Parietal somatosensory association cortex mediates affective blindsight

Silke Anders, Niels Birbaumer, Bettina Sadowski, Michael Erb, Irina Mader, Wolfgang Grodd, Martin Lotze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate the neural substrates underlying emotional feelings in the absence of a conscious stimulus percept, we presented a visual stimulus in the blind field of partially cortically blind patients and measured cortical activity (by functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI) before and after the stimulus had been paired with an aversive event. After pairing, self-reported negative emotional valence and blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses in somatosensory association areas were enhanced, whereby somatosensory activity predicted highly corresponding reported feelings and startle reflex amplitudes across subjects. Our data provide direct evidence that cortical activity representing physical emotional states governs emotional feelings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-340
Number of pages2
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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