Rich A N, Williams M A, McGlone F, Cunnington R, Mattingley J B, 2006, "Increased attention to tactile stimuli modulates the amygdala response to visual affective stimuli" Perception 35 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Increased attention to tactile stimuli modulates the amygdala response to visual affective stimuli
A N Rich, M A Williams, F McGlone, R Cunnington, J B Mattingley
Recent neuroimaging studies have claimed that the amygdala responds preferentially to affective facial expressions regardless of the focus of attention. In contrast, other regions of cortex, such as the 'fusiform face area', are strongly modulated by attention, responding less when attention is occupied by non-preferred stimuli. In these previous experiments, both the critical stimuli and the attentional manipulations were within a single sensory modality. Here, we used fMRI to record changes in the BOLD signal in response to affective faces while attention was manipulated within the tactile domain. Participants performed a gap-discrimination task on a stream of air delivered to each index finger. The difficulty of the gap task was titrated to form high and low attentional load conditions. Simultaneously, participants viewed affective or neutral faces, interleaved in a block design. The amygdala response to fearful faces reduced as the attentional load of the tactile task increased, following the typical pattern of attention-dependent processing of category-specific cortex. These data demonstrate that the amygdala response to affective stimuli is not immune to manipulations of attention but depends critically on the extent to which attention is deployed within the relevant modality.
[Supported by Unilever Research Laboratories; National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia; Menzies Foundation.]
These web-based abstracts are provided for ease of seaching and access, but certain aspects (such as as mathematics) may not appear in their optimum form. For the final published version of this abstract, please see
ECVP 2006 Abstract Supplement (complete) size: 2368 Kb