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Biological Psychology

Elia Valentini, Istvan L Gyimes
Terror management theory (TMT) suggests that reminders of death activate an exclusive anxiety mechanism different from the one activated by other types of symbolic threats. This notion is supported by evidence showing how experimental participants verbally reflecting on their own death are then influenced in their opinions and behaviours. A previous study showed that magnitude of electroencephalography (EEG) activity is greater when images depicting death-related content are coupled with painful thermal stimuli compared to threat-related content...
October 13, 2018: Biological Psychology
Jeremy Harper, Stephen M Malone, William G Iacono
Diminished cognitive control in alcohol use disorder (AUD) is thought to be mediated by prefrontal cortex circuitry dysregulation. Research testing the relationship between AUD and specific cognitive control psychophysiological correlates, such as medial frontal (MF) theta-band EEG power, is scarce, and the etiology of this relationship is largely unknown. The current report tested relationship between pathological alcohol use through young adulthood and reduced conflict-related theta at age 29 in a large prospective population-based twin sample...
October 6, 2018: Biological Psychology
Yulia Golland, Adam Hakim, Tali Aloni, Stacey Schaefer, Nava Levit-Binnun
Emotional experiences are complex, multi-component processes that unfold over time. Accordingly, it is crucial to understand the temporal dynamics of these constituent components. Here we studied the dynamics of one of the core emotional systems, facial muscle activity, during continuous emotional experiences, elicited by movies. We found that transient zygomatic fluctuations were narrowly tuned to a positive emotional experience. During a positive but not a negative movie, zygomatic response patterns were consistent across participants, tracked with subjective ratings and co-varied with emotional dynamics...
October 6, 2018: Biological Psychology
Benjamin Iffland, Nicole Wiggert, Frank Neuner, Jens Blechert
Physiological stress responses vary as a function of adverse childhood experiences. However, previous studies concentrate on familial sources of childhood adversity. Potential long-term effects of peer victimization on physiology and affective responses are less known. This study examined cardiac, facial-muscular, and experiential responses to social evaluative stimuli in ninety-four healthy subjects with various degrees of experienced peer victimization. In a social conditioning task, peer victimization was associated with similarly attenuated cardiac and facial-muscular responses to negative and neutral stimuli, while differentiated physiological responses to negative and neutral stimuli were found in subjects without peer victimization...
October 5, 2018: Biological Psychology
Juanita Todd, Raymond Cornwell
The existence and updating of "sensory beliefs" or internal models can be studied using auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) when there is some form of predictable pattern in sound. Internal models are proposed to enable predictions about the most likely next sound-activation-state leading to small AEPs to standard sounds matching model predictions, and larger AEPs to sound that deviate. Internal models are precision-weighted with the standard-deviant difference being largest when precision is high (variability is low)...
October 4, 2018: Biological Psychology
Markus F Neumann, Charles G Viska, Sascha van Huis, Romina Palermo
In everyday life we constantly experience distractions. Some distractors might be more distracting than others, for example the human face, which has been shown to be very efficient in attracting attention. Here, we employed the irrelevant-distractor paradigm (Forster & Lavie, 2016) to measure behavioural and neural distraction by completely irrelevant faces or non-faces (cars), while participants performed a letter search task that was more (high-load) or less (low-load) demanding. Under low load conditions, faces and cars equally slowed responses on trials with distractors as compared to those without...
October 4, 2018: Biological Psychology
Chuanji Gao, Douglas H Wedell, Jessica J Green, Xi Jia, Xinrui Mao, Chunyan Guo, Svetlana V Shinkareva
This study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the time course of auditory, visual, and audiovisual affective processing. Stimuli consisted of naturalistic silent videos, instrumental music clips, or combination of the two, with valence varied at three levels for each modality and arousal matched across valence conditions. Affective ratings of the unimodal and multimodal stimuli showed evidence of visual dominance, congruency, and negativity dominance effects. ERP results for unimodal presentations revealed valence effects in early components for both modalities, but only for the visual condition in a late positive potential...
