The neural basis of positive and negative emotion regulation: Implications for decision making

Laura N. Martin, Mauricio R. Delgado

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Emotions can influence our behaviours in many beneficial ways important for human survival. At times, however, emotions can also promote maladaptive responses, such as drug-seeking behaviours, carried out after intense feelings of cravings. One way to cope with irregularities in emotional responding is the use of cognitive strategies that attempt to modulate emotions that are anticipated or experienced. Research has demonstrated that the successful application of cognitive emotion regulation strategies can effectively enhance and attenuate emotion, irrespective of its valence (i.e., negative or positive). Such cognitive regulation techniques are thought to be dependent on cortical modulation of subcortical regions typically linked with affective learning and emotional-related responses, such as the amygdala and the striatum. This chapter reviews recent advances in neuroimaging research, probing the efficacious application of emotion regulation strategies on both negative and positive emotions. Further, it considers potential extensions of this research that focuses on the influence of emotion regulation on decision making, probing a mechanism for changing maladaptive behaviours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDecision Making, Affect, and Learning
Subtitle of host publicationAttention and Performance XXIII
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191725623
ISBN (Print)9780199600434
StatePublished - May 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


  • Decision making
  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotions
  • Maladaptive behaviours
  • Neuroimaging research

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