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Impact factor: 3.261 5-Year impact factor: 4.009 Print ISSN: 0048-5772 Online ISSN: 1469-8986 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subjects: Experimental Psychology, Psychology, Biological Psychology

Most recent papers:

  • Don’t look, don’t think, just do it! Toward an understanding of alpha gating in a discrete aiming task.
    Germano Gallicchio, Christopher Ring.
    Psychophysiology. October 26, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Prior to and during movement, oscillatory alpha activity gates cognitive resources toward motor areas of the cortex by inhibiting neuronal excitability in nonmotor areas. The present study examined the effect of manipulating target variability on this alpha gating phenomenon. Using a baseline‐test‐retention design, we measured EEG alpha power, performance accuracy, and task difficulty in 32 recreational golfers as they putted golf balls (20 per target) to one central target (baseline, retention) and four targets of different directions and extents (manipulation). For participants in the random group (n = 16), target location varied with each repetition in a random fashion, whereas for participants in the blocked group (n = 16), it was kept constant within blocks. Regional analyses revealed a focal pattern of lower central alpha and higher occipital and temporal alpha. This topography was specific to preparation for movement and was associated with performance: smallest performance errors were preceded by decreased central combined with increased occipital alpha. The random group performed worse than the blocked group and found the task more difficult. Importantly, left temporal alpha prior to movement onset was lower for the random group than the blocked group. No group differences were found at baseline or retention. Our study proved that alpha gating can be altered by manipulating intertrial variability and thereby demonstrated the utility of the alpha gating model. Our findings underscore the importance of inhibiting occipital and left temporal areas when performing movements and provide further evidence that alpha gating reflects neural efficiency during motor tasks. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 26, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13298   open full text
  • Heart‐rate modulations reveal attention and consciousness interactions.
    María I. Cobos, Pedro M. Guerra, Jaime Vila, Ana B. Chica.
    Psychophysiology. October 26, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Our environment is constantly overloaded with information, although we cannot consciously process all the stimulation reaching our senses. Current theoretical models are focused on the cognitive and neural processes underlying conscious perception. However, cognitive processes do not occur in an isolated brain but in a complex interaction between the environment, the brain, and the organism. The brain‐body interaction has largely been neglected in the study of conscious perception. The aim of the present study was to explore if heart rate and skin conductance (SC) are modulated by the interaction between phasic alertness and conscious perception. We presented near‐threshold visual stimuli that could be preceded by an alerting tone on 50% of the trials. Behaviorally, phasic alerting improved perceptual sensitivity for detecting a near‐threshold stimulus (along with changes in response criterion). Following the alerting tone, a cardiac deceleration‐acceleration pattern was observed, which was more pronounced when the near‐threshold stimulus was consciously perceived in comparison with unconsciously perceived stimuli. SC results further showed some degree of subliminal processing of unseen stimuli. These results reveal that cardiac activity could be a marker of attention and consciousness interactions, emphasizing the need for taking into account brain‐body interactions for current theoretical models of consciousness. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 26, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13295   open full text
  • Should heart rate variability be “corrected” for heart rate? Biological, quantitative, and interpretive considerations.
    Eco J. C. de Geus, Peter J. Gianaros, Ryan C. Brindle, J. Richard Jennings, Gary G. Berntson.
    Psychophysiology. October 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Metrics of heart period variability are widely used in the behavioral and biomedical sciences, although somewhat confusingly labeled as heart rate variability (HRV). Despite their wide use, HRV metrics are usually analyzed and interpreted without reference to prevailing levels of cardiac chronotropic state (i.e., mean heart rate or mean heart period). This isolated treatment of HRV metrics is nontrivial. All HRV metrics routinely used in the literature exhibit a known and positive relationship with the mean duration of the interval between two beats (heart period): as the heart period increases, so does its variability. This raises the question of whether HRV metrics should be “corrected” for the mean heart period (or its inverse, the heart rate). Here, we outline biological, quantitative, and interpretive issues engendered by this question. We provide arguments that HRV is neither uniformly nor simply a surrogate for heart period. We also identify knowledge gaps that remain to be satisfactorily addressed with respect to assumptions underlying existing HRV correction approaches. In doing so, we aim to stimulate further progress toward the rigorous use and disciplined interpretation of HRV. We close with provisional guidance on HRV reporting that acknowledges the complex interplay between the mean and variability of the heart period. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13287   open full text
  • Covert singing in anticipatory auditory imagery.
    Tim A. Pruitt, Andrea R. Halpern, Peter Q. Pfordresher.
    Psychophysiology. October 25, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract To date, several fMRI studies reveal activation in motor planning areas during musical auditory imagery. We addressed whether such activations may give rise to peripheral motor activity, termed subvocalization or covert singing, using surface electromyography. Sensors placed on extrinsic laryngeal muscles, facial muscles, and a control site on the bicep measured muscle activity during auditory imagery that preceded singing, as well as during the completion of a visual imagery task. Greater activation was found in laryngeal and lip muscles for auditory than for visual imagery tasks, whereas no differences across tasks were found for other sensors. Furthermore, less accurate singers exhibited greater laryngeal activity during auditory imagery than did more accurate singers. This suggests that subvocalization may be used as a strategy to facilitate auditory imagery, which appears to be degraded in inaccurate singers. Taken together, these results suggest that subvocalization may play a role in anticipatory auditory imagery, and possibly as a way of supplementing motor associations with auditory imagery. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 25, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13297   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Psychophysiology. October 18, 2018
    --- - - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    October 18, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13001   open full text
  • Integrated genetic, epigenetic, and gene set enrichment analyses identify NOTCH as a potential mediator for PTSD risk after trauma: Results from two independent African cohorts.
    Daniela Conrad, Sarah Wilker, Anna Schneider, Alexander Karabatsiakis, Anett Pfeiffer, Stephan Kolassa, Virginie Freytag, Vanja Vukojevic, Christian Vogler, Annette Milnik, Andreas Papassotiropoulos, Dominique J.‐F. de Quervain, Thomas Elbert, Iris‐Tatjana Kolassa.
    Psychophysiology. October 17, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases with the number of traumatic event types experienced (trauma load) in interaction with other psychobiological risk factors. The NOTCH (neurogenic locus notch homolog proteins) signaling pathway, consisting of four different trans‐membrane receptor proteins (NOTCH1–4), constitutes an evolutionarily well‐conserved intercellular communication pathway (involved, e.g., in cell–cell interaction, inflammatory signaling, and learning processes). Its association with fear memory consolidation makes it an interesting candidate for PTSD research. We tested for significant associations of common genetic variants of NOTCH1–4 (investigated by microarray) and genomic methylation of saliva‐derived DNA with lifetime PTSD risk in independent cohorts from Northern Uganda (N1 = 924) and Rwanda (N2 = 371), and investigated whether NOTCH‐related gene sets were enriched for associations with lifetime PTSD risk. We found associations of lifetime PTSD risk with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2074621 (NOTCH3) (puncorrected = 0.04) in both cohorts, and with methylation of CpG site cg17519949 (NOTCH3) (puncorrected = 0.05) in Rwandans. Yet, none of the (epi‐)genetic associations survived multiple testing correction. Gene set enrichment analyses revealed enrichment for associations of two NOTCH pathways with lifetime PTSD risk in Ugandans: NOTCH binding (pcorrected = 0.003) and NOTCH receptor processing (pcorrected = 0.01). The environmental factor trauma load was significant in all analyses (all p < 0.001). Our integrated methodological approach suggests NOTCH as a possible mediator of PTSD risk after trauma. The results require replication, and the precise underlying pathophysiological mechanisms should be illuminated in future studies. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 17, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13288   open full text
  • Personal responsibility modulates neural representations of anticipatory and experienced pain.
    Min Pu, Rongjun Yu.
    Psychophysiology. October 13, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract An individual's sense of personal responsibility is crucial for adaptive functioning in ever‐changing social situations. This study investigated how the sense of personal responsibility affected the neural dynamics of anticipating one's own pain and another person's pain, using EEG. Participants played a cooperation game in which either the participant (self‐context) or the confederate (other‐context) received a mild electric shock whenever one of them erred. At the anticipatory stage of pain, feedback‐related negativity (FRN) and P300 were sensitive to the degree of responsibility in both contexts. The FRN was more negative when the participant had full responsibility (only the participant had erred) than when the participant shared responsibility with the confederate (both had erred) or had no responsibility (only the confederate had erred), and shared responsibility elicited more negative FRN than no responsibility. Having no responsibility produced larger P300 amplitudes than having shared or full responsibility, whereas there was no significant difference in P300 amplitude between the shared responsibility and the full responsibility conditions. When the shock was delivered to the participants, the P2 was smaller when there was no responsibility than when there was shared or full responsibility. When participants observed the painful facial expressions of the confederates, the P300 was not sensitive to responsibility level. Our results suggest that responsibility level modulates FRN and P300 in anticipation of pain experienced by both self and others, reflecting the attentional and affective experiences in both pain‐ and empathy‐related processes. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 13, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13294   open full text
  • Breakthrough percepts of famous faces.
    Abdulmajeed Alsufyani, Omid Hajilou, Alexia Zoumpoulaki, Marco Filetti, Hamed Alsufyani, Christopher J. Solomon, Stuart J. Gibson, Roobaea Alroobaea, Howard Bowman.
    Psychophysiology. October 05, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Recently, we showed that presenting salient names (i.e., a participant's first name) on the fringe of awareness (in rapid serial visual presentation, RSVP) breaks through into awareness, resulting in the generation of a P3, which (if concealed information is presented) could be used to differentiate between deceivers and nondeceivers. The aim of the present study was to explore whether face stimuli can be used in an ERP‐based RSVP paradigm to infer recognition of broadly familiar faces. To do this, we explored whether famous faces differentially break into awareness when presented in RSVP and, importantly, whether ERPs can be used to detect these breakthrough events on an individual basis. Our findings provide evidence that famous faces are differentially perceived and processed by participants' brains as compared to novel (or unfamiliar) faces. EEG data revealed large differences in brain responses between these conditions. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 05, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13279   open full text
  • Brain correlates of stress‐induced peripheral vasoconstriction in patients with cardiovascular disease.
    Amit Shah, Chuqing Chen, Carolina Campanella, Nicole Kasher, Sarah Evans, Collin Reiff, Sanskriti Mishra, Muhammad Hammadah, Bruno B. Lima, Kobina Wilmot, Ibhar Al Mheid, Ayman Alkhoder, Nino Isakadze, Oleksiy Levantsevych, Pratik M. Pimple, Ernest V. Garcia, Matthew Wittbrodt, Jonathon Nye, Laura Ward, Tené T. Lewis, Michael Kutner, Paolo Raggi, Arshed Quyyumi, Viola Vaccarino, J. Douglas Bremner.
    Psychophysiology. October 02, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The influence of acute psychological stress on cardiovascular disease is an emerging public health concern. Identification of brain mechanisms underlying this may aid in the discovery of possible treatments. Acute psychological stress may induce arteriolar vasoconstriction and reduce blood flow to vital organs. We hypothesized that functional changes in brain regions involved with memory and autonomic/emotional regulation are implicated in the vasoconstrictive stress response, including the medial prefrontal cortex (anterior cingulate), insula, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Subjects with a history of coronary artery disease (N = 59) underwent measurement of microvascular vasomotor tone with the EndoPAT device and O–15 positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of the brain during exposure to mental stress and control conditions. The peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT) ratio was calculated as the mean peripheral vasomotor tone during stress divided by the mean tone during rest. Whole brain contrasts were performed between groups above and below the median PAT ratio, and significant contrasts were defined with cutoff p < 0.005. Stress‐induced peripheral vasoconstriction (below median PAT ratio) was associated with increased stress activation in insula and parietal cortex, and decreased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex with stress tasks compared to control tasks. These findings demonstrate that stress‐induced vasoreactivity is associated with changes in brain responses to stress in areas involved in emotion and autonomic regulation. These findings have important implications on possible treatments for mental stress‐induced vascular toxicity. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    October 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13291   open full text
  • Alteration of the affective modulation of the startle reflex during antidepressant treatment.
    Zümrüt Duygu Sen, Cagri Mesut Temucin, Koray Başar, Berna Diclenur Ulug, Onur Gökcen, Suzan Özer.
    Psychophysiology. September 27, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Whereas the amplitude of the startle reflex varies with stimulus valence in the normal population, a lack of this affective modulation has been reported in patients with major depressive disorder. The present study sought to clarify blunted startle modulation as a feature of depression by comparing 16 patients diagnosed with major depression prior to and after 2 weeks of SSRI treatment, and 16 healthy controls. The affect‐modulated startle reflex paradigm and the Self‐Assessment Manikin were used to probe affective reactivity. In addition, a preliminary analysis of change in affective reactivity pattern was performed with depressed patients who could be assessed in the eighth week of treatment (n = 13). The control group showed a linear trend in response across valence categories, which was stable over sessions. Blunted affective reactivity was observed only in the patients and persisted after 2 weeks of treatment. Nevertheless, a linear trend could be detected in the eighth week of treatment. These findings confirm that the affective reactivity is blunted in depression and provide initial evidence for the lack of change in the early phase of SSRI antidepressant treatment. Nevertheless, in a small group, the emergence of a linear trend in response was evident later with treatment. Large‐scale studies are required to assess the relation between the treatment response and the change in affective modulation of the startle reflex, as a potential biomarker. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 27, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13286   open full text
  • Measuring the conditioned response: A comparison of pupillometry, skin conductance, and startle electromyography.
    Laura Leuchs, Max Schneider, Victor I. Spoormaker.
    Psychophysiology. September 27, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract In human fear conditioning studies, different physiological readouts can be used to track conditioned responding during fear learning. Commonly employed readouts such as skin conductance responses (SCR) or startle responses have in recent years been complemented by pupillary readouts, but to date it is unknown how pupillary readouts relate to other measures of the conditioned response. To examine differences and communalities among pupil responses, SCR, and startle responses, we simultaneously recorded pupil diameter, skin conductance, and startle electromyography in 47 healthy subjects during fear acquisition, extinction, and a recall test on 2 consecutive days. The different measures correlated only weakly, displaying most prominent differences in their response patterns during fear acquisition. Whereas SCR and startle responses habituated, pupillary measures did not. Instead, they increased in response to fear conditioned stimuli and most closely followed ratings of unconditioned stimulus (US) expectancy. Moreover, we observed that startle‐induced pupil responses showed stimulus discrimination during fear acquisition, suggesting a fear potentiation of the auditory pupil reflex. We conclude that different physiological outcome measures of the conditioned response inform about different cognitive‐affective processes during fear learning, with pupil responses being least affected by physiological habituation and most closely following US expectancy. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 27, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13283   open full text
  • Neurocognitive mechanisms of emotion‐related impulsivity: The role of arousal.
    Jennifer G. Pearlstein, Sheri L. Johnson, Kiana Modavi, Andrew D. Peckham, Charles S. Carver.
    Psychophysiology. September 27, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Prior research suggests that a traitlike tendency to experience impulsivity during states of high emotion is robustly associated with many forms of psychopathology. Several studies tie emotion‐related impulsivity to response inhibition deficits, but these studies have not focused on the role of emotion or arousal within subjects. The present study tested whether arousal, measured by pupil dilation, amplifies deficits in response inhibition for those high in emotion‐related impulsivity. Participants (N = 85) completed a measure of emotion‐related impulsivity, underwent a positive mood induction procedure that reduced heterogeneity in mood states, and completed a response inhibition task. Pupil dilation was used to index arousal during the response inhibition task. Generalized linear mixed effect modeling yielded the hypothesized interaction between arousal (pupil dilation) and emotion‐related impulsivity in predicting response inhibition performance at the trial level. Emotion‐related impulsivity relates to more difficulties with response inhibition during moments of high arousal. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 27, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13293   open full text
  • Cascade and no‐repetition rules are comparable controls for the auditory frequency mismatch negativity in oddball tasks.
    Stefan Wiens, Malina Szychowska, Rasmus Eklund, Erik van Berlekom.
    Psychophysiology. September 24, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The mismatch negativity (MMN) has been widely studied with oddball tasks to index processing of unexpected auditory change. The MMN is computed as the difference of deviant minus standard and is used to capture the pattern violation by the deviant. However, this oddball MMN is confounded because the deviant differs physically from the standard and is presented less often. To improve measurement, the same tone as the deviant is presented in a separate condition. This control tone is equiprobable with other tones and is used to compute a corrected MMN (deviant minus control). Typically, the tones are in random order except that consecutive tones are not identical (no‐repetition rule). In contrast, a recent study on frequency MMN presented tones in a regular up‐and‐down sequence (cascade rule). If the cascade rule is detected more easily than the no‐repetition rule, there should be a lower risk of a confounding MMN within the cascade condition. However, in previous research, the cascade and no‐repetition conditions differed not only in the regularity of the tone sequence but also in number of tones, frequency range, and proportion of tones. We controlled for these differences to isolate effects of regularity in the tone sequence. Results of our preregistered analyses provided moderate evidence (BF01>6) that the corrected MMN did not differ between cascade and no‐repetition conditions. These findings imply that no‐repetition and cascade rules are processed similarly and that the no‐repetition condition provides an adequate control in frequency MMN. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 24, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13280   open full text
  • Contralateral delay activity tracks the storage of visually presented letters and words.
    Jason Rajsic, Jane A. Burton, Geoffrey F. Woodman.
    Psychophysiology. September 24, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that the maintenance of items in visual working memory (VWM) is indexed by the contralateral delay activity (CDA), which increases in amplitude as the number of objects to remember increases, plateauing at VWM capacity. Previous work has primarily utilized simple visual items, such as colored squares or picture stimuli. Despite the frequent use of verbal stimuli in seminal investigations of visual attention and memory, it is unknown whether temporary storage of letters and words also elicit a typical load‐sensitive CDA. Given their close associations with language and phonological codes, it is possible that participants store these stimuli phonologically, and not visually. Participants completed a standard visual change‐detection task while their ERPs were recorded. Experiment 1 compared the CDA elicited by colored squares compared to uppercase consonants, and Experiment 2 compared the CDA elicited by words compared to colored bars. Behavioral accuracy of change detection decreased with increasing set size for colored squares, letters, and words. We found that a capacity‐limited CDA was present for colored squares, letters, and word arrays, suggesting that the visual codes for letters and words were maintained in VWM, despite the potential for transfer to verbal working memory. These results suggest that, despite their verbal associations, letters and words elicit the electrophysiological marker of VWM encoding and storage. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 24, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13282   open full text
  • Visuospatial sequence learning on the serial reaction time task modulates the P1 event‐related potential.
    Jarrad A. G. Lum, Imme Lammertink, Gillian M. Clark, Ian Fuelscher, Christian Hyde, Peter G. Enticott, Michael T. Ullman.
    Psychophysiology. September 24, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This study examined whether the P1, N1, and P3 ERP components would be sensitive to sequence learning effects on the serial reaction time task. On this task, participants implicitly learn a visuospatial sequence. Participants in this study were 35 healthy adults. Reaction time (RT) data revealed that, at the group level, participants learned the sequence. Specifically, RT became faster following repeated exposure to the visuospatial sequence and then slowed down in a control condition. Analyses of ERP data revealed no evidence for sequence learning effects for the N1 or P3 component. However, sequence learning effects were observed for the P1 component. Mean P1 amplitude mirrored the RT data. The analyses showed that P1 amplitude significantly decreased as participants were exposed to the sequence but then significantly increased in the control condition. This suggests that visuospatial sequence learning can modulate visual attention levels. Specifically, it seems that, as sequence knowledge is acquired, fewer demands are placed on visual attention resources. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 24, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13292   open full text
  • The anger incentive delay task: A novel method for studying anger in neuroscience research.
    Douglas Jozef Angus, Eddie Harmon‐Jones.
    Psychophysiology. September 23, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Unlike other basic emotions, anger is relatively difficult to produce in the lab, with the most reliable methods involving elaborate and time‐consuming manipulations. These factors preclude the possibility of using them for studying short‐lived changes in neural activity associated with the subjective experience of anger. In this paper, we present a novel task that allows for the trial‐by‐trial manipulation of anger and the examination of associated ERPs. Participants completed an incentive delay task, in which accurate responses were rewarded with monetary gains (or breaking even, in a neutral condition), and inaccurate responses were punished with monetary losses. After participants received accuracy feedback, they received information that indicated the amount of money they won or lost on that trial. On a majority of trials, this amount was consistent with the feedback stimuli, while on a minority of trials this amount was inconsistent. Results indicated that participants reported the most anger after trials where goal pursuit was frustrated by monetary losses despite accurate responses. P3b amplitudes were greater for inconsistent outcomes than consistent outcomes, regardless of whether these resulted in unexpected gains or frustrating losses. On frustrating trials, P3b amplitudes were positively correlated with self‐reported anger. The same correlation was not observed for trials with stimuli that signaled surprise gains. Discussion focuses on the implications of these results. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 23, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13290   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Psychophysiology. September 21, 2018
    --- - - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    September 21, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13000   open full text
  • Action‐associated modulation of visual event‐related potentials evoked by abstract and ecological stimuli.
    Gábor Csifcsák, Viktória Roxána Balla, Vera Daniella Dalos, Tünde Kilencz, Edit Magdolna Biró, Gábor Urbán, Szilvia Szalóki.
    Psychophysiology. September 19, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This study investigated the influence of action‐associated predictive processes on visual ERPs. In two experiments, we sought evidence for sensory attenuation (SA) indexed by ERP amplitude reductions for self‐induced stimuli when compared to passive viewing of the same images. We assessed if SA is (a) present for both ecological and abstract stimuli (pictures depicting hands or checkerboards), (b) modulated by the degree of stimulus predictability (certain or uncertain action‐effect contingencies), and (c) sensitive to laterality of hand movements (dominant or subdominant hand actions). We found reduced occipital responses in the early 77–90 ms time interval (C1 component), irrespective of stimulus type, predictability, or the laterality of hand movements. However, the subsequent P1 component was increased (rather than reduced) for all action‐associated stimuli. In addition, this P1 effect was influenced by the degree of stimulus predictability for ecological stimuli only. Finally, the posterior N1 component was not modulated by self‐initiated actions. Overall, our findings indicate that movement‐related predictive processes attenuate early visual responses. Moreover, we propose that amplitude modulations in the P1 time range reflect the interaction between expectation‐based SA and attention‐associated amplitude enhancements. These results can have implications for assessing the influence of action‐associated predictions on visual processing in psychiatric disorders characterized by aberrant sensory predictions and alterations in hemispheric asymmetry, such as schizophrenia. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 19, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13289   open full text
  • Effect of negative motivation on the behavioral and autonomic correlates of deception.
    Kristina Suchotzki, Matthias Gamer.
    Psychophysiology. September 06, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract In forensic contexts, lying is often motivated by the will to avoid negative consequences (e.g., an arrest). Previous research investigating the effect of motivation on deception has, however, nearly exclusively focused on the effect of positive motivation (e.g., via financial rewards). In the current study, we aimed to replicate previous studies on the behavioral and autonomic correlates of deception and to investigate the influence of negative motivation on those correlates. Participants committed a mock theft and underwent a questioning procedure in which they had to truthfully and deceptively answer questions about the committed mock crime and a control crime. Half of the participants completed the procedure without any specific motivation, whereas the other half of the participants was told that lies detected by a computer algorithm would result in an unpleasant electric stimulation. Results revealed longer reaction times, larger skin conductance responses, and a relative heart rate slowing for lying compared to truth telling. The latter two effects were larger in the motivation compared to the control condition. Results are in line with the motivation impairment hypothesis and effects of positive motivation on the autonomic correlates of information concealment. The observation that a higher motivation increased rather than decreased deception effects is promising for forensic contexts. The possible explanation that these effects could be related to fear conditioning should stimulate future research on the stability of differences between lying and truth telling in people who experienced no or only seldom punishment for deception in their learning history. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 06, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13284   open full text
  • The impact of dyspnea and threat of dyspnea on error processing.
    Josef Sucec, Michaela Herzog, Ilse Van Diest, Omer Van den Bergh, Andreas von Leupoldt.
    Psychophysiology. September 04, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Dyspnea (breathlessness) is a threatening and aversive bodily sensation and a major symptom of various diseases. It has been suggested to impair several aspects of functioning in affected patients, but experimental proof for this assumption is widely absent. Error processing is an important domain of functioning and has intensively been studied using electrophysiological measures. Specifically, the error‐related negativity (ERN) has been suggested to reflect early performance monitoring and error detection, while the error positivity (Pe) has been linked to subsequent error awareness. So far, little is known about the effects of anticipated or perceived dyspnea on error processing. Therefore, in 49 healthy participants, we studied the effects of experimentally induced dyspnea and threat of dyspnea on the ERN/Pe and behavioral task performance. Participants performed the arrowhead version of the flanker task during three experimental conditions: an unloaded baseline condition, a dyspnea condition, and a threat of dyspnea condition. Dyspnea was induced by breathing through inspiratory resistive loads, while high‐density EEG was continuously measured. No differences in task performance (reaction times, error rates) and ERN mean amplitudes were found between conditions. However, mean amplitudes for the Pe differed between conditions with smaller Pe amplitudes during threat of dyspnea compared to baseline and dyspnea conditions, with the latter two conditions showing no difference. These results may suggest that threat of dyspnea, but not dyspnea itself, reduces error awareness, while both seem to have no impact on early error processing and related behavioral performance. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 04, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13278   open full text
  • A high‐density EEG study of differentiation between two speeds and directions of simulated optic flow in adults and infants.
    Kenneth Vilhelmsen, Seth B. Agyei, F. R. (Ruud) van der Weel, Audrey L. H. van der Meer.
    Psychophysiology. September 03, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract A high‐density EEG study was carried out to investigate cortical activity in response to forward and backward visual motion at two different driving speeds, simulated through optic flow. Participants were prelocomotor infants at the age of 4–5 months and infants with at least 3 weeks of crawling experience at the age of 8–11 months, and adults. Adults displayed shorter N2 latencies in response to forward as opposed to backward visual motion and differentiated significantly between low and high speeds, with shorter latencies for low speeds. Only infants at 8–11 months displayed similar latency differences between motion directions, and exclusively in response to low speed. The developmental differences in latency between infant groups are interpreted in terms of a combination of increased experience with self‐produced locomotion and neurobiological development. Analyses of temporal spectral evolution (TSE, time‐dependent amplitude changes) were also performed to investigate nonphase‐locked changes at lower frequencies in underlying neuronal networks. TSE showed event‐related desynchronization activity in response to visual motion for infants compared to adults. The poorer responses in infants are probably related to immaturity of the dorsal visual stream specialized in the processing of visual motion and could explain the observed problems in infants with differentiating high speeds of up to 50 km/h. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    September 03, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13281   open full text
  • Psychophysiological modeling: Current state and future directions.
    Dominik R. Bach, Giuseppe Castegnetti, Christoph W. Korn, Samuel Gerster, Filip Melinscak, Tobias Moser.
    Psychophysiology. September 02, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Psychologists often use peripheral physiological measures to infer a psychological variable. It is desirable to make this inverse inference in the most precise way, ideally standardized across research laboratories. In recent years, psychophysiological modeling has emerged as a method that rests on statistical techniques to invert mathematically formulated forward models (psychophysiological models, PsPMs). These PsPMs are based on psychophysiological knowledge and optimized with respect to the precision of the inference. Building on established experimental manipulations, known to create different values of a psychological variable, they can be benchmarked in terms of their sensitivity (e.g., effect size) to recover these values—we have termed this predictive validity. In this review, we introduce the problem of inverse inference and psychophysiological modeling as a solution. We present background and application for all peripheral measures for which PsPMs have been developed: skin conductance, heart period, respiratory measures, pupil size, and startle eyeblink. Many of these PsPMs are task invariant, implemented in open‐source software, and can be used off the shelf for a wide range of experiments. Psychophysiological modeling thus appears as a potentially powerful method to infer psychological variables. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    September 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13209   open full text
  • Peter H. Venables (1923–2017).
    Don C. Fowles, Adrian Raine.
    Psychophysiology. August 29, 2018
    --- - - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 29, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13272   open full text
  • Early and late dot‐probe attentional bias to mild and high threat pictures: Relations with EEG theta/beta ratio, self‐reported trait attentional control, and trait anxiety.
    Dana van Son, Angelos Angelidis, Muriel A. Hagenaars, Willem van der Does, Peter Putman.
    Psychophysiology. August 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Frontal EEG theta/beta ratio (TBR; negatively associated with attentional control, or AC) was previously reported to moderate threat‐level dependent attentional bias in a pictorial dot‐probe task, interacting with trait anxiety. Unexpectedly, this was independent from processing stage (using cue‐target delays of 200 and 500 ms) and also not observed for self‐reported trait AC. We therefore aimed to replicate these effects of TBR and trait anxiety and to test if effects of early versus late processing stages are evident for shorter cue‐target delays. This study also revisited the hypothesis that TBR and self‐reported trait AC show similar effects. Fifty‐three participants provided measurements of frontal TBR, self‐reported trait AC, trait anxiety, and dot‐probe task bias for mild and high threat pictures using the same dot‐probe task, but this time with 80‐ and 200‐ms cue‐target delays. Results indicated that higher TBR predicted more attention to mild than high threat, but this was independent from trait anxiety or delay. Lower self‐reported trait AC predicted more attention to mild than high threat, only after 200 ms (also independent of trait anxiety). We conclude that the moderating effect of TBR on threat‐level dependent dot‐probe task bias was replicated, but not the role of trait anxiety, and this study partially confirms that effects of trait AC are more dominant in later processing. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13274   open full text
  • Increased stressor‐evoked cardiovascular reactivity is associated with reduced amygdala and hippocampus volume.
    Gavin P. Trotman, Peter J. Gianaros, Jet J. C. S. Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Sarah E. Williams, Annie T. Ginty.
    Psychophysiology. August 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The amygdala and hippocampus have been implicated in centrally mediating stressor‐evoked cardiovascular reactivity. However, little is known about the associations of amygdala and hippocampus morphology with stressor‐evoked cardiovascular reactivity. Forty (Mage = 19.05, SD = 0.22 years) healthy young women completed two separate testing sessions. Session 1 assessed multiple parameters of cardiovascular physiology at rest and during a validated psychological stress task (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test), using electrocardiography, Doppler echocardiography, and blood pressure monitoring. In Session 2, 1 year later, structural MRI was conducted. Brain structural volumes were computed using automated segmentation methods. Regression analyses, following Benjamini‐Hochberg correction, showed that greater heart rate and cardiac output reactivity were associated with reduced amygdala and hippocampus gray matter volume. Systolic blood pressure reactivity was associated with reduced hippocampus volume. In contrast, no associations between diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial blood pressure, stroke volume, or total peripheral resistance reactivity with amygdala or hippocampus volumes were apparent. Comparison analyses examining insula volume found no significant associations. Some indicators of greater stressor‐evoked cardiovascular reactivity associate with reduced amygdala and hippocampus gray matter volume, but the mechanisms of this association warrant further study. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13277   open full text
  • When 2 × 4 is meaningful: the N400 and P300 reveal operand format effects in multiplication verification.
    Danielle S. Dickson, Vanessa R. Cerda, Rosemary N. Beavers, Andres Ruiz, Ricardo Castañeda, Nicole Y.Y. Wicha.
    Psychophysiology. August 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Arithmetic problems share many surface‐level features with typical sentences. They assert information about the world, and readers can evaluate this information for sensibility by consulting their memories as the statement unfolds. When people encounter the solution to the problem 3 × 4, the brain elicits a robust ERP effect as a function of answer expectancy (12 being the expected completion; 15 being unexpected). Initially, this was labeled an N400 effect, implying that semantic memory had been accessed. Subsequent work suggested instead that the effect was driven by a target P300 to the correct solutions. The current study manipulates operand format to differentially promote access to language‐based semantic representations of arithmetic. Operands were presented either as spoken number words or as sequential Arabic numerals. The critical solution was always an Arabic numeral. In Experiment 1, the correctness of solutions preceded by spoken operands modulated N400 amplitude, whereas solutions preceded by Arabic numerals elicited a P300 for correct problems. In Experiment 2, using only spoken operands, the delay between the second operand and the Arabic numeral solution was manipulated to determine if additional processing time would result in a P300. With a longer delay, an earlier N400 and no distinct P300 were observed. In brief, highly familiar digit operands promoted target detection, whereas spoken numbers promoted semantic level processing—even when solution format itself was held constant. This provides evidence that the brain can process arithmetic fact information at different levels of representational meaningfulness as a function of symbolic format. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13212   open full text
  • Physiological reactivity in response to a fear‐induced virtual reality experience: Associations with psychopathic traits.
    Nicholas D. Thomson, Michel Aboutanos, Kent A. Kiehl, Craig Neumann, Carla Galusha, Kostas A. Fanti.
    Psychophysiology. August 21, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Despite the longstanding discussion around the link between psychopathy and fearlessness, few studies have explicitly tested this association, and results have been mixed. This may be due, in part, to the lack of specificity in fear assessment. Further, the relation between psychopathy and fear may be better understood using the two‐factor model because, in theory, fear has opposing associations with interpersonal‐affective (Factor 1) and impulsive‐antisocial (Factor 2) traits. The present study aimed to test if the two factors of psychopathy are deferentially related to fear reactivity. To examine this, we collected sympathetic (SNS; skin conductance) and parasympathetic (PNS; respiratory sinus arrhythmia) nervous system reactivity to an interactive virtual reality horror video in a nonclinical sample (N = 103). Also, we included measures of emotional reactivity to fear and self‐report of situational fear. Results indicated that coinhibition (i.e., low PNS and SNS) of the two physiological systems predicted Factor 1, suggesting that individuals high on Factor 1 showed little change in both branches of the autonomic nervous system in response to fear. In contrast, Factor 2 was predicted by high PNS reactivity, suggesting a vulnerability to emotion dysregulation. On emotional reactivity, Factor 1 was related to feeling happier after the fear condition, whereas Factor 2 was related to feeling less in control. Factor 1 was inversely associated with situational fear, specifically, lower scores of social phobias, fear of aggression, and physical injury. In summary, the results provide evidence that psychopathy is related to fearlessness; however, this is unique to the personality features of psychopathy. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 21, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13276   open full text
  • Reward enhances cross‐modal conflict control in object categorization: Electrophysiological evidence.
    Guanlan Kang, Wenshuo Chang, Lihui Wang, Ping Wei, Xiaolin Zhou.
    Psychophysiology. August 21, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Cross‐modal conflict arises when information from different sensory modalities are incompatible with each other. Such conflict may influence the processing of stimuli in the task‐relevant modality and call for cognitive control to resolve this conflict. Here, we investigate how reward modulates cross‐modal conflict control during object categorization. Participants categorized pictures as representing animate or inanimate objects while ignoring auditory stimuli. We manipulated the audiovisual congruency and performance‐dependent reward (reward vs. no‐reward). Behavioral results showed a significant cross‐modal interference effect only in the no‐reward condition, not in the reward condition. Neurally, we found that the frontocentral N2and theta band oscillations were larger in the incongruent condition than in the congruent condition, but only when there was no reward for performance. The converging behavioral and electrophysiological evidence demonstrates that reward enhances cognitive control in a cross‐modal context and reduces cross‐modal conflict. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 21, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13214   open full text
  • Motivation alters implicit temporal attention through sustained and transient mechanisms: A behavioral and pupillometric study.
    Stijn A. A. Massar, Karen Sasmita, Julian Lim, Michael W. L. Chee.
    Psychophysiology. August 18, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Temporal expectations aid performance by allowing the optimization of attentional readiness at moment of highest target probability. Reward enhances cognitive performance through its action on preparatory and reactive attentional processes. To elucidate how motivation interacts with mechanisms of implicit temporal attention, we studied healthy young adult participants (N = 73) performing a sustained attention task with simultaneous pupillometric recording, under different reward conditions (baseline: 0 c; reward: 10 c/fast response). Target timing was temporally unpredictable (variable foreperiod: 2–10 s, uniformly distributed), in which case implicitly formed timing expectations. Trials were binned according to current foreperiod (FPn; short: 2–6 s; long: 6–10 s) and preceding foreperiod (FPn–1; short: 2–6 s; long: 6–10 s). Overall, performance data showed the expected temporal attention effects, with slower responses after shorter FPns, particularly when they followed longer FPn–1s. Moreover, these temporal effects were significantly reduced in the reward condition. While performance improved in all trial types, the largest benefit appeared in trials that were normally most disadvantaged by invalid temporal expectation. Furthermore, reward motivation was accompanied by an increase in sustained (prestimulus) and transient (poststimulus response) pupil diameter. The latter effect was particularly evident following short FPns. The current findings suggest that reward motivation can improve overall attentional performance and reduce implicit temporal bias, both through preparatory and reactive attentional mechanisms. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 18, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13275   open full text
  • The neural signature of extracting emotional content from rapid visual streams at multiple presentation rates: A cross‐laboratory study.
    Valeria Bekhtereva, Ricarda Pritschmann, Andreas Keil, Matthias M. Müller.
    Psychophysiology. August 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The steady‐state visual evoked potential (SSVEP), a neural signature of attentional resource allocation, is enhanced for affective compared to neutral visual scenes. Recently, it has been demonstrated that modulation of early visual cortex associated with viewing of unpleasant scenes presented in a rapid succession relies on emotional content extraction from each individual image shown in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) at 6 Hz (~167 ms per image). Against expectations, the SSVEP was reduced when viewing visual streams of unpleasant compared to neutral scenes. Here, we investigated to what extent that finding was limited to the 6 Hz rate and whether it generalizes to pleasant pictures. We recorded SSVEPs elicited by RSVP of neutral and emotional scenes presented at 3, 4, 6.67, and 8.57 Hz rates. We demonstrated that SSVEP amplitudes were enhanced for unpleasant compared to neutral images with a presentation rate of 3, 4, and 8.57 Hz. By contrast, SSVEP decreased for both pleasant and unpleasant relative to neutral RSVP streams shown at 6.67 Hz. Our findings suggest that a linear superposition of ERPs evoked by each individual image in an RSVP may lead to SSVEP amplitude patterns that increase or decrease the power at the driving frequency, which in turn might produce the observed differential emotional amplitude modulations. The results provide new methodological considerations for investigating temporal dynamics of early visual cortex modulation during sustained perception of affective scenes with SSVEP using RSVP paradigms. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13222   open full text
  • Too hard to forget? ERPs to remember, forget, and uninformative cues in the encoding phase of item‐method directed forgetting.
    Sebastian Schindler, Johanna Kissler.
    Psychophysiology. August 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract In item‐method directed forgetting, worse memory performance occurs for to‐be‐forgotten (TBF) than for to‐be‐remembered (TBR) items. However, recently TBF items have been found to be recognized more accurately than uninformative (UI) items not associated with any specific task. Here, we compare ERPs elicited by cues signaling the remember or the forget instruction with those elicited by uninformative cues. Participants were presented with a series of complex pictures, each followed by a symbolic TBR, TBF, or UI cue. On a yes–no recognition test, accuracy was higher for TBR than for both TBF and UI items. However, TBF items were recognized more accurately than UI items. ERPs elicited by the TBR cue were larger than ERPs elicited by both TBF and UI cues at the frontal P2, the late frontal negativity, and the late parietal positivity complex. This is consistent with more attention capture, selective rehearsal, and long‐term memory encoding of TBR. In contrast, both TBF and UI cues induced a larger frontal N2 than TBR cues. Critically, TBF elicited a larger late right‐frontal positivity than both UI and TBR cues and a larger late parietal positivity than UI cues. Moreover, the late right‐frontal positivity was correlated with better recognition performance. It may therefore reflect processing orientation rather than inhibition per se. Results suggest that, when compared to UI cues, both TBR and TBF cues are processed actively. Distinct processing is seen at right frontal and centroparietal positive ERPs that may mediate better subsequent recognition of TBF than of UI items. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    August 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13207   open full text
  • Event‐related potentials to threat of predictable and unpredictable shock.
    Annmarie MacNamara, Blake Barley.
    Psychophysiology. August 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Cognitive affective neuroscience tasks that are straightforward to administer, measure key constructs of interest, and can be used in different lab settings and with multiple psychophysiological methods can lead to a more complete understanding of experimental effects. The no‐threat, predictable threat, unpredictable threat (NPU‐threat) task assesses constructs of interest to both clinical and basic affective science literatures, is relatively brief to administer, and has been used across labs with a number of different measurements (e.g., startle eyeblink, fMRI, corrugator response, subjective ratings). ERPs provide another means of assessing neurobiological reactivity during the NPU‐threat task, but to date such measures have been underutilized. That is, no study has yet evaluated cue‐elicited ERPs in the NPU‐threat task. Here, cue‐elicited ERPs were assessed in 78 participants who completed a version of the NPU‐threat task previously shown to reliably moderate startle eyeblink amplitudes. Results showed larger P2 amplitudes for unpredictable versus predictable trials, increased P3s and late positive potentials for threatening versus no‐threat trials, as well as larger stimulus preceding negativities for threatening versus no‐threat trials (driven primarily by predictable threat cues). In line with prior work, we observed enhanced startle eyeblink for threatening versus no‐threat trials and for unpredictable compared to predictable threat interstimulus intervals. In addition, the probe‐elicited P3 was suppressed for predictable and unpredictable compared to no‐threat trials. Therefore, cue‐elicited ERPs, which can be recorded alongside other measures in the NPU‐threat task (e.g., startle), may provide useful indices of temporally distinct stages of predictable and unpredictable threat processing. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    August 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13206   open full text
  • Time‐frequency approaches to investigating changes in feedback processing during childhood and adolescence.
