Description: Negative affect is a fundamental dimension of human emotion. When extreme, it contributes to a variety of adverse outcomes—from physical and mental illness to divorce and premature death. Mechanistic work in animals and neuroimaging research in humans and monkeys has begun to reveal the broad contours of the neural circuits governing negative affect, but the relevance of these discoveries to everyday distress remains incompletely understood. Here we used a combination of approaches—including neuroimaging assays of threat anticipation and emotional face perception and >10,000 momentary assessments of emotional experience—to demonstrate that individuals showing greater activation in a cingulo-opercular circuit during an anxiety-eliciting laboratory paradigm experience lower levels of stressor-dependent distress in their daily lives (n=202-208). Extended amygdala activation was not significantly related to momentary negative affect. These observations provide a framework for understanding the neurobiology of negative affect in the laboratory and in the real world. Hur, J., Kuhn, M., Grogans, S. E., Anderson, A. S., Islam, S., Kim, H. C., Tillman, R. M., Fox, A. S., Smith, J. F., DeYoung, K. A. & Shackman, A. J. (in press). Anxiety-related fronto-cortical activity is associated with dampened stressor reactivity in the real world. Psychological Science. Preprint available at biorXiv firstname.lastname@example.org
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