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Biological Psychology

Jacobien M van Peer, Dorien Enter, Henk van Steenbergen, Philip Spinhoven, Karin Roelofs
Testosterone plays an important role in social threat processing. Recent evidence suggests that testosterone administration has socially anxiolytic effects, but it remains unknown whether this involves early vigilance or later, more sustained, processing-stages. We investigated the acute effects of testosterone administration on social threat processing in 19 female patients with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and 19 healthy controls. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during an emotional Stroop task with subliminally presented faces...
August 12, 2017: Biological Psychology
Alex Desatnik, Tarik Bel-Bahar, Tobias Nolte, Michael Crowley, Peter Fonagy, Pasco Fearon
AIMS: The use of emotion regulation strategies can reduce the intensity of negative emotional experiences. Event related potentials (ERPs), specifically the late positive potential (LPP), are known to be sensitive to this modulation in adults. This is the first study to explore the neural correlates of expressive suppression in adolescents. We sought to replicate previous findings from emotion regulation studies with adult populations, show that the LPP can be modulated by expressive suppression in healthy adolescents, and examine the influence of age on LPP changes...
August 10, 2017: Biological Psychology
Helena J V Rutherford, Xiaoyue M Guo, Kelsey M Graber, Nathan J Hayes, Kevin A Pelphrey, Linda C Mayes
Event-related potentials (ERPs) have been widely employed to identify different stages of face processing, with recent research probing the neural dynamics of adult's processing of infant faces. Infant faces represent a salient category of visual stimuli, especially in parents, likely prioritized for processing through activity of the oxytocinergic system. Here we employed a randomized, double-blind, and within-subject crossover study of 24 non-parent women to examine the impact of intranasal oxytocin administration, relative to placebo, on processing infant and adult faces...
August 8, 2017: Biological Psychology
Chin-An Wang, Gunnar Blohm, Jeff Huang, Susan E Boehnke, Douglas P Munoz
Signals from different sensory modalities are integrated in the brain to optimize behavior. Although multisensory integration has been demonstrated in saccadic eye movements, its influence on other orienting responses, including pupil size and microsaccades, is still poorly understood. We examined human gaze orienting responses following presentation of visual, auditory, or combined audiovisual stimuli. Transient pupil dilation and microsaccade inhibition were evoked shortly after the appearance of a salient stimulus...
August 5, 2017: Biological Psychology
Belinda J Liddell, Kim L Felmingham, Pritha Das, Thomas J Whitford, Gin S Malhi, Eva Battaglini, Richard A Bryant
Cultures differ substantially in representations of the self. Whereas individualistic cultural groups emphasize an independent self, reflected in processing biases towards centralized salient objects, collectivistic cultures are oriented towards an interdependent self, attending to contextual associations between visual cues. It is unknown how these perceptual biases may affect brain activity in response to negative social cues. Moreover, while some studies have shown that individual differences in self-construal moderate cultural group comparisons, few have examined self-construal differences separate to culture...
August 3, 2017: Biological Psychology
Nathalie Klein Selle, Bruno Verschuere, Merel Kindt, Ewout Meijer, Tal Nahari, Gershon Ben-Shakhar
The Concealed Information Test (CIT) aims to detect the presence of crime-related information in memory. In two experiments, we examined the influence of stimulus emotionality on the outcomes of the CIT. In experiment 1, each participant was tested immediately or after one week, on a series of neutral and either negative arousing or negative non-arousing pictures. CIT detection efficiency was unaffected, but physiological and recognition data did not support the manipulation's effectiveness. In experiment 2, each participant was tested after a week on a series of neutral versus negative arousing pictures...
August 3, 2017: Biological Psychology
Judith C Peters, Chantal Kemner
Rapid decoding of emotional expressions is essential for social communication. Fast processing of facial expressions depends on the adequate (subcortical) processing of important global face cues in the low spatial frequency (LSF) ranges. However, children below 9 years of age extract fearful expression information from local details represented by high SF (HSF) image content. Our ERP study investigated at which developmental stage this ineffective HSF-driven processing is replaced by the proficient and rapid LSF-driven perception of fearful faces, in which adults are highly skilled...
