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Emotion-Modulated Performance and Activity in Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex

Summary: Emotion-Modulated Performance and Activity in Left Dorsolateral
Prefrontal Cortex
John D. Herrington, Aprajita Mohanty,
Nancy S. Koven, Joscelyn E. Fisher, and
Jennifer L. Stewart
University of Illinois at Urbana­Champaign
Marie T. Banich
University of Colorado
Andrew G. Webb, Gregory A. Miller, and Wendy Heller
University of Illinois at Urbana­Champaign
Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to examine the relationship between processing of pleasant and
unpleasant stimuli and activity in prefrontal cortex. Twenty volunteers identified the colors in which
pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant words were printed. Pleasant words prompted more activity bilaterally
in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) than did unpleasant words. In addition, pleasant words
prompted more activity in left than in right DLPFC. Response speed to pleasant words was correlated
with DLPFC activity. These data directly link positive affect, enhanced performance, and prefrontal
activity, providing some of the first fMRI evidence supporting models of emotional valence and frontal
brain asymmetry based on electroencephalography (EEG).
Keywords: emotion, positive affect, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, functional MRI, brain asymmetry
Emotion influences cognition in a variety of ways. Perhaps one


Source: Andrews, Anne M. - Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University
Banich, Marie T. - Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Boulder


Collections: Biology and Medicine