[Eeglablist] Can amygdala activity be detected on the scalp?

Bradley Voytek semiconscious at gmail.com
Fri Dec 30 14:02:40 PST 2005


I'm sorry to say that the location of the amygdala in the anterior,
inferior, medial temporal lobe makes the attenuation due to distance
such that getting ERPs would be nearly impossible. Source localization
is limited because much of the signal from the amygdala is not being
recorded--it's on the ventral surface of the brain.

The neurons in the amygdala are not as well aligned as in the cortex,
thus making dipole localization rather difficult: you'd get a lot of
cancelling effects due to different neuronal orientation.

As for other limbic structures, the cingulate cortex has proven to be
a fairly reliable source of ERPs, so that is likely your best bet.
Without depth-electrodes, I just don't think you're going to get
signal from other limbic regions (hippocampus, hypothalamus, amygdala,

So, that's my impression.

--brad voytek

On 12/30/05, Teresa Wong <wongkwt at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear colleagues,
> I would like to hear your views on whether scalp ERPs can reflect activity
> of the amygdala.
> Is it possible/valid to localize dipole sources (using 128-channel
> recordings, emotional faces as stimuli) in subcortical brain regions, limbic
> areas, amygdala, etc?
> Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2006 with much success in research!
> Teresa
> --
> Teresa Ka Wai Wong
> PhD Student
> Department of Psychiatry
> The University of Hong Kong
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