Apr 1, 2020

Brain Network Organization During Mindful Acceptance of Emotions

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Matthew L DixonK. Christoff


Individuals use various strategies to cope with challenging emotions such as anxiety. Mindful acceptance involves broadening attentional scope and fully experiencing present moment sensory feelings (whether pleasant or unpleasant) without judgment or elaboration. In contrast, narrative-evaluation involves focusing on a narrow band of sensory experience and generating an elaborate narrative about the meaning and desirability of one's emotional feelings. The current study examined brain network organization during these strategies using graph theoretic analyses. We used a naturalistic task paradigm in which participants reflected on an anxiety-provoking issue from their personal lives and adopted each strategy in different blocks. Compared to narrative-evaluation, mindful acceptance was associated with: (i) increased global network connectivity; (ii) greater integration of interoceptive regions (mid and posterior insula) into large-scale networks; (iii) reorganization of motivational circuits including a shift in the striatum's network assignment from the default network to the salience network; and (iv) a shift from default network to frontoparietal control network (FPCN) regions as central hubs that coordinate information flow....Continue Reading

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