Amygdala involvement in human avoidance, escape and approach behavior Page: 8
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Schlund and Cataldo
Modulate regional involvement. Similarly, the present study employed a contingency shaping
procedure to establish avoidance whereas one prior study employed instructions to establish
avoidance (Jensen et al., 2003) which has the potential to effectively bypassed fear conditioning
z processes mediated by the BLA. Future research is clearly required that examines the effects
of contingency, type of aversive outcome and significant individual subject variables on
c In summary, a number of novel observations emerged from this investigation, helping to
elucidate amygdala contributions to human avoidance, escape and approach behavior. At a
broad level, results showed cues prompting avoidance, escape and approach behavior recruited
a similar fronto-striatal-parietal network. We observed bilateral amygdala activation to
threatening avoidance and escape cues, even though money loss was routinely avoided, and to
a reward cue. Results highlighted that within-subject responses were relatively similar to
avoidance, escape and approach cues, but between-subjects differences in response magnitude
were present. The heightened amygdala response to the avoidance and escape cues observed
in a subset of subjects suggests threat related responses can be maintained even when aversive
events are consistently avoided, which may account for the persistence of avoidance-coping
in various clinical disorders. Further assessment of the relation between amygdala reactivity
and avoidance-escape behavior may prove useful in identifying individuals with or at risk for
The research and manuscript preparation was supported in part by research grant NICHD HD43178-02
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Schlund, Michael W. & Cataldo, Michael F. Amygdala involvement in human avoidance, escape and approach behavior, article, November 1, 2010; [Amsterdam, Netherlands]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc77178/m1/8/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.