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Biological Psychology

Susanne Menzel, Thomas Hummel, Laura Schäfer, Cornelia Hummel, Ilona Croy
The human olfactory system is characterized by poor temporal and spatial resolution. When determining changes in the environment, humans rather rely on visual than on olfactory information. Against this background, we developed a test in order to investigate the human capacity to detect changes in the olfactory environment and to determine potential modulators of olfactory change detection. Participants consecutively received four odors (2 odor qualities in 2 concentrations each) which were presented via a computer-controlled olfactometer...
November 27, 2018: Biological Psychology
L Forest Gruss, Andreas Keil
Threat expectancy is the ability to predict an aversive outcome. What is not known is the influence of initial threat responding on the acquisition of verbal, attentional and perceptual biases towards conditioned threat cues. This study evaluated the extent to which initial unconditioned stimulus (UCS) responding was related to trial-by-trial self-reported expectancy, sensory processing (visuocortical EEG) and orienting (heart rate deceleration) to threat cues during extinction learning. Participants (n = 38) viewed oriented Gabor gratings, associated with the presence (CS+) or absence (CS-) of a 96 dB white noise (UCS), flickering at 12 Hz to elicit steady state visually evoked potentials (ssVEPs)...
November 23, 2018: Biological Psychology
Michaela Herzog, Josef Sucec, Ilse Van Diest, Omer Van den Bergh, Andreas von Leupoldt
Dyspnea is a threatening symptom frequently experienced by patients within social contexts such as in the presence of family members, health professionals, or other patients. However, the effects of social presence on perceived dyspnea remain unknown. Therefore, this study examined the effects of social presence on dyspnea perception and cortical neural processing of respiratory sensations using respiratory-related evoked potentials (RREPs) in the electroencephalogram while additionally investigating the impact of dyspnea-specific fear...
November 20, 2018: Biological Psychology
Elizabeth M Mulligan, Heather Flynn, Greg Hajcak
While psychosocial risk factors for peripartum depression are well-researched, studies on neural risk factors are scarce. Previous studies suggest a blunted neural response to reward may be a biomarker of depression and risk. In a sample of 86 pregnant women, the present study examined whether a reduced Reward Positivity (RewP), an event-related potential (ERP) elicited to feedback indicating monetary reward, relates to greater antenatal depressive symptoms. We also examined whether the RewP explains unique variance in antenatal depressive symptoms relative to other indices of risk, including annual income, history of a major depressive episodes, and score on a validated psychosocial risk measure, the Pregnancy Risk Questionnaire (PRQ)...
November 20, 2018: Biological Psychology
Anbjørn Ree, Leah M Mayo, Siri Leknes, Uta Sailer
Caress-like touch is thought to rely on C-tactile (CT) fiber signaling. Here, the arousing and emotional effects of CT-optimal touch were assessed via participants' skin conductance level (SCL), facial electromyography (EMG) responses and subjective ratings of pleasantness and intensity. Temporal facial EMG analysis was based on the conduction velocity of CT-fibers. 45 healthy participants received CT-optimal touch, control touch and visual control input during 2-minute trials. CT optimal touch was significantly more pleasant and intense than control touch...
November 20, 2018: Biological Psychology
Nicholas J Kelley, James E Glazer, Narun Pornpattananangkul, Robin Nusslock
Individuals who suppress their emotions experience less positive emotions, worse relationships, and a reduced quality of life whereas those who tend to reappraise show an opposite pattern. Despite this divergent pattern, few have asked how the use of these emotion-regulation strategies relates to reward responsivity. We predicted that elevated suppression would be associated with blunted reward responsivity, whereas reappraisal would be associated with elevated reward responsivity. To test this hypothesis, participants completed a measure of individual differences in emotion-regulation strategies, measures of self-reported reward responsivity, and then a reward time-estimation task (Kotani et al...
November 20, 2018: Biological Psychology
Dana van Son, Frances M De Blasio, Jack S Fogarty, Angelos Angelidis, Robert J Barry, Peter Putman
BACKGROUND: In resting-state EEG, the ratio between frontal power in the slow theta frequency band and the fast beta frequency band (the theta/beta ratio, TBR) has previously been negatively related to attentional control. Also, increased theta and reduced beta power were observed during mind wandering (MW) compared to episodes of focused attention. Thus, increased resting-state frontal TBR could be related to MW, suggesting that previously observed relationships between TBR and attentional control could reflect MW episodes increasing the average resting state TBR in people with low attentional control...
