Brain areas and time course of emotional processing

M Esslen, R D Pascual-Marqui, D Hell, K Kochi, D Lehmann
NeuroImage 2004, 21 (4): 1189-203
The aims of the present study were to identify brain regions involved in emotional processing as well as to follow the time sequence of these processes in the millisecond-range resolution using low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). Different emotional (happy, sad, angry, fearful, and disgust) and neutral faces were presented to 17 healthy, right-handed volunteers on a computer screen while 25-channel EEG data were recorded. Subjects were instructed to generate the same emotion as shown in the presented faces. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were computed for each emotion and neutral condition, and analyzed as sequences of potential distribution maps. Paired topographic analysis of variance tests of the ERP maps identified time segments of significant differences between responses to emotional and neutral faces. For these significant segments, statistical analyses of functional LORETA images were performed to identify active brain regions for the different emotions. Significant differences occurred in different time segments within the first 500 ms after stimulus onset. Each emotional condition showed specific activation patterns in different brain regions, changing over time. In the majority of significant time segments, activation was highest in the right frontal areas. Strongest activation was found in the happy, sad, and disgust conditions in extended fronto-temporal areas. Happy, sad, and disgust conditions also produced earlier and more widely distributed differences than anger and fear. Our findings are in good agreement with other brain-imaging studies (PET/fMRI). But unlike other imaging techniques, LORETA allows to follow the time sequence in the millisecond-range resolution.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"