Strong Emotion Synchronizes Brain Activity Across Individuals
During movie viewing, participants’ brain activity was synchronized in lower- and higher-order sensory areas and in corticolimbic emotion circuits. Negative valence was associated with increased intersubject correlations (ISC) in the emotion-processing network (thalamus, ventral striatum, insula) and in the default-mode network (precuneus, temporoparietal junction, medial prefrontal cortex, posterior superior temporal sulcus). High arousal was associated with increased ISC in the somatosensory cortices and visual and dorsal attention networks comprising the visual cortex, bilateral intraparietal sulci, and frontal eye fields. Sharing others’ emotional states provides the observers a somatosensory and neural framework that facilitates understanding others’ intentions and actions and allows to “tune in” or “sync” with them.
Such automatic tuning facilitates social interaction and group processes, says Adjunct Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from the Aalto University. The results have major implications for current neural models of human emotions and group behavior, but also deepen our understanding of mental disorders involving abnormal socio-emotional processing, Nummenmaa says.
(via Feeling strong emotions synchronizes people’s brains | KurzweilAI)