Large-scale neural networks and the lateralization of motivation and emotion

Mattie Tops*, Markus Quirin, Maarten A.S. Boksem, Sander L. Koole

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Several lines of research in animals and humans converge on the distinction between two basic large-scale brain networks of self-regulation, giving rise to predictive and reactive control systems (PARCS). Predictive (internally-driven) and reactive (externally-guided) control are supported by dorsal versus ventral corticolimbic systems, respectively. Based on extant empirical evidence, we demonstrate how the PARCS produce frontal laterality effects in emotion and motivation. In addition, we explain how this framework gives rise to individual differences in appraising and coping with challenges. PARCS theory integrates separate fields of research, such as research on the motivational correlates of affect, EEG frontal alpha power asymmetry and implicit affective priming effects on cardiovascular indicators of effort during cognitive task performance. Across these different paradigms, converging evidence points to a qualitative motivational division between, on the one hand, angry and happy emotions, and, on the other hand, sad and fearful emotions. PARCS suggests that those two pairs of emotions are associated with predictive and reactive control, respectively. PARCS theory may thus generate important new insights on the motivational and emotional dynamics that drive autonomic and homeostatic control processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

Research programs

  • RSM MKT

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