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Psychiatry Res. 1997 Dec 30;76(2-3):75-82.

Functional MRI reveals left amygdala activation during emotion.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Düsseldorf, Germany.


The potential of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for experimental studies of the brain and behavior considerable given its superior time and spatial resolution, but few studies have attempted to validate them against established methods for measuring cerebral activation. In a previous study absolute regional cerebral blood flow was measured in 16 healthy individuals using quantitative H215O-PET during standardized happy and sad mood induction and during two non-emotional control conditions. During sad mood, blood flow increased in the left amygdala and these changes correlated with shifts towards a negative affect. In the present study blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) changes were measured with fMRI during the same experimentally controlled mood states and control tasks. Twelve right-handed normal subjects were examined with a T2*-weighted FLASH sequence. A significant increase in signal intensity was found during sad as well as happy mood induction in the left amygdala. This converging evidence supports the potential of fMRI for advancing the understanding of neural substrates for emotional experience in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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