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Poster A45

Functional Connectivity Patterns Reveal A Role for Interoceptive Processing in the Representation of Emotion Concepts

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Alexandra E. Kelly1 (, Evangelia G. Chrysikou1; 1Drexel University

Conceptual knowledge about emotions is inherently associated with sensation, particularly interoceptive signals regarding physiological states (e.g. high heart rate, accelerated breathing). It is unknown whether and to what extent individual differences in the ability to sense and interpret these interoceptive signals affect the long-term representations of emotion concepts. To test whether participant-specific semantic memory structure for emotion concepts is mediated by interoceptive sensibility, we administered an established version of a semantic relatedness judgment task using novel stimuli (i.e., emotion concepts) and constructed semantic networks based on the participant-specific relatedness judgment ratings. These semantic networks were statistically tested for differences based on participants’ interoceptive sensibility as assessed by a self-report scale. We also obtained functional magnetic resonance imaging data as participants performed the relatedness judgments, allowing us to assess how patterns of functional connectivity may mediate differences in the emotion-specific semantic network structure. In line with increasing evidence for a constructionist approach to emotion, our results provide tentative evidence that emotion concepts exhibit some modality-specificity in their grounding, as participants draw on the same neural resources used to process interoceptive signals to access and evaluate generalized knowledge about emotions.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions


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April 13–16  |  2024