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Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2006 Jun;6(2):152-6.

Interference produced by emotional conflict associated with anterior cingulate activation.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500, USA.


The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is involved in cognition and emotion. In the classic Stroop task, presentation of stimuli that are in response conflict with one another produces activation in the caudal ACC. In the emotional Stroop task, presentation of emotionally salient stimuli produces activation in the rostral ACC. Presentation of stimuli that are emotionally conflicting should activate the caudal ACC; stimuli that are emotionally salient should activate the rostral ACC. We tested this prediction using functional magnetic resonance imaging while subjects made emotional valence judgments of words overlaid on emotional faces (word-face Stroop task). Emotionally incongruent pairs were responded to more slowly than emotionally congruent pairs. Emotionally incongruent trials were associated with increased activation within the caudal ACC, whereas no ACC activation was found in response to emotional saliency. These results support the conflict-monitoring model of caudal ACC and extend this function to conflict within the domain of emotional stimuli.

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