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The role of the amygdala in the perception of positive emotions: an "intensity detector".

Bonnet L, Comte A, Tatu L, Millot JL, Moulin T, Medeiros de Bustos E - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: We demonstrated that the left and right amygdalae were sensitive to changes in emotional intensity, activating more in response to stimuli with higher intensity.Furthermore, electrodermal responses were more frequent for the most intense stimuli, demonstrating the concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system.These results highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to the intensity of positively valenced visual stimuli, and in conjunction with results in the literature on negative emotions, reinforce the role of the amygdala in the perception of intensity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Besancon University Hospital Besancon, France ; Department of Research in Functional Imaging, CIC 808, Besancon University Hospital Besancon, France ; Laboratory of Integrative and Clinical Neuroscience, EA 481, SFR FED 4234 UFC-CHRU-EFS Besancon, France.

ABSTRACT
The specific role of the amygdala remains controversial even though the development of functional imaging techniques has established its implication in the emotional process. The aim of this study was to highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to emotional intensity (arousal). We conducted an analysis of the modulation of amygdala activation according to variation in emotional intensity via an fMRI event-related protocol. Monitoring of electrodermal activity, a marker of psychophysiological emotional perception and a reflection of the activation of the autonomic nervous system, was carried out concurrently. Eighteen subjects (10 men; aged from 22 to 29 years) looked at emotionally positive photographs. We demonstrated that the left and right amygdalae were sensitive to changes in emotional intensity, activating more in response to stimuli with higher intensity. Furthermore, electrodermal responses were more frequent for the most intense stimuli, demonstrating the concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system. These results highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to the intensity of positively valenced visual stimuli, and in conjunction with results in the literature on negative emotions, reinforce the role of the amygdala in the perception of intensity.

No MeSH data available.


(A) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCRs during viewing of stimuli in the first session inside the scanner. There was a statistical difference between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity in terms of magnitude and frequency of SCRs. (B) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCR during the viewing of the stimuli outside the scanner, in the second session. There was no statistical difference between the magnitudes of the 3 groups (p = 0.28). There was a statistical difference in frequencies of SCRs between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity. *indicates a <0.005 p-value.
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Figure 3: (A) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCRs during viewing of stimuli in the first session inside the scanner. There was a statistical difference between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity in terms of magnitude and frequency of SCRs. (B) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCR during the viewing of the stimuli outside the scanner, in the second session. There was no statistical difference between the magnitudes of the 3 groups (p = 0.28). There was a statistical difference in frequencies of SCRs between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity. *indicates a <0.005 p-value.

Mentions: During the fMRI session, 16 subjects presented SCRs and 2 subjects (2 women) presented no SCRs. The magnitude and frequency of SCRs were greater for the stimuli in Group 3, rated by subjects as the most intense (p < 0.005) (Figure 3A). There was no difference in amplitude between the three groups of stimuli (p = 0.09).


The role of the amygdala in the perception of positive emotions: an "intensity detector".

Bonnet L, Comte A, Tatu L, Millot JL, Moulin T, Medeiros de Bustos E - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

(A) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCRs during viewing of stimuli in the first session inside the scanner. There was a statistical difference between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity in terms of magnitude and frequency of SCRs. (B) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCR during the viewing of the stimuli outside the scanner, in the second session. There was no statistical difference between the magnitudes of the 3 groups (p = 0.28). There was a statistical difference in frequencies of SCRs between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity. *indicates a <0.005 p-value.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493392&req=5

Figure 3: (A) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCRs during viewing of stimuli in the first session inside the scanner. There was a statistical difference between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity in terms of magnitude and frequency of SCRs. (B) Magnitudes and frequencies of the SCR during the viewing of the stimuli outside the scanner, in the second session. There was no statistical difference between the magnitudes of the 3 groups (p = 0.28). There was a statistical difference in frequencies of SCRs between groups of low and moderate intensity compared to the group of high intensity. *indicates a <0.005 p-value.
Mentions: During the fMRI session, 16 subjects presented SCRs and 2 subjects (2 women) presented no SCRs. The magnitude and frequency of SCRs were greater for the stimuli in Group 3, rated by subjects as the most intense (p < 0.005) (Figure 3A). There was no difference in amplitude between the three groups of stimuli (p = 0.09).

Bottom Line: We demonstrated that the left and right amygdalae were sensitive to changes in emotional intensity, activating more in response to stimuli with higher intensity.Furthermore, electrodermal responses were more frequent for the most intense stimuli, demonstrating the concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system.These results highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to the intensity of positively valenced visual stimuli, and in conjunction with results in the literature on negative emotions, reinforce the role of the amygdala in the perception of intensity.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Besancon University Hospital Besancon, France ; Department of Research in Functional Imaging, CIC 808, Besancon University Hospital Besancon, France ; Laboratory of Integrative and Clinical Neuroscience, EA 481, SFR FED 4234 UFC-CHRU-EFS Besancon, France.

ABSTRACT
The specific role of the amygdala remains controversial even though the development of functional imaging techniques has established its implication in the emotional process. The aim of this study was to highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to emotional intensity (arousal). We conducted an analysis of the modulation of amygdala activation according to variation in emotional intensity via an fMRI event-related protocol. Monitoring of electrodermal activity, a marker of psychophysiological emotional perception and a reflection of the activation of the autonomic nervous system, was carried out concurrently. Eighteen subjects (10 men; aged from 22 to 29 years) looked at emotionally positive photographs. We demonstrated that the left and right amygdalae were sensitive to changes in emotional intensity, activating more in response to stimuli with higher intensity. Furthermore, electrodermal responses were more frequent for the most intense stimuli, demonstrating the concomitant activation of the autonomic nervous system. These results highlight the sensitivity of the amygdala to the intensity of positively valenced visual stimuli, and in conjunction with results in the literature on negative emotions, reinforce the role of the amygdala in the perception of intensity.

No MeSH data available.