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Preferences for Visual Stimuli Following Amygdala Damage

Adolphs, Ralph and Tranel, Daniel (1999) Preferences for Visual Stimuli Following Amygdala Damage. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 11 (6). pp. 610-616. ISSN 0898-929X.

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Bilateral damage to the human amygdala impairs retrieval of emotional and social information from faces. An important unanswered question concerns the specificity of the impairment for faces. To address this question, we examined preferences for a broad class of visual stimuli in two subjects with complete bilateral amygdala damage, both of whom were impaired in judgments of faces. Relative to controls, the subjects showed a positive bias for simple nonsense figures, color patterns, three-dimensional-looking objects and landscapes. The impairment was most pronounced in regard to those stimuli that are normally liked the least. The human amygdala thus appears to play a general role in guiding preferences for visual stimuli that are normally judged to be aversive.

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Additional Information:© 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Posted Online March 13, 2006. We thank Antonio R. Damasio for helpful comments on the manuscript, J. Suhr for technical assistance in testing subjects, and D. Krutzfeldt for help with scheduling subjects. This study was supported in part by an NIH FIRST Award and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship to R.A. and by a grant from the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke to Antonio R. Damasio.
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Alfred P. Sloan Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
National Institute for Neurological Diseases and StrokeUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111201-093642561
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:28269
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Jan 2012 21:42
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 14:33

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