Using Neuroscience to Broaden Emotion Regulation: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations



Behavioral research on emotion regulation thus far has focused on conscious and deliberative strategies such as reappraisal. Neuroscience investigations into emotion regulation have followed suit. However, neuroimaging tools now open the door to investigate more automatic forms of emotion regulation that take place incidentally and potentially outside of participant awareness that have previously been difficult to examine. The present paper reviews studies on the neuroscience of intentional/deliberate emotion regulation and identifies opportunities for future directions that have not yet been addressed. The authors suggest a broad framework for emotion regulation that includes both deliberative and incidental forms. This framework allows insights from incidental emotion regulation to address open questions about existing work, and vice versa. Several studies relevant to incidental emotion regulation are reviewed with the goal of providing an empirical and methodological groundwork for future research. Finally, several theoretical issues for incidental and intentional emotion regulation are discussed.