Tourist resort on Hvar and settlement Livka on Šolta on the list of strategic investments

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgTechnical Minister of Tourism Anton Kliman reported that the projects for the construction of a tourist resort on Hvar and Livka on Solta have been included in the list of strategic investments, saying that these are huge projects that will contribute to the development of tourism in Split-Dalmatia County.”Last week, the Commission for Strategic Investments included two large projects on the list of strategic investments, namely Livka on Šolta and the resort on Hvar in Stari Grad, ”Said Kliman after a meeting with Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Zlatko Ževrnja and associates, where they discussed new investments and future development of tourism in the area.According to him, these are huge projects that will contribute to the quality of tourist products in the Split-Dalmatia County. According to media reports, the realization of the two projects on Hvar and Solta could cost around 280m euros. The Livka project envisages the construction of a tourist resort worth 180 million euros in the area of ​​that bay on Šolta, which would include, among other things, a fishing village with villas and bungalows and a five-star hotel, a marina with 160 berths and beach facilities. .The tourist resort project on Hvar is an investment worth about 100 million euros, which would build a luxury tourist resort in a bay near the Old Town. Among other things, a five-star hotel and about 60 villas should be built in this resort.Source: Hinalast_img read more


Zagreb is defending the title of the best European Christmas destination this year!

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgZagreb has also specially prepared for this year’s Advent because it is defending the title of the best European Christmas destination in the competition of the European Best Destinations portal, which is open from 2 to 12 December.Advent in Zagreb is richer, bigger and more diverse than ever before with many more new programs and even more reasons to come and see why the capital of Croatia is the best European Christmas destination in 2016. And Zagreb has specially prepared for Advent this year because it knows that the title of European champion requires only valuable programs and facilities, which is why more and more tourists come to the Croatian capital at this time of year. The award I have written about before, as in the case of Zadar, is a great responsibility and obligation.”At the time of Advent, Zagreb offers a special atmosphere that simply must be experienced, and good fun awaits you at literally every step. These days, in many squares and streets, people sing, dance, have fun with family or friends, enjoy traditional outdoor delicacies or return to the past with themed programs.… „With this description, along with the invitation to come and get to know the idyllic side of the city, the Europen Best Destinations portal lists Zagreb’s trump cards by opening a competition to choose the best destinations in Europe during the 2017 Christmas holidays.In this competition, Zagreb is now defending the title of European champion, for which it has seriously prepared, leaving nothing to chance, because the highest ratings of passengers and the best recommendation for the destination. The competition is conducted by voting on the portal European Best Destinations, and in choosing the best among fifty destinations and your vote can be crucial.Voting is open from December 2 to 12, and you can vote at the link: www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-marketsYou can see what Zagreb has prepared for Advent this year with a detailed description of all programs and an invitation to come and be a participant in the most beautiful winter fairy tale on the website www.adventzagreb.hr.RELATED NEWS: The city of Zagreb is slowly but surely starting to live tourismlast_img read more


Franjo Tuđman Airport open to traffic

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgToday, in the early morning hours (05.50 hours), a new passenger term of the Franjo Tuđman Airport was opened to traffic. The passengers of Croatia Airlines from the direction Zagreb – Dubrovnik had the honor of being the first passengers, while the first incoming flight was a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Zagreb.According to Franjo Tuđman Airport, 6.000 passengers are expected on the first day, while exactly 50 planes will take off and 44 will land.The total investment of the project in the first phase is more than 300 million euros, and the project of building a new passenger terminal was realized in the form of public-private partnership between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the concessionaire, International Airport Zagreb dd, consisting of six partner companies ADP, BBI, TAV, Marguerite Fund, IFC and Viaduct. The new passenger terminal in the first phase can accommodate 5 million passengers, while after the second phase of the project that number will be 8 million. The terminal building is characterized by modern design and innovative solutions that cover an area of ​​65.000 m2 and among which stands out 30 check-in counters, more than 3 km of luggage lane within the most modern automated sorting room and for the first time in the history of Zagreb airport and eight air bridges: six for international and two for domestic traffic.”We are proud that after three and a half years of construction we welcome the first passengers in the new passenger terminal of the Franjo Tuđman Airport. Significant work has been successfully done behind us, but it does not stop with this, in fact, we can say that a new era of Zagreb airport has begun today.”, Said David Gabelica, Member of the Management Board of MZLZ dd, Franjo Tuđman Airport ConcessionaireZET: New bus line 290 Zagreb (Kvaternikov trg) – Airport – Velika GoricaWith the aim of improving the standard of transport service, ZET is introducing a new bus line 290 Zagreb (Kvaternikov trg) – Airport – Velika Gorica, which will be in operation from Tuesday, March 28. On the 19-kilometer route, the bus will pass through two tariff zones and stop at 20 bus stops.Departures will take place every 35 minutes. The first departure on weekdays and Saturdays from Kvaternik Square will be at 4.20, and on Sundays at 5.20, while throughout the week the last departure from Velika Gorica will take place 15 minutes after midnight. Thus, the new bus line has established a direct transport connection for all users of the newly built International Airport, as well as a better quality transport service for the residents of Velika Gorica, and especially Pleso and surrounding settlements.last_img read more


