Orbitofrontal cortex lesions alter anxiety-related activity in the primate bed nucleus of stria terminalis.


In children, behavioral inhibition (BI) in response to potential threat predicts the development of anxiety and affective disorders, and primate lesion studies suggest involvement of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in mediating BI. Lesion studies are essential for establishing causality in brain-behavior relationships, but should be interpreted cautiously because the impact of a discrete lesion on a complex neural circuit extends beyond the lesion location. Complementary functional imaging methods assessing how lesions influence other parts of the circuit can aid in precisely understanding how lesions affect behavior. Using this combination of approaches in monkeys, we found that OFC lesions concomitantly alter BI and metabolism in the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST) region and that individual differences in BNST activity predict BI. Thus it appears that an important function of the OFC in response to threat is to modulate the BNST, which may more directly influence the expression of BI.

DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5952-09.2010

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@article{Fox2010OrbitofrontalCL, title={Orbitofrontal cortex lesions alter anxiety-related activity in the primate bed nucleus of stria terminalis.}, author={Andrew S. Fox and Steven E. Shelton and Terrence R. Oakes and Alexander K. Converse and Richard J. Davidson and Ned H. Kalin}, journal={The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience}, year={2010}, volume={30 20}, pages={7023-7} }