A neural model of voluntary and automatic emotion regulation: implications for understanding the pathophysiology and neurodevelopment of bipolar disorder

Mol Psychiatry. 2008 Sep;13(9):829, 833-57. doi: 10.1038/mp.2008.65. Epub 2008 Jun 24.


The ability to regulate emotions is an important part of adaptive functioning in society. Advances in cognitive and affective neuroscience and biological psychiatry have facilitated examination of neural systems that may be important for emotion regulation. In this critical review we first develop a neural model of emotion regulation that includes neural systems implicated in different voluntary and automatic emotion regulatory subprocesses. We then use this model as a theoretical framework to examine functional neural abnormalities in these neural systems that may predispose to the development of a major psychiatric disorder characterized by severe emotion dysregulation, bipolar disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology
  • Bipolar Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / cytology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology