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BMC Neuroscience
Article . 2009
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BMC Neuroscience
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General and specific responsiveness of the amygdala during explicit emotion recognition in females and males

Authors: Birgit Derntl; Ute Habel; Christian Windischberger; Simon Robinson; Ilse Kryspin-Exner; Ruben C. Gur; Ewald Moser;

General and specific responsiveness of the amygdala during explicit emotion recognition in females and males

Abstract

Abstract Background The ability to recognize emotions in facial expressions relies on an extensive neural network with the amygdala as the key node as has typically been demonstrated for the processing of fearful stimuli. A sufficient characterization of the factors influencing and modulating amygdala function, however, has not been reached now. Due to lacking or diverging results on its involvement in recognizing all or only certain negative emotions, the influence of gender or ethnicity is still under debate. This high-resolution fMRI study addresses some of the relevant parameters, such as emotional valence, gender and poser ethnicity on amygdala activation during facial emotion recognition in 50 Caucasian subjects. Stimuli were color photographs of emotional Caucasian and African American faces. Results Bilateral amygdala activation was obtained to all emotional expressions (anger, disgust, fear, happy, and sad) and neutral faces across all subjects. However, only in males a significant correlation of amygdala activation and behavioral response to fearful stimuli was observed, indicating higher amygdala responses with better fear recognition, thus pointing to subtle gender differences. No significant influence of poser ethnicity on amygdala activation occurred, but analysis of recognition accuracy revealed a significant impact of poser ethnicity that was emotion-dependent. Conclusion Applying high-resolution fMRI while subjects were performing an explicit emotion recognition task revealed bilateral amygdala activation to all emotions presented and neutral expressions. This mechanism seems to operate similarly in healthy females and males and for both in-group and out-group ethnicities. Our results support the assumption that an intact amygdala response is fundamental in the processing of these salient stimuli due to its relevance detecting function.

Countries
Austria, Germany
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Emotional valence Amygdala Developmental psychology medicine Emotion recognition African american Facial expression medicine.anatomical_structure Psychology

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:RC321-571 lcsh:Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry lcsh:QP351-495 lcsh:Neurophysiology and neuropsychology

Keywords

Adult, Male, Emotions, Functional Laterality, White People, amygdala, fMRI, emotion recognition, gender, Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Humans, Analysis of Variance, Brain Mapping, Sex Characteristics, General Neuroscience, Brain, Recognition, Psychology, Amygdala, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Black or African American, Facial Expression, Female, Photic Stimulation, Research Article

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    85
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Top 10%
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
85
Top 10%
Top 10%
Top 10%
Green
gold