Emotion-dependent responses in spinal cord neurons: A spinal fMRI study

Publication year: 2011
Source: NeuroImage, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

Stephen D., Smith , Jennifer, Kornelsen

Previous research has demonstrated that emotional stimuli receive preferential processing in the brain. In the current study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was utilized to determine if emotion-specific responses are detectable in the cervical spinal cord. During the passive (i.e., non-motoric) perception of images, activity was detected in the left dorsal and right ventral spinal cord in response to negative emotional stimuli; however, this pattern was reversed in response to neutral and positive stimuli. Critically, during active motoric responses to images, there was greater activity in the ventral cervical spinal cord in response to negative emotional stimuli than to neutral stimuli….