Dynamic modulation of emotional processing

Hadas Okon-Singer, Limor Lichtenstein-Vidne, Noga Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent findings suggest the processing of emotional stimuli is prioritized compared to neutral stimuli; however, it is not necessarily automatic and depends on several modulating factors. The current paper highlights three major factors that affect the reactions to emotional stimuli: (i) stimulus properties, (ii) task demands and attention, and (iii) individual characteristics. The evidence reviewed here suggests that individual characteristics shape the structure, function and connectivity within a neural network that is involved in the reactions to emotional stimuli. This neural network includes regions related to emotion and attention, in line with evidence for reciprocal connections between these two processes. Activation in this network further depends on the emotional value of a certain item, as well as physical features of the stimulus. This integrative view can lead to better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of emotional reactions, as well as better therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-491
Number of pages12
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective stimuli
  • Attention
  • Emotion
  • Individual differences
  • Task demands
  • Valence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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