About this Research Topic
Affective neuroscience is a rapidly developing field and researchers are developing and employing innovative strategies to understand the neural circuitry and transmitter systems involved in affective processes and how they become dysfunctional in mental disorders. Recent epidemiological surveys have established disorders characterized by affective dysfunctions as one of the leading causes of disabilities worldwide and it is therefore of great importance to gain better insights into the key neural and molecular mechanisms underlying processing of affective stimuli and responses, how these can become dysfunctional and how they can be targeted by drug or other therapies.
The present Frontiers Research Topic aims to provide the reader with an overview on current developments and methodological advances in the field of affective neuroscience in humans together with contributions from animal models. During the last years we have witnessed a breath-taking development in the methods used to determine the neural and molecular control of emotional functions. In humans, neuromodulatory strategies including pharmacological approaches targeting neurohormonal and classical transmitter systems and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or real-time fMRI-assisted neurofeedback together with advanced brain imaging, imaging genetics and computational modelling, as well as sophisticated lesion and genetic models in patients are all contributing to a greater understanding of the functional architecture of the emotional brain. Moreover, recent developments in animal models such as optogenetic methods, genetic manipulation, epigenetic and novel drug-targeting approaches are also providing detailed information on interactions between specific neural circuits and molecular signaling systems together with their interactions with environmental factors such as early-life stress, thereby promoting translational research.
Manuscripts employing innovative research strategies to determine the neurobiological basis of emotions in humans and animals as well as their dysregulation are highly welcome to contribute to this Research Topic. Particularly we invite authors to submit:
• Original research on delineating the neural and molecular basis of emotional processing and social cognition using advanced and innovative research strategies in humans and animals.
• Original research employing neuromodulatory strategies, including pharmacological as well as non-invasive brain stimulation approaches to determine the contribution of specific neurotransmitter systems and brain regions to emotional and social cognitive processing.
• Original research describing dysregulations of the underlying neural circuits and transmitter systems in animal models and patients with emotional brain disorders.
• Systematic qualitative reviews on current developments in the field, including methodological developments and conceptual advances.
• Quantitative (meta-analytic) reviews that address important aspects and current controversies in the field.
Keywords: Affective Neuroscience, Brain Imaging, Emotional Brain Disorders, Molecular signalling, Neural Circuits
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.