Task and content modulate amygdala-hippocampal connectivity in emotional retrieval

Adam P R Smith, Klaas E Stephan, Michael D Rugg, Raymond J Dolan

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

188 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to remember emotional events is crucial for adapting to biologically and socially significant situations. Little is known, however, about the nature of the neural interactions supporting the integration of mnemonic and emotional information. Using fMRI and dynamic models of effective connectivity, we examined regional neural activity and specific interactions between brain regions during a contextual memory retrieval task. We independently manipulated emotional context and relevance of retrieved emotional information to task demands. We show that retrieval of emotionally valenced contextual information is associated with enhanced connectivity from hippocampus to amygdala, structures crucially involved with encoding of emotional events. When retrieval of emotional information is relevant to current behavior, amygdala-hippocampal connectivity increases bidirectionally, under modulatory influences from orbitofrontal cortex, a region implicated in representation of affective value and behavioral guidance. Our findings demonstrate that both memory content and behavioral context impact upon large scale neuronal dynamics underlying emotional retrieval.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-8
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2006


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Animals
  • Emotions
  • Hippocampus
  • Neural Networks (Computer)
  • Mental Recall
  • Oxygen
  • Brain Mapping
  • Neural Pathways
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Amygdala
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Male

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