Critchley, al. Activity in the human brain predicting differential heart rate responses to emotional facial expressions. Neuroimage24, 751-762

Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, UCL, London WC1N 3BG, UK.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.36). 03/2005; 24(3):751-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.10.013
Source: PubMed


The James-Lange theory of emotion proposes that automatically generated bodily reactions not only color subjective emotional experience of stimuli, but also necessitate a mechanism by which these bodily reactions are differentially generated to reflect stimulus quality. To examine this putative mechanism, we simultaneously measured brain activity and heart rate to identify regions where neural activity predicted the magnitude of heart rate responses to emotional facial expressions. Using a forewarned reaction time task, we showed that orienting heart rate acceleration to emotional face stimuli was modulated as a function of the emotion depicted. The magnitude of evoked heart rate increase, both across the stimulus set and within each emotion category, was predicted by level of activity within a matrix of interconnected brain regions, including amygdala, insula, anterior cingulate, and brainstem. We suggest that these regions provide a substrate for translating visual perception of emotional facial expression into differential cardiac responses and thereby represent an interface for selective generation of visceral reactions that contribute to the embodied component of emotional reaction.

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    • "As a result of this, engaging in FtF communication is more exciting and physiologically arousing because of the social interaction with other humans. The cues transmitted in more natural media such as facial expressions and body language elicit physiological arousal (Byron, 2008; Critchley et al., 2005). By comparison, less natural media are perceived as less exciting, duller, and less arousing (Kock, 2005b). "
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    • "Activation of the amygdala was also reduced in heavy marijuana users compared to controls—an effect observed for both negative and positive words . Along with the insula , the amygdala is part of a network involved in translating interoceptive responses to emotional stimuli into emotional experience ( Critchley et al . , 2005 ) . Blunted amygdala response has been observed in individuals with difficulties experiencing and processing emotions ( van der Velde et al . , 2013 ) . Acutely , cannabidiol , a psychoactive component of cannabis , has been shown to decrease amygdala activation to anxiety - inducing emotional stimuli ; this effect was further associate"
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    • "visual, auditory, proprioceptive and vestibular), as well as efferent copy signals from motor structures, are integrated in the PPC (Andersen et al., 1997). As for the enhanced activity of the insular cortex in the Pe component, we may note that it was reported by several fMRI studies (Menon et al., 2001; Ullsperger and von Cramon, 2001; Mathalon et al., 2003; Critchley et al., 2005a,b; Debener et al., 2005; Matthews et al., 2005; Polli et al., 2005; Ramautar et al., 2006; Klein et al., 2007), while only a recent ERP study (Dhar et al., 2011) was able to localized this area as the Pe generator. However, probably due to a sample smaller than the present one, or to the difficulty to measure the activity of a deep region with the surface EEG, the authors localized the main generator of the Pe in the posterior insula. "
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