The amygdala was more responsive to fearful (larger) eye whites than to happy (smaller) eye whites presented in a masking paradigm that mitigated subjects' awareness of their presence and aberrant nature. These data demonstrate that the amygdala is responsive to elements of biologically relevant configural stimuli.
References and Notes
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We studied healthy, right-handed, male subjects (mean age 21.9 ± 1.34 years) for consistency with our previous study (1) and to minimize between-subject signal heterogeneity related to handedness and/or gender differences. We scanned 27 subjects and excluded data from seven for excessive movement (>1.5 mm, 4 subjects), brain or visual abnormalities (2 subjects), or post-scan Beck Depression Inventory scores > 10 (1 subject).
Materials and methods are available as supporting material on Science Online.
We used an imaging protocol focused on the amygdala (7) that provides excellent coverage even in ventral and medial regions. The mean signal-to-noise ratio after spatial filtering (full width at half maximum, 6 mm) at the ventral amygdala locus reported here was more than 100 to 1.
P. Vuilleumier, J. L. Armony, J. Driver, R. J. Dolan, Nature Neurosci.6, 624 (2003).
We thank N. Kalin, R. Davidson, A. Alexander, R. Cai, H. Urry, and L. Shin. Supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (grant nos. 01866 and 069315) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Volume 306 | Issue 5704
17 December 2004
17 December 2004
American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Received: 3 August 2004
Accepted: 28 October 2004
Published in print: 17 December 2004
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