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Brain activations associated with fearful experience show common and distinct patterns between younger and older adults in the hippocampus and the amygdala.

Brain activations associated with fearful experience show common and distinct patterns between younger and older adults in the hippocampus and the amygdala.
Author Information (click to view)

Lin CS, Wu CY, Wu SY, Lin HH,


Lin CS, Wu CY, Wu SY, Lin HH, (click to view)

Lin CS, Wu CY, Wu SY, Lin HH,

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Scientific reports 2018 03 238(1) 5137 doi 10.1038/s41598-018-22805-9
Abstract

Revisiting threat-related scenes elicits fear and activates a brain network related to cognitive-affective processing. Prior experience may contribute to the present fearful experience. We aimed to investigate (a) patterns of brain activation associated with individual differences in past fearful experiences (pFear) and the present fear elicited by watching videos (eFear) and (b) age-related differences in the activation patterns. Forty healthy adults, including 20 younger adults (YA) and 20 older adults (OA), underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while watching videos containing high- and low-threat scenes of medical treatment. Both age subgroups showed positive correlations between pFear and bilateral hippocampal activation. Only YA showed threat-related activation in the bilateral anterior insula and activation positively correlated with pFear in the bilateral S1 and the amygdala. The evidence suggests that the hippocampus, amygdala and S1 may play key roles in bridging past fearful experiences and the present fear elicited by revisiting visual scenes and that the interaction between memory and emotional processing may be age dependent.

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