Central mechanisms for organ-specific control of visceral responses to emotive stimuli revealed by neuroimaging and autonomic dissociation of disgust

Harrison, N A, Gray, M A, Gianaros, P J and Critchley, H D (2008) Central mechanisms for organ-specific control of visceral responses to emotive stimuli revealed by neuroimaging and autonomic dissociation of disgust. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 69 (3). pp. 193-194. ISSN 0167-8760

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Abstract

Emotions are embodied in physiological response patterns. We explored the basis to patterned physiological responses to disgust stimuli, combining functional magnetic resonance imaging of brain with autonomic monitoring. Twelve healthy participants were scanned while they watched videos displaying disgust-evoking imagery, divided into body boundary violation and ingestive disgust. Measures of heart rate (using pulse oximetry) and gastric activity (using electrogastrography, EGG) were acquired during scanning with subjective ratings of the videos.

Distinct patterns of cardiac and gastric sympathetic and parasympathetic responses were observed to the two forms of disgust. Neuroimaging revealed association between all disgust and activation of insular cortex, neostriatum, thalamus and PAG. However, ingestive disgust evoked greater activity within insula, amygdala and brainstem while body boundary violation disgust evoked greater activity within somatomotor cortices and posterior insula / S2. Activity changes within right insula predicted gastric (tachygastria) responses and ratings of ingestive disgust, while activity changes in sensorimotor cortex related to cardiac response and ratings of boundary violation disgust.

These findings illustrate dissociation within both the brain responses and peripheral physiological reactions to two forms of disgust stimuli, with implications for understanding mechanisms for individual vulnerability to particular psychosomatic disorders.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R895 Medical physics. Medical radiology. Nuclear medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
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Depositing User: Hazelle Woodhurst
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2012 15:39
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2017 11:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43073
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