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Biological Psychology

Martin Lang, Vladimír Bahna, John H Shaver, Paul Reddish, Dimitris Xygalatas
Behavioural synchronization has been shown to facilitate social bonding and cooperation but the mechanisms through which such effects are attained are poorly understood. In the current study, participants interacted with a pre-recorded confederate who exhibited different rates of synchrony, and we investigated three mechanisms for the effects of synchrony on likeability and trusting behaviour: self-other overlap, perceived cooperation, and opioid system activation measured via pain threshold. We show that engaging in highly synchronous behaviour activates all three mechanisms, and that these mechanisms mediate the effects of synchrony on liking and investment in a Trust Game...
June 6, 2017: Biological Psychology
Nathalie Michels, Isabelle Sioen, Kirsten Schraven, Annelies De Decker, Carola van Aart, Stefaan De Henauw
BACKGROUND: Adiponectin is an anti-inflammatory, insulin-sensitizing and energy-regulating adipocytokine. Consequently, the link between psychosocial stress and inflammatory diseases like the metabolic syndrome might be partially explained by lower adiponectin levels in stress. Nevertheless, the stress-adiponectin association has seldom been tested and no clarity exists about the directionality. METHODS: In the Belgian ChiBS study, serum adiponectin and stress levels were measured in 348 children (5-10y) at baseline and in 168 of them after 2-year follow-up...
May 31, 2017: Biological Psychology
Piril Hepsomali, Julie A Hadwin, Simon P Liversedge, Matthew Garner
Anxious individuals report hyper-arousal and sensitivity to environmental stimuli, difficulties concentrating, performing tasks efficiently and inhibiting unwanted thoughts and distraction. We used pupillometry and eye-movement measures to compare high vs. low anxious individuals hyper-reactivity to emotional stimuli (facial expressions) and subsequent attentional biases in a memory-guided pro- and antisaccade task during conditions of low and high cognitive load (short vs. long delay). High anxious individuals produced larger and slower pupillary responses to face stimuli, and more erroneous eye-movements, particularly following long delay...
May 31, 2017: Biological Psychology
Angela Fang, Michael T Treadway, Stefan G Hofmann
There is some evidence to suggest that oxytocin promotes social behavior, especially for disorders characterized by social dysfunction, such as social anxiety disorder (SAD). The goal of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on reward motivation in SAD. We tested whether oxytocin promotes prosocial, or antisocial, self-directed decisions, and whether its effects depended on social anxiety severity and attachment. Fifty-two males with SAD received 24 international units of oxytocin or placebo, and completed a reward motivation task that measured willingness to work for self vs...
May 27, 2017: Biological Psychology
Vincenza Tarantino, Vincenzo Vindigni, Franco Bassetto, Chiara Pavan, Antonino Vallesi
Impaired cognitive control functions have been documented in obesity. It remains unclear whether these functions normalize after weight reduction. We compared ex-obese individuals, who successfully underwent substantial weight loss after bariatric surgery, to normal-weight participants on measures of resistance to interference, cognitive flexibility and response inhibition, obtained from the completion of two Stroop tasks, a Switching task and a Go/NoGo task, respectively. To elucidate the underlying brain mechanisms, event-related potentials (ERPs) in the latter two tasks were examined...
May 27, 2017: Biological Psychology
Chiara Spironelli, Alessandro Angrilli
The present research investigated the hypothesis that elderly and horizontal body position contribute to impair learning capacity. To this aim, 30 young (mean age: 23.2 years) and 20 elderly women (mean age: 82.8 years) were split in two equal groups, one assigned to the Seated Position (SP), and the other to the horizontal Bed Rest position (hBR). In the Learning Phase, participants were shown 60 words randomly distributed, and in the subsequent Recognition Phase they had to recognize them mixed with a sample of 60 new words...
