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A sensitive and specific neural signature for picture-induced negative affect

Chang, LJ and Gianaros, PJ and Manuck, SB and Krishnan, A and Wager, TD (2015) A sensitive and specific neural signature for picture-induced negative affect. PLoS Biology, 13 (6). 1 - 28. ISSN 1544-9173

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Neuroimaging has identified many correlates of emotion but has not yet yielded brain representations predictive of the intensity of emotional experiences in individuals. We used machine learning to identify a sensitive and specific signature of emotional responses to aversive images. This signature predicted the intensity of negative emotion in individual participants in cross validation (n =121) and test (n = 61) samples (high–low emotion = 93.5% accuracy). It was unresponsive to physical pain (emotion–pain = 92% discriminative accuracy), demonstrating that it is not a representation of generalized arousal or salience. The signature was comprised of mesoscale patterns spanning multiple cortical and subcortical systems, with no single system necessary or sufficient for predicting experience. Furthermore, it was not reducible to activity in traditional “emotion-related” regions (e.g., amygdala, insula) or resting-state networks (e.g., “salience,” “default mode”). Overall, this work identifies differentiable neural components of negative emotion and pain, providing a basis for new, brain-based taxonomies of affective processes.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Chang, LJ
Gianaros, PJgianaros@pitt.eduGIANAROS0000-0003-2313-5277
Manuck, SBmanuck@pitt.eduMANUCK
Krishnan, A
Wager, TD
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Date: 22 June 2015
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS Biology
Volume: 13
Number: 6
Page Range: 1 - 28
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002180
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1544-9173
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2016 14:48
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 14:55


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