Alexia: What happens when a brain injury makes you forget how to read

Posted On Nov 19 2020 by

first_imgLinkedIn Pure alexia as a syndrome was first described more than 120 years ago, but researchers still disagree on the cause of the reading problems. They agree that a lesion in the brain causes the problems, but they can’t agree on which cognitive mechanisms may be responsible, or even how the disorder should be defined.Not a language problemEvidence from functional brain imaging has led to the idea of a brain area that is specialised in recognising words and letters, called the “visual word form area”. It is this area that is commonly damaged in pure alexia. However, the role of this area in the way we read is highly debated and there is disagreement about whether it is reading-specific, or important for all sorts of visual recognition, such as looking at images or even faces. The same questions are discussed regarding pure alexia: whether the disorder is specific to reading or a more general deficit in somebody’s visual processing ability.The image shows the lesions of four patients with pure alexia. The colours represent the number of patients with lesions in different areas. The visual word form area is marked by the red crosshairs. (Randi Starrfelt, Cerebal Cortex) Pinterest Once we have successfully learned how to read, it continues to be easy for most of us. But for some people it can be an immense challenge. In developmental dyslexia, the process of learning to read is disrupted, while in alexia – or acquired dyslexia – brain damage can affect reading ability in previously literate adults.Patients with pure alexia lose the ability to read fluently following injury to areas in the rear part of the left hemisphere of their brain. The curious thing is that they can still walk, talk, think, and even write like they did before their injury. They just can’t read. Not even what they have written themselves.Some patients lose the ability to recognise letters and words completely, but more commonly, patients with pure alexia can recognise single letters and will spell their way through words to identify them. As a result, some researchers prefer the term “letter-by-letter reading” to pure alexia. In most, if not all cases of pure alexia, other visual perceptual functions such as recognition of numbers or objects are affected, while other language functions, like speech comprehension and production – as well as writing – may be intact.So it makes sense to look at pure alexia as a visual disorder; if it was a language problem, we would at least expect writing to also be affected, and it’s not. It is also clear, however, that the deficit in pure alexia patients primarily affects recognition of complex visual stimuli. This is because patients with this disorder may perform normally in perceiving simple patterns.Pure alexic patients have difficulty recognising numbers as well as letters, and also show problems in perceiving more than a few letters or numbers at the same time. So it seems that patterns must be either visually complex, or need to be linked with meaning – such as words – for pure alexic patients to be impaired. On this basis, we have suggested that the core problem for pure alexic patients, is that they see “too little too late” to be able to read fluently.As you read the words in this article, you need to perceive and integrate multiple letters at a time to access the meaning of the words and the text. Very few other visual tasks demand the same speed and span of apprehension for successful recognition, which is why patients with pure alexia rarely complain of any problems other than in reading.When letters come easier than wordsFor normal readers, integrating letters into words is a very simple task that we perform automatically and effortlessly. It may actually be more difficult to focus on a single letter within a word than the word itself.This is also known as the “word superiority effect” – that people are better at identifying words than single letters, even though words consist of letters that must be processed for the word to be recognised. This effect probably arises because of two things: first, normal readers can process letters in parallel by identifying multiple letters at a time and second, our knowledge of word meaning and word spelling helps us to identify the word.The word superiority effect is not present in pure alexic patients: they actually perform better recognising single letters than with words. For instance, when they are asked to recognise something that is presented to them for a very short time they would recognise the letters, rather than the word itself. Perhaps it’s no wonder that many of them resort to letter-by-letter reading.In evolutionary terms, reading is a very recent skill which takes time and instruction to learn. If a dedicated brain area is responsible for visual recognition of words then this function of the brain must have been created in each of us as we learn, rather than through evolutionary mechanisms and development.But although the “visual word form area” may be specialised for reading, and this specialisation is created through learning to read, the area itself is not new – the brain hasn’t grown in any way. That is one of the intriguing things about the brain: even if all we learn is stored in there, the brain doesn’t grow much bigger when we learn. Instead, it seems to be reorganised, so that new skills may relocate or at least slightly displace older skills.This has been referred to as “neuronal recycling” by the French neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene, the man who also coined the term “the visual word form area”. It seems that the visual word form area, in addition to being crucial for visual word recognition, continues to contribute to our recognition of other visual stimuli such as images of objects. Exploring this relationship between reading and other cognitive skills is a new avenue in research on reading and the brain where there is still much to learn.By Randi Starrfelt, University of CopenhagenRandi Starrfelt is Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at University of Copenhagen.This article was originally published on The Conversation.Read the original article. Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Emaillast_img read more


