fMRI reveals overlapping and non-overlapping neural bases of domain-general and emotional conflict control

Psychophysiology. 2023 Oct;60(10):e14355. doi: 10.1111/psyp.14355. Epub 2023 May 30.


The present study uses functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) to examine the overlapping and specific neural correlates of contextualized emotional conflict control and domain-general conflict control. During a performance on emotional and domain-general conflict tasks, conjunction analyses showed that neural areas distributed in the frontoparietal network were engaged in both processes, supporting the notion that similar neural mechanisms are implemented in these two types of control. Importantly, disjunction analyses revealed a broader neural recruitment of emotional conflict control compared to domain-general conflict control as shown by the possible lateralization of the lateral prefrontal cortex (lPFC), such that emotional conflict control significantly involved the left lPFC while domain-general conflict control seemly involved the right lPFC. Results of generalized psychophysiological interaction (gPPI) analyses further demonstrated that emotional conflict control, compared to domain-general conflict control, elicited broader synergistic activities in individuals' brain networks. Together, these findings offer novel and compelling neural evidence that furthers our understanding of the complex relationship between domain-general and emotional conflict control.

Keywords: domain-general conflict control; emotional conflict control; fMRI; fronto-parietal network; lateral prefrontal cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / diagnostic imaging