Functional neuroimaging of emotional learning and autonomic reactions

Peper, Martin; Herpers, Martin; Spreer, Joachim; Hennig, Jürgen; Zentner, Josef (2006). Functional neuroimaging of emotional learning and autonomic reactions. Journal of physiology Paris, 99(4-6), pp. 342-54. Paris: Elsevier 10.1016/j.jphysparis.2006.03.006

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This article provides a selective overview of the functional neuroimaging literature with an emphasis on emotional activation processes. Emotions are fast and flexible response systems that provide basic tendencies for adaptive action. From the range of involved component functions, we first discuss selected automatic mechanisms that control basic adaptational changes. Second, we illustrate how neuroimaging work has contributed to the mapping of the network components associated with basic emotion families (fear, anger, disgust, happiness), and secondary dimensional concepts that organise the meaning space for subjective experience and verbal labels (emotional valence, activity/intensity, approach/withdrawal, etc.). Third, results and methodological difficulties are discussed in view of own neuroimaging experiments that investigated the component functions involved in emotional learning. The amygdala, prefrontal cortex, and striatum form a network of reciprocal connections that show topographically distinct patterns of activity as a correlate of up and down regulation processes during an emotional episode. Emotional modulations of other brain systems have attracted recent research interests. Emotional neuroimaging calls for more representative designs that highlight the modulatory influences of regulation strategies and socio-cultural factors responsible for inhibitory control and extinction. We conclude by emphasising the relevance of the temporal process dynamics of emotional activations that may provide improved prediction of individual differences in emotionality.

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Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Psychiatric Services

UniBE Contributor:

Peper, Martin










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:49

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 21:50

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URI: (FactScience: 3686)

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