The stress connection : neuroimaging studies of emotion circuits in social stress, personality, and stress-related psychopathology

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The stress connection : neuroimaging studies of emotion circuits in social stress, personality, and stress-related psychopathology

Title: The stress connection : neuroimaging studies of emotion circuits in social stress, personality, and stress-related psychopathology
Author: Veer, Ilya Milos
Publisher: Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2015-01-27
Keywords: Stress
Amygdala
fMRI
Resting-state
Functional connectivity
Emotion
PTSD
Major depression
Abstract: The aim of this thesis was to identify the neural mechanisms that enable a person to adaptively respond to, and recover from stress, which was studied in healthy controls, in people with increased vulnerability or resilience to stress-related disorders, and in people with depression or PTSD, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most of the studies, a specific MRI method was employed, with which it is possible to assess how different brain regions communicate with each other (i.e., functional connectivity) when the brain is initiating or regulating stress responses. Structure, activity, and connectivity of the amygdala, a small brain region important for stress reactivity, was of main interest. The results show how stress influences information processing, and causes changes in the communication between brain areas, even long after the stressful event ended. Furthermore, personality dimensions associated with increased vulnerability or resilience to affective disorders were associated with changes in brain networks involved in emotion processing and regulation. Finally, smaller amygdala volumes were found in women with PTSD, while reduced integrity of affective brain networks was demonstrated in depression. Together, these results open important new avenues for future research into the short and long term effects of stress on the brain.
Description: Promotores: S.A.R.B. Rombouts. M.A. van Buchem
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Citation: Veer, I.M., 2015, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/31594
 

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