Affective modulation of scene perception
Frank, David Witt
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Research suggests that human emotional discrimination is initiated through an interaction of inferotemporal cortex (IT) and amygdala that then modulates activity across the visual system. However, the temporal dynamics of activity in these downstream regions is unclear. Fast sampled functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the timing of emotional discrimination in amygdala and IT relative to frontoparietal structures, including frontal eye fields (FEF) and intraparietal sulcus (IPS). A subset of subjects also participated in an electrocortical recording session to enable a comparison of middle and late emotional-modulated event related potentials (ERP) with the fMRI data. Amygdala and IT differentiated emotional from neutral scenes prior to IPS and FEF. Correlations were found between hemodynamic and late ERP modulation across stimulus pleasantness and semantic categories. These data suggest that visual emotional information may be registered in a ventral network, and distributed to dorsal attention structures thereafter.