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Science. 2011 Nov 25;334(6059):1151-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1209603.

Stress-related noradrenergic activity prompts large-scale neural network reconfiguration.

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  • 1Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands. erno.hermans@donders.ru.nl

Abstract

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 interconnectivity within a network including cortical (frontoinsular, dorsal anterior cingulate, inferotemporal, and temporoparietal) and subcortical (amygdala, thalamus, hypothalamus, and midbrain) regions increased as a function of stress response magnitudes. ╬▓-adrenergic receptor blockade, but not cortisol synthesis inhibition, diminished this increase. Thus, our findings reveal that noradrenergic activation during acute stress results in prolonged coupling within a distributed network that integrates information exchange between regions involved in autonomic-neuroendocrine control and vigilant attentional reorienting.

PMID:
22116887
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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