Relationship between nuclei-specific amygdala connectivity and mental health dimensions in humans.
Klein-Flügge MC., Jensen DEA., Takagi Y., Priestley L., Verhagen L., Smith SM., Rushworth MFS.
There has been increasing interest in using neuroimaging measures to predict psychiatric disorders. However, predictions usually rely on large brain networks and large disorder heterogeneity. Thus, they lack both anatomical and behavioural specificity, preventing the advancement of targeted interventions. Here we address both challenges. First, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we parcellated the amygdala, a region implicated in mood disorders, into seven nuclei. Next, a questionnaire factor analysis provided subclinical mental health dimensions frequently altered in anxious-depressive individuals, such as negative emotions and sleep problems. Finally, for each behavioural dimension, we identified the most predictive resting-state functional connectivity between individual amygdala nuclei and highly specific regions of interest, such as the dorsal raphe nucleus in the brainstem or medial frontal cortical regions. Connectivity in circumscribed amygdala networks predicted behaviours in an independent dataset. Our results reveal specific relations between mental health dimensions and connectivity in precise subcortical networks.