Trait anxiety mediates the link between inferior frontal cortex volume and negative affective bias in healthy adults

Yifan Hu, Sanda Dolcos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Anxious individuals tend to show a negative affective bias in attention that likely reflects reduced executive control, a cognitive function associated with the inferior frontal cortex (IFC), particularly its posterior segment, pars opercularis. Here, we investigated the relations among gray matter volume in the pars opercularis of IFC, trait anxiety, and negative biases in attention, in healthy participants. Sixty-two adults underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging scanning, completed a trait anxiety measure, and performed an Affective Go/No-Go (AGN) task. IFC volumes were extracted using Freesurfer, and negative bias scores were calculated from AGN performance. Trait anxiety correlated negatively with left IFC volume, and positively with the negative bias in reaction time. Furthermore, trait anxiety mediated the negative relation between the IFC volume and the negative bias measure. Overall, the present findings extend previous understanding of the IFC involvement in anxiety at the structural level, and may inform the development of intervention programs targeting anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernsx008
Pages (from-to)775-782
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • Executive control
  • Inferior frontal cortex
  • Negative bias
  • Trait anxiety
  • Volumetric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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