Emotion, stress and affective regulation

Emotions enable us to respond appropriately to a situation and learn from previous experiences. They enable us to experience joy and engage in social interaction. Emotions can also take control over our lives and unsuccessful regulation of affect may lead to the development of debilitating mental disorders. Based on genetic risk factors, individual differences in susceptibility to stressful events make some individuals more resilient than others.

A key question is to understand how variation in emotion regulation develops, and how sets of genes, through epigenetic factors and transcription, interplay with the environment, and thereby influences various aspects of emotion, stress and affective regulation and mental illness and wellbeing.

Interdisciplinary studies can investigate emotions at the molecular and cellular level in animal models, at the genetic level in large human cohorts, at the neural systems level in animals and humans, and at the interpersonal level.