    M. E. Bowers, G. A. Buzzell, E. M. Bernat, N. A. Fox, T. V. Barker.
    Psychophysiology. August 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Processing feedback from the environment is an essential function during development to adapt behavior in advantageous ways. One measure of feedback processing, the feedback negativity (FN), is an ERP observed following the presentation of feedback. Findings detailing developmental changes in the FN have been mixed, possibly due to limitations in traditional ERP measurement methods. Recent work shows that both theta and delta frequency activity contribute to the FN; utilizing time‐frequency methods to measure change in power and phase in these frequency bands may provide more accurate representation of feedback processing development in childhood and adolescence. We employ time‐frequency power and intertrial phase synchrony measures, in addition to conventional time‐domain ERP methods, to examine the development of feedback processing in the theta (4–7 Hz) and delta (.1–3 Hz) bands throughout adolescence. A sample of 54 female participants (8–17 years old) completed a gambling task while EEG was recorded. As expected, time‐domain ERP amplitudes showed no association with age. In contrast, significant effects were observed for the time‐frequency measures, with theta power decreasing with age and delta power increasing with age. For intertrial phase synchrony, delta synchrony increased with age, while age‐related changes in theta synchrony differed for gains and losses. Collectively, these findings highlight the importance of considering time‐frequency dynamics when exploring how the processing of feedback develops through late childhood and adolescence. In particular, the role of delta band activity and theta synchrony appear central to understanding age‐related changes in the neural response to feedback. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    August 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13208   open full text
  • Task‐free auditory EEG paradigm for probing multiple levels of speech processing in the brain.
    Christelle Gansonre, Andreas Højlund, Alina Leminen, Christopher Bailey, Yury Shtyrov.
    Psychophysiology. August 13, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract While previous studies on language processing highlighted several ERP components in relation to specific stages of sound and speech processing, no study has yet combined them to obtain a comprehensive picture of language abilities in a single session. Here, we propose a novel task‐free paradigm aimed at assessing multiple levels of speech processing by combining various speech and nonspeech sounds in an adaptation of a multifeature passive oddball design. We recorded EEG in healthy adult participants, who were presented with these sounds in the absence of sound‐directed attention while being engaged in a primary visual task. This produced a range of responses indexing various levels of sound processing and language comprehension: (a) P1‐N1 complex, indexing obligatory auditory processing; (b) P3‐like dynamics associated with involuntary attention allocation for unusual sounds; (c) enhanced responses for native speech (as opposed to nonnative phonemes) from ∼50 ms from phoneme onset, indicating phonological processing; (d) amplitude advantage for familiar real words as opposed to meaningless pseudowords, indexing automatic lexical access; (e) topographic distribution differences in the cortical activation of action verbs versus concrete nouns, likely linked with the processing of lexical semantics. These multiple indices of speech‐sound processing were acquired in a single attention‐free setup that does not require any task or subject cooperation; subject to future research, the present protocol may potentially be developed into a useful tool for assessing the status of auditory and linguistic functions in uncooperative or unresponsive participants, including a range of clinical or developmental populations. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 13, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13216   open full text
  • Victims of war—Psychoendocrine evidence for the impact of traumatic stress on psychological well‐being of adolescents growing up during the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
    Mohammed Shaheen, Lena Schindler, Rotem Saar‐Ashkenazy, Kifah Bani Odeh, Hermona Soreq, Alon Friedman, Clemens Kirschbaum.
    Psychophysiology. August 13, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Violent conflicts are severe traumatic stressors with detrimental effects on physical and mental health, with children and adolescents being particularly at risk. For the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, characteristic patterns of dysregulation in trauma‐exposed individuals have been shown. This study set out to investigate self‐reported mental well‐being in Palestinian adolescents growing up during the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) as a psychoendocrine marker for long‐term HPA axis aberrations along with the potential protective factor sense of coherence (SoC; i.e., the global mindset to interpret the world and emerging stressors as comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful) were examined. Between 2014 and 2016, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, HCC, and SoC were examined in 233 adolescents aged 11 to 16 from the West Bank. More than half of the participants reported trauma exposure, with 40% fulfilling the criteria of a preliminary PTSD diagnosis and a high prevalence of anxiety and depression. HCC was significantly elevated in the PTSD subgroup compared to the subgroup not exposed to any traumatic events (p = 0.046), with trauma‐exposed individuals in between. HCC was further associated with typical sequelae of traumatic stress. Notably, SoC was inversely related to self‐reported psychopathology, as well as to HCC in the trauma group. The results illustrate the situation of adolescents exposed to chronic traumatic stress and extend the literature on aberrant HPA axis functioning under such conditions. They also point out a central role of SoC, which may imply new strategies to aid individuals exposed to ongoing conflicts. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 13, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13271   open full text
  • Cortisol response to awakening in prepubertal children and adults: Magnitude and variability.
    Manja Bernsdorf, Lars Schwabe.
    Psychophysiology. August 13, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Within the first 30–45 min after awakening, there is a characteristic rise in cortisol that is referred to as cortisol awakening response (CAR). Over the past decades, the CAR has become an important biomarker, mainly because of its reported association with health and disease. Previous research showed that the CAR can already be reliably assessed in infants and children. Yet, earlier findings on the influence of age have been inconsistent, and limited attention has been devoted to prepubertal children. Here, we aimed to contrast the magnitude and stability of the CAR in prepubertal children and adults. To this end, 24 healthy adults between 35 and 50 years of age and 24 healthy children between 6 and 9 years of age collected four salivary cortisol samples within 45 min after awakening on 4 separate days, 2 weekdays, and 2 weekend days. Our results showed that there was a marked CAR on weekdays and weekend days in both adults and children. In children, however, the CAR was overall significantly attenuated relative to adults. Moreover, while the cortisol increases after awakening were, both on weekdays and weekend days, highly correlated in adults, there were no such associations in children. Together, these data suggest that the CAR is less pronounced and less stable in prepubertal children compared to adults. Such age differences need to be taken into account when using the CAR as a biomarker in clinical settings. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 13, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13273   open full text
  • Reducing saccadic artifacts and confounds in brain imaging studies through experimental design.
    Noam Tal, Shlomit Yuval‐Greenberg.
    Psychophysiology. August 10, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Saccades constitute a major source of artifacts and confounds in brain imaging studies. Whereas some artifacts can be removed by omitting segments of data, saccadic artifacts cannot be typically eliminated by this method because of their high occurrence rate even during fixation (1–3 per second). Some saccadic artifacts can be alleviated by offline‐correction algorithms, but these methods leave nonnegligible residuals and cannot mitigate the saccade‐related visual activity. Here, we propose a novel yet simple approach for diminishing saccadic artifacts and confounds through experimental design. We suggest that specific tasks can lead to substantially less saccade occurrences around the time of stimulus presentation, starting from slightly before its onset and lasting for a few hundred milliseconds. In three experiments, we compared the frequency and size of saccades in a variety of tasks. Results of Experiment 1 showed that a foveal change‐detection task reduced the number and sizes of saccades, relative to a parafoveal orientation‐discrimination task. Experiment 2 replicated this finding with a parafoveal object recognition task. Experiment 3 showed that both foveal and parafoveal continuous change detection tasks induced fewer and smaller saccades than a discrete orientation‐discrimination task. We conclude that adding a foveal or a parafoveal continuous task reduces saccades' number and size. This would lead to better artifact correction and enable the omission of contaminated data segments. This study may be the first step toward developing saccade‐free experimental designs. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 10, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13215   open full text
  • N2pc reflects two modes for coding the number of visual targets.
    S. Benavides‐Varela, S. Basso Moro, S. Brigadoi, F. Meconi, M. Doro, F. Simion, P. Sessa, S. Cutini, R. Dell’Acqua.
    Psychophysiology. August 10, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Humans share with a variety of animal species the spontaneous ability to detect the numerical correspondence between limited quantities of visual objects and discrete auditory events. Here, we explored how such mental representation is generated in the visual modality by monitoring a parieto‐occipital ERP component, N2pc, whose amplitude covaries with the number of visual targets in explicit enumeration. Participants listened to an auditory sequence of one to three tones followed by a visual search display containing one to three targets. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to respond based on the numerical correspondence between tones and visual targets. In Experiment 2, participants were asked to ignore the tones and detect a target presence in the search display. The results of Experiment 1 showed an N2pc amplitude increase determined by the number of visual targets followed by a centroparietal ERP component modulated by the numerical correspondence between tones and visual targets. The results of Experiment 2 did not show an N2pc amplitude increase as a function of the number of visual targets. However, the numerical correspondence between tones and visual targets influenced N2pc amplitude. By comparing a subset of amplitude/latency parameters between Experiment 1 and 2, the present results suggest N2pc reflects two modes for representing the number of visual targets. One mode, susceptible to subjective control, relies on visual target segregation for exact target individuation, whereas a different mode, likely enabling spontaneous cross‐modal matching, relies on the extraction of rough information about number of targets from visual input. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 10, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13219   open full text
  • Depressive symptoms and error‐related brain activity in CPS‐referred children.
    Alexandra R. Tabachnick, Emilio A. Valadez, Erin N. Palmwood, Lindsay Zajac, Robert F. Simons, Mary Dozier.
    Psychophysiology. August 10, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Early adversity such as maltreatment is associated with increased risk for psychopathology and atypical neurological development in children. The present study examined associations between depressive symptoms and error‐related brain activity (the error‐related negativity, or ERN) among children involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) and among comparison children. Results indicate that the relation between depressive symptoms and ERN amplitude depends on CPS involvement, such that depressive symptoms were associated with blunted ERNs only for CPS‐referred children. The present study can inform future research investigating the mechanisms by which experiences of adversity affect the association between symptoms and error‐related brain activity. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 10, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13211   open full text
  • For distinguished contributions to psychophysiology: Margaret M. Bradley.
    Alfons O. Hamm.
    Psychophysiology. August 02, 2018
    --- - - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13270   open full text
  • Presaccadic EEG activity predicts visual saliency in free‐viewing contour integration.
    Nathalie Van Humbeeck, Radha Nila Meghanathan, Johan Wagemans, Cees Leeuwen, Andrey R. Nikolaev.
    Psychophysiology. August 02, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract While viewing a scene, the eyes are attracted to salient stimuli. We set out to identify the brain signals controlling this process. In a contour integration task, in which participants searched for a collinear contour in a field of randomly oriented Gabor elements, a previously established model was applied to calculate a visual saliency value for each fixation location. We studied brain activity related to the modeled saliency values, using coregistered eye tracking and EEG. To disentangle EEG signals reflecting salience in free viewing from overlapping EEG responses to sequential eye movements, we adopted generalized additive mixed modeling (GAMM) to single epochs of saccade‐related EEG. We found that, when saliency at the next fixation location was high, amplitude of the presaccadic EEG activity was low. Since presaccadic activity reflects covert attention to the saccade target, our results indicate that larger attentional effort is needed for selecting less salient saccade targets than more salient ones. This effect was prominent in contour‐present conditions (half of the trials), but ambiguous in the contour‐absent condition. Presaccadic EEG activity may thus be indicative of bottom‐up factors in saccade guidance. The results underscore the utility of GAMM for EEG—eye movement coregistration research. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    August 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13267   open full text
  • ERP correlates of valence asymmetry during incentive anticipation.
    Qi Li, Jing Xu, Weiran Chen, Zhen Mu, Tong An, Ya Zheng.
    Psychophysiology. August 02, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The stimulus‐preceding negativity (SPN) is a reliable index of incentive anticipation. However, it remains controversial whether the anticipatory process indexed by the SPN is modulated by incentive valence. The present study investigated the effect of valence on the SPN in a gambling task that required participants to make a binary (gain vs. loss) prediction after their choice on trials with different reward probabilities. Behaviorally, the participants exhibited a positive bias in their prediction. Electrophysiologically, a valence asymmetry was observed for the SPN. Specifically, the SPN was more pronounced when the participants made a gain relative to loss prediction, which was specific over the left hemisphere. Moreover, the SPN showed an uncertainty effect with enhanced amplitudes before uncertain versus certain outcomes, which tended to be pronounced during gain compared to loss anticipation. These findings indicated that the SPN is more sensitive to positive relative to negative valence, which may be mediated by the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic pathway.© 2018 Society for Psychophysiological Research - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    August 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13213   open full text
  • Identity and expression processing during classical conditioning with faces.
    Maimu A. Rehbein, Maria Carmen Pastor, Javier Moltó, Rosario Poy, Raül López‐Penadés, Markus Junghöfer.
    Psychophysiology. August 02, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract In classical conditioning, conditioned responses (CRs) to aversively paired (CS+) relative to unpaired (CS‐) face images are often interpreted in terms of the specific individual displayed in the CS + face image having adopted an aversive emotional connotation. This interpretation requires conditioning to rely on an association between CS + face identity and the occurrence of the aversive event (UCS). Here, we tested this requirement assuming that if an association between CS + face identity and UCS occurrence is established, CRs to originally conditioned face images should transfer to novel images of same‐identity faces. Forty‐eight participants underwent MultiCS conditioning with eight neutral faces as CSs and electric shock as UCS. Central, peripheral, evaluative, and behavioral CRs signaled successful emotional learning (as reported in Pastor et al., 2015). Behavioral and EEG responses of consecutive passive viewing showed enhanced reactions to novel angry and happy expressions of previously shocked CS + versus nonshocked CS‐ identities, indicating successful CR transfer within the dimension of face identity. Investigating the nature of CR transfer, EEG revealed an interaction of identity and expression information during face processing that followed emotional congruency (i.e., stronger reactions to congruent angry CS + and happy CS‐ vs. incongruent angry CS‐ and happy CS + compounds). While correlates of transfer appeared in late and midlatency time intervals, the congruency interaction became significant within the first 100 ms of face processing. Our results suggest conditioning to rely on an association of UCS occurrence with CS + identity and point to fast dynamic interrelations between identity and expression processing. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    August 02, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13203   open full text
  • Experimental and methodological factors affecting test‐retest reliability of amygdala BOLD responses.
    Giannis Lois, Peter Kirsch, Magdalena Sandner, Michael M. Plichta, Michèle Wessa.
    Psychophysiology. July 30, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Previous studies reported poor to fair test‐retest reliability of amygdala BOLD responses to emotional stimuli. However, these findings are very heterogeneous across and within studies. The present study sought to systematically examine experimental and methodological factors that contribute to this heterogeneity. Forty‐six young subjects were scanned twice with a mean test‐retest interval of 7 weeks. We compared amygdala reliability across three tasks: A face‐matching task, passive viewing of emotional faces, and passive viewing of emotional scenes. We also explored whether extraction of physiological noise can affect the stability of amygdala responses. We assessed test‐retest reliability of amygdala mean amplitudes at the individual level and spatial repeatability (i.e., stability of the spatial distribution of activation) of the amygdala BOLD signal at the group and individual level. All three tasks evoked robust amygdala activation at the group level. At the individual level, amygdala spatial repeatability was poor during passive viewing of scenes and faces and fair or close to fair in the face‐matching task. On the other hand, reliability of amygdala mean responses was very poor in the face‐matching task while it was significantly higher during passive viewing of faces and scenes. Physiological noise correction changed reliability rates but not uniformly across the three tasks. The current work suggests that the presence of a concurrent task during emotion processing affects amygdala reliability. The dissociation between spatial repeatability and reliability of mean amplitudes highlights the importance of taking into account both measures for a multidimensional assessment of the reliability of BOLD responses. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    July 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13220   open full text
  • Early automatic hyperarousal in response to neutral novel auditory stimuli among trauma‐exposed individuals with and without PTSD: An ERP study.
    Gil Zukerman, Leah Fostick, Ester Ben‐Itzchak.
    Psychophysiology. July 30, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract ERP studies have associated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with enhanced P3 amplitudes in response to trauma‐related stimuli, along with reduced amplitudes in the context of neutral (trauma‐unrelated) stimuli. Additionally, a bias toward trauma‐related stimuli is also observed among trauma‐exposed participants not meeting criteria for PTSD, suggesting that trauma exposure itself, and not only the severity of posttraumatic stress (PTS), is a critical factor in information processing changes. However, previous examination of the response of trauma‐exposed (PTSD and non‐PTSD) participants to novel, neutral stimuli has produced conflicting findings. The current study examined ERPs in response to a novelty oddball paradigm comprised of neutral distractor sounds. Participants were 16 individuals with PTSD, 21 trauma‐exposed individuals without PTSD, and 12 nontraumatized controls. Detailed trauma histories and PTS symptoms were collected. A significant effect of group on early ERPs was observed, showing an increase in the N1‐P2 complex peak amplitude among the PTSD group, relative to controls. Among the entire sample, significant positive correlations were observed between PTS symptom severity, as well as trauma history, and early N1‐P2 complex peak amplitudes, in response to novel stimuli. Furthermore, trauma‐exposed participants with no PTS symptoms exhibited larger N1 amplitudes compared to participants with no trauma history. No trauma‐related alterations in later ERP components were observed. These results suggest that trauma exposure may lead to hyperarousal at early processing levels, even in response to neutral novel stimuli. The findings concur with the neurocircuitry model that associates PTSD with hyperresponsivity of the amygdala. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    July 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13217   open full text
  • Assessment of the cerebral pressure‐flow relationship using psychological stress to manipulate blood pressure.
    Ryan C. Brindle, Annie T. Ginty, Anna C. Whittaker, Douglas Carroll, Samuel J. E. Lucas.
    Psychophysiology. July 30, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Recent evidence indicates that cerebral autoregulation (CA) might be more pressure passive than previously thought. That is, cerebral blood flow, traditionally thought to be regulated independently of prevailing mean arterial pressure (MAP), might fluctuate, to some extent, as a function of MAP. However, due to limitations associated with experimental usage of pharmaceuticals to manipulate MAP and inconsistent control of arterial carbon dioxide, questions remain regarding the MAP‐cerebral blood flow relationship, especially during typical daily activities that alter MAP. Therefore, the current study aimed to assess CA using a nonpharmacological acute psychological stress task to augment MAP, while at the same time controlling for end‐tidal carbon dioxide (PETCO2). Twenty‐five healthy young adults completed a stressful task while continuous measures of MAP, middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (MCAv), and PETCO2 were recorded. Slope values obtained from hierarchical linear regression were used to assess the strength of the MAP‐MCAv relationship and control for PETCO2. The stress task significantly increased MAP (p < 0.001) and MCAv (p < 0.001), and decreased PETCO2 (p = 0.05). For every 10 mmHg task‐induced increase in MAP, MCAv increased by ≈3.5%; task‐induced changes in PETCO2 did not appreciably change the MAP‐MCAv relationship. Greater task‐induced MAP responses were significantly related to decreased MAP‐MCAv slope values, consistent with CA. These data support the hypothesis that CA is more pressure passive than previously thought and provide initial evidence indicating that a pressure‐passive MAP‐MCAv relationship may play a role in the observed associations between MAP stress responses, stroke, and cerebrovascular disease. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    July 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13265   open full text
  • Developmental dynamics of autonomic function in childhood.
    Lisa Gatzke‐Kopp, Nilam Ram.
    Psychophysiology. July 30, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract There is a paucity of developmental data examining the stability of autonomic function during childhood, and even less is known regarding the extent of coordination between autonomic branches. To address this, autonomic measures of sympathetic (cardiac pre‐ejection period, PEP; electrodermal activity, and EDA) and parasympathetic (respiratory sinus arrhythmia and RSA) function were collected from 339 children annually from kindergarten to second grade. Physiology was quantified into 31 epochs 30 s in length, across a series of baselines and emotion‐inducing films. Rank‐order stability was observed for all three indices, but was higher for cardiac than electrodermal measures. A series of multilevel models was used to identify the proportion of variance in psychophysiological function attributable to the individual (trait), visit (potential developmental change), or epoch (reactivity to task). Both PEP and RSA had sizeable components of individual‐level variance, with PEP showing very small variance attributable to experimental task. In contrast, variance in EDA was largely attributable to task epoch. Variance decompositions of the parasympathetic–sympathetic coordination (e.g., RSA‐EDA) suggest that the branches of the autonomic system are prototypically cooperative, but evidence did not indicate traitlike stability or linear developmental change. The extent of coordination was moderated by emotional context, indicating that autonomic coordination varies dynamically within individuals. These findings have implications for future work attempting to identify the contextual, experiential, and demographic factors that modulate developmental trajectories of autonomic function and coordination, and for examination of how developmental changes in autonomic psychophysiology are related to or predict behavioral trajectories across a range of psychological domains. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 11, November 2018.
    July 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13218   open full text
  • Efficacy of stimulus intensity increases and decreases as inhibitors of the acoustic startle response.
    Hope Peterson, Terry D. Blumenthal.
    Psychophysiology. July 30, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The human startle eyeblink response can be inhibited by a change in the stimulus environment briefly before the startling stimulus; both stimulus presentation (prepulse) and cessation of background sound (gap) can result in startle inhibition. More intense prepulses often result in greater inhibition, and this study (N = 53 college students) examined whether graded decreases in sound energy relative to a steady background noise (a “partial gap”) would follow this same pattern of inhibition. Embedded in a 65 dB steady background noise were 100 dB white noise startle stimuli preceded at 120 ms on some trials by stimulus intensity increases or decreases of 5, 10, or 15 dB relative to background. Results showed that startle inhibition was graded by amount of change relative to background, such that greater increases or decreases resulted in greater inhibition. Also, increases were more effective startle inhibitors than decreases at equivalent levels of change from background. These results demonstrate that the neural centers responsible for startle inhibition are responsive to both increases and decreases in stimulus intensity, and are sensitive to amount of change, not simply whether a change occurs. These findings may have implications for the development of a screening method for a hearing disorder called tinnitus. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    July 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13266   open full text
  • For Distinguished Contributions to Psychophysiology: Brigitte Rockstroh.
    Gregory A. Miller.
    Psychophysiology. July 30, 2018
    --- - - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    July 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13205   open full text
  • Effects of menstrual cycle phase on electrocortical response to reward and depressive symptoms in women.
    Elizabeth M. Mulligan, Brady D. Nelson, Zachary P. Infantolino, Katherine R. Luking, Radhika Sharma, Greg Hajcak.
    Psychophysiology. July 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The menstrual cycle impacts mood and neural response to reward—phenomena that may be related to natural fluctuations in ovarian hormones. Using a within‐subject design, the present study examined ovarian hormones (i.e., estradiol and progesterone) and ERPs in response to feedback indicating gains and losses in both the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. We examined whether hormone levels and variation in neural response to reward and loss across menstrual cycle phases were associated with depressive symptoms. Participants high in depressive symptoms showed a reduced reward positivity (RewP) to monetary gains during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle as compared to the follicular phase, while those low in depressive symptoms showed no change in the RewP to monetary gains between phases. Thus, increased fluctuation in the neural response to gains (but not losses) across menstrual cycle phases was associated with greater depression symptoms. Overall, findings indicate that hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle may relate to depressive symptoms by altering reward sensitivity. Furthermore, fluctuation in the neural response to rewards over the menstrual cycle may play an important role in the expression of depressive symptoms. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    July 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13268   open full text
  • Alpha‐band functional connectivity during cued versus implicit modality‐specific anticipatory attention: EEG‐source coherence analysis.
    I. V. Talalay, A. V. Kurgansky, R. I. Machinskaya.
    Psychophysiology. July 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The anticipation of future events based on a background experience is one of the main components of any goal‐directed behavior. Anticipatory attention can be either voluntary (explicit) or involuntary (implicit). We presumed that these two types of anticipatory attention differed in terms of cortical functional organization. We examined this assumption with an experimental model consisting of three experimental sessions (cued attention, implicit learning, and baseline) that were equal in terms of stimuli, motor responses, and cognitive task. Participants were asked to discriminate the temporal order of stimuli within a pair presented in either the visual or auditory sensory modality. Prestimulus functional connectivity was assessed via alpha‐band coherence computed in the source space for preselected regions of interests. Functional links between the cortices of the frontoparietal control system increased during the cued attention condition and did not increase during the implicit anticipation condition. The buildup of implicit anticipation was accompanied by the strengthening of functional links between the intraparietal, ventral premotor, and presupplementary motor areas. It was discovered that both cued and implicit types of anticipation were underlain by functional modality‐specific cortical links. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    July 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13269   open full text
  • The effects of breathing at a frequency of 0.1 Hz on affective state, the cardiovascular system, and adequacy of ventilation.
    Mikołaj Tytus Szulczewski, Andrzej Rynkiewicz.
    Psychophysiology. July 16, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The present study aimed to investigate changes induced by breathing at 0.1 Hz in affective state, cardiovascular activity, and adequacy of ventilation as well as the relation between changes in peripheral physiological processes and alteration of affect. Eighty‐three participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Two groups doing paced breathing at 0.1 Hz, one with and the other without a cover story hiding the goal of the experiment, and, as a control, paced breathing at 0.28 Hz. We measured the effects of breathing at 0.1 Hz on affective state (unpleasant and pleasant arousals), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), sympathetic control of the heart (preejection period, PEP), and adequacy of ventilation as measured by partial pressure of end‐tidal CO2 (PetCO2). The use of a cover story did not influence the effects of paced breathing on the study outcomes. In the 0.1 Hz groups, unpleasant arousal decreased only among men. Changes in RSA were not related to changes in affect. Respiratory frequency did not influence PEP. However, changes in PEP were inversely related to changes in pleasant arousal. PetCO2 decreased in all conditions, and a larger drop in PetCO2 predicted a greater decrease in unpleasant arousal. The results obtained corroborate previous findings showing that slow paced breathing may lead to moderate hyperventilation among untrained participants and suggest that hyperventilation during breathing at 0.1 Hz is not deep enough to produce an increase in affective arousal. - Psychophysiology, EarlyView.
    July 16, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13221   open full text
  • Anxious gambling: Anxiety is associated with higher frontal midline theta predicting less risky decisions.
    Barbara Schmidt, Hannah Kanis, Clay B. Holroyd, Wolfgang H. R. Miltner, Johannes Hewig.
    Psychophysiology. June 20, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract In this study, we address the effect of anxiety measured with the State‐Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) on EEG and risk decisions. We selected 20 high and 20 low anxious participants based on their STAI trait scores in the upper or lower quartile of the norm distribution and implemented a risk game developed in our laboratory. We investigate if high anxious individuals exert more cognitive control, reflected in higher frontal midline theta (FMT) power when they make a risky decision, and if they act less risky compared to low anxious individuals. Participants played a risk game while we recorded their brain responses via EEG. High anxious participants played less risky compared to low anxious participants. Further, high anxious participants showed higher FMT power immediately before they chose one of two risk options, suggesting higher cognitive control during the decision time compared to low anxious participants. Via a mediation analysis, we show that the effect of anxiety on risk behavior is fully mediated by FMT power. Further, questionnaire responses revealed that high anxious participants rated risk situations as riskier compared to low anxious participants. We conclude that anxious individuals perceive risky situations as riskier and thus exert more cognitive control during their risk choices, reflected in higher FMT power, which leads to less risky decisions. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    June 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13210   open full text
  • Emotional misattribution: Facial muscle responses partially mediate behavioral responses in the emotion misattribution procedure.
    Michaela Rohr, Timea Folyi, Dirk Wentura.
    Psychophysiology. June 11, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract There is ongoing debate regarding the degree to which, and the conditions under which, physiological, affect‐related (i.e., embodied) processes contribute to emotion information processing. Whereas most studies focus on clearly visible and intentional processing conditions, the present study targeted this issue by studying the implicit processing of emotional (angry, fearful, joyful, neutral) faces in a masked emotion misattribution procedure. That is, participants had to categorize neutral‐looking faces with regard to the allegedly felt emotion, which were preceded by a very briefly presented emotional expression. In addition to behavioral measures, facial muscle responses were obtained as an index of physiological, affect‐related processes. Linear mixed‐model mediation analyses confirmed that facial muscle responses partially mediated the behavioral responses to the masked primes in the misattribution task. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    June 11, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13202   open full text
  • What's in a blush? Physiological blushing reveals narcissistic children's social‐evaluative concerns.
    Eddie Brummelman, Milica Nikolić, Susan M. Bögels.
    Psychophysiology. June 06, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Physiological responses can reveal emotional states that individuals are unwilling to admit to others. Here, we studied what blushing reveals about the emotional states of narcissistic children. Narcissistic children (i.e., those high on the personality trait of narcissism) have a pervasive sense of grandiosity. We theorized that narcissistic children are so invested in their sense of grandiosity that even modest praise can make them feel depreciated. Because narcissistic children may not admit this feeling to others, we measured their physiological blushing: an involuntary reddening of the face that occurs when individuals anticipate being depreciated. Unlike other emotional expressions, blushing cannot be faked. Children (N = 105, ages 7–12) completed the Childhood Narcissism Scale and were then invited to sing a song on stage. They were randomly assigned to receive inflated praise (e.g., “You sang incredibly well!”), modest praise (“You sang well!”), or no praise for their performance. Blushing was recorded using photoplethysmography and temperature sensing. Afterward, children were asked how much they thought they had blushed. As predicted, narcissistic children—unlike nonnarcissistic children—blushed when they received modest praise, not when they received inflated praise. Specifically, they showed increased blood volume pulse (i.e., fast changes in blood volume with each heartbeat). Strikingly, when asked, narcissistic children denied blushing, perhaps to hide their vulnerabilities. Thus, blushing revealed social‐evaluative concerns that narcissistic children wished to keep private. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    June 06, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13201   open full text
  • EEG oscillations during caress‐like affective haptic elicitation.
    Gaetano Valenza, Alberto Greco, Matteo Bianchi, Mimma Nardelli, Simone Rossi, Enzo Pasquale Scilingo.
    Psychophysiology. May 20, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Noninvasive, objective quantitative techniques to gauge emotional states are fundamental for clinical psychology as they overcome subjective bias of currently used questionnaires. To this end, we investigated brain oscillatory EEG activity during caresslike, affective haptic elicitation conveyed on the forearm at two force (strength of the caress) and three velocity (velocity of the caress) levels. Thirty‐two healthy subjects (16 female) were asked to assess each haptic stimulus in terms of arousal (i.e., intensity of emotional perception) and valence (i.e., pleasantness/unpleasantness of emotional perception) scores, according to the circumplex model of affect. Changes in brain oscillations were quantified through spectral and functional connectivity analyses. EEG power spectra were estimated through the individual α frequency peak. Results, expressed in terms of p‐value topographic maps, revealed a suppression of α, β, and γ oscillations over the contralateral somatosensory cortex during unpleasant caresses performed with the lowest force (2 N) and the highest velocity (65 mm/s). Conversely, pleasant caresses at the highest force were associated with a significant decrease of EEG oscillatory activity over the midfrontal region, at frequency bands including α, β, and γ. A correlation analysis showed that EEG γ power from the somatosensory area was linked to caressing force. The more unpleasant the affective cutaneous stimuli, the more the brain dynamics decrease in activity all over the scalp, primarily showing a suppression of α power over the midfrontal cortex. These results also pave the way for the design of haptic systems eliciting a given emotional state. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    May 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13199   open full text
  • Individual differences in decisiveness: ERP correlates of response inhibition and error monitoring.
    Magdalena Senderecka, Jakub Szewczyk, Szymon Wichary, Małgorzata Kossowska.
    Psychophysiology. May 20, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The aim of the current study was to examine whether and how self‐reported decisiveness is associated with response inhibition and performance monitoring. We hypothesized that these two cognitive control mechanisms, both of which are often associated with decision making, would differ in individuals varying in decisiveness. We focused on ERP correlates and behavioral measures of inhibition and error processing in the stop‐signal task. We expected a negative relationship between decisiveness and behavioral measures of inhibitory control. We also hypothesized that stop‐signal‐locked N1 and P3 components and response‐locked error‐related negativity (ERN) would be less pronounced when participants self‐reported higher levels of decisiveness. Correlation analysis identified an association between high decisiveness, long stop‐signal reaction time, and low inhibition rate. Analysis with mixed‐effects linear models revealed that stop signals evoked less pronounced N1 and P3 in individuals scoring higher on decisiveness in both successfully and unsuccessfully inhibited trials. Additionally, high decisiveness was linked to reduced error monitoring, as indicated by decreased ERNs. Importantly, we also found positive association between P3 onset latency and decisiveness, suggesting that individuals scoring higher on this measure have relatively less ability to rapidly engage the stopping process. Thus, our findings primarily indicate that decisiveness is negatively associated with the efficiency of both response inhibition and error monitoring. They also suggest that highly decisive people may share some characteristics of diminished cognitive control with impulsive individuals. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    May 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13198   open full text
  • Neural activation and memory for natural scenes: Explicit and spontaneous retrieval.
    Mathias Weymar, Margaret M. Bradley, Christopher T. Sege, Peter J. Lang.
    Psychophysiology. May 06, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Stimulus repetition elicits either enhancement or suppression in neural activity, and a recent fMRI meta‐analysis of repetition effects for visual stimuli (Kim, 2017) reported cross‐stimulus repetition enhancement in medial and lateral parietal cortex, as well as regions of prefrontal, temporal, and posterior cingulate cortex. Repetition enhancement was assessed here for repeated and novel scenes presented in the context of either an explicit episodic recognition task or an implicit judgment task, in order to study the role of spontaneous retrieval of episodic memories. Regardless of whether episodic memory was explicitly probed or not, repetition enhancement was found in medial posterior parietal (precuneus/cuneus), lateral parietal cortex (angular gyrus), as well as in medial prefrontal cortex (frontopolar), which did not differ by task. Enhancement effects in the posterior cingulate cortex were significantly larger during explicit compared to implicit task, primarily due to a lack of functional activity for new scenes. Taken together, the data are consistent with an interpretation that medial and (ventral) lateral parietal cortex are associated with spontaneous episodic retrieval, whereas posterior cingulate cortical regions may reflect task or decision processes. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    May 06, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13197   open full text
  • Reanalyzing language expectations: Native language knowledge modulates the sensitivity to intervening cues during anticipatory processing.
    Francesco Giannelli, Nicola Molinaro.
    Psychophysiology. May 06, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract We investigated how native language experience shapes anticipatory language processing. Two groups of bilinguals (either Spanish or Basque natives) performed a word matching task (WordMT) and a picture matching task (PictureMT). They indicated whether the stimuli they visually perceived matched with the noun they heard. Spanish noun endings were either diagnostic of the gender (transparent) or ambiguous (opaque). ERPs were time‐locked to an intervening gender‐marked determiner preceding the predicted noun. The determiner always gender agreed with the following noun but could also introduce a mismatching noun, so that it was not fully task diagnostic. Evoked brain activity time‐locked to the determiner was considered as reflecting updating/reanalysis of the task‐relevant preactivated representation. We focused on the timing of this effect by estimating the comparison between a gender‐congruent and a gender‐incongruent determiner. In the WordMT, both groups showed a late N400 effect. Crucially, only Basque natives displayed an earlier P200 effect for determiners preceding transparent nouns. In the PictureMT, both groups showed an early P200 effect for determiners preceding opaque nouns. The determiners of transparent nouns triggered a negative effect at ∼430 ms in Spanish natives, but at ∼550 ms in Basque natives. This pattern of results supports a “retracing hypothesis” according to which the neurocognitive system navigates through the intermediate (sublexical and lexical) linguistic representations available from previous processing to evaluate the need of an update in the linguistic expectation concerning a target lexical item. - Psychophysiology, Volume 55, Issue 10, October 2018.
    May 06, 2018   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13196   open full text
  • Perceived stress is associated with smaller hippocampal volume in adolescence.
    Luciane R. Piccolo, Kimberly G. Noble,.
    Psychophysiology. October 20, 2017
    Perceived stress has been associated with decreased hippocampal, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex volume, as well as decreased memory and executive functioning performance in adulthood. Parents' perceived stress has been linked to decreased hippocampal volume in young children. However, no studies have investigated the links between self‐perceived stress and brain structure or function in adolescents. Additionally, findings from previous research with younger or older samples are inconsistent, likely in part due to inconsistencies in participants' age range. In this study, we investigated the associations among self‐perceived stress, family socioeconomic factors (family income, parental education), subcortical (hippocampus, amygdala) volumes, prefrontal cortical thickness and surface area, and memory and executive functioning performance in adolescents. One hundred and forty‐three participants (12–20 years old) were administered a cognitive battery, a questionnaire to assess perceived stress, and a structural MRI scan. Higher levels of perceived stress were associated with decreased adolescent hippocampal volume. This study provides empirical evidence of how experience may shape brain development in adolescence—a period of plasticity during which it may be possible to intervene and prevent negative developmental outcomes.
    October 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13025   open full text
  • Openness to experience and adapting to change: Cardiovascular stress habituation to change in acute stress exposure.
    Páraic S. Ó Súilleabháin, Siobhán Howard, Brian M. Hughes.
    Psychophysiology. October 17, 2017
    Underlying psychophysiological mechanisms of effect linking openness to experience to health outcomes, and particularly cardiovascular well‐being, are unknown. This study examined the role of openness in the context of cardiovascular responsivity to acute psychological stress. Continuous cardiovascular response data were collected for 74 healthy young female adults across an experimental protocol, including differing counterbalanced acute stressors. Openness was measured via self‐report questionnaire. Analysis of covariance revealed openness was associated with systolic blood pressure (SBP; p = .016), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP; p = .036) responsivity across the protocol. Openness was also associated with heart rate (HR) responding to the initial stress exposure (p = .044). Examination of cardiovascular adaptation revealed that higher openness was associated with significant SBP (p = .001), DBP (p = .009), and HR (p = .002) habituation in response to the second differing acute stress exposure. Taken together, the findings suggest persons higher in openness are characterized by an adaptive cardiovascular stress response profile within the context of changing acute stress exposures. This study is also the first to demonstrate individual differences in cardiovascular adaptation across a protocol consisting of differing stress exposures. More broadly, this research also suggests that future research may benefit from conceptualizing an adaptive fitness of openness within the context of change. In summary, the present study provides evidence that higher openness stimulates short‐term stress responsivity, while ensuring cardiovascular habituation to change in stress across time.
    October 17, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13023   open full text
  • Local context influences memory for emotional stimuli but not electrophysiological markers of emotion‐dependent attention.
    Gemma E. Barnacle, Dimitris Tsivilis, Alexandre Schaefer, Deborah Talmi.
    Psychophysiology. October 12, 2017
    Emotional enhancement of free recall can be context dependent. It is readily observed when emotional and neutral scenes are encoded and recalled together in a “mixed” list, but diminishes when these scenes are encoded separately in “pure” lists. We examined the hypothesis that this effect is due to differences in allocation of attention to neutral stimuli according to whether they are presented in mixed or pure lists, especially when encoding is intentional. Using picture stimuli that were controlled for semantic relatedness, our results contradicted this hypothesis. The amplitude of well‐known electrophysiological markers of emotion‐related attention—the early posterior negativity (EPN), the late positive potential (LPP), and the slow wave (SW)—was higher for emotional stimuli. Crucially, the emotional modulation of these ERPs was insensitive to list context, observed equally in pure and mixed lists. Although list context did not modulate neural markers of emotion‐related attention, list context did modulate the effect of emotion on free recall. The apparent decoupling of the emotional effects on attention and memory, challenges existing hypotheses accounting for the emotional enhancement of memory. We close by discussing whether findings are more compatible with an alternative hypothesis, where the magnitude of emotional memory enhancement is, at least in part, a consequence of retrieval dynamics.
    October 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13014   open full text
  • Pupil dilation indicates the coding of past prediction errors: Evidence for attentional learning theory.
    Stephan Koenig, Metin Uengoer, Harald Lachnit.
    Psychophysiology. October 11, 2017
    The attentional learning theory of Pearce and Hall () predicts more attention to uncertain cues that have caused a high prediction error in the past. We examined how the cue‐elicited pupil dilation during associative learning was linked to such error‐driven attentional processes. In three experiments, participants were trained to acquire associations between different cues and their appetitive (Experiment 1), motor (Experiment 2), or aversive (Experiment 3) outcomes. All experiments were designed to examine differences in the processing of continuously reinforced cues (consistently followed by the outcome) versus partially reinforced, uncertain cues (randomly followed by the outcome). We measured the pupil dilation elicited by the cues in anticipation of the outcome and analyzed how this conditioned pupil response changed over the course of learning. In all experiments, changes in pupil size complied with the same basic pattern: During early learning, consistently reinforced cues elicited greater pupil dilation than uncertain, randomly reinforced cues, but this effect gradually reversed to yield a greater pupil dilation for uncertain cues toward the end of learning. The pattern of data accords with the changes in prediction error and error‐driven attention formalized by the Pearce‐Hall theory.
    October 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13020   open full text
  • Is attention enhanced following performance errors? Testing the adaptive control hypothesis.
    Rebecca J. Compton, Elizabeth C. Heaton, Averi Gaines.
    Psychophysiology. October 11, 2017
    The present study tested whether people adaptively sharpen attentional focus following performance mistakes, as predicted by current theories of cognitive control. Participants completed a reverse Stroop task in which target stimuli were preceded by an informative spatial cue. Cue validity and Stroop interference effects on performance were robust, but neither effect was altered by commission of an error on the prior trial, as predicted by the adaptive control model. Likewise, a prior error did not enhance cue‐evoked spatial asymmetries in EEG, nor did it enhance validity effects on neural responses evoked by targets. Instead, errors were followed by poorer overall performance and generalized arousal, as measured by generally suppressed EEG alpha power in postresponse and cue‐to‐target intervals following errors compared to correct responses. Results support an alternative theory that post‐error changes in neural activity and performance reflect arousal, orienting, or cognitive bottlenecking rather than adaptive control of attention.
    October 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13022   open full text
  • First‐impression bias effects on mismatch negativity to auditory spatial deviants.
    Kaitlin Fitzgerald, Alexander Provost, Juanita Todd.
