Neuroimaging functional connectivity (FC) analyses have shown that the negative coupling between the amygdala and cortical regions is linked to better emotion regulation in experimental settings. Nevertheless, no studies have examined the association between resting-state cortico-amygdalar FC and the dispositional use of emotion regulation strategies. We aim at assessing the relationship between the resting-state FC patterns of two different amygdala territories, with different functions in the emotion response process, and trait-like measures of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. Forty-eight healthy controls completed the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) and underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging acquisition. FC maps of basolateral and centromedial amygdala (BLA/CMA) with different cortical areas were estimated with a seed-based approach, and were then correlated with reappraisal and suppression scores from the ERQ. FC between left BLA and left insula and right BLA and the supplementary motor area (SMA) correlated inversely with reappraisal scores. Conversely, FC between left BLA and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex correlated directly with suppression scores. Finally, FC between left CMA and the SMA was inversely correlated with suppression. Top-down regulation from the SMA seems to account for the dispositional use of both reappraisal and suppression depending on the specific amygdala nucleus being modulated. In addition, modulation of amygdala activity from cingulate and insular cortices seem to also account for the habitual use of the different emotion regulation strategies.
- Emotion regulation
- Functional connectivity