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: 13.56). 08/1999; 22(7):310-6. DOI: 10.1016/S0166-2236(98)01374-5
Source: PubMed


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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    • "This is the first study to show that cannabinoid receptors in the RSC may modulate aversive memory. It is very difficult to not link this result to the fact that the RSC strongly interacts with the hippocampal formation and several other memory-related structures (Hedberg and Stanton 1995; Maddock 1999; Vann et al. 2009). In fact, the RSC has a strategic position intermediating signals between the hippocampal formation and neocortex (Cooper and Mizumori 2001; Vann et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the fact that the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) plays a pivotal role in emotional memory processing in different regions of the brain, its function in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC) remains unknown. Here, using contextual fear conditioning in rats, we showed that a post-training intra-RSC infusion of the CB1R antagonist AM251 impaired, and the agonist CP55940 improved, long-term memory consolidation. Additionally, a post-reactivation infusion of AM251 enhanced memory reconsolidation, while CP55940 had the opposite effect. Finally, AM251 blocked extinction, whereas CP55940 facilitated it and maintained memory extinguished over time. Altogether, our data strongly suggest that the cannabinoid system of the RSC modulates emotional memory.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Learning & Memory
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    • "Increases in PCC activity in our study could correspond to findings in the resting state literature on BPD (e.g., Doll et al., 2013) emphasizing stronger connectivity in dorsal parts of midline structures. Higher activations in the PCC during mindful self-focused attention without external stimulation, therefore, could fit in well with the PCC's role in emotional processing related to memory during resting state (Maddock, 1999; Broyd et al., 2009). In addition to the above, patients with BPD exhibited enhanced brain activity in the left IFG, which on the one hand suggests enhanced self-relevant processing in the emotional context (Morin and Michaud, 2007; Liakakis et al., 2011), but also is attributed to self-referential thinking (Morin and Hamper, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with disturbed emotion regulation. Psychotherapeutic interventions using mindfulness elements have shown effectiveness in reducing clinical symptoms, yet little is known about their underlying neurobiology. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, 19 female BPD patients and 19 healthy controls were compared during mindful introspection, cognitive self-reflection and a neutral condition. The activation pattern in the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) in BPD patients was different from that in healthy subject when directing attention onto their emotions and bodily feelings in contrast to cognitively thinking about themselves. Mindful introspection compared with the neutral condition was associated with higher activations in bilateral motor/pre-motor regions, left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and left posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), while cognitive self-reflection activated the right motor and somatosensory cortex, extending into the right supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and superior temporal gyrus (STG) in BPD patients compared with the controls. Results indicate that self-referential cognitive and emotional processes are not clearly differentiated in BPD patients at the neurobiological level. In particular, altered neural mechanism underlying self-referential thinking may be related to some aspects of the typical emotion dysregulation in BPD. Current data support the finding that mindful self-focused attention is effective in regulating amygdala activity in BPD as well as in healthy subjects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
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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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    ABSTRACT: Musical training has been shown to have positive effects on several aspects of speech processing, however, the effects of musical training on the neural processing of speech prosody conveying distinct emotions are yet to be better understood. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether the neural responses to speech prosody conveying happiness, sadness, and fear differ between musicians and non-musicians. Differences in processing of emotional speech prosody between the two groups were only observed when sadness was expressed. Musicians showed increased activation in the middle frontal gyrus, the anterior medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulate cortex and the retrosplenial cortex. Our results suggest an increased sensitivity of emotional processing in musicians with respect to sadness expressed in speech, possibly reflecting empathic processes.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
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