Perception and experience of positive, pleasurable, or joyful affective states is dysfunctional in many mental disorders. Considering these transdiagnostic reports, the thorough exploration of physiological and neural correlates of positive affective states in healthy women and men is essential to further understand their contribution to mental health and well-being. Our symposium brings together scientists from four international research institutions (Aarhus, Leipzig, Tübingen, Zürich) to present their research on different aspects of positive affective states and to increase the awareness for these states.

In more detail, the symposium discusses insights into sexual functioning in association with the CAG-repeat polymorphism, testosterone, and well-being in men’s health (Andreas Walther) as well as the neural correlates of reward processing and their potential modulation by selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors (escitalopram) in women and men (Carolin Lewis). It further outlines the empathy-related concept of kama muta and the physiological correlates of heartwarming feelings and being moved in women and men (Janis Zickfeld). Finally, the effects of positive self-instruction and self-praise on the neural, physiological, and subjective reactions to social evaluation in women will be characterized (Lydia Kogler).

Together, the symposium highlights the relevance of positive, pleasurable, and joyful affective states for mental health and well-being and depicts possible pharmacological and cognitive interventions to modulate their perception. The invited experts will discuss subjective, hormonal, physiological, and neural correlates of positive affective states and potential clinical implications to improve well-being.

Zeitfenster der Veranstaltung (1)

Hormones and emotions

Chair(s): Lydia Kogler (Tübingen), Bernadette von Dawans (Trier)

Presenter(s): Andreas Walther (Zürich, Switzerland), Carolin Lewis (Leipzig), Janis Zickfeld (Aarhus, Denmark), Lydia Kogler (Tübingen)