Arousal modulation of memory and amygdala-parahippocampal connectivity: A PET-psychophysiology study in specific phobia

Fredrik Åhs, Åsa Michelgård Palmquist, Anna Pissiota, Lieuwe Appel, Örjan Frans, Israel Liberzon, Tomas Furmark, Mats Fredrikson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Phobic fear is accompanied by intense bodily responses modulated by the amygdala. An amygdala moderated psychophysiological measure related to arousal is electrodermal activity. We evaluated the contributions of electrodermal activity to amygdala-parahippocampal regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during phobic memory encoding in subjects with spider or snake phobia. Recognition memory was increased for phobia-related slides and covaried with rCBF in the amygdala and the parahippocampal gyrus. The covariation between parahippocampal rCBF and recognition was related to electrodermal activity suggesting that parahippocampal memory processes were associated with sympathetic activity. Electrodermal activity further mediated the amygdala effect on parahippocampal activity. Memory encoding during phobic fear therefore seems contingent on amygdala's influence on arousal and parahippocampal activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1463-1469
Number of pages7
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume48
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Anxiety
  • Electrodermal
  • FMRI/PET/MRI
  • Learning/Memory
  • Parahippocampal gyrus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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