Altered time course of amygdala activation during speech anticipation in social anxiety disorder.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Exaggerated anticipatory anxiety is common in social anxiety disorder (SAD). Neuroimaging studies have revealed altered neural activity in response to social stimuli in SAD, but fewer studies have examined neural activity during anticipation of feared social stimuli in SAD. The current study examined the time course and magnitude of activity in threat processing brain regions during speech anticipation in socially anxious individuals and healthy controls (HC). METHOD:Participants (SAD n=58; HC n=16) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during which they completed a 90s control anticipation task and 90s speech anticipation task. Repeated measures multi-level modeling analyses were used to examine group differences in time course activity during speech vs. control anticipation for regions of interest, including bilateral amygdala, insula, ventral striatum, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. RESULTS:The time course of amygdala activity was more prolonged and less variable throughout speech anticipation in SAD participants compared to HCs, whereas the overall magnitude of amygdala response did not differ between groups. Magnitude and time course of activity was largely similar between groups across other regions of interest. LIMITATIONS:Analyses were restricted to regions of interest and task order was the same across participants due to the nature of deception instructions. CONCLUSIONS:Sustained amygdala time course during anticipation may uniquely reflect heightened detection of threat or deficits in emotion regulation in socially anxious individuals. Findings highlight the importance of examining temporal dynamics of amygdala responding.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Severe stress in social situations is a core symptom of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Connectivity between the amygdala and cortical regions is thought to be important for emotion regulation, a function that is compromised in SAD. However, it has never been tested if and how this connectivity pattern changes under conditions of stress-inducing social evaluative threat. Here we investigate changes in cortical-amygdala coupling in SAD during the anticipation of giving a public speech. METHOD:Twenty individuals with SAD and age-, gender- and education-matched controls (n = 20) participated in this study. During the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session, participants underwent three 'resting-state' fMRI scans: one before, one during, and one after the anticipation of giving a public speech. Functional connectivity between cortical emotion regulation regions and the amygdala was investigated. RESULTS:Compared to controls, SAD participants showed reduced functional integration between cortical emotion regulation regions and the amygdala during the public speech anticipation. Moreover, in SAD participants cortical-amygdala connectivity changes correlated with social anxiety symptom severity. CONCLUSIONS:The distinctive pattern of cortical-amygdala connectivity suggests less effective cortical-subcortical communication during social stress-provoking situations in SAD.
Project description:Social anxiety disorder (SAD) involves abnormalities in social motivation, which may be independent of well-documented differences in fear and arousal systems. Yet, the neurobiology underlying motivational difficulties in SAD is not well understood. The aim of the current study was to spatiotemporally dissociate reward circuitry dysfunction from alterations in fear and arousal-related neural activity during anticipation and notification of social and non-social reward and punishment. During fMRI acquisition, non-depressed adults with social anxiety disorder (SAD; N?=?21) and age-, sex- and IQ-matched control subjects (N?=?22) completed eight runs of an incentive delay task, alternating between social and monetary outcomes and interleaved in alternating order between gain and loss outcomes. Adults with SAD demonstrated significantly reduced neural activity in ventral striatum during the anticipation of positive but not negative social outcomes. No differences between the SAD and control groups were observed during anticipation of monetary gain or loss outcomes or during anticipation of negative social images. However, consistent with previous work, the SAD group demonstrated amygdala hyper-activity upon notification of negative social outcomes. Degraded anticipatory processing in bilateral ventral striatum in SAD was constrained exclusively to anticipation of positive social information and dissociable from the effects of negative social outcomes previously observed in the amygdala. Alterations in anticipation-related neural signals may represent a promising target for treatment that is not addressed by available evidence-based interventions, which focus primarily on fear extinction and habituation processes.
Project description:Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) are both characterized by social dysfunction, but no study to date has compared neural responses to social rewards in ASDs and SAD. Neural responses during social and non-social reward anticipation and outcomes were examined in individuals with ASD (n = 16), SAD (n = 15) and a control group (n = 19) via functional magnetic resonance imaging. Analyses modeling all three groups revealed increased nucleus accumbens (NAc) activation in SAD relative to ASD during monetary reward anticipation, whereas both the SAD and ASD group demonstrated decreased bilateral NAc activation relative to the control group during social reward anticipation. During reward outcomes, the SAD group did not differ significantly from the other two groups in ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation to either reward type. Analyses comparing only the ASD and SAD groups revealed greater bilateral amygdala activation to social rewards in SAD relative to ASD during both anticipation and outcome phases, and the magnitude of left amygdala hyperactivation in the SAD group during social reward anticipation was significantly correlated with the severity of trait anxiety symptoms. Results suggest reward network dysfunction to both monetary and social rewards in SAD and ASD during reward anticipation and outcomes, but that NAc hypoactivation during monetary reward anticipation differentiates ASD from SAD.
