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Emotional Dysfunction in Psychopathology and Neuropathology: Neural and Genetic Pathways

  • Author(s): Sturm, VE;
  • Haase, CM;
  • Levenson, RW
  • et al.

In this chapter, we review the current state of knowledge about neural and genetic pathways that influence three emotional processes: (1) emotional reactivity, which is generating emotions in response to challenges, threats, and opportunities; (2) emotional regulation, which is adjusting emotional responses to meet personal, interpersonal, and social goals and standards; and (3) emotional affiliation, which is using emotions to create and maintain social connections. Emotional reactivity, regulation, and affiliation are all critical for daily living and maintaining mental and physical health; each is highly vulnerable to disruption in psychopathology and neuropathology. In the final part of the chapter, we consider ways in which tools and concepts derived from modern affective science can help elucidate the relationships among neural circuits, genes, emotional functioning, and pathology and provide insights about etiology, diagnosis, and treatment that can be useful in clinical contexts.

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