Article

Neural Foundations to Conscious and Volitional Control of Emotional Behavior: A Mentalistic Perspective

Mario Beauregard

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199570706.013.0027

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Neural Foundations to Conscious and Volitional Control of Emotional Behavior: A Mentalistic Perspective

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Several functional neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation have been conducted during the last decade. This article demonstrates that these studies strongly support the mentalistic perspective that the subjective nature and the intentional content of the mental processes, volitions, thoughts, feelings, involved in emotional self-regulation significantly influence the functioning of the brain. It reviews the findings of functional neuroimaging studies carried out with regard to the self-regulation of sexual arousal, sadness in adults and children, and negative emotion. The artlce discusses the theoretical implications of these studies regarding the relationships between subjective experience, mental processes, neurophysiological processes, and human behavior. The results of the neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation indicate that the conscious and voluntary use of cognitive distancing and reappraisal selectively modulates the way the brain responds to emotional stimuli.

Keywords: self-regulation; neuroimaging studies; human behavior; mental processes; cognitive distancing; emotional stimuli

Article.  7741 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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