Background: Alcoholism is associated with abnormal anger processing. The purpose of this study was to investigate brain regions involved in the evaluation of angry facial expressions in patients with alcohol dependency.Methods: Brain blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) responses to angry faces were measured and compared between patients with alcohol dependency and controls.Results: During intensity ratings of angry faces, significant differences in BOLD were observed between patients with alcohol dependency and controls. That is, patients who were alcohol-dependent showed significantly greater activation in several brain regions, including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC).Conclusions: Following exposure to angry faces, abnormalities in dACC and MPFC activation in patients with alcohol dependency indicated possible inefficiencies or hypersensitivities in social cognitive processing.
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