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Amygdala-prefrontal coupling underlies individual differences in emotion regulation

Lee, H., Heller, A. S., Van Reekum, C. M. ORCID:, Nelson, B. and Davidson, R. J. (2012) Amygdala-prefrontal coupling underlies individual differences in emotion regulation. NeuroImage, 62 (3). pp. 1575-1581. ISSN 1053-8119

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.05.044


Despite growing evidence on the neural bases of emotion regulation, little is known about the mechanisms underlying individual differences in cognitive regulation of negative emotion, and few studies have used objective measures to quantify regulatory success. Using a trait-like psychophysiological measure of emotion regulation, corrugator electromyography, we obtained an objective index of the ability to cognitively reappraise negative emotion in 56 healthy men (session 1), who returned 1.3 years later to perform the same regulation task using fMRI (session 2). Results indicated that the corrugator measure of regulatory skill predicted amygdala-prefrontal functional connectivity. Individuals with greater ability to down-regulate negative emotion as indexed by corrugator at session 1 showed not only greater amygdala attenuation but also greater inverse connectivity between the amygdala and several sectors of the prefrontal cortex while down-regulating negative emotion at session 2. Our results demonstrate that individual differences in emotion regulation are stable over time and underscore the important role of amygdala-prefrontal coupling for successful regulation of negative emotion.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:28166


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