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Emotion processing and the amygdala: from a 'low road' to 'many roads' of evaluating biological significance.

Nature Reviews: Neuroscience 11(11):773 (2010) PMID 20959860 PMCID PMC3025529

A subcortical pathway through the superior colliculus and pulvinar to the amygdala is commonly assumed to mediate the non-conscious processing of affective visual stimuli. We review anatomical and physiological data that argue against the notion that such a pathway plays a prominent part in processing affective visual stimuli in humans. Instead, we propose that the primary role of the amygdala in visual processing, like that of the pulvinar, is to coordinate the function of cortical networks during evaluation of the biological significance of affective visual stimuli. Under this revised framework, the cortex has a more important role in emotion processing than is traditionally assumed.

DOI: 10.1038/nrn2920