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Biological Psychology

Laura McGeown, Ron Davis
High global incidence of obesity has led to efforts to identify factors that may contribute to elevated body mass index (BMI). Studies have shown individuals with obesity tend to display an attentional bias (AB) towards food. Left frontal EEG alpha asymmetry (FA) has been associated with motivation to approach rewards and may heighten reactivity to food cues. The current study thus explored whether the association between AB to food and BMI is moderated by FA. EEG was recorded while 93 female participants watched a video confederate incidentally consume potato chips...
June 15, 2018: Biological Psychology
M L Carrito, P Bem-Haja, C F Silva, D I Perrett, I M Santos
Sexual dimorphism has been proposed as one of the facial traits to have evolved through sexual selection and to affect attractiveness perception. Even with numerous studies documenting its effect on attractiveness and mate choice, the neurophysiological correlates of the perception of sexual dimorphism are not yet fully understood. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during visualisation of faces that had been previously transformed in shape to appear more masculine or more feminine...
June 15, 2018: Biological Psychology
Joanna Stasch, Bettina Mohr, Andres H Neuhaus
Recent studies on face processing and its hemispheric lateralization suggest that inconsistencies in earlier findings might be partially explained by sex differences, as findings from event-related potential studies indicated a more asymmetric functioning of the visual cortex during face encoding in men, whereas women seemed to display a more bilateral activation pattern. The aim of this study was to further investigate the role of sex differences in hemispheric specialization during face recognition. Fifty-four healthy participants (27 females and 27 males) engaged in a familiarity decision task in which famous and unfamiliar faces were presented in a lateralized tachistoscopic fashion with unilateral und bilateral presentation modes and measurement of event-related potentials and behavioral responses...
June 13, 2018: Biological Psychology
Maria Ditcheva, Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Anna Batista
Trait loneliness is associated with negative health consequences; understanding involved processes may elucidate its contributory role. Evolutionary and reaffiliative models associate loneliness with negative affect and dysregulated cortisol responding, while the social monitoring system model associates loneliness with heightened salience of social cues. We hypothesized that loneliness would be associated with greater negative affect and cortisol reactivity, comparing a negative-evaluative audience Trier Social Stress Test ("audience condition;" n = 55) versus a no-audience control condition (n = 69) in non-depressed young adults...
June 6, 2018: Biological Psychology
Shichun Ling, Adrian Raine, Yu Gao, Robert Schug
Reduced autonomic activity is a risk factor for psychopathy, but the mechanisms underlying this association are under-researched. We hypothesize that emotional intelligence mediates this relationship. Emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence, scores on the Psychopathy Checklist- Revised (PCL-R), skin conductance, and heart rate were assessed in 156 men from communities in Los Angeles. Emotional intelligence fully mediated the relationship between autonomic functioning and total psychopathy after controlling for cognitive intelligence for both autonomic measures...
June 4, 2018: Biological Psychology
Thomas Kustermann, Brigitte Rockstroh, Gregory A Miller, Tzvetan Popov
Oscillatory brain activity in the theta, alpha, and gamma frequency ranges has been associated with working memory (WM). In addition to alpha and theta activity associated with WM retention, and gamma band activity with item encoding, activity in the alpha band is related to the deployment of attention resources and information. The present study sought to specify distinct roles of neuromagnetic 4-7 Hz theta, 9-13 Hz alpha, and 50-70 Hz gamma power modulation and communication in fronto-parietal networks during cued, hemifield-specific item presentation in a modified Sternberg verbal WM task in 15 student volunteers...
May 28, 2018: Biological Psychology
Brittany C Speed, Brady D Nelson, Amanda R Levinson, Greg Perlman, Daniel N Klein, Roman Kotov, Greg Hajcak
Affective personality traits, such as extraversion and neuroticism, are associated with individual differences in reward system functioning. The reward positivity (ΔRewP) is an event-related potential (ERP) component that indexes sensitivity to reward, and can be elicited by feedback indicating monetary gains relative to losses. In a sample of 508 adolescent girls, the current study examined the relationship between extraversion, neuroticism, and their respective facets and the ΔRewP. Results indicated an Extraversion × Neuroticism interaction, such that greater extraversion was associated with an increased ΔRewP, but only in the context of low neuroticism...
May 25, 2018: Biological Psychology
Jennifer Murphy, Rebecca Brewer, Hannah Hobson, Caroline Catmur, Geoffrey Bird
Interoception, the perception of one's internal state, is commonly quantified using the heartbeat counting task (HCT) - which is thought to be a measure of cardiac interoceptive sensitivity (accuracy). Interoceptive sensitivity has been associated with a number of clinical traits and aspects of higher order cognition, including emotion processing and decision-making. It has been proposed that alexithymia (difficulties identifying and describing one's own emotions) is associated with impaired interoceptive sensitivity, but new research questions this association...
May 24, 2018: Biological Psychology
M A Zinn, M L Zinn, I Valencia, L A Jason, J G Montoya
We investigated central fatigue in 50 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and 50 matched healthy controls (HC). Resting state EEG was collected from 19 scalp locations during a 3 min, eyes-closed condition. Current densities were localized using exact low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA). The Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) and the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) were administered to all participants. Independent t-tests and linear regression analyses were used to evaluate group differences in current densities, followed by statistical non-parametric mapping (SnPM) correction procedures...
May 23, 2018: Biological Psychology
Stéphanie Grot, Marie-Eve Leclerc, David Luck
We designed an fMRI study to pinpoint the neural correlates of active and passive binding in working memory. Participants were instructed to memorize three words and three spatial locations. In the passive binding condition, words and spatial locations were directly presented as bound. Conversely, in the active binding condition, words and spatial locations were presented as separated, and participants were directed to intentionally create associations between them. Our results showed that participants performed better on passive binding relative to active binding...
May 23, 2018: Biological Psychology
Dana van Son, Rik Schalbroeck, Angelos Angelidis, Nic van der Wee, Willem van der Does, Peter Putman
BACKGROUND: Spontaneous EEG theta/beta ratio (TBR) probably marks prefrontal cortical (PFC) executive control, and its regulation of attentional threat-bias. Caffeine at moderate doses may strengthen executive control through increased PFC catecholamine action, dependent on basal PFC function. GOAL: To test if caffeine affects threat-bias, moderated by baseline frontal TBR and trait-anxiety. METHODS: A pictorial emotional Stroop task was used to assess threat-bias in forty female participants in a cross-over, double-blind study after placebo and 200 mg caffeine...
May 21, 2018: Biological Psychology
Anna J Watters, Anthony W F Harris, Leanne M Williams
Facial expressions signaling threat and mood-congruent loss have been used to probe abnormal neural reactivity in major depressive disorder (MDD) and may be implicated in genetic vulnerability to MDD. This study investigated electro-cortical reactivity to facial expressions 101 unaffected, adult first degree relatives of probands with MDD and non-relative controls (n = 101). We investigated event-related potentials (ERPs) to five facial expressions of basic emotion: fear, anger, disgust, sadness and happiness under both subliminal (masked) and conscious (unmasked) presentation conditions, and the source localization of group differences...
May 21, 2018: Biological Psychology
Fenghua Li, Shouhang Yin, Pan Feng, Na Hu, Cody Ding, Antao Chen
Although numerous studies have investigated emotion regulation, the physiological responses and neural substrates of positive emotion regulation remain unclear. To address this question, we explored the effect of reappraisal on subjective experience, zygomatic electromyography (zEMG) response, and blood oxygen level response, using the same materials across three independent experiments. Behaviorally, up-regulating positive emotion increased the valence, arousal, and zEMG response, whereas down-regulating positive emotion decreased the valence, but not arousal or the zEMG response...
May 19, 2018: Biological Psychology
Stephanie L Simon-Dack, Brian Kraus, Zachary Walter, Shelby Smith, Chelsea Cadle
Interhemispheric transfer measured via differences in right- or left-handed motoric responses to lateralized visual stimuli, known as the crossed-uncrossed difference (CUD), is one way of identifying patterns of processing that are vital for understanding the transfer of neural signals. Examination of interhemispheric transfer by means of the CUD is not entirely explained by simple measures of response time. Multiple processes contribute to wide variability observed in CUD reaction times. Prior research has suggested that intra-hemispheric inhibitory processes may be involved in regulation of speed of transfer...
May 18, 2018: Biological Psychology
Erin A Kaufman, Sheila E Crowell, James Coleman, Megan E Puzia, Douglas D Gray, David L Strayer
Suicide, self-injury, and predisposing vulnerabilities aggregate in families. Those at greatest risk often show deficits in two biologically-mediated domains: behavioral control and emotion regulation. This pilot study explored electroencephalographic and cardiovascular indices of self-regulation among typical and suicidal adolescents (n = 30/group) and biological family members (mothers, fathers, and siblings). We measured event-related potentials during a flanker task designed to evoke impulsive responding and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) at rest and during social rejection...
May 18, 2018: Biological Psychology
Silvia Erika Kober, Vanessa Hinterleitner, Günther Bauernfeind, Christa Neuper, Guilherme Wood
We investigated the trainability of the hemodynamic response as assessed with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) during one neurofeedback (NF) session. Forty-eight participants were randomly assigned to four different groups that tried to either increase or decrease oxygenated (oxy-Hb) or deoxygenated hemoglobin (deoxy-Hb) over the inferior frontal gyrus during imagery of swallowing movements. Deoxy-Hb could be successfully up-regulated while oxy-Hb could be successfully down-regulated during NF. Participants were not able to down-regulate deoxy-Hb or to up-regulate oxy-Hb...
May 18, 2018: Biological Psychology
Nathalie klein Selle, Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Merel Kindt, Bruno Verschuere
The Concealed Information Test (CIT) aims to detect concealed knowledge and is known to be sensitive to explicit memory. In two experiments, we examined whether the CIT is also sensitive to implicit memory using skin conductance, respiration and heart rate measures. For each participant, previously studied items were either categorized as explicitly remembered, implicitly remembered or forgotten. The two experiments differed in the strength of memory encoding, the type of implicit memory test, the delay between study and test and the number of critical CIT items...
May 7, 2018: Biological Psychology
E R Palser, A Fotopoulou, E Pellicano, J M Kilner
Anxiety is a major associated feature of autism spectrum disorders. The incidence of anxiety symptoms in this population has been associated with altered interoceptive processing. Here, we investigated whether recent findings of impaired interoceptive accuracy (quantified using heartbeat detection tasks) and exaggerated interoceptive sensibility (subjective sensitivity to internal sensations on self-report questionnaires) in autistic adults, can be extended into a school-age sample of children and adolescents (n = 75)...
May 6, 2018: Biological Psychology
Claudia Menzel, Gyula Kovács, Catarina Amado, Gregor U Hayn-Leichsenring, Christoph Redies
In complex abstract art, image composition (i.e., the artist's deliberate arrangement of pictorial elements) is an important aesthetic feature. We investigated whether the human brain detects image composition in abstract artworks automatically (i.e., independently of the experimental task). To this aim, we studied whether a group of 20 original artworks elicited a visual mismatch negativity when contrasted with a group of 20 images that were composed of the same pictorial elements as the originals, but in shuffled arrangements, which destroy artistic composition...
May 6, 2018: Biological Psychology
Shota Uono, Wataru Sato, Reiko Sawada, Takanori Kochiyama, Toichi Motomi
Eye gaze triggers attentional shifts with and without conscious awareness. It remains unclear whether the spatiotemporal patterns of electric neural activity are the same for conscious and unconscious attentional shifts. Thus, the present study recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) and evaluated the neural activation involved in attentional orienting induced by subliminal and supraliminal gaze cues. Nonpredictive gaze cues were presented in the central field of vision, and participants were asked to detect a subsequent peripheral target...
May 4, 2018: Biological Psychology
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