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Scientific article
English

Neurophysiological evidence for early modulation of amygdala activity by emotional reappraisal

Published inBiological Psychology, vol. 145, p. 211-223
Publication date2019
Abstract

How emotions unfold through time in the brain, and how fast they can be regulated by voluntary control, remain unresolved. Psychological accounts of emotion regulation posit cognitive reappraisal mechanisms may alter early emotion generative processes directly, whereas suppression impacts only later processing stages, after emotion has arisen. However, to date, there is no neurophysiological data concerning the precise latency of emotion regulation effects on the amygdala, a major emotion processing relay in the brain. Here we record amygdala activity from six patients undergoing surgery for pharmaco-resistant epilepsy during both reappraisal and suppression. We find that emotion reappraisal strategy, but not suppression, modulates early neural responses to emotional scenes during an extended period of time, starting 130 ms post-stimulus onset. Further, reappraisal produced earlier impact on amygdala responses to positive compared to negative scenes. Our results provide the first neurophysiological support for theoretical accounts of emotion regulation that postulate an early modulation of emotion generative processes by reappraisal.

Funding
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - NCCR 51NF40_104897
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - PZ00P3_148112 -Ambizione
Citation (ISO format)
GUEX, Raphael et al. Neurophysiological evidence for early modulation of amygdala activity by emotional reappraisal. In: Biological Psychology, 2019, vol. 145, p. 211–223. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.05.006
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ISSN of the journal0301-0511
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