The integration of negative affect, pain and cognitive control in the cingulate cortex

Alexander J. Shackman, Tim V. Salomons, Heleen A. Slagter, Andrew S. Fox, Jameel J. Winter, Richard J. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1092 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been argued that emotion, pain and cognitive control are functionally segregated in distinct subdivisions of the cingulate cortex. However, recent observations encourage a fundamentally different view. Imaging studies demonstrate that negative affect, pain and cognitive control activate an overlapping region of the dorsal cingulate - the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC). Anatomical studies reveal that the aMCC constitutes a hub where information about reinforcers can be linked to motor centres responsible for expressing affect and executing goal-directed behaviour. Computational modelling and other kinds of evidence suggest that this intimacy reflects control processes that are common to all three domains. These observations compel a reconsideration of the dorsal cingulate's contribution to negative affect and pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-167
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011

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    Shackman, A. J., Salomons, T. V., Slagter, H. A., Fox, A. S., Winter, J. J., & Davidson, R. J. (2011). The integration of negative affect, pain and cognitive control in the cingulate cortex. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12(3), 154-167. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn2994