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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2012 Jan;36(1):479-501. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Anatomical insights into the interaction of emotion and cognition in the prefrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 6001 Research Park Boulevard, Madison, WI 53711, USA.

Abstract

Psychological research increasingly indicates that emotional processes interact with other aspects of cognition. Studies have demonstrated both the ability of emotional stimuli to influence a broad range of cognitive operations, and the ability of humans to use top-down cognitive control mechanisms to regulate emotional responses. Portions of the prefrontal cortex appear to play a significant role in these interactions. However, the manner in which these interactions are implemented remains only partially elucidated. In the present review we describe the anatomical connections between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas as well as their connections with limbic regions. Only a subset of prefrontal areas are likely to directly influence amygdalar processing, and as such models of prefrontal control of emotions and models of emotional regulation should be constrained to plausible pathways of influence. We also focus on how the specific pattern of feedforward and feedback connections between these regions may dictate the nature of information flow between ventral and dorsal prefrontal areas and the amygdala. These patterns of connections are inconsistent with several commonly expressed assumptions about the nature of communications between emotion and cognition.

PMID:
21889953
PMCID:
PMC3244208
DOI:
10.1016/j.neubiorev.2011.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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