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A direct amygdala-motor pathway for emotional displays to influence action: A diffusion tensor imaging study

Abstract : An important evolutionary function of emotions is to prime individuals for action. Although functional neuroimaging has provided evidence for such a relationship, little is known about the anatomical substrates allowing the limbic system to influence cortical motor-related areas. Using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and probabilistic tractography on a cohort of 40 participants, we provide evidence of a structural connection between the amygdala and motor-related areas (lateral and medial precentral, motor cingulate and primary motor cortices, and postcentral gyrus) in humans. We then compare this connection with the connections of the amygdala with emotion-related brain areas (superior temporal sulcus, fusiform gyrus, orbitofrontal cortex, and lateral inferior frontal gyrus) and determine which amygdala nuclei are at the origin of these projections. Beyond the well-known subcortical influences over automatic and stereotypical emotional behaviors, a direct amygdala-motor pathway might provide a mechanism by which the amygdala can influence more complex motor behaviors.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-02461689
Contributor : Julie Grezes <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 6:23:47 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 1:28:58 PM

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Julie Grèzes, Romain Valabrègue, Bahar Gholipour, Coralie Chevallier. A direct amygdala-motor pathway for emotional displays to influence action: A diffusion tensor imaging study. Human Brain Mapping, Wiley, 2014, 35 (12), pp.5974-5983. ⟨10.1002/hbm.22598⟩. ⟨inserm-02461689⟩

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