The broad objective of the research program is to assess the role of the orbitofrontal cortex in emotional control. In recent years, the field of affective neuroscience has been advanced significantly by progress in human functional neuroimaging techniques, in behavioral analyses of neurological patients and in theoretical analyses integrating cognitive and emotional function. These advances have led to the view that the orbitofrontal cortex contributes to a variety of functions, including inhibitory control, reward-feedback expectancy, decision making under high risk, and social awareness. In the proposed research program, a four-pronged analysis will be applied. This analysis will include: 1) neuropsychological assessment of patients with frontal lobe lesions, 2) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 3) electrophysiological recording of event-related potentials (ERPs), and 4) development of novel behavioral tests to assess cognitive function associated with emotional control. A theoretical framework, dynamic filtering theory, will be used to guide the research program. It is suggested that the prefrontal cortex acts as a filtering or gating mechanism that controls many aspects of information processing, including stimulus encoding, memory activation, response decision, and emotion. Different regions within the prefrontal cortex monitor and control different aspects of mental function. It is proposed that the orbitofrontal cortex is involved in the monitoring and control of affect and arousal. The advantage of this theoretical framework is that findings and research in the analysis of dorsolateral. prefrontal function can be applied to the analysis of orbitofrontal function. This cognitive neuroscience approach will attempt to provide an understanding of the biological underpinnings of drug abuse. In particular, issues of inhibitory control, reward-feedback analysis, and decision making will be considered in light of issues related to drug abuse, such as compulsions, cue-induced cravings, risk taking behavior.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-MXV-P (04))
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Grant, Steven J
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University of California Berkeley
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United States
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Shimamura, Arthur P; Marian, Diane E; Haskins, Andrew L (2013) Neural correlates of emotional regulation while viewing films. Brain Imaging Behav 7:77-84
Cain, Matthew S; Landau, Ayelet N; Shimamura, Arthur P (2012) Action video game experience reduces the cost of switching tasks. Atten Percept Psychophys 74:641-7
Shimamura, Arthur P (2010) Hierarchical relational binding in the medial temporal lobe: the strong get stronger. Hippocampus 20:1206-16
Shimamura, Arthur P; Wickens, Thomas D (2009) Superadditive memory strength for item and source recognition: the role of hierarchical relational binding in the medial temporal lobe. Psychol Rev 116:1-19
Klostermann, Ellen C; Kane, Ari J M; Shimamura, Arthur P (2008) Parietal activation during retrieval of abstract and concrete auditory information. Neuroimage 40:896-901
Hartikainen, Kaisa M; Ogawa, Keith H; Soltani, Maryam et al. (2007) Emotionally arousing stimuli compete for attention with left hemispace. Neuroreport 18:1929-33
Shimamura, Arthur P; Ross, Jennifer G; Bennett, Heather D (2006) Memory for facial expressions: the power of a smile. Psychon Bull Rev 13:217-22
Anderson, Lisa; Shimamura, Arthur P (2005) Influences of emotion on context memory while viewing film clips. Am J Psychol 118:323-37
Rule, Randall R; Shimamura, Arthur P; Knight, Robert T (2002) Orbitofrontal cortex and dynamic filtering of emotional stimuli. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci 2:264-70