The neurobiology of emotion-cognition interactions
Alexander J Shackman
There is increasing interest in understanding the interplay of emotional and cognitive processes. The objective of the Research Topic was to provide an interdisciplinary survey of cutting-edge neuroscientific research on the interaction and integration of emotion and cognition in the brain. The following original empirical reports, commentaries and theoretical reviews provide a comprehensive survey on recent advances in understanding how emotional and cognitive processes interact, how they are integrated in the brain, and what their implications for understanding the mind and its disorders are. These works encompasses a broad spectrum of populations and showcases a wide variety of paradigms, measures, analytic strategies, and conceptual approaches. The aim of the Topic was to begin to address several key questions about the interplay of cognitive and emotional processes in the brain, including: what is the impact of emotional states, anxiety and stress on various cognitive functions? How are emotion and cognition integrated in the brain? Do individual differences in affective dimensions of temperament and personality alter cognitive performance, and how is this realized in the brain? Are there individual differences that increase vulnerability to the impact of affect on cognition—who is vulnerable, and who resilient? How plastic is the interplay of cognition and emotion? Taken together, these works demonstrate that emotion and cognition are deeply interwoven in the fabric of the brain, suggesting that widely held beliefs about the key constituents of ‘the emotional brain’ and ‘the cognitive brain’ are fundamentally flawed. Developing a deeper understanding of the emotional-cognitive brain is important, not just for understanding the mind but also for elucidating the root causes of its many debilitating disorders.