Structural Connectivity of the Developing Human Amygdala

Saygin, Z.M. and Osher, D.E. and Koldewyn, K. and Martin, R.E. and Finn, A. and Saxe, R. and Gabrieli, J.D.E. and Sheridan, M. (2015) Structural Connectivity of the Developing Human Amygdala. PLoS ONE, 10 (4). pp. 1-19. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125170

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A large corpus of research suggests that there are changes in the manner and degree to which the amygdala supports cognitive and emotional function across development. One possible basis for these developmental differences could be the maturation of amygdalar connections with the rest of the brain. Recent functional connectivity studies support this conclusion, but the structural connectivity of the developing amygdala and its different nuclei remains largely unstudied. We examined age related changes in the DWI connectivity fingerprints of the amygdala to the rest of the brain in 166 individuals of ages 5-30. We also developed a model to predict age based on individual-subject amygdala connectivity, and identified the connections that were most predictive of age. Finally, we segmented the amygdala into its four main nucleus groups, and examined the developmental changes in connectivity for each nucleus. We observed that with age, amygdalar connectivity becomes increasingly sparse and localized. Age related changes were largely localized to the subregions of the amygdala that are implicated in social inference and contextual memory (the basal and lateral nuclei). The central nucleus� connectivity also showed differences with age but these differences affected fewer target regions than the basal and lateral nuclei. The medial nucleus did not exhibit any age related changes. These findings demonstrate increasing specificity in the connectivity patterns of amygdalar nuclei across age.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2015 02:24
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 02:47
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/4654
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125170
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLOS)
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