Asymmetry of amygdala resting-state functional connectivity in healthy human brain
Lateral asymmetry is one of the fundamental properties of the functional anatomy of the human brain. Amygdala (AMYG) asymmetry was also reported in clinical studies of resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) but rarely in healthy groups. To explore this issue, we investigated the reproducibility of the data on rsFC of the left and right AMYG using functional MRI twice a week in 20 healthy volunteers with mild-to-moderate anxiety. We found a resting-state network of the AMYG, which included regions involved in emotional processing and several other brain areas associated with memory and motor inhibition. The AMYG network was stable in time and within subjects, but the right AMYG had more significant connections with anatomical brain regions. The rsFC values of the right AMYG were also more sustained across the week than the left AMYG rsFC. Subjective ratings of anxiety did not correlate significantly with the patterns of seed-based AMYG connectivity. Our findings indicate that, for healthy subjects, rsFC may differ for the right and left AMYG. Moreover, the AMYG functional connectivity is variable in short-term observations, which may also influence the results of longitude studies.