Neuroanatomical substrata of amusement and sadness: A PET activation study using film stimuli

  • Aalto S
  • Näätänen P
  • Wallius E
 et al. 
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The aim of the present study was to explore the neuroanatomical substrata of film-induced amusement and sadness, aiming at maximal reliability by using strict statistics. Film-induced changes in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were measured using positron emission tomography and [15O]water. It appeared that many brain regions were involved similarly and symmetrically in both emotions. Activation of the occipitotemporal and anterior temporal cortex and cerebellum during both emotions agreed well with the earlier findings. Contrary to some earlier studies, the posterior cingulate gyrus and some frontal areas were deactivated in both emotions. The strict explorative analysis did not reveal activations in the limbic or subcorticai structures seen in some earlier studies. However, an additional analysis restricted to the subcortical and limbic system structures revealed bilateral activation of the amygdala in both target emotions. The outcomes of imaginal studies of emotions seem to be largely dependent on the conservativeness of the statistical analysis and very likely also on the method of emotion induction.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Amusement
  • Brain
  • Emotion
  • Imaging
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Sadness

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  • S. Aalto

  • P. Näätänen

  • E. Wallius

  • L. Metsähonkala

  • H. Stenman

  • P. M. Niemi

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