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Yoann Stussi, Sylvain Delplanque, Seline Coraj, Gilles Pourtois, David Sander
Despite its evolutionary and clinical significance, appetitive conditioning has been rarely investigated in humans. It has been proposed that this discrepancy might stem from the difficulty in finding suitable appetitive stimuli that elicit strong physiological responses. However, this might also be due to a possible lack of sensitivity of the psychophysiological measures commonly used to index human appetitive conditioning. Here, we investigated whether the postauricular reflex-a vestigial muscle microreflex that is potentiated by pleasant stimuli relative to neutral and unpleasant stimuli-may provide a valid psychophysiological indicator of appetitive conditioning in humans...
March 9, 2018: Psychophysiology
Mohamad Forouzanfar, Fiona C Baker, Massimiliano de Zambotti, Corey McCall, Laurent Giovangrandi, Gregory T A Kovacs
Impedance cardiography is the most common clinically validated, noninvasive method for determining the timing of the opening of the aortic valve, an important event used for measuring preejection period, which reflects sympathetic beta-adrenergic influences on the heart. Automatic detection of the exact time of the opening of the aortic valve (B point on the impedance cardiogram) has proven to be challenging as its appearance varies between and within individuals and may manifest as a reversal, inflection, or rapid slope change of the thoracic impedance derivative's (dZ/dt) rapid rise...
March 7, 2018: Psychophysiology
Satu Pakarinen, Jussi Korpela, Jari Torniainen, Jari Laarni, Hannu Karvonen
Maintaining optimal performance in demanding situations is challenged by stress-induced alterations in performance. Here, we quantified the stress of nuclear power plant (NPP) operators (N = 20) during a full-scale simulator training for incident and accident scenarios. We compared the ambulatory electrocardiography measurements of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV), and self-reported stress during baselines and simulated scenarios. Perceived (scale 0-10) and physiologically measured stress were low during baseline after the scenarios and normal NPP operation (means 1...
March 1, 2018: Psychophysiology
Janine Wirkner, Carlos Ventura-Bort, Paul Schulz, Alfons O Hamm, Mathias Weymar
Previous research found that memory is not only better for emotional information but also for neutral information that has been encoded in the context of an emotional event. In the present ERP study, we investigated two factors that may influence memory for neutral and emotional items: temporal proximity between emotional and neutral items during encoding, and retention interval (immediate vs. delayed). Forty-nine female participants incidentally encoded 36 unpleasant and 108 neutral pictures (36 neutral pictures preceded an unpleasant picture, 36 followed an unpleasant picture, and 36 neutral pictures were preceded and followed by neutral pictures) and participated in a recognition memory task either immediately (N = 24) or 1 week (N = 25) after encoding...
February 19, 2018: Psychophysiology
Lana Rohr, Rasha Abdel Rahman
Humans have a unique capacity to induce intense emotional states in others by simple acts of verbal communication, and simple messages such as bad can elicit strong emotions in the addressee. However, up to now, research has mainly focused on general emotional meaning aspects and paradigms of low personal relevance (e.g., word reading), thereby possibly underestimating the impact of verbal emotion. In the present study, we recorded ERPs while presenting emotional words differing in word-inherent person descriptiveness (in that they may or may not refer to or describe a person; e...
February 16, 2018: Psychophysiology
Germano Gallicchio, Andrew Cooke, Christopher Ring
Eye-tracking research has revealed that, compared to novices, experts make longer ocular fixations on the target of an action when performing motor skills; that is, they have a longer quiet eye. Remarkably, the reason why a longer quiet eye aids movement has yet to be established. There is a need for interdisciplinary research and new measures to accelerate progress on the mechanistic understanding of the phenomenon. With the aim to provide researchers with new tools, we assessed the utility of electrooculography (EOG) to examine ocular activity while 10 experts and 10 novices putted golf balls...
