The impact of processing load on emotion

D. G.V. Mitchell, M. Nakic, D. Fridberg, N. Kamel, D. S. Pine, Robert James Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This event-related fMRI study examined the impact of processing load on the BOLD response to emotional expressions. Participants were presented with composite stimuli consisting of neutral and fearful faces upon which semi-transparent words were superimposed. This manipulation held stimulus-driven features constant across multiple levels of processing load. Participants made either (1) gender discriminations based on the face; (2) case judgments based on the words; or (3) syllable number judgments based on the words. A significant main effect for processing load was revealed in prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, visual processing areas, and amygdala. Critically, enhanced activity in the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex seen during gender discriminations was significantly reduced during the linguistic task conditions. A connectivity analysis conducted to investigate theories of cognitive modulation of emotion showed that activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was inversely related to activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Together, the data suggest that the processing of task-irrelevant emotional information, like neutral information, is subject to the effects of processing load and is under top-down control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1299-1309
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroImage
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

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Prefrontal Cortex
Emotions
Amygdala
Parietal Lobe
Linguistics
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Discrimination (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Mitchell, D. G. V., Nakic, M., Fridberg, D., Kamel, N., Pine, D. S., & Blair, R. J. (2007). The impact of processing load on emotion. NeuroImage, 34(3), 1299-1309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.10.012

The impact of processing load on emotion. / Mitchell, D. G.V.; Nakic, M.; Fridberg, D.; Kamel, N.; Pine, D. S.; Blair, Robert James.

In: NeuroImage, Vol. 34, No. 3, 01.02.2007, p. 1299-1309.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mitchell, DGV, Nakic, M, Fridberg, D, Kamel, N, Pine, DS & Blair, RJ 2007, 'The impact of processing load on emotion', NeuroImage, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 1299-1309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.10.012
Mitchell DGV, Nakic M, Fridberg D, Kamel N, Pine DS, Blair RJ. The impact of processing load on emotion. NeuroImage. 2007 Feb 1;34(3):1299-1309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.10.012
Mitchell, D. G.V. ; Nakic, M. ; Fridberg, D. ; Kamel, N. ; Pine, D. S. ; Blair, Robert James. / The impact of processing load on emotion. In: NeuroImage. 2007 ; Vol. 34, No. 3. pp. 1299-1309.
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