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Poster B12

Neural Signatures of Dynamic Emotional Engagement and Disengagement Generalize across Negative Narratives

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Melanni Nanni Zepeda1,2 (, Travis Evans3,4,5, Audreyana Jagger-Rickels3,4,5, Gal Raz6,7,8, Talma Hendler7,8,9,10, Flavio Frohlich1,2, Yan Fan11, Simone Grimm12,13,14, Martin Walter15,16, Michael Esterman3,4,5, Agnieszka Zuberer1,2; 1Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2Carolina Center for Neurostimulation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 3National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, 4Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory, VA Boston Healthcare System, 5Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, 6Steve Tisch School of Film and Television, Tel Aviv University, 7Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, 8Sagol Brain Institute, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 9Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 10The School of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, 11Department Psychology and Neurosciences, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at the TU Dortmund (IfADo), 12Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Psychiatric Hospital, University of Zurich, 13Department of Psychology, MSB Medical School Berlin, 14Berlin Institute of Health, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 15Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, 16Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Jena

Most neuroimaging research of emotional responses relies on discrete emotional stimuli, which fails to capture how emotional experiences dynamically evolve. Movie viewing designs are often considered for their potential to capture these temporal dynamics of emotion. However, they are also known for potentially being confounded by movie idiosyncratic (emotion-unrelated) aspects and thus require generalization across different narratives.  We aimed to assess whether dynamic functional connectivity (dynFC) patterns generalize across negative narratives from two independent studies. In Study 1, participants viewed a 5-minute negative and a 5-minute neutral movie clip during Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In Study 2, participants watched a different 10-minute negative movie clip. Participants annotated emotional intensity while rewatching movie clips outside the scanner. We derived two group-based emotional time courses reflecting collective emotional engagement and disengagement during movie viewing. Support vector regression evaluated if dynFC patterns in one movie clip could predict emotion group responses for independent subjects watching a different narrative.  Results show successful prediction of disengagement group responses in one negative movie clip using a model trained on dynFC patterns from individuals in a different study. Cross-predictions failed for the neutral movie clip, suggesting specificity to the negative context. In contrast, engagement responses displayed less consistent results and were also predicted by models trained on individuals watching the neutral clip. Predictions of disengagement across negative narratives and inconsistencies in predicting engagement highlight the intricate dynamics of connectivity and subjective experiences during movie viewing. This work may aid in studying naturalistic emotions' dynamic challenges.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding


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April 13–16  |  2024