Cognitive and affective control

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Gilles Pourtois, Wim Notebaert, Tom Verguts
Frontiers E-books
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 Traditionally, cognition and emotion are seen as separate domains that are independent at best and in competition at worst. The French scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) famously said “Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point” (The heart has its reasons that reason does not know). Over the last century, however, psychologists and neuroscientists have increasingly appreciated their very strong reciprocal connections and interactions. Initially this was demonstrated in cognitive functions such as attention, learning and memory, and decision making. For instance, an emotional stimulus captures attention (e.g., Anderson & Phelps, 2001). Likewise, emotional stimuli are better learned and remembered than neutral ones (e.g., McGaugh, 1990) and they can provide strong incentives to bias decision making (Bechara et al., 1997). 


In more recent years, cognitive control has also been found to be intimately intertwined with emotion. This is consistent with an approach that considers cognitive control as an adaptive learning process (Braver & Cohen, 1999), reinforcement learning in particular (Holroyd & Coles, 2002; Verguts & Notebaert, 2009). From this perspective, cognitive control is not a cool encapsulated executive function, but instead involves rapidly calculating the value of situational, contextual, and action cues (Rushworth & Behrens, 2008) for the purpose of adapting the cognitive system toward future optimal performance. 

A wide array of research has shed light on cognitive control and its interactions with affect or motivation. Behaviorally, important phenomena include how people respond to difficult stimuli (e.g., incongruent stimuli, task switches), negative feedback, or errors and how this influences subsequent task processing. Neurally, an important target structure has been the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and its connections to traditional “emotional” (e.g., amygdala) and “cognitive” areas (e.g., (pre)motor cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). ACC seems to play a predominant role in integrating distant effects from remote cognitive and emotion systems in order to guide and optimize behavior. 

The current special issue focuses on the bi-directional link between emotion and cognitive control. We invite studies that investigate the influence from emotion on cognitive control, or vice versa, the influence of cognitive control on emotion. Contributions can be of different types: We welcome empirical contributions (behavioral or neuroscientific) but also computational modeling, theory, or review papers. By bringing together researchers from the traditionally separated domains, we hope to further stimulate the crosstalk between emotion and cognitive control, and thus to deepen our understanding of both.
 

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Contents

Cognitive and affective control
6
Striatal dopamine and the interface between motivation and cognition
8
The effects of selfreport cognitive failures and cognitive load on antisaccade performance
19
Larger error signals in major depression are associated with better avoidance learning
24
emotional and motivational influences on cognitive control
30
Posterror adjustments
40
a voluntary taskswitching study
50
Muscle or motivation? A stopsignal study on the effects of sequential cognitive control
59
Uncertainty and cognitive control
132
A test for the implementationmaintenance model of reappraisal
146
asymmetric interference by emotional distracters
159
induced positive affect improves rewardbased decisionlearning in Parkinsons disease
166
Cognitive and affective control in insomnia
176
Reward and punishment effects on error processing and conflict control
188
on the role of body affect and meaning in cognitive control
197
A potential role of the inferior frontal gyrus and anterior insula in cognitive control brain rhythms and eventrelated potentials
220

Individual differences in heart rate variability predict the degree of slowing during response inhibition and initiation in the presence of emotional sti...
69
The role of executive functions in the control of aggressive behavior
77
on the emotional regulation of goaldirected behavior
87
relevance for development and adolescent psychopathology
111
Whats that? What went wrong? Positive and negative surprise and the rostralventral to caudaldorsal functional gradient in the brain
234
evidence from pupil dilation and saccade control
239
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