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J Neurosci. 2005 Sep 14;25(37):8534-42.

Comparison of the effects of bilateral orbital prefrontal cortex lesions and amygdala lesions on emotional responses in rhesus monkeys.

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Laboratory of Neuropsychology, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The present study examines the effects of bilateral orbital prefrontal cortex (PFo) lesions on monkeys' emotional responses in two different contexts: in the presence of a rubber snake and in the presence of a human intruder. For comparison, we also assessed the responses of rhesus monkeys with selective amygdala lesions on these same tasks. Monkeys with PFo lesions, like those with amygdala lesions, displayed blunted emotional responses to the fake snake. Unlike monkeys with amygdala lesions, however, monkeys with PFo lesions displayed more mild aggression than controls in the presence of a human intruder. The findings support the idea that the PFo helps integrate sensory signals in the service of choosing among competing responses. In addition, they point to a divergence of the roles of the PFo and amygdala in responding to a social stimulus, the human intruder.

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