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  When fear is near: Threat imminence elicits prefrontal-periaqueductal gray shifts in humans

Mobbs, D., Petrovic, P., Marchant, J. L., Hassabis, D., Weiskopf, N., Seymour, B., et al. (2007). When fear is near: Threat imminence elicits prefrontal-periaqueductal gray shifts in humans. Science, 317(5841), 1079-1083. doi:10.1126/science.1144298.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-657D-0 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-30A6-D
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Mobbs, Dean1, Author
Petrovic, Predrag1, Author
Marchant, Jennifer L.1, Author
Hassabis, Demis1, Author
Weiskopf, Nikolaus1, Author              
Seymour, Ben1, Author
Dolan, Raymond J.1, Author
Frith, Christopher D.1, Author
Affiliations:
1Functional Imaging Lab, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Humans, like other animals, alter their behavior depending on whether a threat is close or distant. We investigated spatial imminence of threat by developing an active avoidance paradigm in which volunteers were pursued through a maze by a virtual predator endowed with an ability to chase, capture, and inflict pain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that as the virtual predator grew closer, brain activity shifted from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the periaqueductal gray. This shift showed maximal expression when a high degree of pain was anticipated. Moreover, imminence-driven periaqueductal gray activity correlated with increased subjective degree of dread and decreased confidence of escape. Our findings cast light on the neural dynamics of threat anticipation and have implications for the neurobiology of human anxiety-related disorders.

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 Dates: 2007-08-24
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1126/science.1144298
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Title: Science
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 317 (5841) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1079 - 1083 Identifier: ISSN: 0036-8075
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/991042748276600_1