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Neuroreport. 2000 Jun 5;11(8):1739-44.

Selective attention to emotional stimuli in a verbal go/no-go task: an fMRI study.

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  • 1Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit, University of Manchester, UK.


Tasks requiring subjects to attend emotional attributes of words have been used to study mood-congruent information processing biases in anxiety and affective disorders. In this study we adapted an emotional go/no-go task, for use with fMRI to assess the neural substrates of focusing on emotional attributes of words in normal subjects. The key findings were that responding to targets defined on the basis of meaning of words compared to targets defined on the basis of perceptual features was associated with response in inferior frontal gyrus and dorsal anterior cingulate. Further, selecting emotional targets, whether happy or sad, was associated with enhanced response in the subgenual cingulate, while happy targets elicited enhanced neural response in ventral anterior cingulate. These findings reaffirm the importance of medial prefrontal regions in normal emotional processing.

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