†These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Giovanna Zamboni
Distraction and reinterpretation have been recognized as two different tactics of emotion regulation. As a tactic of attention deployment, distraction involves shifting attention to neutral information or performing a secondary task to distract attention from emotion stimuli of the primary task. Reinterpretation, a representative tactic of cognitive change, was defined as changing the meaning of a situation to enhance or reduce its emotional impact. Thus, there are significant differences between the two processes. We wondered if the neural mechanisms underlying distraction and reinterpretation are different. Even though their neural correlates have been widely studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), few studies were conducted to compare the two tactics directly. Here we conducted an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses to investigate the common or different neural bases of distraction and reinterpretation. Moreover, we also used the meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) to identify the emotion regulation network of distraction and reinterpretation. Overall, we found that the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was consistently activated during distraction and reinterpretation, whereas the left amygdala and inferior frontal gyrus/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) were specifically activated during reinterpretation alone. The results indicate that the neural basis of distraction and reinterpretation are similar but not identical. The MACM results showed that distraction and reinterpretation share a common emotion regulation network, including the bilateral DLPFC, the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex, the inferior parietal lobule, the insula, the left (pre) supplementary motor area, the left middle temporal gyrus, and the right superior temporal gyrus. However, that network may subserve different functions when adopting various emotion regulation strategies. In addition, we suggest that the emotion regulation network of the left VLPFC may be a specific regulatory network for reinterpretation.