Brain ImagingfMRI reveals amygdala activation to human faces in social phobicsBirbaumer, Niels1; Grodd, Wolfgang2; Diedrich, Oliver1; Klose, Uwe2; Erb, Michael2; Lotze, Martin2; Schneider, Frank3; Weiss, Ute3; Flor, Herta4,5Author Information 1Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Gartenstrasse 29, D-72074 Tübingen 2Section of Experimental Magnetic Resonance of the CNS, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 3, D-72076 Tübingen 3Department of Psychiatry, University of Düsseldorf, Bergische Landstrasse 2, D-40629 Düsseldorf 4Department of Psychology, Humboldt-University, Hausvogteiplatz 5–7, D-10117 Berlin, Germany 5Corresponding Author: Herta Flor ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The research described in this paper was supported by grants from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Received 12 November 1997; accepted 27 January 1998 NeuroReport: April 20th, 1998 - Volume 9 - Issue 6 - p 1223-1226 Buy Abstract FUNCTIONAL magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine the activation of the amygdala while seven social phobics and five healthy controls were exposed to slides of neutral faces as well as aversive odor stimuli. The amygdala was selectively activated in the social phobics during presentation of the face stimuli. The data show for the first time that the amygdala is active in human phobics when they are exposed to potentially fear-relevant stimuli. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which overactivation of the amygdala precedes or is a consequence of phobia. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.