February 9, 2018: Psychophysiology
Rodolphe J Gentili, Kyle J Jaquess, Isabelle M Shuggi, Emma P Shaw, Hyuk Oh, Li-Chuan Lo, Ying Ying Tan, Clayton A Domingues, Justin A Blanco, Jeremy C Rietschel, Matthew W Miller, Bradley D Hatfield
A novel ERP approach was proposed to index variations in mental workload, particularly in attentional reserve, which is complementary to EEG spectral content thought to reflect mental effort. To our knowledge, no study has assessed mental effort and attentional reserve simultaneously in EEG gel-based and, importantly, dry systems, which are particularly well suited for real-world settings. Therefore, by systematically considering ERP, EEG spectral, and importantly the combination of both, this study examined if a small set of dry EEG electrodes could detect changes in both spectral and ERP metrics to assess the mental workload under various challenges with a similar fidelity to their gel-based counterparts in a laboratory setting...
February 9, 2018: Psychophysiology
Ulysse Fortier-Gauthier, Pierre Jolicœur
Visual search displays often include distractors of lesser salience in addition to a target and one or more salient distractors. We investigated low salience distractor effects on the N2pc, an ERP component indexing the deployment of attention, and the Ptc, a component purported to reflect attentional disengagement. We hypothesized that salient distractors pull the attentional focus away from the target, which could lead to increased attentional processing of low salience distractors close to the target and salient distractor...
February 9, 2018: Psychophysiology
Ken P Bennett, Jacqueline S Dickmann, Christine L Larson
Uncertainty is often associated with subjective distress and a potentiated anxiety response. Occurrence uncertainty, or the inability to predict if a threat will occur, has rarely been compared experimentally with temporal uncertainty, or the inability to predict when a threat will occur. The current study aimed to (a) directly compare the anxiogenic effects of anticipating these two types of uncertain threat, as indexed by the eyeblink startle response, and (b) assess the relationship between startle response to occurrence and temporal uncertainty and individual differences in self-reported intolerance of uncertainty and anxiety...
January 31, 2018: Psychophysiology
Jack S Fogarty, Robert J Barry, Frances M De Blasio, Genevieve Z Steiner
Previous research suggests that young adults do not need active and effortful inhibition to successfully complete the auditory equiprobable go/no-go task, a view that was incorporated into Barry and De Blasio's sequential processing schema for this task. However, recent evidence in children suggests that view could be incorrect. The present research aims to clarify the functionality of the N2 and P3 subcomponents within the proposed schema, assessing the role of inhibition in this task. To optimize the quantification of the N2 and P3 subcomponents, separate temporal PCAs were applied to the go/no-go ERP data from 40 young adults...
January 31, 2018: Psychophysiology
Annekathrin Weise, Erich Schröger, János Horváth
The auditory system features various types of dedicated change detectors enabling the rapid parsing of auditory stimulation into distinct events. The activity of such detectors is reflected by the N1 ERP. Interestingly, certain acoustic transitions show an asymmetric N1 elicitation pattern: whereas first-order transitions (e.g., a change from a segment of constant frequency to a frequency glide [c-to-g change]) elicit N1, higher-order transitions (e.g., glide-to-constant [g-to-c] changes) do not. Consensus attributes this asymmetry to the absence of any available sensory mechanism that is able to rapidly detect higher-order changes...
January 30, 2018: Psychophysiology
Andrew W Corcoran, Phillip M Alday, Matthias Schlesewsky, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky
Individual alpha frequency (IAF) is a promising electrophysiological marker of interindividual differences in cognitive function. IAF has been linked with trait-like differences in information processing and general intelligence, and provides an empirical basis for the definition of individualized frequency bands. Despite its widespread application, however, there is little consensus on the optimal method for estimating IAF, and many common approaches are prone to bias and inconsistency. Here, we describe an automated strategy for deriving two of the most prevalent IAF estimators in the literature: peak alpha frequency (PAF) and center of gravity (CoG)...
January 21, 2018: Psychophysiology
Maura Ruggiero, Caroline Catmur
Since their discovery in the monkey and human brain, mirror neurons have been claimed to play a key role in understanding others' intentions. For example, "action-constrained" mirror neurons in inferior parietal lobule fire when the monkey observes a grasping movement that is followed by an eating action, but not when it is followed by a placing action. It is claimed these responses enable the monkey to predict the intentions of the actor. These findings have been replicated in human observers by recording electromyography responses of the mouth-opening mylohyoid muscle during action observation...
