Seminar Series

New perspectives on body perception including the role of the amygdala

The first part of the talk will review some new research directions that followed upon our first studies on bodily expressions. The second part wil review new ecidence on the involvement of the amygdala and its modulation by perceptual and task constraints. Anatomical studies in rodents and primates have established that the amygdala is a heterogeneous complex, with structurally and functionally distinct subdivisions. Furthermore, animal lesion and pharmacological inactivation studies have given insight in the differential functions of the amygdala subregions and indicated that the functions of the basolateral amygdala and the central-medial amygdala are partly antagonistic. But so far human researchers attrubure functions to the amygdala as a single unit. We will present new findings obtained in a group of subjects with Urbach-Wiehe disease in whom the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala is selectively damaged. We will discuss the relevance of these data for a better understanding of the amygdala’s role.