Recent theoretical and empirical work has highlighted the role of domain-general, large-scale brain networks in generating emotional experiences. These networks are hypothesized to process aspects of emotional experiences that are not unique to a specific emotional category (e.g., “sadness,” “happiness”), but rather that generalize across categories. In this article, we examined the dynamic interactions (i.e., changing cohesiveness) between specific domain-general networks across time while participants experienced various instances of sadness, fear, and anger. We used a novel method for probing the network connectivity dynamics between two salience networks and three amygdala-based networks. We hypothesized, and found, that the functional connectivity between these networks covaried with the intensity of different emotional experiences. Stronger connectivity between the dorsal salience network and the medial amygdala network was associated with more intense ratings of emotional experience across six different instances of the three emotion categories examined. Also, stronger connectivity between the dorsal salience network and the ventrolateral amygdala network was associated with more intense ratings of emotional experience across five out of the six different instances. Our findings demonstrate that a variety of emotional experiences are associated with dynamic interactions of domain-general neural systems.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Alaina Baker for her assistance with editing the manuscript. This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award (DP1OD003312) to L.F.B., a National Institute on Aging grant (R01 AG030311-06A1) to L.F.B., and Shared Instrumentation grants (1S10RR023401, 1S10RR019307, and 1S10RR023043) from the National Center for Research Resources. This study was also supported by a Dan David Scholarship to G.R., and by grants from the University of Chicago’s Arete Initiative “The Science of Virtues,” to T.H., G.R., and G.G.; the Israeli Defense Forces Medical Corps, to T.H. and R.A.; the U.S Department of Defense (W81XWH-11-2-0008) to T.H.; and BRAINTRAIN under the EU FP7 Health Cooperation Work Program (602186), to T.H. and G.R. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institutes of Health, or the National Institute on Aging. G.R., A.T., C.W.-M., S.A., T.H., and L.F.B. designed the study. G.R., A.T., T.H., and L.F.B. wrote the manuscript. G.R., A.T., T.H., L.F.B., G.G., C.W.-M., T.L., T.G., Y.J., S.A., R.A., and A.M.-K. analyzed the data. L.F.B. and T.H. contributed to the grant funding. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
© 2016, Psychonomic Society, Inc.
- Network cohesion
- Stimulus-induced functional connectivity