Using Neuroscience to Broaden Emotion Regulation: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations

Elliot T. Berkman, Matthew D. Lieberman
2009 Social & Personality Psychology Compass  
Behavioral research on emotion regulation thus far has focused on conscious and deliberative strategies such as reappraisal. Neuroscience investigations into emotion regulation have followed suit. However, neuroimaging tools now open the door to investigate more automatic forms of emotion regulation that take place incidentally and potentially outside of participant awareness that have previously been difficult to examine. The present paper reviews studies on the neuroscience of
more » ... berate emotion regulation and identifies opportunities for future directions that have not yet been addressed. The authors suggest a broad framework for emotion regulation that includes both deliberative and incidental forms. This framework allows insights from incidental emotion regulation to address open questions about existing work, and vice versa. Several studies relevant to incidental emotion regulation are reviewed with the goal of providing an empirical and methodological groundwork for future research. Finally, several theoretical issues for incidental and intentional emotion regulation are discussed. Using Neuroscience to Broaden Emotion Regulation: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations The study of emotion regulation -the set of processes that alter emotional experience -has become a major area of research for scientists seeking a complete picture of human emotional experience. Researchers have made progress by clearly documenting the powerful ability that people have to regulate their emotions (Gross, 2007) and elucidating the specific cognitive strategies they employ in order to do so. The advent of neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has opened new avenues of inquiry into emotion regulation, beginning with the identification of the network of neural systems involved. Following in this line, further work has started to examine the time-course of regulation, as well as the complex interaction among systems typically implicated in emotion, cognitive control, and language. Emotion Regulation
doi:10.1111/j.1751-9004.2009.00186.x pmid:24052803 pmcid:PMC3775274 fatcat:ujb5cfhju5c75eh6sl4ah2yi5a