About this Research Topic
Emotions help guide our everyday choices in complex life situations. We are more likely to continue to perform certain tasks/places/situations if they induce a positive emotional valence, while avoiding those that induce negative valence. This type of emotional processing can also greatly affect memories, with emotionally salient events more likely to be remembered long-term. This type of processing is thought to involve several limbic brain regions, such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens; and associated brain regions that are involved in initiating responses to environmental stimuli, like the hypothalamus and ventral tegmental area.
There are numerous factors, both intrinsic to the individual, such as genetics or epigenetics, and extrinsic, such as social instability, stress, or diet, that can alter emotional processing at various levels in neuronal pathways within limbic systems. Dysregulation of these emotional processing pathways can lead to a wide variety of serious mental health disorders. Therefore, determining how intrinsic and extrinsic factors can alter emotional processing is likely to provide key understanding of the development of many mental health issues.
Aspects of emotional processing can be modeled in various animal systems. These animal models have greatly increased our understanding of the neuronal pathways involved in emotional processing and their modulation by intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Many of the findings in animal models have further been validated in human studies.
The goal of this Research Topics is to describe how diverse factors, either intrinsic or extrinsic in nature, can alter neural pathways involved in emotional processing. We aim to generate a collection of both review and primary research articles from both human and animal studies that assess how various factors can modulate limbic and associated neuronal pathways. This Topic will examine how emotional processing pathways regulate behaviors, as well as how emotional processing pathways may become dysregulated leading to pathologic conditions.
Keywords: Emotion processing, intrinsic factors, extrinsic factors, neural pathways, limbic pathways
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.