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Changes in anterior cingulate and amygdala after cognitive behavior therapy of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 07:39 authored by Kim FelminghamKim Felmingham, Kemp, A, Williams, LM, Das, P, Hughes, G, Peduto, A, Bryant, R
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop from impaired extinction of conditioned fear responses. Exposure-based treatment of PTSD is thought to facilitate extinction learning (Charney, 2004). Fear extinction is mediated by inhibitory control of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) over amygdala-based fear processes (Phelps, Delgado, Nearing, & LeDoux, 2004; Quirk, Russo, Barron, & LeBron, 2000). Most neuroimaging studies of PTSD reveal reduced vmPFC activity (particularly in rostral anterior cingulate cortex, or rACC; Lanius et al., 2001; Shin et al., 2005), and some find increased amygdala activity during threat processing (Shin et al., 2005). In addition, increased amygdala activity during fear conditioning and reduced vmPFC activity during extinction have been reported in PTSD (Bremner et al., 2005). Although PTSD patients show increased orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal activity following treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; Fernandez et al., 2001; Seedat et al., 2004), no studies have investigated neural networks before and after exposure-based treatment of PTSD. We report the first such study. We hypothesized that symptom reduction would be associated with increased rACC activity and reduced amygdala activity during fear processing.


Publication title

Psychological Science








School of Psychological Sciences


Blackwell Publishers

Place of publication

350 Main Street, Ste 6, Malden, USA, Ma, 02148

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The definitive published version is available online at:

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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