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Published October 2009 | Accepted Version + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Personal space regulation by the human amygdala


The amygdala plays key roles in emotion and social cognition, but how this translates to face-to-face interactions involving real people remains unknown. We found that an individual with complete amygdala lesions lacked any sense of personal space. Furthermore, healthy individuals showed amygdala activation upon close personal proximity. The amygdala may be required to trigger the strong emotional reactions normally following personal space violations, thus regulating interpersonal distance in humans.

Additional Information

© 2009 Nature Publishing Group. Received 26 March; accepted 8 July; published online 30 August 2009; doi:10.1038/nn.2381. We thank C. Holcomb for behavioral data collection, R. Nair and V. Chib for help with the fMRI study, and M. Spezio for discussions. Supported by US National Institute of Mental Health and the Simons Foundation (R.A.), the Della Martin Foundation (D.P.K.) and the Tamagawa University global Centers of Excellence program of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology. Author Contributions: D.P.K. and R.A. designed the experiment and wrote the paper; D.P.K. executed the studies; D.P.K., J.G. and J.M.T. analyzed the data. Note: Supplementary information is available on the Nature Neuroscience website.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms-131528.pdf

Supplemental Material - nn.2381-S1.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023