    Psychophysiology. October 03, 2017
    Internal models of regularities in the world serve to facilitate perception as redundant input can be predicted and neural resources conserved for that which is new or unexpected. In the auditory system, this is reflected in an evoked potential component known as mismatch negativity (MMN). MMN is elicited by the violation of an established regularity to signal the inaccuracy of the current model and direct resources to the unexpected event. Prevailing accounts suggest that MMN amplitude will increase with stability in regularity; however, observations of first‐impression bias contradict stability effects. If tones rotate probabilities as a rare deviant (p = .125) and common standard (p = .875), MMN elicited to the initial deviant tone reaches maximal amplitude faster than MMN to the first standard when later encountered as deviant—a differential pattern that persists throughout rotations. Sensory inference is therefore biased by longer‐term contextual information beyond local probability statistics. Using the same multicontext sequence structure, we examined whether this bias generalizes to MMN elicited by spatial sound cues using monaural sounds (n = 19, right first deviant and n = 22, left first deviant) and binaural sounds (n = 19, right first deviant). The characteristic differential modulation of MMN to the two tones was observed in two of three groups, providing partial support for the generalization of first‐impression bias to spatially deviant sounds. We discuss possible explanations for its absence when the initial deviant was delivered monaurally to the right ear.
    October 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13013   open full text
  • Quantifying rapid changes in cardiovascular state with a moving ensemble average.
    Matthew Cieslak, William S. Ryan, Viktoriya Babenko, Hannah Erro, Zoe M. Rathbun, Wendy Meiring, Robert M. Kelsey, Jim Blascovich, Scott T. Grafton.
    Psychophysiology. October 03, 2017
    MEAP, the moving ensemble analysis pipeline, is a new open‐source tool designed to perform multisubject preprocessing and analysis of cardiovascular data, including electrocardiogram (ECG), impedance cardiogram (ICG), and continuous blood pressure (BP). In addition to traditional ensemble averaging, MEAP implements a moving ensemble averaging method that allows for the continuous estimation of indices related to cardiovascular state, including cardiac output, preejection period, heart rate variability, and total peripheral resistance, among others. Here, we define the moving ensemble technique mathematically, highlighting its differences from fixed‐window ensemble averaging. We describe MEAP's interface and features for signal processing, artifact correction, and cardiovascular‐based fMRI analysis. We demonstrate the accuracy of MEAP's novel B point detection algorithm on a large collection of hand‐labeled ICG waveforms. As a proof of concept, two subjects completed a series of four physical and cognitive tasks (cold pressor, Valsalva maneuver, video game, random dot kinetogram) on 3 separate days while ECG, ICG, and BP were recorded. Critically, the moving ensemble method reliably captures the rapid cyclical cardiovascular changes related to the baroreflex during the Valsalva maneuver and the classic cold pressor response. Cardiovascular measures were seen to vary considerably within repetitions of the same cognitive task for each individual, suggesting that a carefully designed paradigm could be used to capture fast‐acting event‐related changes in cardiovascular state.
    October 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13018   open full text
  • The power of frontal midline theta and post‐error slowing to predict performance recovery: Evidence for compensatory mechanisms.
    Emilio A. Valadez, Robert F. Simons.
    Psychophysiology. September 28, 2017
    Past studies utilizing cognitive control tasks have noted that trials following errors are characterized by slowed reaction time. Despite the assumption long held by researchers that this slowing is compensatory (in the service of post‐error performance recovery), studies consistently show that post‐error trials are no more accurate than post‐correct trials. As a result, it has recently been proposed that post‐error slowing (PES) is merely part of an orienting response that serves no task‐relevant cognitive control purpose. Frontal midline theta (FMθ) oscillations represent another potential compensatory mechanism serving cognitive control processes, yet past studies relying on ERPs have failed to find an association between FMθ and post‐error accuracy. The present study investigated the potentially adaptive role of PES and FMθ oscillations during a flanker task using trial‐by‐trial comparisons. Results indicated that error‐related FMθ oscillations signal the need for enhanced top‐down cognitive control and that PES supports cognitive control by providing the added time needed to achieve greater confidence in judgment. Overall, findings provide convergent evidence that both error‐related FMθ and PES predict performance recovery following errors.
    September 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13010   open full text
  • Flashing a smile: Startle eyeblink modulation by masked affective faces.
    Elizabeth R. Duval, Christopher T. Lovelace, Katherine Gimmestad, Justin Aarant, Diane L. Filion.
    Psychophysiology. September 26, 2017
    Affective faces are important stimuli with relevance to healthy and abnormal social and affective information processing. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of brief presentations of affective faces on attention and emotional state across the time course of stimulus processing, as indexed by startle eyeblink response modulation. Healthy adults were presented with happy, neutral, and disgusted male and female faces that were backward masked by neutral faces. Startle responses were elicited at 300, 800, and 3,500 ms following stimulus presentation to probe early and late startle eyeblink modulation, indicative of attention allocation and emotional state, respectively. Results revealed that, at 300 ms, both face expression and face gender modulated startle eyeblink response, suggesting that more attention was allocated to masked happy compared to disgusted female faces, and masked disgusted compared to neutral male faces. There were no effects of either face expression or face gender on startle modulation at 800 ms. At 3,500 ms, target face expression did not modulate startle, but male faces elicited larger startle responses than female faces, indicative of a more negative emotional state. These findings provide a systematic investigation of attention and emotion modulation by brief affective faces across the time course of stimulus processing.
    September 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13012   open full text
  • Event‐related potential components as measures of aversive conditioning in humans.
    Felix Bacigalupo, Steven J. Luck.
    Psychophysiology. September 26, 2017
    For more than 60 years, the gold standard for assessing aversive conditioning in humans has been the skin conductance response (SCR), which arises from the activation of the peripheral nervous system. Although the SCR has been proven useful, it has some properties that impact the kinds of questions it can be used to answer. In particular, the SCR is slow, reaching a peak 4–5 s after stimulus onset, and it decreases in amplitude after a few trials (habituation). The present study asked whether the late positive potential (LPP) of the ERP waveform could be a useful complementary method for assessing aversive conditioning in humans. The SCR and LPP were measured in an aversive conditioning paradigm consisting of three blocks in which one color was paired with a loud noise (CS+) and other colors were not paired with the noise (CS−). Participants also reported the perceived likelihood of being exposed to the noise for each color. Both SCR and LPP were significantly larger on CS+ trials than on CS− trials. However, SCR decreased steeply after the first conditioning block, whereas LPP and self‐reports were stable over blocks. These results indicate that the LPP can be used to assess aversive conditioning and has several useful properties: (a) it is a direct response of the central nervous system, (b) it is fast, with an onset latency of 300 ms, (c) it does not habituate over time.
    September 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13015   open full text
  • Affective priming and cognitive load: Event‐related potentials suggest an interplay of implicit affect misattribution and strategic inhibition.
    Henning Gibbons, Laura‐Effi Seib‐Pfeifer, Judith Koppehele‐Gossel, Robert Schnuerch.
    Psychophysiology. September 21, 2017
    Prior research suggests that the affective priming effect denoting prime‐congruent evaluative judgments about neutral targets preceded by affective primes increases when the primes are processed less deeply. This has been taken as evidence for greater affect misattribution. However, no study so far has combined an experimental manipulation of the depth of prime processing with the benefits of ERPs. Forty‐seven participants made like/dislike responses about Korean ideographs following 800‐ms affective prime words while 64‐channel EEG was recorded. In a randomized within‐subject design, three levels of working‐memory load were applied specifically during prime processing. Affective priming was significant for all loads and even tended to decrease over loads, although efficiency of the load manipulation was confirmed by reduced amplitudes of posterior attention‐sensitive prime ERPs. Moreover, ERPs revealed greater explicit affective discrimination of the prime words as load increased, with strongest valence effects on central/centroparietal N400 and on the parietal/parietooccipital late positive complex under high load. This suggests that (a) participants by default tried to inhibit the processing of the prime's affect, and (b) inhibition more often failed under cognitive load, thus causing emotional breakthrough that resulted in a binding of affect to the prime and, hence, reduced affect misattribution to the target. As a correlate of affective priming in the target ERP, medial‐frontal negativity, a well‐established marker of (low) stimulus value, increased with increasing negative affect of the prime. Findings support implicit prime‐target affect transfer as a major source of affective priming, but also point to the role of strategic top‐down processes.
    September 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13009   open full text
  • Consistency of abnormal sensory gating in first‐admission and chronic schizophrenia across quantification methods.
    David Schubring, Tzvetan Popov, Gregory A. Miller, Brigitte Rockstroh.
    Psychophysiology. September 21, 2017
    The auditory P50/M50 ERP/event‐related field is subject to sensory gating, with partial suppression of the amplitude of the second of two (S1 and S2) clicks presented 500 ms apart. Schizophrenia patients have less gating, although quantification methods and associated effect sizes vary across studies using first‐admission and/or using chronic patients. The present study evaluated the impact of several methods of quantifying gating in first‐admission (FA) and chronic (CHR) schizophrenia patients and in healthy controls (HC). Magnetoencephalogram was measured in 35 FA, 58 CHR, and 28 HC during a paired‐click protocol. Sensory gating was quantified on sensor and source levels as a ratio (S2/S1) and as a S1‐minus‐S2 difference, with M50 amplitude scored relative to baseline and relative to M100 and to M40. Independent of quantification method, patients showed less sensory gating than HC, with medium‐to‐large effect sizes, without differences between FA and CHR. Results indicate that the frequently reported sensory gating deficit in schizophrenia is robust to variations in quantification methods and stage of disorder.
    September 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13006   open full text
  • Noncontact measurement of emotional and physiological changes in heart rate from a webcam.
    Christopher R. Madan, Tyler Harrison, Kyle E. Mathewson.
    Psychophysiology. September 21, 2017
    Heart rate, measured in beats per minute, can be used as an index of an individual's physiological state. Each time the heart beats, blood is expelled and travels through the body. This blood flow can be detected in the face using a standard webcam that is able to pick up subtle changes in color that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Due to the light absorption spectrum of blood, we are able to detect differences in the amount of light absorbed by the blood traveling just below the skin (i.e., photoplethysmography). By modulating emotional and physiological stress—that is, viewing arousing images and sitting versus standing, respectively—to elicit changes in heart rate, we explored the feasibility of using a webcam as a psychophysiological measurement of autonomic activity. We found a high level of agreement between established physiological measures, electrocardiogram, and blood pulse oximetry, and heart rate estimates obtained from the webcam. We thus suggest webcams can be used as a noninvasive and readily available method for measuring psychophysiological changes, easily integrated into existing stimulus presentation software and hardware setups.
    September 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13005   open full text
  • I can feel my heartbeat: Dancers have increased interoceptive accuracy.
    Julia F. Christensen, Sebastian B. Gaigg, Beatriz Calvo‐Merino.
    Psychophysiology. September 21, 2017
    Interoception is the process of perceiving afferent signals arising from within the body including heart rate (HR), gastric signals, etc., and has been described as a mechanism crucially involved in the creation of self‐awareness and selfhood. The heartbeat perception task is a tool to measure individuals' interoceptive accuracy (IAcc). IAcc correlates positively with measures of self‐awareness and with attributes including emotional sensitivity, empathy, prosocial behavior, and efficient decision making. IAcc is only moderate in the general population, and attempts to identify groups of people who might have higher IAcc due to their specific training (e.g., yoga, meditation) have not been successful. However, a recent study with musicians suggests that those trained in the arts might exhibit high IAcc. Here, we tested IAcc in 20 professional dancers and 20 female control participants on a heartbeat perception task. Dancers had a higher IAcc, and this effect was independent of their lower heart rates (a proxy measure of physical fitness), counting ability, and knowledge about HR. An additional between‐groups analysis after a median split in the dancer group (based on years of dance experience) showed that junior dancers' IAcc differed from controls, and senior dancers' IAcc was higher than both junior dancers and controls. General art experience correlated positively with IAcc. No correlations were found between IAcc and questionnaire measures of empathy, emotional experience, and alexithymia. These findings are discussed in the context of current theories of interoception and emotion—highlighting the features of arts training that might be related to IAcc.
    September 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13008   open full text
  • Dyspnea catastrophizing and neural activations during the anticipation and perception of dyspnea.
    M. Cornelia Stoeckel, Roland W. Esser, Matthias Gamer, Christian Büchel, Andreas von Leupoldt.
    Psychophysiology. September 13, 2017
    Dyspnea is an aversive symptom in various diseases. High levels of negative affectivity are typically associated with increased dyspnea and changes in its neural processing. Recently, more dyspnea‐specific forms of negative affectivity such as dyspnea catastrophizing were suggested to contribute to increased perception of dyspnea beyond effects of rather unspecific negative affectivity such as general anxiety levels. The involved neural mechanisms have not yet been explored. Therefore, the present retrospective analysis examined the associations of dyspnea catastrophizing with neural activations during the anticipation and perception of dyspnea. Sixty‐six healthy volunteers underwent 20 blocks of inspiratory resistive load breathing with parallel acquisition of fMRI data. Loads inducing either severe or mild dyspnea (dyspnea conditions) were presented in alternating order, with each condition being visually cued (anticipation conditions). Dyspnea catastrophizing and general trait anxiety were measured with the Breathlessness Catastrophizing Scale (BCS) and the State‐Trait Anxiety Inventory, respectively. Correlating the BCS scores with neural activations during the perception of dyspnea yielded no significant results. However, during the anticipation of dyspnea, BCS scores correlated positively with activations of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), even after controlling for general anxiety levels. These activations in the ACC were not related to concurrent respiratory parameters. Results suggest that dyspnea catastrophizing in healthy volunteers is associated with stronger ACC recruitment during dyspnea anticipation. Given the established role of the ACC in processing affective states, affect regulation, and antinociception, this might reflect increased affective and/or top‐down modulatory processing in individuals with higher dyspnea catastrophizing when anticipating dyspnea.
    September 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.13004   open full text
  • Adaptability and specificity of inhibition processes in distractor‐induced blindness.
    Gesche N. Winther, Michael Niedeggen.
    Psychophysiology. September 11, 2017
    In a rapid serial visual presentation task, inhibition processes cumulatively impair processing of a target possessing distractor properties. This phenomenon—known as distractor‐induced blindness—has thus far only been elicited using dynamic visual features, such as motion and orientation changes. In three ERP experiments, we used a visual object feature—color—to test for the adaptability and specificity of the effect. In Experiment I, participants responded to a color change (target) in the periphery whose onset was signaled by a central cue. Presentation of irrelevant color changes prior to the cue (distractors) led to reduced target detection, accompanied by a frontal ERP negativity that increased with increasing number of distractors, similar to the effects previously found for dynamic targets. This suggests that distractor‐induced blindness is adaptable to color features. In Experiment II, the target consisted of coherent motion contrasting the color distractors. Correlates of distractor‐induced blindness were found neither in the behavioral nor in the ERP data, indicating a feature specificity of the process. Experiment III confirmed the strict distinction between congruent and incongruent distractors: A single color distractor was embedded in a stream of motion distractors with the target consisting of a coherent motion. While behavioral performance was affected by the distractors, the color distractor did not elicit a frontal negativity. The experiments show that distractor‐induced blindness is also triggered by visual stimuli predominantly processed in the ventral stream. The strict specificity of the central inhibition process also applies to these stimulus features.
    September 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12974   open full text
  • The effect of expressive writing on the error‐related negativity among individuals with chronic worry.
    Hans S. Schroder, Tim P. Moran, Jason S. Moser.
    Psychophysiology. September 08, 2017
    The error‐related negativity (ERN), an ERP elicited immediately after errors, is enlarged among individuals with anxiety. The relationship between anxiety and enlarged ERN has spurred interest in understanding potential therapeutic benefits of decreasing its amplitude within anxious individuals. The current study used a tailored intervention—expressive writing—in an attempt to reduce the ERN among a sample of individuals with chronic worry. Consistent with hypotheses, the ERN was reduced in the expressive writing group compared to an unrelated writing control group. Findings provide experimental support that the ERN can be reduced among anxious individuals with tailored interventions. Expressive writing may serve to “offload” worries from working memory, therefore relieving the distracting effects of worry on cognition as reflected in a decreased ERN.
    September 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12990   open full text
  • Startle reflex modulation during threat of shock and “threat” of reward.
    Margaret M. Bradley, Zvinka Z. Zlatar, Peter J. Lang.
    Psychophysiology. September 07, 2017
    During threat of shock, the startle reflex is potentiated, suggesting modulation by defensive mobilization. To determine whether startle potentiation is specific to aversive anticipation, startle reflexes were measured in the context of either aversive or appetitive anticipation in a between‐subject study. Participants wore a device on the wrist that could deliver electrical shock (n = 49), or vibrotactile stimulation indicating monetary reward (n = 48). Cues signaling “threat” or “safe” periods were presented alone, or accompanied by presentation of affective and neutral pictures on half of the trials. Results indicated that the startle reflex was significantly potentiated when anticipating either shock or reward, compared to safe periods, both when no picture was presented, as well as during picture viewing. The difference between threat and safety in both reflex magnitude and skin conductance changes was larger for those anticipating shock, suggesting that the aversive context was more motivationally engaging. The pattern of reflex modulation as a function of picture valence varied under threat and safety, but was identical in the shock and reward groups, consistent with a hypothesis that anticipation of either aversive or appetitive events prompts heightened perceptual vigilance, potentiating the acoustic startle reflex.
    September 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12989   open full text
  • Convergence of fMRI and ERP measures of emotional face processing in combat‐exposed U. S. military veterans.
    Annmarie MacNamara, Christine A. Rabinak, Amy E. Kennedy, K. Luan Phan.
    Psychophysiology. September 07, 2017
    The late positive potential (LPP) and fMRI blood‐oxygen‐level dependent (BOLD) activity can provide complementary measures of the processing of affective and social stimuli. Separate lines of research using these measures have often employed the same stimuli, paradigms, and samples; however, there remains relatively little understanding of the way in which individual differences in one of these measures relates to the other, and all prior research has been conducted in psychiatrically healthy samples and using emotional scenes (not faces). Here, 32 combat‐exposed U. S. military veterans with varying levels of posttraumatic stress symptomatology viewed affective social stimuli (angry, fearful, and happy faces) and geometric shapes during separate EEG and fMRI BOLD recordings. Temporospatial principal component analysis was used to quantify the face‐elicited LPP in a data‐driven manner, prior to conducting whole‐brain correlations between resulting positivities and fMRI BOLD elicited by faces. Participants with larger positivities to fearful faces (> shapes) showed increased activation in the amygdala; larger positivities to angry and happy faces (> shapes) were associated with increased BOLD activation in the posterior fusiform gyrus and inferior temporal gyrus, respectively. Across all face types, larger positivities were associated with increased activation in the fusiform “face” area. Correlations using mean area amplitude LPPs showed an association with increased activation in the anterior insula for angry faces (> shapes). LPP‐BOLD associations were not moderated by PTSD. Findings provide the first evidence of correspondence between face‐elicited LPP and BOLD activation across a range of (normal to disordered) psychiatric health.
    September 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12988   open full text
  • Personality correlates of individual differences in the recruitment of cognitive mechanisms when rewards are at stake.
    Allan J. Heritage, Laura J. Long, Geoffrey F. Woodman, David H. Zald.
    Psychophysiology. September 06, 2017
    Individuals differ greatly in their sensitivity to rewards and punishments. In the extreme, these differences are implicated in a range of psychiatric disorders from addiction to depression. However, it is unclear how these differences influence the recruitment of attention, working memory, and long‐term memory when responding to potential rewards. Here, we used a rewarded memory‐guided visual search task and ERPs to examine the influence of individual differences in self‐reported reward/punishment sensitivity, as measured by the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS)/Behavioral Activation System (BAS) scales, on the recruitment of cognitive mechanisms in conditions of potential reward. Select subscales of the BAS, including the fun seeking and reward responsiveness scales, showed unique relationships with context updating to reward cues and working memory maintenance of potentially rewarded stimuli. In contrast, BIS scores showed unique relationships with deployment of attention at different points in the task. These results suggest that sensitivity to rewards (i.e., BAS) and to punishment (i.e., BIS) may play an important role in the recruitment of specific and distinct cognitive mechanisms in conditions of potential rewards.
    September 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12987   open full text
  • Testing a linear time invariant model for skin conductance responses by intraneural recording and stimulation.
    Samuel Gerster, Barbara Namer, Mikael Elam, Dominik R. Bach.
    Psychophysiology. September 01, 2017
    Skin conductance responses (SCR) are increasingly analyzed with model‐based approaches that assume a linear and time‐invariant (LTI) mapping from sudomotor nerve (SN) activity to observed SCR. These LTI assumptions have previously been validated indirectly, by quantifying how much variance in SCR elicited by sensory stimulation is explained under an LTI model. This approach, however, collapses sources of variability in the nervous and effector organ systems. Here, we directly focus on the SN/SCR mapping by harnessing two invasive methods. In an intraneural recording experiment, we simultaneously track SN activity and SCR. This allows assessing the SN/SCR relationship but possibly suffers from interfering activity of non‐SN sympathetic fibers. In an intraneural stimulation experiment under regional anesthesia, such influences are removed. In this stimulation experiment, about 95% of SCR variance is explained under LTI assumptions when stimulation frequency is below 0.6 Hz. At higher frequencies, nonlinearities occur. In the intraneural recording experiment, explained SCR variance is lower, possibly indicating interference from non‐SN fibers, but higher than in our previous indirect tests. We conclude that LTI systems may not only be a useful approximation but in fact a rather accurate description of biophysical reality in the SN/SCR system, under conditions of low baseline activity and sporadic external stimuli. Intraneural stimulation under regional anesthesia is the most sensitive method to address this question.
    September 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12986   open full text
  • Flanker task with equiprobable congruent and incongruent conditions does not elicit the conflict N2.
    Patrycja Kałamała, Jakub Szewczyk, Magdalena Senderecka, Zofia Wodniecka.
    Psychophysiology. August 28, 2017
    In many published studies, various modifications of the flanker task have been used. Regardless of the flanker task version, the conflict N2 component has been consistently reported and interpreted as evidence for the resolution of conflict introduced by incongruent flankers. However, ERP studies that used the most basic flanker task (i.e., a version with equiprobable congruent and incongruent conditions in which only congruency between the target and flankers is manipulated) have not provided compelling evidence for the conflict N2 component. We report the results of a large‐sample ERP study employing a basic flanker task that allowed us to revisit the mechanism underlying the resolution of conflict introduced by incongruent flankers. In the behavioral data, we observed the classic effect of congruency. In the ERP data, we found three conflict‐sensitive components: (a) an early frontal component, presumably corresponding to P2, (b) P300 for congruent trials, followed by (c) P300 for incongruent trials. We did not find evidence for the conflict N2 component. Based on a review of literature, we propose that the conflict N2 component observed in a basic flanker task might be a frontal aspect of the P300 component. Given previous attempts to attribute the functional role of the ERP components, the absence of the conflict N2 in the basic flanker task suggests that response inhibition may not be crucial for the resolution of conflict induced by incongruent flankers. Instead, the P2 component appears to indicate that selective attention might play an important role in resolving the flanker conflict.
    August 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12980   open full text
  • Parent‐child coregulation of parasympathetic processes varies by social context and risk for psychopathology.
    Erika Lunkenheimer, Stacey S. Tiberio, Amanda M. Skoranski, Kristin A. Buss, Pamela M. Cole.
    Psychophysiology. August 28, 2017
    The parasympathetic nervous system supports social interaction and varies in relation to psychopathology. However, we know little about parasympathetic processes from a dyadic framework, nor in early childhood when parent‐child social interactions become more complex and child psychopathology first emerges. We hypothesized that higher risk for psychopathology (maternal psychopathology symptoms and child problem behavior) would be related to weaker concordance of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) between mothers and children (M = 3½ years old; N = 47) and that these relations could vary by social contextual demands, comparing unstructured free play, semistructured cleanup, and structured teaching tasks. Multilevel coupled autoregressive models of RSA during parent‐child interactions showed overall dynamic, positive concordance in mother‐child RSA over time, but this concordance was weaker during the more structured teaching task. In contrast, higher maternal psychological aggression and child externalizing and internalizing problems were associated with weaker dyadic RSA concordance, which was weakest during unstructured free play. Higher maternal depressive symptoms were related to disrupted individual mother and child RSA but not to RSA concordance. Thus, risk for psychopathology was generally related to weaker dyadic mother‐child RSA concordance in contexts with less complex structure or demands (free play, cleanup), as compared to the structured teaching task that showed weaker RSA concordance for all dyads. Implications for the meaning and utility of the construct of parent‐child physiological coregulation are discussed.
    August 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12985   open full text
  • Word onset phonetic properties and motor artifacts in speech production EEG recordings.
    Raphaël Fargier, Audrey Bürki, Svetlana Pinet, F.‐Xavier Alario, Marina Laganaro.
    Psychophysiology. August 28, 2017
    Electrophysiological research using verbal response paradigms faces the problem of muscle artifacts that occur during speech production or in the period preceding articulation. In this context, this paper has two related aims. The first is to show how the nature of the first phoneme influences the alignment of the ERPs. The second is to further characterize the EEG signal around the onset of articulation, both in temporal and frequency domains. Participants were asked to name aloud pictures of common objects. We applied microstate analyses and time‐frequency transformations of ERPs locked to vocal onset to compare the EEG signal between voiced and unvoiced labial plosive word onset consonants. We found a delay of about 40 ms in the set of stable topographic patterns for /b/ relative to /p/ onset words. A similar shift was observed in the power increase of gamma oscillations (30–50 Hz), which had an earlier onset for /p/ trials (∼150 ms before vocal onset). This 40‐ms shift is consistent with the length of the voiced proportion of the acoustic signal prior to the release of the closure in the vocal responses. These results demonstrate that phonetic features are an important parameter affecting response‐locked ERPs, and hence that the onset of the acoustic energy may not be an optimal trigger for synchronizing the EEG activity to the response in vocal paradigms. The indexes explored in this study provide a step forward in the characterization of muscle‐related artifacts in electrophysiological studies of speech and language production.
    August 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12982   open full text
  • Acute fall and long‐term rise in oxygen saturation in response to meditation.
    Nicolò F. Bernardi, Marco Bordino, Lucio Bianchi, Luciano Bernardi.
    Psychophysiology. August 25, 2017
    The effects of meditation on arterial and tissue oxygenation are unknown and difficult to assess because respiration is often altered, directly or indirectly, during meditation practice. Thus, changes in respiration may affect cardiovascular responses independently from meditation. In this study, we aim to isolate the specific effect of meditation on arterial and tissue oxygenation and other cardiorespiratory indexes while systematically controlling for the role of respiration. Furthermore, we aim to clarify to what extent prior expertise in meditation practice is needed to observe reliable changes. Eighty participants, half with and half without prior meditation experience, were tested while pacing breathing at predetermined rates, in the presence or absence of mantra meditation instructions, and in a body scan meditation that did not involve controlled breathing. Continuous recordings were acquired for arterial and brain oxygenation, respiratory excursion, electrocardiogram, skin vasomotion, and blood pressure. In both groups, meditation acutely decreased arterial and cerebral oxygen saturation, reduced chemoreflex sensitivity, and prolonged the RR interval, independently of respiration. Conversely, slow breathing improved heart rate variability, independently of concurrent meditation. In addition to the immediate effects of meditation, the individuals with long‐term practice of meditation had overall higher arterial and cerebral oxygen saturation, overall lower blood pressure, and slower baseline respiration. Meditation acutely lowers arterial and tissue oxygenation. A repeated exposure to this condition may lead to long‐term adaptation and, through increased ventilatory efficiency and improved gas exchanges, to an increase in baseline oxygenation. Meditation induces favorable changes in cardiovascular and respiratory end points of clinical interest.
    August 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12972   open full text
  • Physiological and psychological effects of imagery techniques on health anxiety.
    T. Tolgou, S. Rohrmann, C. Stockhausen, D. Krampen, I. Warnecke, N. Reiss.
    Psychophysiology. August 23, 2017
    Previous research has shown that intrusions are part of the psychopathology of mental disorders. Imagery techniques seem to be an effective treatment of negative intrusions. Since negative mental imagery is part of health anxiety, the present study investigated the impact of imagery techniques on health anxiety. A total of 159 students with elevated scores in a health anxiety questionnaire watched an aversive film concerning a cancer patient and were randomly allocated to one of three interventions (positive imagery, imagery reexperiencing, imagery rescripting) or the control group. The intervention lasted 9 min. Physiological data (heart rate and cortisol) as well as psychological measures, such as mood ratings, health anxiety scores, and intrusions, were assessed during the appointment, while psychological measures were assessed over a period of 1 week after the intervention. Cortisol levels changed over time depending on the intervention. Heart rate changed during the 9‐min interventions as well, with the fastest decrease during imagery rescripting. Moreover, negative mood and distress decreased after the intervention, while intrusions were reduced 1 week after the intervention in all groups equally. The results suggest that imagery rescripting is a promising technique that seems to activate a process of deep elaboration. Therefore, it might be an adequate way to target health anxiety symptoms such as anxiety, intrusions, and avoidance or safety‐seeking behavior. Further studies should focus on imagery rescripting in clinical samples with health anxiety and target individual intrusive images to increase effectiveness. Nevertheless, the development of a long‐term explanatory model of rescripting is needed.
    August 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12984   open full text
  • Musical training modulates the early but not the late stage of rhythmic syntactic processing.
    Lijun Sun, Fang Liu, Linshu Zhou, Cunmei Jiang.
    Psychophysiology. August 23, 2017
    Syntactic processing is essential for musical understanding. Although the processing of harmonic syntax has been well studied, very little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying rhythmic syntactic processing. The present study investigated the neural processing of rhythmic syntax and whether and to what extent long‐term musical training impacts such processing. Fourteen musicians and 14 nonmusicians listened to syntactic‐regular or syntactic‐irregular rhythmic sequences and judged the completeness of these sequences. Nonmusicians, as well as musicians, showed a P600 effect to syntactic‐irregular endings, indicating that musical exposure and perceptual learning of music are sufficient to enable nonmusicians to process rhythmic syntax at the late stage. However, musicians, but not nonmusicians, also exhibited an early right anterior negativity (ERAN) response to syntactic‐irregular endings, which suggests that musical training only modulates the early but not the late stage of rhythmic syntactic processing. These findings revealed for the first time the neural mechanisms underlying the processing of rhythmic syntax in music, which has important implications for theories of hierarchically organized music cognition and comparative studies of syntactic processing in music and language.
    August 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12983   open full text
  • White matter fiber integrity of the saccadic eye movement network differs between schizophrenia and healthy groups.
    David J. Schaeffer, Amanda L. Rodrigue, Courtney R. Burton, Jordan E. Pierce, Megan N. Murphy, Brett A. Clementz, Jennifer E. McDowell.
    Psychophysiology. August 23, 2017
    Recent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies suggest that altered white matter fiber integrity is a pathophysiological feature of schizophrenia. Lower white matter integrity is associated with poor cognitive control, a characteristic of schizophrenia that can be measured using antisaccade tasks. Although the functional neural correlates of poor antisaccade performance have been well documented, fewer studies have investigated the extent to which white matter fibers connecting the functional nodes of this network contribute to antisaccade performance. The aim of the present study was to assess the white matter structural integrity of fibers connecting two functional nodes (putamen and medial frontal eye fields) of the saccadic eye movement network implicated in poor antisaccade performance in schizophrenia. To evaluate white matter integrity, DTI was acquired on subjects with schizophrenia and two comparison groups: (a) behaviorally matched healthy comparison subjects with low levels of cognitive control (LCC group), and (b) healthy subjects with high levels of cognitive control (HCC group). White matter fibers were tracked between functional regions of interest generated from antisaccade fMRI activation maps, and measures of diffusivity were quantified. The results demonstrated lower white matter integrity in the schizophrenia group than in the HCC group, but not the LCC group who showed similarly poor cognitive control performance. Overall, the results suggest that these alterations are not specific to the disease process of schizophrenia, but may rather be a function of uncontrolled cognitive factors that are concomitant with the disease but also observed in some healthy people.
    August 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12969   open full text
  • Temporal dissociation of salience and prediction error responses to appetitive and aversive taste.
    E. J. Hird, W. El‐Deredy, A. Jones, D. Talmi.
    Psychophysiology. August 18, 2017
    The feedback‐related negativity (FRN), a frontocentral ERP occurring 200–350 ms after emotionally valued outcomes, has been posited as the neural correlate of reward prediction error, a key component of associative learning. Recent evidence challenged this interpretation and has led to the suggestion that this ERP expresses salience instead. Here, we distinguish between utility prediction error and salience by delivering or withholding hedonistically matched appetitive and aversive tastes, and measure ERPs to cues signaling each taste. We observed a typical FRN (computed as the loss‐minus‐gain difference wave) to appetitive taste, but a reverse FRN to aversive taste. When tested axiomatically, frontocentral ERPs showed a salience response across tastes, with a particularly early response to outcome delivery, supporting recent propositions of a fast, unsigned, and unspecific response to salient stimuli. ERPs also expressed aversive prediction error peaking at 285 ms, which conformed to the logic of an axiomatic model of prediction error. With stimuli that most resemble those used in animal models, we did not detect any frontocentral ERP signal for utility prediction error, in contrast with dominant views of the functional role of the FRN ERP. We link the animal and human literature and present a challenge for current perspectives on associative learning research using ERPs.
    August 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12976   open full text
  • Theta‐ and alpha‐power enhancements in the electroencephalogram as an auditory delayed match‐to‐sample task becomes impossibly difficult.
    Matthew G. Wisniewski, Eric R. Thompson, Nandini Iyer.
    Psychophysiology. August 09, 2017
    Recent studies have related enhancements of theta‐ (∼4–8 Hz) and alpha‐power (∼8–13 Hz) to listening effort based on parallels between enhancement and task difficulty. In contrast, nonauditory works demonstrate that, although increases in difficulty are initially accompanied by increases in effort, effort decreases when a task becomes so difficult as to exceed one's ability. Given the latter, we examined whether theta‐ and alpha‐power enhancements thought to reflect effortful listening show a quadratic trend across levels of listening difficulty from impossible to easy. Listeners (n = 14) performed an auditory delayed match‐to‐sample task with frequency‐modulated tonal sweeps under impossible, difficult (at ∼70.7% correct threshold), and easy (well above threshold) conditions. Frontal midline theta‐power and posterior alpha‐power enhancements were observed during the retention interval, with greatest enhancement in the difficult condition. Independent component‐based analyses of data suggest that theta‐power enhancements stemmed from medial frontal sources at or near the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas alpha‐power effects stemmed from occipital cortices. Results support the notion that theta‐ and alpha‐power enhancements reflect effortful cognitive processes during listening, related to auditory working memory and the inhibition of task‐irrelevant cortical processing regions, respectively. Theta‐ and alpha‐power dynamics can be used to characterize the cognitive processes that make up effortful listening, including qualitatively different types of listening effort.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12968   open full text
  • Modulation of the eyeblink and cardiac startle reflexes by genuine eye contact.
    Tingji Chen, Mikko J. Peltola, Richard Dunn, Sanna M. Pajunen, Jari K. Hietanen.
    Psychophysiology. August 09, 2017
    Is another person's direct gaze an inherently positive or negative stimulus? The present study employed the startle reflex methodology to investigate individuals’ automatic reactions to another person's direct and averted gaze. In the study, participants’ eyeblink startle and cardiac reflexes elicited by a high‐intensity acoustic noise stimulus were measured in the context of viewing a live model's direct and downward gaze. Both the eyeblink electromyographic and electrocardiographic data revealed that the startle reflex was modulated by gaze direction. Direct gaze attenuated the eyeblink startle and cardiac reflexes to the acoustic probes compared to those elicited in the context of a downward gaze. These results indicate that the defense reflex is weaker when presented in the context of direct versus downward gaze, and thus suggest that another individual's direct gaze, compared to averted gaze, automatically elicits more positive affective responses in the viewer.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12975   open full text
  • A sigh of relief or a sigh of expected relief: Sigh rate in response to dyspnea relief.
    Elke Vlemincx, Michel Meulders, Olivier Luminet.
    Psychophysiology. August 09, 2017
    Research has suggested that sighs may serve a regulatory function during stress and emotions by facilitating relief. Evidence supports the hypotheses that sighs both express and induce relief from stress. To explore the potential role of sighs in the regulation of symptoms, the present study aimed to investigate the relationship between sighs and relief of symptoms, and relief of dyspnea, specifically. Healthy volunteers participated in two studies (N = 44, N = 47) in which dyspnea was induced by mild (10 cmH2O/l/s) or high (20 cmH20/l/s) inspiratory resistances. Dyspnea relief was induced by the offset of the inspiratory resistances (transitions from high and mild inspiratory resistance to no resistance). Control comparisons included dyspnea increases (transitions from no or mild inspiratory resistance to high inspiratory resistance) and dyspnea continuations (continuations of either no resistance or a high resistance). In Experiment 1, dyspnea levels were cued. In Experiment 2, no cues were provided. Sigh rate during dyspnea relief was significantly higher compared to control conditions, and sigh rate increased as self‐reported dyspnea decreased. Additionally, sigh rate was higher during cued dyspnea relief compared to noncued dyspnea relief. These results suggest that sighs are important markers of dyspnea relief. Moreover, sighs may importantly express dyspnea relief, as they are related to experiential dyspnea decreases and occur more frequently during expected dyspnea relief. These findings suggest that sighs may not only be important in the regulation of stress and emotions, but also may be functional in the regulation of dyspnea.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12979   open full text
  • Resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia in suicide attempters.
    Aliona Tsypes, Kiera M. James, Mary L. Woody, Cope Feurer, Anastacia Y. Kudinova, Brandon E. Gibb.
    Psychophysiology. August 09, 2017
    Although suicide attempts (SA) occur across a broad range of diagnoses as well as in the absence of a diagnosable disorder, most studies to date have focused on them within a single, specific disorder. Consistent with the NIMH RDoC initiative to identify biobehavioral vulnerabilities that cut across diagnoses, the goal of the present study was to examine potential differences in resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) levels in a large, diagnostically heterogeneous sample of women with and without a history of SA who were matched on a broad range of demographic and clinical variables. Participants were 112 women with (n = 56) and without (n = 56) a history of SA recruited from the community. The two groups were equated on approximate age, race, household income, and lifetime histories of psychiatric diagnoses. Resting electrocardiogram was recorded during a 2‐min rest period. RSA was calculated via spectral power analyses with a fast Fourier transform. We found that women with a history of SA exhibited significantly lower resting RSA levels than women with no history of SA, and this difference was maintained even after statistically controlling for the potential influence of women's history of psychiatric diagnoses and their current symptoms of depression and anxiety. These findings suggest the presence of a link between resting RSA and SA history.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12978   open full text
  • Emotion processing in female youth: Testing the stability of the late positive potential.
    Erin Bondy, Jeremy G. Stewart, Greg Hajcak, Anna Weinberg, Naomi Tarlow, Vijay A. Mittal, Randy P. Auerbach.
    Psychophysiology. August 09, 2017
    The Emotional Interrupt Task (EIT) has been used to probe emotion processing in healthy and clinical samples; however, research exploring the stability and reliability of behavioral measures and ERPs elicited from this task is limited. Establishing the psychometric properties of the EIT is critical, particularly as phenotypes and biological indicators may represent traitlike characteristics that underlie psychiatric illness. To address this gap, test‐retest stability and internal consistency of behavioral indices and ERPs resulting from the EIT in healthy, female youth (n = 28) were examined. At baseline, participants were administered the EIT while high‐density 128‐channel EEG data were recorded to probe the late positive potential (LPP). One month later, participants were readministered the EIT. Four principal findings emerged. First, there is evidence of an interference effect at baseline, as participants showed a slower reaction time for unpleasant and pleasant images relative to neutral images, and test‐retest of behavioral measures was relatively stable over time. Second, participants showed a potentiated LPP to unpleasant and pleasant images compared to neutral images, and these effects were stable over time. Moreover, in a test of the difference waves (unpleasant‐neutral vs. pleasant‐neutral), there was sustained positivity for unpleasant images. Third, behavioral measures and LPP demonstrated excellent internal consistency (odd/even correlations) across conditions. Fourth, highlighting important age‐related differences in LPP activity, younger age was associated with larger LPP amplitudes across conditions. Overall, these findings suggest that the LPP following emotional images is a stable and reliable marker of emotion processing in healthy youth.
    August 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12977   open full text
  • The effect of category learning on visual attention and visual representation.
    Jonathan R. Folstein, Shamsi S. Monfared, Trevor Maravel.
    Psychophysiology. August 04, 2017
    Subordinate‐level category learning recruits neural resources associated with perceptual expertise, including the N250 component of the ERP, a posterolateral negative wave maximal between 230 and 330 ms. The N250 is a relatively late visual ERP and could plausibly be driven by attention to the features of categorized objects. Indeed, it has a latency and scalp distribution similar to the selection negativity (SN), an ERP component long known to be sensitive to attentional selection of target features. To clarify sensitivity of the N250 to attention and to more generally investigate the effect of category learning on attentional modulation of learned features, we independently manipulated subordinate‐level category learning and target detection in a speeded paradigm designed to optimally elicit the SN and accompanying frontal selection positivity (FSP). Participants first practiced categorizing a set of artificial animal stimuli and then performed a speeded target detection task on trained and untrained stimuli while ERPs were recorded. SN and FSP were roughly linearly related to the number of target features in the stimulus. Trained stimuli elicited a significantly larger N250 than untrained stimuli. The SN and N250 effects were additive, with all levels of target similarity equally affected by training, and had different time courses. Training had little effect on the FSP. The results suggest that (a) the N250 and SN have different sources, and (b) at the very least, the learning‐induced N250 indexes a different attentional subprocess from the target‐induced SN and could be driven by a different cognitive process altogether.
    August 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12966   open full text
  • Functional indexes of reactive cognitive control: ERPs in cued go/no‐go tasks.
    Juri D. Kropotov, Valery A. Ponomarev, Marina Pronina, Lutz Jäncke.
