3. Neurobiology of PTSD

  1. Dan J. Stein MD, PhD5,6,
  2. Matthew J. Friedman MD7,8 and
  3. Carlos Blanco MD, PhD9
  1. Arieh Y. Shalev1,
  2. Asaf Gilboa2 and
  3. Ann M. Rasmusson3,4

Published Online: 15 JUL 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119998471.ch3

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

How to Cite

Shalev, A. Y., Gilboa, A. and Rasmusson, A. M. (2011) Neurobiology of PTSD, in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (eds D. J. Stein, M. J. Friedman and C. Blanco), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119998471.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

  2. 6

    Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

  3. 7

    Department of Psychiatry and of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Dartmouth Medical School, USA

  4. 8

    National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Hanover, NH, USA

  5. 9

    Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychiatry, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel

  2. 2

    The Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada

  3. 3

    Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, USA

  4. 4

    Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 JUL 2011

Book Series:

  1. World Psychiatric Association Evidence and Experience in Psychiatry Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Helen Herrman

Series Editor Information

  1. WPA Secretary for Publications, University of Melbourne, Australia

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470688977

Online ISBN: 9781119998471



  • neurobiology of PTSD - from ‘black box’ tradition to sophisticated neuroscience;
  • Kolb and Multipassi, equating PTSD - with ‘conditioned emotional response’;
  • basic features of PTSD - acquisition and maintenance of maladaptive responses, fear conditioning;
  • neurobiological perturbations - associated with PTSD;
  • fear conditioning and extinction - model, fear conditioning and extinction;
  • species-specific defence response (SSDR) - highly conserved mammalian SSDR, coordinated by amygdala;
  • neuroendocrine modulation - of conditioned stress responses;
  • epigenetic regulation of gene transcription - new opportunities for understanding PTSD;
  • connectivity patterns - inconsistencies in brain imaging findings in PTSD


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Fear Conditioning and Extinction

  • Neuroendocrine Modulation of Conditioned Stress Responses

  • Genetic Contributions to the Risk of Developing PTSD

  • Epigenetic Contributions to the Risk of Developing PTSD

  • Structural and Functional Neuroanatomy

  • Conclusion

  • Acknowledgement

  • References