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Biological Psychology

M M Spapé, Harjunen, N Ravaja
Being touched is known to affect emotion, and even a casual touch can elicit positive feelings and affinity. Psychophysiological studies have recently shown that tactile primes affect visual evoked potentials to emotional stimuli, suggesting altered affective stimulus processing. As, however, these studies approached emotion from a purely unidimensional perspective, it remains unclear whether touch biases emotional evaluation or a more general feature such as salience. Here, we investigated how simple tactile primes modulate event related potentials (ERPs), facial EMG and cardiac response to pictures of facial expressions of emotion...
January 12, 2017: Biological Psychology
Lisa M Jaremka, Nancy L Collins
Researchers recently demonstrated that cortisol increases in response to mating-relevant social interactions. An important next step is investigating factors that explain individual differences in cortisol reactivity within these contexts. The current study examined demographic, situational, and individual difference predictors of cortisol reactivity following brief, non-face-to-face interactions with potential dating partners. College students made a video introducing themselves to another participant. During another appointment, they watched a short video of an opposite-sex confederate introducing himself/herself, and believed the other person was watching their video...
January 12, 2017: Biological Psychology
Kyle Nash, Thomas Baumgartner, Daria Knoch
Group-focused moral foundations (GMFs) - moral values that help protect the group's welfare - sharply divide conservatives from liberals and religiously devout from non-believers. However, there is little evidence about what drives this divide. Moral foundations theory and the model of motivated social cognition both associate group-focused moral foundations with differences in conflict detection and resolution capacity, but in opposing directions. Individual differences in conflict detection and resolution implicate specific neuroanatomical differences...
January 5, 2017: Biological Psychology
Katie Groves, Steffan Kennett, Helge Gillmeister
Growing evidence suggests that the brain processes bodies distinctively from other stimuli, but little research has addressed whether visual body perception is modulated by the observer's thoughts and feelings about their own body. The present study thus investigated the relationship between body image and electrophysiological signatures of body perception, with the aim of identifying potential biomarkers of body image disturbances. Occipito-parietal (P1 and N1) and fronto-central (VPP) processing of body and non-body stimuli were assessed in 29 weight-restored eating disordered (ED) women and compared to 27 healthy controls...
January 2, 2017: Biological Psychology
Alexander Prehn-Kristensen, Ina Molzow, Alexandra Förster, Nadine Siebenhühner, Maxime Gesch, Christian D Wiesner, Lioba Baving
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) display deficits in sleep-dependent memory consolidation, and being comorbid with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), results in deficits in face processing. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of sleep in recognizing faces in children with ADHD+ODD. Sixteen healthy children and 16 children diagnosed with ADHD+ODD participated in a sleep and a wake condition. During encoding (sleep condition at 8p.m.; wake condition at 8a.m...
December 31, 2016: Biological Psychology
Neal R Swerdlow, Savita G Bhakta, Brinda K Rana, Justin Kei, Hsun-Hua Chou, Jo A Talledo
BACKGROUND: Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle, an operational measure of sensorimotor gating, is used to study normal and pathological brain function. From 2001 to 2016, we screened healthy subjects (HS) to establish their suitability for tests of drug effects on PPI. Because of the size and systematic characterization of this sample across variables of relevance to PPI, we now report these screening results. METHODS: Acoustic startle and PPI were assessed in HS to identify those eligible for studies of drug effects on PPI from 2001 to 2016, yielding 457 "eligible" subjects...
December 24, 2016: Biological Psychology
Lisa Weller, Katharina A Schwarz, Wilfried Kunde, Roland Pfister
Sensory stimuli resulting from one's own actions are perceptually attenuated compared to identical but externally produced stimuli. This may enable the organism to discriminate between self-produced events and externally produced events, suggesting a strong link between sensory attenuation and a subjective sense of agency. To investigate this supposed link, we compared the influence of filled and unfilled action-effect delays on both, judgements of agency for self-produced sounds and attenuation of the event-related potential (ERP)...
December 23, 2016: Biological Psychology
Richard Zniva, Paul Pauli, Stefan M Schulz
OBJECTIVE: Self-determination theory suggests that autonomy-enhancing social support helps individuals to perceive stressors as challenging rather than stressing. Overprotective support may reduce stress in the short-run but undermines autonomy, thus hampering stress-coping in the long run, particularly when social support is terminated. METHOD: Heartrate, blood-pressure and ratings were examined in N=44 undergraduate students receiving autonomy support (calculation steps) or overprotection (solutions) from a close friend or no support for solving arithmetic tasks as well as during a subsequent stress-challenge (solving arithmetic tasks alone)...
December 23, 2016: Biological Psychology
Anne Koopmann, Rilana Schuster, Falk Kiefer
Ghrelin, which is mainly released from the stomach, is the most important orexigenic regulator of food intake, inducing appetite, enhancing adiposity and releasing growth hormone. Besides the hypothalamus, ghrelin receptors (GHS-R1A) are also expressed in the mesolimbic dopaminergic system, which increases the possibility that ghrelin plays an important role in reward regulation for substance use disorders such as alcohol addiction, especially through activating the cholinergic-dopaminergic reward link. In this review we focus on the impact of ghrelin on the development and maintenance of alcohol addiction/dependence, alcohol consumption, alcohol craving and alcohol withdrawal, attempting to integrate preclinical and clinical studies concerning the intriguing relationship between appetite regulation, reward and alcohol addiction...
December 21, 2016: Biological Psychology
Sarah-Jane Leigh, Margaret J Morris
The increasing worldwide prevalence of obesity is partially related to the ready availability of highly palatable foods which increases the incidence of hedonic, non-homeostatic feeding. The "food addiction" hypothesis postulates that exposure to these foods alters the brain's reward circuitry, driving an addiction-like behavioural phenotype of compulsive overeating. This review highlights recent evidence that examines changes in the mesolimbic dopaminergic circuit, the primary component of the reward system, associated with exposure to highly palatable foods and obesity...
December 21, 2016: Biological Psychology
Juliane Fleischer, Juliane Weber, Julian Hellmann-Regen, Moritz Düsenberg, Oliver T Wolf, Christian Otte, Katja Wingenfeld
There is evidence that specificity of autobiographical memory (AM) retrieval is impaired by cortisol. However, it is unknown whether glucocorticoids differentially influence the retrieval of recent versus remote AMs. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of cortisol on AM retrieval, in terms of memory specificity, with respect to remoteness of the retrieved memories. A placebo controlled, double blind study was conducted. Thirty female and 24 male healthy participants (mean age 24...
December 15, 2016: Biological Psychology
Romain Vincent, Yi-Fang Hsu, Florian Waszak
Despite extensive research on action-effect anticipation, little attention has been paid to the anticipation of different attributes of an event. An action-effect is not only a sensory event; it is often also an event of emotional value which can be pleasant or aversive. This latter attribute of action-effect prediction is similar to anticipation of reward versus punishment. To date the neural systems controlling sensory and reward anticipation have not been systematically compared. To this end, we designed an experiment to manipulate the sensory content and the emotional valence of the stimuli in an orthogonal fashion...
December 15, 2016: Biological Psychology
Stéphanie-M Fecteau, Louise Boivin, Marcel Trudel, Blythe A Corbett, Frank E Harrell, Robert Viau, Noël Champagne, Frédéric Picard
A significant portion of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder report high levels of stress related to parenting responsibilities, which have been linked to abnormal cortisol patterns. This study seeks to better understand the parents' adaptation to caregiving demands and use of a service dog, by taking into account longitudinal variations in salivary cortisol and perception of parental stress. Salivary cortisol was collected one day per week for 15 weeks by 98 primary caregivers of children with ASD...
