HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
MRI studies provide new insight into how emotions interfere with staying focused

DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University researchers have shown how emotions such as fear or horror travel along separate paths through the brain and are more likely than simple distractions to interfere with a person's efforts to focus on a task such as driving.

Using functional MRI to watch human brains in action, the researchers showed that emotional stimuli and "attentional functions" like driving move in parallel streams through the brain before finally meeting up in a specific part of the brain's prefrontal cortex.

The results, published in the August 20 issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), help explain why a person who suddenly feels a pang of emotion is especially likely to lose focus. They also may lead to new avenues of research for treating depression, attention-deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome and other disorders.

"We've known for a long time that some people are more easily distracted and that emotions can play a big part in this," said Kevin S. LaBar, assistant professor at Duke's Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and an author of the study. "Our study shows that two streams of processing take place in the brain, with attentional tasks and emotions moving in parallel before finally coming together." The two streams are integrated in a region of the brain called the anterior cingulate, which is located between the right and left halves of the brain's frontal portion and is involved in a wide range of thought processes and emotional responses.

LaBar and his colleagues used functional MRI devices to study the brains of neurologically healthy subjects who tried to pay attention to specific visual targets on a screen. The test subjects were distracted in various ways, sometimes by images that were likely to evoke an emotional response. The results confirmed previous findings that emotional stimuli are more likely to cause a person to lose focus. However, they also shed light on the
'"/>

Contact: David Jarmul
david.jarmul@duke.edu
919-684-6815
Duke University
19-Aug-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Rensselaer marks the opening of the center for biotechnology and interdisciplinary studies
2. UCSD undergraduates participate in collaborative studies abroad on cyberinfrastructure
3. Scientist honored for studies of genetic influence on chemotherapy, tumor development
4. $5 million grant funds partnership, studies of minority-based issues in reproductive health
5. Synthetic hormone used in contraceptives and HRT produces negative effects in monkey studies
6. $5.5 million awarded to tree-ring research and climate studies
7. Pancreatic cancer blood test & gene studies show promise
8. Two studies weigh in on low-carb diets
9. Animal studies show promise treating severe chronic pain
10. New studies show Curves Program raises metabolic rate in overweight and sedentary women
11. Florida Tech researchers win $912,700 grant for cell studies

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/20/2014)... long known that people with Down syndrome have a ... childhood, they haven,t been able to explain why. ... uncovered a connection between the two conditions. , In ... Nature Genetics , the researchers track the genetic chain ... syndrome to the cellular havoc that occurs in ALL. ...
(Date:4/18/2014)... emergency contraceptive pills in Peru found that 28 ... substandard quality or falsified. Many pills released the ... active ingredient. One batch had no active ingredient ... drugs, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology ... quickly assess suspected counterfeit drugs and then characterize ...
(Date:4/18/2014)... world population predicted to reach 9 billion by ... that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, according ... habitat that supports it might be an increasingly ... three-quarters of the land surface is directly affected ... human-caused impacts such as climate change. But what ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Dana-Farber researchers uncover link between Down syndrome and leukemia 2Dana-Farber researchers uncover link between Down syndrome and leukemia 3Counterfeit contraceptives found in South America 2Counterfeit contraceptives found in South America 3Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife 2Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife 3Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife 4
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 2013 was a banner year ... Technologies®. They saw continued independent research led by the ... awarded a $1 million grant from the Susanne Marcus ... Behavior” a peer reviewed journal, Amy Grant highlighted Brainwave ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... January 15, 2014 AudioNotch is the ... therapy for the treatment of tinnitus. Patients listen to ... and over a period of weeks to months, their tinnitus ... in two forms: Notched Music and Notched White Noise. Now, ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Date: Friday, April 11, 2014 , Time: ... 1360 Almshouse Road, Warrington, Pa. , Details: The ... to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the ... annual Crystal Ball on Friday, April 11 at Warrington Country ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... on the products of cells grown under simulated embryonic ... international license agreement with Suneva Medical, Inc. for physician-dispensed ... (CCM). , This agreement is an amendment ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 2Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 3Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 2Histogen and Suneva Medical Expand License for Cell Conditioned Media-based Aesthetic Products Internationally 3
Cached News: