Brain Basis of Complex Emotions: An fMRI Study

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Date
2014-08-19
Department
Major/Subject
Brain and Mind
Mcode
Becs-114
Degree programme
Master’s Degree Programme in Brain and Mind
Language
en
Pages
73 + 6
Series
Abstract
In the past, several studies have been conducted in order to examine the psychological and neural bases of emotions. These studies have mostly concentrated on a narrow range of often negative basic emotions, thus neglecting psychologically complex emotions. Only in recent years neuroimaging studies have begun to describe the neuroanatomy of more complex emotions. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is used to investigate the brain activation for basic and complex emotions in 25 healthy participants. 15 different emotions are induced using a series of short emotional stories. The brain activation is analysed by categorical and parametric designs, as well as using the behavioural ratings of dimensions of complex emotion stimuli. The objective is to examine if specific brain regions are associated with activation in different emotions, and whether these regions are common for multiple emotions. In addition, the difference in activation for basic and complex emotions is discussed. Furthermore, the brain activation pattern underlying the dimensions of valence and arousal is investigated. The findings point to the involvement of a network of structures in the midbrain regions and the somatosensory and motor cortices for a group of emotions. Also, several brain areas, including the middle and inferior occipital cortex, cerebellum, precuneus and cuneus, are found to underlie the dimensions of negative valence and positive arousal.
Description
Supervisor
Nummenmaa, Lauri
Thesis advisor
Saarimäki, Heini
Keywords
valence and arousal, basic and complex emotions, BOLD, brain, fMRI, GLM
Other note
Citation