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Intracranial-EEG evidence for medial temporal pole driving amygdala activity induced by multi-modal emotional stimuli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Saurabh Sonkusare, Vinh T. Nguyen, Rosalyn Moran, Johan van der Meer, Yudan Ren, Nikitas Koussis, Sasha Dionisio, Michael Breakspear, Christine Guo

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-48
Number of pages17
PublishedSep 2020

King's Authors


The temporal pole (TP) is an associative cortical region required for complex cognitive functions such as social and emotional cognition. However, mapping the TP with functional magnetic resonance imaging is technically challenging and thus understanding its interaction with other key emotional circuitry, such as the amygdala, remains elusive. We exploited the unique advantages of stereo-electroencephalography (sEEG) to assess the responses of the TP and the amygdala during the perception of emotionally salient stimuli of pictures, music and movies. These stimuli consistently elicited high gamma responses (70–140 Hz) in both the TP and the amygdala, accompanied by functional connectivity in the low frequency range (2–12 Hz). Computational analyses suggested that the TP drove this effect in the theta frequency range, modulated by the emotional valence of the stimuli. Notably, cross-frequency analysis indicated the phase of theta oscillations in the TP modulated the amplitude of high gamma activity in the amygdala. These results were reproducible across three types of sensory inputs including naturalistic stimuli. Our results suggest that multimodal emotional stimuli induce a hierarchical influence of the TP over the amygdala.

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