How traumatic memories hide in the brain, and how to retrieve them

Posted On Nov 19 2020 by

first_imgSome stressful experiences – such as chronic childhood abuse – are so overwhelming and traumatic, the memories hide like a shadow in the brain.At first, hidden memories that can’t be consciously accessed may protect the individual from the emotional pain of recalling the event. But eventually those suppressed memories can cause debilitating psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociative disorders.A process known as state-dependent learning is believed to contribute to the formation of memories that are inaccessible to normal consciousness. Thus, memories formed in a particular mood, arousal or drug-induced state can best be retrieved when the brain is back in that state. Share Email In a new study with mice, Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time the mechanism by which state-dependent learning renders stressful fear-related memories consciously inaccessible.“The findings show there are multiple pathways to storage of fear-inducing memories, and we identified an important one for fear-related memories,” said principal investigator Dr. Jelena Radulovic, the Dunbar Professor in Bipolar Disease at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “This could eventually lead to new treatments for patients with psychiatric disorders for whom conscious access to their traumatic memories is needed if they are to recover.”It’s difficult for therapists to help these patients, Radulovic said, because the patients themselves can’t remember their traumatic experiences that are the root cause of their symptoms.The best way to access the memories in this system is to return the brain to the same state of consciousness as when the memory was encoded, the study showed.The study will be published August 17 in Nature Neuroscience.Changing the Brain’s Radio FrequenciesTwo amino acids, glutamate and GABA, are the yin and yang of the brain, directing its emotional tides and controlling whether nerve cells are excited or inhibited (calm). Under normal conditions the system is balanced. But when we are hyper-aroused and vigilant, glutamate surges. Glutamate is also the primary chemical that helps store memories in our neuronal networks in a way that they are easy to remember.GABA, on the other hand, calms us and helps us sleep, blocking the action of the excitable glutamate. The most commonly used tranquilizing drug, benzodiazepine, activates GABA receptors in our brains.There are two kinds of GABA receptors. One kind, synaptic GABA receptors, works in tandem with glutamate receptors to balance the excitation of the brain in response to external events such as stress.The other population, extra-synaptic GABA receptors, are independent agents. They ignore the peppy glutamate. Instead, their job is internally focused, adjusting brain waves and mental states according to the levels of internal chemicals, such as GABA, sex hormones and micro RNAs. Extra-synaptic GABA receptors change the brain’s state to make us aroused, sleepy, alert, sedated, inebriated or even psychotic. However, Northwestern scientists discovered another critical role; these receptors also help encode memories of a fear-inducing event and then store them away, hidden from consciousness.“The brain functions in different states, much like a radio operates at AM and FM frequency bands,” Radulovic said. “It’s as if the brain is normally tuned to FM stations to access memories, but needs to be tuned to AM stations to access subconscious memories. If a traumatic event occurs when these extra-synaptic GABA receptors are activated, the memory of this event cannot be accessed unless these receptors are activated once again, essentially tuning the brain into the AM stations.”Retrieving Stressful Memories in MiceIn the experiment, scientists infused the hippocampus of mice with gaboxadol, a drug that stimulates extra-synaptic GABA receptors. “It’s like we got them a little inebriated, just enough to change their brain state,” Radulovic said.Then the mice were put in a box and given a brief, mild electric shock. When the mice were returned to the same box the next day, they moved about freely and weren’t afraid, indicating they didn’t recall the earlier shock in the space. However, when scientists put the mice back on the drug and returned them to the box, they froze, fearfully anticipating another shock.“This establishes when the mice were returned to the same brain state created by the drug, they remembered the stressful experience of the shock,” Radulovic said.The experiment showed when the extra-synaptic GABA receptors were activated with the drug, they changed the way the stressful event was encoded. In the drug-induced state, the brain used completely different molecular pathways and neuronal circuits to store the memory.“It’s an entirely different system even at the genetic and molecular level than the one that encodes normal memories,” said lead study author Vladimir Jovasevic, who worked on the study when he was a postdoctoral fellow in Radulovic’s lab.This different system is regulated by a small microRNA, miR-33, and may be the brain’s protective mechanism when an experience is overwhelmingly stressful.The findings imply that in response to traumatic stress, some individuals, instead of activating the glutamate system to store memories, activate the extra-synaptic GABA system and form inaccessible traumatic memories.Traumatic Memories Rerouted and Hidden AwayMemories are usually stored in distributed brain networks including the cortex, and can thus be readily accessed to consciously remember an event. But when the mice were in a different brain state induced by gaboxadol, the stressful event primarily activated subcortical memory regions of the brain. The drug rerouted the processing of stress-related memories within the brain circuits so that they couldn’t be consciously accessed. Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Facebooklast_img read more


