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Publication Detail
Functional evidence for a dual route to amygdala.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Garrido MI, Barnes GR, Sahani M, Dolan RJ
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    129, 134
  • Journal:
    Curr Biol
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Amygdala, Animals, Fear, Perception
The amygdala plays a central role in evaluating the behavioral importance of sensory information. Anatomical subcortical pathways provide direct input to the amygdala from early sensory systems and may support an adaptively valuable rapid appraisal of salient information. However, the functional significance of these subcortical inputs remains controversial. We recorded magnetoencephalographic activity evoked by tones in the context of emotionally valent faces and tested two competing biologically motivated dynamic causal models against these data: the dual and cortical models. The dual model comprised two parallel (cortical and subcortical) routes to the amygdala, whereas the cortical model excluded the subcortical path. We found that neuronal responses elicited by salient information were better explained when a subcortical pathway was included. In keeping with its putative functional role of rapid stimulus appraisal, the subcortical pathway was most important early in stimulus processing. However, as often assumed, its action was not limited to the context of fear, pointing to a more widespread information processing role. Thus, our data supports the idea that an expedited evaluation of sensory input is best explained by an architecture that involves a subcortical path to the amygdala.
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