Are emotions associated with activity during rest or interoception? An exploratory fMRI study in healthy subjects

Christine Wiebking, Moritz de Greck, Niall W. Duncan, Alexander Heinzel, Claus Tempelmann, Georg Northoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Imaging studies investigating the default-mode network (DMN) of the brain revealed the phenomenon of elevated neural responses during periods of rest. This effect has been shown to be abnormally elevated in regions of the DMN concerning mood disorders like major depressive disorder (MDD). Since these disorders are accompanied by impaired emotional functioning, this leads to the suggestion of an association between activity during rest conditions and emotions, which remains to be demonstrated in a healthy and clinical population. Controlling for interoceptive processing, a process often closely connected to emotional functioning, we here demonstrate in an fMRI study of 30 healthy subjects the connection between activity during rest conditions in regions of the DMN and emotions in a psychologically, regionally, and stimulus specific way. Our findings provide further insight into the psychological functions underlying rest activity. Our findings in healthy subjects may also have future implications for a better understanding of mood disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Default-mode network (DMN)
  • Emotion
  • FMRI
  • Interoception
  • Resting state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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