4 years ago

The iconography of mourning and its neural correlates: A functional neuroimaging study.

Labek K, Dommes L, Berger S, Viviani R, Spohrs J, Beschoner P, Bosch J, Buchheim A, Stingl JC
The present functional neuroimaging study focuses on the iconography of mourning. A culture-specific pattern of body postures of mourning individuals, mostly suggesting withdrawal, emerged from a survey of visual material. When used in different combinations in stylized drawings in our neuroimaging study, this material activated cortical areas commonly seen in studies of social cognition (temporo-parietal junction, superior temporal gyrus, and inferior temporal lobe), empathy for pain (somatosensory cortex), and loss (precuneus, middle/posterior cingular gyrus). This pattern of activation developed over time. While in the early phases of exposure lower association areas, such as the extrastriate body area, were active, in the late phases activation in parietal and temporal association areas and the prefrontal cortex was more prominent. These findings are consistent with the conventional and contextual character of iconographic material, and further differentiate it from emotionally negatively valenced and high-arousing stimuli. In future studies, this neuroimaging assay may be useful in characterizing interpretive appraisal of material of negative emotional valence.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28449116

DOI: PubMed:28449116

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