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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Findings are reviewed from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Neuroscience Project demonstrating the value in examining the temporal dynamics of responses to brief emotional provocation for understanding linkages among emotional response styles and factors contributing to health and well-being. Findings from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as well as electromyographic recordings (EMG) of the facial muscles to objectively measure emotional responses demonstrate that the temporal dynamics of emotional responses to affective stimuli are associated with aging, personality, psychopathology, stress exposure, biomarkers, and well-being. These findings suggest that variation in health and well-being are differentially predicted by specific temporal parameters of the emotional response. By examining temporal dynamics in response to affective stimuli, a better understanding is gained of the brain–behavior associations underlying emotion and how emotions “get under the skin” to impact well-being and health across the life span.

Keywords: emotion, health, well-being, affective stimuli, aging, personality, psychopathology, stress exposure, biomarkers, positive emotional responses

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