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Neuroreport. 2006 Feb 6;17(2):225-9.

Fleeting images: rapid affect discrimination in the visual cortex.

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Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.


Converging electrophysiological and hemodynamic findings indicate sensory processing of emotional pictures is preferred to that of neutral pictures. Whereas neuroimaging studies of emotional picture perception have employed stimulus durations lasting several seconds, recent electrocortical investigations report early visual cortical discrimination between emotionally arousing and neutral picture processing. Here, we use a hybrid picture presentation paradigm covering a range of rapid presentation rates (0.75-6 Hz), while visual system activity is recorded with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results demonstrate widespread sensitivity to emotional arousal in the secondary and inferior temporal visual cortex. Furthermore, activity in the lateral inferior occipital and medial inferior temporal visual cortex revealed equivalent emotion-sensitive activation across all presentation rates. Results further support the notion that attention and perceptual processing are in part directed by underlying motivational systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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