Article

States of mind: Emotions, body feelings, and thoughts share distributed neural networks

Northeastern University, Department of Psychology, Boston, MA 02115-5000, USA.
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.13). 06/2012; 62(3):2110-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.05.079
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Scientists have traditionally assumed that different kinds of mental states (e.g., fear, disgust, love, memory, planning, concentration, etc.) correspond to different psychological faculties that have domain-specific correlates in the brain. Yet, growing evidence points to the constructionist hypothesis that mental states emerge from the combination of domain-general psychological processes that map to large-scale distributed brain networks. In this paper, we report a novel study testing a constructionist model of the mind in which participants generated three kinds of mental states (emotions, body feelings, or thoughts) while we measured activity within large-scale distributed brain networks using fMRI. We examined the similarity and differences in the pattern of network activity across these three classes of mental states. Consistent with a constructionist hypothesis, a combination of large-scale distributed networks contributed to emotions, thoughts, and body feelings, although these mental states differed in the relative contribution of those networks. Implications for a constructionist functional architecture of diverse mental states are discussed.

2 Bookmarks
 · 
145 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Morality and emotions are linked, but what is the nature of their correspondence? Many "whole number" accounts posit specific correspondences between moral content and discrete emotions, such that harm is linked to anger, and purity is linked to disgust. A review of the literature provides little support for these specific morality-emotion links. Moreover, any apparent specificity may arise from global features shared between morality and emotion, such as affect and conceptual content. These findings are consistent with a constructionist perspective of the mind, which argues against a whole number of discrete and domain-specific mental mechanisms underlying morality and emotion. Instead, constructionism emphasizes the flexible combination of basic and domain-general ingredients such as core affect and conceptualization in creating the experience of moral judgments and discrete emotions. The implications of constructionism in moral psychology are discussed, and we propose an experimental framework for rigorously testing morality-emotion links. © 2015 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
    Personality and Social Psychology Review 01/2015; DOI:10.1177/1088868314566683 · 7.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Perception, cognition, and emotion do not operate along segregated pathways; rather, their adaptive interaction is supported by various sources of evidence. For instance, the aesthetic appraisal of powerful mood inducers like music can bias the facial expression of emotions towards mood congruency. In four experiments we showed similar mood-congruency effects elicited by the comfort/discomfort of body actions. Using a novel Motor Action Mood Induction Procedure, we let participants perform comfortable/uncomfortable visually-guided reaches and tested them in a facial emotion identification task. Through the alleged mediation of motor action induced mood, action comfort enhanced the quality of the participant's global experience (a neutral face appeared happy and a slightly angry face neutral), while action discomfort made a neutral face appear angry and a slightly happy face neutral. Furthermore, uncomfortable (but not comfortable) reaching improved the sensitivity for the identification of emotional faces and reduced the identification time of facial expressions, as a possible effect of hyper-arousal from an unpleasant bodily experience.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e108211. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0108211 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Among the main challenges of the predictive brain/mind concept is how to link prediction at the neural level to prediction at the cognitive-psychological level and finding conceptually robust and empirically verifiable ways to harness this theoretical framework toward explaining higher-order mental and cognitive phenomena, including the subjective experience of aesthetic and symbolic forms. Building on the tentative prediction error account of visual art, this article extends the application of the predictive coding framework to the visual arts. It does so by linking this theoretical discussion to a subjective, phenomenological account of how a work of art is experienced. In order to engage more deeply with a work of art, viewers must be able to tune or adapt their prediction mechanism to recognize art as a specific class of objects whose ontological nature defies predictability, and they must be able to sustain a productive flow of predictions from low-level sensory, recognitional to abstract semantic, conceptual, and affective inferences. The affective component of the process of predictive error optimization that occurs when a viewer enters into dialog with a painting is constituted both by activating the affective affordances within the image and by the affective consequences of prediction error minimization itself. The predictive coding framework also has implications for the problem of the culturality of vision. A person's mindset, which determines what top-down expectations and predictions are generated, is co-constituted by culture-relative skills and knowledge, which form hyperpriors that operate in the perception of art.
    Frontiers in Psychology 12/2014; 5:1417. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01417 · 2.80 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
94 Downloads
Available from
May 17, 2014