    Psychophysiology. August 03, 2017
    We aimed to determine the functional meaning of latent (hidden) components decomposed from ERPs, in the context of a go/no‐go paradigm. To accomplish this, we used a new group blind source separation method, based on joint diagonalization of covariance matrices of ERPs. Four variants of a frequently used go/no‐go paradigm were designed, in which operations of reactive cognitive control, such as conflict detection and action inhibition, were independently manipulated. The results showed that a latent component, generated in the anterior cingulate cortex, induced N2/P3 fluctuation only in conditions in which the prepotent model was violated, and thus can be associated with conflict detection operations. In contrast, the two latent components generated in the vicinity of the central sulcus induced P3‐like fluctuations in conditions in which the prepared action was suppressed, and thus can be associated with action inhibition operations. The advantages and limitations of the new blind source separation method in relation to ERP research are also discussed.
    August 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12960   open full text
  • Tonic noradrenergic activity modulates explorative behavior and attentional set shifting: Evidence from pupillometry and gaze pattern analysis.
    Péter Pajkossy, Ágnes Szőllősi, Gyula Demeter, Mihály Racsmány.
    Psychophysiology. July 29, 2017
    A constant task for every living organism is to decide whether to exploit rewards associated with current behavior or to explore the environment for more rewarding options. Current empirical evidence indicates that exploitation is related to phasic whereas exploration is related to tonic firing mode of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus. In humans, this exploration‐exploitation trade‐off is subserved by the ability to flexibly switch attention between task‐related and task‐irrelevant information. Here, we investigated whether this function, called attentional set shifting, is related to exploration and tonic noradrenergic discharge. We measured pretrial baseline pupil dilation, proved to be strongly correlated with the activity of the locus coeruleus, while human participants took part in well‐known tasks of attentional set shifting. Study 1 used the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, whereas in Study 2, the Intra/Extradimensional Set Shifting Task was used. Both tasks require participants to choose between different compound stimuli based on feedback provided for their previous decisions. During the task, stimulus‐reward contingencies change periodically, thus participants are repeatedly required to reassess which stimulus features are relevant (i.e., they shift their attentional set). Our results showed that baseline pupil diameter steadily decreased when the stimulus‐reward contingencies were stable, whereas they suddenly increased when these contingencies changed. Analysis of looking patterns also confirmed the presence of exploratory behavior during attentional set shifting. Thus, our results suggest that tonic firing mode of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus is implicated in attentional set shifting, as it regulates the amount of exploration.
    July 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12964   open full text
  • Auditory‐visual integration modulates location‐specific repetition suppression of auditory responses.
    Talia Shrem, Micah M. Murray, Leon Y. Deouell.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2017
    Space is a dimension shared by different modalities, but at what stage spatial encoding is affected by multisensory processes is unclear. Early studies observed attenuation of N1/P2 auditory evoked responses following repetition of sounds from the same location. Here, we asked whether this effect is modulated by audiovisual interactions. In two experiments, using a repetition‐suppression paradigm, we presented pairs of tones in free field, where the test stimulus was a tone presented at a fixed lateral location. Experiment 1 established a neural index of auditory spatial sensitivity, by comparing the degree of attenuation of the response to test stimuli when they were preceded by an adapter sound at the same location versus 30° or 60° away. We found that the degree of attenuation at the P2 latency was inversely related to the spatial distance between the test stimulus and the adapter stimulus. In Experiment 2, the adapter stimulus was a tone presented from the same location or a more medial location than the test stimulus. The adapter stimulus was accompanied by a simultaneous flash displayed orthogonally from one of the two locations. Sound‐flash incongruence reduced accuracy in a same‐different location discrimination task (i.e., the ventriloquism effect) and reduced the location‐specific repetition‐suppression at the P2 latency. Importantly, this multisensory effect included topographic modulations, indicative of changes in the relative contribution of underlying sources across conditions. Our findings suggest that the auditory response at the P2 latency is affected by spatially selective brain activity, which is affected crossmodally by visual information.
    July 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12955   open full text
  • Choice predicts the feedback negativity.
    Stuart McGill, Jude Buckley, Douglas Elliffe, Paul M. Corballis.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2017
    Choosing the appropriate response given the circumstance is integral to all aspects of human behavior. One way of elucidating the mechanisms of choice is to relate behavior to neural correlates. Electrophysiological evidence implicates the ERP feedback‐negativity (FN) and the P300 as promising neural correlates of reward processing, an integral component of learning. However, prior research has not adequately addressed how the development of a preference to select one option over another (choice preference) relates to the FN and the P300. We assessed whether variation in choice preference predicted the FN and P300 amplitude within subjects. We used a discrete‐trials two‐alternative choice procedure, where the reinforcer rate for each option was dependently scheduled by a concurrent variable interval. The reinforcer ratio for selecting each option was varied between sessions. Choice was quantified using both the generalized matching law sensitivity and the log odds of staying on the same versus switching to the other alternative (stay preference). The relationship between stay preference, FN, and P300 amplitudes was assessed using the innovative application of hierarchical Bayesian linear regression. The results demonstrate that stay preference was controlled by the reinforcer ratios and credibly predicted the FN amplitude but not P300 amplitude. The findings are consistent with the view that reinforcers may guide behavior by what they signal about future reinforcement, with the FN related to such a process.
    July 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12961   open full text
  • Age‐related shifts in hemispheric dominance for syntactic processing.
    Michelle Leckey, Kara D. Federmeier.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2017
    Recent ERP data from young adults have revealed that simple syntactic anomalies elicit different patterns of lateralization in right‐handed participants depending upon their familial sinistrality profile (whether or not they have left‐handed biological relatives). Right‐handed participants who do not have left‐handed relatives showed a strongly lateralized response pattern, with P600 responses following left‐hemisphere‐biased presentations and N400 responses following right‐hemisphere‐biased presentations. Given that the literature on aging has documented a tendency to change across adulthood from asymmetry of function to a more bilateral pattern, we tested the stability of this asymmetric response to syntactic violations by recording ERPs as 24 older adults (age 60+) with no history of familial sinistrality made grammaticality judgments on simple two‐word phrases. Results showed that the asymmetric pattern observed in right‐handed adults without familial sinistrality indeed changes with age, such that P600 responses come to be elicited not only with left‐hemisphere‐biased but also with right‐hemisphere‐biased presentations in older adults. These findings suggest that, as with many other cognitive functions, syntactic processing becomes more bilateral with age.
    July 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12970   open full text
  • Salient‐but‐irrelevant stimuli cause attentional capture in difficult, but attentional suppression in easy visual search.
    Caroline Barras, Dirk Kerzel.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2017
    Search for a shape target is difficult when its shape is similar to the shape of the surrounding nontargets and easy when it is dissimilar. We asked whether interference from a salient but irrelevant color singleton depended on search difficulty as manipulated by target‐nontarget similarity. We found that interference was strong in difficult searches, and the occurrence of an electrophysiological index of attentional selectivity (the N2pc component) confirmed that attention was captured by the distractor. In contrast, interference from the distractor was weak with easy searches, and the occurrence of the PD component confirmed that saliency signals from the distractor were suppressed. The results suggest that attentional suppression of salient but irrelevant distractors is only possible when search is efficient (i.e., with low target‐nontarget similarity), otherwise, attentional capture occurs. Further, we analyzed the Ppc component, a positivity occurring between 100 and 200 ms after stimulus onset contralateral to a salient feature discontinuity. It has been suggested that the Ppc reflects bottom‐up saliency signals, but we found the Ppc to occur only when the salient stimulus was unlikely to be selected, as in efficient searches. Thus, attentional requirements modulate the Ppc component.
    July 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12962   open full text
  • Exteroceptive stimuli override interoceptive state in reaction time control.
    Xiao Yang, J. Richard Jennings, Bruce H. Friedman.
    Psychophysiology. July 24, 2017
    The processing of reaction time (RT) stimulus is modulated by its timing relative to the cardiac cycle. RT stimulus processing is also influenced by task‐irrelevant stimuli: a sensory stimulus speeds RT when it accompanies a cue to react in another sensory modality. Different theories have been proposed to explain this accessory stimulus effect (ASE). However, it is unclear whether the ASE interacts with the cardiac timing effect. In the present study, the relationship of the ASE, cardiac timing, and stimulus valence was examined. Fifty‐two subjects performed 400 trials of a simple RT task. Images of neutral and fear faces served as visual accessory stimuli; the RT stimulus was a 75 dB tone. Electrocardiography was recorded. Visual and auditory stimuli were presented at either cardiac systole or diastole. The stimulus onset asynchrony between visual and auditory stimuli was either 0 or 75 ms. Repeated measures ANOVAs showed that cardiac timing modulated RT, but only when accessory stimuli were absent. RT was shorter when the accessory stimulus preceded the imperative stimulus with respect to simultaneous presentation. The ASE was not influenced by visual stimulus valence or cardiac timing. Results indicate that the ASE overrides cardiac timing effects, suggesting a dynamic balance between exteroceptive stimuli and interoceptive states, and highlight the importance of embodied information processing.
    July 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12958   open full text
  • The auditory oddball paradigm revised to improve bedside detection of consciousness in behaviorally unresponsive patients.
    Dominique Morlet, Perrine Ruby, Nathalie André‐Obadia, Catherine Fischer.
    Psychophysiology. July 20, 2017
    Active paradigms requiring subjects to engage in a mental task on request have been developed to detect consciousness in behaviorally unresponsive patients. Using auditory ERPs, the active condition consists in orienting patient's attention toward oddball stimuli. In comparison with passive listening, larger P300 in the active condition identifies voluntary processes. However, contrast between these two conditions is usually too weak to be detected at the individual level. To improve test sensitivity, we propose as a control condition to actively divert the subject's attention from the auditory stimuli with a mental imagery task that has been demonstrated to be within the grasp of the targeted patients: navigate in one's home. Twenty healthy subjects were presented with a two‐tone oddball paradigm in the three following condition: (a) passive listening, (b) mental imagery, (c) silent counting of deviant stimuli. Mental imagery proved to be more efficient than passive listening to lessen P300 response to deviant tones as compared with the active counting condition. An effect of attention manipulation (oriented vs. diverted) was observed in 19/20 subjects, of whom 18 showed the expected P300 effect and 1 showed an effect restricted to the N2 component. The only subject showing no effect also proved insufficient engagement in the tasks. Our study demonstrated the efficiency of diverting attention using mental imagery to improve the sensitivity of the active oddball paradigm. Using recorded instructions and requiring a small number of electrodes, the test was designed to be conveniently and economically used at the patient's bedside.
    July 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12954   open full text
  • The sound and the fury: Late positive potential is sensitive to sound affect.
    Darin R. Brown, James F. Cavanagh.
    Psychophysiology. July 20, 2017
    Emotion is an emergent construct of multiple distinct neural processes. EEG is uniquely sensitive to real‐time neural computations, and thus is a promising tool to study the construction of emotion. This series of studies aimed to probe the mechanistic contribution of the late positive potential (LPP) to multimodal emotion perception. Experiment 1 revealed that LPP amplitudes for visual images, sounds, and visual images paired with sounds were larger for negatively rated stimuli than for neutrally rated stimuli. Experiment 2 manipulated this audiovisual enhancement by altering the valence pairings with congruent (e.g., positive audio + positive visual) or conflicting emotional pairs (e.g., positive audio + negative visual). Negative visual stimuli evoked larger early LPP amplitudes than positive visual stimuli, regardless of sound pairing. However, time frequency analyses revealed significant midfrontal theta‐band power differences for conflicting over congruent stimuli pairs, suggesting very early (∼500 ms) realization of thematic fidelity violations. Interestingly, late LPP modulations were reflective of the opposite pattern of congruency, whereby congruent over conflicting pairs had larger LPP amplitudes. Together, these findings suggest that enhanced parietal activity for affective valence is modality independent and sensitive to complex affective processes. Furthermore, these findings suggest that altered neural activities for affective visual stimuli are enhanced by concurrent affective sounds, paving the way toward an understanding of the construction of multimodal affective experience.
    July 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12959   open full text
  • Combining two model systems of psychosis: The effects of schizotypy and sleep deprivation on oculomotor control and psychotomimetic states.
    Inga Meyhöfer, Maria Steffens, Eliana Faiola, Anna‐Maria Kasparbauer, Veena Kumari, Ulrich Ettinger.
    Psychophysiology. July 17, 2017
    Model systems of psychosis, such as schizotypy or sleep deprivation, are valuable in informing our understanding of the etiology of the disorder and aiding the development of new treatments. Schizophrenia patients, high schizotypes, and sleep‐deprived subjects are known to share deficits in oculomotor biomarkers. Here, we aimed to further validate the schizotypy and sleep deprivation models and investigated, for the first time, their interactive effects on smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM), prosaccades, antisaccades, predictive saccades, and measures of psychotomimetic states, anxiety, depression, and stress. To do so, n = 19 controls and n = 17 high positive schizotypes were examined after both a normal sleep night and 24 h of sleep deprivation. Schizotypes displayed higher SPEM global position error, catch‐up saccade amplitude, and increased psychotomimetic states. Sleep deprivation impaired SPEM, prosaccade, antisaccade, and predictive saccade performance and increased levels of psychotomimetic experiences. Additionally, sleep deprivation reduced SPEM gain in schizotypes but not controls. We conclude that oculomotor impairments are observed in relation to schizotypy and following sleep deprivation, supporting their utility as biomarkers in model systems of psychosis. The combination of these models with oculomotor biomarkers may be particularly fruitful in assisting the development of new antipsychotic or pro‐cognitive drugs.
    July 17, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12917   open full text
  • The Pinocchio effect and the Cold Stress Test: Lies and thermography.
    A. Moliné, G. Gálvez‐García, J. Fernández‐Gómez, J. De la Fuente, O. Iborra, F. Tornay, J. L. Mata Martín, M. Puertollano, E. Gómez Milán.
    Psychophysiology. July 17, 2017
    We applied the use of thermography to cognitive neuropsychology, particularly as an objective marker of subjective experiences, in the context of lying. We conducted three experiments: (a) An important lie was invented by the participants in 3 min, and it was recounted by phone to a significant person while they were recorded by the thermographic camera, obtaining a face and hands map of the lie. (b) A similar methodology was carried out, but adding the Cold Stress Test (CST) of the dominant hand during the phone call, obtaining a second physiologic marker (the percentage of thermal recovery) to detect the lie. Further, it established a control condition where it generated anxiety in the participants using IAPS images with negative valence and high arousal, which were described by phone to a loved one. We obtained results that showed significant correlations between changes in body temperature and mental set. Of particular interest was the temperature of the nose and hand, which tended to decrease during lying (Experiment 1). The participants also showed a lower recovery of the temperature after the CST when they were lying (Experiment 2). (c) Experiment 3 is a replication of Experiment 2 but with a different type of lie (a more ecological task) in a different scenario (following the ACID interview, with the use of the phone eliminated and participants motivated to lie well). The main pattern of results was replicated. We obtained an accuracy of 85% in detection of deception with 25% of false alarms.
    July 17, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12956   open full text
  • Neural responses to social and monetary reward in early adolescence and emerging adulthood.
    Paige Ethridge, Autumn Kujawa, Melanie A. Dirks, Kodi B. Arfer, Ellen M. Kessel, Daniel N. Klein, Anna Weinberg.
    Psychophysiology. July 12, 2017
    Reward processing is often considered to be a monolithic construct, with different incentive types eliciting equivalent neural and behavioral responses. The majority of the literature on reward processing has used monetary incentives to elicit reward‐related activity, yet social incentives may be particularly important due to their powerful ability to shape behavior. Findings from studies comparing social and monetary rewards have identified both overlapping and distinct responses. In order to explore whether reward processing is domain general or category specific (i.e., the same or different across reward types), the present study recorded ERPs from early adolescents (ages 12–13) and emerging adults (ages 18–25) while they completed social and monetary reward tasks. Temporospatial principal components analysis revealed morphologically similar reward positivities (RewPs) in the social and monetary reward tasks in each age group. In early adolescents, no significant difference was found between the magnitude of the RewP to social and monetary rewards. In emerging adults, however, the RewP to monetary rewards was significantly larger than the RewP to social rewards. Additionally, responses to feedback between the two tasks were not significantly correlated in either age group. These results suggest that both domain‐general and category‐specific processes underlie neural responses to rewards and that the relative incentive value of different types of rewards may change across development. Findings from this study have important implications for understanding the role that neural response to rewards plays in the development of psychopathology during adolescence.
    July 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12957   open full text
  • An emergency call system for patients in locked‐in state using an SSVEP‐based brain switch.
    Jeong‐Hwan Lim, Yong‐Wook Kim, Jun‐Hak Lee, Kwang‐Ok An, Han‐Jeong Hwang, Ho‐Seung Cha, Chang‐Hee Han, Chang‐Hwan Im.
    Psychophysiology. July 11, 2017
    Patients in a locked‐in state (LIS) due to severe neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) require seamless emergency care by their caregivers or guardians. However, it is a difficult job for the guardians to continuously monitor the patients' state, especially when direct communication is not possible. In the present study, we developed an emergency call system for such patients using a steady‐state visual evoked potential (SSVEP)–based brain switch. Although there have been previous studies to implement SSVEP‐based brain switch system, they have not been applied to patients in LIS, and thus their clinical value has not been validated. In this study, we verified whether the SSVEP‐based brain switch system can be practically used as an emergency call system for patients in LIS. The brain switch used for our system adopted a chromatic visual stimulus, which proved to be visually less stimulating than conventional checkerboard‐type stimuli but could generate SSVEP responses strong enough to be used for brain‐computer interface (BCI) applications. To verify the feasibility of our emergency call system, 14 healthy participants and 3 patients with severe ALS took part in online experiments. All three ALS patients successfully called their guardians to their bedsides in about 6.56 seconds. Furthermore, additional experiments with one of these patients demonstrated that our emergency call system maintains fairly good performance even up to 4 weeks after the first experiment without renewing initial calibration data. Our results suggest that our SSVEP‐based emergency call system might be successfully used in practical scenarios.
    July 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12916   open full text
  • Electrocortical components of anticipation and consumption in a monetary incentive delay task.
    Douglas J. Angus, Andrew J. Latham, Eddie Harmon‐Jones, Matthias Deliano, Bernard Balleine, David Braddon‐Mitchell.
    Psychophysiology. July 04, 2017
    In order to improve our understanding of the components that reflect functionally important processes during reward anticipation and consumption, we used principle components analyses (PCA) to separate and quantify averaged ERP data obtained from each stage of a modified monetary incentive delay (MID) task. Although a small number of recent ERP studies have reported that reward and loss cues potentiate ERPs during anticipation, action preparation, and consummatory stages of reward processing, these findings are inconsistent due to temporal and spatial overlap between the relevant electrophysiological components. Our results show three components following cue presentation are sensitive to incentive cues (N1, P3a, P3b). In contrast to previous research, reward‐related enhancement occurred only in the P3b, with earlier components more sensitive to break‐even and loss cues. During feedback anticipation, we observed a lateralized centroparietal negativity that was sensitive to response hand but not cue type. We also show that use of PCA on ERPs reflecting reward consumption successfully separates the reward positivity from the independently modulated feedback‐P3. Last, we observe for the first time a new reward consumption component: a late negativity distributed over the left frontal pole. This component appears to be sensitive to response hand, especially in the context of monetary gain. These results illustrate that the time course and sensitivities of electrophysiological activity that follows incentive cues do not follow a simple heuristic in which reward incentive cues produce enhanced activity at all stages and substages.
    July 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12913   open full text
  • Assessment of skin conductance in African American and Non–African American participants in studies of conditioned fear.
    M. Alexandra Kredlow, Suzanne L. Pineles, Sabra S. Inslicht, Marie‐France Marin, Mohammed R. Milad, Michael W. Otto, Scott P. Orr.
    Psychophysiology. July 04, 2017
    Skin conductance (SC) is a psychophysiological measure of sympathetic nervous system activity that is commonly used in research to assess conditioned fear responses. A portion of individuals evidence very low or unmeasurable SC levels (SCL) and/or response (SCR) during fear conditioning, which precludes the use of their SC data. The reason that some individuals do not produce measurable SCL and/or SCR is not clear; some early research suggested that race may be an influencing factor. In the current article, archival data from five fear conditioning samples collected from four different laboratories were examined to explore SCL and SCR magnitude in African American (AA) and non–African American (non‐AA) participants. Across studies, the aggregate group difference for exclusion due to unmeasurable SCL or no measurable SCR to an unconditioned stimulus reflected a significant medium effect size (d = 0.54). Furthermore, 24.3% (range: 0–48.3%) of AA participants met SC exclusion criteria versus 14.3% (range: 4.3–24.2%) of non‐AA participants. AA participants also displayed significantly lower SCL during habituation (d = 0.58). The low SC levels and responses in AA individuals and the consequent exclusion of their contributions to fear conditioning study results impacts the generalizability of findings across races. Given higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic anxiety in AA individuals, it is important that AA individuals not be excluded from fear conditioning research, which informs the treatment of anxiety and PTSD. Examination of the basis of very low SCL and/or SCR is a potentially informative direction for future research.
    July 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12909   open full text
  • Effects of prior mental effort on picture processing: An ERP investigation.
    Katie E. Garrison, Adrienne L. Crowell, Anna J. Finley, Brandon J. Schmeichel.
    Psychophysiology. July 01, 2017
    The current study examined the aftereffects of mental effort on the processing of picture stimuli using neural measures. Ninety‐seven healthy young adults were randomly assigned to exercise more versus less mental effort on a writing task. Then participants viewed positive, negative, and neutral affective images while P1, N1, P2, N2, P3, and late positive potential (LPP) magnitudes to the images were assessed. We found that performing the more (versus less) effortful writing task caused more negative N2 amplitudes to all images. In addition, and consistent with past research, emotional (versus neutral) images elicited more positive amplitudes on the N2, P3, and LPP components. Thus, prior mental effort appeared to reduce early attentional engagement with visual stimuli but did not diminish later attention modulation by emotional content. These findings suggest novel implications for understanding the behavioral aftereffects of mental effort and self‐control.
    July 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12914   open full text
  • Resting heart rate, guilt, and sympathy: A developmental psychophysiological study of physical aggression.
    Tyler Colasante, Tina Malti.
    Psychophysiology. July 01, 2017
    Although low resting heart rate has been linked to frequent aggressive conduct in childhood, little is known about the interaction of this biological risk with social emotions that protect against aggression across development. With a sample of 5‐, 8‐, and 12‐year‐olds (N = 110), we tested whether the negative link between resting heart rate and physical aggression was offset by high guilt and sympathy. Caregivers reported their children's physical aggression and sympathy. Children's electrocardiogram data were collected while they viewed a nondescript video, after which they reported their guilt—or lack thereof—in response to vignettes depicting social transgressions. Lower resting heart rate was significantly associated with higher physical aggression in 5‐year‐olds who reported low—but not medium and high—levels of guilt, and in 8‐year‐olds with low—but not medium and high—ratings of sympathy. Neither guilt nor sympathy moderated the resting heart rate–physical aggression link in 12‐year‐olds. We discuss how social emotions may help children with low resting heart rates navigate social conflicts and avoid aggressive physical confrontations.
    July 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12915   open full text
  • Sympathetic and parasympathetic cardiac responses to phobia‐relevant and disgust‐specific emotion provocation in blood‐injection‐injury phobia with and without fainting history.
    Erica Simon, Alicia E. Meuret, Thomas Ritz.
    Psychophysiology. June 30, 2017
    The autonomic regulation in blood‐injection‐injury (BII) phobia has received particular attention due to the unique link between fear and fainting in this anxiety disorder. However, systematic exploration of sympathetic and parasympathetic cardiac activity during exposure to phobia‐relevant emotional stimuli has remained rare and inconclusive, including with regard to disgust, a frequent response to BII stimuli. Existing studies using respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) as a noninvasive index of parasympathetic cardiac activity also have not accounted sufficiently for effects of respiration. We compared 60 participants with BII phobia (27 with and 33 without history of loss of consciousness) and 20 healthy controls during emotion induction with films, including a disgust and a BII‐relevant surgery film. Cardiorespiratory activity was measured continuously, with RSA (controlled for respiration) and T‐wave amplitude (TWA; as a noninvasive index of sympathetic cardiac activity) extracted. Significant increases in RSA during the surgery film were observed for participants with a history of loss of consciousness compared to others, but controlling for respiration eliminated these differences. Sympathetic effects with heart rate accelerations, which were most pronounced for the disgust film, did not differentiate groups. However, substantial increases in RSA and TWA, suggesting parasympathetic excitation and sympathetic withdrawal, were observed in five participants that became presyncopal during the surgery film. Thus, parasympathetic excitation and sympathetic withdrawal appear to be cardinal autonomic features in BII phobia, but larger studies of participants reaching presyncopal states in BII‐relevant stimulus exposure are needed to consolidate these findings.
    June 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12900   open full text
  • Tracking the effect of emotional distraction in working memory brain networks: Evidence from an MEG study.
    Javier García‐Pacios, Pilar Garcés, David del Río, Fernando Maestú.
    Psychophysiology. June 25, 2017
    The active maintenance of information in visual working memory (WM) is known to rely on the sustained activity over functional networks including frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal cortices. Previous studies have described interference‐based disturbances in the functional coupling between prefrontal and posterior cortices, and that such disturbances can be restored for a successful WM performance after the presentation of the interfering stimulus. However, very few studies have applied functional connectivity measures to the analysis of the brain dynamics involved in overriding emotional distraction, and all of them have limited their analysis to the particular connections between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In this study, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to characterize the mutual information–based functional connectivity dynamics among regions of interest located over the prefrontal, the parietal, the temporal, and the occipital cortex. Our results show that the detection of emotional distraction at early latencies (50–150 ms) induces a reduction of functional connectivity involving parietal and temporal cortices that are part of the frontoposterior WM network, while functional coupling among prefrontal areas and between them and posterior cortices is strengthened during the detection of emotional distractors. Later in the processing of the distractor (250–350 and 360–460 ms), the frontoposterior coupling is reestablished for a successful performance, while the orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex become strongly connected to posterior cortices as a mechanism to cope with emotional distractors.
    June 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12912   open full text
  • Stability and reliability of error‐related electromyography over the corrugator supercilii with increasing trials.
    Nathaniel Elkins‐Brown, Blair Saunders, Frank He, Michael Inzlicht.
    Psychophysiology. June 16, 2017
    Electromyographic activity over the corrugator supercilii (cEMG), the primary facial muscle involved in negative emotions, is increased during the commission of errors on speeded reaction‐time tasks. In the present paper, data from two previously published studies were reanalyzed to investigate the reliability and stability of error‐related, correct‐related, and difference cEMG across increasing numbers of trials. For a modified go/no‐go and a flanker task, we found that error‐related cEMG was highly stable and reliable in 14 trials, and correct‐related cEMG between 56 and 82 trials, respectively. Given the typical number of trials used in studies of cognitive control, these findings suggest that many investigations of error monitoring are already sufficient to obtain acceptable error‐ and correct‐related cEMG signals. Error‐related cEMG activity is relatively easy to measure and, as such, it shows great promise for future research investigating the cognitive and affective mechanisms of error monitoring.
    June 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12902   open full text
  • Older adults display diminished error processing and response in a continuous tracking task.
    Francisco L. Colino, Harvey Howse, Angela Norton, Robert Trska, Anthony Pluta, Stephen J. C. Luehr, Todd C. Handy, Olave E. Krigolson.
    Psychophysiology. June 16, 2017
    Advancing age is often accompanied by a decline in motor control that results in a decreased ability to successfully perform motor tasks. While there are multiple factors that contribute to age‐related deficits in motor control, one unexplored possibility is that age‐related deficits in our ability to evaluate motor output result in an increase in motor errors. In line with this, previous work from our laboratory demonstrated that motor errors evoked an error‐related negativity (ERN)—a component of the human ERP associated with error evaluation originating within the human medial‐frontal cortex. In the present study, we examined whether or not deficits in the medial‐frontal error evaluation system contribute to age‐related deficits in motor control. Two groups of participants (young, old) performed a computer‐based tracking task that paralleled driving while EEG data were recorded. Our results show that older adults committed more behavioral errors than young adults during performance of the tracking task. An analysis of our ERP data revealed that the amplitude of the ERN was reduced in older adults relative to young adults following motor errors. Our results make an important extension from previous work demonstrating age‐related reductions in the ERN during performance of cognitive tasks. Importantly, our results imply the possibility of understanding motor deficits in older age.
    June 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12907   open full text
  • Pupil size as a measure of within‐task learning.
    Cyrus K. Foroughi, Ciara Sibley, Joseph T. Coyne.
    Psychophysiology. June 07, 2017
    Pupillometry is commonly used in research to determine how much mental effort an individual is exerting while completing tasks. Traditionally, larger pupils are associated with increased mental effort when completing more difficult tasks. However, little research has investigated how pupils change as individuals learn a new task. In theory, as one repeatedly completes a task, the task demands should reduce, reliance on working memory should decrease, and the task should become more automatic. This should translate to faster completion times and smaller peak pupil dilations. We tested this hypothesis by having participants complete multiple trials of a cognitive task that requires individuals to orient themselves in space relative to a target. We found that trial completion times and maximum pupil size significantly reduced across trials. These data suggest that measuring changes in pupil dilation may help researchers determine whether individuals have shifted from a learned procedure to an automatic processing of information when learning a new task.
    June 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12896   open full text
  • Emotional reactivity and regulation in individuals with psychopathic traits: Evidence for a disconnect between neurophysiology and self‐report.
    Jennifer D. Ellis, Hans S. Schroder, Christopher J. Patrick, Jason S. Moser.
    Psychophysiology. June 05, 2017
    Individuals with psychopathic traits often demonstrate blunted reactivity to negative emotional stimuli. However, it is not yet clear whether these individuals also have difficulty regulating their emotional responses to negative stimuli. To address this question, participants with varying levels of psychopathic traits (indexed by the Triarchic Measure of Psychopathy; Patrick, 2010) completed a task in which they passively viewed, increased, or decreased their emotions to negative picture stimuli while electrocortical activity was recorded. During passive viewing of negative images, higher boldness, but not higher disinhibition or meanness, was associated with reduced amplitude of the late positive potential (LPP), an ERP that indexes reactivity to emotionally relevant stimuli. However, all participants demonstrated expected enhancement of the LPP when asked to increase their emotional response. Participants did not show expected suppression of the LPP when asked to decrease their emotional response. Contrary to the electrophysiological data, individuals with higher boldness did not self‐report experiencing blunted emotional response during passive viewing trials, and they reported experiencing greater emotional reactivity relative to other participants when regulating (e.g., both increasing and decreasing) their emotions. Results suggest inconsistency between physiological and self‐report indices of emotion among high‐bold individuals during both affective processing and regulation.
    June 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12903   open full text
  • The two faces of avoidance: Time‐frequency correlates of motivational disposition in blood phobia.
    Rocco Mennella, Michela Sarlo, Simone Messerotti Benvenuti, Giulia Buodo, Giovanni Mento, Daniela Palomba.
    Psychophysiology. June 05, 2017
    Contrary to other phobias, individuals with blood phobia do not show a clear‐cut withdrawal disposition from the feared stimulus. The study of response inhibition provides insights into reduced action disposition in blood phobia. Twenty individuals with and 20 without blood phobia completed an emotional go/no‐go task including phobia‐related pictures, as well as phobia‐unrelated unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant stimuli. Behavioral results did not indicate a phobia‐specific reduced action disposition in the phobic group. Time‐frequency decomposition of event‐related EEG data showed a reduction of right prefrontal activity, as indexed by an increase in alpha power (200 ms), for no‐go mutilation trials in the phobic group but not in controls. Moreover, theta power (300 ms) increased specifically for phobia‐related pictures in individuals with, but not without, blood phobia, irrespective of go or no‐go trial types. Passive avoidance of phobia‐related stimuli subtended by the increased alpha in the right prefrontal cortex, associated with increased emotional salience indexed by theta synchronization, represents a possible neurophysiological correlate of the conflicting motivational response in blood phobia. Through the novel use of time‐frequency decomposition in an emotional go/no‐go task, the present study contributed to clarifying the neurophysiological correlates of the overlapping motivational tendencies in blood phobia.
    June 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12904   open full text
  • Theta‐ and delta‐band EEG network dynamics during a novelty oddball task.
    Jeremy Harper, Stephen M. Malone, William G. Iacono.
    Psychophysiology. June 05, 2017
    While the P3 component during target detection and novelty processing has been widely studied, less is known about its underlying network dynamics. A recent cognitive model suggests that frontal‐parietal and frontal‐temporal interregional connectivity are related to attention/action selection and target‐related memory updating during the P3, respectively, but empirical work testing this model is lacking. Other work suggests the importance of theta‐ and delta‐band connectivity between the medial frontal cortex and distributed cortical regions during attention, stimulus detection, and response selection processes, and similar dynamics may underlie P3‐related network connectivity. The present study evaluated the functional connectivity elicited during a visual task, which combined oddball target and novelty stimuli, in a sample of 231 same‐sex twins. It was hypothesized that both target and novel conditions would involve theta frontoparietal connectivity and medial frontal theta power, but that target stimuli would elicit the strongest frontotemporal connectivity. EEG time‐frequency analysis revealed greater theta‐band frontoparietal connectivity and medial frontal power during both target and novel conditions compared to standards, which may index conflict/uncertainty resolution processes. Theta‐band frontotemporal connectivity was maximal during the target condition, potentially reflecting context updating or stimulus‐response activation. Delta‐band frontocentral‐parietal connectivity was also strongest following targets, which may be sensitive to response‐related demands. These results suggest the existence of functional networks related to P3 that are differentially engaged by target oddballs and novel distractors. Compared to simple P3 amplitude, network measures may provide a more nuanced view of the neural dynamics during target detection/novelty processing in normative and pathological populations.
    June 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12906   open full text
  • Evidence for an attentional component of inhibition of return in visual search.
    Allison M. Pierce, Monique D. Crouse, Jessica J. Green.
    Psychophysiology. June 05, 2017
    Inhibition of return (IOR) is typically described as an inhibitory bias against returning attention to a recently attended location as a means of promoting efficient visual search. Most studies examining IOR, however, either do not use visual search paradigms or do not effectively isolate attentional processes, making it difficult to conclusively link IOR to a bias in attention. Here, we recorded ERPs during a simple visual search task designed to isolate the attentional component of IOR to examine whether an inhibitory bias of attention is observed and, if so, how it influences visual search behavior. Across successive visual search displays, we found evidence of both a broad, hemisphere‐wide inhibitory bias of attention along with a focal, target location‐specific facilitation. When the target appeared in the same visual hemifield in successive searches, responses were slower and the N2pc component was reduced, reflecting a bias of attention away from the previously attended side of space. When the target occurred at the same location in successive searches, responses were facilitated and the P1 component was enhanced, likely reflecting spatial priming of the target. These two effects are combined in the response times, leading to a reduction in the IOR effect for repeated target locations. Using ERPs, however, these two opposing effects can be isolated in time, demonstrating that the inhibitory biasing of attention still occurs even when response‐time slowing is ameliorated by spatial priming.
    June 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12905   open full text
  • Attending to the heart is associated with posterior alpha band increase and a reduction in sensitivity to concurrent visual stimuli.
    Mario Villena‐González, Cristóbal Moënne‐Loccoz, Rodrigo A. Lagos, Luz M. Alliende, Pablo Billeke, Francisco Aboitiz, Vladimir López, Diego Cosmelli.
    Psychophysiology. May 31, 2017
    Attentional mechanisms have been studied mostly in specific sensory domains, such as auditory, visuospatial, or tactile modalities. In contrast, attention to internal interoceptive visceral targets has only recently begun to be studied, despite its potential importance in emotion, empathy, and self‐awareness. Here, we studied the effects of shifting attention to the heart using a cue‐target detection paradigm during continuous EEG recordings. Subjects were instructed to count either a series of visual stimuli (visual condition) or their own heartbeats (heart condition). Visual checkerboard stimuli were used as attentional probes throughout the task. Consistent with previous findings, attention modulated the amplitude of the heartbeat‐evoked potentials. Directing attention to the heart significantly reduced the visual P1/N1 amplitude evoked by the attentional probe. ERPs locked to the attention‐directing cue revealed a novel frontal positivity around 300 ms postcue. Finally, spectral power in the alpha band over parieto‐occipital regions was higher while attending to the heart—when compared to the visual task—and correlated with subject's performance in the interoceptive task. These results are consistent with a shared, resource‐based attentional mechanism whereby allocating attention to bodily signals can affect early responses to visual stimuli.
    May 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12894   open full text
  • Time domain measurement of the vascular and myocardial branches of the baroreflex: A study in physically active versus sedentary individuals.
    Gustavo A. Reyes del Paso, Pablo de la Coba, María Martín‐Vázquez, Julian F. Thayer.
    Psychophysiology. May 31, 2017
    This study tests the spontaneous sequence method for the evaluation of the cardiac, vasomotor, and myocardial branches of the baroreflex. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), interbeat interval (IBI), stroke volume (SV), preejection period (PEP), and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were continuously recorded in 33 physically active and 25 sedentary participants at rest and during a mental arithmetic task. Sequences of spontaneous covariation between SBP and IBI (for the cardiac branch), SV and PEP (for the myocardial branch), and TPR (for the vasomotor branch) were located. The slope of the regression line between values in the sequences produced an estimate of baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and the proportion of progressive SBP changes that elicited reflex modulations yielded an estimate of baroreflex effectiveness (BEI). The active group showed greater BRS in all three branches than the sedentary group. Cardiac and vasomotor BEI decreased during the arithmetic task in the sedentary group but not in the active one. Only cardiac BRS decreased during the arithmetic task. In conclusion, the method appears appropriate for the simultaneous assessment of the three baroreflex branches. The assessment of the vascular branch of the baroreflex may have prognostic relevance in the development of hypertension or other cardiometabolic diseases.
    May 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12898   open full text
  • The time course of pupil dilation evoked by visual sexual stimuli: Exploring the underlying ANS mechanisms.
    Johannes B. Finke, Christian E. Deuter, Xenia Hengesch, Hartmut Schächinger.
    Psychophysiology. May 31, 2017
    The early processing of visual sexual stimuli shows signs of automaticity. Moreover, there is evidence for sex‐specific patterns in cognitive and physiological responding to erotica. However, little is known about the time course of rapid pupillary responses to sexual stimuli and their correspondence with other measures of autonomic activity in women and men. To study pupil dilation as an implicit measure of sexual arousal at various stages of picture processing, we presented 35 heterosexual participants with pictures showing either erotic couples or single (male/female) erotic nudes, contrasted with people involved in everyday situations. Brightness‐adjusted grayscale pictures were shown for a duration of 2,500 ms within the central visual field, alternating with perceptually matched patches. Left pupil diameter was recorded at 500 Hz using a video‐based eye tracker. Skin conductance and heart rate were coregistered and correlated with latent components of pupil dilation (dissociated by temporal PCA). Whereas stimulus‐evoked changes in pupil size indicated virtually no initial constriction, a rapid effect of appetence emerged (dilation to erotica within 500 ms). Responses at early stages of processing were remarkably consistent across both sexes. In contrast, later phases of pupil dilation, subjective ratings, and skin conductance responses showed a sex‐specific pattern. Moreover, evidence for an association of early‐onset pupil dilation and heart rate acceleration was found, suggestive of parasympathetic inhibition, whereas the late component was mainly related to sympathetically mediated skin conductance. Taken together, our results indicate that different temporal components of pupil responses to erotic stimuli may reflect divergent underlying neural mechanisms.
    May 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12901   open full text
  • Working memory load impairs the evaluation of behavioral errors in the medial frontal cortex.
    Martin E. Maier, Marco Steinhauser.
    Psychophysiology. May 30, 2017
    Early error monitoring in the medial frontal cortex enables error detection and the evaluation of error significance, which helps prioritize adaptive control. This ability has been assumed to be independent from central capacity, a limited pool of resources assumed to be involved in cognitive control. The present study investigated whether error evaluation depends on central capacity by measuring the error‐related negativity (Ne/ERN) in a flanker paradigm while working memory load was varied on two levels. We used a four‐choice flanker paradigm in which participants had to classify targets while ignoring flankers. Errors could be due to responding either to the flankers (flanker errors) or to none of the stimulus elements (nonflanker errors). With low load, the Ne/ERN was larger for flanker errors than for nonflanker errors—an effect that has previously been interpreted as reflecting differential significance of these error types. With high load, no such effect of error type on the Ne/ERN was observable. Our findings suggest that working memory load does not impair the generation of an Ne/ERN per se but rather impairs the evaluation of error significance. They demonstrate that error monitoring is composed of capacity‐dependent and capacity‐independent mechanisms.
    May 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12899   open full text
  • Sex differences in empathy for pain: What is the role of autonomic regulation?
    Lincoln M. Tracy, Melita J. Giummarra.
    Psychophysiology. May 27, 2017
    Empathy involves both affective and cognitive components whereby we understand, and express concerns for, the experiences of others. Women typically have superior trait empathy compared with men, which seems to have a neurological basis with sex differences in the structure and function of neural networks involved in empathy. This study investigated sex differences in empathy for pain using the Empathy for Pain Scale, and examined whether these trait differences were associated with disruptions in autonomic regulation, specifically via the parasympathetic nervous system (measured through the square root of the mean squared differences of successive R‐R intervals; RMSSD) both at rest and during a socioevaluative stress task (i.e., the serial sevens task). Compared with men, women reported higher empathic concern (Cohen's r = .25) and affective distress (Cohen's d = 0.65) toward another in pain. In both men and women, there was a decrease in lnRMSSD in the stress task compared to rest. Sex moderated the relationship between resting lnRMSSD and self‐reported empathic concern. Specifically, there was no clear association between empathic concern and lnRMSSD in men whereas in women there was a negative relationship, with lower resting lnRMSSD associated with higher empathic concern, and higher lnRMSSD associated with lower levels of empathic concern that were similar to men. These findings suggest that empathic feelings may result from poorer psychophysiological regulation, and concur with previous research displaying sex‐specific relationships between resting heart rate variability and emotion regulation abilities.
