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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Nov 10;106(45):19191-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0907425106. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

A genetic variation of the noradrenergic system is related to differential amygdala activation during encoding of emotional memories.

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1
Division of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Basel, Birmannsgasse 8, 4055 Basel, Switzerland. Bjoern.Rasch@unibas.ch

Abstract

Emotionally arousing events are typically well remembered, but there is a large interindividual variability for this phenomenon. We have recently shown that a functional deletion variant of ADRA2B, the gene encoding the alpha2b-adrenergic receptor, is related to enhanced emotional memory in healthy humans and enhanced traumatic memory in war victims. Here, we investigated the neural mechanisms of this effect in healthy participants by using fMRI. Carriers of the ADRA2B deletion variant exhibited increased activation of the amygdala during encoding of photographs with negative emotional valence compared with noncarriers of the deletion. Additionally, functional connectivity between amygdala and insula was significantly stronger in deletion carriers. The present findings indicate that the ADRA2B deletion variant is related to increased responsivity and connectivity of brain regions implicated in emotional memory.

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PMID:
19826083
PMCID:
PMC2761241
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0907425106
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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