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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

ABSTRACT

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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    • "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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    • "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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