Neuropsychology of fear and loathing

MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 2EF, UK.
Nature reviews Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 31.43). 06/2001; 2(5). DOI: 10.1038/35072584
Source: PubMed


For over 60 years, ideas about emotion in neuroscience and psychology have been dominated by a debate on whether emotion can be encompassed within a single, unifying model. In neuroscience, this approach is epitomized by the limbic system theory and, in psychology, by dimensional models of emotion. Comparative research has gradually eroded the limbic model, and some scientists have proposed that certain individual emotions are represented separately in the brain. Evidence from humans consistent with this approach has recently been obtained by studies indicating that signals of fear and disgust are processed by distinct neural substrates. We review this research and its implications for theories of emotion.

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    • "For instance, individuals who suffered from frontotemporal dementia are more likely to lose the ability of recognizing anger, fear, disgust and other negative emotions (Kumfor et al., 2011). Specifically speaking, fear is related to amygdaloid nucleus, disgust is connected with insula and globus pallidus , as well as anger is associated with the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (Murphy, Nimmo-Smith & Lawrence, 2003; Calder, Lawrence & Young, 2001), through stimulating different areas of each subcortical structure of the central nervous system (CNS), then it causes individuals to display different kinds of emotional behaviors. The latest research conclusion also supports this explanation (Cheng, Lu, Zhu, Chen & Gao, 2015), which found that the risky decision-making behaviors of subjects with cognitive-impairment existed a certain difference, the risky decision-making ability of whom is restrained in various degrees. "
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    ABSTRACT: Traditionally studies on the affect of emotions on the behavioral decisionmaking assume that, individuals with negative emotions are risk-seeking. However in real situations, individual decision-making behaviors show different tendencies of risk preference, thus more and more scholars are attracted to analyze the effect of specific negative emotion on individual risk preference behaviors. From the perspective of Affective Computing Theory (ACT), the concepts of mixed negative emotion, emotional space, intensity of mixed negative emotions and threshold of mixed negative emotions were introduced, the questionnaire of emotional state transition based on Markov process was designed, empirical analysis and numerical modeling were adopted to discuss different effects of specific negative emotion on individual risk preference behavior under social accidents. It is concluded that decision-making behaviors of individuals with mixed negative emotions are mostly inclined to risk-aversion under social accidents. Three types of specific mixed negative emotions, which were divided asfear leading, anger leading and sadness leading, have different effects on individual risky decision-making behaviors, also behavioral selections of individuals show differentially balanced strategies among three types of rescue solutions with risk-seeking, risk-aversion and risks-neutralness. Furthermore, the personality trait and the rescue experience have important moderating effects during the process of individual’s mixed negative emotion cognition and risky behavioral decision-making. The study reveals the differentially influence mechanism of specific negative emotion on individual risk preference behavior under social accidents, which has a significant meaning in individual emotion management, psychological adjustment, behavioral intervention and the improvement of the quality of emergency decision-making.
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    • "Two structural MRI studies found that OCD patients have significantly larger anterior insular cortices bilaterally compared to healthy controls (Nishida et al., 2011; Song et al., 2011). Moreover, functional imaging studies show that OCD patients with predominantly washing symptoms have increased neural responses to washing-related stimuli (Phillips et al., 2000; Mataix-Cols et al., 2004) and to disgusting pictures (Shapira et al., 2003; Schienle et al., 2005) in brain regions implicated in disgust and autonomic response processing, including the anterior insula, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), and putamen/globus pallidus (Phillips et al., 1997; 1998; Sprengelmeyer et al., 1998; Calder et al., 2001; Contents lists available at ScienceDirect journal homepage: Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 0925-4927/& 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. "
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    ABSTRACT: Failure to inhibit recurrent anxiety-provoking thoughts is a central symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Neuroimaging studies suggest inhibitory control and disgust processing abnormalities in patients with OCD. However, the emotional modulation of response inhibition deficits in OCD and their neural correlates remain to be elucidated. For this preliminary study we administered an adapted affective response inhibition paradigm, an emotional go/no-go task, during fMRI to characterize the neural systems underlying disgust-related and fear-related inhibition in nine adults with contamination-type OCD compared to ten matched healthy controls. Participants with OCD had significantly greater anterior insula cortex activation when inhibiting responses to both disgusting (bilateral), and fearful (right-sided) images, compared to healthy controls. They also had increased activation in several frontal, temporal, and parietal regions, but there was no evidence of amygdala activation in OCD or healthy participants and no significant between-group differences in performance on the emotion go/no-go task. The anterior insula appears to play a central role in the emotional modulation of response inhibition in contamination-type OCD to both fearful and disgusting images. The insula may serve as a potential treatment target for contamination-type OCD.
    Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 09/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.09.019 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    • "Controlling for monetary amount, rejected offers were associated with a stronger insula response than those that were subsequently accepted, indicating that the accept/reject decision was influenced by the magnitude of anterior insula activation. Given the insula's association with basic negative emotional states, such as pain, disgust, and autonomic arousal (Calder et al., 2001), the involvement of this area in the experience of unfairness and the subsequent decision to punish showed that brain regions previously thought to be involved in low-level affective states could be recruited for the processing of complex social motivations. Further studies have shown that inducing negative moods in players prior to the receipt of unfair offers, a manipulation which appears to 'target' the anterior insula specifically, leads to increased rejection rates as compared to a non-negative mood induction (Harlé et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Werner Güth's ultimatum game played a key role in the development of multiple research areas, several of which are highlighted.
    Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 12/2014; 108:292-318. DOI:10.1016/j.jebo.2014.10.014 · 1.01 Impact Factor
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