Detecting fearful and neutral faces: BOLD latency differences in amygdala-hippocampal junction

A A Reinders, J Glascher, A T Willemsen, J A den Boer, C Buchel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    Evolutionary survival and procreation are augmented if an individual organism quickly detects environmental threats and rapidly initiates defensive behavioral reactions. Thus, facial emotions signaling a potential threat, e.g., fear or anger, should be perceived rapidly and automatically, possibly through a subcortical processing route which includes the amygdala. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the time course of the response in the amygdala to neutral and fearful faces, which appear from dynamically decreasing random visual noise. We aimed to detect differences of the amygdala response between fearful and neutral faces by estimating the latency of the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response. We found that bilateral amygdala-hippocampal junction activation occurred earlier for fearful than for neutral faces. Our findings support the theory of a dual route architecture in which the subcortical thalamic-hippocampal-amygdala route serves fast preconscious threat perception
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)805 - 814
    Number of pages10
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2006


    Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting fearful and neutral faces: BOLD latency differences in amygdala-hippocampal junction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this