Whole brain correlates of individual differences in skin conductance responses during discriminative fear conditioning to social cues

  1. Kevin Vinberg  Is a corresponding author
  2. Jörgen Rosén
  3. Granit Kastrati
  4. Fredrik Ahs
  1. Mid Sweden University, Sweden
  2. Uppsala University, Sweden
  3. Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Abstract

Understanding the neural basis for individual differences in the skin conductance response (SCR) during discriminative fear conditioning may inform on our understanding of autonomic regulation in fear-related psychopathology. Previous region-of-interest (ROI) analyses have implicated the amygdala in regulating conditioned SCR, but whole brain analyses are lacking. This study examined correlations between individual differences in SCR during discriminative fear conditioning to social stimuli and neural activity throughout the brain, by using data from a large functional magnetic resonance imaging study of twins (N = 285 individuals). Results show that conditioned SCR correlates with activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex/anterior midcingulate cortex, anterior insula, bilateral temporoparietal junction, right frontal operculum, bilateral dorsal premotor cortex, right superior parietal lobe, and midbrain. A ROI analysis additionally showed a positive correlation between amygdala activity and conditioned SCR in line with previous reports. We suggest that the observed whole brain correlates of SCR belong to a large-scale midcingulo-insular network related to salience detection and autonomic-interoceptive processing. Altered activity within this network may underlie individual differences in conditioned SCR and autonomic aspects of psychopathology.

Data availability

The present study reports data from human participants that did not explicitly consent to their raw neuroimaging and physiological data being made public. Therefore, raw neuroimaging and physiological data from the present study cannot currently be made publicly available. Requests for the anonymized raw neuroimaging and physiological data should be made to Fredrik Åhs (fredrik.ahs@miun.se) and will be reviewed by an independent data access committee, taking into account the research proposal and the intended use of the data. Requestors are required to sign a data transfer agreement to ensure participants' confidentiality is maintained prior to release of any data and that procedures conform with the EU legislation on the general data protection regulation and local ethical regulations. While access to raw source data is thus limited, processed data and standardized statistical images sufficient to reproduce the reported results and figures are publicly and freely available at https://osf.io/7dz9p/. Specifically, we provide statistical brain images in NIfTI file format used to render Figure 1a, Figure 2a, Table 1, Appendix 3 - Figure 1, Appendix 4 - Figure 1 and Appendix 6 - Figure 1 of the present study. We also provide brief explanations of the software used to produce all source data files, along with the SPM job files used for neuroimaging analyses. In the event that ethical approval to publicly share the raw neuromaging data of the present study is obtained at a later stage, this data will also be made publicly available on the OSF site. In the present journal we have included Figure 1 - Source data 1, which provides source data for Figure 1b, Figure 2b and statistical analyses reported in section 2.2.3 as well as for Appendix 1 - Figure 1, Appendix 2 - Figure 1 and Appendix 5 - Table 1.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Kevin Vinberg

    Department of Psychology and Social Work, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
    For correspondence
    kevinvinberg@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4848-3174
  2. Jörgen Rosén

    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Granit Kastrati

    Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9092-4335
  4. Fredrik Ahs

    Department of Psychology and Social Work, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Vetenskapsrådet

  • Fredrik Ahs

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

  • Fredrik Ahs

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Human subjects: Participants provided written informed consent in accordance with guidelines from the Regional Ethical Review Board in Uppsala and received SEK 1000 as reimbursement for their participation. The study protocol was approved by the Regional Ethical Review Board (Dnr 2016/171) in Uppsala.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Alexander Shackman, University of Maryland, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: April 22, 2021
  2. Accepted: November 21, 2022
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 22, 2022 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2022, Vinberg et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Kevin Vinberg
  2. Jörgen Rosén
  3. Granit Kastrati
  4. Fredrik Ahs
(2022)
Whole brain correlates of individual differences in skin conductance responses during discriminative fear conditioning to social cues
eLife 11:e69686.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.69686
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