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Biological Psychology

Kevin Mandrick, Vsevolod Peysakhovich, Florence Rémy, Evelyne Lepron, Mickaël Causse
In our anxiogenic and stressful world, the maintenance of an optimal cognitive performance is a constant challenge. It is particularly true in complex working environments (e.g. flight deck, air traffic control tower), where individuals have sometimes to cope with a high mental workload and stressful situations. Several models (i.e. processing efficiency theory, cognitive-energetical framework) have attempted to provide a conceptual basis on how human performance is modulated by high workload and stress/anxiety...
October 7, 2016: Biological Psychology
Stefano Bembich, Cristina Vecchiet, Gabriele Cont, Cristina Sustersic, Francesca Valencak, Sergio Demarini
Decreased maternal empathic abilities toward infants have been reported with postpartum depression (PPD). The aims of this study were: (1) To identify mothers' cortical regions activated by the observation of their own newborn's pain; (2) To study the relation between such cortical activation and PPD symptoms. By optical topography, a functional neuroimaging system, we assessed mothers' cortical activation when watching their own newborns during a heel-prick. PPD symptoms and newborn's pain expression were also assessed...
October 5, 2016: Biological Psychology
Tomomi Fujimura, Kazuo Okanoya
This study investigated how trustworthiness modulates facial reactions to emotional faces, specifically emotional mimicry. In order to manipulate the trustworthiness of others, we used the trust game. The participants (N=37) perceived the partners as trustworthy or untrustworthy based on whether the partners tended to behave fairly or unfairly in the game with a within-subjects design. Facial electromyograms were measured while viewing the emotional faces displayed by the partners. The results demonstrated that the zygomaticus major activity in response to happy faces was greater for the trustworthy partners than for the untrustworthy partners...
October 1, 2016: Biological Psychology
J Perrier, S Jongen, E Vuurman, M L Bocca, J G Ramaekers, A Vermeeren
The present study mainly aimed to assess whether and how sleepiness due to sleep deprivation interacts with Time on Task (ToT) effects both on electroencephalography (EEG) measures and driving performance in real driving conditions. Healthy participants performed a one hour on-the-road monotonous highway driving task while EEG was recorded continuously after one night of normal sleep and after one night of total sleep deprivation. The main outcome parameter in the highway driving test was the Standard Deviation of Lateral Position (SDLP)...
September 30, 2016: Biological Psychology
Angelos Angelidis, Willem van der Does, Lemmy Schakel, Peter Putman
A robust finding is that resting-state frontal theta/beta ratio (TBR), a spontaneous electroencephalographic (EEG) frequency band parameter, is increased in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Accumulating evidence suggests that TBR might also provide an objective marker of executive cognitive control (and more specifically attentional control; AC) in healthy adults. The present study aimed to further investigate this conception by assessing EEG frequency band power and AC twice (with a one-week interval) in 41 young female adults...
September 30, 2016: Biological Psychology
Ana María González-Roldán, Isabelle C Bomba, Eugen Diesch, Pedro Montoya, Herta Flor, Sandra Kamping
To examine the role of perceived control in pain perception, fibromyalgia patients and healthy controls participated in a reaction time experiment under different conditions of pain controllability. No significant differences between groups were found in pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings. However, during the expectation of uncontrollable pain, patients compared to controls showed higher hippocampal activation. In addition, hippocampal activity during the pain expectation period predicted activation of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus and hippocampus during pain stimulation in fibromyalgia patients...
September 24, 2016: Biological Psychology
Julia Reichenberger, Peter Kuppens, Michael Liedlgruber, Frank H Wilhelm, Martin Tiefengrabner, Simon Ginzinger, Jens Blechert
OBJECTIVES: Stress and emotions alter eating behavior in several ways: While experiencing negative or positive emotions typically leads to increased food intake, stress may result in either over- or undereating. Several participant characteristics, like gender, BMI and restrained, emotional, or external eating styles seem to influence these relationships. Thus far, most research relied on experimental laboratory studies, thereby reducing the complexity of real-life eating episodes. The aim of the present study was to delineate the effects of stress, negative and positive emotions on two key facets of eating behavior, namely taste- and hunger-based eating, in daily life using ecological momentary assessment (EMA)...
September 18, 2016: Biological Psychology
Tamara J Sussman, Jingwen Jin, Aprajita Mohanty
Anxiety is characterized by the anticipation of aversive future events. The importance of prestimulus anticipatory factors, such as goals and expectations, is well-established in both visual perception and attention. Nevertheless, the prioritized perception of threatening stimuli in anxiety has been attributed to the automatic processing of these stimuli and the role of prestimulus factors has been neglected. The present review will focus on the role of top-down processes that occur before stimulus onset in the perceptual and attentional prioritization of threatening stimuli in anxiety...
August 18, 2016: Biological Psychology
Jessica Franzen, Kerstin Brinkmann
Theories and research on depression point to reduced responsiveness during reward anticipation and in part also during punishment anticipation. They also suggest weaker affective responses to reward consumption and unchanged affective responses to punishment consumption. However, studies investigating incentive anticipation using effort mobilization and incentive consumption using facial expressions are scarce. The present studies tested reward and punishment responsiveness in a subclinically depressed sample, manipulating a monetary reward (Study 1) and a monetary punishment (Study 2)...
August 12, 2016: Biological Psychology
Hannah M Muench, Stefan Westermann, Diego A Pizzagalli, Stefan G Hofmann, Erik M Mueller
Anxiety states are characterized by attentional biases to threat and may show increased early brain responses to potentially threatening stimuli. How threatening stimuli are processed further depends on prior learning experiences (e.g. conditioning and extinction) and the context in which a stimulus appears. Whether context information and prior learning experiences interact with early threat processing in humans is unknown. Here, EEG was recorded while healthy participants (N=20) viewed faces that were fear-conditioned and/or extinguished 24h before...
