Functional magnetic resonance imaging activation in response to prompts of romantically disillusioning events

Sylvia Niehuis, Alan Reifman, Kareem Al-Khalil, Cary R. Oldham, Dan Fang, Michael O'Boyle, Tyler H. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

To differentiate romantic disillusionment from similar constructs of dissatisfaction and regret, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data obtained when romantically involved individuals (N = 39) were reminded of relationship events representing these emotions were analyzed. Whole-brain activations suggested disillusionment-linked processes not observed for dissatisfaction or regret. Compared to dissatisfying events, disillusioning ones showed greater activity in regions pertaining to evaluation, reflection, and reconciling conflicting information (e.g., anterior cingulate cortex). No regions showed significantly more activation for dissatisfying than disillusioning events. Compared to regret-inducing events, disillusioning events showed greater activation in areas thought pertinent to detail processing and decision making (occipital fusiform and lingual gyrus). Regret-inducing events activated regions suggesting the planning and thoughts of how one could have acted differently (e.g., prefrontal cortex).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-231
Number of pages23
JournalPersonal Relationships
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • disillusionment
  • dissatisfaction
  • fMRI
  • regret
  • romantic relationships

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