August 2, 2017: Biological Psychology
Matthew A Bezdek, William G Wenzel, Eric H Schumacher
We tested the hypothesis that, during naturalistic viewing, moments of increasing narrative suspense narrow the scope of attentional focus. We also tested how changes in the emotional congruency of the music would affect brain responses to suspense, as well as subsequent memory for narrative events. In our study, participants viewed suspenseful film excerpts while brain activation was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results indicated that suspense produced a pattern of activation consistent with the attention-narrowing hypothesis...
July 29, 2017: Biological Psychology
Zhenhao Shi, An-Li Wang, Catherine A Aronowitz, Daniel Romer, Daniel D Langleben
Studies testing the benefits of enriching smoking-cessation video ads with attention-grabbing sensory features have yielded variable results. Dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) has been implicated in attention deficits. We hypothesized that DAT1 polymorphism is partially responsible for this variability. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined brain responses to videos high or low in attention-grabbing features, indexed by "message sensation value" (MSV), in 53 smokers genotyped for DAT1. Compared to other smokers, 10/10 homozygotes showed greater neural response to High- vs...
July 28, 2017: Biological Psychology
Frances R Chen, Catherine B Stroud, Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Leah D Doane, Douglas A Granger
The present study aimed to examine the interaction of 5-HTTLPR and early adversity on trait-like levels of cortisol. A community sample of 117 early adolescent girls (M age=12.39years) provided DNA samples for 5-HTTLPR genotyping, and saliva samples for assessing cortisol 3 times a day (waking, 30min post-waking, and bedtime) over a three-day period. Latent trait cortisol (LTC) was modeled using the first 2 samples of each day. Early adversity was assessed with objective contextual stress interviews with adolescents and their mothers...
July 27, 2017: Biological Psychology
Katharina Haß, Nikolaj Bak, Gregor R Szycik, Birte Y Glenthøj, Bob Oranje
OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether the typically reported deficient sensorimotor gating in patients with schizophrenia using unimodal paradigms can also be detected by a cross-modal paradigm which made use of an electrocutaneous-acoustic coupling of stimuli. METHODS: Twenty-one male schizophrenia patients took part in a prepulse inhibition (PPI) paradigm with an electrocutaneous prepulse and an acoustic startle-eliciting pulse. Their results were compared with those from nineteen healthy males...
July 25, 2017: Biological Psychology
Melissa D Latham, Nina Cook, Julian G Simmons, Michelle L Byrne, Jonathan W L Kettle, Orli Schwartz, Nandita Vijayakumar, Sarah Whittle, Nicholas B Allen
Few studies have examined physiological correlates of emotional reactivity and regulation in adolescents, despite the occurrence in this group of significant developmental changes in emotional functioning. The current study employed multiple physiological measures (i.e., startle-elicited eyeblink and ERP, skin conductance, facial EMG) to assess the emotional reactivity and regulation of 113 early adolescents in response to valenced images. Reactivity was measured while participants viewed images, and regulation was measured when they were asked to discontinue or maintain their emotional reactions to the images...
July 25, 2017: Biological Psychology
Claudia Poch, Luis Carretie, Pablo Campo
Numerous electrophysiological findings support the notion that selective attention modulates alpha oscillatory activity. Specifically, alpha enhancement and suppression can be dissociated in time and space. It is now accepted that selective attention operates in either the perceptual or the representational environments. Lateralized alpha activity resulting from directing attention to mental representations, might arise from a transient alpha desynchronization, as recent proposals hypothesized. However, the contribution of enhancement vs suppression, as well as their neural correlates to the lateralized alpha modulation remain unstudied...
