The cognitive control of emotion
The capacity to control emotion is important for human adaptation. Questions about the neural bases of emotion regulation have recently taken on new importance, as functional imaging studies in humans have permitted direct investigation of control strategies that draw upon higher cognitive processes difficult to study in nonhumans. Such studies have examined (1) controlling attention to, and (2) cognitively changing the meaning of, emotionally evocative stimuli. These two forms of emotion regulation depend upon interactions between prefrontal and cingulate control systems and cortical and subcortical emotion-generative systems. Taken together, the results suggest a functional architecture for the cognitive control of emotion that dovetails with findings from other human and nonhuman research on emotion.