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ISSN
0898-929X
E-ISSN
1530-8898
2014 Impact factor:
4.69

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

February 2007, Vol. 19, No. 2, Pages 237-248
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.2007.19.2.237)
© 2007 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Individual Differences in Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Activity are Associated with Evaluation Speed and Psychological Well-being
Article PDF (291.26 KB)
Abstract

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined whether individual differences in amygdala activation in response to negative relative to neutral information are related to differences in the speed with which such information is evaluated, the extent to which such differences are associated with medial prefrontal cortex function, and their relationship with measures of trait anxiety and psychological well-being (PWB). Results indicated that faster judgments of negative relative to neutral information were associated with increased left and right amygdala activation. In the prefrontal cortex, faster judgment time was associated with relative decreased activation in a cluster in the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, BA 24). Furthermore, people who were slower to evaluate negative versus neutral information reported higher PWB. Importantly, higher PWB was strongly associated with increased activation in the ventral ACC for negative relative to neutral information. Individual differences in trait anxiety did not predict variation in judgment time or in amygdala or ventral ACC activity. These findings suggest that people high in PWB effectively recruit the ventral ACC when confronted with potentially aversive stimuli, manifest reduced activity in subcortical regions such as the amygdala, and appraise such information as less salient as reflected in slower evaluative speed.