Emotional Dysfunction in Psychopathology and Neuropathology: Neural and Genetic Pathways

Virginia E. Sturm*, Claudia M. Haase, Robert W. Levenson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

22 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we review the current state of knowledge about neural and genetic pathways that influence three emotional processes: (1) emotional reactivity, which is generating emotions in response to challenges, threats, and opportunities; (2) emotional regulation, which is adjusting emotional responses to meet personal, interpersonal, and social goals and standards; and (3) emotional affiliation, which is using emotions to create and maintain social connections. Emotional reactivity, regulation, and affiliation are all critical for daily living and maintaining mental and physical health; each is highly vulnerable to disruption in psychopathology and neuropathology. In the final part of the chapter, we consider ways in which tools and concepts derived from modern affective science can help elucidate the relationships among neural circuits, genes, emotional functioning, and pathology and provide insights about etiology, diagnosis, and treatment that can be useful in clinical contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGenomics, Circuits, and Pathways in Clinical Neuropsychiatry
PublisherElsevier Inc
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780128001059
StatePublished - Jun 21 2016


  • Affiliation
  • Emotion
  • Genetics
  • Neural circuits
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuropathology
  • Psychopathology
  • Reactivity
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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