Dissociable neural effects of stimulus valence and preceding context during the inhibition of responses to emotional faces

Authors

  • Kurt P. Schulz,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
    • Department of Psychiatry, Box 1230, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York 10029
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  • Suzanne M. Clerkin,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
    2. Neuropsychology Doctoral Subprogram in Psychology, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York
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  • Jeffrey M. Halperin,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
    2. Neuropsychology Doctoral Subprogram in Psychology, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York
    3. Department of Psychology, Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing, New York
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  • Jeffrey H. Newcorn,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
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  • Cheuk Y. Tang,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
    2. Department of Radiology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
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  • Jin Fan

    1. Department of Psychiatry, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
    2. Department of Neuroscience, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
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Abstract

Socially appropriate behavior requires the concurrent inhibition of actions that are inappropriate in the context. This self-regulatory function requires an interaction of inhibitory and emotional processes that recruits brain regions beyond those engaged by either processes alone. In this study, we isolated brain activity associated with response inhibition and emotional processing in 24 healthy adults using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a go/no-go task that independently manipulated the context preceding no-go trials (ie, number of go trials) and the valence (ie, happy, sad, and neutral) of the face stimuli used as trial cues. Parallel quadratic trends were seen in correct inhibitions on no-go trials preceded by increasing numbers of go trials and associated activation for correct no-go trials in inferior frontal gyrus pars opercularis, pars triangularis, and pars orbitalis, temporoparietal junction, superior parietal lobule, and temporal sensory association cortices. Conversely, the comparison of happy versus neutral faces and sad versus neutral faces revealed valence-dependent activation in the amygdala, anterior insula cortex, and posterior midcingulate cortex. Further, an interaction between inhibition and emotion was seen in valence-dependent variations in the quadratic trend in no-go activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus and left posterior insula cortex. These results suggest that the inhibition of response to emotional cues involves the interaction of partly dissociable limbic and frontoparietal networks that encode emotional cues and use these cues to exert inhibitory control over the motor, attention, and sensory functions needed to perform the task, respectively. Hum Brain Mapp, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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