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Abstract #3246

Brain volumetric and fractional anisotropy differences in mice selected for high and low empathy-like traits

Diana Cash1, Tobias Wood1, Francesca Zoratto2, Simone Macri2, Camilla Simmons1, Eugene Kim1, Steve Williams1, Jeffrey Glennon3, and Giovanni Laviola2

1Neuroimaging, King's College London, London, United Kingdom, 2Centre for Behavioural Sciences and Mental Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy, 3Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands

High resolution ex vivo imaging of mice with high and low empathy-like behavior revealed widespread volumetric and fractional anisotropy (FA) changes. Low empathy mice had decreased volumes of the dorsal and ventral hippocampi, periaqueductal grey and the cerebellar cortex, and increased volumes of the olfactory bulb and the hypothalamus compared to high empathy mice. FA was decreased in the low empathy group, specifically in the hippocampus and in the periaqueductal grey. Functional significance can be inferred as these affected brain circuits mediate olfactory cues-based communication of pain, predatory odor fear responses and autonomic stress responses.

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