Neural processing of negative emotional stimuli and the influence of age, sex and task-related characteristics.


Negative emotional stimuli are particularly salient events that receive privileged access to neurocognitive resources. At the neural level, the processing of negative stimuli relies on a set of sensory, limbic, and prefrontal areas. However, controversies exist on how demographic and task-related characteristics modulate this brain pattern. Here, we used activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis and replicator dynamics to investigate the processing of negative visual stimuli in healthy adults. Our findings endorse the central role of the amygdala. This result might reflect how this structure modulates perceptual and attentional mechanisms in response to emotional stimuli. Additionally, we characterize how the neural processing of negative visual stimuli is influenced by the demographic factors of age and sex as well as by task-related characteristics like stimulus type, emotion category, and task instruction, with the amygdala showing comparable engagement across different sexes, stimulus types, and task instructions. Our findings practically inform experimentation in the affective neurosciences but also suggest brain circuits for neurobiological investigations of affective symptomatology.

PubMed ID: 27168344

Projects: LIFE Adult

Publication type: Not specified

Journal: Neurosci Biobehav Rev

Human Diseases: No Human Disease specified

Citation: Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Sep;68:773-793. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.04.020. Epub 2016 May 7.

Date Published: 12th May 2016

Registered Mode: by PubMed ID

Authors: I. Garcia-Garcia, J. Kube, M. Gaebler, A. Horstmann, A. Villringer, J. Neumann

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Created: 10th May 2019 at 13:54

Last updated: 7th Dec 2021 at 17:58

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