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Abstract #2903

Paradoxical Increase in Amygdala Responsiveness to Unpleasant Stimuli Through Peripheral Beta-Blockade: A Pharmacological FMRI Study

Rebecca Susan Dewey1, 2, Olga Pollatos3, Akram A. Hosseini1, Susan T. Francis2, Dorothee P. Auer1

1Radiological and Imaging Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom; 2Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom; 3Department of Psychology, Potsdam University, Potsdam, Germany

Reduction of peripheral nervous system feedback is hypothesised to be associated with reduced neural response to emotional stimuli. Emotional stimuli typically elicit responses in the limbic system, including the amygdala, brainstem and salience network (anterior insula and anterior cingulate). The peripherally acting beta-blocker, nadolol, reduces peripheral autonomous nervous responses. Simultaneous acquisition of perfusion weighted ASL and BOLD fMRI give novel insight into regional drug induced changes in BOLD and perfusion. This study reports a pharmacologically induced increase in amygdala response to unpleasant emotional visual stimuli as measured using BOLD fMRI. Speculative explanations for paradoxical amygdala behaviour are given.