Single dose of ketamine reduces anhedonia in those with treatment-resistant depression

Posted On Nov 19 2020 by

first_imgEmail Ketamine may be able to treat anhedonia in patients with depression, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.Anhedonia is the inability to desire or find enjoyment in pleasurable activities. It is associated with severe, treatment-resistant forms of major depressive disorder (MDD) and is a reliable predictor for suicide. However, experts have had little success battling it.“Despite the importance of this symptom in psychiatry, and particularly in MDD, there is currently no medication specifically targeting anhedonia,” said Niall Lally, PhD student at University College London and corresponding author. Share Share on Twitter Pinterestcenter_img LinkedIn Fifty-two individuals participated in the study, which was conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The participants were all medication-free; currently experiencing a major depressive episode; and considered “treatment-resistant,” meaning they had experienced at least two failed antidepressant trials.The participants received an infusion of ketamine, a glutamate-based antidepressant, over a period of 40 minutes. They were then randomized and given either riluzole (another glutamate-based drug) or a placebo in daily doses. Scientists found that participants reported significantly lower levels of anhedonia for up to three days after the ketamine infusion. However, the daily dose of riluzole had little effect.“Ketamine rapidly reduced levels of anhedonia in this sample, with a substantial effect within 40 minutes that remained 3 days post-infusion,” the researchers wrote.A PET brain scan of 20 participants suggested the decrease in anhedonia was caused by changes in the hippocampus, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex. However, the results, “while promising, remain tentative due to the lack of a placebo-controlled comparison for the effects of ketamine,” Lally and his colleagues cautioned.Though the study was preliminary, the team believes it could bring hope for those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression.“Our results add increasing weight to the promise of [ketamine and similar drugs] in treating cardinal symptoms of depression,” said Lally. “Given the safety of ketamine, the potential for treating patients with residual anhedonic symptomatology is high.” Share on Facebooklast_img read more


Mazes and brains: When preconception trumps logic

Posted On Nov 19 2020 by

first_imgShare on Twitter Using virtual three-dimensional mazes together with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the researchers investigated whether a person’s preconceptions could be represented in brain activity.Participants were led through each maze, memorizing a sequence of scenes by receiving directions for each move. Then, while being imaged using fMRI, they were asked to navigate through the maze by choosing the upcoming scene from two options. In contrast to methods in previous studies, the re-searchers focused on the underpinnings of expectation and prediction, crucial cognitive processes in everyday decision making.Twelve decoders deciphered brain activity from fMRI scans by associating signals with output variables. They were ultimately able to reconstruct what scene the participants pictured in their minds as they pro-gressed through the maze.They also discovered that the human sense of objectivity may sometimes be overpowered by precon-ception, which includes biases arising from external cues and prior knowledge.“We found that the activity patterns in the parietal regions reflect participants’ expectations even when they are wrong, demonstrating that subjective belief can override objective reality,” said senior author Shin Ishii.Shikauchi and Ishii hope that this research will contribute to the development of new communication tools that make use of brain activity.“There are a lot of things that can’t be communicated just by words and language. As we were able to decipher virtual expectations both right and wrong, this could contribute to the development of a new type of tool that allows people to communicate non-linguistic information,” said Ishii. “We now need to be able to decipher scenes that are more complicated than simple mazes.”The study was published in Scientific Reports. Pinterest Share on Facebook LinkedIncenter_img Email Researchers can now reconstruct what we see in our minds when we navigate — and explain how we get directions wrong.The brain helps us navigate by continually generating, rationalizing, and analyzing great amounts of in-formation. For example, this innate GPS-like function helps us find our way in cities, follow directions to a specific destination, or go to a particular restaurant to satisfy a craving.“When people try to get from one place to another, they ‘foresee’ the upcoming landscape in their minds,” said study author Yumi Shikauchi. “We wanted to decode prior belief in the brain, because it’s so crucial for spatial navigation.” Sharelast_img read more


