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Functional Neuroanatomy of Grief: An fMRI Study

Functional Neuroanatomy of Grief: An fMRI Study OBJECTIVE: In this study the authors examined the functional neuroanatomy of grief, which to their knowledge has not been studied previously in functional neuroimaging research. METHOD: Grief was elicited in eight bereaved women through photographs of the deceased versus a stranger, combined with words specific to the death event versus neutral words. Use of both pictures and words resulted in a 2 x 2 factorial design. RESULTS: Three brain regions were independently activated by the picture and word factors: posterior cingulate cortex, medial/superior frontal gyrus, and cerebellum. The two factors also activated distinct regions: for the picture factor, they were the cuneus, superior lingual gyrus, insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, inferior temporal gyrus, and fusiform gyrus; and for the word factor, they were the precuneus, precentral gyrus, midbrain, and vermis. The interaction of the two factors showed significant activation in the cerebellar vermis. CONCLUSIONS: Grief is mediated by a distributed neural network that subserves affect processing, mentalizing, episodic memory retrieval, processing of familiar faces, visual imagery, autonomic regulation, and modulation/coordination of these functions. This neural network may account for the unique, subjective quality of grief and provide new leads in understanding the health consequences of grief and the neurobiology of attachment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Psychiatry American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc (Journal)

Functional Neuroanatomy of Grief: An fMRI Study

Functional Neuroanatomy of Grief: An fMRI Study

American Journal of Psychiatry , Volume 160 (11): 1946 – Nov 1, 2003

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: In this study the authors examined the functional neuroanatomy of grief, which to their knowledge has not been studied previously in functional neuroimaging research. METHOD: Grief was elicited in eight bereaved women through photographs of the deceased versus a stranger, combined with words specific to the death event versus neutral words. Use of both pictures and words resulted in a 2 x 2 factorial design. RESULTS: Three brain regions were independently activated by the picture and word factors: posterior cingulate cortex, medial/superior frontal gyrus, and cerebellum. The two factors also activated distinct regions: for the picture factor, they were the cuneus, superior lingual gyrus, insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, inferior temporal gyrus, and fusiform gyrus; and for the word factor, they were the precuneus, precentral gyrus, midbrain, and vermis. The interaction of the two factors showed significant activation in the cerebellar vermis. CONCLUSIONS: Grief is mediated by a distributed neural network that subserves affect processing, mentalizing, episodic memory retrieval, processing of familiar faces, visual imagery, autonomic regulation, and modulation/coordination of these functions. This neural network may account for the unique, subjective quality of grief and provide new leads in understanding the health consequences of grief and the neurobiology of attachment.

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References (36)

Publisher
American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc (Journal)
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 American Psychiatric Association. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0002-953X
DOI
10.1176/appi.ajp.160.11.1946
pmid
14594740
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: In this study the authors examined the functional neuroanatomy of grief, which to their knowledge has not been studied previously in functional neuroimaging research. METHOD: Grief was elicited in eight bereaved women through photographs of the deceased versus a stranger, combined with words specific to the death event versus neutral words. Use of both pictures and words resulted in a 2 x 2 factorial design. RESULTS: Three brain regions were independently activated by the picture and word factors: posterior cingulate cortex, medial/superior frontal gyrus, and cerebellum. The two factors also activated distinct regions: for the picture factor, they were the cuneus, superior lingual gyrus, insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, inferior temporal gyrus, and fusiform gyrus; and for the word factor, they were the precuneus, precentral gyrus, midbrain, and vermis. The interaction of the two factors showed significant activation in the cerebellar vermis. CONCLUSIONS: Grief is mediated by a distributed neural network that subserves affect processing, mentalizing, episodic memory retrieval, processing of familiar faces, visual imagery, autonomic regulation, and modulation/coordination of these functions. This neural network may account for the unique, subjective quality of grief and provide new leads in understanding the health consequences of grief and the neurobiology of attachment.

Journal

American Journal of PsychiatryAmerican Psychiatric Publishing, Inc (Journal)

Published: Nov 1, 2003

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