December 13, 2016: Biological Psychology
Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt, Alvaro Sanchez, Haeike Josephy, Chris Baeken, Andre R Brunoni, Rudi De Raedt
Healthy individuals reporting higher (as compared to lower) levels of trait rumination recruit more neural activity in dorso-cortical regions (mostly in the right hemisphere) when inhibiting negative information, possibly to compensate their difficulty to disengage from it. In the present study, we investigated whether these latter neural correlates are causally implicated in cognitive control in these individuals. We administered the Cued Emotional Control Task, a measure of cognitive control indexed by cognitive costs for inhibiting versus providing a habitual response for emotional information, in thirty-five healthy volunteers reporting a broad range of trait rumination levels...
December 12, 2016: Biological Psychology
Jenny Kokinous, Alessandro Tavano, Sonja A Kotz, Erich Schröger
The role of spatial frequencies (SF) is highly debated in emotion perception, but previous work suggests the importance of low SFs for detecting emotion in faces. Furthermore, emotion perception essentially relies on the rapid integration of multimodal information from faces and voices. We used EEG to test the functional relevance of SFs in the integration of emotional and non-emotional audiovisual stimuli. While viewing dynamic face-voice pairs, participants were asked to identify auditory interjections, and the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded...
December 12, 2016: Biological Psychology
Hannah Comtesse, Gerhard Stemmler
Both fear and disgust facilitate avoidance of threat. From a functional view, however, cardiovascular responses to fear and disgust should differ as they prepare for appropriate behavior to protect from injury and infection, respectively. Therefore, we examined the cardiovascular responses to fear and contamination-related disgust in comparison to an emotionally neutral state induced with auditory scripts and film clips in female participants. Ten emotion and motivation self-reports and ninecardiovascular response factors derived from 23 cardiovascular variables served as dependent variables...
December 8, 2016: Biological Psychology
Lieke Heesink, Rolf Kleber, Michael Häfner, Laury van Bedaf, Iris Eekhout, Elbert Geuze
Anger and aggression are frequent problems in deployed military personnel. A lowered threshold of perceiving and responding to threat can trigger impulsive aggression. This can be indicated by an exaggerated startle response. Fifty-two veterans with anger and aggression problems (Anger group) and 50 control veterans were tested using a startle experiment with 10 startle probes and 10 prepulse trials, presented in a random order and with a random interval between the trials. Predictors (demographics, Trait Anger, State Anger, Harm Avoidance and Anxious Arousal) for the startle response within the Anger group were tested...
December 8, 2016: Biological Psychology
Hayley A Young, Alecia L Cousins, Heather T Watkins, David Benton
Consistently it has been reported that a depressed mood and low heart rate variability (HRV) are linked. However, studies have not considered that the association might be explained by dietary behaviour. The resting inter-beat interval data of 266 adults (Study 1: 156 (51M), Study 2: 112 (38M)) were recorded for six minutes and quantified using linear (HF power: 0.15-0.4Hz) and nonlinear indices (Sample entropy). Participants also completed the Profile of Mood States and the Three Factor Eating questionnaires...
December 8, 2016: Biological Psychology
Mara J Canen, Rebecca J Brooker
The Error Related Negativity (ERN) is a neural marker of performance monitoring that has been inconsistently linked to anxiety risk in children. One avenue for understanding inconsistencies is to investigate other neural dynamics linked to ERN. In this study, we investigated interactions between ERN and power in the theta frequency band, which is associated with attentional control and theorized to contribute ERN, in association with childhood anxiety risk. Fifty-nine 3-year-old children provided usable EEG data during a modified go/no-go task...
December 8, 2016: Biological Psychology
Richard J Macatee, Brian J Albanese, Norman B Schmidt, Jesse R Cougle
Low resting heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with a broad array of negative psychosocial outcomes. Recent theoretical explications of HRV suggest it is an autonomic marker of emotion regulation capacity, but limited research has examined its relationship with emotional information processing indices. The present study utilized eye-tracking methodology to test HRV's theorized role as a marker of emotion regulation capacity in a non-clinical sample. Attentional biases towards threatening, dysphoric, and positive emotional information as well as affective modulation of pupil size were assessed before and after a stress induction...
December 1, 2016: Biological Psychology
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