Dr. Shackman Publishes Paper
Evolutionarily-conserved prefrontal-amygdalar dysfunction in early-life anxiety
A new fMRI paper from the Dr. Shackman's lab was just accepted for publication at Molecular Psychiatry (2012 Impact Factor 14.897; #1/135 Psychiatry). In the report, Shackman and colleagues provide new evidence that extreme anxiety early in life is associated with aberrant functional integration between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. This pattern was discernible in young monkeys as well as children with anxiety disorders, indicating an evolutionarily conserved substrate for early-life anxiety. From a translational perspective, these findings provide a novel neurobiological framework for conceptualizing anxiety and set the stage for the development of novel therapeutic strategies. From the vantage point of basic psychological science, they suggest that core features of our temperament and personality are embodied in the spontaneous, on-going activity of the brain.