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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce ... for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to ... ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former senior vice ... University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June 27. , ... with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and participating in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and ... and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension ... light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the ... a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the ... WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing ... for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: