Neural correlates of processing valence and arousal in affective words

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • P. A. Lewis
  • H. D. Critchley
  • P. Rotshtein
  • R. J. Dolan

Abstract

Psychological frameworks conceptualize emotion along 2 dimensions, "valence" and "arousal." Arousal invokes a single axis of intensity increasing from neutral to maximally arousing. Valence can be described variously as a bipolar continuum, as independent positive and negative dimensions, or as hedonic value (distance from neutral). In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize neural activity correlating with arousal and with distinct models of valence during presentation of affective word stimuli. Our results extend observations in the chemosensory domain suggesting a double dissociation in which subregions of orbitofrontal cortex process valence, whereas amygdala preferentially processes arousal. In addition, our data support the physiological validity of descriptions of valence along independent axes or as absolute distance from neutral but fail to support the validity of descriptions of valence along a bipolar continuum. © The Author 2006. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-748
Number of pages6
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007