Neural correlates of emotion - Cognition interactions: A review of evidence from brain imaging investigations

Florin Dolcos, Alexandru D. Iordan, Sanda Dolcos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Complex dynamic behaviour involves reciprocal influences between emotion and cognition. On the one hand, emotion is a double-edged sword that may affect various aspects of our cognition and behaviour, by enhancing or hindering them and exerting both transient and long-term influences. On the other hand, emotion processing is also susceptible to cognitive influences, typically exerted in the form of emotion regulation. Noteworthy, both of these reciprocal influences are subjective to individual differences that may affect the way we perceive, experience, and eventually remember emotional experiences, or respond to emotionally challenging situations. Understanding these relationships is critical, as unbalanced emotion-cognition interactions may lead to devastating effects, such as those observed in mood and anxiety disorders. The present review analyses the reciprocal relationships between emotion and cognition, based on evidence derived from brain imaging investigations focusing on three main topics: (1) the impact of emotion on cognition, (2) the impact of cognition on emotion, and (3) the role of individual differences in emotion-cognition interactions. This evidence will be discussed in the context of identifying aspects that are fundamental to understanding the mechanisms underlying emotion-cognition interactions in healthy functioning, and to understanding changes associated with affective disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-694
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Affective-cognitive interactions
  • Amygdala
  • Event-related potentials
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Medial-temporal lobe memory system
  • Neural circuitry
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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