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Neuroimage. 2011 Feb 1;54(3):2539-46. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.10.007. Epub 2010 Oct 16.

Involvement of the anterior cingulate and frontoinsular cortices in rapid processing of salient facial emotional information.

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Department of Psychology, Queens College, The City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11367, USA.


The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and frontoinsular cortex (FI) have been implicated in processing information across a variety of domains, including those related to attention and emotion. However, their role in rapid information processing, for example, as required for timely processing of salient stimuli, is not well understood. Here, we designed an emotional face priming paradigm and employed functional magnetic resonance imaging to elucidate their role in these mechanisms. Target faces with either neutral or fearful emotion were briefly primed by either neutral or fearful faces, or by blank ovals. The pregenual ACC and the FI, together with other regions, such as the amygdala, were preferentially activated in response to fearful face priming, suggesting that these regions are involved in the rapid processing of salient facial emotional information.

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