July 23, 2017: Biological Psychology
Lingxi Lu, Changxin Zhang, Liang Li
Visual mental imagery forms mental representations of visual objects when correspondent stimuli are absent and shares some characters with visual perception. Both the vertex-positive-potential (VPP) and N170 components of event-related potentials (ERPs) to visual stimuli have a remarkable preference to faces. This study investigated whether visual mental imagery modulates the face-sensitive VPP and/or N170 components. The results showed that with significantly larger amplitudes under the face-imagery condition than the house-imagery condition, the VPP and P2 responses, but not the N170 component, were elicited by phase-randomized ambiguous stimuli...
July 22, 2017: Biological Psychology
Johanna Janson, Nicolas Rohleder
The aim of this study was to explore whether different manifestations of state coping predict cortisol response and recovery in an acute stress situation. Fifty-nine healthy adults (59.3% female) were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and salivary cortisol was measured repeatedly before and after stress. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to test for relationships between factor-analytically derived measures of state coping and cortisol response and recovery. Independent of sex, age, BMI, chronic stress and depression, denial coping was related with higher peak levels of cortisol (β=0...
July 22, 2017: Biological Psychology
Yuanyuan Zhang, Qi Li, Zhao Wang, Xun Liu, Ya Zheng
Reward anticipation is a complex process including cue evaluation, motor preparation, and feedback anticipation. The present study investigated whether these psychological processes were dissociable on neural dynamics in terms of incentive valence and approach motivation. We recorded EEG when participants were performing a monetary incentive delay task, and found a cue-P3 during the cue-evaluation stage, a contingent negative variation (CNV) during the motor-preparation stage, and a stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) during the feedback-anticipation stage...
July 21, 2017: Biological Psychology
Khatereh Borhani, Elisabetta Làdavas, Aikaterini Fotopoulou, Patrick Haggard
Alexithymia is a personality trait involving deficits in emotional processing. The personality construct has been extensively validated, but the underlying neural and physiological systems remain controversial. One theory suggests that low-level somatosensory mechanisms act as somatic markers of emotion, underpinning cognitive and affective impairments in alexithymia. In two separate samples (total N=100), we used an established Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) battery to probe multiple neurophysiological submodalities of somatosensation, and investigated their associations with the widely-used Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20)...
July 20, 2017: Biological Psychology
Jenni Leppanen, Valentina Cardi, Yannis Paloyelis, Andy Simmons, Kate Tchanturia, Janet Treasure
BACKGROUND: People with anorexia nervosa (AN) have difficulties in a wide range of social-emotional processes. Previous work suggests atypical involvement of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala, insula, and fusiform gyri during social-emotional processing in AN. METHODS: Twenty women with AN and twenty healthy comparison (HC) women were presented with happy, fearful, and neutral faces during a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Group differences were investigated in the following regions of interest: lateral PFC, amygdala, insula, and fusiform gyri...
July 20, 2017: Biological Psychology
Da-Wei Zhang, Steven Roodenrys, Hui Li, Robert J Barry, Adam R Clarke, Zhanliang Wu, Qihua Zhao, Yan Song, Lu Liu, Qiujin Qian, Yufeng Wang, Stuart J Johnstone, Li Sun
The theta/beta ratio (TBR) is a major area of interest within electroencephalogram (EEG) research in AD/HD. While researchers suggest a prognostic role for TBR in AD/HD, its relationship to behavior remains uncertain. Recent evidence suggests that elevated TBR in AD/HD may be related to atypical inhibition, particularly at an attentional level. This study aimed to examine the performance on three inhibitory tasks of children with AD/HD. Fifty-eight children with AD/HD participated, divided into an elevated TBR (ET) group and a control group (CT)...
July 20, 2017: Biological Psychology
Philipp Alexander Schroeder, Hans-Christoph Nuerk, Christian Plewnia
Numerical and non-numerical sequence items interact with spatial responding, pointing towards mental representations that are grounded in space and referred to as SNARC effects (spatial-numerical association of response codes). An ongoing controversy pertains to the universal origin of different SNARC effects and whether their underpinning is a spatial arrangement of cardinal magnitude (mental number line) or a sequential arrangement of ordinal elements in working memory. Recent results from prefrontal neuromodulation with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) were supportive of the unified working memory account...
July 18, 2017: Biological Psychology
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