Our emotions tend to be directed towards someone or something. Such emotional intentionality calls for the integration between two streams of information; abstract hedonic value and its associated concrete content. In a previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study we found that the combination of these two streams, as modeled by short emotional music excerpts and neutral film clips, was associated with synergistic activation in both temporal-limbic (TL) and ventral-lateral PFC (vLPFC) regions. This additive effect implies the integration of domain-specific 'affective' and 'cognitive' processes. Yet, the low temporal resolution of the fMRI limits the characterization of such cross-domain integration. To this end, we complemented the fMRI data with intracranial electroencephalogram (iEEG) recordings from twelve patients with intractable epilepsy. As expected, the additive fMRI activation in the amygdala and vLPFC was associated with distinct spatio-temporal iEEG patterns among electrodes situated within the vicinity of the fMRI activation foci. On the one hand, TL channels exhibited a transient (0-500msec) increase in gamma power (61-69Hz), possibly reflecting initial relevance detection or hedonic value tagging. On the other hand, vLPFC channels showed sustained (1-12sec) suppression of low frequency power (2.3-24Hz), possibly mediating changes in gating, enabling an on-going readiness for content-based processing of emotionally tagged signals. Moreover, an additive effect in delta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) was found among the TL channels, possibly reflecting the integration between distinct domain specific processes. Together, this study provides a multi-faceted neurophysiological signature for computations that possibly underlie emotional intentionality in humans.
- Emotional dynamics
- Gamma power
- High- and low frequency oscillations
- IEEG and fMRI