    May 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12895   open full text
  • Does size matter? An examination of problem gamblers’ skin conductance responses to large and small magnitude rewards.
    Lisa Lole, Craig J. Gonsalvez.
    Psychophysiology. May 27, 2017
    Previous research has shown that individuals with substance use disorder equally value small and large magnitude rewards. This has led some researchers to conceptualize the problematic behaviors associated with this disorder as being, at least in part, caused by a deficiency in processing reward stimuli. Considering the documented similarities between substance use disorder and disordered gambling, the current study sought to investigate whether problem gamblers also display such an aberrant pattern of incentive processing. Skin conductance responses (SCRs) to small and large magnitude wins were recorded from 16 problem gamblers (PGs) and 16 healthy controls (HCs) while they completed a computer‐simulated electronic gaming machine task. The results show that, while large wins elicited greater SCRs compared to small wins for the HC group, no difference in SCR amplitude was found following large and small wins in the PG group. These findings suggest that problem gamblers may be less effective at evaluating the value of incentives, and are discussed in terms of relevant theoretical frameworks.
    May 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12897   open full text
  • The time course of indirect moral judgment in gossip processing modulated by different agents.
    Xiaozhe Peng, Can Jiao, Fang Cui, Qingfei Chen, Peng Li, Hong Li.
    Psychophysiology. May 24, 2017
    Previous studies have investigated personal moral violations with different references (i.e., the protagonists in moral scenarios are the participants themselves or unknown other individuals). However, the roles of various agents in moral judgments have remained unclear. In the present study, ERPs were used to investigate moral judgments when the participants viewed gossip that described (im)moral behaviors committed by different agents (self, friend, celebrity). The results demonstrate that the P2 and late positive component (LPC) correspond to two successive processes of indirect moral judgment when individuals process gossip. Specifically, the P2 amplitude in the celebrity condition was more sensitive in distinguishing immoral behaviors from moral behaviors than that in the other two conditions, whereas the moral valence effect on the LPC was predominately driven by the self‐reference. These findings expand our current understanding of moral judgments in a gossip evaluation task and demonstrate that the early processing of gossip depends on both the entertainment value of the agent and the salience of moral behaviors. Processing in the later stage reflects reactions to intensified affective stimuli, or reflects cognitive effort that was required to resolve the conflict between negative gossip about self and the self‐positivity bias.
    May 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12893   open full text
  • Inducing unconscious stress: Cardiovascular activity in response to subliminal presentation of threatening and neutral words.
    Melanie M. van der Ploeg, Jos F. Brosschot, Bart Verkuil, Brandon L. Gillie, DeWayne P. Williams, Julian Koenig, Michael W. Vasey, Julian F. Thayer.
    Psychophysiology. May 12, 2017
    Stress‐related cognitive processes may occur outside of awareness, here referred to as unconscious stress, and affect one's physiological state. Evidence supporting this idea would provide necessary clarification of the relationship between psychological stress and cardiovascular (CV) health problems. We tested the hypothesis that increases in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and total peripheral resistance (TPR) and decreases in heart rate variability (HRV) would be larger when threatening stimuli are presented outside of awareness, or subliminally, compared with neutral stimuli. Additionally, it was expected that trait worry and resting HRV, as common risk factors for CV disease, would moderate the effect. We presented a subliminal semantic priming paradigm to college students that were randomly assigned to the threat (n = 56) or neutral condition (n = 60) and assessed changes from baseline of MAP, TPR, and HRV. Level of trait worry was assessed with the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. The findings indicate that CV activity changed according to the hypothesized pattern: A higher MAP and TPR and a lower HRV in the threat condition compared with the neutral condition were found with practically meaningful effect sizes. However, these findings were only statistically significant for TPR. Furthermore, changes in CV activity were not moderated by trait worry or resting HRV. This is the first study to explicitly address the role of subliminally presented threat words on health‐relevant outcome measures and suggests that unconscious stress can influence peripheral vascular resistance.
    May 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12891   open full text
  • Acquiring research‐grade ERPs on a shoestring budget: A comparison of a modified Emotiv and commercial SynAmps EEG system.
    Michael P. Barham, Gillian M. Clark, Melissa J. Hayden, Peter G. Enticott, Russell Conduit, Jarrad A. G. Lum.
    Psychophysiology. May 12, 2017
    This study compared the performance of a low‐cost wireless EEG system to a research‐grade EEG system on an auditory oddball task designed to elicit N200 and P300 ERP components. Participants were 15 healthy adults (6 female) aged between 19 and 40 (M = 28.56; SD = 6.38). An auditory oddball task was presented comprising 1,200 presentations of a standard tone interspersed by 300 trials comprising a deviant tone. EEG was simultaneously recorded from a modified Emotiv EPOC and a NeuroScan SynAmps RT EEG system. The modifications made to the Emotiv system included attaching research grade electrodes to the Bluetooth transmitter. Additional modifications enabled the Emotiv system to connect to a portable impedance meter. The cost of these modifications and portable impedance meter approached the purchase value of the Emotiv system. Preliminary analyses revealed significantly more trials were rejected from data acquired by the modified Emotiv compared to the SynAmps system. However, the ERP waveforms captured by the Emotiv system were found to be highly similar to the corresponding waveform from the SynAmps system. The latency and peak amplitude of N200 and P300 components were also found to be similar between systems. Overall, the results indicate that, in the context of an oddball task, the ERP acquired by a low‐cost wireless EEG system can be of comparable quality to research‐grade EEG acquisition equipment.
    May 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12888   open full text
  • Brain activities associated with learning of the Monty Hall Dilemma task.
    Takahiro Hirao, Timothy I. Murphy, Hiroaki Masaki.
    Psychophysiology. May 08, 2017
    The Monty Hall Dilemma (MHD) poses a counterintuitive probabilistic problem to the players of this game. In the MHD task, a participant chooses one of three options where only one contains a reward. After one of the unchosen options (always no reward) is disclosed, the participant is asked to make a final decision: either change to the remaining option or stick with their first choice. Although the probability of winning if they change is higher (2/3) compared to sticking with their first choice (1/3), most people stick with their original selection and often lose. In accordance with previous research, repetitive exposure to the MHD task increases the change behavior without any obvious understanding of the mathematical reasons why changing increases their chance of being rewarded. We recorded the stimulus‐preceding negativity (SPN), an ERP that might reflect the informative value of the feedback. In the second half of the task, feedback was predicted to be less informative because learning had taken place. Indeed, the SPN amplitude became smaller over the frontal region. Also, the SPN amplitude was larger for change than for stick trials. These results suggest that learning in the MHD might be manifest in affective‐motivational anticipation as indicated by the SPN.
    May 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12883   open full text
  • Volitional saccade performance in a large sample of patients with obsessive‐compulsive disorder and unaffected first‐degree relatives.
    Katharina Bey, Lisa Kloft, Leonhard Lennertz, Rosa Grützmann, Stephan Heinzel, Christian Kaufmann, Julia Klawohn, Anja Riesel, Inga Meyhöfer, Norbert Kathmann, Michael Wagner.
    Psychophysiology. May 08, 2017
    Recent evidence indicates that patients with obsessive‐compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as their unaffected first‐degree relatives show deficits in the volitional control of saccades, suggesting that volitional saccade performance may constitute an endophenotype of OCD. Here, we aimed to replicate and extend these findings in a large, independent sample. One hundred and fifteen patients with OCD, 103 healthy comparison subjects without a family history of OCD, and 31 unaffected first‐degree relatives of OCD patients were examined using structured clinical interviews and performed a volitional saccade task as well as a prosaccade task. In contrast to previous reports, neither patients nor relatives showed impairments in the performance of volitional saccades compared to healthy controls. Notably, medicated patients did not differ from nonmedicated patients, and there was no effect of depressive comorbidity. Additional analyses investigating correlations between saccade performance and OCD symptom dimensions yielded no significant associations. In conclusion, the present results do not support the notion that volitional saccade execution constitutes an endophenotype of OCD. Possible explanations for inconsistencies with previous studies are discussed.
    May 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12884   open full text
  • Emotion dysregulation in alexithymia: Startle reactivity to fearful affective imagery and its relation to heart rate variability.
    Georgia Panayiotou, Elena Constantinou.
    Psychophysiology. May 08, 2017
    Alexithymia is associated with deficiencies in recognizing and expressing emotions and impaired emotion regulation, though few studies have verified the latter assertion using objective measures. This study examined startle reflex modulation by fearful imagery and its associations with heart rate variability in alexithymia. Fifty‐four adults (27 alexithymic) imagined previously normed fear scripts. Startle responses were assessed during baseline, first exposure, and reexposure. During first exposure, participants, in separate trials, engaged in either shallow or deep emotion processing, giving emphasis on descriptive or affective aspects of imagery, respectively. Resting heart rate variability was assessed during 2 min of rest prior to the experiment, with high alexithymic participants demonstrating significantly higher LF/HF (low frequency/high frequency) ratio than controls. Deep processing was associated with nonsignificantly larger and faster startle responses at first exposure for alexithymic participants. Lower LF/HF ratio, reflecting higher parasympathetic cardiac activity, predicted greater startle amplitude habituation for alexithymia but lower habituation for controls. Results suggest that, when exposed to prolonged threat, alexithymics may adjust poorly, showing a smaller initial defensive response but slower habituation. This pattern seems related to their low emotion regulation ability as indexed by heart rate variability.
    May 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12887   open full text
  • Sympathetic ANS modulation of pupil diameter in emotional scene perception: Effects of hedonic content, brightness, and contrast.
    Margaret M. Bradley, Rosemarie G. Sapigao, Peter J. Lang.
    Psychophysiology. May 08, 2017
    A series of studies investigated the effects of hedonic content, brightness, and contrast on pupil diameter during free viewing of natural scenes, assessing the amplitude of the initial light reflex and subsequent sustained pupil diameter change. Hedonic picture content varied from highly arousing scenes of erotica and violence to scenes depicting nature, babies, loss, contamination, food, and more. Despite equivalent overall picture brightness and contrast, pupil diameter still varied as a function of the local brightness of central vision at fixation. Statistical (Experiment 1) and methodological (Experiment 2, 3) solutions produced complementary data indicating that scenes of erotica and violence reliably attenuate the amplitude of the initial light reflex and prompt enhanced late diameter pupil changes, compared to other scene contents. A principal components analysis supported the hypothesis that a single sympathetically mediated process enhances pupil dilation during picture viewing, modulating both initial constriction and late diameter changes. Rather than being a subtle index of “liking,” pupil diameter is primarily sensitive to events that reliably elicit measurable sympathetic nervous system activity.
    May 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12890   open full text
  • Temporal dynamics of object location processing in allocentric reference frame.
    Ágoston Török, Andrea Kóbor, György Persa, Péter Galambos, Péter Baranyi, Valéria Csépe, Ferenc Honbolygó.
    Psychophysiology. May 08, 2017
    The spatial location of objects is processed in egocentric and allocentric reference frames, the early temporal dynamics of which have remained relatively unexplored. Previous experiments focused on ERP components related only to egocentric navigation. Thus, we designed a virtual reality experiment to see whether allocentric reference frame‐related ERP modulations can also be registered. Participants collected reward objects at the end of the west and east alleys of a cross maze, and their ERPs to the feedback objects were measured. Participants made turn choices from either the south or the north alley randomly in each trial. In this way, we were able to discern place and response coding of object location. Behavioral results indicated a strong preference for using the allocentric reference frame and a preference for choosing the rewarded place in the next trial, suggesting that participants developed probabilistic expectations between places and rewards. We also found that the amplitude of the P1 was sensitive to the allocentric place of the reward object, independent of its value. We did not find evidence for egocentric response learning. These results show that early ERPs are sensitive to the location of objects during navigation in an allocentric reference frame.
    May 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12886   open full text
  • Comparison of the acute effects of high‐intensity interval training and continuous aerobic walking on inhibitory control.
    Shih‐Chun Kao, Daniel R. Westfall, Jack Soneson, Brendon Gurd, Charles H. Hillman.
    Psychophysiology. May 08, 2017
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a single bout of high‐intensity interval training (HIIT) and continuous aerobic exercise (CAE) on inhibitory control. The P3 component of the stimulus‐locked ERP was collected in 64 young adults during a modified flanker task following 20 min of seated rest, 20 min of CAE, and 9 min of HIIT on separate days in counterbalanced order. Participants exhibited shorter overall reaction time following CAE and HIIT compared to seated rest. Response accuracy improved following HIIT in the task condition requiring greater inhibitory control compared to seated rest and CAE. P3 amplitude was larger following CAE compared to seated rest and HIIT. Decreased P3 amplitude and latency were observed following HIIT compared to seated rest. The current results replicated previous findings indicating the beneficial effect of acute CAE on behavioral and neuroelectric indices of inhibitory control. With a smaller duration and volume of exercise, a single bout of HIIT resulted in additional improvements in inhibitory control, paralleled by a smaller and more efficient P3 component. In sum, the current study demonstrated that CAE and HIIT differentially facilitate inhibitory control and its underlying neuroelectric activation, and that HIIT may be a time‐efficient approach for enhancing cognitive health.
    May 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12889   open full text
  • Emotional self–other voice processing in schizophrenia and its relationship with hallucinations: ERP evidence.
    Ana P. Pinheiro, Neguine Rezaii, Andréia Rauber, Paul G. Nestor, Kevin M. Spencer, Margaret Niznikiewicz.
    Psychophysiology. May 05, 2017
    Abnormalities in self–other voice processing have been observed in schizophrenia, and may underlie the experience of hallucinations. More recent studies demonstrated that these impairments are enhanced for speech stimuli with negative content. Nonetheless, few studies probed the temporal dynamics of self versus nonself speech processing in schizophrenia and, particularly, the impact of semantic valence on self–other voice discrimination. In the current study, we examined these questions, and additionally probed whether impairments in these processes are associated with the experience of hallucinations. Fifteen schizophrenia patients and 16 healthy controls listened to 420 prerecorded adjectives differing in voice identity (self‐generated [SGS] versus nonself speech [NSS]) and semantic valence (neutral, positive, and negative), while EEG data were recorded. The N1, P2, and late positive potential (LPP) ERP components were analyzed. ERP results revealed group differences in the interaction between voice identity and valence in the P2 and LPP components. Specifically, LPP amplitude was reduced in patients compared with healthy subjects for SGS and NSS with negative content. Further, auditory hallucinations severity was significantly predicted by LPP amplitude: the higher the SAPS “voices conversing” score, the larger the difference in LPP amplitude between negative and positive NSS. The absence of group differences in the N1 suggests that self–other voice processing abnormalities in schizophrenia are not primarily driven by disrupted sensory processing of voice acoustic information. The association between LPP amplitude and hallucination severity suggests that auditory hallucinations are associated with enhanced sustained attention to negative cues conveyed by a nonself voice.
    May 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12880   open full text
  • Electrophysiological characterization of facilitation and interference in the picture‐word interference paradigm.
    Audrey Bürki.
    Psychophysiology. May 04, 2017
    The picture‐word interference paradigm is often used to investigate the processes underlying word production. In this paradigm, participants name pictures while ignoring distractor words. The aim of this study is to investigate the processes underlying this task and how/when they differ from those involved in simple picture naming. It examines the electrophysiological signature of general interference (longer response times with than without distractors) and facilitation (shorter response times for distractor‐word stimuli overlapping in phonemes/orthography) effects. Mass univariate analyses are used to determine the temporal boundaries and spatial distribution of these effects without a priori restrictions in the time/space dimensions. Topographic pattern analyses complement this information by indicating whether (and when) the neural networks differ across conditions. Results suggest that the general interference effect has two loci, the grammatical encoding and the phonological encoding of the target word, with different neural networks involved in the two tasks during part of the grammatical encoding process. Furthermore, the electrophysiological signature of interference and facilitation effects in the time window of phonological encoding is highly similar, suggesting that the two effects could result from the same underlying mechanism. These findings are discussed in the light of existing accounts of interference and facilitation effects.
    May 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12885   open full text
  • When dyspnea gets worse: Suffocation fear and the dynamics of defensive respiratory responses to increasing interoceptive threat.
    Christoph Benke, Alfons O. Hamm, Christiane A. Pané‐Farré.
    Psychophysiology. May 03, 2017
    In patients with anxiety and/or respiratory diseases, body sensations, particularly from the respiratory system, may increase in intensity and aversiveness and thus lead into defensive action (e.g., escape) or panic. The processes, however, that might contribute to the culmination of symptoms and the switch into defensive action have not been well understood yet. The current study aimed at evaluating an experimental paradigm to characterize the dynamics of defensive mobilization to body sensations increasing in intensity and aversiveness. Persons reporting low and high suffocation fear (SF; N = 69) were exposed to increasingly unpleasant feelings of dyspnea induced by inspiratory resistive loads and a breathing occlusion requiring voluntary breath holding. Respiratory responses were assessed along with subjective reports of anxiety and panic symptoms. Presentation of respiratory loads with increasing physical resistance led to increasingly unpleasant feelings of dyspnea. Twenty‐eight participants terminated the exposure prematurely at least once. When dyspnea was severe, high compared to low SF persons exhibited an increased respiratory rate that was accompanied by reports of more intense panic symptoms. Premature terminations of exposure were preceded by a surge in anxiety, breathing frequency, and mouth pressure, and a decrease in tidal volume. We successfully established an experimental paradigm to assess changes in defensive responding with increasing intensity of an interoceptive threat. The current data foster our understanding of behavioral expression patterns observed in patients with anxiety and/or respiratory diseases and the processes involved in the culmination of bodily sensations and anxiety into panic.
    May 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12881   open full text
  • Resting sympathetic arousal moderates the association between parasympathetic reactivity and working memory performance in adults reporting high levels of life stress.
    Ryan J. Giuliano, Lisa M. Gatzke‐Kopp, Leslie E. Roos, Elizabeth A. Skowron.
    Psychophysiology. April 27, 2017
    The neurovisceral integration model stipulates that autonomic function plays a critical role in the regulation of higher‐order cognitive processes, yet most work to date has examined parasympathetic function in isolation from sympathetic function. Furthermore, the majority of work has been conducted on normative samples, which typically demonstrate parasympathetic withdrawal to increase arousal needed to complete cognitive tasks. Little is known about how autonomic regulation supports cognitive function in populations exposed to high levels of stress, which is critical given that chronic stress exposure alters autonomic function. To address this, we sought to characterize how parasympathetic (high‐frequency heart rate variability, HF‐HRV) and sympathetic (preejection period, PEP) measures of cardiac function contribute to individual differences in working memory (WM) capacity in a sample of high‐risk women. HF‐HRV and PEP were measured at rest and during a visual change detection measure of WM. Multilevel modeling was used to examine within‐person fluctuations in WM performance throughout the task concurrently with HF‐HRV and PEP, as well as between‐person differences as a function of resting HF‐HRV and PEP levels. Results indicate that resting PEP moderated the association between HF‐HRV reactivity and WM capacity. Increases in WM capacity across the task were associated with increases in parasympathetic activity, but only among individuals with longer resting PEP (lower sympathetic arousal). Follow‐up analyses showed that shorter resting PEP was associated with greater cumulative risk exposure. These results support the autonomic space framework, in that the relationship between behavior and parasympathetic function appears dependent on resting sympathetic activation.
    April 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12872   open full text
  • The impact of mood on empathy for pain: Evidence from an EEG study.
    Xiang Li, Xianxin Meng, Hong Li, Jiemin Yang, Jiajin Yuan.
    Psychophysiology. April 27, 2017
    The current work investigated whether the neural correlates of empathy for pain are altered by mood valence of observers. Following mood induction, participants watched pictures representing painful or nonpainful situations. We used EEG to record neural activity and assessed event‐related desynchronization at central sites during pain observation. Greater mu desynchronization was observed during painful relative to nonpainful situations in positive and neutral mood but not in negative mood. We also found that the pain empathy effect, indexed by mu suppression differences between painful and nonpainful conditions, was smaller in negative than in neutral and positive mood, while this effect was similar between neutral and positive mood. The current study demonstrates that observers' mood states influence the motoric component of empathy for pain, and specifically the negative mood suppresses the motoric empathic resonance for others' pain.
    April 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12882   open full text
  • Dissociation between the neural correlates of conscious face perception and visual attention.
    Joaquin Navajas, Aleksander W. Nitka, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga.
    Psychophysiology. April 26, 2017
    Given the higher chance to recognize attended compared to unattended stimuli, the specific neural correlates of these two processes, attention and awareness, tend to be intermingled in experimental designs. In this study, we dissociated the neural correlates of conscious face perception from the effects of visual attention. To do this, we presented faces at the threshold of awareness and manipulated attention through the use of exogenous prestimulus cues. We show that the N170 component, a scalp EEG marker of face perception, was modulated independently by attention and by awareness. An earlier P1 component was not modulated by either of the two effects and a later P3 component was indicative of awareness but not of attention. These claims are supported by converging evidence from (a) modulations observed in the average evoked potentials, (b) correlations between neural and behavioral data at the single‐subject level, and (c) single‐trial analyses. Overall, our results show a clear dissociation between the neural substrates of attention and awareness. Based on these results, we argue that conscious face perception is triggered by a boost in face‐selective cortical ensembles that can be modulated by, but are still independent from, visual attention.
    April 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12873   open full text
  • The influence of frontal alpha‐asymmetry on the processing of approach‐ and withdrawal‐related stimuli—A multichannel psychophysiology study.
    Dirk Adolph, Michael von Glischinski, André Wannemüller, Jürgen Margraf.
    Psychophysiology. April 26, 2017
    The approach‐withdrawal model of hemispheric activation suggests that left frontal cortical areas mediate approach, while right frontal cortical areas mediate withdrawal motivation. Within this framework, the present study investigates the association of frontal cortical asymmetry with attentional and emotional responses toward approach‐ and withdrawal‐related emotional stimuli. Resting frontal asymmetry was measured from 43 students before they passively viewed negative, neutral, and positive emotional pictures. The startle reflex, skin conductance response, and subjective ratings of valence and arousal were assessed to quantify emotional responding, while attention was assessed with ERPs. We also assessed frontal asymmetry in response to the pictures. Results indicated that relatively stronger right frontal cortical activation was associated with increased N1 amplitudes and more negative subjective emotional evaluation of all stimuli. Furthermore, enhanced right frontal asymmetry (state and trait) was associated with diminished emotional modulation of the late positive potential. In contrast, no association of frontal asymmetry with defensive reflex physiology or activation of sympathetic nervous system activity was found. The current data suggest dissociable influence of resting frontal brain asymmetry on attentional and physiological processing of withdrawal‐ and approach‐related stimuli. That is, asymmetrical frontal cortical brain activation might not modulate approach‐/withdrawal‐related motor responses and sympathetic arousal directly, but instead enhances allocation of attentional resources to subjectively significant stimuli. The results are discussed in terms of their potential importance for emotion perception in anxiety disorders and their contribution to the understanding of frontal asymmetry.
    April 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12878   open full text
  • Cognitive functioning and emotion processing in breast cancer survivors and controls: An ERP pilot study.
    Janine Wirkner, Mathias Weymar, Andreas Löw, Carmen Hamm, Anne‐Marie Struck, Clemens Kirschbaum, Alfons O. Hamm.
    Psychophysiology. April 22, 2017
    Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is a very emotionally aversive and stressful life event, which can lead to impaired cognitive functioning and mental health. Breast cancer survivors responding with repressive emotion regulation strategies often show less adaptive coping and adverse outcomes. We investigated cognitive functioning and neural correlates of emotion processing using ERPs. Self‐report measures of depression, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as hair cortisol as an index of chronic stress, were assessed. Twenty breast cancer survivors (BCS) and 31 carefully matched healthy controls participated in the study. After neuropsychological testing and subjective assessments, participants viewed 30 neutral, 30 unpleasant, and 30 pleasant pictures, and ERPs were recorded. Recognition memory was tested 1 week later. BCS reported stronger complaints about cognitive impairments and more symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Moreover, they showed elevated hair cortisol levels. Except for verbal memory, cognitive functioning was predominantly in the normative range. Recognition memory performance was decreased in cancer survivors, especially for emotional contents. In ERPs, survivors showed smaller late positive potential amplitudes for unpleasant pictures relative to controls in a later time window, which may indicate less elaborative processing of this material. Taken together, we found cognitive impairments in BCS in verbal memory, impaired emotional picture memory accuracy, and reduced neural activity when breast cancer survivors were confronted with unpleasant materials. Further studies and larger sample sizes, however, are needed to evaluate the relationship between altered emotion processing and reduced memory in BCS in order to develop new treatment strategies.
    April 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12874   open full text
  • Misfortune may be a blessing in disguise: Fairness perception and emotion modulate decision making.
    Hong‐Hsiang Liu, Yin‐Dir Hwang, Ming H. Hsieh, Yung‐Fong Hsu, Wen‐Sung Lai.
    Psychophysiology. April 19, 2017
    Fairness perception and equality during social interactions frequently elicit affective arousal and affect decision making. By integrating the dictator game and a probabilistic gambling task, this study aimed to investigate the effects of a negative experience induced by perceived unfairness on decision making using behavioral, model fitting, and electrophysiological approaches. Participants were randomly assigned to the neutral, harsh, or kind groups, which consisted of various asset allocation scenarios to induce different levels of perceived unfairness. The monetary gain was subsequently considered the initial asset in a negatively rewarded, probabilistic gambling task in which the participants were instructed to maintain as much asset as possible. Our behavioral results indicated that the participants in the harsh group exhibited increased levels of negative emotions but retained greater total game scores than the participants in the other two groups. Parameter estimation of a reinforcement learning model using a Bayesian approach indicated that these participants were more loss aversive and consistent in decision making. Data from simultaneous ERP recordings further demonstrated that these participants exhibited larger feedback‐related negativity to unexpected outcomes in the gambling task, which suggests enhanced reward sensitivity and signaling of reward prediction error. Collectively, our study suggests that a negative experience may be an advantage in the modulation of reward‐based decision making.
    April 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12870   open full text
  • By our bootstraps: Comparing methods for measuring auditory 40 Hz steady‐state neural activity.
    J. Christopher Edgar, Charles L. Fisk IV, Yu‐Han Chen, Breannan Stone‐Howell, Michael A. Hunter, Mingxiong Huang, Juan R. Bustillo, José M. Cañive, Gregory A. Miller.
    Psychophysiology. April 19, 2017
    Although the 40 Hz auditory steady‐state response (ASSR) is of clinical interest, the construct validity of EEG and MEG measures of 40 Hz ASSR cortical microcircuits is unclear. This study evaluated several MEG and EEG metrics by leveraging findings of (a) an association between the 40 Hz ASSR and age in the left but not right hemisphere, and (b) right‐ > left‐hemisphere differences in the strength of the 40 Hz ASSR. The contention is that, if an analysis method does not demonstrate a left 40 Hz ASSR and age relationship or hemisphere differences, then the obtained measures likely have low validity. Fifty‐three adults were presented 500 Hz stimuli modulated at 40 Hz while MEG and EEG were collected. ASSR activity was examined as a function of phase similarity (intertrial coherence) and percent change from baseline (total power). A variety of head models (spherical and realistic) and a variety of dipole source modeling strategies (dipole source localization and dipoles fixed to Heschl's gyri) were compared. Several sensor analysis strategies were also tested. EEG sensor measures failed to detect left 40 Hz ASSR and age associations or hemisphere differences. A comparison of MEG and EEG head‐source models showed similarity in the 40 Hz ASSR measures and in estimating age and left 40 Hz ASSR associations, indicating good construct validity across models. Given a goal of measuring the 40 Hz ASSR cortical microcircuits, a source‐modeling approach was shown to be superior in measuring this construct versus methods that rely on EEG sensor measures.
    April 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12876   open full text
  • Intrinsic neural activity differences among psychotic illnesses.
    Matthew E. Hudgens‐Haney, Lauren E. Ethridge, Justin B. Knight, Jennifer E. McDowell, Sarah K. Keedy, Godfrey D. Pearlson, Carol A. Tamminga, Matcheri S. Keshavan, John A. Sweeney, Brett A. Clementz.
    Psychophysiology. April 17, 2017
    Individuals with psychosis have been reported to show either reduced or augmented brain responses under seemingly similar conditions. It is likely that inconsistent baseline‐adjustment methods are partly responsible for this discrepancy. Using steady‐state stimuli during a pro/antisaccade task, this study addressed the relationship between nonspecific and stimulus‐related neural activity, and how these activities are modulated as a function of cognitive demands. In 98 psychosis probands (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder with psychosis), neural activity was assessed during baseline and during a 5‐s period in preparation for the pro/antisaccade task. To maximize the ability to identify meaningful differences between psychosis subtypes, analyses were conducted as a function of subgrouping probands by standard clinical diagnoses and neurobiological features. These psychosis “biotypes” were created using brain‐based biomarkers, independent of symptomatology (Clementz et al., ). Psychosis probands as a whole showed poor antisaccade performance and diminished baseline oscillatory phase synchrony. Psychosis biotypes differed on both behavioral and brain measures, in ways predicted from Clementz et al. (). Two biotype groups showed similarly deficient behavior and baseline synchrony, despite diametrically opposed neural activity amplitudes. Another biotype subgroup was more similar to healthy individuals on behavioral and brain measures, despite the presence of psychosis. This study provides evidence that (a) consideration of baseline levels of activation and synchrony will be essential for a comprehensive understanding of neural response differences in psychosis, and (b) distinct psychosis subgroups exhibit reduced versus augmented intrinsic neural activity, despite cognitive performance and clinical similarities.
    April 17, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12875   open full text
  • Intertrial interval duration affects error monitoring.
    Rebecca J. Compton, Elizabeth Heaton, Emily Ozer.
    Psychophysiology. April 17, 2017
    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of varying intertrial interval (ITI) durations on neural signals of error monitoring, given the importance of the ITI as a time window for engaging in self‐evaluation and cognitive control. In a between‐subjects design, 35 participants were assigned to one of three ITI durations (short: 768 ms; medium: 1,280 ms; long: 1,792 ms) in a standard Stroop task while EEG was recorded. Participants in the short‐ITI group demonstrated lower performance accuracy, a reduced error‐related negativity (even when correcting for frequency of errors), lower error‐related alpha suppression during the ITI, and increased post‐error slowing. Results indicate that fast‐paced trial timing can be disruptive to self‐monitoring, perhaps due to capacity limitations or bottlenecks in processing.
    April 17, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12877   open full text
  • Acute effects of exercise posture on executive function in transient ischemic attack patients.
    James Faulkner, Lee Stoner, Rebecca Grigg, Simon Fryer, Keeron Stone, Danielle Lambrick.
    Psychophysiology. April 08, 2017
    In patients with stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIA), a decline in executive function may limit an individual's ability to process motor tasks and relearn motor skills. The purpose of this study was to assess the acute effect of exercise posture (seated vs. supine cycle ergometry) on executive function and prefrontal cortex perfusion in patients with TIA. Eleven TIA patients (65 ± 10 years) and 15 age‐matched, healthy controls (HC; 62 ± 7 years) completed two exercise tests to maximal capacity (one seated, one supine) and two 30‐min submaximal exercise tests (one seated, one supine). Executive function was assessed prior to and following (1.5 min post, 15 min post) the submaximal exercise tests using a Stroop task. Prefrontal cortex perfusion (total hemoglobin) was continuously recorded using near‐infrared spectroscopy. There was no Posture (seated, supine) × Group (TIA, HC) interaction for the Stroop task (p > .05). HC completed Stroop tasks significantly faster than TIA (51.9[SD = 10.3] vs. 64.2[8.5] s, respectively), while Stroop completion time significantly improved between baseline and 1.5 min post (61.3[10] vs. 58.1[9.4] s, respectively) and 1.5 min post and 15 min post (54.8[8.9] s). Posture and group had no significant influence on prefrontal cortex perfusion (p > .05). In summary, executive function improves to a similar extent in TIA and age‐matched, healthy controls following an acute bout of exercise, regardless of exercise posture. As acute improvements in executive function were maintained for 15 min, there could be an important window of opportunity for assigning executive tasks following exercise rehabilitation for patients with TIA.
    April 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12868   open full text
  • Short‐ and long‐term stability of alpha asymmetry in infants: Baseline and affective measures.
    Rebecca J. Brooker, Mara J. Canen, Richard J. Davidson, H. Hill Goldsmith.
    Psychophysiology. April 06, 2017
    Asymmetry in cortical activity was tested for short‐ and long‐term stability during the first year of life. Infants (N = 129) completed a total of four laboratory visits: two visits occurred about 1 week apart when infants were 6 months old, and two visits occurred about 1 week apart when infants were 12 months of age. At each laboratory visit, EEG readings were taken during five 1‐min, neutral baselines as well as during a negative and a positive emotion‐eliciting task. The stability of hemispheric asymmetry was assessed at midfrontal (F3/4, F7/8) and parietal (P3/4) electrode sites. Asymmetry in baseline and fear‐eliciting episodes showed moderate short‐term stability. Long‐term stability was apparent when assessments were composited at 6 months and 12 months. Frontal asymmetry was greater than parietal asymmetry for baseline recordings. There was minimal evidence for stability in asymmetry during positive emotion tasks. Results are discussed with regard to the collection and interpretation of alpha asymmetry measures during infancy.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12866   open full text
  • Relative expertise affects N170 during selective attention to superimposed face‐character images.
    Chengteng Ip, Hailing Wang, Shimin Fu.
    Psychophysiology. April 06, 2017
    It remains unclear whether the N170 of ERPs reflects domain‐specific or domain‐general visual object processing. In this study, we used superimposed images of a face and a Chinese character such that participants' relative expertise for the two object types was either similar (Experiment 1 and 2) or different (Experiment 3). Experiment 1 showed that N170 amplitude was larger when participants attended to the character instead of the face of a face‐character combination. This result was unchanged in Experiment 2, in which task difficulty was selectively increased for the face component of the combined stimuli. Experiment 3 showed that, although this N170 enhancement for attending to characters relative to faces persisted for false characters with recognizable parts, it disappeared for unrecognizable characters. Therefore, N170 amplitude was significantly greater for Chinese characters than for faces presented within a combined image, independent of the relative task difficulty. This result strongly calls N170 face selectivity into question, demonstrating that, contrary to the expectations established by a domain‐specific account, N170 is modulated by expertise.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12862   open full text
  • Changes in the stimulus‐preceding negativity and lateralized readiness potential during reinforcement learning.
    Xi Ren, Fernando Valle‐Inclán, Sergii Tukaiev, Steven A. Hackley.
    Psychophysiology. April 06, 2017
    According to reinforcement learning theory, dopamine‐dependent anticipatory processes play a critical role in learning from action outcomes such as feedback or reward. To better understand outcome anticipation, we examined variation in slow cortical potentials and assessed their changes over the course of motor‐skill acquisition. Healthy young adults learned a series of precisely timed, key press sequences. Feedback was delivered at a delay of either 2.5 or 8 s, to encourage use of either the striatally mediated, habit learning system or the hippocampus‐dependent, episodic memory system, respectively. During the 2.5‐s delay, the stimulus‐preceding negativity (SPN) was shown to decline in amplitude across trials, confirming previous results from a perceptual categorization task (Morís, Luque, & Rodríguez‐Fornells, 2013). This falsifies the hypothesis that SPN reflects specific outcome predictions, on the assumption that the ability to make such predictions should improve as a task is mastered. An SPN was also evident during the 8‐s delay, but it increased in amplitude across trials. At the conclusion of the 8‐s but not the 2.5‐s prefeedback interval, a reversed‐polarity lateralized readiness potential (LRP) was noted. It was suggested that this might indicate maintenance of an action representation for comparison with the feedback display. If so, this would constitute the first direct psychophysiological evidence for a popular hypothetical construct in quantitative models of reinforcement learning, the so‐called eligibility trace.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12859   open full text
  • Comparing the error‐related negativity across groups: The impact of error‐ and trial‐number differences.
    Adrian G. Fischer, Tilmann A. Klein, Markus Ullsperger.
    Psychophysiology. April 03, 2017
    The error‐related negativity (ERN or Ne) is increasingly being investigated as a marker discriminating interindividual factors and moves toward a surrogate marker for disorders or interventions. Although reproducibility and validity of neuroscientific and psychological research has been criticized, clear data on how different quantification methods of the ERN and their relation to available trial numbers affect within‐ and across‐participant studies is sparse. Within a large sample of 863 healthy human participants, we demonstrate that, across participants, the number of errors correlates with the amplitude of the ERN independently of the number of errors included in ERN quantification per participant, constituting a possible confound when such variance is unaccounted for. Additionally, we find that ERN amplitudes reach high consistency within participants at lower trial numbers, yet when comparisons between groups of participants are desired, increasing error‐trial numbers lead to higher statistical power. We derive concrete suggestions for specific types of analyses, which may help researchers to more effectively design studies and analyze error‐related EEG data with the most appropriate measurement technique for the question at hand and trial number available.
    April 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12863   open full text
  • Selectivity of N170 for visual words in the right hemisphere: Evidence from single‐trial analysis.
    Hang Yang, Jing Zhao, Carl M. Gaspar, Wei Chen, Yufei Tan, Xuchu Weng.
    Psychophysiology. April 01, 2017
    Neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies have identified the involvement of the right posterior region in the processing of visual words. Interestingly, in contrast, ERP studies of the N170 typically demonstrate selectivity for words more strikingly over the left hemisphere. Why is right hemisphere selectivity for words during the N170 epoch typically not observed, despite the clear involvement of this region in word processing? One possibility is that amplitude differences measured on averaged ERPs in previous studies may have been obscured by variation in peak latency across trials. This study examined this possibility by using single‐trial analysis. Results show that words evoked greater single‐trial N170s than control stimuli in the right hemisphere. Additionally, we observed larger trial‐to‐trial variability on N170 peak latency for words as compared to control stimuli over the right hemisphere. Results demonstrate that, in contrast to much of the prior literature, the N170 can be selective to words over the right hemisphere. This discrepancy is explained in terms of variability in trial‐to‐trial peak latency for responses to words over the right hemisphere.
    April 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12867   open full text
  • Defensive motivation and attention in anticipation of different types of predictable and unpredictable threat: A startle and event‐related potential investigation.
    Brady D. Nelson, Greg Hajcak.
    Psychophysiology. April 01, 2017
    Predictability is an important characteristic of threat that impacts defensive motivation and attentional engagement. Supporting research has primarily focused on actual threat (e.g., shocks), and it is unclear whether the predictability of less intense threat (e.g., unpleasant pictures) similarly affects motivation and attention. The present study utilized a within‐subject design and examined defensive motivation (startle reflex and self‐reported anxiety) and attention (probe N100 and P300) in anticipation of shocks and unpleasant pictures during a no, predictable, and unpredictable threat task. This study also examined the impact of predictability on the P300 to shocks and late positive potential (LPP) to unpleasant pictures. The startle reflex and self‐reported anxiety were increased in anticipation of both types of threat relative to no threat. Furthermore, startle potentiation in anticipation of unpredictable threat was greater for shocks compared to unpleasant pictures, but there was no difference for predictable threat. The probe N100 was enhanced in anticipation of unpredictable threat relative to predictable threat and no threat, and the probe P300 was suppressed in anticipation of predictable and unpredictable threat relative to no threat. These effects did not differ between the shock and unpleasant picture trials. Finally, the P300 and early LPP component were increased in response to unpredictable relative to predictable shocks and unpleasant pictures, respectively. The present study suggests that the unpredictability of unpleasant pictures increases defensive motivation, but to a lesser degree relative to actual threat. Moreover, unpredictability enhances attentional engagement in anticipation of, and in reaction to, both types of threat.
    April 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12869   open full text
  • Prefrontal oxygenation and the acoustic startle eyeblink response during exercise: A test of the dual‐mode model.
    Gavin D. Tempest, Gaynor Parfitt.
    Psychophysiology. March 30, 2017
    The interplay between the prefrontal cortex and amygdala is proposed to explain the regulation of affective responses (pleasure/displeasure) during exercise as outlined in the dual‐mode model. However, due to methodological limitations the dual‐mode model has not been fully tested. In this study, prefrontal oxygenation (using near‐infrared spectroscopy) and amygdala activity (reflected by eyeblink amplitude using acoustic startle methodology) were recorded during exercise standardized to metabolic processes: 80% of ventilatory threshold (below VT), at the VT, and at the respiratory compensation point (RCP). Self‐reported tolerance of the intensity of exercise was assessed prior to, and affective responses recorded during exercise. The results revealed that, as the intensity of exercise became more challenging (from below VT to RCP), prefrontal oxygenation was larger and eyeblink amplitude and affective responses were reduced. Below VT and at VT, larger prefrontal oxygenation was associated with larger eyeblink amplitude. At the RCP, prefrontal oxygenation was greater in the left than right hemisphere, and eyeblink amplitude explained significant variance in affective responses (with prefrontal oxygenation) and self‐reported tolerance. These findings highlight the role of the prefrontal cortex and potentially the amygdala in the regulation of affective (particularly negative) responses during exercise at physiologically challenging intensities (above VT). In addition, a psychophysiological basis of self‐reported tolerance is indicated. This study provides some support of the dual‐mode model and insight into the neural basis of affective responses during exercise.
    March 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12858   open full text
  • ERP evidence for conflict in contingency learning.
    Peter S. Whitehead, Gene A. Brewer, Chris Blais.
