Neuroimaging studies of amygdala function in anxiety disorders

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Apr:985:389-410. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2003.tb07096.x.


Neuroimaging research has helped to advance neurobiological models of anxiety disorders. The amygdala is known to play an important role in normal fear conditioning and is implicated in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. The amygdala may also be a target for the beneficial effects of cognitive-behavioral and medication treatments for anxiety disorders. In the current paper, we review neuroimaging research pertaining to the role of the amygdala in anxiety disorders and their treatment. Moreover, we discuss the development of new neuroimaging paradigms for measuring aspects of amygdala function, as well as the function of related brain regions. We conclude that such tools hold great promise for facilitating progress in relevant basic neuroscience as well as clinical research domains.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Amygdala / diagnostic imaging
  • Amygdala / physiopathology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnostic imaging
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Panic Disorder / diagnostic imaging
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed