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Neurobiology and Neuroimaging of Fear and Anxiety Circuitry 

Neurobiology and Neuroimaging of Fear and Anxiety Circuitry
Neurobiology and Neuroimaging of Fear and Anxiety Circuitry

K. Luan Phan

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date: 01 December 2021

This chapter reviews and synthesizes data on the neurocircuitry and underlying neurochemical substrates of anxiety disorders. Concurrent studies in healthy populations on underlying affect, cognition, and their interactions relating to emotion regulatory functions have informed and anchored our current understanding of the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders. Rather than review in detail or enumerate studies over the past several decades of clinical neuroscience research, the chapter constructs a coherent, contemporary brain-centered model that incorporates supporting evidence from several approaches—neuroimaging (e.g., functional, structural, receptor, chemistry), neuroendocrinology, and neuropsychopharmacology. This integrative approach recognizes that brain structure, function, endocrinology, and chemistry are intertwined and interact and overlap in both local and circuit perspectives and shared contribution to the etiology, manifestation, and maintenance of anxiety disorders. The chapter also provides a useful primer to the illness-specific and treatment-related content in subsequent chapters.

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