Positive and negative emotional verbal stimuli elicit activity in the left amygdala

Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Neuroreport (Impact Factor: 1.64). 02/2002; 13(1):15-9. DOI: 10.1097/00001756-200201210-00008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The human amygdala's involvement in negative emotion is well established, but relatively little is known regarding its role in positive emotion. Here we examined the neural response to emotionally positive, negative, and neutral words using fMRI. Relative to neutral words, positive and negative emotional words elicited greater activity in the left amygdala. Positive but not negative words elicited activity in dorsal and ventral striatal regions which have been linked in previous neuroimaging studies to reward and positive affect, including caudate, putamen, globus pallidus, and accumbens. These findings provide the first direct evidence that the amygdala is involved in emotional reactions elicited by both positive and negative emotional words, and further indicate that positive words additionally activate brain regions related to reward.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PROCESSING OF THE EMOTIONAL VALUE OF WORDS IN AN EMOTIONAL STROOP TASK BY LATE HUNGARIAN–SERBIAN BILINGUALS GRABOVAC, BEÁTA – PLÉH, CSABA In the past few years many studies have focused on the processing of emotional information in bilinguals. Among the groups studied there are early and late bilinguals, varying language dominance and different language combinations. Many cognitive scientists have emphasized executive functioning in bilinguals and this trend can be followed up in the processing of affective information as well, which is signalized by the emergence of tasks measuring executive functions at the affective level. The aim of our research was to examine how deeply is the emotional information processed in an emotional Stroop-task by Hungarian-Serbian late bilinguals in Hungarian and Serbian. The emotional information was present as an irrelevant distractor. Our results have shown that late bilinguals with lower proficiency in their second language show a language independent emotional Stroop-effect, the negative information being processed slower than the neutral one and language dominance can also be seen through shorter reaction time in the native language. Key words: emotional Stroop task, Hungarian–Serbian bilingualism, emotion-laden words, executive functioning
    Magyar Pszichológiai Szemle 12/2014; 69:731-745. DOI:10.1556/MPSzle.69.2014.4.5.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autonomic nervous system activity is an important component of human emotion. Mental processes influence bodily physiology, which in turn feeds back to influence thoughts and feelings. Afferent cardiovascular signals from arterial baroreceptors in the carotid sinuses are processed within the brain and contribute to this two-way communication with the body. These carotid baroreceptors can be stimulated non-invasively by externally applying focal negative pressure bilaterally to the neck. In an experiment combining functional neuroimaging (fMRI) with carotid stimulation in healthy participants, we tested the hypothesis that manipulating afferent cardiovascular signals alters the central processing of emotional information (fearful and neutral facial expressions). Carotid stimulation, compared to sham stimulation, broadly attenuated activity across cortical and brainstem regions. Modulation of emotional processing was apparent as a significant expression-by-stimulation interaction within left amygdala, where responses during appraisal of fearful faces were selectively reduced by carotid stimulation. Moreover, activity reductions within insula, amygdala, and hippocampus correlated with the degree of stimulation-evoked change in the explicit emotional ratings of fearful faces. Across participants, individual differences in autonomic state (heart rate variability, a proxy measure of autonomic balance toward parasympathetic activity) predicted the extent to which carotid stimulation influenced neural (amygdala) responses during appraisal and subjective rating of fearful faces. Together our results provide mechanistic insight into the visceral component of emotion by identifying the neural substrates mediating cardiovascular influences on the processing of fear signals, potentially implicating central baroreflex mechanisms as for anxiolytic treatment targets.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 12 January 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.10.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2015; 40(7). DOI:10.1038/npp.2015.10 · 7.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Psychological Science in the Public Interest 12/2011; 12(3):95-162. DOI:10.1177/1529100611426706