Anger in brain and body: the neural and physiological perturbation of decision-making by emotion.

Garfinkel, Sarah N, Zorab, Emma, Navaratnam, Nakulan, Engels, Miriam, Mallorquí-Bagué, Núria, Minati, Ludovico, Dowell, Nicholas G, Brosschot, Jos F, Thayer, Julian F and Critchley, Hugo D (2015) Anger in brain and body: the neural and physiological perturbation of decision-making by emotion. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience. nsv099. ISSN 1749-5016

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Abstract

Emotion and cognition are dynamically coupled to bodily arousal: The induction of anger, even unconsciously, can reprioritise neural and physiological resources toward action states that bias cognitive processes. Here we examine behavioural, neural and bodily effects of covert anger processing and its influence on cognition, indexed by lexical decision-making. While recording beat-to-beat blood pressure, the words ANGER or RELAX were presented subliminally just prior to rapid word/non-word reaction-time judgements of letter-strings. Subliminal ANGER primes delayed the time taken to reach rapid lexical decisions, relative to RELAX primes. However, individuals with high trait anger were speeded up by subliminal anger primes. ANGER primes increased systolic blood pressure and the magnitude of this increase predicted reaction time prolongation. Within the brain, ANGER trials evoked an enhancement of activity within dorsal pons and an attenuation of activity within visual occipitotemporal and attentional parietal cortices. Activity within periaqueductal grey matter, occipital and parietal regions increased linearly with evoked blood pressure changes, indicating neural substrates through which covert anger impairs semantic decisions, putatively through its expression as visceral arousal. The behavioural and physiological impact of anger states compromises the efficiency of cognitive processing through action-ready changes in autonomic response that skew regional neural activity.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Neuroscience
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Subjects: Q Science
R Medicine
Depositing User: Nicholas Dowell
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 18:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/56355
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