May 27, 2017: Biological Psychology
Donna L Ewing, Miranda Manassei, Cassandra Gould van Praag, Andrew O Philippides, Hugo D Critchley, Sarah N Garfinkel
Interoception is the sense through which internal bodily changes are signalled and perceived. Individual differences in interoception are linked to emotional style and vulnerability to affective disorders. Here we test how experiential sleep quality relates to dimensions of interoceptive ability. 180 adults (42 'non-clinical' individuals, 138 patients accessing mental health services) rated their quality of sleep before performing tests of cardiac interoception. Poor sleep quality was associated with lower measures of interoceptive performance accuracy, and higher self-report measures of interoceptive sensibility in individuals with diagnoses of depression and/or anxiety...
May 26, 2017: Biological Psychology
Yi Liu, Timm Rosburg, Chuanji Gao, Christine Weber, Chunyan Guo
Retrieval practice enhances memory retention more than re-studying. The underlying mechanisms of this retrieval practice effect have remained widely unclear. According to the elaborative retrieval hypothesis, activation of elaborative information occurs to a larger extent during testing than re-studying. In contrast, the episodic context account has suggested that recollecting prior episodic information (especially the temporal context) contributes to memory retention. To adjudicate the distinction between these two accounts, the present study used the classical retrieval practice effect paradigm to compare retrieval practice and elaborative study...
May 24, 2017: Biological Psychology
Miroslaw Wyczesany, Tomasz S Ligeza
Reappraisal is an emotion regulation strategy which involves changing the interpretation of emotional stimuli. It decreases measures of negative affect together with markers of emotional processing, including late positive potential (LPP). Affective responses can also be attenuated by various cognitive tasks. As reappraisal tasks require cognitive effort to elaborate emotional stimuli, it is possible that the observed reduction of the LPP amplitude during reinterpretation is, at least partly, caused by an unspecific cognitive activity...
May 13, 2017: Biological Psychology
Amanda C Marshall, Nicholas R Cooper
Cumulative experienced stress produces shortcomings in old adults' cognitive performance. These are reflected in electrophysiological changes tied to task execution. This study explored whether stress-related aberrations in older adults' electroencephalographic (EEG) activity were also apparent in the system at rest. To this effect, the amount of stressful life events experienced by 60 young and 60 elderly participants were assessed in conjunction with resting state power changes in the delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequencies during a resting EEG recording...
May 10, 2017: Biological Psychology
Ana P Pinheiro, Carla Barros, Marcelo Dias, Margaret Niznikiewicz
In the last decades, a growing number of studies provided compelling evidence supporting the interplay of cognitive and affective processes. However, it remains to be clarified whether and how an emotional context affects the prediction and detection of change in unattended sensory events. In an event-related potential (ERP) study, we probed the modulatory role of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral visual contexts on the brain response to automatic detection of change in spectral (intensity) vs. temporal (duration) sound features...
May 10, 2017: Biological Psychology
Elisa M Ruohonen, Piia Astikainen
Depression is associated with bias in emotional information processing, but less is known about the processing of neutral sensory stimuli. Of particular interest is processing of sound intensity which is suggested to indicate central serotonergic function. We tested weather event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to occasional changes in sound intensity can dissociate first-episode depressed, recurrent depressed and healthy control participants. The first-episode depressed showed larger N1 amplitude to deviant sounds compared to recurrent depression group and control participants...
May 10, 2017: Biological Psychology
Gil Zukerman, Esther Ben- Itzchak, Leah Fostick, Rinat Armony-Sivan
PTSD elicits hypervigilance to trauma-related stimuli. Our novel research examined event-related potentials from Blood, Anatomy, and Morbid content derived from the Rorschach's traumatic content index (TCI). Participants included: 16 with PTSD, 24 trauma-exposed without PTSD (non-PTSD), and 16 non-traumatized Controls. P3 oddball paradigms were used with TCI-derived Distractors and neutral Targets/Standards. We predicted larger P3 amplitudes in the context of TCI-related Distractors among trauma-exposed participants...
May 10, 2017: Biological Psychology
Ana García-Blanco, Ladislao Salmerón, Manuel Perea
This study examined the inhibitory control of attention to social scenes in manic, depressive, and euthymic episodes of bipolar disorder (BD). Two scenes were simultaneously presented (happy/threatening/neutral [target] versus control). Participants were asked either to look at the emotional pictures (i.e., attend-to-emotional block) or to avoid looking at the emotional pictures (i.e., attend-to-neutral block) while their eye movements were recorded. The initial orienting (latency and percentage of first fixation) and subsequent attentional engagement (gaze duration) were computed...
May 10, 2017: Biological Psychology
André Schulz, Zoé van Dyck, Annika P C Lutz, Silke Rost, Claus Vögele
Previous assessment methods of gastric interoception either rely on self-reports, or imply invasive procedures. We investigated the reliability of startle methodology as a non-invasive alternative for the assessment of afferent gastric signals. Twenty-four participants were tested on three separate days, on which they were requested to ingest water (either 0, 300 or 600ml), after 8h of fasting. On each assessment day, eye blink responses (EMG) to 10 acoustic startle stimuli (105dB) were assessed at 4 measurement points (before, 0, 7, 14min...
May 5, 2017: Biological Psychology
Rajita Sinha
The US remains at the forefront of a global obesity epidemic with a significant negative impact on public health. While it is well known that a balance between energy intake and expenditure is homeostatically regulated to control weight, growing evidence points to multifactorial social, neurobehavioral and metabolic determinants of food intake that influence obesity risk. This review presents factors such as the ubiquitous presence of rewarding foods in the environment and increased salience of such foods that stimulate brain reward motivation and stress circuits to influence eating behaviors...
May 4, 2017: Biological Psychology
Nora Bunford, Julia Roberts, Amy E Kennedy, Heide Klumpp
Although the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) is associated with threat-sensitivity, little is known about its neurofunctional correlates during cognitive control over task-irrelevant threat distractors. Thirty non-clinical participants, who ranged in BIS sensitivity, completed an attentional control paradigm during fMRI. The paradigm varied in cognitive demand with low perceptual load comprising identical target letters and high perceptual load comprising a target letter in a mixed letter string; each superimposed on threatening and neutral face distractors...
May 3, 2017: Biological Psychology
Tracy A Dennis-Tiwary, Samantha Denefrio, Shari Gelber
Stress and anxiety during pregnancy are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, but there is an unmet need for low-barrier treatments that target stress and anxiety. One such treatment approach, attention bias modification training (ABMT), targets the anxiety-related threat bias, a disruption in attention to and neural processing of threat-related information. It remains unclear, however, whether reducing treatment barriers via mobile delivery of ABMT is effective and whether ABMT efficacy varies depending on individual differences in neural processing of threat...
May 3, 2017: Biological Psychology
David Francis Hunt, Grace Cannell, Nicholas A Davenhill, Stephanie A Horsford, Diana S Fleischman, Justin H Park
Mounting evidence indicates that animals, including humans, have evolved a behavioral disease-avoidance system designed to facilitate the detection and avoidance of sources of pathogens, and that this system interacts with physiological defenses. The skin acts as an important anatomical barrier, yet little research has investigated the role of tactile sensitivity in disease avoidance. Increased tactile sensitivity in the presence of potential sources of pathogens may facilitate prophylactic behaviors such as self-grooming...
May 3, 2017: Biological Psychology
Yiwen Wang, D Michael Kuhlman, Kathryn Roberts, Bo Yuan, Zhen Zhang, Wei Zhang, Robert F Simons
Social dilemmas pervade daily life, business, and politics. The manners in which these dilemmas are resolved depend in part on the personal characteristics of those involved. One such characteristic is Social Value Orientation (SVO), a trait-like predisposition to maximize cooperative (Pro-Social) or non-cooperative (Pro-Self) outcomes in social relationships. The present study investigated the role of SVO in modulating neural responses to outcomes in a type of social dilemma known as the Chicken Game. The Chicken Game models real-world situations involving two parties independently making a decision between cooperation and aggression...
May 2, 2017: Biological Psychology
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