Neural Substrates of Emotion As Revealed by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Department of Neurology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912-3275, USA.
Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology (Impact Factor: 0.95). 04/2004; 17(1):9-17. DOI: 10.1097/00146965-200403000-00002
Source: PubMed


To examine the brain circuitry involved in emotional experience and determine whether the cerebral hemispheres are specialized for positive and negative emotional experience.
Recent research has provided a preliminary sketch of the neurologic underpinnings of emotional processing involving specialized contributions of limbic and cortical brain regions. Electrophysiologic, functional imaging, and Wada test data have suggested positive, approach-related emotions are associated with left cerebral hemisphere regions, whereas negative, withdrawal-related emotions appear to be more aligned with right hemisphere mechanisms.
These emotional-neural associations were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging in 10 healthy controls with 20 positively and 20 negatively valenced pictures from the International Affective Picture System in a counterbalanced order. Pictures were viewed within a 1.5 Telsa scanner through computerized video goggles.
Emotional pictures resulted in significantly increased blood flow bilaterally in the mesial frontal lobe/anterior cingulate gyrus, dorsolateral frontal lobe, amygdala/anterior temporal regions, and cerebellum. Negative emotional pictures resulted in greater activation of the right hemisphere, and positive pictures caused greater activation of the left hemisphere.
Results are consistent with theories emphasizing the importance of circuitry linking subcortical structures with mesial temporal, anterior cingulate, and frontal lobe regions in emotion and with the valence model of emotion that posits lateralized cerebral specialization for positive and negative emotional experience.

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    • "However, awareness that the cerebellum plays a role in higher cognitive functions is growing. Evidence from anatomical studies in primates (Kelly and Strick 2003; Middleton and Strick 2001) and clinical work in humans (Nashold and Slaughter 1969; Heath et al. 1974; Cooper et al. 1976; Schmahmann 1991; Schmahmann et al. 2009) supports a growing number of imaging studies reporting cerebellar activity that is not linked to motor behavior, such as emotion, attention, and social cognition (Liddle et al. 2001; Schall et al. 2003; Blackwood et al. 2004; Lee et al. 2004; Habel et al. 2005; Bermpohl et al. 2006; Hofer et al. 2007; Van Overwalle et al. 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study characterized cerebellar connectivity with executive intrinsic functional connectivity networks. Using seed regions at the right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (dlPFC) and right orbital frontoinsula, we measured resting-state brain connectivity in healthy college-aged participants. Based on the previous research demonstrating a relationship between the cerebellum and self-report measures of behavioral inhibition, we assessed individual differences in connectivity between groups. Overall, intrinsic activity in cerebellar lobule VIII was significantly correlated with the executive network and cerebellar Crus I with the salience network. Between-group comparisons indicated stronger cerebellar connectivity with the executive network in behaviorally inhibited individuals. Intrinsic activity in Crus I, a region previously implicated in non-motor cerebellar functions, significantly correlated with intrinsic activity in the right dlPFC seed region. These findings support a growing number of studies demonstrating cerebellar influence on higher cognitive processes, extending this relationship to individual differences in anxiety vulnerability.
    Brain Structure and Function 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00429-015-1088-6 · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    • "Several cerebellar-cerebral pathways are likely to be involved in emotional behavior, with several pathways emanating primarily from the cerebellar fastigial nuclei and terminating in various limbic structures including the hippocampus, amygdala, septal nuclei, mammillary bodies, and hypothalamus. Other potentially important pathways emanate from the ventrolateral dentate nucleus, travel to the thalamus (including dorsomedial nucleus), and terminate in the prefrontal cortex [48]. Doron et al. (2009) tracked connections between the cerebral peduncle and left hemispheric masks of the superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, orbital frontal cortex, and two regions of the inferior frontal gyrus, supporting the relationship of the cerebellum with cognition and affection regulation [49]. "
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    BMC Psychiatry 03/2013; 13(1):72. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-13-72 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition to connections with prefrontal and frontal cortex, the cerebellum also has direct anatomical connections to the amygdala, the brain region typically associated with emotion and fear [103]. Functional support for this connectivity comes from imaging studies that demonstrate judging emotional intonation, feeling empathy, experiencing sad‐ ness, and viewing emotional pictures all correlate with increased activity in the cerebellum [9] [76] [104] [105] [106]. "
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