The affective brain


Emotion and emotion regulation

Emotion Regulation in the Recovery from Emotional Stressful Life-Events, Sleep and Psychopathology

PI: Marie Vandekerckhove

Is an experiential emotion regulation strategy effective to process emotional stressful life-events and to recover from them? How does that affect well-being as well as quality of sleep?

Experiential emotion regulation and affective dynamics

PI: Marie Vandekerckhove

How does the training of an experiential emotion regulation approach versus a more analytical emotion regulation approach affect
daily affective and associated physiological dynamics of negative and positive emotion within healthy individuals?

Emotion Regulation and Neuronal Correlates

PI: Marie Vandekerckhove

Emotion regulation strategies encompass multiple psychological processes (direction of attention, executive processes, interoception etcetera). Existing research often compares highly specific emotion regulation conditions (e.g., “downregulate emotion by distancing yourself from the stimulus”) with quite loosely defined baseline conditions (e.g., “maintain the emotion” or “experience naturally”) which involve unspecified and uncontrolled subprocesses. A challenge is therefore to dissociate subprocesses involved in emotion regulation. In the present study, we investigate the functional correlates of two important factors which differ between emotion regulation strategies: an internal versus external focus of attention on the one hand, and a descriptive versus an interpretative stance on the other.

High-level and Low-level processing interactions on the emergence of affective consciousness. A neurophysiological approach

PI: Marie Vandekerckhove, Frank Van Overwalle & Peter Mariën

The main goal of this research project is to understand how affective conscious experience is shaped by the dynamics between low-level  subcortical (bottom-up) and high-level (top-down) cortical interactions in the emergence of affective consciousness based on a dynamic facial emotion recognition paradigm with fMRI, lesion studies and TMS.

Affective Memory, Consciousness and the Brain

PI: Marie Vandekerckhove

This line of research concerns the analysis of evolutionary levels of memory and associated consciousness, with a focus on anoetic (without knowledge) forms of consciousness as the basis of noetic (knowledge-based) and autonoetic (higher reflective mental) functions that permit conscious awareness. These anoetic (raw perceptual and affective) forms of consciousness can be elaborated by brain networks that are subcortical and thus can function without neocortical involvement.



Centre for Neurosciences • Vrije Universiteit Brussels • ©2017 • •
Faculty of Medicine & Pharmacie • Laarbeeklaan 103 • 1090 Brussel, BELGIUM • Tel: +32 (2) 477 64 10
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