Research ArticleNEUROPSYCHOLOGY

Testosterone biases the amygdala toward social threat approach

Science Advances  12 Jun 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 5, e1400074
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400074

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Abstract

Testosterone enhances amygdala reactions to social threat, but it remains unclear whether this neuroendocrine mechanism is relevant for understanding its dominance-enhancing properties; namely, whether testosterone biases the human amygdala toward threat approach. This pharmacological functional magnetic-resonance imaging study shows that testosterone administration increases amygdala responses in healthy women during threat approach and decreases it during threat avoidance. These findings support and extend motivational salience models by offering a neuroendocrine mechanism of motivation-specific amygdala tuning.

Keywords
  • testosterone
  • amygdala
  • social approach
  • approach-avoidance
  • motivational salience

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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