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Brain systems mediating aversive conditioning: an event-related fMRI study.

We have used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to characterize neural responses associated with emotional learning. Employing a classical conditioning paradigm in which faces were conditioned by pairing with an aversive tone (US), we compared responses evoked by conditioned (CS+) and nonconditioned (CS-) stimuli. Pairing 50% of the CS+ with the US enabled us to constrain our analysis to responses evoked by a CS+ not followed by a US. Differential evoked responses, related to conditioning, were found in the anterior cingulate and the anterior insula, regions with known involvement in emotional processing. Differential responses of the amygdalae were best characterized by a time by stimulus interaction indicating a rapid adaptation of CS+-specific responses in this region.

Pubmed ID: 9620699


  • B├╝chel C
  • Morris J
  • Dolan RJ
  • Friston KJ



Publication Data

May 26, 1998

Associated Grants

  • Agency: Wellcome Trust, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Amygdala
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Facial Expression
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex
  • Red Nucleus