    Psychophysiology. March 28, 2017
    The proportion congruency effect refers to the observation that the magnitude of the Stroop effect increases as the proportion of congruent trials in a block increases. Contemporary work shows that proportion effects can be driven by both context and individual items, and are referred to as context‐specific proportion congruency (CSPC) and item‐specific proportion congruency (ISPC) effects, respectively. The conflict‐modulated Hebbian learning account posits that these effects manifest from the same mechanism, while the parallel episodic processing model posits that the ISPC can occur by simple associative learning. Our prior work showed that the neural correlates of the CSPC is an N2 over frontocentral electrode sites approximately 300 ms after stimulus onset that predicts behavioral performance. There is strong consensus in the field that this N2 signal is associated with conflict detection in the medial frontal cortex. The experiment reported here assesses whether the same qualitative electrophysiological pattern of results holds for the ISPC. We find that the spatial topography of the N2 is similar but slightly delayed with a peak onset of approximately 300 ms after stimulus onset. We argue that this provides strong evidence that a single common mechanism—conflict‐modulated Hebbian learning—drives both the ISPC and CSPC.
    March 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12864   open full text
  • Vicarious pain responders and emotion: Evidence for distress rather than mimicry.
    Kurtis A. Young, Simon C. Gandevia, Melita J. Giummarra.
    Psychophysiology. March 28, 2017
    Up to a third of the population experiences pain when seeing another in pain. The mechanisms underlying such vicarious sensory experiences are thought to reflect hyperactive mirror systems (threshold theory) or dysfunctional processing and representation of oneself versus others (self/other theory). This study investigated whether the tendency to experience vicarious pain corresponds to disinhibited physiological reactivity toward other's emotions, and/or greater empathic mimicry of other's physiological state (respiratory behavior) during fear, pain, and positive emotion. Fifty healthy individuals aged 18–55 years (23 vicarious pain responders) completed empathy‐ and anxiety‐related questionnaires, and a film task. Respiration was measured noninvasively with piezoelectric respiration belts while participants viewed emotional film clips depicting three emotions (fear/pain/positive) interspersed with neutral clips. The emotional stimuli depicted scenes in which the characters showed increases or decreases in respiration. The results suggest that vicarious pain responders do not mimic emotional respiratory behavior. Rather, vicarious pain responders had a significantly slower respiration rate for all emotional stimuli (MDiff = 1.40 respiratory cycles, SE = .68), compared to nonresponders. However, this was associated with heightened trait anxiety. The findings suggest vicarious pain is associated with acute distress, rather than empathic mimicry of the emotional states of another.
    March 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12865   open full text
  • Expectations regarding action sequences modulate electrophysiological correlates of the gaze‐cueing effect.
    Jairo Perez‐Osorio, Hermann J. Müller, Agnieszka Wykowska.
    Psychophysiology. March 28, 2017
    Predictive mechanisms of the brain are important for social cognition, as they enable inferences about others' goals and intentions, thereby allowing for generation of expectations regarding what will happen next in the social environment. Therefore, attentional selection is modulated by expectations regarding behavior of others (Perez‐Osorio, Müller, Wiese, & Wykowska, 2015). In this article, we examined—using the ERPs of the EEG signal—which stages of processing are influenced by expectations about others' action steps. We used a paradigm in which a gaze‐cueing procedure was embedded in successively presented naturalistic photographs composing an action sequence. Our results showed (a) behavioral gaze‐cueing effects modulated by whether the observed agent gazed at an object that was expected to be gazed at, according to the action sequence; (b) the N1 component locked to the onset of a target was modulated both by spatial gaze validity and participants' expectations about where the agent would gaze to perform an action; (c) a more positive amplitude, locked to the shift of gaze direction for action‐congruent gaze, relative to incongruent and neutral conditions—over parieto‐occipital areas in the time window between 280 and 380 ms. Taken together, these findings revealed that confirmation or violation of expectations concerning others' goal‐oriented actions modulate attentional selection processes, as indexed by early ERP components.
    March 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12854   open full text
  • Testing food‐related inhibitory control to high‐ and low‐calorie food stimuli: Electrophysiological responses to high‐calorie food stimuli predict calorie and carbohydrate intake.
    Kaylie A. Carbine, Edward Christensen, James D. LeCheminant, Bruce W. Bailey, Larry A. Tucker, Michael J. Larson.
    Psychophysiology. March 24, 2017
    Maintaining a healthy diet has important implications for physical and mental health. One factor that may influence diet and food consumption is inhibitory control—the ability to withhold a dominant response in order to correctly respond to environmental demands. We examined how N2 amplitude, an ERP that reflects inhibitory control processes, differed toward high‐ and low‐calorie food stimuli and related to food intake. A total of 159 participants (81 female; M age = 23.5 years; SD = 7.6) completed two food‐based go/no‐go tasks (one with high‐calorie and one with low‐calorie food pictures as no‐go stimuli) while N2 amplitude was recorded. Participants recorded food intake using the Automated Self‐Administered 24‐hour Dietary Recall system. Inhibiting responses toward high‐calorie stimuli elicited a larger (i.e., more negative) no‐go N2 amplitude; inhibiting responses toward low‐calorie stimuli elicited a smaller no‐go N2 amplitude. Participants were more accurate during the high‐calorie than low‐calorie task, but took longer to respond on go trials toward high‐calorie rather than low‐calorie stimuli. When controlling for age, gender, and BMI, larger high‐calorie N2 difference amplitude predicted lower caloric intake (β = 0.17); low‐calorie N2 difference amplitude was not related to caloric intake (β = −0.03). Exploratory analyses revealed larger high‐calorie N2 difference amplitude predicted carbohydrate intake (β = 0.22), but not protein (β = 0.08) or fat (β = 0.11) intake. Results suggest that withholding responses from high‐calorie foods requires increased recruitment of inhibitory control processes, which may be necessary to regulate food consumption, particularly for foods high in calories and carbohydrates.
    March 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12860   open full text
  • Reward processing in gain versus loss context: An ERP study.
    Ya Zheng, Qi Li, Yuanyuan Zhang, Qi Li, Huijuan Shen, Qianhui Gao, Shiyu Zhou.
    Psychophysiology. March 23, 2017
    Previous research has shown that consummatory ERP components are sensitive to contextual valence. The present study investigated the contextual valence effect across anticipatory and consummatory phases by requiring participants to play a simple gambling task during a gain context and a loss context. During the anticipatory phase, the cue‐P3 was more positive in the gain context compared to the loss context, whereas the stimulus‐preceding negativity (SPN) was comparable across the two contexts. With respect to the consummatory phase, the feedback‐related negativity (FRN) in response to the zero‐value outcome was more negative in the gain versus loss context, whereas the feedback P3 (fb‐P3) in response to the zero‐value outcome was insensitive to contextual valence. These findings suggest that contextual valence effect occurs at a relative early stage of both the reward anticipation and consumption. Moreover, across the gain and loss contexts, the SPN was selectively correlated with the FRN, whereas the cue‐P3 was selectively associated with the fb‐P3, pointing to a close association between the anticipatory and consummatory phases in reward dynamics.
    March 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12855   open full text
  • Flexible parasympathetic responses to sadness facilitate spontaneous affect regulation.
    Jonathan P. Stange, Jessica L. Hamilton, David M. Fresco, Lauren B. Alloy.
    Psychophysiology. March 23, 2017
    The ability of the parasympathetic nervous system to flexibly adapt to changes in environmental context is thought to serve as a physiological indicator of self‐regulatory capacity, and deficits in parasympathetic flexibility appear to characterize affective disorders such as depression. However, whether parasympathetic flexibility (vagal withdrawal to emotional or environmental challenges such as sadness, and vagal augmentation during recovery from sadness) could facilitate the effectiveness of adaptive affect regulation strategies is not known. In a study of 178 undergraduate students, we evaluated whether parasympathetic flexibility in response to a sad film involving loss would enhance the effectiveness of regulatory strategies (reappraisal, distraction, and suppression) spontaneously employed to reduce negative affect during a 2‐min uninstructed recovery period following the induction. Parasympathetic reactivity and recovery were indexed by fluctuations in respiratory sinus arrhythmia and high‐frequency heart rate variability. Cognitive reappraisal and distraction were more effective in attenuating negative affect among individuals with more parasympathetic flexibility, particularly greater vagal augmentation during recovery, relative to individuals with less parasympathetic flexibility. In contrast, suppression was associated with less attenuation of negative affect, but only among individuals who also had less vagal withdrawal during the sad film. Alternative models provided partial support for reversed directionality, with reappraisal predicting greater parasympathetic recovery, but only when individuals also experienced greater reductions in negative affect. These results suggest that contextually appropriate parasympathetic reactivity and recovery may facilitate the success of affect regulation. Impairments in parasympathetic flexibility could confer risk for affective disorders due to attenuated capacity for effective self‐regulation.
    March 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12856   open full text
  • Reduced positive emotion and underarousal are uniquely associated with subclinical depression symptoms: Evidence from psychophysiology, self‐report, and symptom clusters.
    Stephen D. Benning, Belel Ait Oumeziane.
    Psychophysiology. March 21, 2017
    Multiple models of aberrant emotional processing in depression have been advanced. However, it is unclear which of these models best applies to emotional disturbances in subclinical depressive symptoms. The current study employed a battery of psychophysiological measures and emotional ratings in a picture‐viewing paradigm to examine whether the underarousal, low positive emotion, heightened negative emotion, or emotion context insensitivity model of emotional dysfunction in subclinical depressive symptoms received greatest support. Postauricular reflex and skin conductance response potentiation for pleasant minus neutral pictures (measuring low positive emotion), overall skin conductance magnitude and late positive potential (LPP) amplitude (measuring underarousal), and pleasant minus aversive valence ratings (measuring emotion context insensitivity) and aversive minus neutral arousal ratings (measuring heightened negative emotionality) were all negatively related to depressive symptomatology. Of these, postauricular reflex potentiation and overall LPP amplitude were incrementally associated with depressive symptoms over the other measures. Postauricular reflex potentiation, overall skin conductance magnitude, and aversive minus neutral arousal ratings were incrementally associated with depressive symptomatology after controlling for other symptoms of internalizing disorders. Though no model was unequivocally superior, the low positive emotion and underarousal models received the most support from physiological measures and symptom reports, with self‐report data matching patterns consistent with the emotion context insensitivity model.
    March 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12853   open full text
  • Resting state intrinsic EEG impacts on go stimulus‐response processes.
    Diana Karamacoska, Robert J. Barry, Genevieve Z. Steiner.
    Psychophysiology. March 04, 2017
    Neuropsychological research and practice rely on cognitive task performance measures as indicators of brain functioning. The neural activity underlying stimulus‐response processes can be assessed with ERPs, but the relations between these cognitive processes and the brain's intrinsic resting state EEG activity are less understood. This study focused on the neurocognitive functioning of 20 healthy young adults in an equiprobable go/no‐go task to map the ERP correlates of behavioral responses and examine contributions of the resting state intrinsic EEG to task‐related outcomes. Continuous EEG was recorded during pretask eyes‐closed (EC) and eyes‐open (EO) conditions, and in the subsequent task. Delta, theta, alpha, and beta band amplitudes were assessed for the EC state and also for the reactive change to EO. Go/no‐go ERPs were submitted to temporal principal components analysis, where the P2, N2, P3, and slow wave components of interest were extracted. The performance measure of reaction time (RT) variability was positively correlated with no‐go and go errors, and also with go P2 amplitude, linking these to stimulus discrimination efforts involved in appropriate response selection. An N2c‐P3b pairing was enhanced for shorter mean RTs, supporting their involvement in the decision to execute a response. A stepwise regression model identified EC midline delta as a predictor of P3b positivity, highlighting the relevance of delta in the neural mechanisms of attentional processes. These findings clarify the electrophysiology underlying decision‐making processes in executive function, and provide a platform for further research assessing performance outcomes in larger samples and in developmental/clinical contexts.
    March 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12851   open full text
  • Emotion dysregulation and autonomic responses to film, rumination, and body awareness: Extending psychophysiological research to a naturalistic clinical setting and a chemically dependent female sample.
    Sheila E. Crowell, Cynthia J. Price, Megan E. Puzia, Mona Yaptangco, Sunny Chieh Cheng.
    Psychophysiology. March 02, 2017
    Substance use is a complex clinical problem characterized by emotion dysregulation and daily challenges that can interfere with laboratory research. Thus, few psychophysiological studies examine autonomic and self‐report measures of emotion dysregulation with multidiagnostic, chemically dependent samples or extend this work into naturalistic settings. In this study, we used a within‐subject design to examine changes in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), electrodermal activity (EDA), and self‐reported affect across three tasks designed to elicit distinct psychophysiological and emotional response patterns. We also examined emotion dysregulation as a moderator of psychophysiological responses. Participants include 116 women with multiple comorbid mental health conditions enrolled in substance use treatment, many of whom also reported high emotion dysregulation. Participants were assessed in the treatment setting and completed three tasks: watching a sad movie clip, rumination on a stressful event, and a mindful interoceptive awareness meditation. Multilevel models were used to examine changes from resting baselines to the tasks. During the film, results indicate a significant decrease in RSA and an increase in EDA. For the rumination task, participants showed a decrease in RSA but no EDA response. For the body awareness task, there was an increase in RSA and a decrease in EDA. Emotion dysregulation was associated with differences in baseline RSA but not with EDA or with the slope of response patterns across tasks. Self‐reported affect was largely consistent with autonomic patterns. Findings add to the literature on emotion dysregulation, substance use, and the translation of psychophysiological measurements into clinical settings with complex samples.
    March 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12838   open full text
  • Your brain on bikes: P3, MMN/N2b, and baseline noise while pedaling a stationary bike.
    Joanna E. M. Scanlon, Alex J. Sieben, Kevin R. Holyk, Kyle E. Mathewson.
    Psychophysiology. March 01, 2017
    Increasingly, there is a trend to measure brain activity in more ecologically realistic scenarios. Normally, the confines of the laboratory and sedentary tasks mitigate sources of electrical noise on EEG measurement. Moving EEG outside of the lab requires understanding of the impact of complex movements and activities on traditional EEG and ERP measures. Here, we recorded EEG with active electrodes while participants were either riding or sitting on a stationary bike in an electrical and sound‐attenuated chamber in the lab. Participants performed an auditory oddball task, pressing a button when they detected rare target tones in a series of standard frequent tones. We quantified both the levels of spectral, single‐trial baseline, and ERP baseline noise, as well as classic MMN/N2b and P3 ERP components measured during both biking and sitting still. We observed slight increases in posterior high frequency noise in the spectra, and increased noise in the baseline period during biking. However, morphologically and topographically similar MMN/N2b and P3 components were measured reliably while both biking and sitting. A quantification of the power to reliably measure ERPs as a function of the number of trials revealed slight increases in the number of trials needed during biking to achieve the same level of power. Taken in sum, our results confirm that classic ERPs can be measured reliably during biking activities in the lab. Future directions will employ these techniques outside the lab in ecologically valid situations.
    March 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12850   open full text
  • Consequences matter: Self‐induced tones are used as feedback to optimize tone‐eliciting actions.
    Bence Neszmélyi, János Horváth.
    Psychophysiology. February 27, 2017
    Experimental paradigms investigating the processing of self‐induced stimuli are often based on the implicit assumption that motor processes are invariable regardless of their consequences: It is presumed that actions with different sets of predictable sensory consequences do not differ in their physical characteristics or in their brain signal reflections. The present experiment explored this assumption in the context of action‐related auditory attenuation by comparing actions (pinches) with and without auditory consequences. The results show that motor processes are not invariable: Pinches eliciting a tone were softer than pinches without auditory effects. This indicates that self‐induced auditory stimuli are not perceived as irrelevant side effects: The tones are used as feedback to optimize the tone‐eliciting actions. The comparison of ERPs related to actions with different physical parameters (strong and soft pinches) revealed a significant ERP difference in the time range of the action‐related N1 attenuation (strong pinches resulted in more negative amplitudes), suggesting that a motor correction bias may contribute to this auditory ERP attenuation effect, which is usually attributed to action‐related predictive processes.
    February 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12845   open full text
  • Lateralization of posterior alpha EEG reflects the distribution of spatial attention during saccadic reading.
    Benthe Kornrumpf, Olaf Dimigen, Werner Sommer.
    Psychophysiology. February 27, 2017
    Visuospatial attention is an important mechanism in reading that governs the uptake of information from foveal and parafoveal regions of the visual field. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of how attention is allocated during eye fixations are not completely understood. The current study explored the use of EEG alpha‐band oscillations to investigate the spatial distribution of attention during reading. We reanalyzed two data sets, focusing on the lateralization of alpha activity at posterior scalp sites. In each experiment, participants read short lists of German nouns in two paradigms: either by freely moving their eyes (saccadic reading) or by fixating the screen center while the text moved passively from right to left at the same average speed (RSVP paradigm). In both paradigms, upcoming words were either visible or masked, and foveal processing load was manipulated by varying the words' lexical frequencies. Posterior alpha lateralization revealed a sustained rightward bias of attention during saccadic reading, but not in the RSVP paradigm. Interestingly, alpha lateralization was not influenced by word frequency (foveal load) or preview during the preceding fixation. Hence, alpha did not reflect transient attention shifts within a given fixation. However, in both experiments, we found that in the saccadic reading condition a stronger alpha lateralization shortly before a saccade predicted shorter fixations on the subsequently fixated word. These results indicate that alpha lateralization can serve as a measure of attention deployment and its link to oculomotor behavior in reading.
    February 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12849   open full text
  • The costs of being certain: Brain potential evidence for linguistic preactivation in sentence processing.
    Dominik Freunberger, Dietmar Roehm.
    Psychophysiology. February 27, 2017
    Prediction in sentence comprehension is often investigated by measuring the amplitude of the N400 ERP component to words that are more or less predictable from their preceding context. The N400—linked to the activation of word‐associated semantic information—is reduced for words that are predictable, indicating that preactivation can lead to facilitated processing. We addressed the question whether there is measurable neural activity related to the preactivation of linguistic information before input confirms or disconfirms this prediction. We therefore measured ERPs not only to moderately to highly predictable target words, but also to preceding adverbs. Based on two separate cloze pretests, we quantified the impact of the adverb upon the predictability of the subsequent target word. Using linear mixed‐effects analyses, we could show that the N400 amplitude at the target word was inversely related to target cloze value, thus replicating the finding that prediction has a facilitative effect on semantic processing. Crucially, the N400 amplitude at the pretarget adverb was modulated by adverb impact: When adverbs increased the predictability of the following word, the N400 was more negative going. We argue that this effect is related to the preactivation of linguistic information. Our findings indicate that the specification of predictions can lead to additional processes before these predictions are confirmed or disconfirmed and that activation of word‐associated information through prediction is highly comparable to activation through actual input.
    February 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12848   open full text
  • Time will tell: A longitudinal investigation of brain‐behavior relationships during reading development.
    Mallory C. Stites, Sarah Laszlo.
    Psychophysiology. February 23, 2017
    ERPs are a powerful tool for the study of reading, as they are both temporally precise and functionally specific. These are essential characteristics for studying a process that unfolds rapidly and consists of multiple, interactive subprocesses. In work with adults, clear, specific models exist linking components of the ERP with individual subprocesses of reading including orthographic decoding, phonological processing, and semantic access (e.g., Grainger & Holcomb, 2009). The relationships between ERP components and reading subprocesses are less clear in development; here, we address two questions regarding these relationships. First, we ask whether there are ERP markers that predict future reading behaviors across a longitudinal year. Second, we ask whether any relationships observed between ERP components and reading behavior across time map onto the better‐established relationships between ERPs and reading subprocesses in adults. To address these questions, we acquired ERPs from children engaging in a silent reading task and then, a year later, collected behavioral assessments of their reading ability. We find that ERPs collected in Year 1 do predict reading behaviors a year later. Further, we find that these relationships do conform, at least to some extent, to relationships between ERP components and reading subprocesses observed in adults, with, for example, N250 amplitude in Year 1 predicting phonological awareness in Year 2, and N400 amplitude in Year 1 predicting vocabulary in Year 2.
    February 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12844   open full text
  • Brain electrical activity signatures during performance of the Multisource Interference Task.
    Alberto J. González‐Villar, Maria T. Carrillo‐de‐la‐Peña.
    Psychophysiology. February 21, 2017
    The Multisource Interference Task (MSIT) was developed to test cognitive control in normal and pathological conditions and has become a reliable tool for exploring the integrity of cingulo‐frontal‐parietal cognitive/attentional networks in fMRI studies. Analysis of EEG recordings made during performance of the MSIT may provide additional information about the temporal dynamics of cognitive control. However, this has not yet been investigated in depth. In this study, we analyzed the ERPs and carried out time‐frequency decomposition of EEG recorded during control and interference conditions of the MSIT. The N2 ERP component and midfrontal theta power (both considered neural signatures of conflict processing) were significantly larger in interference than in control trials. Theta also showed higher phase synchronization between midfrontal and right frontolateral scalp locations in the interference condition, supporting the view that this frequency band entrains additional brain resources when a need for greater control arises. In interference trials, we also observed longer P3 latency, larger P3 amplitude, and greater reduction of posterior alpha (modulations related to allocation of attentional resources), in addition to a greater reduction of central beta power (related to motor preparation). In conclusion, the MSIT reliably modulated brain electrical activity related to cognitive control and attention. The EEG indices obtained during the performance of this task may be useful for exploring the functioning of cognitive/attentional networks in healthy and clinical populations.
    February 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12843   open full text
  • Neuroplus biofeedback improves attention, resilience, and injury prevention in elite soccer players.
    Aiace Rusciano, Giuliano Corradini, Ivilin Stoianov.
    Psychophysiology. February 21, 2017
    Performance and injury prevention in elite soccer players are typically investigated from physical‐tactical, biomechanical, and metabolic perspectives. However, executive functions, visuospatial abilities, and psychophysiological adaptability or resilience are also fundamental for efficiency and well‐being in sports. Based on previous research associating autonomic flexibility with prefrontal cortical control, we designed a novel integrated autonomic biofeedback training method called Neuroplus to improve resilience, visual attention, and injury prevention. Herein, we introduce the method and provide an evaluation of 20 elite soccer players from the Italian Soccer High Division (Serie‐A): 10 players trained with Neuroplus and 10 trained with a control treatment. The assessments included psychophysiological stress profiles, a visual search task, and indexes of injury prevention, which were measured pre‐ and posttreatment. The analysis showed a significant enhancement of physiological adaptability, recovery following stress, visual selective attention, and injury prevention that were specific to the Neuroplus group. Enhancing the interplay between autonomic and cognitive functions through biofeedback may become a key principle for obtaining excellence and well‐being in sports. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that shows improvement in visual selective attention following intense autonomic biofeedback.
    February 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12847   open full text
  • Error monitoring and empathy: Explorations within a neurophysiological context.
    Azhani Amiruddin, Simone N. Fueggle, An T. Nguyen, Gilles E. Gignac, Karen L. Clunies‐Ross, Allison M. Fox.
    Psychophysiology. February 20, 2017
    Past literature has proposed that empathy consists of two components: cognitive and affective empathy. Error monitoring mechanisms indexed by the error‐related negativity (ERN) have been associated with empathy. Studies have found that a larger ERN is associated with higher levels of empathy. We aimed to expand upon previous work by investigating how error monitoring relates to the independent theoretical domains of cognitive and affective empathy. Study 1 (N = 24) explored the relationship between error monitoring mechanisms and subcomponents of empathy using the Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy and found no relationship. Study 2 (N = 38) explored the relationship between the error monitoring mechanisms and overall empathy. Contrary to past findings, there was no evidence to support a relationship between error monitoring mechanisms and scores on empathy measures. A subsequent meta‐analysis (Study 3, N = 125) summarizing the relationship across previously published studies together with the two studies reported in the current paper indicated that overall there was no significant association between ERN and empathy and that there was significant heterogeneity across studies. Future investigations exploring the potential variables that may moderate these relationships are discussed.
    February 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12846   open full text
  • Escaping aversive exposure.
    Christopher T. Sege, Margaret M. Bradley, Peter J. Lang.
    Psychophysiology. February 20, 2017
    This research examined human defensive reactivity when exposure to an aversive event could be escaped but not entirely avoided. Prolonged visual cues indicated whether exposure to an upcoming aversive (i.e., disgusting) picture could be terminated after onset (escaped) or not, or that a neutral go signal would appear. Acoustically elicited startle reflexes were measured during each cue interval, as were cardiac and skin conductance activity. Early in the cuing interval, startle reflexes were potentiated during both escape and inescapable exposure trials, compared to the simple motor context. Later in the interval, reflexes remained potentiated for both escapable and inescapable trials, with potentiation further enhanced when aversive exposure could not be escaped compared to when exposure could be escaped. Heart rate deceleration in the cuing interval indicated increased vigilance when preparing any (escape or neutral) action, whereas skin conductance responding indicated enhanced sympathetic action mobilization particularly in an escape context. These data suggest that startle reflexes engaged in an escape context reflect both motor‐related response inhibition and aversive potentiation, and they indicate that defensive motivation is engaged whenever aversive exposure is guaranteed, regardless of whether it can be escaped or not.
    February 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12842   open full text
  • Defensive coping and essential amino acid markers as possible predictors for structural vascular disease in an African and Caucasian male cohort: The SABPA study.
    Marisa Möller, Leoné Malan, Martin Magnusson, Carina M. C. Mels, Nico T. Malan.
    Psychophysiology. February 20, 2017
    Defensive coping (DefS), oxidative stress, inflammation, and related amino acids (phenylalanine [Phe] and tyrosine [Tyr]) have been implicated in cardiovascular disease. This study assessed whether inflammation, oxidative stress, changes in essential amino acids, and altered coping strategies are correlated with subclinical vascular changes in African (n = 82) and Caucasian (n = 100) men from the Sympathetic Activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans (SABPA) study. The Coping Strategy Indicator questionnaire identified DefS participants. Ambulatory blood pressure (BP) was monitored for 24 h, whereas carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) and cross‐sectional wall area (CSWA) were determined ultrasonically. Essential amino acids were analyzed with a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method. Oxidative‐inflammatory markers were measured by spectrophotometry. African men had poorer health than Caucasian men, including higher alcohol abuse, elevated BP, abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, and elevated inflammation. Phe (p < .001) and Phe/Tyr ratio (p = .006) as well as CIMT (p = .032) were higher in African men. DefS African men had higher levels of Phe (p = .002) and Phe/Tyr (p = .009) compared to DefS Caucasian men; these differences were not observed in non‐DefS men. Systolic BP and inflammation (C‐reactive protein) were positively associated with left (L‐) CSWA, while Phe/Tyr was negatively associated with L‐CSWA in DefS African men. African males presented with elevated Phe and Phe/Tyr ratio, catecholamine precursors, worsening during DefS—possibly driven by inflammation and BP contributing to structural vascular abnormalities.
    February 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12833   open full text
  • Brain activity from stimuli that are not perceived: Visual mismatch negativity during binocular rivalry suppression.
    Bradley N. Jack, Andreas Widmann, Robert P. O'Shea, Erich Schröger, Urte Roeber.
    Psychophysiology. February 20, 2017
    Predictive coding explains visual perception as the result of an interaction between bottom‐up sensory input and top‐down generative models at each level of the visual hierarchy. Evidence for this comes from the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN): a more negative ERP for rare, unpredictable visual stimuli—deviants, than for frequent, predictable visual stimuli—standards. Here, we show that the vMMN does not require conscious experience. We measured the vMMN from monocular luminance‐decrement deviants that were either perceived or not during binocular rivalry dominance or suppression, respectively. We found that both sorts of deviants elicited the vMMN at about 250 ms after stimulus onset, with perceived deviants eliciting a bigger vMMN than not‐perceived deviants. These results show that vMMN occurs in the absence of consciousness, and that consciousness enhances the processing underlying vMMN. We conclude that generative models of visual perception are tested, even when sensory input for those models is not perceived.
    February 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12831   open full text
  • Evaluating the efficacy of fully automated approaches for the selection of eyeblink ICA components.
    Matthew B. Pontifex, Vladimir Miskovic, Sarah Laszlo.
    Psychophysiology. February 13, 2017
    Independent component analysis (ICA) offers a powerful approach for the isolation and removal of eyeblink artifacts from EEG signals. Manual identification of the eyeblink ICA component by inspection of scalp map projections, however, is prone to error, particularly when nonartifactual components exhibit topographic distributions similar to the blink. The aim of the present investigation was to determine the extent to which automated approaches for selecting eyeblink‐related ICA components could be utilized to replace manual selection. We evaluated popular blink selection methods relying on spatial features (EyeCatch), combined stereotypical spatial and temporal features (ADJUST), and a novel method relying on time series features alone (icablinkmetrics) using both simulated and real EEG data. The results of this investigation suggest that all three methods of automatic component selection are able to accurately identify eyeblink‐related ICA components at or above the level of trained human observers. However, icablinkmetrics, in particular, appears to provide an effective means of automating ICA artifact rejection while at the same time eliminating human errors inevitable during manual component selection and false positive component identifications common in other automated approaches. Based upon these findings, best practices for (a) identifying artifactual components via automated means, and (b) reducing the accidental removal of signal‐related ICA components are discussed.
    February 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12827   open full text
  • Flexible conceptual combination: Electrophysiological correlates and consequences for associative memory.
    Heather D. Lucas, Ryan J. Hubbard, Kara D. Federmeier.
    Psychophysiology. February 13, 2017
    When meaningful stimuli such as words are encountered in groups or pairs (e.g., “elephant‐ferry”), they can be processed either separately or as an integrated concept (“an elephant ferry”). Prior research suggests that memory for integrated associations is supported by different mechanisms than is memory for nonintegrated associations. However, little is known about the neurocognitive mechanisms that support the integration of novel stimulus pairs. We recorded ERPs while participants memorized sequentially presented, unrelated noun pairs using a strategy that either did or did not involve attempting to construct coherent definitions. We varied the concreteness of the first noun in each pair to examine whether conceptual combination instructions would induce compositional concreteness effects, or differences in ERPs evoked by the second noun as a function of the concreteness of the first noun. We found that the conceptual combination task, but not the noncombinatory encoding task, produced compositional concreteness effects on a late frontal negativity previously linked to visual imagery. Moreover, word pairs studied under conceptual combination instructions showed evidence of more unitized or holistic memory representations on associative recognition and free recall tests. Finally, item analyses indicated that (a) items with higher normed imageability ratings were rated by participants as easier to conceptually combine, and (b) in the conceptual combination task, ease‐of‐combination ratings mediated an indirect relationship between imageability and subsequent associative memory. These data are suggestive of a role of compositional imagery in the online formation of novel concepts via conceptual combination.
    February 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12840   open full text
  • Learning processes underlying avoidance of negative outcomes.
    Marta Andreatta, Sebastian Michelmann, Paul Pauli, Johannes Hewig.
    Psychophysiology. February 08, 2017
    Successful avoidance of a threatening event may negatively reinforce the behavior due to activation of brain structures involved in reward processing. Here, we further investigated the learning‐related properties of avoidance using feedback‐related negativity (FRN). The FRN is modulated by violations of an intended outcome (prediction error, PE), that is, the bigger the difference between intended and actual outcome, the larger the FRN amplitude is. Twenty‐eight participants underwent an operant conditioning paradigm, in which a behavior (button press) allowed them to avoid a painful electric shock. During two learning blocks, participants could avoid an electric shock in 80% of the trials by pressing one button (avoidance button), or by not pressing another button (punishment button). After learning, participants underwent two test blocks, which were identical to the learning ones except that no shocks were delivered. Participants pressed the avoidance button more often than the punishment button. Importantly, response frequency increased throughout the learning blocks but it did not decrease during the test blocks, indicating impaired extinction and/or habit formation. In line with a PE account, FRN amplitude to negative feedback after correct responses (i.e., unexpected punishment) was significantly larger than to positive feedback (i.e., expected omission of punishment), and it increased throughout the blocks. Highly anxious individuals showed equal FRN amplitudes to negative and positive feedback, suggesting impaired discrimination. These results confirm the role of negative reinforcement in motivating behavior and learning, and reveal important differences between high and low anxious individuals in the processing of prediction errors.
    February 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12822   open full text
  • Prepulse inhibition and facilitation of the postauricular reflex, a vestigial remnant of pinna startle.
    Steven A. Hackley, Xi Ren, Amy Underwood, Fernando Valle‐Inclán.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    If the postauricular reflex (PAR) is to be used effectively in studies of emotion and attention, its sensitivity to basic modulatory effects such as prepulse inhibition and facilitation must be determined. Two experiments were carried out with healthy young adults to assess the effects of transient and sustained visual prestimuli on the pinna‐flexion response to trains of startle probes. In the first experiment, participants passively viewed a small white square. It was displayed from 1,000 ms prior to onset of a train of noise bursts until the end of that train. Relative to no‐prepulse control trials, PAR amplitude was inhibited, possibly due to the withdrawal of attentional resources from the auditory modality. In the second experiment, participants performed a visual oddball task in which irrelevant trains of startle probes followed most briefly displayed task stimuli (checkerboards). Prepulse inhibition was observed when a transient stimulus preceded the first probe at a lead time of 100 ms. Amplitude facilitation was observed at longer lead times. In addition to documenting the existence of prepulse inhibition and facilitation, the data suggest that the PAR is not elicited by visual stimuli, that temporal expectancy does not influence its amplitude or latency, and that this vestigial microreflex is resistant to habituation. Results are interpreted in light of a recent theory that the human PAR is a highly degraded pinna startle, in which the reflex arc no longer includes the startle center (nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis).
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12819   open full text
  • Influence of acute stress on response inhibition in healthy men: An ERP study.
    Angelika Margarete Dierolf, Julia Fechtner, Robina Böhnke, Oliver T. Wolf, Ewald Naumann.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    The current study investigated the influence of acute stress and the resulting cortisol increase on response inhibition and its underlying cortical processes, using EEG. Before and after an acute stressor or a control condition, 39 healthy men performed a go/no‐go task while ERPs (N2, P3), reaction times, errors, and salivary cortisol were measured. Acute stress impaired neither accuracy nor reaction times, but differentially affected the neural correlates of response inhibition; namely, stress led to enhanced amplitudes of the N2 difference waves (N2d, no‐go minus go), indicating enhanced response inhibition and conflict monitoring. Moreover, participants responding to the stressor with an acute substantial rise in cortisol (high cortisol responders) showed reduced amplitudes of the P3 of the difference waves (P3d, no‐go minus go) after the stressor, indicating an impaired evaluation and finalization of the inhibitory process. Our findings indicate that stress leads to a reallocation of cognitive resources to the neural subprocesses of inhibitory control, strengthening premotor response inhibition and the detection of response conflict, while concurrently diminishing the subsequent finalization process within the stream of processing.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12826   open full text
  • N1 response attenuation and the mismatch negativity (MMN) to within‐ and across‐category phonetic contrasts.
    Daniel M. R. Silva, Danilo B. Melges, Rui Rothe‐Neves.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    According to the neural adaptation model of the mismatch negativity (MMN), the sensitivity of this event‐related response to both acoustic and categorical information in speech sounds can be accounted for by assuming that (a) the degree of overlapping between neural representations of two sounds depends on both the acoustic difference between them and whether or not they belong to distinct phonetic categories, and (b) a release from stimulus‐specific adaptation causes an enhanced N1 obligatory response to infrequent deviant stimuli. On the basis of this view, we tested in Experiment 1 whether the N1 response to the second sound of a pair (S2) would be more attenuated in pairs of identical vowels compared with pairs of different vowels, and in pairs of exemplars of the same vowel category compared with pairs of exemplars of different categories. The psychoacoustic distance between S1 and S2 was the same for all within‐category and across‐category pairs. While N1 amplitudes decreased markedly from S1 to S2, responses to S2 were quite similar across pair types, indicating that the attenuation effect in such conditions is not stimulus specific. In Experiment 2, a pronounced MMN was elicited by a deviant vowel sound in an across‐category oddball sequence, but not when the exact same deviant vowel was presented in a within‐category oddball sequence. This adds evidence that MMN reflects categorical phonetic processing. Taken together, the results suggest that different neural processes underlie the attenuation of the N1 response to S2 and the MMN to vowels.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12824   open full text
  • Analgesia induced by self‐initiated electrotactile sensation is mediated by top‐down modulations.
    Ke Zhao, Zhengyu Tang, Huiquan Wang, Yifei Guo, Weiwei Peng, Li Hu.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    It is well known that sensory perception can be attenuated when sensory stimuli are controlled by self‐initiated actions. This phenomenon is explained by the consistency between forward models of anticipated action effects and actual sensory feedback. Specifically, the brain state related to the binding between motor processing and sensory perception would have inhibitory function by gating sensory information via top‐down control. Since the brain state could casually influence the perception of subsequent stimuli of different sensory modalities, we hypothesize that pain evoked by nociceptive stimuli following the self‐initiated tactile stimulation would be attenuated as compared to that following externally determined tactile stimulation. Here, we compared psychophysical and neurophysiological responses to identical nociceptive‐specific laser stimuli in two different conditions: self‐initiated tactile sensation condition (STS) and nonself‐initiated tactile sensation condition (N‐STS). We observed that pain intensity and unpleasantness, as well as laser‐evoked brain responses, were significantly reduced in the STS condition compared to the N‐STS condition. In addition, magnitudes of alpha and beta oscillations prior to laser onset were significantly larger in the STS condition than in the N‐STS condition. These results confirmed that pain perception and pain‐related brain responses were attenuated when the tactile stimulation was initiated by subjects’ voluntary actions, and exploited neural oscillations reflecting the binding between motor processing and sensory feedback. Thus, our study elaborated the understanding of underlying neural mechanisms related to top‐down modulations of the analgesic effect induced by self‐initiated tactile sensation, which provided theoretical basis to improve the analgesic effect in various clinical applications.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12839   open full text
  • Financial incentive does not affect P300 (in response to certain episodic and semantic probe stimuli) in the Complex Trial Protocol (CTP) version of the Concealed Information Test (CIT) in detection of malingering.
    J. Peter Rosenfeld, Elena Labkovsky, Elena Davydova, Anne Ward, Lauren Rosenfeld.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    Previous research indicated that the skin conductance response of the autonomic nervous system in the Concealed Information Test (CIT) is typically increased in subjects who are financially and otherwise incentivized to defeat the CIT (the paradoxical “motivational impairment” effect). This is not the case for RT‐based CITs, nor P300 tests based on the three‐stimulus protocol for detection of cognitive malingering (although these are not the same as CITs). The present report is the first attempt to study the effect of financial motivation on the P300‐based Complex Trial Protocol using both episodic and semantic memory probe and irrelevant stimuli. The Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) was used to validate behavioral differences between the two groups we created by offering one (paid) group but not another (unpaid) group a financial reward for beating our tests. Group behavioral differences on the TOMM did confirm group manipulations. Probe‐minus‐irrelevant P300 differences did not differ between groups, although as previously, semantic memory‐evoked P300s were larger than episodic memory‐evoked P300s.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12835   open full text
  • Callous‐unemotional, impulsive‐irresponsible, and grandiose‐manipulative traits: Distinct associations with heart rate, skin conductance, and startle responses to violent and erotic scenes.
    Kostas A. Fanti, Melina N. Kyranides, Giorgos Georgiou, Maria Petridou, Olivier F. Colins, Catherine Tuvblad, Henrik Andershed.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    The present study aimed to examine whether callous‐unemotional, grandiose‐manipulative, and impulsive‐irresponsible dimensions of psychopathy are differentially related to various affective and physiological measures, assessed at baseline and in response to violent and erotic movie scenes. Data were collected from young adults (N = 101) at differential risk for psychopathic traits. Findings from regression analyses revealed a unique predictive contribution of grandiose‐manipulative traits in particular to higher ratings of positive valence for violent scenes. Callous‐unemotional traits were uniquely associated with lower levels of sympathy toward victims and lower ratings of fear and sadness during violent scenes. All three psychopathy dimensions and the total psychopathy scale showed negative zero‐order correlations with heart rate at baseline, but regression analyses revealed that only grandiose manipulation was uniquely predictive of lower baseline heart rate. Grandiose manipulation was also significantly associated with lower baseline skin conductance. Regarding autonomic activity, findings resulted in a unique negative association between grandiose manipulation and heart rate activity in response to violent scenes. In contrast, the impulsive‐irresponsible dimension was positively related with heart rate activity to violent scenes. Finally, findings revealed that only callous‐unemotional traits were negatively associated with startle potentiation in response to violent scenes. No associations during erotic scenes were identified. These findings point to unique associations between the three assessed dimensions of psychopathy with physiological measures, indicating that grandiose manipulation is associated with hypoarousal, impulsive irresponsibility with hyperarousal, and callous‐unemotional traits with low emotional and fear responses to violent scenes.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12837   open full text
  • Selection history alters attentional filter settings persistently and beyond top‐down control.
    Hanna Kadel, Tobias Feldmann‐Wüstefeld, Anna Schubö.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    Visual selective attention is known to be guided by stimulus‐based (bottom‐up) and goal‐oriented (top‐down) control mechanisms. Recent work has pointed out that selection history (i.e., the bias to prioritize items that have been previously attended) can result in a learning experience that also has a substantial impact on subsequent attention guidance. The present study examined to what extent goal‐oriented top‐down control mechanisms interact with an observer's individual selection history in guiding attention. Selection history was manipulated in a categorization task in a between‐subjects design, where participants learned that either color or shape was the response‐relevant dimension. The impact of this experience was assessed in a compound visual search task with an additional color distractor. Top‐down preparation for each search trial was enabled by a pretrial task cue (Experiment 1) or a fixed, predictable trial sequence (Experiment 2). Reaction times and ERPs served as indicators of attention deployment. Results showed that attention was captured by the color distractor when participants had learned that color predicted the correct response in the categorization learning task, suggesting that a bias for predictive stimulus features had developed. The possibility to prepare for the search task reduced the bias, but could not entirely overrule this selection history effect. In Experiment 3, both tasks were performed in separate sessions, and the bias still persisted. These results indicate that selection history considerably shapes selective attention and continues to do so persistently even when the task allowed for high top‐down control.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12830   open full text
  • Startle modulation and explicit valence evaluations dissociate during backward fear conditioning.
