A model of neurovisceral integration in emotion regulation and dysregulation

Julian F. Thayer, Richard D. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1895 Scopus citations


In the present paper we present the outlines of a model that integrates autonomic, attentional, and affective systems into a functional and structural network that may help to guide us in our understanding of emotion regulation and dysregulation. We will emphasize the relationship between attentional regulation and affective processes and propose a group of underlying physiological systems that serve to integrate these functions in the service of self-regulation and adaptability of the organism. We will attempt to place this network in the context of dynamical systems models which involve feedback and feedforward circuits with special attention to negative feedback mechanisms, inhibitory processes, and their role in response selection. From a systems perspective, inhibitory processes can be viewed as negative feedback circuits that allow for the interruption of ongoing behavior and the re-deployment of resources to other tasks. When these negative feedback mechanisms are compromised, positive feedback loops may develop as a result (of dis-inhibition). From this perspective, the relative sympathetic activation seen in anxiety disorders may represent dis-inhibition due to faulty inhibitory mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2 2000


  • Emotion regulation and dysregulation
  • Neurovisceral integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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