abstract Luiz Pessoa

Luiz Pessoa (Director, Maryland Neuroimaging Center, U.S.A.)

The cognitive-emotional brain: From interactions to integration.

The current view of brain organization supports the notion that there is a considerable degree of functional specialization and that many regions can be conceptualized as either "affective" or "cognitive". Popular examples are the amygdala in the domain of emotion and the lateral prefrontal cortex in cognition. This prevalent view is problematic for a number of reasons, as will be discussed in the talk. It will be argued that complex cognitive-emotional behaviors have their basis in networks of brain areas, none of which should be conceptualized as specifically affective or cognitive. Central to cognitive-emotional interactions are brain areas with a high degree of connectivity called hubs, which are critical for regulating the flow and integration of information between regions. To illustrate cognitive-emotional processing, I will discuss a series of studies that have investigated interactions between emotion/motivation and perception, and emotion/motivation and executive function.