12 June 2014, 18.30 – 20.00

KOSMOS Scholar’s Lecture: Tom Johnstone (Reading)

“Keeping your mind on the job: The prefrontal cortex and control of anxiety”

See also KOSMOS program 2013-2014 (link)

Over the last 10 years, brain imaging studies of the neural basis of
emotion regulation have consistently pointed to the lateral prefrontal
cortex (PFC) as a primary region involved in this process. Both
dorsolateral PFC and ventrolateral PFC have been shown to become more
active when individuals attempt to down-regulate emotional responses
to negative stimuli. Hypoactivation in dorsolateral PFC has also been
noted in studies of major depression, and it has been suggested that
this represents deficient emotion regulatory ability. Yet due to the
correlational nature of brain imaging techniques, it remains unclear
whether lateral PFC regions are causally involved in emotion
regulation, and if so, what their role is. In this talk I will present
evidence from studies combining brain imaging and transcranial
magnetic stimulation (TMS) of lateral PFC. We used theta-burst TMS to
inhibit lateral PFC regions immediately prior to fMRI scanning while
individuals completed an emotion regulation task. Results show reduced
activation following TMS (compared to a sham control) not only in the
targeted lateral PFC site, but also in a wide range of distal cortical
regions, including visual cortex and motor areas previously implicated
in saccade control. I will discuss the implications of these findings
for models of emotion regulation.

All are welcome!



Berlin School of Mind and Brain
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Room 144 (ground floor)
10117 Berlin


Laura Viefhues
mb-office-please remove this text-@hu-berlin.de