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A cognitive neuroscience perspective of emotions
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Emotions have a remarkable capacity to mobilize an individual and shape a person’s behavior in order to ultimately lead to a higher wellbeing. The importance of emotions is further emphasized by pathological cases of people who suffer from an inability to normally regulate their emotional life, such as people who suffer from major depression disorder (MDD), eating disorders, or borderline personality disorder. Given the central role emotions play in our lives, it is very easy to understand the great interest cognitive neuroscientists have in this research field. Emotions have been approached in the last decades from different angles and as such, distinct theories arose. The goal of this study is to give a comprehensive overview of the emotion theories that exist, with a focus on three of the fastest developing cognitive theories of emotions: Frijda’s action-readiness, Russell’s core affect and the communicative theory. Additionally, the neural correlates of emotions will be discussed, focusing on the role of amygdala in the negative emotion of fear. Neuroimaging studies that reveal a correlation between the amygdala and emotions, fear in particular, will be described. Given that the ability of self-regulation is crucial for the achievements of our aims and goals, fMRI studies designed to investigate neural the underpinnings of emotion regulation will be presented. The process of cognitive reappraisal will be used to point towards the brain regions that act as down-regulators for the activity of amygdala while processing negatively valenced stimuli.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 83 p.
Keyword [en]
Emotions, Emotion Regulation, Cognitive Theories of Emotions, Fear and Neural Correlates, Amygdala, PFC, fMRI, PET studies
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11364OAI: diva2:846559
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Mind, Brain and Wellbeing - Master’s Programme 60 ECTS
Available from: 2015-09-11 Created: 2015-08-17 Last updated: 2015-09-11Bibliographically approved

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A cognitive approach to emotions(1036 kB)172 downloads
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Lymperopoulou, Ioana Anca
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School of Bioscience

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