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Differences between left and right amygdala....question...

Andrew T. Austin. aausti at fordNOSPAM.com
Thu May 24 04:51:55 EST 2001

Many thanks for the helpful replies, much appreciated :o)


Andrew Austin.

Reply address: slightlynervous at PANTSbtinternet.com
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NLP, Neurology, Schizophrenia:  www.23NLPeople.com

maxwell <mmmaxwell at hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:9ecqum$22k3f$1 at ID-81739.news.dfncis.de...

Tony Buchanan <tony-buchanan at uiowa.edu> wrote in message
news:3B098A5E.5EEF1680 at uiowa.edu...
> The neuroimaging literature is littered with findings of functional
> differences between the left and right amygdala.  One side is active in
> one task, the other during another task and with no real pattern or
> consensus as to what this functional asymmetry might mean.  The most
> intriguing new finding in this area is that of gender differences in
> amygdala activity in association with the formation of emotional
> memories.  Larry Cahill and colleagues recently published a paper in
> Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (vol. 75 pp 1-9) which illustrates
> that in women, activity in the left, but not right amygdala predicts
> subsequent memory for emotional stimuli.  The converse pattern is found
> in men (right activity predicts memory).  This finding replicates two
> previous reports of same, so this is the most consistent finding of
> human amygdala asymmetry that I know of.  Work with lesion patients
> subsequent to unilateral temporal lobectomy has shown some interesting
> patterns in this regard.  Namely, damage to the left amygdala results in
> reduced memory for emotional verbal material and damage to the right
> amygdala impairs memory for emotional pictures (as well as reducing
> visuospatial performance in general).  These studies are complicated by
> the fact that it is not only the amygdala that resected in these
> surgeries, but the temporal pole and a variable amount of temporal
> cortex as well.  I've also read of some functional asymmetries in fear
> conditioning, but I can't remember what the pattern was...
> Tony W. Buchanan
> University of Iowa

Interesting (as to laterality) what you report WRT right amygdalal
i.e., impairment of emotional memory. Just popping in to mention that Haxby,
et al, using PET,
 observed *significant* right cingulate activity in _recognition_ phase
(though not during encoding phase) of tasks of memory of human faces--
surely visual objects of emotive importance.


The article is available for free dowload at:

Haxby, J.V., Ungerleider, L.G., Horwitz, B., Maisog, J.M., Rapoport, S.I.,
Grady, C.L. (1996) Face encoding and recognition in the human
brain, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 93:922-27.


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