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Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation and attention bias in response to angry faces in adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder

Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation and attention bias in response to angry faces in adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder
Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation and attention bias in response to angry faces in adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder
OBJECTIVE: While adolescent anxiety disorders represent prevalent, debilitating conditions, few studies have explored their brain physiology. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a behavioral measure of attention to angry faces, the authors evaluated differences in response between healthy adolescents and adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder.
METHOD: In the primary trials of interest, 18 adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder and 15 comparison subjects of equivalent age/gender/IQ viewed angry/neutral face pairs during fMRI acquisition. Following the presentation of each face pair, subjects pressed a button to indicate whether a subsequent asterisk appeared on the same (congruent) or opposite (incongruent) side as the angry face. Reaction time differences between congruent and incongruent face trials provided a measure of attention bias to angry faces.
RESULTS: Relative to the comparison subjects, patients with generalized anxiety disorder manifested greater right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation to trials containing angry faces. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder also showed greater attention bias away from angry faces. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation differences remained evident when differences in attention bias were covaried. Finally, in an examination among patients of the association between degree of anxiety and brain activation, the authors found that as ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation increased, severity of anxiety symptoms diminished.
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder show greater right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation and attentional bias away from angry faces than healthy adolescents. Among patients, increased ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation is associated with less severe anxiety, suggesting that this activation may serve as a compensatory response.
1535-7228
1091-1097
Monk, Christopher S.
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Nelson, Eric E.
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McClure, Erin B.
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Mogg, Karin
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Bradley, Brendan P.
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Leibenluft, Ellen
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Blair, James R.
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Chen, Gang
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Charney, Dennis S.
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Ernst, Monique
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Pine, Daniel S.
debffc1c-1efc-4bcf-81b3-87aadee1047d
Monk, Christopher S.
ac508cb8-4ce2-4653-a746-be909af175a4
Nelson, Eric E.
26f3dbae-abd7-4228-9648-9e5c4e57932d
McClure, Erin B.
9395c426-d96d-4abb-9c33-06526da19d3f
Mogg, Karin
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Bradley, Brendan P.
bdacaa6c-528b-4086-9448-27ebfe463514
Leibenluft, Ellen
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Blair, James R.
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Chen, Gang
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Charney, Dennis S.
b7ba83a7-13f8-49eb-9056-f2c83de72e14
Ernst, Monique
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Pine, Daniel S.
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Monk, Christopher S., Nelson, Eric E., McClure, Erin B., Mogg, Karin, Bradley, Brendan P., Leibenluft, Ellen, Blair, James R., Chen, Gang, Charney, Dennis S., Ernst, Monique and Pine, Daniel S. (2006) Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation and attention bias in response to angry faces in adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163 (6), 1091-1097. (doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.163.6.1091).

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: While adolescent anxiety disorders represent prevalent, debilitating conditions, few studies have explored their brain physiology. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a behavioral measure of attention to angry faces, the authors evaluated differences in response between healthy adolescents and adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder.
METHOD: In the primary trials of interest, 18 adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder and 15 comparison subjects of equivalent age/gender/IQ viewed angry/neutral face pairs during fMRI acquisition. Following the presentation of each face pair, subjects pressed a button to indicate whether a subsequent asterisk appeared on the same (congruent) or opposite (incongruent) side as the angry face. Reaction time differences between congruent and incongruent face trials provided a measure of attention bias to angry faces.
RESULTS: Relative to the comparison subjects, patients with generalized anxiety disorder manifested greater right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation to trials containing angry faces. Patients with generalized anxiety disorder also showed greater attention bias away from angry faces. Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation differences remained evident when differences in attention bias were covaried. Finally, in an examination among patients of the association between degree of anxiety and brain activation, the authors found that as ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation increased, severity of anxiety symptoms diminished.
CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder show greater right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation and attentional bias away from angry faces than healthy adolescents. Among patients, increased ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activation is associated with less severe anxiety, suggesting that this activation may serve as a compensatory response.

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Published date: June 2006

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Local EPrints ID: 39968
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/39968
ISSN: 1535-7228
PURE UUID: 86da0ca9-8202-4b44-9780-65ddb8dae4ec
ORCID for Brendan P. Bradley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2801-4271

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2006
Last modified: 24 Jul 2020 01:34

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Contributors

Author: Christopher S. Monk
Author: Eric E. Nelson
Author: Erin B. McClure
Author: Karin Mogg
Author: Ellen Leibenluft
Author: James R. Blair
Author: Gang Chen
Author: Dennis S. Charney
Author: Monique Ernst
Author: Daniel S. Pine

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