From missing the bus to helplessly observing someone procure our taxi, daily life throws numerous obstacles in the path of our desired goals. Mammalian studies show that frustration is experienced when goal-directed activity is blocked. Using a newly developed multitrial reward schedule task combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we show that both proximity and expended effort modulated brain responses to blocked reward in regions implicated in animal models of reactive aggression, including the amygdala, midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG), insula, and prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that frustration may serve an energizing function, translating unfulfilled motivation into aggressive-like surges via a cortical, amygdala, and PAG network. These studies may enhance our understanding of the neuropsychological mechanisms of the frustration state and frustration-related mental disorders, such as pathological aggression.
|Title of host publication
|Neuroimaging Personality, Social Cognition, and Character
|John R. Absher, Jasmin Cloutier
|Number of pages
|Published - 30 Jan 2016
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