- The integration of negative affect, pain and cognitive control in the cingulate cortex
- Nature Reviews Neuroscience
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
It has been argued that emotion, pain and cognitive control are functionally segregated in distinct subdivisions of the cingulate cortex. However, recent observations encourage a fundamentally different view. Imaging studies demonstrate that negative affect, pain and cognitive control activate an overlapping region of the dorsal cingulate - the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC). Anatomical studies reveal that the aMCC constitutes a hub where information about reinforcers can be linked to motor centres responsible for expressing affect and executing goal-directed behaviour. Computational modelling and other kinds of evidence suggest that this intimacy reflects control processes that are common to all three domains. These observations compel a reconsideration of the dorsal cingulate's contribution to negative affect and pain.
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