October 3, 2018: Biological Psychology
R Admon, S Vaisvaser, N Erlich, T Lin, I Shapira-Lichter, E Fruchter, T Gazit, T Hendler
Prior research on the interaction between emotion and episodic memory established that negatively charged events are better remembered compared to neutral events (i.e. enhanced remembrance), as well as that a priori neutral cues that were present in the environment during a negative event can attain aversive meaning by themselves (i.e. acquired negativity). Improved understanding the neural mechanisms that mediate enhanced remembrance of negative episodes and acquired negativity of related neutral cues may carry substantial clinical relevance, particularly in the context of posttraumatic pathophysiology...
October 2, 2018: Biological Psychology
Matt R Judah, Ekaterina Y Shurkova, Nathan M Hager, Evan J White, Danielle L Taylor, DeMond M Grant
Past research suggests that social anxiety is associated with increased processing of cardiac activity. Cognitive theories propose that this is one aspect of self-focus, which is driven by concerns that features of the self, such as anxiety symptoms, will elicit evaluation from others. We investigated the relationship of social anxiety to the cortical processing of heartbeats as reflected in the heartbeat evoked potential (HEP) during false feedback of accelerated heart rate. Thirty-eight participants with high social anxiety (HSA; n = 19) and non-elevated social anxiety (NSA; n = 19) completed a cognitive task during which false feedback of accelerated heart rate was randomly provided on 50% of trials...
October 2, 2018: Biological Psychology
Shouhang Yin, Chao Fu, Antao Chen
Mentalizing is an essential component in human social interactions and the sources of individual variation in mentalizing are still very poorly understood. Utilizing the "reading the mind in the eyes" test (RMET), we examined the neuroanatomical basis of these differences with voxel-based morphometry and found that the gray matter density in the left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) could positively predict individuals' RMET scores. Furthermore, we found that the pSTS-amygdala functional connection was positively correlated to individuals' RMET scores...
September 24, 2018: Biological Psychology
Hannah Hiebel, Anja Ischebeck, Clemens Brunner, Andrey R Nikolaev, Margit Höfler, Christof Körner
This study investigated the influence of target probability on the neural response to target detection in free viewing visual search. Participants were asked to indicate the number of targets (one or two) among distractors in a visual search task while EEG and eye movements were co-registered. Target probability was manipulated by varying the set size of the displays between 10, 22, and 30 items. Fixation-related potentials time-locked to first target fixations revealed a pronounced P300 at the centro-parietal cortex with larger amplitudes for set sizes 22 and 30 than for set size 10...
September 22, 2018: Biological Psychology
Dirk Adolph, Tobias Teismann, Thomas Forkmann, Andre Wannemüller, Jürgen Margraf
Low levels of high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) have been shown to be associated with suicidal ideation and behavior in students and depressed patients. The goal of the present study was to examine associations between suicide ideation and resting HF-HRV as well as HF-HRV reactivity in a diagnostically heterogeneous sample of adult outpatients with or without concurrent suicide ideation. Participants were N = 85 outpatients (67.1% female; age: M = 38.8, SD = 13.72). HF-HRV reactivity was assessed using a sad film induction method...
September 22, 2018: Biological Psychology
P Neumeister, B Gathmann, D Hofmann, K Feldker, C Y Heitmann, L Brinkmann, T Straube
Interpersonal violence (IPV) is one of the most frequent causes for the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women. One key component in PTSD is altered processing of trauma-related cues, leading to emotional symptoms. In the everyday environment, words with trauma-associated semantic content represent typical, albeit abstract, trauma-related stimuli for patients suffering from PTSD. However, the functional neuroanatomy associated with processing single trauma-related words in IPV-PTSD is not understood...
September 22, 2018: Biological Psychology
Linda Marjoleine Geven, Nathalie Klein Selle, Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Merel Kindt, Bruno Verschuere
The validity of the Concealed Information Test (CIT) to detect recognition of critical details has been demonstrated in hundreds of laboratory studies. These studies, however, lack the factor of deliberate intent to deceive. This disparity between research and practice may affect the generalizability of laboratory based CIT findings. In the current study, 65 out of 174 participants cheated on their own initiative in a trivia quiz. These self-initiated cheaters were compared to 68 participants who were explicitly requested to cheat...
