Extending the amygdala in theories of threat processing

Trends Neurosci. 2015 May;38(5):319-29. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2015.03.002. Epub 2015 Apr 4.


The central extended amygdala is an evolutionarily conserved set of interconnected brain regions that play an important role in threat processing to promote survival. Two core components of the central extended amygdala, the central nucleus of the amygdala (Ce) and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) are highly similar regions that serve complimentary roles by integrating fear- and anxiety-relevant information. Survival depends on the ability of the central extended amygdala to rapidly integrate and respond to threats that vary in their immediacy, proximity, and characteristics. Future studies will benefit from understanding alterations in central extended amygdala function in relation to stress-related psychopathology.

Keywords: anxiety; cross-species; extended amygdala; gene expression connectivity; neuroimaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / cytology*
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Fear*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neurons / physiology*