Project description:Adolescence is the time of peak onset for many anxiety disorders, particularly Social Anxiety Disorder. Research using simulated social interactions consistently finds differential activation in several brain regions in anxious (vs non-anxious) youth, including amygdala, striatum and medial prefrontal cortex. However, few studies examined the anticipation of peer interactions, a key component in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. Youth completed the Chatroom Task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Patterns of neural activation were assessed in anxious and non-anxious youth as they were cued to anticipate social feedback from peers. Anxious participants evidenced greater amygdala activation and rostral anterior cingulate (rACC)?amygdala coupling than non-anxious participants during anticipation of feedback from peers they had previously rejected; anxious participants also evidenced less nucleus accumbens activation during anticipation of feedback from selected peers. Finally, anxiety interacted with age in rACC: in anxious participants, age was positively associated with activation to anticipated feedback from rejected peers and negatively for selected peers, whereas the opposite pattern emerged for non-anxious youth. Overall, anxious youth showed greater reactivity in anticipation of feedback from rejected peers and thus may ascribe greater salience to these potential interactions and increase the likelihood of avoidance behavior.
Project description:Anxiety is linked to compromised interactions between the amygdala and the dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). While numerous task-based neuroimaging studies show that anxiety levels predict amygdala-mPFC connectivity and response magnitude, here we tested the hypothesis that anxiety would predict functional connectivity between these brain regions even during rest. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans and self-reported measures of anxiety were acquired from healthy subjects. At rest, individuals with high anxiety were characterized by negatively correlated amygdala-ventral mPFC functional connectivity, while low anxious subjects showed positively correlated activity. Further, high anxious subjects showed amygdala-dorsal mPFC activity that was uncorrelated, while low anxious subjects showed negatively correlated activity. These data show that amygdala-mPFC connectivity at rest indexes normal individual differences in anxiety.
Project description:Humans value rewards less when these are delivered in the future as opposed to immediately, a phenomenon referred to as delay discounting. While delay discounting has been studied during the anticipation of rewards and in the context of intertemporal decision-making, little is known about its neural correlates in the outcome phase (during reward delivery) and their relation to personality. Personality traits that have been associated with increased delay discounting include impulsivity and, potentially, anxious-depressive traits. Here we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 72 healthy participants while they carried out a monetary incentive delay (MID) task with a delay manipulation. In sixty percent of the experimental trials, participants won rewards that differed in magnitude (0.05€, 0.50€ or 1€) and delay until delivery (immediately, 10 days, or 100 days). A factor analysis on questionnaires yielded two factors reflecting Impulsivity and Anxiety/Depression, which we used to examine potential relationships between personality and delay discounting. When winning a reward, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activation was higher for immediate compared to delayed rewards. Moreover, amygdala activation correlated with reward magnitude for immediate but not for delayed rewards. Amygdala activation to winning immediate rewards was higher in more impulsive participants, while mPFC activation to winning immediate rewards was higher in more anxious-depressed participants. Our results uncover neural correlates of delay discounting during reward delivery, and suggest that impulsivity and subclinical anxious-depressive traits are related to stronger neural responses for winning immediate relative to delayed rewards.
Project description:The goal of the present study was to examine whether frontal alpha asymmetry and delta-beta cross-frequency correlation during resting state, anticipation, and recovery are electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of social anxiety. For the first time, we jointly examined frontal alpha asymmetry and delta-beta correlation during resting state and during a social performance task in high (HSA) versus low (LSA) socially anxious females. Participants performed a social performance task in which they first watched and evaluated a video of a peer, and then prepared their own speech. They believed that their speech would be videotaped and evaluated by a peer. We found that HSA participants showed significant negative delta-beta correlation as compared to LSA participants during both anticipation of and recovery from the stressful social situation. This negative delta-beta correlation might reflect increased activity in subcortical brain regions and decreased activity in cortical brain regions. As we hypothesized, no group differences in delta-beta correlation were found during the resting state. This could indicate that a certain level of stress is needed to find EEG measures of social anxiety. As for frontal alpha asymmetry, we did not find any group differences. The present frontal alpha asymmetry results are discussed in relation to the evident inconsistencies in the frontal alpha asymmetry literature. Together, our results suggest that delta-beta correlation is a putative EEG measure of social anxiety.
