From surviving to thriving in the face of threats: the emerging science of emotion regulation training

Noga Cohen, Kevin N. Ochsner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A key survival skill is the ability to regulate your emotions so as to respond adaptively to life's challenges. As such, it is essential to understand how we can improve this ability through training. While this is still a new area of research, to date, behavioral and brain studies have taken one of two approaches: either training individuals to implement strategies that directly impact current emotional responses, or training a cognitive control ability (like working memory, selective attention, response inhibition) to strengthen or tune control processes that can support regulation to subsequently encountered events. Behavioral data highlight the importance of tailoring training to an individual and their emotional situation. Brain data suggest that training impacts domain general cognitive control systems and their interaction with subcortical regions (mainly the amygdala). Future progress will depend on systematic examination of the mechanisms involved in training effectiveness and the populations that may benefit from training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-155
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Completion of this manuscript was supported by Fulbright , ISF 61/16 , and Israel Council for Higher Education Fellowships awarded to N.C. and grants AG057202 and AG043463 from NIA .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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