Contrary to our predictions, shock-associated tones did not evoke

Contrary to our predictions, shock-associated tones did not evoke significant differential processing on an earlier AEF component between 20 and 50 ms after CS onset (P20–50 m). Results in two different behavioural tests measuring rather explicit learning effects suggested that subjects were not explicitly aware of the predictive CS–UCS relationship, owing to the large number

of complex tones and few learning instances. An indirect measure of acquired valence (affective priming), however, demonstrated an effect of emotional learning on behaviour. Selleckchem Palbociclib Human affective neuroscience research was rarely concerned with the auditory system in the past. Studies are mainly restricted

to physiological measures (e.g. skin conductance responses) and neuroimaging techniques such as functional MRI or positron emission tomography providing high spatial but rather low temporal resolution. These investigations showed affect-specific prioritised processing of emotionally salient auditory stimuli (Bradley & Lang, 2000) within a distributed network of emotion-related and sensory-specific cortical and subcortical brain regions, such as the amygdala, the medial geniculate nucleus of the thalamus and prefrontal and parietal cortex (Hugdahl et al., 1995; Morris et al., 1997; Royet et al., 2000; Sander & Scheich, 2001; Zald & Parvo, 2002). As these findings corresponded to results in vision (e.g. Lang et al., 1998a; Bradley et al., 2003; Junghöfer et al., 2005; Sabatinelli et al., 2005) buy BMN 673 it was suggested that the same neural mechanisms might be relevant to affective processing in the two modalities

Meloxicam (Bradley & Lang, 2000). However, only very few studies have investigated the temporal dynamics of auditory emotion processing with time-resolving neurophysiological measures, such as high-density EEG or whole-head MEG in the same way as in vision to further clarify this issue. Using a classical conditioning design with two different tones as CS and median nerve electric shock as US, Moses et al. (2010) demonstrated a so-called CR in the form of an enhanced CS+ beta-band desynchronisation in CS+ conditioning trials with omitted US. This CR was localised at somatosensory areas contralateral to the left or right stimulation side and was interpreted as reflecting the UCS association during CS processing. Although the CR in this study occurred rather late (150–350 ms after omitted shock presentation), previous electrophysiological studies revealed that CRs usually ‘…occur around the time that activation elicited by the US would be expected’ (Moses et al., 2010, p. 276). Non-CR effects were not reported by Moses and colleagues.

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