Research Topic

Positive Neuroscience: the Neuroscience of Human Flourishing

About this Research Topic

Positive neuroscience is an emerging field that investigates the brain mechanisms underlying positive human functioning and flourishing. Instead of emphasizing the repair of pathology, positive neuroscientists is concerned with flourishing and excellence in all aspects of the human condition and use ...

Positive neuroscience is an emerging field that investigates the brain mechanisms underlying positive human functioning and flourishing. Instead of emphasizing the repair of pathology, positive neuroscientists is concerned with flourishing and excellence in all aspects of the human condition and use neuroimaging techniques to explain the neurobiology underpinning positive psychological health. Topics in positive neuroscience overlap heavily with those of positive psychology, and it includes the four major topics: (1) positive experiences like satisfaction, happiness (or well–being), and optimism, (2) enduring psychological traits, especially virtues and character strengths such as gratitude, compassion, love, social intelligence, courage, and creativity, and (3) positive relationships such as relationships with friends and family members, and (4) positive institutions like families, schools, and communities.

With the advent of neuroimaging methods like electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Diffusion MRI, voxel-based morphometry, and neurostimulation approaches like transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), significant progress has been made in recording and altering brain activity. Therefore, a number of researchers have begun to investigate the structural and functional neural basis underlying positive human functioning and flourishing such as well–being, social bonds, meditation, hope, resilience and creativity, based on experimental and self-reported measures. However, these findings provide limited insights into the complex relationships between human flourishing and brain function.

The aim of this Research Topic in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience is to provide an updated overview of this new and interesting matter. We look forward to receiving empirical research addressing issues in the neurobiological domain of any aspect of human flourishing. We also encourage the submission of critical reviews of the field, papers focusing on methodology, and opinion papers that raise foundational concerns to stimulate renewed thinking about the aims of the field. We expect this set of works to contribute to a deeper understanding of the relationships between human flourishing and brain function.


Keywords: Positive Neuroscience, Flourishing, Well–being, Character strengths, Neuroimaging


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.

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31 January 2019 Manuscript

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Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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