    Camilla C. Luck, Ottmar V. Lipp.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    Blink startle magnitude is linearly modulated by affect such that, relative to neutral stimuli, startle magnitude is inhibited during pleasant stimuli and potentiated during unpleasant stimuli. Andreatta, Mühlberger, Yarali, Gerber, and Pauli (2010), however, report a dissociation between startle modulation and explicit valence evaluations during backward conditioning, a procedure in which the unconditional stimulus precedes the conditional stimulus (CS). Relative to controls, startles elicited during the CS were inhibited, suggesting that the CS had acquired positive valence, but participants still evaluated the CS as unpleasant after the experiment. In Experiment 1, we aimed to replicate this dissociation using a trial‐by‐trial measure of CS valence to measure startle modulation and CS valence simultaneously during forward and backward differential fear conditioning. In Experiment 2, we examined whether early and late portions of the CS could acquire differential valence by presenting startle probes at early and late probe positions during the CS. In both experiments, the dissociation between startle modulation and explicit valence evaluations in backward conditioning replicated, with CS+ evaluated as less pleasant than CS‐, but startles elicited during CS+ inhibited relative to CS‐. In Experiment 2, we provide preliminary evidence that this inhibition was present early, but not late, during the CS+. The results replicate the dissociation between implicit and explicit CS valence reported by Andreatta et al. (2010) using a trial‐by‐trial measure of valence. We also provide preliminary evidence that this dissociation may occur because the implicit and explicit measures are recorded at different times during the CS presentation.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12834   open full text
  • Conditioned inhibitory and excitatory gain modulations of visual cortex in fear conditioning: Effects of analysis strategies of magnetocortical responses.
    Stephan Moratti, Tamara Giménez‐Fernández, Constantino Méndez‐Bértolo, Francisco de Vicente‐Pérez.
    Psychophysiology. February 07, 2017
    In unpredictable environments, stimuli that predict potential danger or its absence can change rapidly. Therefore, it is highly adaptive to prioritize incoming sensory information flexibly as a function of prior experience. Previously, these changes have only been conceptualized as excitatory gain increases in sensory cortices for acquired fear‐relevant stimuli during associative learning. However, formal descriptions of associative processes by Rescorla and Wagner predict both conditioned excitatory and inhibitory processes in response systems for fear and safety cues, respectively. Magnetocortical steady‐state visual evoked fields (ssVEFs) have been shown to vary in amplitude as a function of associative strength. Therefore, we wondered why previous studies reporting ssVEF modulations by fear learning did not observe conditioned inhibition of ssVEF responses for the safety cue. Three analysis strategies were applied: (1) traditional analysis of ssVEF amplitude at occipital MEG sensors, (2) applying a general linear model (GLM) at each sensor, and (3) fitting the same GLM to cortically localized ssVEF responses. First, we replicated previous findings of increased ssVEFs for acquired fear‐relevant stimuli using all three analysis strategies. Critically, we demonstrated conditioned inhibition of ssVEF responses for fear‐irrelevant cues for specific gradiometer sensor types using the traditional analysis technique and for all sensor types when applying a GLM to the sensor space. However, sensor space effects were rather small. In stark contrast, cortical source space effect sizes were most pronounced. The results of opposing CS+ and CS‐ modulations in sensory cortex reflect predictions of the Rescorla‐Wagner model and current neurobiological findings.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12841   open full text
  • Unraveling the roles of orienting and inhibition in the Concealed Information Test.
    Nathalie klein Selle, Bruno Verschuere, Merel Kindt, Ewout Meijer, Gershon Ben‐Shakhar.
    Psychophysiology. February 03, 2017
    The Concealed Information Test (CIT) is a well‐validated tool for physiological and behavioral detection of concealed knowledge. Two distinct theoretical frameworks have been proposed to explain the differential responses to the concealed critical items: orienting response theory versus arousal inhibition theory. klein Selle, Verschuere, Kindt, Meijer, and Ben‐Shakhar (2016), however, argued for a response fractionation model and showed that, while the skin conductance reflects pure orienting, both the respiratory and heart rate measures reflect arousal inhibition. The present study intends to (1) provide a constructive replication of klein Selle et al. (2016) using the autobiographical CIT, and (2) extend their work by testing an additional prediction derived from orienting theory, using an item‐salience manipulation. One hundred and nine participants were tested on four high salient and four low salient identity items. Half of the participants were motivated to hide their identity (orienting + arousal inhibition), while the other half were motivated to reveal their identity (orienting only). Confirming earlier findings, the results revealed a fractionation between the different measures: while the skin conductance response (SCR) increased to a similar extent in the two motivational conditions, the respiration line length (RLL) shortened and the heart rate (HR) decelerated solely in the conceal condition. Moreover, while the SCR was larger for high than for low salient critical items, the RLL and HR responses were similar for these two item types. These data led us to conclude that, in the CIT, the skin conductance measure reflects orienting and the respiratory and heart rate measures reflect arousal inhibition.
    February 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12825   open full text
  • Association between neural reactivity and startle reactivity to uncertain threat in two independent samples.
    Stephanie M. Gorka, Lynne Lieberman, Stewart A. Shankman, K. Luan Phan.
    Psychophysiology. February 02, 2017
    Prior studies indicate that anxiety disorders are associated with heightened sensitivity to uncertain threat (U threat). Individual differences in reactivity to U threat have been measured in the laboratory with two methodologies—startle eyeblink potentiation and fMRI. While startle and fMRI are purported to relate to each other, very little research exists on whether individual differences in one measure are associated with individual differences in another and, thus, whether startle and fMRI capture shared mechanisms. Therefore, the current study was designed to investigate if and where in the brain measures of startle potentiation and fMRI BOLD signal correlate during response to U threat across two independent samples. Participants in both studies completed two threat anticipation tasks—once during collection of startle potentiation and once during fMRI. In Study 1 (n = 43), the startle and fMRI tasks both used electric shock as the threat. As an extension, in Study 2 (n = 38), the startle task used electric shock but the fMRI task used aversive images. Despite these methodological differences, greater startle potentiation to U threat was associated with greater dorsal anterior cingulate, caudate, and orbitofrontal cortex reactivity to U threat in both samples. The findings suggest that startle and fMRI measures of responding to U threat overlap, and points toward an integrated brain‐behavior profile of aberrant U threat responding.
    February 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12829   open full text
  • The influence of social stress on time perception and psychophysiological reactivity.
    Kathryne van Hedger, Elizabeth A. Necka, Anam K. Barakzai, Greg J. Norman.
    Psychophysiology. January 31, 2017
    Time perception is a fundamental component of everyday life. Although time can be measured using standard units, the relationship between an individual's experience of perceived time and a standard unit is highly sensitive to context. Stressful and threatening stimuli have been previously shown to produce time distortion effects, such that individuals perceive the stimuli as lasting for different amounts of time as compared to a standard unit. As a highly social species, humans are acutely sensitive to social stressors; however, time distortion effects have not been studied in the context of social stress. We collected psychophysiological (electrocardiogram and impedance cardiography) and time perception data before, during, and after a modified version of the Trier Social Stress Test for 42 participants. Based on prior theories and evidence from the time perception literature, we hypothesized that experiencing a stressful event would result in time distortion. This hypothesis was supported by the data, with individuals on average reproducing short and long duration negative and positive stimuli as lasting longer after experiencing social stress, t(41) = −3.55, p = .001, and t(41) = −4.12, p < .001 for negative stimuli, and t(41) = −2.43, p = .02, and t(41) = −3.07, p = .004 for positive stimuli. However, changes in time perception were largely unrelated to psychophysiological reactivity to social stress. These findings are in line with some other studies of time distortion, and provide evidence for the interoceptive salience model of time perception. Implications for mechanisms of time distortion are discussed.
    January 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12836   open full text
  • Fine‐grained versus categorical: Pupil size differentiates between strategies for spatial working memory performance.
    Martina Starc, Alan Anticevic, Grega Repovš.
    Psychophysiology. January 27, 2017
    Pupillometry provides an accessible option to track working memory processes with high temporal resolution. Several studies showed that pupil size increases with the number of items held in working memory; however, no study has explored whether pupil size also reflects the quality of working memory representations. To address this question, we used a spatial working memory task to investigate the relationship of pupil size with spatial precision of responses and indicators of reliance on generalized spatial categories. We asked 30 participants (15 female, aged 19–31) to remember the position of targets presented at various locations along a hidden radial grid. After a delay, participants indicated the remembered location with a high‐precision joystick providing a parametric measure of trial‐to‐trial accuracy. We recorded participants' pupil dilations continuously during task performance. Results showed a significant relation between pupil dilation during preparation/early encoding and the precision of responses, possibly reflecting the attentional resources devoted to memory encoding. In contrast, pupil dilation at late maintenance and response predicted larger shifts of responses toward prototypical locations, possibly reflecting larger reliance on categorical representation. On an intraindividual level, smaller pupil dilations during encoding predicted larger dilations during late maintenance and response. On an interindividual level, participants relying more on categorical representation also produced larger precision errors. The results confirm the link between pupil size and the quality of spatial working memory representation. They suggest compensatory strategies of spatial working memory performance—loss of precise spatial representation likely increases reliance on generalized spatial categories.
    January 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12828   open full text
  • P300 amplitude at Pz and N200/N300 latency at F3 differ between participants simulating suspect versus witness roles in a mock crime.
    J. Peter Rosenfeld, Ilayda Ozsan, Anne C. Ward.
    Psychophysiology. January 27, 2017
    Based on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) study by klein Selle, Verschuere, Kindt, Meijer, & Ben Shakhar (2016), 15 participants pretended to perform a crime shown on a video, which 16 other participants pretended to witness. Both groups then experienced a P300‐based Concealed Information Test (CIT) protocol called the complex trial protocol. Both groups showed CIT effects, with a larger probe than irrelevant P300s at Pz. However, this effect was significantly larger in the suspect group. In contrast, only the suspect group showed delayed N200/N300 responses at F3—putative inhibitory signs. This supports the klein Selle et al. (2016) ANS study in that the suspect versus witness role‐playing manipulation differentially affected inhibitory (vs. orienting) aspects of the CIT situation. Our results are also consistent with Ambach, Stark, Peper, & Vaitl (2008), who saw the same autonomic response fractionation as klein Selle et al., but using Furedy's differentiation of deception method (Furedy, Davis, & Gurevich, 1988). These similarities are discussed.
    January 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12823   open full text
  • A temporary deficiency in self‐control: Can heightened motivation overcome this effect?
    Claire L. Kelly, Trevor J. Crawford, Emma Gowen, Kelly Richardson, Sandra I. Sünram‐Lea.
    Psychophysiology. January 23, 2017
    Self‐control is important for everyday life and involves behavioral regulation. Self‐control requires effort, and when completing two successive self‐control tasks, there is typically a temporary drop in performance in the second task. High self‐reported motivation and being made self‐aware somewhat counteract this effect—with the result that performance in the second task is enhanced. The current study explored the relationship between self‐awareness and motivation on sequential self‐control task performance. Before employing self‐control in an antisaccade task, participants initially applied self‐control in an incongruent Stroop task or completed a control task. After the Stroop task, participants unscrambled sentences that primed self‐awareness (each started with the word “I”) or unscrambled neutral sentences. Motivation was measured after the antisaccade task. Findings revealed that, after exerting self‐control in the incongruent Stroop task, motivation predicted erroneous responses in the antisaccade task for those that unscrambled neutral sentences, and high motivation led to fewer errors. Those primed with self‐awareness were somewhat more motivated overall, but motivation did not significantly predict antisaccade performance. Supporting the resource allocation account, if one was motivated—intrinsically or via the manipulation of self‐awareness—resources were allocated to both tasks leading to the successful completion of two sequential self‐control tasks.
    January 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12832   open full text
  • Localized component filtering for electroencephalogram artifact rejection.
    Marcos DelPozo‐Baños, Christoph T. Weidemann.
    Psychophysiology. January 23, 2017
    Blind source separation (BSS) based artifact rejection systems have been extensively studied in the electroencephalogram (EEG) literature. Although there have been advances in the development of techniques capable of dissociating neural and artifactual activity, these are still not perfect. As a result, a compromise between reduction of noise and leakage of neural activity has to be found. Here, we propose a new methodology to enhance the performance of existing BSS systems: Localized component filtering (LCF). In essence, LCF identifies the artifactual time segments within each component extracted by BSS and restricts the processing of components to these segments, therefore reducing neural leakage. We show that LCF can substantially reduce the neural leakage, increasing the true acceptance rate by 22 percentage points while worsening the false acceptance rate by less than 2 percentage points in a dataset consisting of simulated EEG data (4% improvement of the correlation between original and cleaned signals). Evaluated on real EEG data, we observed a significant increase of the signal‐to‐noise ratio of up to 9%.
    January 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12810   open full text
  • The N2pc component reliably captures attentional bias in social anxiety.
    Mario Reutter, Johannes Hewig, Matthias J. Wieser, Roman Osinsky.
    Psychophysiology. January 22, 2017
    We systematically compared different measures of attentional bias (i.e., reaction times, the N2pc component in the EEG, and explicit stimulus ratings) on their ability to reveal attentional engagement to threatening versus neutral facial stimuli in a Dot Probe Task and tested their relation to trait measures of general and social anxiety. We found that the N2pc component reflects a bias toward angry faces with excellent internal consistency. Similar results were obtained for explicit ratings. Reaction time (RT) differences, however, were not indicative of attentional biases and showed zero odd‐even reliability. We further found that both higher (i.e., more negative) N2pc amplitudes and earlier peak latencies were associated with more severe symptoms of social anxiety even when controlling for general trait anxiety. The explicit rating biases were also specifically associated with social anxiety. Conversely, the RT bias was not related to social anxiety levels but to general trait anxiety. This highlights the importance of valid and reliable outcome measures for interventions such as attentional bias modification protocols. Mutual exclusivity of different bias operationalizations is discussed.
    January 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12809   open full text
  • The elicitation of steady‐state visual evoked potentials during sleep.
    James J. S. Norton, Stephen Umunna, Timothy Bretl.
    Psychophysiology. January 18, 2017
    This study confirmed the hypothesis that it is possible to elicit SSVEPs through closed eyelids during NREM sleep. To test this hypothesis, SSVEP amplitudes were measured in eight subjects across two conditions of stimulation (stimulation on and stimulation off) and three brain states (waking, light sleep, and deep sleep). Results showed a significant interaction between stimulation and brain state. In particular, EEG activity at the frequency of stimulation was higher during both light sleep and deep sleep in the stimulation on condition than in the stimulation off condition. The fact that it is possible to elicit SSVEPs during sleep may provide a new way to study how SSVEPs are generated in the brain—one that might help resolve open questions such as identifying the SSVEP activation sequence or deciding if SSVEPs derive from evoked or oscillatory neural processes.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12807   open full text
  • What our eyes tell us about feelings: Tracking pupillary responses during emotion regulation processes.
    Valerie L. Kinner, Lars Kuchinke, Angelika M. Dierolf, Christian J. Merz, Tobias Otto, Oliver T. Wolf.
    Psychophysiology. January 10, 2017
    Emotion regulation is essential for adaptive behavior and mental health. Strategies applied to alter emotions are known to differ in their impact on psychological and physiological aspects of the emotional response. However, emotion regulation outcome has primarily been assessed via self‐report, and studies comparing regulation strategies with regard to their peripheral physiological mechanisms are limited in number. In the present study, we therefore aimed to investigate the effects of different emotion regulation strategies on pupil dilation, skin conductance responses, and subjective emotional responses. Thirty healthy females were presented with negative and neutral pictures and asked to maintain or up‐ and downregulate their upcoming emotional responses through reappraisal or distraction. Pupil dilation and skin conductance responses were significantly enhanced when viewing negative relative to neutral pictures. For the pupil, this emotional arousal effect manifested specifically late during the pupillary response. In accordance with subjective ratings, increasing negative emotions through reappraisal led to the most prominent pupil size enlargements, whereas no consistent effect for downregulation was found. In contrast, early peak dilations were enhanced in all emotion regulation conditions independent of strategy. Skin conductance responses were not further modulated by emotion regulation. These results indicate that pupil diameter is modulated by emotional arousal, but is initially related to the extent of mental effort required to regulate automatic emotional responses. Our data thus provide first evidence that the pupillary response might comprise two distinct temporal components reflecting cognitive emotion regulation effort on the one hand and emotion regulation success on the other hand.
    January 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12816   open full text
  • The impact of salience and visual working memory on the monitoring and control of saccadic behavior: An eye‐tracking and EEG study.
    Matthew D. Weaver, Clayton Hickey, Wieske van Zoest.
    Psychophysiology. January 10, 2017
    In a concurrent eye‐tracking and EEG study, we investigated the impact of salience on the monitoring and control of eye movement behavior and the role of visual working memory (VWM) capacity in mediating this effect. Participants made eye movements to a unique line‐segment target embedded in a search display also containing a unique distractor. Target and distractor salience was manipulated by varying degree of orientation offset from a homogenous background. VWM capacity was measured using a change‐detection task. Results showed greater likelihood of incorrect saccades when the distractor was relatively more salient than when the target was salient. Misdirected saccades to salient distractors were strongly represented in the error‐monitoring system by rapid and robust error‐related negativity (ERN), which predicted a significant adjustment of oculomotor behavior. Misdirected saccades to less‐salient distractors, while arguably representing larger errors, were not as well detected or utilized by the error/performance‐monitoring system. This system was instead better engaged in tasks requiring greater cognitive control and by individuals with higher VWM capacity. Our findings show that relative salience of task‐relevant and task‐irrelevant stimuli can define situations where an increase in cognitive control is necessary, with individual differences in VWM capacity explaining significant variance in the degree of monitoring and control of goal‐directed eye movement behavior. The present study supports a conflict‐monitoring interpretation of the ERN, whereby the level of competition between different responses, and the stimuli that define these responses, was more important in the generation of an enhanced ERN than the error commission itself.
    January 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12817   open full text
  • Reliability of the electrocortical response to gains and losses in the doors task.
    Amanda R. Levinson, Brittany C. Speed, Zachary P. Infantolino, Greg Hajcak.
    Psychophysiology. January 10, 2017
    The ability to differentiate between rewards and losses is critical for motivated action, and aberrant reward and loss processing has been associated with psychopathology. The reward positivity (RewP) and feedback negativity (FN) are ERPs elicited by monetary gains and losses, respectively, and are promising individual difference measures. However, few studies have reported on the psychometric properties of the RewP and FN—crucial characteristics necessary for valid individual difference measures. The current study examined the internal consistency and 1‐week test‐retest reliability of the RewP and FN as elicited by the doors task among 59 young adults. The RewP, FN, and their difference score (ΔRewP) all showed significant correlations between Time 1 and Time 2. The RewP and FN also achieved acceptable internal consistency at both time points within 20 trials using both Cronbach's α and a generalizability theory‐derived dependability measure. Internal consistency for ΔRewP was notably weaker at both time points, which is expected from two highly intercorrelated constituent scores. In conclusion, the RewP and FN have strong psychometric properties in a healthy adult sample. Future research is needed to assess the psychometric properties of these ERPs in different age cohorts and in clinical populations.
    January 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12813   open full text
  • A right‐ear bias of auditory selective attention is evident in alpha oscillations.
    Lisa Payne, Chad S. Rogers, Arthur Wingfield, Robert Sekuler.
    Psychophysiology. December 31, 2016
    Auditory selective attention makes it possible to pick out one speech stream that is embedded in a multispeaker environment. We adapted a cued dichotic listening task to examine suppression of a speech stream lateralized to the nonattended ear, and to evaluate the effects of attention on the right ear's well‐known advantage in the perception of linguistic stimuli. After being cued to attend to input from either their left or right ear, participants heard two different four‐word streams presented simultaneously to the separate ears. Following each dichotic presentation, participants judged whether a spoken probe word had been in the attended ear's stream. We used EEG signals to track participants' spatial lateralization of auditory attention, which is marked by interhemispheric differences in EEG alpha (8–14 Hz) power. A right‐ear advantage (REA) was evident in faster response times and greater sensitivity in distinguishing attended from unattended words. Consistent with the REA, we found strongest parietal and right frontotemporal alpha modulation during the attend‐right condition. These findings provide evidence for a link between selective attention and the REA during directed dichotic listening.
    December 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12815   open full text
  • The P3 cognitive ERP has at least some sensory modality‐specific generators: Evidence from high‐resolution EEG.
    Jurij Dreo, Daniel Attia, Zvezdan Pirtošek, Grega Repovš.
    Psychophysiology. December 31, 2016
    The P3 can arguably be named the most intensely studied ERP. In spite of more than 40 years of research, fundamental questions regarding the nature of its neural generators remain unresolved. While most studies conclude that the P3 is a true classical “endogenous” potential, and that its surface potential distribution remains constant across sensory modalities, these results are largely based on low‐density EEG recordings, without the use of high‐resolution methods such as the spherical spline Laplacian (SSL). Seventeen healthy participants performed a three‐stimulus oddball task in visual and auditory modality while their EEG was recorded using a 128‐channel system. Comparison of amplitude‐normalized SSL estimated P3 brain‐surface potentials, and analysis of spatial and temporal correlations revealed significant differences between visual and auditory evoked P3 topographies from target and distractor stimuli (but not target minus frequent or distractor minus frequent comparisons). Based on these results, we postulate the likely existence of at least some sensory modality‐specific neuronal generators of the P3.
    December 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12800   open full text
  • An automatic classifier of emotions built from entropy of noise.
    Jacqueline Ferreira, Susana Brás, Carlos F. Silva, Sandra C. Soares.
    Psychophysiology. December 31, 2016
    The electrocardiogram (ECG) signal has been widely used to study the physiological substrates of emotion. However, searching for better filtering techniques in order to obtain a signal with better quality and with the maximum relevant information remains an important issue for researchers in this field. Signal processing is largely performed for ECG analysis and interpretation, but this process can be susceptible to error in the delineation phase. In addition, it can lead to the loss of important information that is usually considered as noise and, consequently, discarded from the analysis. The goal of this study was to evaluate if the ECG noise allows for the classification of emotions, while using its entropy as an input in a decision tree classifier. We collected the ECG signal from 25 healthy participants while they were presented with videos eliciting negative (fear and disgust) and neutral emotions. The results indicated that the neutral condition showed a perfect identification (100%), whereas the classification of negative emotions indicated good identification performances (60% of sensitivity and 80% of specificity). These results suggest that the entropy of noise contains relevant information that can be useful to improve the analysis of the physiological correlates of emotion.
    December 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12808   open full text
  • Effects of implicit theories of ability and stereotype‐inconsistent information on handgrip strength in older adults: A regulatory fit perspective.
    Mélanie Emile, Aina Chalabaev, Serge S. Colson, Jerome Vaulerin, Charlene Falzon, Fabienne D'Arripe‐Longueville.
    Psychophysiology. December 31, 2016
    This study examined whether stereotype‐inconsistent information interacts with implicit theories of ability to affect handgrip strength in older adults. Eighty‐two retired older adults (13 men and 69 women) from 61 to 89 years old (Mage = 75.8 years; SD = 6.9) performed maximum voluntary contractions (MVC) during a handgrip task in a design manipulating implicit theories of ability and stereotype‐inconsistent information related to physical decline with aging. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: incremental condition, entity condition, or control group. The results showed that in the incremental condition the stereotype‐inconsistent information improved the peak MVC, the average MVC, the peak rate of force development (RFD), and RFD in the initial 50 ms of the MVC. This study therefore demonstrated that individuals with an incremental mindset who are exposed to stereotype‐inconsistent information can boost their physical performance. These findings are discussed from the perspective of regulatory fit (i.e., when task framing is congruent with the individual's goal).
    December 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12780   open full text
  • Early and late brain signatures of emotional prosody among individuals with high versus low power.
    Silke Paulmann, Ayse K. Uskul.
    Psychophysiology. December 27, 2016
    Using ERPs, we explored the relationship between social power and emotional prosody processing. In particular, we investigated differences at early and late processing stages between individuals primed with high or low power. Comparable to previously published findings from nonprimed participants, individuals primed with low power displayed differentially modulated P2 amplitudes in response to different emotional prosodies, whereas participants primed with high power failed to do so. Similarly, participants primed with low power showed differentially modulated amplitudes in response to different emotional prosodies at a later processing stage (late ERP component), whereas participants primed with high power did not. These ERP results suggest that high versus low power leads to emotional prosody processing differences at the early stage associated with emotional salience detection and at a later stage associated with more in‐depth processing of emotional stimuli.
    December 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12812   open full text
  • Heart rate, health, and hurtful behavior.
    J. Richard Jennings, Dustin A. Pardini, Karen A. Matthews.
    Psychophysiology. December 27, 2016
    Hostility is a risk factor for cardiovascular events. When challenged, individuals high on hostility exhibit a hyperreactive psychophysiological response to stressors, thereby increasing risk for developing cardiovascular disease. However, low resting heart rate (HR) is associated with physical aggression and hostility in children, adolescents, and adults. Based on a community sample of 296 men (mean age = 32.0), we (a) address whether aggression/hostility relates to physical health through relationships with cardiovascular levels at rest and in response to stressors, and (b) determine how relations between aggression and health are altered by including psychophysiological indices in statistical models. The Cook‐Medley cynical/hostile attitudes and the Buss‐Perry physical aggression and hostility measures assessed aggression. Health was assessed as systolic blood pressure (SBP), report of medical conditions, and a metabolic composite. Reactivity to stressors was assessed with HR, SBP, and diastolic blood pressure. Aggression was negatively related to both resting HR and reactivity. High resting HR and reactivity were, however, positively related to poor health. Thus, the relationship between aggression and HR and reactivity suppressed an overall relationship between high aggression/hostility and poor health. In the presence of covariates for socioeconomic status, race, health behaviors, and medications, the relationship between aggression and health was significantly strengthened when HR level and reactivity were included in models. In sum, at early midlife, low HR among aggressive and hostile individuals is related to less health risk. Aggression and hostility have a deleterious influence on health, but primarily among individuals with higher HR and possibly greater cardiovascular reactivity.
    December 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12802   open full text
  • Variability of ICA decomposition may impact EEG signals when used to remove eyeblink artifacts.
    Matthew B. Pontifex, Kathryn L. Gwizdala, Andrew C. Parks, Martin Billinger, Clemens Brunner.
    Psychophysiology. December 27, 2016
    Despite the growing use of independent component analysis (ICA) algorithms for isolating and removing eyeblink‐related activity from EEG data, we have limited understanding of how variability associated with ICA uncertainty may be influencing the reconstructed EEG signal after removing the eyeblink artifact components. To characterize the magnitude of this ICA uncertainty and to understand the extent to which it may influence findings within ERP and EEG investigations, ICA decompositions of EEG data from 32 college‐aged young adults were repeated 30 times for three popular ICA algorithms. Following each decomposition, eyeblink components were identified and removed. The remaining components were back‐projected, and the resulting clean EEG data were further used to analyze ERPs. Findings revealed that ICA uncertainty results in variation in P3 amplitude as well as variation across all EEG sampling points, but differs across ICA algorithms as a function of the spatial location of the EEG channel. This investigation highlights the potential of ICA uncertainty to introduce additional sources of variance when the data are back‐projected without artifact components. Careful selection of ICA algorithms and parameters can reduce the extent to which ICA uncertainty may introduce an additional source of variance within ERP/EEG studies.
    December 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12804   open full text
  • Optimism moderates psychophysiological responses to stress in older people with Type 2 diabetes.
    S. Puig‐Perez, R. A. Hackett, A. Salvador, A. Steptoe.
    Psychophysiology. December 21, 2016
    Optimism is thought to be beneficial for health, and these effects may be mediated through modifications in psychophysiological stress reactivity. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with reduced cardiovascular responses to stress and heightened cortisol over the day. This study assessed the relationships between optimism, stress responsivity, and daily cortisol output in people with T2D. A total of 140 participants with T2D were exposed to laboratory stress. Heart rate (HR), systolic (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and cortisol were measured throughout the session. Cortisol output over the day was also assessed. Optimism and self‐reported health were measured using the revised Life Orientation Test and the Short Form Health Survey. Optimism was associated with heightened SBP and DBP stress reactivity (ps < .047) and lower daily cortisol output (p = .04). Optimism was not related to HR, cortisol stress responses, or the cortisol awakening response (ps > .180). Low optimism was related to poorer self‐reported physical and mental health (ps < .01). Optimism could have a protective role in modulating stress‐related autonomic and neuroendocrine dysregulation in people with T2D.
    December 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12806   open full text
  • Comparison between the AC and DC measurement of electrodermal activity.
    Oliver Pabst, Christian Tronstad, Sverre Grimnes, Don Fowles, Ørjan G. Martinsen.
    Psychophysiology. December 21, 2016
    Recording electrodermal activity is a well‐accepted physiological measurement for clinical approaches and research. Historically, applying a DC (direct current) signal to the skin to measure the conductance is the most common practice for exogenous recordings. However, this method can be subject to error due to electrode polarization even with “nonpolarizing” electrodes—a problem that can be eliminated with alternating current (AC) methodology. For that reason, Boucsein et al. () called for research demonstrating an AC method that is validated by comparison to standard DC methodology. Additionally, the complex structure of human skin has electrical properties that include both resistance and capacitance, and AC recording enables the measurement of skin susceptance (associated with current flow through capacitors). Finally, AC recording permits the simultaneous recording of the endogenous skin potential. In this paper, the results from a direct comparison between both methods are presented, which has not been reported previously. The results demonstrated excellent agreement between a 20 Hz AC method and a standard DC method, supporting the validity of the AC recording methodology employed. The results also showed that an applied voltage of 0.2 V is sufficient for DC recordings.
    December 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12803   open full text
  • Competition for attentional resources between low spatial frequency content of emotional images and a foreground task in early visual cortex.
    Matthias M. Müller, Christopher Gundlach.
    Psychophysiology. December 19, 2016
    Low spatial frequency (LSF) image content has been proposed to play a superior functional role in emotional content extraction via the magnocellular pathway biasing attentional resources toward emotional content in visual cortex. We investigated whether emotionally unpleasant complex images that were presented either unfiltered or with LSF content only in the background while subjects performed a foreground task will withdraw more attentional resources from the task compared to unemotional, neutral images (distraction paradigm). We measured steady‐state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) driven by flickering stimuli of a foreground task. Unfiltered unpleasant images resulted in a significant reduction of SSVEP amplitude compared to neutral images. No statistically significant differences were found with LSF background images. In a behavioral control experiment, we found no significant differences for complexity ratings between unfiltered and LSF pictures. Content identification was possible for unfiltered and LSF picture (correct responses > 74%). An additional EEG study examined typical emotion‐related components for complex images presented either as unfiltered, LSF, or high spatial frequency (HSF, as an additional control) filtered, unpleasant, and neutral images. We found a significant main effect of emotional valence in the early posterior negativity. Late positive potential differences were only found for unfiltered and HSF images. Results suggest that, while LSF content is sufficient to allow for content and emotional cue extraction when images were presented alone, LSF content is not salient enough to serve as emotional distractor that withdraws attentional resources from a foreground task in early visual cortex.
    December 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12792   open full text
  • Assessing fear learning via conditioned respiratory amplitude responses.
    Giuseppe Castegnetti, Athina Tzovara, Matthias Staib, Samuel Gerster, Dominik R. Bach.
    Psychophysiology. December 08, 2016
    Respiratory physiology is influenced by cognitive processes. It has been suggested that some cognitive states may be inferred from respiration amplitude responses (RAR) after external events. Here, we investigate whether RAR allow assessment of fear memory in cued fear conditioning, an experimental model of aversive learning. To this end, we built on a previously developed psychophysiological model (PsPM) of RAR, which regards interpolated RAR time series as the output of a linear time invariant system. We first establish that average RAR after CS+ and CS− are different. We then develop the response function of fear‐conditioned RAR, to be used in our PsPM. This PsPM is inverted to yield estimates of cognitive input into the respiratory system. We analyze five validation experiments involving fear acquisition and retention, delay and trace conditioning, short and medium CS‐US intervals, and data acquired with bellows and MRI‐compatible pressure chest belts. In all experiments, CS+ and CS− are distinguished by their estimated cognitive inputs, and the sensitivity of this distinction is higher for model‐based estimates than for peak scoring of RAR. Comparing these data with skin conductance responses (SCR) and heart period responses (HPR), we find that, on average, RAR performs similar to SCR in distinguishing CS+ and CS−, but is less sensitive than HPR. Overall, our work provides a novel and robust tool to investigate fear memory in humans that may allow wide and straightforward application to diverse experimental contexts.
    December 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12778   open full text
  • A pupil size response model to assess fear learning.
    Christoph W. Korn, Matthias Staib, Athina Tzovara, Giuseppe Castegnetti, Dominik R. Bach.
    Psychophysiology. December 07, 2016
    During fear conditioning, pupil size responses dissociate between conditioned stimuli that are contingently paired (CS+) with an aversive unconditioned stimulus, and those that are unpaired (CS‐). Current approaches to assess fear learning from pupil responses rely on ad hoc specifications. Here, we sought to develop a psychophysiological model (PsPM) in which pupil responses are characterized by response functions within the framework of a linear time‐invariant system. This PsPM can be written as a general linear model, which is inverted to yield amplitude estimates of the eliciting process in the central nervous system. We first characterized fear‐conditioned pupil size responses based on an experiment with auditory CS. PsPM‐based parameter estimates distinguished CS+/CS‐ better than, or on par with, two commonly used methods (peak scoring, area under the curve). We validated this PsPM in four independent experiments with auditory, visual, and somatosensory CS, as well as short (3.5 s) and medium (6 s) CS/US intervals. Overall, the new PsPM provided equal or decisively better differentiation of CS+/CS‐ than the two alternative methods and was never decisively worse. We further compared pupil responses with concurrently measured skin conductance and heart period responses. Finally, we used our previously developed luminance‐related pupil responses to infer the timing of the likely neural input into the pupillary system. Overall, we establish a new PsPM to assess fear conditioning based on pupil responses. The model has a potential to provide higher statistical sensitivity, can be applied to other conditioning paradigms in humans, and may be easily extended to nonhuman mammals.
    December 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12801   open full text
  • Inclusion of a rest period in diaphragmatic breathing increases high frequency heart rate variability: Implications for behavioral therapy.
    Matthew E. B. Russell, April B. Scott, Ian A. Boggero, Charles R. Carlson.
    Psychophysiology. December 07, 2016
    Heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with positive physiological and psychological effects. HRV is affected by breathing parameters, yet debate remains regarding the best breathing interventions for strengthening HRV. The objective of the current study was to test whether the inclusion of a postexhalation rest period was effective at increasing HRV, while controlling for breathing rate. A within‐subject crossover design was used with 40 participants who were assigned randomly to a breathing pattern including a postexhalation rest period or a breathing pattern that omitted the postexhalation rest period. Participants completed training on each breathing pattern, practiced for 6 min, and sat quietly during a 5‐min washout period between practices. Participants were given instructions for diaphragmatic breathing at a pace of six breaths/minute with or without a postexhalation rest period. Recordings of heart rate, breathing rate, HF‐HRV, RMSSD, LF‐HRV, and SDNN were collected before and during each of the breathing trials. HRV indices were derived from Lead 1 ECG recordings. Pairwise contrasts showed that inclusion of a postexhalation rest period significantly decreased heart rate (p < .001) and increased HF‐HRV (p < .05). No differences were found for breathing rates (p > .05), RMSSD (p > .05), and SDNN (p > .05). Results indicated that omission of the postexhalation rest period resulted in higher LF‐HRV (p < .05). A postexhalation rest period improves HF‐HRV, commonly associated with self‐regulatory control, yet the importance of a postexhalation rest period requires further exploration.
    December 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12791   open full text
  • Taking time to feel our body: Steady increases in heartbeat perception accuracy and decreases in alexithymia over 9 months of contemplative mental training.
    Boris Bornemann, Tania Singer.
    Psychophysiology. December 07, 2016
    The ability to accurately perceive signals from the body has been shown to be important for physical and psychological health as well as understanding one's emotions. Despite the importance of this skill, often indexed by heartbeat perception accuracy (HBPa), little is known about its malleability. Here, we investigated whether contemplative mental practice can increase HBPa. In the context of a 9‐month mental training study, the ReSource Project, two matched cohorts (n = 77 and n = 79) underwent three training modules of 3 months' duration that targeted attentional and interoceptive abilities (Presence module), socio‐affective (Affect module), and socio‐cognitive (Perspective module) abilities. A third cohort (n = 78) underwent 3 months of practice (Affect module) and a retest control group (n = 84) did not undergo any training. HBPa was measured with a heartbeat tracking task before and after each training module. Emotional awareness was measured by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS). Participants with TAS scores > 60 at screening were excluded. HBPa was found to increase steadily over the training, with significant and small‐ to medium‐sized effects emerging after 6 months (Cohen's d = .173) and 9 months (d = .273) of mental training. Changes in HBPa were concomitant with and predictive of changes in emotional awareness. Our results suggest that HBPa can indeed be trained through intensive contemplative practice. The effect takes longer than the 8 weeks of typical mindfulness courses to reach meaningful magnitude. These increments in interoceptive accuracy and the related improvements in emotional awareness point to opportunities for improving physical and psychological health through contemplative mental training.
    December 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12790   open full text
  • Bootstrapping the P300 in diagnostic psychophysiology: How many iterations are needed?
    J. Peter Rosenfeld, Anne Ward, Ewout H. Meijer, Denis Yukhnenko.
    Psychophysiology. December 07, 2016
    In psychophysiological research, bootstrapping procedures are often used to classify individual participants. How many iterations are required for a reliable bootstrap test is not universally agreed upon. To investigate the number of iterations needed for a stable bootstrap estimate, we reanalyzed P300 data collected in concealed information test paradigms. We also distinguished between the bootstrap and permutations approaches. We compared results in several studies using 100 versus 1,000 versus 10,000 iterations in the bootstrap, and we concluded that 100 iterations were adequate as results from all three iteration numbers correlated highly.
    December 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12789   open full text
  • Clinical feasibility of brain‐computer interface based on steady‐state visual evoked potential in patients with locked‐in syndrome: Case studies.
    Han‐Jeong Hwang, Chang‐Hee Han, Jeong‐Hwan Lim, Yong‐Wook Kim, Soo‐In Choi, Kwang‐Ok An, Jun‐Hak Lee, Ho‐Seung Cha, Seung Hyun Kim, Chang‐Hwan Im.
    Psychophysiology. December 03, 2016
    Although the feasibility of brain‐computer interface (BCI) systems based on steady‐state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) has been extensively investigated, only a few studies have evaluated its clinical feasibility in patients with locked‐in syndrome (LIS), who are the main targets of BCI technology. The main objective of this case report was to share our experiences of SSVEP‐based BCI experiments involving five patients with LIS, thereby providing researchers with useful information that can potentially help them to design BCI experiments for patients with LIS. In our experiments, a four‐class online SSVEP‐based BCI system was implemented and applied to four of five patients repeatedly on multiple days to investigate its test‐retest reliability. In the last experiments with two of the four patients, the practical usability of our BCI system was tested using a questionnaire survey. All five patients showed clear and distinct SSVEP responses at all four fundamental stimulation frequencies (6, 6.66, 7.5, 10 Hz), and responses at harmonic frequencies were also observed in three patients. Mean classification accuracy was 76.99% (chance level = 25%). The test‐retest reliability experiments demonstrated stable performance of our BCI system over different days even when the initial experimental settings (e.g., electrode configuration, fixation time, visual angle) used in the first experiment were used without significant modifications. Our results suggest that SSVEP‐based BCI paradigms might be successfully used to implement clinically feasible BCI systems for severely paralyzed patients.
    December 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12793   open full text
  • Short‐term trained lexical categories affect preattentive shape perception: Evidence from vMMN.
    Mengxia Yu, Ce Mo, Tianyu Zeng, Sasa Zhao, Lei Mo.
    Psychophysiology. December 03, 2016
    Perceptual processing of colors and shapes in the right visual field is modulated by the lexical category information of the stimuli, a phenomenon known as the lateralized Whorfian effect. For color stimuli, lateralized Whorfian effect is characterized by preattentive occurrence and dependency on acquired lexical information, but it remains unknown whether these key features are generalizable to other domains of perceptual processing. Here, we investigated whether lateralized Whorfian effect in the shape perception domain also depends on acquired lexical category and occurs preattentively using ERPs. Participants were trained to associate novel, irregular polygons with lexical category labels via short‐term intensive training. Using the visual oddball paradigm, we found stronger visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) component elicited by the deviant stimuli whose lexical category differed from the standard stimuli when the deviant was presented in the right visual field, indicating higher perceptual conspicuity for between‐category stimuli. These findings provide direct evidence of similar preattentive lexical category‐contingent modulation on shape perception akin to color perception, suggesting that the lateralized Whorfian effect is not epiphenomenal but rather might reflect the interaction between higher‐level lexical processing and the lower‐level perceptual processing more broadly.
    December 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12797   open full text
  • Mathematical detection of aortic valve opening (B point) in impedance cardiography: A comparison of three popular algorithms.
    Javier Rodríguez Árbol, Pandelis Perakakis, Alba Garrido, José Luis Mata, M. Carmen Fernández‐Santaella, Jaime Vila.
