Prelude to Passion: Limbic Activation by “Unseen” Drug and Sexual Cues
Both cocaine (A) and sexual (B) cues produced activation in amygdala and ventral striatum/ventral pallidum/substantia innominata, and insula, as well as the OFC (OFC not shown). Statistical parametric t maps were generated by SPM 2; thresholded for display (color bar: 2<t<5) on the single-subject MNI brain template (“Colin”) in MRICro. Coronal brain sections on the left in (a) and (b) are at y = −6 mm; images on the right in (A) and (B) are at y = 10 mm and y = 6 mm, respectively. The response to “unseen” cocaine cues in a large bilateral ventral pallidum/left amygdala cluster (C) strongly predicted (peak voxel, MNI x, y, z coordinates: −14, −6, −6; t = 7.11; p = 0.000 uncorrected; p = 0.015 cluster-corrected) future affective response to visible cocaine cues (D; r = 0.92). Brain response to 33 msec “unseen” aversive cues (not shown; see Figure S1 in Supporting Materials) varied across individuals, with increased activity in the insula predicting the later affective response to visible aversive cues. Abbreviations: R: right, L: left, v: ventral, amyg: amygdala, si: substantia innominata, tp: temporal pole. [NOTE: The ventral boundary of the BOLD acquisition plane for the current studies is z = −40; temporal pole activations may extend ventrally below the acquisition plane.].