January 18, 2018: Psychophysiology
Martin F Wittkamp, Katja Bertsch, Claus Vögele, André Schulz
Interoceptive accuracy (IAc), that is, the ability to accurately perceive one's own bodily signals, is widely assumed to be a trait, although experimental manipulations such as stress may affect IAc. We used structural equation modeling to estimate the reliability of IAc, and the proportions of individual differences in IAc, explained by a trait and occasion-specific effects of situation and person-situation interactions. We assessed IAc in 59 healthy participants (40 women, MAge  = 23.4 years) on three consecutive measurement occasions, approximately 1 week apart, in a rest and poststress condition, using a heartbeat counting and a heartbeat discrimination task...
January 16, 2018: Psychophysiology
Lisa Weller, Katharina A Schwarz, Wilfried Kunde, Roland Pfister
We often ask other people to carry out actions for us in order to reach our goals. However, these commanded actions may sometimes go awry, and goal attainment is hindered by errors of the following person. Here, we investigated how the commanding person processes these errors of their follower. Because such errors indicate that the original goal of the command is not met, error processing for these actions should be enhanced compared to passively observing another person's actions. Participants thus either commanded another agent to perform one of four key press responses or they passively observed the agent responding...
January 8, 2018: Psychophysiology
Anna Barth, Daniel Schneider
Visual working memory representations can be shielded from interference by selective attentional focusing using retroactive cues (retro-cues). However, it is not clear how many representations can be effectively cued and which neural mechanisms provide the protection from distractors. To address these questions, we manipulated the number of attended items by means of a retro-cue (one, two, or three items) and presented a distractor display during the retention of information in working memory. Analyses of the raw error and a mixture model revealed that a general performance benefit was only present when one item was retro-cued...
January 8, 2018: Psychophysiology
Siwei Liu, Kathleen M Gates, Alysia Y Blandon
Despite recent research indicating that interpersonal linkage in physiology is a common phenomenon during social interactions, and the well-established role of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in socially facilitative physiological regulation, little research has directly examined interpersonal influences in RSA, perhaps due to methodological challenges in analyzing multivariate RSA data. In this article, we aim to bridge this methodological gap by introducing a new method for quantifying interpersonal RSA influences...
January 8, 2018: Psychophysiology
Mio Kamei, Yasunori Kotani, Haruo Sakuma
In humans, the expectation process in decision making has not been as thoroughly investigated as the evaluation process. The present study focused on the interaction between probabilistic saliency and motivational saliency during expectation and evaluation periods using stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) and reward positivity (RewP). Twenty healthy participants performed a modified monetary-incentive delay task under reward-approach and punishment-avoidance conditions. Each condition was characterized by the likely outcome (reward only, punishment only) to manipulate motivational saliency...
January 8, 2018: Psychophysiology
Nina N Thigpen, L Forest Gruss, Steven Garcia, David R Herring, Andreas Keil
The dot-probe task is considered a gold standard for assessing the intrinsic attentive selection of one of two lateralized visual cues, measured by the response time to a subsequent, lateralized response probe. However, this task has recently been associated with poor reliability and conflicting results. To resolve these discrepancies, we tested the underlying assumption of the dot-probe task-that fast probe responses index heightened cue selection-using an electrophysiological measure of selective attention...
January 3, 2018: Psychophysiology
Eduardo Miranda Dantas, Andrew Haddon Kemp, Rodrigo Varejão Andreão, Valdo José Dias da Silva, André Russowsky Brunoni, Rosangela Akemi Hoshi, Isabela Martins Bensenor, Paulo Andrade Lotufo, Antonio Luiz Pinho Ribeiro, José Geraldo Mill
Heart rate variability (HRV) is a psychophysiological phenomenon with broad implications, providing an accessible index of vagal function, underpinning psychological constructs, including the capacity for social engagement and emotion regulation, and may predict future morbidity and mortality. However, the lack of reference values for short-term HRV indices for participants of both sexes across the age spectrum is a limiting factor. This was the objective of the present study. Resting electrocardiographic records were obtained from 13,214 participants (both sexes, 35-74 years), and HRV indices in time and frequency domains (mean ± SD) were determined from 5-min records...
January 2, 2018: Psychophysiology
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