Restructuring of amygdala subregion apportion across adolescence

Claire E. Campbell, Adam F. Mezher, Sandrah P. Eckel, J. Michael Tyszka, Wolfgang M. Pauli, Bonnie J. Nagel, Megan M. Herting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Total amygdala volumes develop in association with sex and puberty, and postmortem studies find neuronal numbers increase in a nuclei specific fashion across development. Thus, amygdala subregions and composition may evolve with age. Our goal was to examine if amygdala subregion absolute volumes and/or relative proportion varies as a function of age, sex, or puberty in a large sample of typically developing adolescents (N = 408, 43 % female, 10–17 years). Utilizing the in vivo CIT168 atlas, we quantified 9 subregions and implemented Generalized Additive Mixed Models to capture potential non-linear associations with age and pubertal status between sexes. Only males showed significant age associations with the basolateral ventral and paralaminar subdivision (BLVPL), central nucleus (CEN), and amygdala transition area (ATA). Again, only males showed relative differences in the proportion of the BLVPL, CEN, ATA, along with lateral (LA) and amygdalostriatal transition area (ASTA), with age. Using a best-fit modeling approach, age, and not puberty, was found to drive these associations. The results suggest that amygdala subregions show unique variations with age in males across adolescence. Future research is warranted to determine if our findings may contribute to sex differences in mental health that emerge across adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100883
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Amygdala
  • Basolateral nuclear complex
  • Central amygdaloid nucleus
  • Corticomedial nuclear complex
  • Puberty
  • Sex characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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