Neurobiology of emotion
Welcome to the Wikiversity learning project about the neurobiology of emotion. This is a learn by doing project where participants collaborate to explore what neuroscience research has revealed about the biology of emotion.
If you are not familiar with the major brain regions that have been associated with emotions then start with the introductory reading, below.
Video: Charlie Rose: The Brain Series, particularly episode seven on the role that emotions play in decision making and social interaction, and episode eight, part two of the emotional brain, dealing with negative emotions such as fear and anxiety. (transcripts also available)
Textbook. Start with the 2001 Neuroscience textbook by Dale Purves, et al. and read the case study about patient "SM" then read other sections of the textbook chapter about emotion:
- Physiological Changes Associated with Emotion
- The Integration of Emotional Behavior
- The Limbic System
- The Importance of the Amygdala
- The Relationship between Neocortex and Amygdala
- Cortical Lateralization of Emotional Functions
- The Interplay of Emotion and Reason
Published research by scientists such as António Damásio is cited and discussed in the Neuroscience textbook by Dale Purves, et al.
Research literature 
If you are new to study of the neurobiology of emotion you might want to start by reading some review articles before looking at the detailed data reports.
Recent review articles 
- Development. Developmental Neuroscience Perspectives on Emotion Regulation by H. Hill Goldsmith, Seth D. Pollak and Richard J. Davidson in Child development perspectives volume 1, pages 132–140 (2008). Goldsmith et al. review twin studies that have investigated genetic influences on the regulation of emotions. See the review by Banaschewski et al. for a more up-to-date review of the search for specific genes involved in emotional control. Also reviewed are forms of brain plasticity such as "extinction" as a type of emotion learning that is discussed in the The Brain Series. Another reviewed topic is the use of neuroimaging to explore the brain circuitry involved in the regulation of emotions.
- Neuroimaging. Evidence for mirror systems in emotions by J. A. C. J. Bastiaansen, M. Thioux and C. Keysers in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences volume 364, pages 2391–2404 (2009).
- Genetics. Molecular genetics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: an overview by Tobias Banaschewski, Katja Becker, Susann Scherag, Barbara Franke and David Coghill in European child & adolescent psychiatry volume 19, pages 237–257 (2010).
- Theoretical framework. Saliency, switching, attention and control: a network model of insula function by Vinod Menon and Lucina Q. Uddin in Brain structure & function volume 214, pages 655-667 (2010).
Primary research articles 
- Empathy. The empathic brain and its dysfunction in psychiatric populations: implications for intervention across different clinical conditions by Jean Decety and Yoshiya Moriguchi in Biopsychosoc Medicine, volume 1, page 22 (2007).
- Single neuron responses to emotion. Responses of single neurons in monkey amygdala to facial and vocal emotions by Koji Kuraoka and Katsuki Nakamura in Journal of Neurophysiology volume 97, pages 1379-1387 (2007).
- Disgust. A Common Anterior Insula Representation of Disgust Observation, Experience and Imagination Shows Divergent Functional Connectivity Pathways by Mbemba Jabbi, Jojanneke Bastiaansen, Christian Keysers in PLoS ONE volume 3, page e2939 (2008).
- Narcissistic rage. Narcissistic rage: The Achilles’ heel of the patient with chronic physical illness by Thomas Hyphantis, Augustina Almyroudi, Vassiliki Paika, Panagiota Goulia and Konstantinos Arvanitakis in Patient Preference and Adherence volume 3, pages 239–250 (2009).
- Social cognition. What does the amygdala contribute to social cognition? by Ralph Adolphs in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences volume 1191 pages 42-61 (2010).
- Darwin's emotion experiment. Charles Darwin's emotional expression "experiment" and his contribution to modern neuropharmacology by Peter J. Snyder, Rebecca Kaufman, John Harrison and Paul Maruff in Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, volume 19, pages 158-170 (2010).
- Empathy and alexithymia. Empathic brain responses in insula are modulated by levels of alexithymia but not autism by Geoffrey Bird, Giorgia Silani, Rachel Brindley, Sarah White, Uta Frith and Tania Singer in Brain volume 133, pages 1515-1525 (2010).
- Neuroimaging. Brain response to a humanoid robot in areas implicated in the perception of human emotional gestures by Thierry Chaminade, Massimiliano Zecca, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Atsuo Takanishi, Chris D. Frith, Silvestro Micera, Paolo Dario, Giacomo Rizzolatti, Vittorio Gallese, and Maria Alessandra Umiltà in PLoS One volume 5, page e11577 (2010).
Limbic lobe (red) of left cerebral hemisphere.
This page section is for discussion of recently published articles about the neurobiology of emotion.
Specific brain regions involved in emotion 
In "What does the amygdala contribute to social cognition?", it is suggested that the amygdala plays a role in allowing humans to understand the emotions of others, particularly when we look at faces. Is the subject SM a representative experimental subject? --JWSchmidt 09:11, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
- Decety & Moriguchi cite additional patients with limbic system damage and altered emotions (cases N.M and N.K.). --JWSchmidt 17:52, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
- Jabbi et al. and Bird et al. describe roles for insular cortical areas in emotion (insular cortex connects to the amygdala). What are the distributed neural networks that make emotion possible? --JWSchmidt 00:52, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Kuraoka & Nakamura recorded from individual neurons and showed that there are neurons in the monkey amygdala that respond to either facial or vocal emotional stimuli. Jabbi et al. studied humans using fMRI and observed that anterior insular cortex was active when test subjects either 1) saw others look disgusted or 2) tasted unpleasant liquids to induce disgust or 3) read and imagine scenarios involving disgust. Such experiments suggest that limbic system components including the amygdala and insular cortex contain neurons with activity patterns corresponding to the generation of core emotional responses that can be elicited by several different types of stimuli. --JWSchmidt 16:58, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
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