Christine Esslinger

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In non-human mammals, the neuropeptide oxytocin is a key mediator of complex emotional and social behaviors, including attachment, social recognition, and aggression. Oxytocin reduces anxiety and impacts on fear conditioning and extinction. Recently, oxytocin administration in humans was shown to increase trust, suggesting involvement of the amygdala, a(More)
Characterizing the brain connectome using neuroimaging data and measures derived from graph theory emerged as a new approach that has been applied to brain maturation, cognitive function and neuropsychiatric disorders. For a broad application of this method especially for clinical populations and longitudinal studies, the reliability of this approach and(More)
Schizophrenia is a devastating, highly heritable brain disorder of unknown etiology. Recently, the first common genetic variant associated on a genome-wide level with schizophrenia and possibly bipolar disorder was discovered in ZNF804A (rs1344706). We show, by using an imaging genetics approach, that healthy carriers of rs1344706 risk genotypes exhibit no(More)
Even more than in cognitive research applications, moving fMRI to the clinic and the drug development process requires the generation of stable and reliable signal changes. The performance characteristics of the fMRI paradigm constrain experimental power and may require different study designs (e.g., crossover vs. parallel groups), yet fMRI reliability(More)
Recent molecular studies have implicated common alleles of small to moderate effect and rare alleles with larger effect sizes in the genetic architecture of schizophrenia (SCZ). It is expected that the reliable detection of risk variants with very small effect sizes can only be achieved through the recruitment of very large samples of patients and controls(More)
Schizophrenia is associated with marked deficits in theory of mind (ToM), a higher-order form of social cognition representing the thoughts, emotions and intentions of others. Altered brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and temporo-parietal cortex during ToM tasks has been found in patients with schizophrenia, but the relevance of these(More)
CONTEXT The neural abnormalities underlying genetic risk for bipolar disorder, a severe, common, and highly heritable psychiatric condition, are largely unknown. An opportunity to define these mechanisms is provided by the recent discovery, through genome-wide association, of a single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs1006737) strongly associated with bipolar(More)
Alterations of connectivity are central to the systems-level pathophysiology of schizophrenia. One of the best-established genome-wide significant risk variants for this highly heritable disorder, the rs1344706 single nucleotide polymorphism in ZNF804A, was recently shown to modulate connectivity in healthy carriers during working memory (WM) in a pattern(More)
Alzheimer's disease is a devastating, common, progressive dementia with considerable heritability. Recently, a genetic variant associated with the disease was discovered at CLU (rs11136000) with genome-wide support. Here we show, using an imaging genetics approach in a large genotyped sample, that healthy carriers of the variant exhibit altered coupling(More)
An enhanced limbic activity, particularly in the amygdala, is one of the most consistent findings in bipolar disorder. Here, we show that healthy carriers of the genome-wide-supported (rs1006737) risk allele for bipolar disorder display increased amygdala activity in response to reward. Fluctuations in mood and emotions are inherent to human nature.(More)