Emotion theorists have long held that a fundamental characteristic of an emotion is how its constituent processes change and interact over time. Assessing these temporal dynamics of emotion in the brain is critical for understanding the neural representation of emotions as well as advancing theories of emotional processing. We review the neuroimaging research on three temporal dynamic features of emotion: time of onset, duration, and resurgence and show how assessing these temporal dynamics in the brain have led to improved understanding of the structure and function of emotional processes such as revealing which appraisals come first, how emotional processing endures both explicitly and implicitly, and that the resurgence of emotional processing may consist of either single or multiple processes.
Waugh, Christian E., Shing, Elaine Z., and Avery, Brad M. (2015). Temporal Dynamics of Emotional Processing in the Brain. Emotion Review, 7, 323-329.