Self-esteem gender gap more pronounced in western nations

Posted On Nov 19 2020 by

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIncenter_img Email Bleidorn and her colleagues analyzed survey data from over 985,000 men and women ages 16-45 from 48 countries. The data were collected from July 1999 to December 2009 as part of the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project. The researchers compared self-reported self-esteem, gender and age across the 48 nations in their study.In general, the researchers found that self-esteem tended to increase with age, from adolescence to adulthood, and that men at every age tended to have higher levels of self-esteem than women worldwide. When they broke the results down by country, they found some interesting results.“Specifically, individualistic, prosperous, egalitarian, developed nations with higher gender equality had larger gender gaps in self-esteem than collectivist, poorer, developing nations with greater gender inequality,” said Bleidorn. “This is likely the result of specific cultural influences that guide self-esteem development in men and women.”For instance, the gender differences were small in many Asian countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia and India, but were relatively larger in countries like the United Kingdom or the Netherlands.What surprised the researchers most was, despite the cultural differences, the general trend across all the countries suggests that gender and age differences in self-esteem are not a Western idiosyncrasy, but can be observed in different cultures across the world.“This remarkable degree of similarity implies that gender and age differences in self-esteem are partly driven by universal mechanisms; these can either be universal biological mechanisms such as hormonal influences or universal cultural mechanisms such as universal gender roles. However, universal influences do not tell the whole story,” said Bleidorn. “The differences in magnitude and shape of gender and age differences in various countries provide strong evidence for culture-specific influences on the development of self-esteem in men and women.”These findings are important because up until now the bulk of research on self-esteem has been confined to industrialized, Western cultures where the gender gap is significantly greater, said Bleidorn. “This new research refines our understanding of how cultural forces may shape self-esteem, which, when worked out more fully, can help inform self-esteem theory and design interventions to promote or protect self-esteem.” People worldwide tend to gain self-esteem as they grow older, and men generally have higher levels of self-esteem than women, but this self-esteem gender gap is more pronounced in Western industrialized countries, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.“During the past two decades, a large number of studies on age and gender differences in self-esteem have found that men have higher self-esteem than women and that both men and women show age-graded increases in self-esteem. These robust findings would appear to provide a solid empirical foundation upon which researchers can develop their understanding of the mechanisms driving age and gender differences in self-esteem,” said lead author Wiebke Bleidorn, PhD, of the University of California, Davis. “However, one issue potentially undermines this conclusion: Virtually all previous studies have only examined samples from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic countries. Our research aims to provide the first systematic cross-cultural examination of gender and age effects on self-esteem.”The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.last_img read more


