Neural Correlates of Anticipation in Children at High Risk for Anxiety
Clauss, Jacqueline Alexandra
Inhibited temperament is a biological risk factor for the development of social anxiety disorder. In adolescents and young adults, inhibited temperament has been associated with increased amygdala reactivity and alterations in prefrontal cortex regulation. Brain activation in children with an inhibited temperament who have yet to develop anxiety disorders has not been examined. In this study of young children, we identified neural vulnerabilities in the prefrontal cortex activation associated with preparing to view social stimuli. Further, we found that inhibited children had stronger connections within a limbic-visual processing network when preparing to view social stimuli. This is the first study to identify underlying neural vulnerabilities associated with inhibited temperament and to show that young children with this phenotype already have critical alterations in brain activation.