty of Community Medicine, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, USA.

ABSTRACT
Individuals with high-trait anxiety frequently report decreased perceived control. However, it is unclear how these processes are instantiated at a neural level. Prior research suggests that individuals prone to anxiety may have exaggerated activity in the anterior insula and altered activity in the cingulate cortex during anticipation of aversive events. Thus, we hypothesized that anxiety proneness influences anterior insula activation during anticipation of unpredictable threat through decreased perceived control. Forty physically healthy adults underwent neuroimaging while they explored computer-simulated contexts associated either with or without the threat of an unpredictable shock. Skin conductance, anxiety ratings and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess responses to threat versus no threat. Perceived control was measured using the Anxiety Control Questionnaire-Revised. Mediation analysis examined how anxiety proneness influenced BOLD activity. Anticipation of unpredictable threat resulted in increased skin conductance responses, anxiety ratings and enhanced activation in bilateral insula, anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Individuals with greater anxiety proneness and less perceived control showed greater activity in dorsal anterior insula (dAI). Perceived control mediated the relationship between anxiety proneness and dAI activity. Increased dAI activity was associated with increased activity in aMCC, which correlated with increased exploratory behavior. Results provide evidence that exaggerated insula activation during the threat of unpredictable shock is directly related to low perceived control in anxiety-prone individuals. Perceived control thus may constitute an important treatment target to modulate insula activity during anxious anticipation in anxiety-disordered individuals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Adult nonclinical subjects exhibited increased hemodynamic activity in (a and b) the dorsal (dAI) and ventral (vAI) regions of anterior insula, (c) anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and (d) the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST; indicated by green triangles) during anticipation of unpredictable threat (threat > safe). To the right are plots depicting the peristimulus time courses of the hemodynamic response in each region. Following a brief delay in the hemodynamic response to context onset, all the four regions showed greater sustained activation during the threat context compared with the safe context. All the results shown were corrected for multiple comparisons at Pcorr<0.01. L, left; PCC, posterior cingulate cortex; pMCC, posterior midcingulate cortex.
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fig2: Adult nonclinical subjects exhibited increased hemodynamic activity in (a and b) the dorsal (dAI) and ventral (vAI) regions of anterior insula, (c) anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and (d) the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST; indicated by green triangles) during anticipation of unpredictable threat (threat > safe). To the right are plots depicting the peristimulus time courses of the hemodynamic response in each region. Following a brief delay in the hemodynamic response to context onset, all the four regions showed greater sustained activation during the threat context compared with the safe context. All the results shown were corrected for multiple comparisons at Pcorr<0.01. L, left; PCC, posterior cingulate cortex; pMCC, posterior midcingulate cortex.

Mentions: Relative to the safe context, the mean BOLD signal was significantly greater during the threat context in the dorsal and ventral regions of the anterior insula, aMCC (as well as more posterior subregions of the cingulate cortex) and the BNST (Figure 2; Table 2; also see Supplementary Table S1). The hemodynamic response function indicated that the BOLD signal elevation in these regions was sustained over the entire epoch of the unpredictable threat condition (Figure 2). In addition, several regions exhibited greater activation during the safe context than the threat context including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior hippocampus (Supplementary Figure S1; Supplementary Table S2).


Increased anterior insula activity in anxious individuals is linked to diminished perceived control.

Alvarez RP, Kirlic N, Misaki M, Bodurka J, Rhudy JL, Paulus MP, Drevets WC - Transl Psychiatry (2015)

Adult nonclinical subjects exhibited increased hemodynamic activity in (a and b) the dorsal (dAI) and ventral (vAI) regions of anterior insula, (c) anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and (d) the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST; indicated by green triangles) during anticipation of unpredictable threat (threat > safe). To the right are plots depicting the peristimulus time courses of the hemodynamic response in each region. Following a brief delay in the hemodynamic response to context onset, all the four regions showed greater sustained activation during the threat context compared with the safe context. All the results shown were corrected for multiple comparisons at Pcorr<0.01. L, left; PCC, posterior cingulate cortex; pMCC, posterior midcingulate cortex.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4490294&req=5

fig2: Adult nonclinical subjects exhibited increased hemodynamic activity in (a and b) the dorsal (dAI) and ventral (vAI) regions of anterior insula, (c) anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and (d) the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST; indicated by green triangles) during anticipation of unpredictable threat (threat > safe). To the right are plots depicting the peristimulus time courses of the hemodynamic response in each region. Following a brief delay in the hemodynamic response to context onset, all the four regions showed greater sustained activation during the threat context compared with the safe context. All the results shown were corrected for multiple comparisons at Pcorr<0.01. L, left; PCC, posterior cingulate cortex; pMCC, posterior midcingulate cortex.
Mentions: Relative to the safe context, the mean BOLD signal was significantly greater during the threat context in the dorsal and ventral regions of the anterior insula, aMCC (as well as more posterior subregions of the cingulate cortex) and the BNST (Figure 2; Table 2; also see Supplementary Table S1). The hemodynamic response function indicated that the BOLD signal elevation in these regions was sustained over the entire epoch of the unpredictable threat condition (Figure 2). In addition, several regions exhibited greater activation during the safe context than the threat context including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior hippocampus (Supplementary Figure S1; Supplementary Table S2).

Bottom Line: Anticipation of unpredictable threat resulted in increased skin conductance responses, anxiety ratings and enhanced activation in bilateral insula, anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.Individuals with greater anxiety proneness and less perceived control showed greater activity in dorsal anterior insula (dAI).Increased dAI activity was associated with increased activity in aMCC, which correlated with increased exploratory behavior.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, OK, USA [2] Faculty of Community Medicine, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, USA.

ABSTRACT
Individuals with high-trait anxiety frequently report decreased perceived control. However, it is unclear how these processes are instantiated at a neural level. Prior research suggests that individuals prone to anxiety may have exaggerated activity in the anterior insula and altered activity in the cingulate cortex during anticipation of aversive events. Thus, we hypothesized that anxiety proneness influences anterior insula activation during anticipation of unpredictable threat through decreased perceived control. Forty physically healthy adults underwent neuroimaging while they explored computer-simulated contexts associated either with or without the threat of an unpredictable shock. Skin conductance, anxiety ratings and blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging were used to assess responses to threat versus no threat. Perceived control was measured using the Anxiety Control Questionnaire-Revised. Mediation analysis examined how anxiety proneness influenced BOLD activity. Anticipation of unpredictable threat resulted in increased skin conductance responses, anxiety ratings and enhanced activation in bilateral insula, anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Individuals with greater anxiety proneness and less perceived control showed greater activity in dorsal anterior insula (dAI). Perceived control mediated the relationship between anxiety proneness and dAI activity. Increased dAI activity was associated with increased activity in aMCC, which correlated with increased exploratory behavior. Results provide evidence that exaggerated insula activation during the threat of unpredictable shock is directly related to low perceived control in anxiety-prone individuals. Perceived control thus may constitute an important treatment target to modulate insula activity during anxious anticipation in anxiety-disordered individuals.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus