The control patterns of affective processing and cognitive reappraisal: insights from brain controllability analysis

Feng Fang, Antonio L. Teixeira, Rihui Li, Ling Zou, Yingchun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perceiving and modulating emotions is vital for cognitive function and is often impaired in neuropsychiatric conditions. Current tools for evaluating emotional dysregulation suffer from subjectivity and lack of precision, especially when it comes to understanding emotion from a regulatory or control-based perspective. To address these limitations, this study leverages an advanced methodology known as functional brain controllability analysis. We simultaneously recorded electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from 17 healthy subjects engaged in emotion processing and regulation tasks. We then employed a novel EEG/fMRI integration technique to reconstruct cortical activity in a high spatiotemporal resolution manner. Subsequently, we conducted functional brain controllability analysis to explore the neural network control patterns underlying different emotion conditions. Our findings demonstrated that the dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex exhibited increased controllability during the processing and regulation of negative emotions compared to processing of neutral emotion. Besides, the anterior cingulate cortex was notably more active in managing negative emotion than in either controlling neutral emotion or regulating negative emotion. Finally, the posterior parietal cortex emerged as a central network controller for the regulation of negative emotion. This study offers valuable insights into the cortical control mechanisms that support emotion perception and regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbhad500
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • EEG
  • brain controllability
  • brain network
  • emotion
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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