Rivalry of homeostatic and sensory-evoked emotions: dehydration attenuates olfactory disgust and its neural correlates

Meier, Lea; Friedrich, Hergen; Federspiel, Andrea; Jann, Kay; Morishima, Yosuke; Landis, Basile Nicolas; Wiest, Roland; Strik, Werner; Dierks, Thomas (2015). Rivalry of homeostatic and sensory-evoked emotions: dehydration attenuates olfactory disgust and its neural correlates. NeuroImage, 114, pp. 120-127. Elsevier 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.03.048

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Neural correlates have been described for emotions evoked by states of homeostatic imbalance (e.g. thirst, hunger, and breathlessness) and for emotions induced by external sensory stimulation (such as fear and disgust). However, the neurobiological mechanisms of their interaction, when they are experienced simultaneously, are still unknown. We investigated the interaction on the neurobiological and the perceptional level using subjective ratings, serum parameters, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a situation of emotional rivalry, when both a homeostatic and a sensory-evoked emotion were experienced at the same time. Twenty highly dehydrated male subjects rated a disgusting odor as significantly less repulsive when they were thirsty. On the neurobiological level, we found that this reduction in subjective disgust during thirst was accompanied by a significantly reduced neural activity in the insular cortex, a brain area known to be considerably involved in processing of disgust. Furthermore, during the experience of disgust in the satiated condition, we observed a significant functional connectivity between brain areas responding to the disgusting odor, which was absent during the stimulation in the thirsty condition. These results suggest interference of conflicting emotions: An acute homeostatic imbalance can attenuate the experience of another emotion evoked by the sensory perception of a potentially harmful external agent. This finding offers novel insights with regard to the behavioral relevance of biologically different types of emotions, indicating that some types of emotions are more imperative for behavior than others. As a general principle, this modulatory effect during the conflict of homeostatic and sensory-evoked emotions may function to safeguard survival.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (ENT)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology (discontinued)
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Management
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Meier, Lea; Friedrich, Hergen; Federspiel, Andrea; Jann, Kay; Morishima, Yosuke; Landis, Basile Nicolas; Wiest, Roland; Strik, Werner and Dierks, Thomas

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1053-8119

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

07 Apr 2015 15:41

Last Modified:

03 Mar 2016 11:17

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.03.048

PubMed ID:

25818686

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Disgust, functional MRI, insular cortex, olfaction, thirst

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.67537

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/67537

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