November 17, 2018: Biological Psychology
Lauren B Neal, Philip A Gable
The frontal cortices are asymmetrically activated in impulsive and inhibitory action. However, no past work has examined shifts in frontal asymmetric activation during active impulse control or risk-taking behavior. The current study examined impulsive and controlled behavior in a behavioral risk-taking task (Balloon Analogue Risk Task) under alcohol or neutral cue exposure while EEG was recorded. Results revealed activity shifted towards greater relative left frontal activation on alcohol trials with impulsive behavior (balloon explosion) driven by reduced activation of the right inferior frontal gyrus...
November 16, 2018: Biological Psychology
R T Amiel Castro, E A Pataky, U Ehlert
Overlapping symptoms between premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and postpartum depression (PPD) suggest that these disorders may share a common etiology and pathology. Moreover, PMS is a risk factor for the development of PPD. This review aims to synthesize the evidence regarding associations between PMS and PPD. Studies were systematically reviewed through identification in PubMed, ISI web of knowledge, PsycINFO and JSTOR databases. A total of 16 studies met inclusion criteria. Three studies revealed an initial significant association between both variables, but it did not remain significant after the inclusion of confounders (e...
November 16, 2018: Biological Psychology
Kayla R Donaldson, Brian J Roach, Judith M Ford, Karen Lai, Kartik K Sreenivasan, Daniel H Mathalon
The error-related negativity (ERN) and error-positivity (Pe) are commonly linked to error-detection and strategic processing. Studies have documented the influence of conflict probability on ERN amplitude. However, the influence of conflict probability on ERN/Pe in schizophrenia, where such components are reduced, is unknown. A modified flanker paradigm was used to examine how the probability of conflict modulates ERN and Pe amplitudes in patients with schizophrenia (n = 33) and healthy controls (n = 25)...
November 11, 2018: Biological Psychology
Linda J Luecken, Keith A Crnic, Nancy A Gonzales, Laura K Winstone, Jennifer A Somers
The current study evaluated a mechanistic pathway by which prenatal stress increases the risk of postpartum depressive (PPD) symptoms via observed dyadic emotional, behavioral, and attentional dysregulation and associated cortisol responses during mother-infant interactions. METHODS: Participants included 322 low-income Mexican American mother-infant dyads. Depressive symptoms, economic hardship, and negative life events were assessed at a prenatal visit. Dysregulation in dyadic (mother-infant) interactions and cortisol responses to mother-infant interaction were evaluated at 12 weeks after the birth...
November 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
Martin J Herrmann, Bibiane S E Simons, Anna K Horst, Stephanie Boehme, Thomas Straube, Thomas Polak
Downregulation of emotional responses to threat is strongly associated with frontal cortex functions. Additionally pathological anxiety has been proposed to be associated with the altered frontal control. Understanding the frontal regulation of both initial and sustained fear responses seems to be crucial for further research on the treatment of anxiety disorders. Therefore, this study aims to examine the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the right inferior frontal cortex (rIFC) on the subjects' psychophysiological responses as measured by skin conductance reaction (SCR) during a sustained threat paradigm...
November 2018: Biological Psychology
Motohiro Kimura
To maintain real-time interaction with a dynamically changing visual object, the brain is thought to automatically predict the next state of the object based on the pattern of its preceding changes. A behavioral phenomenon known as representational momentum (RM: forward displacement of the remembered final state of an object along its preceding change pattern) and an electrophysiological phenomenon known as visual mismatch negativity (VMMN: an event-related brain potential component that is elicited when an object suddenly deviates from its preceding change pattern) have each indicated the existence of such automatic predictive processes...
November 2018: Biological Psychology
Tanja Krumpe, Christian Scharinger, Wolfgang Rosenstiel, Peter Gerjets, Martin Spüler
OBJECTIVE: According to current theoretical models of working memory (WM), executive functions (EFs) like updating, inhibition and shifting play an important role in WM functioning. The models state that EFs highly correlate with each other but also have some individual variance which makes them separable processes. Since this theory has mostly been substantiated with behavioral data like reaction time and the ability to execute a task correctly, the aim of this paper is to find evidence for diversity (unique properties) of the EFs updating and inhibition in neural correlates of EEG data by means of using brain-computer interface (BCI) methods as a research tool...
November 2018: Biological Psychology
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