Intracranial EEG (iEEG); Human single-unit recordings; Emotion; Amygdala; Functional anatomy
Guex Raphael, Méndez-Bértolo Constantino, Moratti Stephan, Strange Bryan A., Spinelli Laurent, Murray Ryan J., Sander David, Seeck Margitta, Vuilleumier Patrik, Domínguez-Borràs Judith (2020), Temporal dynamics of amygdala response to emotion- and action-relevance, in Scientific Reports
, 10(1), 11138-11138.
Domínguez-Borràs J., Moyne M., Saj A., Guex R., Vuilleumier P. (2020), Impaired emotional biases in visual attention after bilateral amygdala lesion, in Neuropsychologia
, 137, 107292-107292.
Domínguez-Borràs Judith, Guex Raphaël, Méndez-Bértolo Constantino, Legendre Guillaume, Spinelli Laurent, Moratti Stephan, Frühholz Sascha, Mégevand Pierre, Arnal Luc, Strange Bryan, Seeck Margitta, Vuilleumier Patrik (2019), Human amygdala response to unisensory and multisensory emotion input: No evidence for superadditivity from intracranial recordings, in Neuropsychologia
, 131, 9-24.
Guex Raphael, Hofstetter Christoph, Domínguez-Borràs Judith, Méndez-Bértolo Constantino, Sterpenich Virginie, Spinelli Laurent, Seeck Margitta, Vuilleumier Patrik (2019), Neurophysiological evidence for early modulation of amygdala activity by emotional reappraisal, in Biological Psychology
, 145, 211-223.
Abundant research supports the idea that emotional stimuli are prioritized by the neural processing systems, eliciting stronger and faster attention capture than non-emotional stimuli. This effect, on one hand, is often paralleled by stronger neural responses in early sensory areas, relative to the processing of neutral information and, on the other hand, takes place both at conscious and at preconscious (without explicit awareness) levels. Thus, despite the fact that unattended stimuli often escape awareness, emotional stimuli still undergo residual processing, an effect that often results into facilitation of stimulus-consciousness. However, the neural pathways subserving these emotional biases are still poorly understood. The amygdala, a nuclear complex located in the medial temporal lobe, may play a critical role in this modulatory effect by sending projections onto the sensory pathways, but still controversy exists regarding the latency and functional interplay of this region within the emotional processing networks. In this sense, little is known about the functional role of the amygdala subregions in these neural mechanisms, an issue that has often been overlooked in human research due to technical limitations. Finally, most of the research on emotional attention in humans concerns the visual modality, but the growing amount of literature addressing emotional attention clearly demands a common model for vision and audition. The proposed project aims at investigating the functional and temporal dynamics of conscious and preconscious emotional processing, as well as to understand how emotion boosts stimulus-awareness, both in the visual and the auditory modalities. By means of two main experiments, we aim at examining the role of different amygdala subregions during preattentive and attentive emotional processing, while exploring the functional connectivity among them and with other brain regions. To achieve these goals, we propose to apply the unique and innovative approach of combining intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) and single unit recordings in human patients prior to surgery for epilepsy, a challenging technique that only a few laboratories in the world are able to successfully apply at the moment. I believe our project at the EEG and Epilepsy Unit in the University Hospital in Geneva will potentially offer crucial insights in the interdisciplinary field of Affective Neuroscience.