Article

Activation of Anterior Paralimbic Structures During Guilt-Related Script-Driven Imagery

Department of Psychology, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts 02155, USA.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.26). 08/2000; 48(1):43-50. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3223(00)00251-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Several recent neuroimaging studies have examined the neuroanatomical correlates of normal emotional states, such as happiness, sadness, fear, anger, anxiety, and disgust; however, no previous study has examined the emotional state of guilt.
In the current study, we used positron emission tomography and the script-driven imagery paradigm to study regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) during the transient emotional experience of guilt in eight healthy male participants. In the Guilt condition, participants recalled and imagined participating in a personal event involving the most guilt they had ever experienced. In the Neutral condition, participants recalled and imagined participating in an emotionally neutral personal event.
In the Guilt versus Neutral comparison, rCBF increases occurred in anterior paralimbic regions of the brain: bilateral anterior temporal poles, anterior cingulate gyrus, and left anterior insular cortex/inferior frontal gyrus.
These results, along with those of previous studies, are consistent with the notion that anterior paralimbic regions of the brain mediate negative emotional states in healthy individuals.

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    • "Specifically, imagery evoked by scripts depicting high arousal scenes (fear and actionrelated ) compared to low arousal scenes (relaxation and depression-related) produced greater drops in end-tidal fractional carbon dioxide concentration, likely reflecting hyperventilation (Van Diest et al., 2001). Importantly, this hyperventilation during emotional imagery was more pronounced in individuals with higher relative to lower imagery generation ability, as assessed using the Questionnaire Upon Mental Imagery (QMI; Sheehan, 1967). This individual differences dimension in imagery has also been explored in Lang's work, and will be considered in more detail in Section III. "
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