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Neuroreport. 2007 Mar 26;18(5):473-7.

Limbic and prefrontal responses to facial emotion expressions in depersonalization.

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  • 1Section of Neuroscience and Emotion, Brain Image Analysis Unit, Neuroimaging Research Group, Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.


Depersonalization disorder, characterized by emotional detachment, has been associated with increased prefrontal cortical and decreased autonomic activity to emotional stimuli. Event-related fMRI with simultaneous measurements of skin conductance levels occurred in nine depersonalization disorder patients and 12 normal controls to neutral, mild and intense happy and sad facial expressions. Patients, but not controls, showed decreases in subcortical limbic activity to increasingly intense happy and sad facial expressions, respectively. For both happy and sad expressions, negative correlations between skin conductance measures in bilateral dorsal prefrontal cortices occurred only in depersonalization disorder patients. Abnormal decreases in limbic activity to increasingly intense emotional expressions, and increases in dorsal prefrontal cortical activity to emotionally arousing stimuli may underlie the emotional detachment of depersonalization disorder.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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