A 7 tesla FMRI study of amygdala responses to fearful faces
The amygdalae are involved in the perception of emotions such as happiness, anger and fear. Because of their proximity to the sinuses, the image signal intensity in T2* weighted fMRI data is often affected by signal loss due to through-slice dephasing, especially at high field strength. In this study, the feasibility of fMRI in the amygdalae at 7 Tesla was investigated. A paradigm based on the presentation of fearful faces was used for stimulation. Previously, opposite effects have been found for presentation of averted and direct gaze fearful faces. Here, we show that (1) sufficiently high temporal SNR values are reached in the amygdalae for detection of small BOLD signal changes and (2) that the BOLD signal in the amygdalae for presentation of a direct or averted gaze in a fearful face depends on stimulus duration.