Marloes J. A. G. Henckens

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Acute stress shifts the brain into a state that fosters rapid defense mechanisms. Stress-related neuromodulators are thought to trigger this change by altering properties of large-scale neural populations throughout the brain. We investigated this brain-state shift in humans. During exposure to a fear-related acute stressor, responsiveness and(More)
Stress initiates an intricate response that affects diverse cognitive and affective domains, with the goal of improving survival chances in the light of changing environmental challenges. Here, we bridge animal data at cellular and systems levels with human work on brain-wide networks to propose a framework describing how stress-related neuromodulators(More)
Acute stress is associated with a sensitized amygdala. Corticosteroids, released in response to stress, are suggested to restore homeostasis by normalizing/desensitizing brain processing in the aftermath of stress. Here, we investigated the effects of corticosteroids on amygdala processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Since corticosteroids(More)
Acute stress is known to induce a state of hypervigilance, allowing optimal detection of threats. Although one may benefit from sensitive sensory processing, it comes at the cost of unselective attention and increased distraction by irrelevant information. Corticosteroids, released in response to stress, have been shown to profoundly influence brain(More)
The amygdala is a key regulator of vigilance and heightens attention toward threat. Its activity is boosted upon threat exposure and contributes to a neuroendocrine stress response via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Corticosteroids are known to control brain activity as well as HPA activity by providing negative feedback to the brain.(More)
Animal models of predator defense distinguish qualitatively different behavioral modes that are activated at increasing levels of predation threat. A defense mode observed at intermediate threat levels is freezing: a cessation of locomotion that is characterized by a parasympathetically dominated autonomic nervous system response that causes heart rate(More)
Stressful, aversive events are extremely well remembered. Such a declarative memory enhancement is evidently beneficial for survival, but the same mechanism may become maladaptive and culminate in mental diseases such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress hormones are known to enhance postlearning consolidation of aversive memories but are also(More)
Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) acts through CRF 1 and CRF 2 receptors (CRF1, CRF2). To test the hypothesis that CRF controls the expression of these receptors in a brain site- and receptor-type specific manner, we studied CRF1 mRNA and CRF2 mRNA expressions in mice with central CRF over-expression (CRF-OE) and using in situ hybridization. CRF1 and(More)
Corticosteroids are potent modulators of human higher cognitive function. They are released in response to stress, and are thought to be involved in the modulation of cognitive function by inducing distinct rapid nongenomic, and slow genomic changes, affecting neural plasticity throughout the brain. However, their exact effects on the neural correlates of(More)
Stress has a powerful impact on memory. Corticosteroids, released in response to stress, are thought to mediate, at least in part, these effects by affecting neuronal plasticity in brain regions involved in memory formation, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Animal studies have delineated aspects of the underlying physiological mechanisms,(More)