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J Affect Disord. 2000 Dec;61(3):161-76.

Anxiolytic action on the behavioural inhibition system implies multiple types of arousal contribute to anxiety.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Centre for Neuroscience, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. nmcn@psy.otago.ac.nz

Abstract

According to "The Neuropsychology of Anxiety" [Gray, J.A., 1982, The Neuropsychology of Anxiety: An Enquiry into the Functions of the Septo-hippocampal System, Oxford University Press, Oxford; Gray, J.A., McNaughton, N., 2000, The Neuropsychology of Anxiety: An Enquiry into the Functions of the Septo-hippocampal System, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford], anxiolytic drugs of all types act on a behavioural inhibition system, the most important neural component of which is the septo-hippocampal system. Anxiolytics affect septo-hippocampal function by impairing the subcortical control of hippocampal "theta" activity - the principle response of the septo-hippocampal system to arousal. Our recent experiments show that there are multiple systems controlling theta activity and that anxiolytics act on several, but not all, of these systems. This pattern of results implies that there are many different types of arousal, only some of which appear to contribute to the generation of anxiety in normal subjects and to the etiology of pathological anxiety.

PMID:
11163419
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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