Don't look back in anger: Neural correlates of reappraisal, analytical rumination, and angry rumination during recall of an anger-inducing autobiographical memory
Despite the enormous costs associated with unrestrained anger, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying anger regulation. Behavioral evidence supports the effectiveness of reappraisal in reducing anger, and demonstrates that rumination typically maintains or augments anger. To further understand the effects of different anger regulation strategies, during functional magnetic resonance imaging 21 healthy male and female undergraduates recalled an anger-inducing autobiographical memory. They then engaged in three counterbalanced anger regulation strategies: reappraisal, analytical rumination, and angry rumination. Reappraisal produced the least self-reported anger followed by analytical rumination and angry rumination. Rumination was associated with increased functional connectivity of the inferior frontal gyrus with the amygdala and thalamus. Understanding how neural regions interact during anger regulation has important implications for reducing anger and violence.