Title: Levels of appraisal: A medial prefrontal role in high-level appraisal of emotional material
Authors: Kalisch, Raffael ×
Wiech, Katja
Critchley, Hugo D
Dolan, Raymond J #
Issue Date: May-2006
Publisher: Academic press inc elsevier science
Series Title: Neuroimage vol:30 issue:4 pages:1458-1466
Abstract: Appraisal refers to the evaluation of the meaning of emotional stimuli and is considered causal in the generation of an emotional response. Cognitive neuroscience has paid little attention to a theoretical distinction between low-level appraisal, considered to be automatic and preattentive, and high-level appraisal that requires attentional and working memory resources. To disentangle low-level from high-level appraisal, we varied cognitive load in a concurrent, unrelated working memory task, while anxiety was induced through anticipation of impending pain. Confirming theoretical predictions, we show that anxiety-related activity in dorsal medial prefrontal/rostral anterior cingulate cortex (dorsal MPFC/ACC) is attenuated under high, relative to low, cognitive load. Lateral prefrontal regions previously implicated in reappraisal and cognitive emotion regulation show a similar interaction between anxiety and cognitive load. Critically, there were no changes in physiological and subjective measures of low-level appraisal outcome and emotional response generation as a function of load, allowing us to conclude that MPFC/ACC and lateral PFC activity during anticipatory anxiety reflects high-level appraisal. Our data provide neurobiological evidence for a distinction between low-level and high-level appraisal mechanisms. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 1053-8119
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Health Psychology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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