Victims of childhood bullying more likely to be overweight as young adults

Posted On Nov 19 2020 by

first_imgShare on Twitter Share on Facebook Email Share The researchers analysed data from the Environment Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, which has followed more than 2,000 children in England and Wales in 1994-1995 from birth to age 18. They assessed bullying victimisation in primary school and early secondary school through interviews with mothers and children at repeated assessments at the ages of 7, 10 and 12.When the children were aged 18, the researchers measured their body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio, an indicator of abdominal fat.They found that 28 per cent of children in the study had been bullied in either primary school or secondary school (defined as transitory bullying), and 13 per cent had been bullied at both primary and secondary school (defined as chronic bullying).Children who were chronically bullied in school were 1.7 times more likely to be overweight as young adults than non-bullied children (29 per cent prevalence compared to 20 per cent). Bullied children also had a higher BMI and waist-hip ratio at the age of 18.These associations were independent of other environmental risk factors (including socioeconomic status, food insecurity in the home, child maltreatment, low IQ, and poor mental health). In addition, and for the first time, analyses showed that children who were chronically bullied became overweight independent of their genetic risk of being overweight.Finally, at the time of victimisation, bullied children were not more likely to be overweight than non-bullied children, indicating that overweight children were not simply more likely to fall victim to bullying.Dr Andrea Danese from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, said: ‘Bullying is commonly associated with mental health problems, but there is little research examining the physical health of bullied children. Our study shows that bullied children are more likely to be overweight as young adults, and that they become overweight independent of their genetic liability and after experiencing victimisation.’Jessie Baldwin, also from the IoPPN at King’s, said: ‘Although we cannot definitively say that bullying victimisation causes individuals to become overweight, ruling out alternative explanations, such as genetic liability, strengthens the likelihood that this is the case. If the association is causal, preventing bullying could help to reduce the prevalence of overweight in the population.‘As well as preventing bullying, our findings emphasise the importance of supporting bullied children to prevent them from becoming overweight, which could include interventions aimed at promoting exercise and healthy eating. Our data suggest that such interventions should start early in life.’center_img LinkedIn Children who are bullied in primary and secondary school are nearly twice as likely to be overweight at the age of 18 than non-bullied children, according to a new study by researchers from King’s College London.Previous research by the team at King’s has shown that children who experienced bullying while growing up in the 1960s were more likely to be obese at the age of 45, yet it was unclear whether these long-term effects were present earlier in life.In this new study, published in Psychosomatic Medicine, the researchers set out to examine whether bullying in a modern context would have similar effects on weight, given that it may take different forms today (e.g. cyberbullying) than it did in the 1960s. The environment children grow up in today has also changed, with unhealthy food more readily available and sedentary lifestyles more common. Pinterestlast_img read more


Brain scans could help predict response to psychotherapy for anxiety and depression

Posted On Nov 19 2020 by

first_imgLinkedIn he researchers analyzed previous research evaluating brain imaging scans to predict the outcomes of psychotherapy for major depressive and anxiety disorders. Psychiatrists are interested in identifying brain imaging markers of response to psychotherapy–comparable to electrocardiograms and laboratory tests used to decide on treatments for myocardial infarction.The review found 40 studies including patients with MDD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other diagnoses. Some studies used structural brain imaging studies, which show brain anatomy; others used functional scans, which demonstrate brain activity.Although no single brain area was consistently associated with response to psychotherapy, the results did identify some “candidate markers.” Studies suggested that psychotherapy responses might be related to activity in two deep brain areas: the amygdala, involved in mood responses and emotional memories; and the anterior insula, involved in awareness of the body’s physiologic state, anxiety responses, and feelings of disgust.In MDD studies, patients with higher activity in the amygdala were more likely to respond to psychotherapy. In contrast, in some studies of anxiety disorders, lower activity in the amygdala was associated with better psychotherapy outcomes. Studies of anterior insula activity showed the converse: psychotherapy response was associated with higher pretreatment activity in anxiety disorders and lower activity in MDD.Other studies linked psychotherapy responses to a frontal brain area called the anterior cingulate cortex, which plays a critical role in regulating emotions. Most of the evidence suggested that MDD patients with lower activity in some parts of the ACC (ventral and subgenual) were more likely to have good outcomes with psychotherapy.“Future studies of psychotherapy response may focus further on these individual regions as predictive markers,” according to Dr. Chakrabarty. “Additionally, future biomarker studies may focus on pretreatment functional connectivity between these regions, as affective experience is modulated via reciprocal connections between brain areas such as the ACC and amygdala.”The researchers emphasize the limitations of current evidence on neuroimaging markers of psychotherapy response–the studies were highly variable in terms of their methodology and results. Further studies are needed to assess how the potential neuroimaging markers perform over time, whether they can predict which patients will respond better to medications versus psychotherapy, and how they might be integrated with clinical features in order to improve outcomes for patients with depression and anxiety disorders. Share on Twitter Share Pinterestcenter_img Email Brain imaging scans may one day provide useful information on the response to psychotherapy in patients with depression or anxiety, according to a review of current research in the November/December issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, published by Wolters Kluwer.Studies show promising initial evidence that specific “neuroimaging markers” might help in predicting the chances of a good response to psychotherapy, or choosing between psychotherapy or medications, in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other diagnoses. “While some brain areas have emerged as potential candidate markers, there are still many barriers that preclude their clinical use,” comments lead author Dr. Trisha Chakrabarty of University of British Columbia, Vancouver.Evidence of Neuroimaging Markers of Response to Psychotherapy Share on Facebooklast_img read more