Project description:Negative affect is considered an important factor in the etiology of depression and anxiety, and is highly related to pain. However, negative affect is not a unitary construct. To identify specific targets for treatment development, we aimed to derive latent variables of negative affect and test their unique contributions to affective processing during anticipation of unpredictable, painful shock. Eighty-three subjects (43 with depression and anxiety spectrum disorders and 40 healthy controls) completed self-report measures of negative valence and underwent neuroimaging while exploring computer-simulated contexts with and without the threat of a painful, but tolerable, shock. Principal component analysis (PCA) extracted distinct components of general negative affect (GNA) and pain-related negative affect (PNA). While elevated GNA and PNA were both indicative of depression and anxiety disorders, greater PNA was more strongly related to task-specific anxious reactivity during shock anticipation. GNA was associated with increased precuneus and middle frontal gyrus activity, whereas PNA was related to increased bilateral anterior insula activity. Anterior insula activity mediated the relationship between PNA and task-specific anxious reactivity. In conclusion, GNA and PNA have distinct neural signatures and uniquely contribute to anxious anticipation. PNA, via insula activity, may relate to arousal in ways that could contribute to affective dysregulation, and thus may be an important treatment target.
Project description:This study examines the effect of contingency on reward function in anxiety. We define contingency as the aspect of a situation in which the outcome is determined by one's action-that is, when there is a direct link between one's action and the outcome of the action. Past findings in adolescents with anxiety or at risk for anxiety have revealed hypersensitive behavioral and neural responses to higher value rewards with correct performance. This hypersensitivity to highly valued (salient) actions suggests that the value of actions is determined not only by outcome magnitude, but also by the degree to which the outcome is contingent on correct performance. Thus, contingency and incentive value might each modulate reward responses in unique ways in anxiety. Using fMRI with a monetary reward task, striatal response to cue anticipation is compared in 18 clinically anxious and 20 healthy adolescents. This task manipulates orthogonally reward contingency and incentive value. Findings suggest that contingency modulates the neural response to incentive magnitude differently in the two groups. Specifically, during the contingent condition, right-striatal response tracks incentive value in anxious, but not healthy, adolescents. During the noncontingent condition, striatal response is bilaterally stronger to low than to high incentive in anxious adolescents, while healthy adolescents exhibit the expected opposite pattern. Both contingency and reward magnitude differentiate striatal activation in anxious versus healthy adolescents. These findings may reflect exaggerated concern about performance and/or alterations of striatal coding of reward value in anxious adolescents. Abnormalities in reward function in anxiety may have treatment implications.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Social anxiety has been associated with potentiated negative affect and, more recently, with diminished positive affect. It is unclear how these alterations in negative and positive affect are represented neurally in socially anxious individuals and, further, whether they generalize to non-social stimuli. To explore this, we used a monetary incentive paradigm to explore the association between social anxiety and both the anticipation and consumption of non-social incentives. Eighty-four individuals from a longitudinal community sample underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participating in a monetary incentive delay (MID) task. The MID task consisted of alternating cues indicating the potential to win or prevent losing varying amounts of money based on the speed of the participant's response. We examined whether self-reported levels of social anxiety, averaged across approximately 7 years of data, moderated brain activity when contrasting gain or loss cues with neutral cues during the anticipation and outcome phases of incentive processing. Whole brain analyses and analyses restricted to the ventral striatum for the anticipation phase and the medial prefrontal cortex for the outcome phase were conducted.<h4>Results</h4>Social anxiety did not associate with differences in hit rates or reaction times when responding to cues. Further, socially anxious individuals did not exhibit decreased ventral striatum activity during anticipation of gains or decreased MPFC activity during the outcome of gain trials, contrary to expectations based on literature indicating blunted positive affect in social anxiety. Instead, social anxiety showed positive associations with extensive regions implicated in default mode network activity (for example, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex, and parietal lobe) during anticipation and receipt of monetary gain. Social anxiety was further linked with decreased activity in the ventral striatum during anticipation of monetary loss.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Socially anxious individuals may increase default mode network activity during reward processing, suggesting high self-focused attention even in relation to potentially rewarding stimuli lacking explicit social connotations. Additionally, social anxiety may relate to decreased ventral striatum reactivity when anticipating potential losses.