Table 1.

Studies that examined age-related changes in amygdala activity and connectivity underlying emotion perceptiona

StudySample sizeAge (yr)Contrast and no. of trialsTaskFindings
Gee et al. (2013)45 (19F)4–22Fearful face versus fixation (no. of trials = 24)Participants viewed fearful faces interspersed with neutral faces in one run, and viewed happy faces interspersed with neutral faces in the other runAmygdala activity decreased with age; amygdala-vmPFC connectivity decreased with age
Kujawa et al. (2016)61 (35F) TD7–25Emotional faces (happy, angry, or fearful) versus shapes (no. of trials per emotion category = 12)Participants were instructed to match emotion (happy, angry, or fearful) of the target face in face blocks and match shapes in shape blocksNo age-related effect in amygdala activity; amygdala-dACC connectivity decreased with age in TD but increased with age in AD for all emotions
57 (34F) AD
Wu et al. (2016)61 (35F)7–25Emotional faces (angry, fearful, or happy) versus shapes (no. of trials per emotion category = 12)Participants were instructed to match emotion (angry, fearful, or happy) of the target face in face blocks and match shapes in shape blocksNo age-related effect in amygdala activity; amygdala-ACC/mPFC connectivity decreased with age for all emotions
Vink et al. (2014)60 (28F)10–24Positive versus neutral (no. of trials = 32), negative versus neutral (no. of trials = 32)Participants viewed each picture selected from the IAPS and label the valence (negative, neutral, or positive)Amygdala activity decreased with age; amygdala-mOFC connectivity increased with age
Wolf and Herringa (2016)24 (13F) TD8–18Threat versus neutral (no. of trials = 16)Participants viewed threat and neutral images selected from the IAPS and label the valenceNo age-related effect in amygdala activity; amygdala-mOFC connectivity increased with age in TD but decreased with age in PTSD
24 (16F) PTSD
  • aIf not specified, healthy individuals were recruited in the listed studies. Functional connectivity was measured by PPI in Gee et al. (2013), Vink et al. (2014), and Wolf and Herringa (2016) and by gPPI in Kujawa et al. (2016) and Wu et al. (2016). AD, Anxiety disorder; IAPS, International Affective Picture System; PPI, psychophysiological interaction; PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder; TD, typically developing. For MNI coordinates of amygdala and PFC regions used in these studies, see Table 4. For results of replication analysis, see Tables 57.