Dynamic reorganization of the cortical functional brain network in affective processing and cognitive reappraisal

Feng Fang, Thomas Potter, Thinh Nguyen, Yingchun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Emotion and affect play crucial roles in human life that can be disrupted by diseases. Functional brain networks need to dynamically reorganize within short time periods in order to efficiently process and respond to affective stimuli. Documenting these large-scale spatiotemporal dynamics on the same timescale they arise, however, presents a large technical challenge. In this study, the dynamic reorganization of the cortical functional brain network during an affective processing and emotion regulation task is documented using an advanced multi-model electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique. Sliding time window correlation and k-means clustering are employed to explore the functional brain connectivity (FC) dynamics during the unaltered perception of neutral (moderate valence, low arousal) and negative (low valence, high arousal) stimuli and cognitive reappraisal of negative stimuli. Betweenness centralities are computed to identify central hubs within each complex network. Results from 20 healthy subjects indicate that the cortical mechanism for cognitive reappraisal follows a 'top-down' pattern that occurs across four brain network states that arise at different time instants (0-170ms, 170-370ms, 380-620ms, and 620-1000ms). Specifically, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) is identified as a central hub to promote the connectivity structures of various affective states and consequent regulatory efforts. This finding advances our current understanding of the cortical response networks of reappraisal-based emotion regulation by documenting the recruitment process of four functional brain sub-networks, each seemingly associated with different cognitive processes, and reveals the dynamic reorganization of functional brain networks during emotion regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2050051
JournalInternational Journal of Neural Systems
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • EEG
  • Emotion regulation
  • cognitive dynamics
  • functional MRI
  • functional connectivity
  • multimodal imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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