Interactions between emotion, motivation, and cognition.

Throughout our lives, emotional and/or motivational factors influence our thoughts and actions. Hence, there is a clear need to understand how emotion, motivation, and cognition interact in the human brain. Knowledge of brain mechanisms underlying these interactions is not only relevant to our healthy lives but also has potential clinical relevance. In mental disorders such as addiction, anxiety, and depression, cognitive impairments due to compromised emotional and/or motivational processing are extensively reported. Despite this, our understanding of how these factors interact in the brain is rudimentary. Our work attempts to fill some of these critical gaps in our knowledge base by investigating interactions between emotion, motivation, and cognition in the healthy adult human brain. We primarily employ behavioral and functional MRI (fMRI) methods combined with psychophysiological measurements (e.g., skin conductance responses) in our research.

Faculty: Srikanth Padmala


S. Padmala, M. Sirbu, and L. Pessoa. (2017). Potential reward reduces the adverse impact of negative distractor stimuli, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12, 1402-1413.

Click image to view enlarged version

Scroll Up