The neural basis of positive and negative emotion regulation: implications for decision making

Laura N. Martin and Mauricio R. Delgado

in Decision Making, Affect, and Learning

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199600434
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725623 | DOI:

Series: Attention and Performance

The neural basis of positive and negative emotion regulation: implications for decision making

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Emotions can influence our behaviours in many beneficial ways important for human survival. At times, however, emotions can also promote maladaptive responses, such as drug-seeking behaviours, carried out after intense feelings of cravings. One way to cope with irregularities in emotional responding is the use of cognitive strategies that attempt to modulate emotions that are anticipated or experienced. Research has demonstrated that the successful application of cognitive emotion regulation strategies can effectively enhance and attenuate emotion, irrespective of its valence (i.e., negative or positive). Such cognitive regulation techniques are thought to be dependent on cortical modulation of subcortical regions typically linked with affective learning and emotional-related responses, such as the amygdala and the striatum. This chapter reviews recent advances in neuroimaging research, probing the efficacious application of emotion regulation strategies on both negative and positive emotions. Further, it considers potential extensions of this research that focuses on the influence of emotion regulation on decision making, probing a mechanism for changing maladaptive behaviours.

Keywords: neuroimaging research; emotion regulation; decision making; maladaptive behaviours; emotions

Chapter.  8187 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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