Age is a factor that affects not only cognitive skills but also emotions and response patterns. © Baan Taksin Studio/stock.adobe.com
Can positive thinking help us to age more healthily?
Patient expectation can influence emotions as well as the sensation of pain. The processing of pleasure and pain is closely linked in the brain, and overlapping brain activity patterns suggest common neural mechanisms. This project investigates these mechanisms and how they are influenced by attention and age.
Expectation effects on emotional processing throughout life: the role of frontolimbic function and attention control
This project will investigate the impact of attention, age and mood on positive expectation effects in emotional processing. Using an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) paradigm for emotional interference in young and elderly healthy participants and elderly depressive patients, it will focus particularly on prefrontal top-down regulation of the limbic system. As these frontolimbic networks are also involved in the expectation modulation of the pain system, the results of this study may provide direct evidence of common and distinct neural mechanisms in the affective and pain systems.
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Brassen S, Gamer M, Peters J, Gluth S, Büchel C (2012) Don’t look back in anger! Responsiveness to missed chances in successful and nonsuccessful aging. Science 336:612–614. PubMed
Schneider S, Brassen S (2016) Brooding Is Related to Neural Alterations during Autobiographical Memory Retrieval in Aging. Front Aging Neurosci 8:219. PubMed