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Enhanced perceptual processing of emotional stimuli may be accomplished via amygdala-back-projections into the inferior temporal cortex. In the current study, we investigated the influence of stimulus novelty on the covariation between these brain regions during emotional picture processing. Participants viewed repeatedly presented and novel emotional and(More)
Brain regions associated with the processing of emotional stimuli are often also associated with the processing of social stimuli. Therefore, this network consisting of the amygdala, the anterior insula, the superior temporal sulcus (STS), and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) may rather be involved in more general relevance detection which should be(More)
This study explored defensive response mobilization as well as fMRI responses during sustained exposure to phobia-relevant stimuli. To test the specificity of affective physiology and brain activation, neutral and other affective stimuli were included. Phobia-specific startle potentiation was maintained and autonomic responses even increased during(More)
Keeping aware of the locations of objects while one is moving requires the updating of spatial representations. As long as the objects are visible, attentional tracking is sufficient, but knowing where objects out of view went in relation to one's own body involves an updating of spatial working memory. Here, multiple object tracking was employed to study(More)
The current study investigated the neural networks activated during the anticipation of potentially threatening body symptoms evoked by a guided hyperventilation task in a group of participants reporting either high or low fear of unexplained somatic sensations. 15 subjects reporting high and 14 subjects reporting low fear of somatic symptoms first learned(More)
Repetitive exposure to feared stimuli is considered as the essential element in therapy with phobic patients. However, the mechanisms mediating symptom reduction and their underlying neurobiological processes are poorly understood. Therefore, we presented the same fear-relevant and neutral stimuli repeatedly to individuals with high and low fear of animals(More)
As a variant of the Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm the conditional discrimination design allows for a detailed investigation of fear acquisition and fear inhibition. Measuring fear-potentiated startle responses, we investigated the influence of two genetic polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR and COMT Val(158)Met) on fear acquisition and fear inhibition which are(More)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with the occurrence of white matter plaques in the central nervous system. These are frequently located in areas interconnecting areas associated with the processing of emotions. Although recent behavioral studies indicated social and affective disturbances in many of these patients, functional studies investigating(More)
The ability to associate neutral stimuli with motivationally relevant outcomes is an important survival strategy. In this study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate brain dynamics of associative emotional learning when participants were confronted with multiple heterogeneous information. Participants viewed 144 different objects in the(More)
There is abundant evidence in memory research that emotional stimuli are better remembered than neutral stimuli. However, effects of an emotionally charged context on memory for associated neutral elements is also important, particularly in trauma and stress-related disorders, where strong memories are often activated by neutral cues due to their emotional(More)