Interaction between emotional state and learning underlies mood instability

Abstract

Intuitively, good and bad outcomes affect our emotional state, but whether the emotional state feeds back onto the perception of outcomes remains unknown. Here, we use behaviour and functional neuroimaging of human participants to investigate this bidirectional interaction, by comparing the evaluation of slot machines played before and after an emotion-impacting wheel-of-fortune draw. Results indicate that self-reported mood instability is associated with a positive-feedback effect of emotional state on the perception of outcomes. We then use theoretical simulations to demonstrate that such positive feedback would result in mood destabilization. Taken together, our results suggest that the interaction between emotional state and learning may play a significant role in the emergence of mood instability.

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7149

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Eldar2015InteractionBE, title={Interaction between emotional state and learning underlies mood instability}, author={Eran Eldar and Yael Niv}, booktitle={Nature communications}, year={2015} }