Scientific article
Open access

Computational imaging during video game playing shows dynamic synchronization of cortical and subcortical networks of emotions

Published inPLOS Biology, vol. 18, no. 11, e3000900
Publication date2020

Emotions are multifaceted phenomena affecting mind, body, and behavior. Previous studies sought to link particular emotion categories (e.g., fear) or dimensions (e.g., valence) to specific brain substrates but generally found distributed and overlapping activation patterns across various emotions. In contrast, distributed patterns accord with multi-componential theories whereby emotions emerge from appraisal processes triggered by current events, combined with motivational, expressive, and physiological mechanisms orchestrating behavioral responses. According to this framework, components are recruited in parallel and dynamically synchronized during emotion episodes. Here, we use functional MRI (fMRI) to investigate brain-wide systems engaged by theoretically defined components and measure their synchronization during an interactive emotion-eliciting video game. We show that each emotion component recruits large-scale cortico-subcortical networks, and that moments of dynamic synchronization between components selectively engage basal ganglia, sensory-motor structures, and midline brain areas. These neural results support theoretical accounts grounding emotions onto embodied and action-oriented functions triggered by synchronized component processes

  • Emotion
  • Appraisal Theories
  • Component Process Model
  • Emotion Synchronization
  • FMRI
  • Interactive Task
  • Machine Learning
  • Data-driven Analyses
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - CRII5-180319
  • Swiss National Science Foundation - NCCR Affective Sciences: Emotion in Individual Behavior and Social Processes (phase I)
Citation (ISO format)
LEITAO, Joana et al. Computational imaging during video game playing shows dynamic synchronization of cortical and subcortical networks of emotions. In: PLOS Biology, 2020, vol. 18, n° 11, p. e3000900. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000900
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ISSN of the journal1544-9173

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