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202101.28 Brain activation during thoughts of onefs own death (Paper Publication) Posted in RESEARCH

It is inevitable for older adults to think of his/her own death. However, the situation in which older adults have to think of it, what kind of cognitive process are involved? We answered this question using fMRI.
The results showed that only the left supplementary motor area (SMA) was selectively activated during thoughts of one’s own death. Additionally, negative linear and inverted-U-shaped relationships with fear of death were self-death-specifically observed in the right supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), respectively.

Our results suggest potential involvement of the SMA in the existential aspect of thoughts of death. The distinct fear-of-death-dependent responses in the SMG and PCC may reflect fear-associated distancing of the physical self and the processing of death-related thoughts as a self-relevant future agenda, respectively.
This study has been published in Cerebral Cortex Communications. (Hirano)

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