Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Behavioural neuroscience

Genes and the anxious brain

Some people are naturally more anxious than others. A brain-imaging study in monkeys provides surprising insights into which brain regions are under the influence of genes in this phenomenon and which are not.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: When anxiety runs in a family of primates.


  1. Hettema, J. M., Neale, M. C., Myers, J. M., Prescott, C. A. & Kendler, K. S. Am. J. Psychiatry 163, 857–864 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Stein, M. B., Jang, K. L. & Livesley, W. J. Am. J. Psychiatry 156, 246–251 (1999).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Oler, J. A. et al. Nature 466, 864–868 (2010).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. LeDoux, J. E. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 23, 155–184 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kalin, N. H. et al. Mol. Psychiatry 13, 1021–1027 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Hariri, A. R. et al. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 62, 146–152 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Pezawas, L. et al. Nature Neurosci. 8, 828–834 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hahn, T. et al. Biol. Psychiatry doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2010.04.033 (2010).

  9. McEwen, B. S. Biol. Psychiatry 48, 721–731 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Erk, S. et al. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 67, 803–811 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Meyer-Lindenberg, A. Genes and the anxious brain. Nature 466, 827–828 (2010).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing