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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    • "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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    ABSTRACT: In Ridley Scott's film "Blade Runner", empathy-detection devices are employed to measure affiliative emotions. Despite recent neurocomputational advances, it is unknown whether brain signatures of affiliative emotions, such as tenderness/affection, can be decoded and voluntarily modulated. Here, we employed multivariate voxel pattern analysis and real-time fMRI to address this question. We found that participants were able to use visual feedback based on decoded fMRI patterns as a neurofeedback signal to increase brain activation characteristic of tenderness/affection relative to pride, an equally complex control emotion. Such improvement was not observed in a control group performing the same fMRI task without neurofeedback. Furthermore, the neurofeedback-driven enhancement of tenderness/affection-related distributed patterns was associated with local fMRI responses in the septohypothalamic area and frontopolar cortex, regions previously implicated in affiliative emotion. This demonstrates that humans can voluntarily enhance brain signatures of tenderness/affection, unlocking new possibilities for promoting prosocial emotions and countering antisocial behavior.
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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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    ABSTRACT: Abundant evidence suggests that self-esteem is an important personality resource for emotion regulation in response to stressful experiences. It was thus hypothesized that the relative grey matter volume of brain regions involved in responding to and coping with stress is related to individual differences in trait self-esteem. Using structural magnetic resonance imaging of 48 healthy adults in conjunction with voxel-based morphometry and diffeomorphic anatomical registration using exponentiated lie algebra (VBM-DARTEL), positive associations between self-esteem and regional grey matter volume were indeed found in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), right lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), right hippocampus, and left hypothalamus. In addition, self-esteem positively covaried with grey matter volume in the right temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), which has been implicated in pride and theory of mind. The results suggest that persons with low self-esteem have reduced grey matter volume in brain regions that contribute to emotion/stress regulation, pride, and theory of mind. The findings provide novel neuroanatomical evidence for the view that self-esteem constitutes a vital coping resource.
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    • "Since no previous study had used this methodology to induce joy, sentences were adapted from those used in the fMRI experiment by Takahashi et al. (2008). Hence, participants were asked to write about a personal experience in which they felt " joyful and delighted " , focusing on what made them feel significant pleasure, e.g., receiving a valuable gift or having a delicious dinner. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To explore the influences of discrete positive and negative emotions on cooperation in the context of a social dilemma game. Design. Two controlled studies were undertaken. In Study 1, 69 participants were randomly assigned to an essay emotion manipulation task designed to induce either guilt, joy or no strong emotion. In Study 2, 95 participants were randomly assigned to one of the same three tasks, and the impact of emotional condition on cooperation was explored using a repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma Game. Results. Study 1 established that the manipulation task was successful in inducing the specified emotions. The analysis from Study 2 revealed no significant main effects for emotions, in contrast to previous research. However, there was a significant effect for participants’ pre-existing tendency to cooperate (social value orientation; SVO). Conclusion. Methodological explanations for the result are explored, including the possible impact of trial-and-error strategies, different cooperation games and endogenous vs exogenous emotions.
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