Cognitive regulation of emotions is a fundamental prerequisite for intact social functioning which impacts on both well being and psychopathology. The neural underpinnings of this process have been studied intensively in recent years, without, however, a general consensus. We here quantitatively summarize the published literature on cognitive emotion regulation using activation likelihood estimation in fMRI and PET (23 studies/479 subjects). In addition, we assessed the particular functional contribution of identified regions and their interactions using quantitative functional inference and meta-analytic connectivity modeling, respectively. In doing so, we developed a model for the core brain network involved in emotion regulation of emotional reactivity. According to this, the superior temporal gyrus, angular gyrus and (pre) supplementary motor area should be involved in execution of regulation initiated by frontal areas. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex may be related to regulation of cognitive processes such as attention, while the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex may not necessarily reflect the regulatory process per se, but signals salience and therefore the need to regulate. We also identified a cluster in the anterior middle cingulate cortex as a region, which is anatomically and functionally in an ideal position to influence behavior and subcortical structures related to affect generation. Hence this area may play a central, integrative role in emotion regulation. By focusing on regions commonly active across multiple studies, this proposed model should provide important a priori information for the assessment of dysregulated emotion regulation in psychiatric disorders.
The ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium was set up to analyze brain measures and genotypes from multiple sites across the world to improve the power to detect genetic variants that influence the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) yields quantitative measures sensitive to brain development and degeneration, and some common genetic variants may be associated with white matter integrity or connectivity. DTI measures, such as the fractional anisotropy (FA) of water diffusion, may be useful for identifying genetic variants that influence brain microstructure. However, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) require large populations to obtain sufficient power to detect and replicate significant effects, motivating a multi-site consortium effort. As part of an ENIGMA–DTI working group, we analyzed high-resolution FA images from multiple imaging sites across North America, Australia, and Europe, to address the challenge of harmonizing imaging data collected at multiple sites. Four hundred images of healthy adults aged 18–85 from four sites were used to create a template and corresponding skeletonized FA image as a common reference space. Using twin and pedigree samples of different ethnicities, we used our common template to evaluate the heritability of tract-derived FA measures. We show that our template is reliable for integrating multiple datasets by combining results through meta-analysis and unifying the data through exploratory mega-analyses. Our results may help prioritize regions of the FA map that are consistently influenced by additive genetic factors for future genetic discovery studies. Protocols and templates are publicly available at ( ).