2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.05.017
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Strengthened Hippocampal Circuits Underlie Enhanced Retrieval of Extinguished Fear Memories Following Mindfulness Training

Abstract: BACKGROUND: The role of hippocampus in context-dependent recall of extinction is well recognized. However, little is known about how intervention-induced changes in hippocampal networks relate to improvements in extinction learning. In this study, we hypothesized that mindfulness training creates an optimal exposure condition by heightening attention and awareness of present moment sensory experience, leading to enhanced extinction learning, improved emotion regulation, and reduced anxiety symptoms. METHODS: W… Show more

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Cited by 48 publications
(35 citation statements)
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References 81 publications
(102 reference statements)
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“…Critically, mindfulness meditation creates conditions similar to, and optimal for, exposure by allowing aversive stimuli to be experienced with nonreactive acceptance (Hölzel et al., 2011; Treanor, 2011), and thereby facilitates extinction learning. In line with this overlap, we previously reported mindfulness training‐dependent increases in hippocampal functional connectivity during the retrieval of extinguished fear memories (Sevinc et al, 2019). Here, we further this work by examining the role of structural changes in hippocampal subfields on hippocampal connectivity during fear extinction retrieval.…”
Section: Introductionsupporting
confidence: 68%
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“…Critically, mindfulness meditation creates conditions similar to, and optimal for, exposure by allowing aversive stimuli to be experienced with nonreactive acceptance (Hölzel et al., 2011; Treanor, 2011), and thereby facilitates extinction learning. In line with this overlap, we previously reported mindfulness training‐dependent increases in hippocampal functional connectivity during the retrieval of extinguished fear memories (Sevinc et al, 2019). Here, we further this work by examining the role of structural changes in hippocampal subfields on hippocampal connectivity during fear extinction retrieval.…”
Section: Introductionsupporting
confidence: 68%
“…Relying on previous findings in the left hippocampus (Sevinc et al, 2019), the analyses focused on comparison of volume changes within the following subfields of the left hippocampus: presubiculum, CA1, CA2, fimbria, subiculum, CA4, and hippocampal fissure (see Figure 1a). For the functional connectivity analyses, an anatomically defined left hippocampal ROI was used.…”
Section: Methodsmentioning
confidence: 99%
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“…Despite this increased challenge, the social context of the group helps people spend time away from unhealthy behavior-activating cues and in a social environment that values collective learning of mindfulness. 277 As community MBP practice continues, autonomic stability increases, 152 allowing for a “window of tolerance,” 278 , 279 within which exposure, response prevention, reconsolidation, associative learning, and extinction learning processes 150 , 280 may begin to unwind the habit learning 273 and fear conditioning 281 that were maintaining unhealthy habits.…”
Section: Mindful Self-regulationmentioning
confidence: 99%
“…The lateral occipital region is expected to work in pace with the prefrontal regions in visual fear signalling (76). Similarly, the lateral occipital activity is known to be functionally connected with the angular gyrus involved with encoding and retrieval processes (77) and the supramarginal gyrus involved in early and late extinction learning (46,78). Hence, that increased correlation between Clusters 3 and 4 and the lDLPFC during the processing of the CS+ in late extinction supports an efficient extinction process.…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
confidence: 96%