Kevin Ochsner, Ph.D.

Research Interests

One line of research uses fMRI to ask what mechanisms underlie our ability to change the way we feel by changing the way we think about the meaning of our experiences. In multiple studies we have found that this ability, known as reappraisal, depends upon interactions between prefrontal control systems that implement reappraisal stratgies and emotional appraisal systems, such as the amygdala, that generate affective responses. Current work examines the specific nature of these interactions as we think about emotional events in different ways.

A second line of research uses fMRI to examine the mechanisms we use to understand either our own or other people's emotions, attributes, and intentions. We have recently found that these two abilities depend upon both common and distinct processes used to analyze the meaning of first-person experience and third person observations.

Selected Publications