Article

Costafreda SG, Brammer MJ, David AS, Fu CH. Predictors of amygdala activation during the processing of emotional stimuli: a meta-analysis of 385 PET and fMRI studies. Brain Res Rev 58: 57-70

Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.
Brain Research Reviews (Impact Factor: 5.93). 07/2008; 58(1):57-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2007.10.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Although amygdala activity has been purported to be modulated by affective and non-affective factors, considerable controversy remains on its precise functional nature. We conducted a meta-analysis of 385 functional neuroimaging studies of emotional processing, examining the effects of experimental characteristics on the probability of detecting amygdala activity. All emotional stimuli were associated with higher probability of amygdala activity than neutral stimuli. Comparable effects were observed for most negative and positive emotions, however there was a higher probability of activation for fear and disgust relative to happiness. The level of attentional processing affected amygdala activity, as passive processing was associated with a higher probability of activation than active task instructions. Gustatory-olfactory and visual stimulus modalities increased the probability of activation relative to internal stimuli. Aversive learning increased the probability of amygdala activation as well. There was some evidence of hemispheric specialization with a relative left-lateralization for stimuli containing language and a relative right-lateralization for masked stimuli. Methodological variables, such as type of analysis and magnet strength, were also independent predictors of amygdala activation.

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    • "Both regions are known to be tightly coupled with emotion processing. The ventral striatum is part of the reward system (Salamone and Correa, 2012) and the amygdalae are central processors of emotional signals (Costafreda et al., 2008; Pessoa and Adolphs, 2010). In the context of food processing, Grabenhorst et al. (2013) found that nutritional information biased food evaluations in the amygdala, potentially reflecting an active amygdala participation in food choice. "
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    • "Various authors have postulated that dissociative, conversive and somatoform patients exhibited over-sensitivity to negative stimuli or under-sensitivity to positive stimuli (Seignourel et al., 2007;Diers et al., 2008;Browning et al., 2011;Frewen et al., 2012;Klimova et al., 2013;Kozlowska et al., 2013). Other authors have found that patients showed greater responses to high arousal stimuli regardless of their emotional valence (Costafreda et al., 2008;Voon et al., 2010). This hypervigilance has been placed at preconscious stages, while at later stages, high order modulation of perception phenomena and emotion regulation strategies would take place (top-down regulation) (Bakvis et al., 2009). "
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    • "In combination with the established role of the amygdala in threat detection and responsivity (Costafreda et al., 2008), this variability in amygdala reactivity in PTSD suggests that neural abnormalities in threat processing may be affected by attentional mechanisms governing task relevance and goaloriented behavior. A recent meta-analysis of amygdala activation to emotional stimuli demonstrated that amygdala reactivity is heightened during implicit/passive stimulus processing relative to explicit/active conditions, i.e. when processing of the emotional stimulus is incidental and not the focus of task-relevant goals and behavior (Costafreda et al., 2008). This difference in amygdala reactivity as a function of attentional processing may arise as a consequence of increased medial and lateral prefrontal engagement with greater depth of conscious processing, which serves to downregulate amygdala responses (Taylor et al., 2006). "
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