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Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2017 Oct;17(5):932-938. doi: 10.3758/s13415-017-0523-y.

Unsatisfied relatedness, not competence or autonomy, increases trait anger through the right amygdala.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, Jia Liu, Room 405, Yingdong Building, 19 Xinjiekouwai St, Haidian District, Beijing, 100875, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China.
3
School of Psychology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, Jia Liu, Room 405, Yingdong Building, 19 Xinjiekouwai St, Haidian District, Beijing, 100875, China. liujia@bnu.edu.cn.
4
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning & IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China. liujia@bnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Anger is a common negative emotion in social life. Behavioral research suggests that unsatisfied relatedness, autonomy, and competence are related to anger. However, it remains unclear whether these unsatisfied needs all contribute to anger or just a particular unsatisfied need is the main source of anger. In addition, little is known about the neural substrate between unsatisfied needs and anger. To address these two questions, we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to explore the neural substrate underlying the relation between unsatisfied needs and trait anger. Behaviorally, we found that although all three unsatisfied needs were correlated with trait anger, unsatisfied relatedness was the only factor that was uniquely related to trait anger. Neurally, the gray matter volume of the right amygdala was correlated with trait anger, which fits nicely with the role of the amygdala as a core region for processing anger. Importantly, the right amygdala mediated the total effect of unsatisfied relatedness on trait anger, even after controlling for general personality dispositions. Our results contribute to the theoretical conceptualization of anger by elucidating the unique role of unsatisfied relatedness in anger and the neural substrate underlying such relation.

KEYWORDS:

Amygdala; Anger; Need satisfaction; Voxel-based morphometry (VBM)

PMID:
28608049
DOI:
10.3758/s13415-017-0523-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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