Abstract and Keywords
Several functional neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation have been conducted during the last decade. This article demonstrates that these studies strongly support the mentalistic perspective that the subjective nature and the intentional content of the mental processes, volitions, thoughts, feelings, involved in emotional self-regulation significantly influence the functioning of the brain. It reviews the findings of functional neuroimaging studies carried out with regard to the self-regulation of sexual arousal, sadness in adults and children, and negative emotion. The artlce discusses the theoretical implications of these studies regarding the relationships between subjective experience, mental processes, neurophysiological processes, and human behavior. The results of the neuroimaging studies of emotional self-regulation indicate that the conscious and voluntary use of cognitive distancing and reappraisal selectively modulates the way the brain responds to emotional stimuli.
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