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Time courses of left and right amygdalar responses to fearful facial expressions

Phillips, M.L., Medford, N., Young, A.W., Williams, L., Williams, S.C.R., Bullmore, E.T., Gray, J.A. and Brammer, M.J. (2001) Time courses of left and right amygdalar responses to fearful facial expressions. Human Brain Mapping, 12 (4). pp. 193-202. ISSN 1065-9471

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Despite the many studies highlighting the role of the amygdala in fear perception, few have examined differences between right and left amygdalar responses. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined neural responses in three groups of healthy volunteers (n = 18) to alternating blocks of fearful and neutral faces. Initial observation of extracted time series of both amygdalae to these stimuli indicated more rapid decreases of right than left amygdalar responses to fearful faces, and increasing magnitudes of right amygdalar responses to neutral faces with time. We compared right and left responses statistically by modeling each time series with (1) a stationary fit model (assuming a constant magnitude of amygdalar response to consecutive blocks of fearful faces) and (2) an adaptive model (no assumptions). Areas of significant sustained nonstationarity (time series points with significantly greater adaptive than stationary model fits) were demonstrated for both amygdalae. There was more significant nonstationarity of right than left amygdalar responses to neutral, and left than right amygdalar responses to fearful faces. These findings indicate significant variability over time of both right and left amygdalar responses to fearful and neutral facial expressions and are the first demonstration of specific differences in time courses of right and left amygdalar responses to these stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: amygdala; fear; laterality; time series; fMRI; face
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Psychology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2009 15:59
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2009 15:59
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1097-0193(200104)12:4<19...
Status: Published
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Identification Number: 10.1002/1097-0193(200104)12:4<193::AID-HBM1015>3.0.CO;2-A
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6278

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