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Neuroimage. 2019 Apr 1;189:106-115. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.12.049. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Brain networks for engaging oneself in positive-social emotion regulation.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University, 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT, 06519, USA; Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Campus Biotech, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202, Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: yury.koush@yale.edu.
2
Geneva Neuroscience Center, Department of Neuroscience, University of Geneva, Case Postale 60, 1211, Geneva, Switzerland; NCCR Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Campus Biotech, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202, Geneva, Switzerland; Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, University of Geneva, FPSE - 40, Boulevard du Pont-d'Arve, 1211, Geneva, Switzerland.
3
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Brain & Behaviour (INM-7), Research Center Jülich, 52425, Jülich, Germany; Institute of Systems Neuroscience, Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
4
Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Campus Biotech, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202, Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
5
Geneva Neuroscience Center, Department of Neuroscience, University of Geneva, Case Postale 60, 1211, Geneva, Switzerland; NCCR Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Campus Biotech, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202, Geneva, Switzerland.
6
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University, 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT, 06519, USA; Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Campus Biotech, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202, Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zürich, Lenggstrasse 31, 8032, Zürich, Switzerland; Neuroscience Center Zürich, University of Zürich and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Winterthurerstr. 190, 8057, Zürich, Switzerland; Zürich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zürich, Winterthurerstr. 190, 8057, Zürich, Switzerland; Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Positive emotions facilitate cognitive performance, and their absence is associated with burdening psychiatric disorders. However, the brain networks regulating positive emotions are not well understood, especially with regard to engaging oneself in positive-social situations. Here we report convergent evidence from a multimodal approach that includes functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain activations, meta-analytic functional characterization, Bayesian model-driven analysis of effective brain connectivity, and personality questionnaires to identify the brain networks mediating the cognitive up-regulation of positive-social emotions. Our comprehensive approach revealed that engaging in positive-social emotion regulation with a self-referential first-person perspective is characterized by dynamic interactions between functionally specialized prefrontal cortex (PFC) areas, the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and the amygdala. Increased top-down connectivity from the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) controls affective valuation in the ventromedial and dorsomedial PFC, self-referential processes in the TPJ, and modulate emotional responses in the amygdala via the ventromedial PFC. Understanding the brain networks engaged in the regulation of positive-social emotions that involve a first-person perspective is important as they are known to constitute an effective strategy in therapeutic settings.

KEYWORDS:

Connectivity; Emotion regulation; Meta-analysis; Positive-social emotions; Self-referential

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