Neuroanatomical explanation of phobias

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  • Neuroanatomical explanations
    • The role of the amygdala
      • The amygdala is activated in response to threat.
      • PET scans have sown that people with phobias have increased blood flow in the amygdala when they experience anticipatory anxiety compared with controls. (Tilfors et al. 2001)
      • When exposed to the phobic stimulus, they had a startled response and increased activity was observed in the amygdala. Frederickson and Furmark 2003
    • Evaluation of neuroanatomical explanation
      • Successful treatment with drugs decreases blood flow (Furmark et al.)
      • Is an increased blood flow cause or effect?

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