Regional gray matter density associated with emotional conflict resolution: Evidence from voxel-based morphometry

Z. Deng, D. Wei, S. Xue, X. Du, G. Hitchman, J. Qiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Successful emotion regulation is a fundamental prerequisite for well-being and dysregulation may lead to psychopathology. The ability to inhibit spontaneous emotions while behaving in accordance with desired goals is an important dimension of emotion regulation and can be measured using emotional conflict resolution tasks. Few studies have investigated the gray matter correlates underlying successful emotional conflict resolution at the whole-brain level. We had 190 adults complete an emotional conflict resolution task (face-word task) and examined the brain regions significantly correlated with successful emotional conflict resolution using voxel-based morphometry. We found successful emotional conflict resolution was associated with increased regional gray matter density in widely distributed brain regions. These regions included the dorsal anterior cingulate/dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, ventral medial prefrontal cortex, supplementary motor area, amygdala, ventral striatum, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex, inferior parietal lobule, superior temporal gyrus and fusiform face area. Together, our results indicate that individual differences in emotional conflict resolution ability may be attributed to regional structural differences across widely distributed brain regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-507
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2014


  • Emotion regulation
  • Emotional conflict resolution
  • Gray matter density
  • Individual differences
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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