Lesions of the human amygdala impair enhanced perception of emotionally salient events

  title={Lesions of the human amygdala impair enhanced perception of emotionally salient events},
  author={Adam K. Anderson and Elizabeth A. Phelps},
Commensurate with the importance of rapidly and efficiently evaluating motivationally significant stimuli, humans are probably endowed with distinct faculties and maintain specialized neural structures to enhance their detection. Here we consider that a critical function of the human amygdala is to enhance the perception of stimuli that have emotional significance. Under conditions of limited attention for normal perceptual awareness—that is, the attentional blink—we show that healthy observers… 
Attentional capture by emotional stimuli is preserved in patients with amygdala lesions
Enhanced Visual Cortical Activation for Emotional Stimuli is Preserved in Patients with Unilateral Amygdala Resection
The results indicate that neither the right nor left amygdala is necessary for the heightened visual cortex BOLD responses observed during emotional stimulus presentation and suggest that non-amygdalar processes contribute to the emotional modulation of sensory pathways.
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  • Psychology, Biology
    The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry
  • 2012
It is argued that subcortical networks associated with the rapid detection of emotionally salient stimuli also play a key role in shaping awareness, allowing humans to deal flexibly rather than merely reflexively to biologically significant stimuli.
Amygdala Response to Emotional Stimuli without Awareness: Facts and Interpretations
It is concluded that evidence in favor of the amygdala response without awareness is solid, albeit this response originates from different functional mechanisms and is driven by more complex neural networks than commonly assumed.
Distant influences of amygdala lesion on visual cortical activation during emotional face processing
The data show that combining the fMRI and lesion approaches can help reveal the source of functional modulatory influences between distant but interconnected brain regions.
Fear-enhanced visual search persists after amygdala lesions
Unseen fearful faces promote amygdala guidance of attention.
This parietal finding is the first report of increased dorsal stream activation for a social object despite suppression, which suggests that information can reach parietal cortex for a class of emotionally salient social objects, even in the absence of awareness.
The human amygdala and the emotional evaluation of sensory stimuli
  • D. Zald
  • Psychology, Biology
    Brain Research Reviews
  • 2003


Linguistic threat activates the human amygdala.
A modified Stroop task along with a high-sensitivity neuroimaging technique is used to target the neural substrate engaged specifically when processing linguistic threat and reinforces the amygdala's role in the processing of danger elicited by language.
Expression Without Recognition: Contributions of the Human Amygdala to Emotional Communication
A case study of a patient with bilateral amygdaloid damage who, despite a severe deficit in interpreting facial expressions of emotion including fear, exhibits an intact ability to express this and other basic emotions suggests that a single neural module does not support all aspects of the social communication of emotional state.
Brain Mechanisms for Detecting Perceptual, Semantic, and Emotional Deviance
It is concluded that detection of oddballs reflects the operation of a generic "deviance detection system," involving right prefrontal and fusiform cortices in addition to specific brain regions sensitive to the stimulus attributes that determine the qualitative characteristics of deviance.
A neuromodulatory role for the human amygdala in processing emotional facial expressions.
Functional neuroimaging confirmed that the amygdala and some of its functionally connected structures mediate specific neural responses to fearful expressions and demonstrated that amygdalar responses predict expression-specific neural activity in extrastriate cortex.
A Role for Somatosensory Cortices in the Visual Recognition of Emotion as Revealed by Three-Dimensional Lesion Mapping
It is shown that recognizing emotions from visually presented facial expressions requires right somatosensory-related cortices, and these cortices constitute an additional critical component that functions together with structures such as the amygdala and right visual cortices in retrieving socially relevant information from faces.
Single neuron responses in amygdala of alert monkey during complex sensory stimulation with affective significance
  • H. Nishijo, T. Ono, H. Nishino
  • Biology, Psychology
    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • 1988
Among other deficits, amygdalectomy impairs the ability of the animal to recognize the affective significance of a stimulus. In the present study, neuronal activity in the amygdala (AM) was recorded
Event-Related Activation in the Human Amygdala Associates with Later Memory for Individual Emotional Experience
The view that amygdala activation reflects moment-to-moment subjective emotional experience and that this activation enhances memory in relation to the emotional intensity of an experience is supported.
Arousal-Mediated Memory Consolidation: Role of the Medial Temporal Lobe in Humans
A group difference in the effect of arousal on the rate of forgetting suggests that the role of medial temporal lobe structures in memory consolidation for arousing events is conserved across species.
Fear and the human amygdala
The results show that bilateral, but not unilateral, damage to the human amygdala impairs the processing of fearful facial expressions, and it is proposed that the amygdala is required to link visual representations of facial expressions with representations that constitute the concept of fear.
A Double Dissociation in the Affective Modulation of Startle in Humans: Effects of Unilateral Temporal Lobectomy
It is hypothesized that the right medial temporal lobe modulates fear responses while viewing emotional pictures, which involves exposure to (emotional) visual information and is consistent with the emotional processing traditionally ascribed to the right hemisphere.