Prefrontal involvement in the regulation of emotion: convergence of rat and human studies

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Dec;16(6):723-7. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.07.004. Epub 2006 Nov 3.


Emotion regulation is a process by which we control when and where emotions are expressed. Paradigms used to study the regulation of emotion in humans examine controlled responses to emotional stimuli and/or the inhibition of emotional influences on subsequent behavior. These processes of regulation of emotion trigger activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and inhibition of the amygdala. A similar pattern of activation is seen in rodents during recall of fear extinction, an example of emotional regulation. The overlap in circuitry is consistent with a common mechanism, and points toward future experiments designed to bridge human and rodent models of emotion regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Extinction, Psychological / physiology
  • Fear / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Rats