Amygdala-frontal connectivity during emotion regulation

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2007 Dec;2(4):303-12. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsm029.


Successful control of affect partly depends on the capacity to modulate negative emotional responses through the use of cognitive strategies (i.e., reappraisal). Recent studies suggest the involvement of frontal cortical regions in the modulation of amygdala reactivity and the mediation of effective emotion regulation. However, within-subject inter-regional connectivity between amygdala and prefrontal cortex in the context of affect regulation is unknown. Here, using psychophysiological interaction analyses of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, we show that activity in specific areas of the frontal cortex (dorsolateral, dorsal medial, anterior cingulate, orbital) covaries with amygdala activity and that this functional connectivity is dependent on the reappraisal task. Moreover, strength of amygdala coupling with orbitofrontal cortex and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex predicts the extent of attenuation of negative affect following reappraisal. These findings highlight the importance of functional connectivity within limbic-frontal circuitry during emotion regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Expressed Emotion*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Young Adult