Neural mechanisms of positive mood induced modulation of reality monitoring

Karuna Subramaniam, Jeevit Gill, Patrick Slattery, Aditi Shastri, Daniel H. Mathalon, Srikantan Nagarajan, Sophia Vinogradov

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15 Scopus citations


This study investigates the neural mechanisms of mood induced modulation of cognition, specifically, on reality monitoring abilities. Reality monitoring is the ability to accurately distinguish the source of self-generated information from externally-presented contextual information. When participants were in a positive mood, compared to a neutral mood, they significantly improved their source memory identification abilities, particularly for self-generated information. However, being in a negative mood had no effect on reality monitoring abilities. Additionally, when participants were in a positive mood state, they showed activation in several regions that predisposed them to perform better at reality monitoring. Specifically, positive mood induced activity within the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) was associated with improvements in subsequent identification of self-generated information, and positive mood induced activation within the striatum (putamen) facilitated better identification of externally-presented information. These findings indicate that regions within mPFC, PCC and striatum are sensitive to positive mood-cognition enhancing effects that enable participants to be better prepared for subsequent reality monitoring decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number581
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberNOV2016
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award grant (National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, NARSAD: 17680) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) K01 grant (KO1MH82818) to KS, and the following NIMH grants to SN and SV (R01DC004855, R01DC010145, R21NS076171, R01MH068725 and R01DC013979). We thank Zarinah Agnew and Naomi Kort for their assistance and input on this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Subramaniam, Gill, Slattery, Shastri, Mathalon, Nagarajan and Vinogradov.


  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Positive mood induction
  • Reality monitoring
  • Source memory
  • fMRI


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