15. Neuroanatomy and Neuroimaging

  1. Paul Emmelkamp2 and
  2. Thomas Ehring3
  1. Frauke Nees and
  2. Herta Flor

Published Online: 4 APR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118775349.ch15

The Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders

The Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders

How to Cite

Nees, F. and Flor, H. (2014) Neuroanatomy and Neuroimaging, in The Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders (eds P. Emmelkamp and T. Ehring), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118775349.ch15

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  2. 3

    University of Münster, Germany

Author Information

  1. Central Institute of Mental Health, Heidelberg University, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 APR 2014
  2. Published Print: 24 MAR 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118775356

Online ISBN: 9781118775349



  • anxiety disorders;
  • generalized anxiety disorder (GAD);
  • neuroanatomy;
  • neuroimaging studies;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD);
  • panic disorder;
  • phobias;
  • posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • social anxiety disorder (SAD)


Dysfunctional processes related to the cognitive control of emotional processes involve brain regions such as the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex (PFC), specifically dorsolateral, dorsomedial, and ventromedial parts, and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the insular cortex, the periaqueductal gray (PAG), the thalamus, the hypothalamus, and the striatum. This chapter reviews findings on structural and functional neural pathways and their interaction in various anxiety disorders. Following DSM-IV-TR, the chapter focuses on panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), specific phobias, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While there are similarities between the anxiety disorders in accordance with the assumed alterations in the “fear network,” for PTSD, the neuroanatomical findings seem to partially differ and involve additional regions such as the hippocampus. Most of the literature on neuroimaging studies in anxiety disorders reported has addressed neural alterations during specific emotion-processing tasks.