September 17, 2018: Biological Psychology
Olivier Desmedt, Olivier Luminet, Olivier Corneille
The heartbeat counting task (HCT) is among the most frequently used measures of interoceptive accuracy (i.e., IAcc). Growing concerns, however, have been raised regarding the validity of this task, as well as the validity of the IAcc scores that are derived from it. In the present study, healthy participants (N = 123) performed both the original task and an adapted version of it that stressed the importance of reporting only their perceptually felt heartbeats. In the original task, we found that participants report relying on three different strategies (i...
September 12, 2018: Biological Psychology
Daniel Feuerriegel, Hannah A D Keage, Bruno Rossion, Genevieve L Quek
Oddball designs are widely used to investigate the sensitivity of the visual system to statistical regularities in sensory environments. However, the underlying mechanisms that give rise to visual mismatch responses remain unknown. Much research has focused on identifying separable, additive effects of stimulus repetition and stimulus appearance probability (expectation/surprise) but findings from non-oddball designs indicate that these effects also interact. We adapted the fast periodic visual stimulation (FPVS) unfamiliar face identity oddball design (Liu-Shuang et al...
September 9, 2018: Biological Psychology
Jens T Kowalski, Franziska Falkenhagen, Yvonne Radtke, Uwe Niederberger, Franz Petermann, Stephanie Darabaneanu, Elisabeth Steinmann, Wolf-Dieter Gerber, Michael Siniatchkin
It is still unclear why some individuals completely recover after an acute trauma and others develop a long-lasting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study investigates whether the contingent negative variation (CNV) - a slow negative event-related potential - may be associated with the occurrence of PTSD after acute trauma. CNV (auditory 2-stimulus reaction time paradigm) was recorded within one month as well as 6 months after an acute trauma (dangerous or grave physical injuries, witnessing of attempted suicide or murder, robbery, extortion, accidents, heavy illness, death or loss of an important person, hostage-taking) in 39 otherwise healthy adults and compared with CNV recordings in 38 healthy control subjects without potentially traumatizing experience in their history...
September 8, 2018: Biological Psychology
Alexandria Meyer, Corinne Carlton, Sierah Crisler, Alex Kallen
Anxiety is the most common form of psychopathology and tends to begin early in the course of development. Given this, there is great interest in identifying developmental changes in neural systems that may delineate healthy versus anxious trajectories. A substantial amount of work has focused on the error-related negativity as a neural marker of anxiety. The ERN is a negative deflection in the event-related potential that occurs when individuals make mistakes and is increased in anxious individuals. A separate body of work has focused on normative developmental changes in the ERN - demonstrating an age-related increase in the ERN that occurs across childhood and adolescence...
September 7, 2018: Biological Psychology
David C Rozek, Noelle B Smith, Anne D Simons
Despite overall effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), little is known about the effects of specific techniques used in CBT. Thought records are widely employed in CBT across disorders to target cognitions. The current study examined the effects of thought record completion on affective and physiological responses to a laboratory stressor. Participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (Kirschbaum & Hellhammer, 1993) and were randomized to a thought record condition (n = 50) or a control condition (n = 50)...
September 3, 2018: Biological Psychology
Wangbing Shen, Yu Tong, Feng Li, Yuan Yuan, Bernhard Hommel, Chang Liu, Jing Luo
The nature of insight has been the interdisciplinary focus of scientific inquiry for over 100 years. Behavioral studies and biographical data suggest that insight, as a form of creative cognition, consists of at least four separate but intercorrelated stages as described by Wallas (1926). Yet no quantitative evidence was available for insight- or insight-stage-specific brain mechanisms that generalize across various insight tasks. The present work attempted, for one, to present an integrated and comprehensive description of the neural networks underlying insight and, for another, to identify dynamic brain mechanisms related to the four hypothetical stages of insight...
August 28, 2018: Biological Psychology
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