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Maddock RJ. The retrosplenial cortex and emotion: new insights from functional neuroimaging of the human brain. Trends Neurosci 22: 310-316

Dept of Psychiatry and Center for Neuroscience, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95817, USA.
Trends in Neurosciences (Impact Factor: 12.9). 08/1999; 22(7):310-6. DOI: 10.1016/S0166-2236(98)01374-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Little is known about the function of the retrosplenial cortex and until recently, there was no evidence that it had any involvement in emotional processes. Surprisingly, recent functional neuroimaging studies show that the retrosplenial cortex is consistently activated by emotionally salient words. A review of the functional neuroimaging literature reveals a previously overlooked pattern of observations: the retrosplenial cortex is the cortical region most consistently activated by emotionally salient stimuli. Evidence that this region is also involved in episodic memory suggests that it might have a role in the interaction between emotion and episodic memory. Recognition that the retrosplenial cortex has a prominent role in the processing of emotionally salient stimuli invites further studies to define its specific functions and its interactions with other emotion-related brain regions.

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    • "The PCC and retrosplenial region have been associated with internally directed thought and episodic memory functions (Vann et al., 2009; Leech et al., 2012), and they are also involved in the " neural network correlates of consciousness " , playing an important role in cognitive awareness, self-reflection (Vogt and Laureys, 2005) and control of arousal (Leech and Sharp, 2014). The PCC and retrosplenial region are also assumed to be involved in processing of the salience of emotional stimuli (Maddock, 1999) and the emotional content of external information (Cato et al., 2004), specifically of emotional words (Maddock et al., 2003). The increased activation we observed in the PCC and retrosplenial region in response to the sad prosody might, thus, reflect enhanced memory processes as well as increased assessment of emotional saliency of the sad prosodic stimuli and monitoring of arousal. "
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    • "thalamic nuclei, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex , occipital cortex and, as recently proposed, the claustrum (Maddock, 1999; Vann et al., 2009; Milardi et al., 2013). Moreover , although traditionally the role of the cerebellum was considered mainly associated to motion control, recent studies highlighted a cerebellar involvement in cognitive regulation. "
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    • "In this regard it is interesting that strong functional connectivity between hippocampus and retrosplenial cingulate, as well as retrosplenial cortex and anterior cingulate was diminished only in stressed rats with vulnerability phenotypes (Table 2). Retrosplenial cortex has foremost been implicated in learning, but there is also evidence indicating its role in affective information processing [12] [49] [50]. Based on our results, we propose that measurements of persistent metabolic activity in the retrosplenial cingulate cortex may predict vulnerability to mood disorders in humans, and repeated observations in patients with depression could provide biomarkers for treatment response. "
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