A neural code for emotion

Our daily experience rides along the backdrop of a dynamic stream of mental states, characterized by spontaneous changes is mood or emotion. For instance, as you take an important exam and perform above expectations, your emotions may fluctuate from anxiety to frustration, followed by surprise and finally contentment. These changes in mood are a defining feature of the human experience, but how do they arise from the underlying stream of neural activity? In their new PLOS Biology study, researchers from Duke University used functional MRI (fMRI) to capture brain signals of emotion, discovering that patterns of brain activity during rest can decode an array of emotional experiences. Earlier studies have shown that brain activation patterns measured with fMRI can accurately decode a range of stimulus-driven experiences, including perception, mental imagery…


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