July 27, 2016: Biological Psychology
Margaret Schneider, Larissa Chau, Maliheh Mohamadpour, Nakita Stephens, Kapil Arya, Arthur Grant
Asymmetry in frontal alpha activation (FAA) has been associated with specific behavior patterns. Greater activation in the left frontal cortex is related to "approach" motivation, while greater activation in the right cortex is associated with "withdrawal" motivation. Moreover, resting FAA is stable over time among adults. This stability has not been demonstrated among adolescents, and the correspondence between resting FAA and personality has been inconsistently observed. The present study examined stability of FAA and the association between resting FAA and behavioral activation among adolescents...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Drew M Morris, June J Pilcher
Cool vehicle cabin temperatures can induce short-term non-hypothermic cold stress. The current study created a cold condition to examine the impact of cold stress on driving behavior. Forty-four participants drove a high-fidelity driving simulator during a thermal neutral or local torso cooled condition. Participants performed additional tasks to assess attention, psychomotor vigilance, and manual dexterity. Skin temperature was significantly lower in the cold condition while internal temperature was unaffected...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Yuji Takeda, Kazuya Inoue, Motohiro Kimura, Toshihisa Sato, Chikara Nagai
The amplitude of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by task-irrelevant auditory probes decreases when more attentional resources are allocated to a visual task. This task-irrelevant probe technique is considered to be useful in assessing the degree of interest in a visual task, as well as task difficulty. The present study examined the amplitude of the N1 and P2 components elicited by task-irrelevant auditory probes during a driving task in a simulated environment. The analysis of ERPs showed that the N1 amplitude decreased when participants drove on the road course that had more frequent and sharper curves, whereas the P2 amplitude decreased when the road contained sharper curves, irrespective of curve frequency...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Huiyan Lin, Claudia Schulz, Thomas Straube
Previous studies have shown that event-related potentials (ERPs) to facial expressions are modulated by expectation (congruency) and that the ERP effects of expectation congruency are altered by cognitive tasks during the expectation phase. However, it is as yet unknown whether the congruency ERP effects can be modulated by the amount of cognitive load during the expectation phase. To address this question, electroencephalogram (EEG) was acquired when participants viewed fearful and neutral facial expressions...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Lydia Romund, Diana Raufelder, Eva Flemming, Robert C Lorenz, Patricia Pelz, Tobias Gleich, Andreas Heinz, Anne Beck
Parenting is an essential factor within a child's development, yet the impact of normative variations of parenting on neural emotion processing has not been studied to date. The present study investigated 83 healthy adolescents using functional magnetic resonance imaging and an emotional face-matching paradigm. The faces paradigm elicited an increased amygdala response towards negative facial expressions (fearful and angry each compared to neutral faces) and a significant activation of fusiform gyrus to all emotions separately (fearful, happy, angry faces) compared to neutral faces...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Ruth B Elijah, Mike E Le Pelley, Thomas J Whitford
The perceptual system makes a specific prediction regarding the timing of impending, self-initiated sensations to facilitate the attenuation of these sensations. The current study used electroencephalography to investigate whether temporal expectations can be modified with training. Participants underwent a button-press-for-tone task and evoked responses to the tones were measured. Fifty participants were randomly assigned to receive repeated exposure (training) to either immediate tones, or tones delayed by 100ms...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Nathan G Mifsud, Tom Beesley, Tamara L Watson, Thomas J Whitford
Reduction of auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) to self-initiated sounds has been considered evidence for a predictive model in which copies of motor commands suppress sensory representations of incoming stimuli. However, in studies which involve arbitrary auditory stimuli evoked by sensory-unspecific motor actions, learned associations may underlie ERP differences. Here, in a new paradigm, eye motor output generated auditory sensory input, a naïve action-sensation contingency. We measured the electroencephalogram (EEG) of 40 participants exposed to pure tones, which they produced with either a button-press or volitional saccade...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Sandra Paul, Tanja Endrass, Norbert Kathmann, Daniela Simon
Emotional processing is influenced by top-down processes such as reappraisal of emotion-inducing events. Besides one's own stimulus appraisal, information from the social environment can be used to modify the stimulus' meaning. This study investigated whether perspective taking changes participants' brain potentials to unpleasant pictures. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured while twenty-nine participants evaluated arousal of neutral or negative pictures. Subsequently, they received bogus feedback about another person's picture evaluation...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Nicolas Burra, Caroline Barras, Sélim Yahia Coll, Dirk Kerzel
Attention is believed to be biased toward threatening objects or faces. Therefore, we tested whether angry face stimuli would capture attention even when they are irrelevant to the task. Observers searched for a neutral face with a tilted nose. On some trials, the target was shown together with an irrelevant angry or happy face and we measured the N2pc (an electrophysiological marker of attentional selectivity) to the distractor expression. We found that angry distractors triggered an N2pc, whereas happy distractors did not...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
Charlotte Heleniak, Katie A McLaughlin, Johan Ormel, Harriette Riese
Alterations in physiological reactivity to stress are argued to be central mechanisms linking adverse childhood environmental experiences to internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Childhood trauma exposure may influence physiological reactivity to stress in distinct ways from other forms of childhood adversity. This study applied a novel theoretical model to investigate the impact of childhood trauma on cardiovascular stress reactivity - the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat. This model suggests that inefficient cardiovascular responses to stress - a threat as opposed to challenge profile - are characterized by blunted cardiac output (CO) reactivity and increased vascular resistance...
October 2016: Biological Psychology
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