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The role of anterior cingulate cortex in the affective evaluation of conflict

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Abstract
An influential theory of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) function argues that this brain region plays a crucial role in the affective evaluation of performance monitoring and control demands. Specifically, control-demanding processes such as response conflict are thought to be registered as aversive signals by ACC, which in turn triggers processing adjustments to support avoidance learning. In support of conflict being treated as an aversive event, recent behavioral studies demonstrated that incongruent (i.e., conflict inducing), relative to congruent, stimuli can speed up subsequent negative, relative to positive, affective picture processing. Here, we used fMRI to investigate directly whether ACC activity in response to negative versus positive pictures is modulated by preceding control demands, consisting of conflict and task-switching conditions. The results show that negative, relative to positive, pictures elicited higher ACC activation after congruent, relative to incongruent, trials, suggesting that ACC's response to negative (positive) pictures was indeed affectively primed by incongruent (congruent) trials. Interestingly, this pattern of results was observed on task repetitions but disappeared on task alternations. This study supports the proposal that conflict induces negative affect and is the first to show that this affective signal is reflected in ACC activation.

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Chicago
Braem, Senne, Joseph King, Franziska Korb, Ruth Krebs, Wim Notebaert, and Tobias Egner. 2017. “The Role of Anterior Cingulate Cortex in the Affective Evaluation of Conflict.” Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 29 (1): 137–149.
APA
Braem, S., King, J., Korb, F., Krebs, R., Notebaert, W., & Egner, T. (2017). The role of anterior cingulate cortex in the affective evaluation of conflict. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE , 29(1), 137–149.
Vancouver
1.
Braem S, King J, Korb F, Krebs R, Notebaert W, Egner T. The role of anterior cingulate cortex in the affective evaluation of conflict. JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE . 2017;29(1):137–49.
MLA
Braem, Senne, Joseph King, Franziska Korb, et al. “The Role of Anterior Cingulate Cortex in the Affective Evaluation of Conflict.” JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE 29.1 (2017): 137–149. Print.
@article{8164035,
  abstract     = {An influential theory of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) function argues that this brain region plays a crucial role in the affective evaluation of performance monitoring and control demands. Specifically, control-demanding processes such as response conflict are thought to be registered as aversive signals by ACC, which in turn triggers processing adjustments to support avoidance learning. In support of conflict being treated as an aversive event, recent behavioral studies demonstrated that incongruent (i.e., conflict inducing), relative to congruent, stimuli can speed up subsequent negative, relative to positive, affective picture processing. Here, we used fMRI to investigate directly whether ACC activity in response to negative versus positive pictures is modulated by preceding control demands, consisting of conflict and task-switching conditions. The results show that negative, relative to positive, pictures elicited higher ACC activation after congruent, relative to incongruent, trials, suggesting that ACC's response to negative (positive) pictures was indeed affectively primed by incongruent (congruent) trials. Interestingly, this pattern of results was observed on task repetitions but disappeared on task alternations. This study supports the proposal that conflict induces negative affect and is the first to show that this affective signal is reflected in ACC activation.},
  author       = {Braem, Senne and King, Joseph and Korb, Franziska and Krebs, Ruth and Notebaert, Wim and Egner, Tobias},
  issn         = {0898-929X},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE },
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {137--149},
  title        = {The role of anterior cingulate cortex in the affective evaluation of conflict},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn\_a\_01023},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2017},
}

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