Matching emotion regulation software to brain imaging data

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About Matching emotion regulation software to brain imaging data

Description

In previous research, we have developed CoMERG, a computational model of emotion regulation based on the psychological theory of prof. dr. James Gross. The internal consistency of this model has been verified by simulation experiments and has been partially validated by matching the variables in the model to skin-conductance data. However, CoMERG has never been matched to brain imaging data or other parameters such as heart rate, respiration or affect-ratings. Dr. Odile van den Heuvel and Stella de Wit, M.Sc., working at the department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, recently gathered functional MRI (fMRI) data in a study on emotion regulation in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and healthy controls. In OCD patients, stimulatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) versus sham on the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was used, to temporally improve prefrontal control. In healthy controls inhibitory rTMS was used to reduce cognitive control. Effects of emotion regulation and rTMS were assessed on brain activity, affect-ratings, heart rate and respiration. After a first discussion, we expect these data will fit nicely to the predictions of CoMERG. Additionally, dr. Raffael Kalisch, working at the Institute for Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), recently gathered fMRI data in a study on the effect of various emotion regulation strategies in reducing induced fear. First analyses indicate the data will fit nicely to the predictions of CoMERG. In this project, you will select and employ parameter tuning techniques to optimize the fit of the predictions in CoMERG to the data of dr. van den Heuvel and dr. Kalisch. Fitting CoMERG to the data will serve as an ecological validation for CoMERG, and helps to explain the found data in a meaningful matter.

For more information, please contact Tibor Bosse or Matthijs Pontier.