Integration of spatio-temporal dynamics in emotion-cognition interactions: A simultaneous fMRI-ERP investigation using the emotional oddball task

Matthew Moore, Andrea T. Shafer, Reyhaneh Bakhtiari, Florin Dolcos, Anthony Singhal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although a large corpus of evidence has identified brain regions and networks involved in emotion-cognition interactions, it remains unclear how spatial and temporal dynamics of the mechanisms by which emotion interfaces with cognition are integrated. Capitalizing on multi-modal brain imaging approaches, we used simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potential (ERP) recordings, to investigate the link between spatial and temporal aspects of processing in an emotional oddball task, and in relation to personality measures reflecting basic affective responses and emotion control. First, fMRI captured expected dorso-ventral dissociations, with greater response to targets in regions of dorsal brain networks (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and to emotional distracters in regions of ventral networks (e.g., ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, vlPFC). Also, ERP responses to targets were associated with a prominent P300, and responses to distracters with the late positive potential (LPP). Second, providing evidence for spatio-temporal integration of brain signals, ERP-informed fMRI analyses showed a link between LPP amplitude at parietal electrodes and the fMRI signal in the vlPFC, to emotional distraction. Third, regarding the link to personality measures, increased emotional arousability and attentional impulsiveness was associated with greater LPP differences between negative distracters and targets and enhanced response to negative distracters in the amygdala, respectively. Furthermore, we identified opposing relations between responses to emotional distraction and individual scores for cognitive reappraisal and self-control impulsiveness in posterior vlPFC. This suggests a greater engagement of this region in participants with reduced tendencies to employ reappraisal as a coping strategy and those with reduced ability to control impulsive responses during emotional distraction. Together, supporting the feasibility of integrating multi-dimensional approaches to clarify neural mechanisms of emotion-cognition interactions, these results point to convergence and complementarity between measures that differentially capture spatio-temporal dynamics of brain activity, and their associations with measures of individual differences in affective responses and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116078
StatePublished - Nov 15 2019


  • Affect
  • Individual differences
  • Neuroimaging
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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