Document Detail

Ecstasy and agony: activation of the human amygdala in positive and negative emotion.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11933997     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Considerable evidence indicates that the amygdala plays a critical role in negative, aversive human emotions. Although researchers have speculated that the amygdala plays a role in positive emotion, little relevant evidence exists. We examined the neural correlates of positive and negative emotion using positron emission tomography (PET), focusing on the amygdala. Participants viewed positive and negative photographs, as well as interesting and uninteresting neutral photographs, during PET scanning. The left amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex were activated during positive emotion, and bilateral amygdala activation occurred during negative emotion. High-interest, unusual photographs also elicited left-amygdala activation, a finding consistent with suggestions that the amygdala is involved in vigilance reactions to associatively ambiguous stimuli. The current results constitute the first neuroimaging evidence for a role of the amygdala in positive emotional reactions elicited by visual stimuli. Although the amygdala appears to play a more extensive role in negative emotion, it is involved in positive emotion as well.
Stephan B Hamann; Timothy D Ely; John M Hoffman; Clinton D Kilts
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological science     Volume:  13     ISSN:  0956-7976     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2002 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-04-05     Completed Date:  2002-10-29     Revised Date:  2011-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007542     Medline TA:  Psychol Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  135-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Amygdala / physiology*,  radionuclide imaging
Arousal / physiology*
Attention / physiology
Brain Mapping
Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
Emotions / physiology*
Heart Rate / physiology
Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
Tomography, Emission-Computed

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