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Role of the amygdala in processing visual social stimuli

Adolphs, Ralph and Spezio, Michael (2006) Role of the amygdala in processing visual social stimuli. In: Understanding Emotions. Progress in Brain Research. No.156. Elsevier , Amsterdam, pp. 363-378. ISBN 978-0-444-52182-8.

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We review the evidence implicating the amygdala as a critical component of a neural network of social cognition, drawing especially on research involving the processing of faces and other visual social stimuli. We argue that, although it is clear that social behavioral representations are not stored in the amygdala, the most parsimonious interpretation of the data is that the amygdala plays a role in guiding social behaviors on the basis of socioenvironmental context. Thus, it appears to be required for normal social cognition. We propose that the amygdala plays this role by attentionally modulating several areas of visual and somatosensory cortex that have been implicated in social cognition, and in helping to direct overt visuospatial attention in face gaze. We also hypothesize that the amygdala exerts attentional modulation of simulation in somatosensory cortices such as supramarginal gyrus and insula. Finally, we argue that the term emotion be broadened to include increased attention to bodily responses and their representation in cortex.

Item Type:Book Section
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Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier. Available online 30 September 2006. The authors thank Fred Gosselin and Dirk Neumann for helpful discussions. This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Cure Autism New Foundation, and the Pfeiffer Research Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)UNSPECIFIED
Cure Autism New FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Pfeiffer Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:amygdala; face processing; simulation; lesion studies; social cognition; emotion
Series Name:Progress in Brain Research
Issue or Number:156
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110120-094219502
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Official Citation:Ralph Adolphs, Michael Spezio, Role of the amygdala in processing visual social stimuli, In: S. Anders, G. Ende, M. Junghofer, J. Kissler and D. Wildgruber, Editor(s), Progress in Brain Research, Elsevier, 2006, Volume 156, Understanding Emotions, Pages 363-378, ISSN 0079-6123, ISBN 9780444521828, DOI: 10.1016/S0079-6123(06)56020-0.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:21825
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:20 Jan 2011 19:43
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:30

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