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Brain Sci. 2016, 6(1), 2; doi:10.3390/brainsci6010002

Individual Differences in Anticipatory Somatosensory Cortex Activity for Shock is Positively Related with Trait Anxiety and Multisensory Integration

1,†,* , 2,†
and
2,3,4,*
1
Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
2
Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
3
Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
4
Neuroscience Graduate Programs, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek G. V. Mitchell
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 14 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotion, Cognition and Behavior)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1562 KB, uploaded 6 January 2016]   |  

Abstract

Anxiety is associated with an exaggerated expectancy of harm, including overestimation of how likely a conditioned stimulus (CS+) predicts a harmful unconditioned stimulus (US). In the current study we tested whether anxiety-associated expectancy of harm increases primary sensory cortex (S1) activity on non-reinforced (i.e., no shock) CS+ trials. Twenty healthy volunteers completed a differential-tone trace conditioning task while undergoing fMRI, with shock delivered to the left hand. We found a positive correlation between trait anxiety and activity in right, but not left, S1 during CS+ versus CS− conditions. Right S1 activity also correlated with individual differences in both primary auditory cortices (A1) and amygdala activity. Lastly, a seed-based functional connectivity analysis demonstrated that trial-wise S1 activity was positively correlated with regions of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), suggesting that higher-order cognitive processes contribute to the anticipatory sensory reactivity. Our findings indicate that individual differences in trait anxiety relate to anticipatory reactivity for the US during associative learning. This anticipatory reactivity is also integrated along with emotion-related sensory signals into a brain network implicated in fear-conditioned responding. View Full-Text
Keywords: anxiety; fear; fear conditioning; functional connectivity; fear network; multisensory integration; emotion; fMRI; amygdala anxiety; fear; fear conditioning; functional connectivity; fear network; multisensory integration; emotion; fMRI; amygdala
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Greening, S.G.; Lee, T.-H.; Mather, M. Individual Differences in Anticipatory Somatosensory Cortex Activity for Shock is Positively Related with Trait Anxiety and Multisensory Integration. Brain Sci. 2016, 6, 2.

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