About this Research Topic
Our everyday life is characterized by a multitude of emotionally relevant cues that we perceive and communicate via various sensory channels. This does not only encompass the obvious cases of auditory and visual modalities, but also olfactory, gustatory, and even tactile stimuli. Any kind of emotional situation in a natural setting is usually a multimodal experience: A friend welcomes us with warm words, a smile, and a happy voice; the sight of our favourite food is accompanied by a seductive smell and a delicious taste; the thrill of watching an exciting movie scene is intensified by a gripping soundtrack. In these situations, the signals from various senses do not stand on their own; they interact and create a unified emotional experience. Recent neuroscientific research has begun to accommodate this inherent multimodality of emotions in natural situations by studying the interaction of affectively relevant information from more than one sensory channel. Fascinating new aspects emerge concerning the neurobiology of emotion processing, and there is evidence that integrating emotional cues from various sources invokes brain processes that go beyond the well-known patterns observed during unimodal stimulation.
The scope of this Research Topic is to gather novel and interesting studies dealing with the multimodality of emotions and their neural processing. We want to address researchers which are applying novel paradigms such as multimodal virtual reality settings, social interactions, and the combination of the auditory and visual domains with other sensory modalities such as smell, taste, or touch. Referring to this, we explicitly encourage articles describing new experimental approaches and analysis strategies. Our aim is to gain a comprehensive picture of how the brain combines emotionally relevant information from different sensory modalities. In particular, there is an urgent need for the integration of findings from electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging investigations as well as new insights from functional connectivity studies. We are convinced that this volume will be of high interest for a large community of brain researchers dealing with emotion research, social interaction, and complex multimodal integration processes.
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