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Central mechanisms for organ-specific control of visceral responses to emotive stimuli revealed by neuroimaging and autonomic dissociation of disgust
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 13:33 authored by Neil Harrison, M A Gray, P J Gianaros, Hugo CritchleyHugo Critchley
Emotions are embodied in physiological response patterns. We explored the basis to patterned physiological responses to disgust stimuli, combining functional magnetic resonance imaging of brain with autonomic monitoring. Twelve healthy participants were scanned while they watched videos displaying disgust-evoking imagery, divided into body boundary violation and ingestive disgust. Measures of heart rate (using pulse oximetry) and gastric activity (using electrogastrography, EGG) were acquired during scanning with subjective ratings of the videos. Distinct patterns of cardiac and gastric sympathetic and parasympathetic responses were observed to the two forms of disgust. Neuroimaging revealed association between all disgust and activation of insular cortex, neostriatum, thalamus and PAG. However, ingestive disgust evoked greater activity within insula, amygdala and brainstem while body boundary violation disgust evoked greater activity within somatomotor cortices and posterior insula / S2. Activity changes within right insula predicted gastric (tachygastria) responses and ratings of ingestive disgust, while activity changes in sensorimotor cortex related to cardiac response and ratings of boundary violation disgust. These findings illustrate dissociation within both the brain responses and peripheral physiological reactions to two forms of disgust stimuli, with implications for understanding mechanisms for individual vulnerability to particular psychosomatic disorders.
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Department affiliated with
- Clinical and Experimental Medicine Publications
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