Brain Activations during Judgments of Positive Self-conscious Emotion and Positive Basic Emotion: Pride and Joy

Department of Molecular Neuroimaging, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba, Japan 263-8555.
Cerebral Cortex (Impact Factor: 8.67). 05/2008; 18(4):898-903. DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhm120
Source: PubMed


We aimed to investigate the neural correlates associated with judgments of a positive self-conscious emotion, pride, and elucidate the difference between pride and a basic positive emotion, joy, at the neural basis level using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Study of the neural basis associated with pride might contribute to a better understanding of the pride-related behaviors observed in neuropsychiatric disorders. Sixteen healthy volunteers were studied. The participants read sentences expressing joy or pride contents during the scans. Pride conditions activated the right posterior superior temporal sulcus and left temporal pole, the regions implicated in the neural substrate of social cognition or theory of mind. However, against our prediction, we did not find brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex, a region responsible for inferring others' intention or self-reflection. Joy condition produced activations in the ventral striatum and insula/operculum, the key nodes of processing of hedonic or appetitive stimuli. Our results support the idea that pride is a self-conscious emotion, requiring the ability to detect the intention of others. At the same time, judgment of pride might require less self-reflection compared with those of negative self-conscious emotions such as guilt or embarrassment.

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    • "Such emotions consistently activate the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, temporoparietal junction (TPJ), STS, and temporal pole regions, thought to subtend theory of mind and social knowledge . Accordingly, social emotions require the anticipation of thoughts and intentions of people, whenever they are the cause or target of positive or negative actions from others (Kedia, Berthoz, Wessa, Hilton, & Martinot, 2008; Moll et al., 2005; Takahashi et al., 2004, 2008; Wagner, N'Diaye, Ethofer, & Vuilleumier, 2011). In addition, selective increases occur in the lateral OFC for guilt (Wagner et al., 2011) or indignation (Moll et al., 2005) relative to other negative emotions such as sadness or physical disgust, respectively. "

    Brain Mapping: An Encyclopedic Reference, vol. 3, Edited by Arthur W. Toga, 01/2015: chapter Emotion Perception and Elicitation: pages pp. 79-90; Academic Press: Elsevier.
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    • "In the affiliative condition they recalled life episodes associated with warm, tender/affectionate feelings involving friends or family [16]. In the pride control condition they recalled memories associated with pride related to own achievements, a complex positive social emotion involving the enhancement of one’s social status [17]. Participants were randomized into a neurofeedback and a non-neurofeedback group to control for neural changes related to repeated recall of emotional memories. "
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    • "It may thus be rather unlikely that all of these relationships can be explained by another underlying factor, such as trait reappraisal. Even if self-esteem's relationship with dorsal ACC volume may be reducible to reappraisal, it may be difficult to explain why the same should be true for the relationship with, for example, rTPJ volume, especially given that this region appears to be specifically related to pride/self-esteem (controlling for joy) [93]. Another personality construct potentially confounding self-esteem's relationship with regional grey matter volume may be antisocial behavior, which is negatively related to self-esteem [106]. "
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