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Altered fusiform connectivity during processing of fearful faces in social anxiety disorder
Uppsala Universitet.
Karolinska Institutet.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Karolinska Institutet.
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2013 (English)In: Translational Psychiatry, ISSN 2158-3188, Vol. 3, e312- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2013. Vol. 3, e312- p.
Keyword [en]
brain imaging, emotion, face, fMRI, fusiform gyrus, social phobia
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97178DOI: 10.1038/tp.2013.85ISI: 000327472800005OAI: diva2:676198
Swedish Research Council

We thank Sara Marklund for help with the data collection. We are also grateful to the study participants, without whom this research would not have been possible. This research has made use of the SMILE medical imaging laboratory at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm. Financial support was provided through the Swedish Research Council, the regional agreement on medical training and clinical research between Stockholm County Council and the Karolinska Institutet (ALF) and grants from the National Board of Forensic Medicine in Sweden.

Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2013-12-23Bibliographically approved

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