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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    • "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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    ABSTRACT: Background White matter abnormalities can cause network dysfunction that underlies major depressive disorder (MDD). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is used to examine the neural connectivity and integrity of the white matter. Previous studies have implicated frontolimbic neural networks in the pathophysiology of MDD. Approximately 30% of MDD patients demonstrate treatment-resistant depression (TRD). However, the neurobiology of TRD remains unclear. Methods We used a voxel-based analysis method to analyze DTI data in young patients with TRD (n = 30; 19 males, 11 females) compared with right-handed, age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers (n = 25; 14 males, 11 females). Results We found a significant decrease in fractional anisotropy (FA) (corrected, cluster size >50) in the left middle frontal gyrus (peak coordinates [−18 46–14]), left limbic lobe uncus (peak coordinates [−18 2–22]), and right cerebellum posterior lobe (peak coordinates [26–34 -40]). There was no increase in FA in any brain region in patients. We also found a significant negative correlation between mean regional FA values in the three areas and Beck Depression Inventory symptom scores. Conclusions We found significant differences in white matter FA in the frontal lobe, limbic lobe and cerebellum between TRD patients and controls. These data suggest that abnormalities of cortical-limbic-cerebellar white matter networks may contribute to TRD in young patients.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · BMC Psychiatry
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    • "Viewing " emotional " (negative or positive) vs. neutral images leads to activation in sensorimotor cortex, prefrontal cortex and cingulate gyrus, supplementary motor area and hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus/amygdala. Lane et al. (1997), Paradiso et al. (1999), Lee et al. (2004), Takahashi et al. (2004), Hofer et al. (2007), Bermpohl et al. (2006) Emotion/emotional intonation Subjects listen to utterances and identify the emotion (surprise, disgust, happiness, anger) of a speaker. This highlights a network of regions including the left middle frontal gyrus, insula, right inferior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus and lingual gyrus. "
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