Negative odour generated a negative emotional state, which was alleviated by music training, though, no corresponding change was observed in the brain.
Emotion regulation is critical for mental health and well-being. In fact, previous research has linked poor emotion regulation to a variety of mental diseases, such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and complicated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The ability of human is to successfully regulate their emotions has a direct impact on the degree of happiness. Such ability has a noticeable impact on human daily social interactions and influences decision-making processes. This control has traditionally been viewed as the product of bottom-up or top-down brain activation mechanisms, reflecting primarily cortical-subcortical interactions from a neurocognitive perspective. Both convey important information about our internal and/or external environments, and both result in a specific affective state and behavioural responses. Newer perspectives, on the other hand, perceive regulation as a more sophisticated multi-level interaction process.
Destructive emotions can be implicitly structured by optimistic stimuli in everyday life without requiring conscious cognitive effort; nevertheless, the implications of such implicit regulation on mood and related neuro-mechanisms have received little attention in the research. Improving implicit emotional regulation, on the other hand, may lessen psychological burden and hence be therapeutically relevant for treating mental diseases characterised by high affective symptomatology.
In fact, multimodal incoming stimuli, which can be contradicting in character, frequently generate and update its affective state. Each individual generally faced with challenges in controlling and integrating affective experiences in such situations, which we previously referred to as a condition of ‘affective rivalry.'
Researchers created a simple experiment in which they combined negative olfaction which elicits a negative mood with positive music to produce four different stimulus combinations. They then enlisted the help of 31 healthy people to take part in the study.
Musical training improves implicit regulating systems in the face of affective rivalry. Our findings provide a starting point for future clinical studies on implicit emotion regulation.