The Neuroscience of Sadness

  • Recherche,
  • Santé-Sciences-Technologie,

le 9 mars 2020

Projet de recherche collaborative dirigé par le Prof. A.H. Kemp (Department of Psychology, Swansea University, United Kingdom; Department of Psychiatry, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) auquel le Prof. Catherine Belzung a participé

The Neuroscience of Sadness: A Multidisciplinary Synthesis and Collaborative Review for the Human Affectome Project


Sadness is typically characterized by raised inner eyebrows, lowered corners of the mouth, reduced walking speed, and slumped posture. Ancient subcortical circuitry provides a neuroanatomical foundation, extending from dorsal periaqueductal grey to subgenual anterior cingulate, the latter of which is now a treatment target in disorders of sadness. Electrophysiological studies further emphasize a role for reduced left relative to right frontal asymmetry in sadness, underpinning interest in the transcranial stimulation of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as an antidepressant target. Neuroimaging studies - including meta-analyses - indicate that sadness is associated with reduced cortical activation, which may contribute to reduced parasympathetic inhibitory control over medullary cardioacceleratory circuits. Reduced cardiac control may - in part - contribute to epidemiological reports of reduced life expectancy in affective disorders, effects equivalent to heavy smoking. We suggest that the field may be moving toward a theoretical consensus, in which different models relating to basic emotion theory and psychological constructionism may be considered as complementary, working at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


#Affective #Neuroscience; Basic #Emotions; GENIAL model; #Genetics; Health and wellbeing; Heart Rate Variability; Major #Depressive Disorder; #Neuroimaging; Psychological Constructionism; #Psychophysiology; #Sadness; Vagal function
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Prof. Catherine Belzung :