Bidirectional modulation of human emotional conflict resolution using intracranial stimulation

Angelique C. Paulk, Ali Yousefi, Kristen K. Ellard, Kara Farnes, Noam Peled, Britni Crocker, Rina Zelmann, Deborah Vallejo-Lopez, Gavin Belok, Sam Zorowitz, Ishita Basu, Afsana Afzal, Anna Gilmour, Daniel S. Weisholtz, G. Reese Cosgrove, Bernard S. Chang, Jeffrey E. Arle, Ziv M. Williams, Uri T. Eden, Thilo DeckersbachDarin D. Dougherty, Emad N. Eskandar, Alik S. Widge, Sydney S. Cash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability to regulate emotions in the service of meeting ongoing goals and task demands is a key aspect of adaptive human behavior in our volatile social world. Consequently, difficulties in processing and responding to emotional stimuli underlie many psychiatric diseases ranging from depression to anxiety, the common thread being effects on behavior. Behavior, which is made up of shifting, difficult to measure hidden states such as attention and emotion reactivity, is a product of integrating external input and latent mental processes. Directly measuring, and differentiating, separable hidden cognitive, emotional, and attentional states contributing to emotion conflict resolution, however, is challenging, particularly when only using task-relevant behavioral measures such as reaction time. State-space representations are a powerful method for investigating hidden states underlying complex systems. Using state-space modeling of behavior, we identified relevant hidden cognitive states and predicted behavior in a standardized emotion regulation task. After identifying and validating models which best fit the behavior and narrowing our focus to one model, we used targeted intracranial stimulation of the emotion regulation-relevant neurocircuitry, including prefrontal structures and the amygdala, to causally modulate separable states. Finally, we focused on this one validated state-space model to perform real-time, bidirectional closed-loop adaptive stimulation in a subset of participants. These approaches enable an improved understanding of how to sample and understand emotional processing in a way which could be leveraged in neuromodulatory therapy for disorders of emotional regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Oct 31 2019


  • Cingulate cortex
  • Emotion regulation
  • Hidden states
  • Intracranial
  • State space model
  • Stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bidirectional modulation of human emotional conflict resolution using intracranial stimulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this