Regulating Abnormal Connectivity in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder via Real-time fMRI Neurofeedback

Patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are characterized by decreased prefrontal cortex (PFC) regulation on hyperactive emotion generation regions, such as the amygdala. Real-time (rt)-fMRI neurofeedback allows for localized brain regions to be self-regulated through neuroimaging signal feedback. Recently within our lab, learning to decrease amygdala activation via neurofeedback was shown to normalize the neural circuitry maintaining PTSD, which was negatively correlated to symptoms. However, an intervention has not yet been developed to strengthen connectivity between emotion regulation regions (PFC) and emotion generation regions (amygdala), where an urgent need for novel treatment interventions exists particularly among military members and first responders. The objective of the current proposal is to determine if an increase in the strength of connectivity between the PFC and amygdala can be achieved via rt-fMRI neurofeedback.

Intern: 
Andrew Nicholson
Faculty Supervisor: 
Ruth Lanius
Province: 
Ontario
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