Neural Implications of Emotional Imagery

Kajal Patel, Jordan Stotter, I Giannopulu

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch


Requiring imagination, emotional mental imagery purely involves cognitive processes. As a vital element of communication, emotions require the integration of several cognitive functions such as, for example, reasoning, planning behaviour, and language. Inherently, these functions implicate the activation of the prefrontal, frontal and the parietal brain regions. Forty healthy young adults (20 males and 20 females) aged 24 years on average participated in the study. Based on a specific experimental paradigm, each participant was instructed to imagine, one by one, four different emotions, two positive (i.e. happy and laughter) and two negative (i.e. sad and angry) for five seconds separately. Their brain activity was collected via 32 EEG electrodes. Gamma oscillations (55-59 Hz) were considered within and between imagined positive and negative emotions with further investigation of the valence lateralisation model and Rolls’ reinforcement model. Results revealed
significant changes in brain activity for frontal and parietal but not for the prefrontal areas. A significant difference was evident within positive emotions specifically in the central regions but
not between negative and positive emotions. Only lateralisation of positive emotions was found specifically in the left parietal region; an overall greater left hemisphere lateralisation relative
to the right hemisphere for all emotions was found. Regardless of the discrepancies between previous studies and the present study, left hemisphere lateralisation of positive emotions was
a consistent finding. Conclusively, these results ascertain that potential similarities exist between explicit emotional tasks and imagined emotional tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Event2019 ACNS Conference - The University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia
Duration: 21 Nov 201924 Nov 2019


Conference2019 ACNS Conference
Internet address


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