The Neurobiology of Emotion–Cognition Interactions

Thalia Richter, Alexander J. Shackman, Tatjana Aue, Hadas Okon singer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Humans have long considered emotion and cognition as two separate mental capacities, depending on their subjective different emotional and cognitive experiences. However, evidence for the mutual modulatory relationships between emotional and cognitive functions, as well as for the neural circuits supporting these relationships, is growing substantially. In this chapter, we review the bidirectional interactions between the cognitive and emotional systems. We focus on threat-related cues and emotional states that influence a variety of attentional and executive functions, including working memory, cognitive control, and selective attention. We further elaborate on the flexibility of cognitive biases toward emotional information, as well as the plasticity of the neural connections supporting these biases. We discuss the influence of cognitive strategies on emotions. Finally, we highlight several limitations of existing research and suggest future scientific directions. Each of these themes is demonstrated among healthy individuals, at-risk populations, and patients with psychiatric disorders. Understanding the mutual influences between emotion and cognition is highly important for both theoretical and clinical knowledge. It may refine our expertise regarding the human mind, as well as contribute to the development of specific interventions for individuals with disorders involving disruption to emotional and cognitive systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCognitive dimensions of major depressive disorder
Editors Bernhard T. Baune, Catherine Harmer
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780198810940
StatePublished - 2019


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