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Biol Psychol. 2019 Jul;145:211-223. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.05.006. Epub 2019 May 23.

Neurophysiological evidence for early modulation of amygdala activity by emotional reappraisal.

Author information

1
Laboratory for Behavioural Neurology and Imaging of Cognition, Campus Biotech, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; Pre-Surgical Epilepsy Evaluation Unit, Clinic of Neurology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: raphaelguex@yahoo.fr.
2
Laboratory for Behavioural Neurology and Imaging of Cognition, Campus Biotech, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: christophhofstetter@gmail.com.
3
Laboratory for Behavioural Neurology and Imaging of Cognition, Campus Biotech, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: judith.dominguezborras@unige.ch.
4
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Electronic address: cmendezbertolo@gmail.com.
5
Laboratory for Behavioural Neurology and Imaging of Cognition, Campus Biotech, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: virginie.sterpenich@unige.ch.
6
Pre-Surgical Epilepsy Evaluation Unit, Clinic of Neurology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: laurent.spinelli@hcuge.ch.
7
Pre-Surgical Epilepsy Evaluation Unit, Clinic of Neurology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: margitta.seeck@hcuge.ch.
8
Laboratory for Behavioural Neurology and Imaging of Cognition, Campus Biotech, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; Pre-Surgical Epilepsy Evaluation Unit, Clinic of Neurology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: patrik.vuilleumier@unige.ch.

Abstract

How emotions unfold through time in the brain, and how fast they can be regulated by voluntary control, remain unresolved. Psychological accounts of emotion regulation posit cognitive reappraisal mechanisms may alter early emotion generative processes directly, whereas suppression impacts only later processing stages, after emotion has arisen. However, to date, there is no neurophysiological data concerning the precise latency of emotion regulation effects on the amygdala, a major emotion processing relay in the brain. Here we record amygdala activity from six patients undergoing surgery for pharmaco-resistant epilepsy during both reappraisal and suppression. We find that emotion reappraisal strategy, but not suppression, modulates early neural responses to emotional scenes during an extended period of time, starting 130 ms post-stimulus onset. Further, reappraisal produced earlier impact on amygdala responses to positive compared to negative scenes. Our results provide the first neurophysiological support for theoretical accounts of emotion regulation that postulate an early modulation of emotion generative processes by reappraisal.

KEYWORDS:

Amygdala; Emotion; Emotion regulation; iEEG

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