Modulation of the neural network involved in the processing of anger prosody: The role of task-relevance and social phobia

Susanne Quadflieg, Alexander Mohr, Hans Joachim Mentzel, Wolfgang H R Miltner, Thomas Straube*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Individuals with social phobia display neural hyperactivation towards angry facial expressions. However, it is uncertain whether they also show abnormal brain responses when processing angry voices. In an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated brain responses to neutral and angry voices in 12 healthy control participants and 12 individuals with social phobia when emotional prosody was either task-relevant or task-irrelevant. Regardless of task, both phobic and non-phobic participants recruited a network comprising frontotemporal regions, the amygdala, the insula, and the striatum, when listening to angry compared to neutral prosody. Across participants, increased activation in orbitofrontal cortex during task-relevant as compared to task-irrelevant emotional prosody processing was found. Compared to healthy controls, individuals with social phobia displayed significantly stronger orbitofrontal activation in response to angry versus neutral voices under both task conditions. These results suggest a disorder-associated increased involvement of the orbitofrontal cortex in response to threatening voices in social phobia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Emotion
  • fMRI
  • Phobia
  • Threat

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