Article

The nexus between decision making and emotion regulation: A review of convergent neurocognitive substrates

Department of Psychiatry and Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, Canada.
Behavioural brain research (Impact Factor: 3.03). 11/2010; 217(1):215-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2010.10.030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Emotional information, such as reward or punishment, gains rapid and often preferential access to neurocognitive resources. This ability to quickly evaluate and integrate emotion-related information is thought to benefit a range of behaviours critical for survival. Conversely, the improper use of, or preoccupation with, emotional information is associated with disruptions in functioning and psychiatric disorders. Optimally, an organism utilizes emotional information when it is significant, and minimizes its influence when it is not. Recently, similar regions of prefrontal cortex have been identified that are associated with regulating both behavioural conflict (motor response selection or inhibition) and affective conflict (emotional representation and awareness). In this review, data will be examined that concerns this convergence between decision making (modulating what we do) and emotion regulation (modulating how we feel) and an informal model will be proposed linking these processes at a neurocognitive level. The studies reviewed collectively support the conclusion that overlapping areas of prefrontal cortex perform similar computations whether the functional objective is to modulate an operant response, or an emotional one. Specifically, the idea is raised that key aspects of decision making and emotion regulation are bound by a common functional objective in which internal representations of conditioned stimuli and reinforcers are modulated to facilitate optimal behaviour or states. Emphasis is placed on dorsomedial, dorsolateral, ventrolateral, and ventromedial regions of prefrontal cortex.

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Available from: Derek G V Mitchell, May 08, 2014
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    • "It is therefore possible that the connections described between the amygdala and the given target regions are indirect. Recent models of emotion control do indeed implicate such indirect pathways in the modulation of amygdala function [Blair and Mitchell, 2009; Delgado et al., 2008; Mitchell, 2011]. It is also likely that multiple anatomical risk factors contribute to individual differences in anxiety and emotional reactivity. "
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    • ", 2004a , 2007b ; Chikazoe , 2010 ; Dolcos et al . , 2011 ; Mitchell , 2011 ; Mahmood et al . , 2013 ) , we expected that one or more prefrontal regions would show a relationship between participant ARBS risk scores and / or BIS impulsivity scores and task - related fMRI activation patterns , as specified in the following hypotheses : • Hypothesis 1a : One or more prefrontal regions will exhibit an association between activation levels related to response inhibition and participant risk and / or impulsivity scores . "
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    • "Given the discussion above and the well-known involvement of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in executive control, emotion processing, and emotion regulation (Rubia et al., 2001; Aron et al., 2004a, 2007b; Chikazoe, 2010; Dolcos et al., 2011; Mitchell, 2011; Mahmood et al., 2013), we expected that one or more prefrontal regions would show a relationship between participant ARBS risk scores and/or BIS impulsivity scores and task-related fMRI activation patterns, as specified in the following hypotheses: • Hypothesis 1a: One or more prefrontal regions will exhibit an association between activation levels related to response inhibition and participant risk and/or impulsivity scores. • Hypothesis 1b: One or more prefrontal regions will exhibit an association between activation levels related to emotion processing and participant risk and/or impulsivity scores. "
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