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Motiv Emot. 2012 Mar;36(1):46-54. Epub 2011 Jul 31.

Cross-frequency coupling of brain oscillations in studying motivation and emotion.


Research has shown that brain functions are realized by simultaneous oscillations in various frequency bands. In addition to examining oscillations in pre-specified bands, interactions and relations between the different frequency bandwidths is another important aspect that needs to be considered in unraveling the workings of the human brain and its functions. In this review we provide evidence that studying interdependencies between brain oscillations may be a valuable approach to study the electrophysiological processes associated with motivation and emotional states. Studies will be presented showing that amplitude-amplitude coupling between delta-alpha and delta-beta oscillations varies as a function of state anxiety and approach-avoidance-related motivation, and that changes in the association between delta-beta oscillations can be observed following successful psychotherapy. Together these studies suggest that cross-frequency coupling of brain oscillations may contribute to expanding our understanding of the neural processes underlying motivation and emotion.

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