Uncertainty during anticipation modulates neural responses to aversion in human insula and amygdala.

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TitleUncertainty during anticipation modulates neural responses to aversion in human insula and amygdala.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSarinopoulos, I, Grupe, DW, Mackiewicz, KL, Herrington, JD, Lor, M, Steege, EE, Nitschke, JB
JournalCereb Cortex
Volume20
Issue4
Pagination929-40
Date Published2010 Apr
ISSN1460-2199
KeywordsAffect, Amygdala, Avoidance Learning, Brain Mapping, Cues, Female, Functional Laterality, Gyrus Cinguli, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Oxygen, Photic Stimulation, Uncertainty, Young Adult
Abstract

Uncertainty about potential negative future outcomes can cause stress and is a central feature of anxiety disorders. The stress and anxiety associated with uncertain situations may lead individuals to overestimate the frequency with which uncertain cues are followed by negative outcomes, an example of covariation bias. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that uncertainty-related expectations modulated neural responses to aversion. Insula and amygdala responses to aversive pictures were larger after an uncertain cue (that preceded aversive or neutral pictures) than a certain cue (that always preceded aversive pictures). Anticipatory anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) activity elicited by the cues was inversely associated with the insula and amygdala responses to aversive pictures following the cues. Nearly 75% of subjects overestimated the frequency of aversive pictures following uncertain cues, and ACC and insula activity predicted this uncertainty-related covariation bias. Findings provide the first evidence of the brain mechanisms of covariation bias and highlight the temporal dynamics of ACC, insula, and amygdala recruitment for processing aversion in the context of uncertainty.

DOI10.1093/cercor/bhp155
Alternate JournalCereb. Cortex
PubMed ID19679543
PubMed Central IDPMC2837092
Grant ListK02 MH082130-02 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P30-HD03352 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
K02-MH082130 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K08 MH063984-05 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01-MH74847 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K08-MH63984 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH074847-05 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
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