Browsing by Subject "AMYGDALA"

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  • Afdile, Mamdooh; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Glerean, Enrico; Smirnov, Dmitry; Alho, Jussi; Äimälä, Anna; Sams, Mikko (2019)
    We are constantly categorizing other people as belonging to our in-group (one of us') or out-group (one of them'). Such grouping occurs fast and automatically and can be based on others' visible characteristics such as skin color or clothing style. Here we studied neural underpinnings of implicit social grouping not often visible on the face, male sexual orientation. A total of 14 homosexuals and 15 heterosexual males were scanned in functional magnetic resonance imaging while watching a movie about a homosexual man, whose face was also presented subliminally before (subjects did not know about the character's sexual orientation) and after the movie. We discovered significantly stronger activation to the man's face after seeing the movie in homosexual but not heterosexual subjects in medial prefrontal cortex, frontal pole, anterior cingulate cortex, right temporal parietal junction and bilateral superior frontal gyrus. In previous research, these brain areas have been connected to social perception, self-referential thinking, empathy, theory of mind and in-group perception. In line with previous studies showing biased perception of in-/out-group faces to be context dependent, our novel approach further demonstrates how complex contextual knowledge gained under naturalistic viewing can bias implicit social perception.
  • Tikker, Laura; Casarotto, Plinio; Singh, Parul; Biojone, Caroline; Piepponen, T. Petteri; Estartus, Nuri; Seelbach, Anna; Sridharan, Ravindran; Laukkanen, Liina; Castren, Eero; Partanen, Juha (2020)
    Serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe (DR) nucleus are associated with several psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety disorders, which often have a neurodevelopmental component. During embryonic development, GATA transcription factors GATA2 and GATA3 operate as serotonergic neuron fate selectors and regulate the differentiation of serotonergic neuron subtypes of DR. Here, we analyzed the requirement of GATA cofactor ZFPM1 in the development of serotonergic neurons using Zfpm1 conditional mouse mutants. Our results demonstrated that, unlike the GATA factors, ZFPM1 is not essential for the early differentiation of serotonergic precursors in the embryonic rhombomere 1. In contrast, in perinatal and adult male and female Zfpm1 mutants, a lateral subpopulation of DR neurons (ventrolateral part of the DR) was lost, whereas the number of serotonergic neurons in a medial subpopulation (dorsal region of the medial DR) had increased. Additionally, adult male and female Zfpm1 mutants had reduced serotonin concentration in rostral brain areas and displayed increased anxiety-like behavior. Interestingly, female Zfpm1 mutant mice showed elevated contextual fear memory that was abolished with chronic fluoxetine treatment. Altogether, these results demonstrate the importance of ZFPM1 for the development of DR serotonergic neuron subtypes involved in mood regulation. It also suggests that the neuronal fate selector function of GATAs is modulated by their cofactors to refine the differentiation of neuronal subtypes.
  • Mennesson, Marie; Rydgren, Emilie; Lipina, Tatiana; Sokolowska, Ewa; Kulesskaya, Natalia; Morello, Francesca; Ivakine, Evgueni; Voikar, Vootele; Risbrough, Victoria; Partanen, Juha; Hovatta, Iiris (2019)
    NETO1 and NETO2 are auxiliary subunits of kainate receptors (KARs). They interact with native KAR subunits to modulate multiple aspects of receptor function. Variation in KAR genes has been associated with psychiatric disorders in humans, and in mice, knockouts of the Grik1 gene have increased, while Grik2 and Grik4 knockouts have reduced anxiety-like behavior. To determine whether the NETO proteins regulate anxiety and fear through modulation of KARs, we undertook a comprehensive behavioral analysis of adult Neto1(-/-) and Neto2(-/-) mice. We observed no differences in anxiety-like behavior. However, in cued fear conditioning, Neto2(-/-), but not Neto1(-/-) mice, showed higher fear expression and delayed extinction compared to wild type mice. We established, by in situ hybridization, that Neto2 was expressed in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons throughout the fear circuit including the medial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. Finally, we demonstrated that the relative amount of synaptosomal KAR GLUK2/3 subunit was 20.8% lower in the ventral hippocampus and 36.5% lower in the medial prefrontal cortex in Neto2(-/-) compared to the Neto2(+/+) mice. The GLUK5 subunit abundance was reduced 23.8% in the ventral hippocampus and 16.9% in the amygdala. We conclude that Neto2 regulates fear expression and extinction in mice, and that its absence increases conditionability, a phenotype related to post-traumatic stress disorder and propose that this phenotype is mediated by reduced KAR subunit abundance at synapses of fear-associated brain regions.
  • Wikman, Patrik; Rinne, Teemu; Petkov, Christopher I. (2019)
    In natural settings, the prospect of reward often influences the focus of our attention, but how cognitive and motivational systems influence sensory cortex is not well understood. Also, challenges in training nonhuman animals on cognitive tasks complicate cross-species comparisons and interpreting results on the neurobiological bases of cognition. Incentivized attention tasks could expedite training and evaluate the impact of attention on sensory cortex. Here we develop an Incentivized Attention Paradigm (IAP) and use it to show that macaque monkeys readily learn to use auditory or visual reward cues, drastically influencing their performance within a simple auditory task. Next, this paradigm was used with functional neuroimaging to measure activation modulation in the monkey auditory cortex. The results show modulation of extensive auditory cortical regions throughout primary and non-primary regions, which although a hallmark of attentional modulation in human auditory cortex, has not been studied or observed as broadly in prior data from nonhuman animals. Psycho-physiological interactions were identified between the observed auditory cortex effects and regions including basal forebrain sites along acetylcholinergic and dopaminergic pathways. The findings reveal the impact and regional interactions in the primate brain during an incentivized attention engaging auditory task.