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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2011 Mar;12(3):154-67. doi: 10.1038/nrn2994.

The integration of negative affect, pain and cognitive control in the cingulate cortex.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, WI 53706, USA. shackman@wisc.edu

Abstract

It has been argued that emotion, pain and cognitive control are functionally segregated in distinct subdivisions of the cingulate cortex. However, recent observations encourage a fundamentally different view. Imaging studies demonstrate that negative affect, pain and cognitive control activate an overlapping region of the dorsal cingulate--the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC). Anatomical studies reveal that the aMCC constitutes a hub where information about reinforcers can be linked to motor centres responsible for expressing affect and executing goal-directed behaviour. Computational modelling and other kinds of evidence suggest that this intimacy reflects control processes that are common to all three domains. These observations compel a reconsideration of the dorsal cingulate's contribution to negative affect and pain.

PMID:
21331082
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3044650
Free PMC Article
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