    Psychophysiology. December 03, 2016
    The preejection period (PEP) is an index of left ventricle contractility widely used in psychophysiological research. Its computation requires detecting the moment when the aortic valve opens, which coincides with the B point in the first derivative of impedance cardiogram (ICG). Although this operation has been traditionally made via visual inspection, several algorithms based on derivative calculations have been developed to enable an automatic performance of the task. However, despite their popularity, data about their empirical validation are not always available. The present study analyzes the performance in the estimation of the aortic valve opening of three popular algorithms, by comparing their performance with the visual detection of the B point made by two independent scorers. Algorithm 1 is based on the first derivative of the ICG, Algorithm 2 on the second derivative, and Algorithm 3 on the third derivative. Algorithm 3 showed the highest accuracy rate (78.77%), followed by Algorithm 1 (24.57%) and Algorithm 2 (13.82%). In the automatic computation of PEP, Algorithm 2 resulted in significantly more missed cycles (48.57%) than Algorithm 1 (6.3%) and Algorithm 3 (3.5%). Algorithm 2 also estimated a significantly lower average PEP (70 ms), compared with the values obtained by Algorithm 1 (119 ms) and Algorithm 3 (113 ms). Our findings indicate that the algorithm based on the third derivative of the ICG performs significantly better. Nevertheless, a visual inspection of the signal proves indispensable, and this article provides a novel visual guide to facilitate the manual detection of the B point.
    December 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12799   open full text
  • Statistical considerations for reporting and planning heart rate variability case‐control studies.
    Daniel S. Quintana.
    Psychophysiology. December 03, 2016
    The calculation of heart rate variability (HRV) is a popular tool used to investigate differences in cardiac autonomic control between population samples. When interpreting effect sizes to quantify the magnitude of group differences, researchers typically use Cohen's guidelines of small (0.2), medium (0.5), and large (0.8) effects. However, these guidelines were originally proposed as a fallback for when the effect size distribution (ESD) was unknown. Despite the availability of effect sizes from hundreds of HRV studies, researchers still largely rely on Cohen's guidelines to interpret effect sizes and to perform power analyses to calculate required sample sizes for future research. This article describes an ESD analysis of 297 HRV effect sizes from between‐group/case‐control studies, revealing that the 25th, 50th, and 75th effect size percentiles correspond with effect sizes of 0.26, 0.51, and 0.88, respectively. The analyses suggest that Cohen's guidelines may underestimate the magnitude of small and large effect sizes and that HRV studies are generally underpowered. Therefore, to better reflect the observed ESD, effect sizes of 0.25, 0.5, and 0.9 should be interpreted as small, medium, and large effects (after rounding to the closest 0.05). Based on power calculations using the ESD, suggested sample sizes are also provided for planning suitably powered studies that are more likely to replicate. Researchers are encouraged to use the ESD data set or their own collected data sets in tandem with the provided analysis script to perform custom ESD and power analyses relevant to their specific research area.
    December 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12798   open full text
  • Trauma‐related dissociation: Psychological features and psychophysiological responses to script‐driven imagery in borderline personality disorder.
    Dana Bichescu‐Burian, Jürgen Steyer, Tilman Steinert, Benjamin Grieb, Stefan Tschöke.
    Psychophysiology. December 03, 2016
    Defense reactions to threatening situations are vital adaptations to stress that protect organisms from injury and ensure survival. We retrospectively investigated the role of peritraumatic dissociation (PD) in the occurrence of severe psychopathology and dissociative patterns of reactions in borderline personality disorder (BPD). We recruited 28 patients with a clinical diagnosis of BPD and 15 healthy controls. The BPD group was divided according to the level of PD (low vs. high): BPD and PD (n = 15) and BPD only (n = 13). We conducted an extensive investigation of history of trauma, clinical status, and measurements of emotional and physiologic responses to recall of personalized aversive experiences. Participants with BPD and high PD displayed highest degrees of trauma exposure and clinical symptoms. Their significant heart rate decline during the imagery of personal traumatic events was opposed to the heart rate increases exhibited by the other two groups and may indicate a dissociative reaction pattern. Skin conductance responses did not differentiate between groups. Several emotional responses to imagery also reinforced the idea that PD may play a role in memory processing of traumatic events and thus in the aggravation and maintenance of symptoms in particularly severe forms of BPD. Within a stepwise linear regression analysis, the best model for trauma‐evoked heart rate responses included PD and borderline symptoms, but no measures of state or trait dissociation. Our findings may provide initial evidence of an evolutionary model of peritraumatic reaction stages evolving from arousal to dissociation.
    December 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12795   open full text
  • Acute exercise has a general facilitative effect on cognitive function: A combined ERP temporal dynamics and BDNF study.
    Yu‐Kai Chang, Brandon L. Alderman, Chien‐Heng Chu, Chun‐Chih Wang, Tai‐Fen Song, Feng‐Tzu Chen.
    Psychophysiology. November 12, 2016
    This study examined whether acute moderate intensity exercise results in a general or selective improvement in cognitive function. In addition, multiple stimulus‐locked ERP components and serum BDNF levels were assessed to investigate potential neurobiological mechanisms underlying acute exercise effects on select aspects of cognitive performance. Thirty young adults were recruited and participated in exercise and reading control sessions in a counterbalanced order. Following treatments, the Stroop task was administrated, and N1, N2, P3, and N450 components of the ERP waveform were recorded and analyzed. Additionally, blood samples were withdrawn immediately following exercise or rest conditions prior to administration of the Stroop task. Acute exercise facilitated response times for both Stroop congruent and incongruent task conditions, with a similar magnitude of improvement. Larger P3 and reduced N450 amplitudes as well as decreased N450 latency were observed following exercise, but no effects on N1 and N2 components were found. This dose of exercise also did not influence serum BDNF levels. These findings suggest that moderate intensity acute exercise results in a generalized rather than selective improvement in cognition. The facilitation may be related to an increase in attentional or neural resource allocation and conflict detection processes reflected by longer latency endogenous components (P3, N450), but is not influenced by earlier sensory and monitoring processes revealed by earlier ERP components or by serum levels of BDNF.
    November 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12784   open full text
  • I can't wait! Neural reward signals in impulsive individuals exaggerate the difference between immediate and future rewards.
    Barbara Schmidt, Clay B. Holroyd, Stefan Debener, Johannes Hewig.
    Psychophysiology. November 12, 2016
    Waiting for rewards is difficult, and highly impulsive individuals with low self‐control have an especially hard time with it. Here, we investigated whether neural responses to rewards in a delayed gratification task predict impulsivity and self‐control. The EEG was recorded from participants engaged in a guessing game in which on each trial they could win either a large or small reward, paid either now or after 6 months. Ratings confirmed that participants preferred immediate, large rewards over small, delayed rewards. Electrophysiological reward signals reflecting the difference between immediate and future rewards predicted self‐report measures of impulsivity and self‐control. Further, these signals were highly reliable across two sessions over a 1‐week interval, showing high temporal stability like stable personality traits. These results suggest that greater valuation of immediate rewards causes impulsive individuals to redirect control away from delayed rewards, indicating why it is so hard for them to wait.
    November 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12796   open full text
  • Dissociating retrieval interference and reanalysis in the P600 during sentence comprehension.
    Darren Tanner, Sarah Grey, Janet G. van Hell.
    Psychophysiology. November 12, 2016
    We investigated the relative independence of two key processes in language comprehension, as reflected in the P600 ERP component. Numerous studies have linked the P600 to sentence‐ or message‐level reanalysis; however, much research has shown that skilled, cue‐based memory retrieval operations are also important to successful language processing. Our goal was to identify whether these cue‐based retrieval operations are part of the reanalysis processes indexed by the P600. To this end, participants read sentences that were either grammatical or ungrammatical via subject‐verb agreement violations, and in which there was either no possibility for retrieval interference or there was an attractor noun interfering with the computation of subject‐verb agreement (e.g., “The slogan on the political poster(s) was/were …”). A stimulus onset asynchrony manipulation (fast, medium, or slow presentation rate) was designed to modulate participants' ability to engage in reanalysis processes. Results showed a reliable attraction interference effect, indexed by reduced behavioral sensitivity to ungrammaticalities and P600 amplitudes when there was an opportunity for retrieval interference, as well as an effect of presentation rate, with reduced behavioral sensitivity and smaller P600 effects at faster presentation rates. Importantly, there was no interaction between the two, suggesting that retrieval interference and sentence‐level reanalysis processes indexed by the P600 can be neurocognitively distinct processes.
    November 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12788   open full text
  • Potential benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy on maternal autonomic nervous system function and infant development.
    Marijke A.K.A. Braeken, Alexander Jones, Renée A. Otte, Ivan Nyklíček, Bea R.H. Van den Bergh.
    Psychophysiology. November 07, 2016
    Mindfulness is known to decrease psychological distress. Possible benefits in pregnancy have rarely been explored. Our aim was to examine the prospective association of mindfulness with autonomic nervous system function during pregnancy and with later infant social‐emotional development. Pregnant women (N = 156) completed self‐report mindfulness and emotional distress questionnaires, and had their autonomic function assessed in their first and third trimesters, including heart rate (HR), indices of heart rate variability (HRV), preejection period (PEP), and systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). The social‐emotional development of 109 infants was assessed at 4 months of age. More mindful pregnant women had less prenatal and postnatal emotional distress (p < .001) and higher cardiac parasympathetic activity: root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD: p = .03) and high‐frequency (HF) HRV (p = .02). Between the first and third trimesters, women's overall HR increased (p < .001), and HRV (RMSSD, HF HRV, and low‐frequency (LF) HRV: p < .001) and PEP decreased (p < .001). In more mindful mothers, parasympathetic activity decreased less (RMSSD: p = .01; HF HRV: p = .03) and sympathetic activity (inversely related to PEP) increased less (PEP: p = .02) between trimesters. Their offspring displayed less negative social‐emotional behavior (p = .03) compared to offspring of less mindful mothers. Mindfulness in pregnancy was associated with ANS changes likely to be adaptive and with better social‐emotional offspring development. Interventions to increase mindfulness during pregnancy might improve maternal and offspring health, but randomized trials are needed to demonstrate this.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12782   open full text
  • Poststroke QEEG informs early prognostication of cognitive impairment.
    Emma Schleiger, Andrew Wong, Stephen Read, Tennille Rowland, Simon Finnigan.
    Psychophysiology. November 07, 2016
    Cognitive impairment is a common consequence of stroke, but remains difficult to predict. We investigate the ability of early QEEG assessment to inform such prediction, using binary logistic regression. Thirty‐five patients (12 female, ages 18–87) suffering middle cerebral artery, ischemic stroke were studied. Resting‐state EEG was recorded 48–239 h after symptom onset. Relative power for delta, theta, alpha, and beta bands, delta:alpha ratio, and peak alpha frequency were analyzed. Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was administered, where possible, on day of EEG and at median 99 days (range 69–138) poststroke. Eight patients could not complete the baseline MoCA, and four the follow‐up MoCA, for varying reasons (most commonly, stroke symptoms). Fifteen patients (48%) had cognitive impairment (MoCA score ≤25) at follow‐up. One QEEG index was able to correctly predict presence/absence of cognitive impairment in 24/31 patients (77.4%), whereas predischarge MoCA did so in 23 patients. This index, relative theta frequency (4–7.5 Hz) power, was computed from only three posterior electrodes over the stroke‐affected hemisphere. Its predictive accuracy (three electrodes) was higher than that of any “global” QEEG measure (averaged over 19 electrodes). These results may signify association between poststroke alpha slowing and cognitive impairment, which may be mediated by attentional (dys)function, which warrants further investigation. Pending further studies, QEEG measure(s)—from a few electrodes—could inform early prognostication of poststroke cognitive outcomes (and clinical decisions), particularly when cognitive function cannot be adequately assessed (due to symptoms, language, or other issues) or when assessment is equivocal.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12785   open full text
  • Perceived control increases the reward positivity and stimulus preceding negativity.
    Christina Mühlberger, Douglas Jozef Angus, Eva Jonas, Cindy Harmon‐Jones, Eddie Harmon‐Jones.
    Psychophysiology. November 07, 2016
    The reward positivity (RewP) and the stimulus preceding negativity (SPN), two ERPs associated with reward delivery and reward anticipation, are modulated by motivational intensity. Motivational intensity is the effort organisms would make to exert behaviors, and it varies with the difficulty of exerting that behavior. If a task is perceived as impossible, which means that one does not have control over own outcomes, motivational intensity is low. In the current study, we tested the prediction that perceiving control over one's outcomes increases both the RewP to feedback and the SPN prior to feedback compared to perceiving no control. We also examined whether P300 and LPP amplitudes to reward and nonreward images were similarly modulated. Twenty‐five female participants completed a gambling task in which correct choices were followed by pictures of attractive men and incorrect choices were followed by pictures of rocks. To manipulate perceived control, participants were told that, in one block of trials, they could learn a mouse‐click rule in order to see only pictures of men (high perceived control condition), while in the other block, the pictures would appear randomly (low perceived control condition). However, in both conditions, feedback appeared randomly. Although the RewP was elicited in both blocks, the RewP and SPN were higher in the high perceived control condition (i.e., when participants thought that they could influence their outcomes). Perceived control did not modulate the P300 and LPP to pictures. The results suggest that approach motivation and its intensity modulate the processing of performance feedback.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12786   open full text
  • Auditory N1 reveals planning and monitoring processes during music performance.
    Brian Mathias, William J. Gehring, Caroline Palmer.
    Psychophysiology. November 01, 2016
    The current study investigated the relationship between planning processes and feedback monitoring during music performance, a complex task in which performers prepare upcoming events while monitoring their sensory outcomes. Theories of action planning in auditory‐motor production tasks propose that the planning of future events co‐occurs with the perception of auditory feedback. This study investigated the neural correlates of planning and feedback monitoring by manipulating the contents of auditory feedback during music performance. Pianists memorized and performed melodies at a cued tempo in a synchronization‐continuation task while the EEG was recorded. During performance, auditory feedback associated with single melody tones was occasionally substituted with tones corresponding to future (next), present (current), or past (previous) melody tones. Only future‐oriented altered feedback disrupted behavior: Future‐oriented feedback caused pianists to slow down on the subsequent tone more than past‐oriented feedback, and amplitudes of the auditory N1 potential elicited by the tone immediately following the altered feedback were larger for future‐oriented than for past‐oriented or noncontextual (unrelated) altered feedback; larger N1 amplitudes were associated with greater slowing following altered feedback in the future condition only. Feedback‐related negativities were elicited in all altered feedback conditions. In sum, behavioral and neural evidence suggests that future‐oriented feedback disrupts performance more than past‐oriented feedback, consistent with planning theories that posit similarity‐based interference between feedback and planning contents. Neural sensory processing of auditory feedback, reflected in the N1 ERP, may serve as a marker for temporal disruption caused by altered auditory feedback in auditory‐motor production tasks.
    November 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12781   open full text
  • Feedback negativity and decision‐making behavior in the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) in adolescents is modulated by peer presence.
    Luisa Kessler, Johannes Hewig, Karina Weichold, Rainer K. Silbereisen, Wolfgang H. R. Miltner.
    Psychophysiology. October 26, 2016
    Adolescent risk taking is strongly influenced by peer presence. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of peer presence on the ERP after negative and positive feedback in the time range of the feedback‐related negativity (FRN). Eighteen male adolescents completed a version of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) under two conditions: playing alone and while observed by a peer. We recorded the ERPs after success or failure feedback and analyzed risk‐taking behavior under both conditions. Behavioral results show that the participants were more cautious when being watched by a peer, especially after success. ERPs show that participants under peer presence exhibit more negative FRN after failure feedback than in the single condition, but no greater positivities after success feedback in the observed condition compared to the single condition. Results are in line with reinforcement learning theory and psychological aspects of loss prevention. The results suggest that the effect of peer presence on risk‐taking behavior depends on the specific situational context.
    October 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12783   open full text
  • Physiological and neural correlates of worry and rumination: Support for the contrast avoidance model of worry.
    Elisa C. K. Steinfurth, Manuela G. Alius, Julia Wendt, Alfons O. Hamm.
    Psychophysiology. October 21, 2016
    The current experiments tested neural and physiological correlates of worry and rumination in comparison to thinking about neutral events. According to the avoidance model—stating that worry is a strategy to reduce intense emotions—physiological and neurobiological activity during worried thinking should not differ from activation during neutral thinking. According to the contrast avoidance model—stating that worry is a strategy to reduce abrupt shifts of emotions—activity should be increased. To test these competing models, we induced worry and neutral thinking in healthy participants using personal topics. A rumination condition was added to investigate the specificity of changes induced by the mental process. Two experiments were conducted assessing the effects on different response levels: (1) neural activation using fMRI, and (2) physiological response mobilization using startle and autonomic measures. During worry, participants showed a potentiated startle response and BOLD activity indicative of emotional network activation. These data partly support the contrast avoidance model of worry. Both mental processes showed elevated activity in a common network referred to as default network indicating self‐referential activity.
    October 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12767   open full text
  • Neural responses to affective pictures while anticipating and perceiving respiratory threat.
    Georgiana Juravle, Phillipp Reicherts, Mirjam Riechmann‐Weinstein, Matthias J. Wieser, Andreas von Leupoldt.
    Psychophysiology. October 21, 2016
    Emotional processes have an impact on the anticipation and perception of bodily threat sensations, such as breathlessness. However, little is known about the reverse influence of breathlessness on emotional processes, as well as its modulation by anxiety sensitivity (AS). Here, we investigated by means of visually evoked potentials how the perception versus anticipation of resistive‐load‐induced breathlessness (RLIB) influences emotional processing. High (HA) and low anxious (LA) participants viewed pictures of positive, neutral, or negative content under conditions of perceived RLIB, anticipated RLIB, or an unloaded baseline. The P2 (230–290 ms) was significantly less positive under perceived RLIB. Furthermore, the early late positive potential (LPP; 300–500 ms) was significantly less positive during both RLIB conditions, as compared to baseline. Overall, the P1 was significantly more positive in HA as compared to LA individuals. Additionally, across conditions, the late LPP (600–1,000 ms) was enhanced for positive and negative pictures as opposed to neutral ones for the LA group. In contrast, for the HA group only, the positive pictures elicited the typical enhanced LPP. Notably, for the HA participants, negative pictures elicited significantly blunted late LPPs during perceived RLIB as compared to anticipated RLIB and baseline. A reversed effect (i.e., more positivity) was observed for LA participants, suggesting motivational priming. Taken together, these results highlight the impact of perceived and anticipated respiratory threat on the neural processing of emotional picture stimuli, as well as its modulation by anxiety sensitivity levels.
    October 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12776   open full text
  • Physiological adaptation to recurrent social stress of extraversion.
    Wei Lu, Zhenhong Wang.
    Psychophysiology. October 18, 2016
    The present studies examined the influence of extraversion on physiological reactivity, recovery, and physiological habituation‐sensitization to repeated social stressors. In Study 1, subjective and physiological data were collected from 97 college students who were categorized as high (n = 51) and low (n = 46) on extraversion (NEO‐FFI) across five laboratory stages: baseline, stress 1, poststress 1, stress 2, and poststress 2. Results indicated high extraversion (HE) participants exhibited relative lesser heart rate (HR) reactivity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) withdrawals to, and more complete HR and RSA recovery after the first social stress, and also exhibited relative lesser HR reactivity to the second social stress. When repeatedly exposed to a social stressor, HE participants showed pronounced systolic blood pressure (SBP) adaptation, low extraversion (LE) participants displayed diastolic blood pressure (DBP) sensitization. In Study 2, data were collected from another 78 participants (HE: n = 40, LE: n = 38) across the same laboratory stages with speech performance videotaped. After controlling for the speech styles, Study 2 found the same HR response and SBP/DBP adaptation pattern across extraversion groups to social stress as Study 1 but not RSA reactivity. These findings suggest extraverts exhibit more adaptive physiological reactivity to recurrent social stressors, which thus might benefit their health.
    October 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12777   open full text
  • Modeling startle eyeblink electromyogram to assess fear learning.
    Saurabh Khemka, Athina Tzovara, Samuel Gerster, Boris B. Quednow, Dominik R. Bach.
    Psychophysiology. October 18, 2016
    Pavlovian fear conditioning is widely used as a laboratory model of associative learning in human and nonhuman species. In this model, an organism is trained to predict an aversive unconditioned stimulus from initially neutral events (conditioned stimuli, CS). In humans, fear memory is typically measured via conditioned autonomic responses or fear‐potentiated startle. For the latter, various analysis approaches have been developed, but a systematic comparison of competing methodologies is lacking. Here, we investigate the suitability of a model‐based approach to startle eyeblink analysis for assessment of fear memory, and compare this to extant analysis strategies. First, we build a psychophysiological model (PsPM) on a generic startle response. Then, we optimize and validate this PsPM on three independent fear‐conditioning data sets. We demonstrate that our model can robustly distinguish aversive (CS+) from nonaversive stimuli (CS‐, i.e., has high predictive validity). Importantly, our model‐based approach captures fear‐potentiated startle during fear retention as well as fear acquisition. Our results establish a PsPM‐based approach to assessment of fear‐potentiated startle, and qualify previous peak‐scoring methods. Our proposed model represents a generic startle response and can potentially be used beyond fear conditioning, for example, to quantify affective startle modulation or prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response.
    October 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12775   open full text
  • Using ERPs to investigate valence processing in the affect misattribution procedure.
    Curtis D. von Gunten, Bruce D. Bartholow, Laura D. Scherer.
    Psychophysiology. October 18, 2016
    The construct validity of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) has been challenged by theories proposing that the task does not actually measure affect misattribution. The current study tested the validity of the AMP as a measure of affect misattribution by examining three components of the ERP known to be associated with the allocation of motivated attention. Results revealed that ERP amplitudes varied in response to affectively ambiguous targets as a function of the valence of preceding primes. Furthermore, differences in ERP responses to the targets were largely similar to differences in ERPs elicited by the primes. The existence of valence differentiation in both the prime‐locked and the target‐locked ERPs, along with the similarity in this differentiation, provides evidence that the affective content of the primes is psychologically registered, and that this content influences the processing of the subsequent, evaluatively ambiguous targets, both of which are required if the priming effects found in the AMP are the result of affect misattribution. However, the behavioral priming effect was uncorrelated with ERP amplitudes, leaving some question as to the locus of this effect in the information‐processing system. Findings are discussed in light of the strengths and weaknesses of using ERPs to understand the priming effects in the AMP.
    October 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12773   open full text
  • Pupillometry reveals changes in physiological arousal during a sustained listening task.
    Ronan McGarrigle, Piers Dawes, Andrew J. Stewart, Stefanie E. Kuchinsky, Kevin J. Munro.
    Psychophysiology. October 12, 2016
    Hearing loss is associated with anecdotal reports of fatigue during periods of sustained listening. However, few studies have attempted to measure changes in arousal, as a potential marker of fatigue, over the course of a sustained listening task. The present study aimed to examine subjective, behavioral, and physiological indices of listening‐related fatigue. Twenty‐four normal‐hearing young adults performed a speech‐picture verification task in different signal‐to‐noise ratios (SNRs) while their pupil size was monitored and response times recorded. Growth curve analysis revealed a significantly steeper linear decrease in pupil size in the more challenging SNR, but only in the second half of the trial block. Changes in pupil dynamics over the course of the more challenging listening condition block suggest a reduction in physiological arousal. Behavioral and self‐report measures did not reveal any differences between listening conditions. This is the first study to show reduced physiological arousal during a sustained listening task, with changes over time consistent with the onset of fatigue.
    October 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12772   open full text
  • The electrophysiological signature of deliberate rule violations.
    Roland Pfister, Robert Wirth, Katharina A. Schwarz, Anna Foerster, Marco Steinhauser, Wilfried Kunde.
    Psychophysiology. October 07, 2016
    Humans follow rules by default, and violating even simple rules induces cognitive conflict for the rule breaker. Previous studies revealed this conflict in various behavioral measures, including response times and movement trajectories. Based on these experiments, we investigated the electrophysiological signature of deliberately violating a simple stimulus‐response mapping rule. Such rule violations were characterized by a delayed and attenuated P300 component when evaluating a rule‐relevant stimulus, most likely reflecting increased response complexity. This parietal attenuation was followed by a frontal positivity for rule violations relative to correct response trials. Together, these results reinforce previous findings on the need to inhibit automatic S‐R translation when committing a rule violation, and they point toward additional factors involved in rule violation. Candidate processes such as negative emotional responses and increased monitoring should be targeted by future investigations.
    October 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12771   open full text
  • Alpha‐power modulation reflects the balancing of task requirements in a selective attention task.
    Katharina Limbach, Paul M. Corballis.
    Psychophysiology. October 07, 2016
    Recent research has related the orienting of selective attention to the lateralization of posterior EEG alpha power (∼8 to 12 Hz). Typically, alpha power decreases over the side of the head contralateral to the cued side of space. However, it is not clear how this lateralization affects behavior. We recorded EEG from 20 participants while they performed a cued visual discrimination task under three different response‐deadline conditions to investigate the effect of alpha‐power modulation on behavioral performance in more detail. Although all participants benefited from the cue behaviorally and adjusted their performance according to the response deadlines, we found the cue‐related alpha‐power modulation to depend on the general alpha‐power level at baseline: Only participants with high baseline alpha power showed significant cue‐related alpha‐power lateralization that was, however, strikingly similar across response‐deadline conditions. On the other hand, participants with low alpha power at baseline did not show any lateralization, but adjusted their alpha levels according to the response‐deadline instructions and, more importantly, showed a stronger influence of the task instructions on behavioral performance and adapted their response accuracies to the task requirements more flexibly. These findings challenge the often‐assumed role of alpha‐power lateralization for attentional deployment. While alpha power seems to be related to behavioral performance and the orienting of attention, this relationship is rather complex and, at least under the current task requirements, the general alpha‐power state seems to be more strongly related to behavioral performance (in our case, the flexible adjustment to task requirements) than the cue‐related lateralization.
    October 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12774   open full text
  • Pupil old/new effects reflect stimulus encoding and decoding in short‐term memory.
    Andreas Brocher, Tim Graf.
    Psychophysiology. October 05, 2016
    We conducted five pupil old/new experiments to examine whether pupil old/new effects can be linked to familiarity and/or recollection processes of recognition memory. In Experiments 1–3, we elicited robust pupil old/new effects for legal words and pseudowords (Experiment 1), positive and negative words (Experiment 2), and low‐frequency and high‐frequency words (Experiment 3). Importantly, unlike for old/new effects in ERPs, we failed to find any effects of long‐term memory representations on pupil old/new effects. In Experiment 4, using the words and pseudowords from Experiment 1, participants made lexical decisions instead of old/new decisions. Pupil old/new effects were restricted to legal words. Additionally requiring participants to make speeded responses (Experiment 5) led to a complete absence of old/new effects. Taken together, these data suggest that pupil old/new effects do not map onto familiarity and recollection processes of recognition memory. They rather seem to reflect strength of memory traces in short‐term memory, with little influence of long‐term memory representations. Crucially, weakening the memory trace through manipulations in the experimental task significantly reduces pupil/old new effects.
    October 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12770   open full text
  • Electrophysiological revelations of trial history effects in a color oddball search task.
    Eunsam Shin, Sang Chul Chong.
    Psychophysiology. October 04, 2016
    In visual oddball search tasks, viewing a no‐target scene (i.e., no‐target selection trial) leads to the facilitation or delay of the search time for a target in a subsequent trial. Presumably, this selection failure leads to biasing attentional set and prioritizing stimulus features unseen in the no‐target scene. We observed attention‐related ERP components and tracked the course of attentional biasing as a function of trial history. Participants were instructed to identify color oddballs (i.e., targets) shown in varied trial sequences. The number of no‐target scenes preceding a target scene was increased from zero to two to reinforce attentional biasing, and colors presented in two successive no‐target scenes were repeated or changed to systematically bias attention to specific colors. For the no‐target scenes, the presentation of a second no‐target scene resulted in an early selection of, and sustained attention to, the changed colors (mirrored in the frontal selection positivity, the anterior N2, and the P3b). For the target scenes, the N2pc indicated an earlier allocation of attention to the targets with unseen or remotely seen colors. Inhibitory control of attention, shown in the anterior N2, was greatest when the target scene was followed by repeated no‐target scenes with repeated colors. Finally, search times and the P3b were influenced by both color previewing and its history. The current results demonstrate that attentional biasing can occur on a trial‐by‐trial basis and be influenced by both feature previewing and its history.
    October 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12766   open full text
  • Dissociating parafoveal preview benefit and parafovea‐on‐fovea effects during reading: A combined eye tracking and EEG study.
    Florian Niefind, Olaf Dimigen.
    Psychophysiology. September 28, 2016
    During reading, the parafoveal processing of an upcoming word n+1 can influence word recognition in two ways: It can affect fixation behavior during the preceding fixation on word n (parafovea‐on‐fovea effect, POF), and it can facilitate subsequent foveal processing once word n+1 is fixated (preview benefit). While preview benefits are established, evidence for POF effects is mixed. Recently, it has been suggested that POF effects exist, but have a delayed impact on saccade planning and thus coincide with preview benefits measured on word n+1. We combined eye movement and EEG recordings to investigate and separate neural correlates of POF and preview benefit effects. Participants read lists of nouns either in a boundary paradigm or the RSVP‐with‐flankers paradigm, while we recorded fixation‐ or event‐related potentials (FRPs/ERPs), respectively. The validity and lexical frequency of the word shown as preview for the upcoming word n+1 were orthogonally manipulated. Analyses focused on the first fixation on word n+1. Preview validity (correct vs. incorrect preview) strongly modulated fixation times and electrophysiological N1 amplitudes, replicating previous findings. Importantly, gaze durations and FRPs measured on word n+1 were also affected by the frequency of the word shown as preview, with low‐frequency previews eliciting a sustained, N400‐like centroparietal negativity. Results support the idea that POF effects exist but affect word recognition with a delay. Lastly, once word n+1 was fixated, its frequency also modulated N1 amplitudes in ERPs and FRPs. Taken together, we separated immediate and delayed effects of parafoveal processing on brain correlates of word recognition.
    September 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12765   open full text
  • Pupillary reactivity to negative stimuli prospectively predicts recurrence of major depressive disorder in women.
    Anastacia Y. Kudinova, Katie L. Burkhouse, Greg Siegle, Max Owens, Mary L. Woody, Brandon E. Gibb.
    Psychophysiology. September 27, 2016
    There is a large body of research supporting the association between disrupted physiological reactivity to negative stimuli and depression. The present study aimed to examine whether physiological reactivity to emotional stimuli, assessed via pupil dilation, served as a biological marker of risk for depression recurrence among individuals who are known to be at a higher risk due to having previous history of depression. Participants were 57 women with a history of major depressive disorder (MDD). Pupil dilation to angry, happy, sad, and neutral faces was recorded. Participants' diagnoses and symptoms were assessed 24 months after the initial assessment. We found that women's pupillary reactivity to negative (sad or angry faces) but not positive stimuli prospectively predicted MDD recurrence. Additionally, we found that both hyper‐ and hypopupillary reactivity to angry faces predicted risk for MDD recurrence. These findings suggest that disrupted physiological response to negative stimuli indexed via pupillary dilation could serve as a physiological marker of MDD risk, thus presenting clinicians with a convenient and inexpensive method to predict which of the at‐risk women are more likely to experience depression recurrence.
    September 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12764   open full text
  • Orthographic and phonological processing in developing readers revealed by ERPs.
    Marianna D. Eddy, Jonathan Grainger, Phillip J. Holcomb, John D. E. Gabrieli.
    Psychophysiology. September 27, 2016
    The development of neurocognitive mechanisms in single word reading was studied in children ages 8–10 years using ERPs combined with priming manipulations aimed at dissociating orthographic and phonological processes. Transposed‐letter (TL) priming (barin–BRAIN vs. bosin–BRAIN) was used to assess orthographic processing, and pseudohomophone (PH) priming (brane–BRAIN vs. brant–BRAIN) was used to assess phonological processing. Children showed TL and PH priming effects on both the N250 and N400 ERP components, and the magnitude of TL priming correlated positively with reading ability, with better readers showing larger TL priming effects. Phonological priming, on the other hand, did not correlate with reading ability. The positive correlations between TL priming and reading ability in children points to a key role for flexible sublexical orthographic representations in reading development, in line with their hypothesized role in the efficient mapping of orthographic information onto semantic information in skilled readers.
    September 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12763   open full text
  • Resting cardiac vagal tone predicts intraindividual reaction time variability during an attention task in a sample of young and healthy adults.
    DeWayne P. Williams, Julian F. Thayer, Julian Koenig.
    Psychophysiology. September 23, 2016
    Intraindividual reaction time variability (IIV), defined as the variability in trial‐to‐trial response times, is thought to serve as an index of central nervous system function. As such, greater IIV reflects both poorer executive brain function and cognitive control, in addition to lapses in attention. Resting‐state vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV), a psychophysiological index of self‐regulatory abilities, has been linked with executive brain function and cognitive control such that those with greater resting‐state vmHRV often perform better on cognitive tasks. However, research has yet to investigate the direct relationship between resting vmHRV and task IIV. The present study sought to examine this relationship in a sample of 104 young and healthy participants who first completed a 5‐min resting‐baseline period during which resting‐state vmHRV was assessed. Participants then completed an attentional (target detection) task, where reaction time, accuracy, and trial‐to‐trial IIV were obtained. Results showed resting vmHRV to be significantly related to IIV, such that lower resting vmHRV predicted higher IIV on the task, even when controlling for several covariates (including mean reaction time and accuracy). Overall, our results provide further evidence for the link between resting vmHRV and cognitive control, and extend these notions to the domain of lapses in attention, as indexed by IIV. Implications and recommendations for future research on resting vmHRV and cognition are discussed.
    September 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12739   open full text
  • Recollection is delayed under changed viewing conditions: A graded effect on the latency of the late posterior component.
    Heinrich René Liesefeld, Anna M. Liesefeld, Hubert D. Zimmer.
    Psychophysiology. September 15, 2016
    Object recognition is a central human ability. In everyday life, the conditions under which objects have to be recognized are usually not perfect. Often, viewing conditions change in between two encounters with an object; typical are changes in illumination or in the object‐observer distance. With such changes, object recognition sometimes feels slightly delayed. We examined this phenomenon empirically by measuring the latency of the well‐established electrophysiological correlate of recollection, the late posterior component (LPC), in an object‐recognition task. Although the cognitive processes underlying successful recognition are well examined, thus far the consequences of changed viewing conditions on the timing of these processes have not been investigated. The ERP technique is well suited for investigating this question, because it allows differentiating between processes contributing to recognition times (in particular, recollection from familiarity as indexed by the FN400 component) and measuring their time course with high temporal precision. In the present study, participants' task was to differentiate previously studied (old) objects from a set of new objects. Viewing conditions for old objects changed slightly, changed strongly, or remained identical between learning and test. We found that the latency of the LPC in response to an old object was delayed whenever viewing conditions changed. Moreover, this delay in LPC latency scaled with the size of the change. These effects were absent for the FN400. This is the first examination of effects of changes in viewing conditions on the latency of recollection and the first dissociation of FN400 and LPC latencies.
    September 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12760   open full text
  • Don't startle me—Interference of startle probe presentations and intermittent ratings with fear acquisition.
    Rachel Sjouwerman, Johanna Niehaus, Manuel Kuhn, Tina B. Lonsdorf.
    Psychophysiology. September 15, 2016
    Reproducibility is fundamental to science and a recent matter of discussion. We report challenges for conceptual replications when employing different readout measures to target the same theoretical construct, particularly those requiring probed reactions. This was addressed in a fear conditioning paradigm, a prototype of emotional learning, in three experimental groups (Ntotal = 57). We demonstrate that the inclusion of startle probes (95 dB burst of white noise) to elicit a startle reflex delays the acquisition of fear as reflected by skin conductance responses and intermittent fear ratings. The inclusion of fear ratings in turn did not significantly affect fear acquisition. Hence, subtle differences in experimental design, such as the inclusion of a single additional outcome measure, may substantially impact on study results and interpretations. Thus, small effects, as are common in between‐group comparisons, may be particularly susceptible to this, which has strong implications for the replication of findings across studies employing slightly different experimental designs.
    September 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12761   open full text
  • The N400 elicited by homonyms in puns: Two primes are not better than one.
    Ayesha Dholakia, Gabriela Meade, Donna Coch.
    Psychophysiology. September 15, 2016
    To comprehend a pun involving a homonym (e.g., The prince with a bad tooth got a crown), both meanings of the homonym must be accessed and selected. Previous ERP studies have shown that the N400 reflects lexicosemantic processing, but none have directly investigated the N400 elicited by homonyms in the unique context of puns. Here, N400 priming effects showed that the dual context of puns (e.g., the primes prince and tooth) did not facilitate homonym processing in comparison to single dominant biasing (e.g., The prince with a bad leg got a crown) or subordinate biasing (e.g., The adult with a bad tooth got a crown) conditions. However, homonyms did elicit a less negative N400 (i.e., priming) in the pun condition in comparison to the neutral context condition (e.g., The adult with a bad leg got a crown). These findings are interpreted in terms of the dominant advantage and subordinate bias effect posited by the reordered access model of homonym processing, and in terms of N400 amplitude as an index of how consistently various sources of semantic featural information converge on one lexical item, even when two lexical items must be activated for comprehension.
    September 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12762   open full text
  • Postauricular reflexes elicited by soft acoustic clicks and loud noise probes: Reliability, prepulse facilitation, and sensitivity to picture contents.
    Rachel V. Aaron, Stephen D. Benning.
    Psychophysiology. September 06, 2016
    The startle blink reflex is facilitated during early picture viewing, then inhibited by attention during pleasant and aversive pictures compared to neutral pictures, and finally potentiated during aversive pictures specifically. However, it is unclear whether the postauricular reflex, which is elicited by the same loud acoustic probe as the startle blink reflex but enhanced by appetitive instead of defensive emotion, has the same pattern and time course of emotional modulation. We examined this issue in a sample of 90 undergraduates using serially presented soft acoustic clicks that elicited postauricular (but not startle blink) reflexes in addition to standard startle probes. Postauricular reflexes elicited by both clicks and probes correlated during food and nurturant contents, during which they were potentiated compared to neutral pictures, suggesting clicks effectively elicit emotionally modulated postauricular reflexes. The postauricular reflex was initially facilitated during the first 500 ms of picture processing but was larger during pleasant than neutral pictures throughout picture processing, with larger effect sizes during the latter half of picture processing. Across reflexes and eliciting stimuli, measures of emotional modulation had higher coefficient alphas than magnitudes during specific picture contents within each valence, indicating that only emotional modulation measures assess higher‐order appetitive or defensive processing.
    September 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12757   open full text
  • Effects of response delays and of unknown stimulus‐response mappings on the oddball effect on P3.
    Rolf Verleger, Nils Grauhan, Kamila Śmigasiewicz.
    Psychophysiology. September 04, 2016
    P3b is a prominent component of human event‐related EEG potentials. P3b has been related to consciousness, encoding into memory, and updating of strategic schemata, among others, yet evidence has also been provided for its close relationship with deciding how to respond to the presented stimuli. P3b is large with rarely occurring stimuli and small with frequent ones. Here, we investigate the extent to which this oddball effect depends on selecting and executing responses. Participants pressed one of two keys in response to one of two letters, one of which was presented rarely and one frequently. Information about letter‐key mapping was provided by a second stimulus. In different blocks, this mapping stimulus was either constant across trials or varied randomly, and either preceded or followed the letter. The oddball effect was reduced when responses were delayed (by waiting for the constant mapping stimulus following the letter) and was further reduced when responses could not be assigned to the letters (because letters were followed by varying mapping stimuli). This evidence suggests that P3b is closely related to decision processes, possibly reflecting reactivation of stimulus‐response links.
    September 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12756   open full text
  • Expectancy affects the feedback‐related negativity (FRN) for delayed feedback in probabilistic learning.
    Benjamin Weismüller, Christian Bellebaum.
    Psychophysiology. August 27, 2016
    Learning from feedback is a prerequisite for adapting to the environment. Prediction error signals coded by midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons are projected to the basal ganglia and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). It has been suggested that neuronal activity shifts away from the DA system when feedback is delayed. The feedback‐related negativity (FRN), an ERP that is generated in the ACC and has been shown to be sensitive to feedback valence and prediction error magnitude, was found to be reduced for delayed feedback. It has, however, not yet been investigated if the FRN for delayed feedback reflects a reward prediction error. In this study, effects of feedback delay (1 s vs. 7 s) on the processing of expected and unexpected positive and negative feedback were investigated in a between‐subjects design in healthy human participants conducting a probabilistic feedback learning task. FRN and P300 amplitudes were decreased for subjects learning from delayed compared to immediate feedback. Importantly, the FRN, extracted from the negative‐positive feedback difference wave, was significantly smaller for expected compared to unexpected feedback for both the immediate and delayed feedback conditions. Expectancy effects for the P300 were also seen, but did not interact with feedback valence. These results demonstrate an influence of feedback expectancy, and thus the prediction error, on early feedback processing even for delayed feedback, suggesting that neuronal structures underlying feedback processing are comparable for immediate and delayed feedback, at least to some extent. Modulations of the P300 by feedback delay may be linked to feedback salience.
    August 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12738   open full text
  • Automatic emotion regulation in response inhibition: The temporal dynamics of emotion counter‐regulation during a go/no‐go task.
    Jing Zhang, Caixia Feng, Xiaoqin Mai.
    Psychophysiology. August 27, 2016
    Recent behavioral studies indicate that emotion counter‐regulation automatically allocates attention to events that are opposite in the valence to the experienced emotional state. The present study explored the effect of emotion counter‐regulation on response inhibition by using ERPs in a go/no‐go paradigm. We recruited 58 subjects and randomly assigned them to either the angry priming group (watching Nanjing Massacre movie clips) or the neutral priming group (watching “mending a computer” movie clips). The behavioral results revealed that participants in the angry priming group responded significantly more accurately to go happy and no‐go angry faces than go angry and no‐go happy faces. The analyses of ERPs revealed that the amplitudes of the no‐go N2 and no‐go P3 were significantly larger for the happy faces than for the angry faces in the angry priming group. However, no such effects were found in the neutral priming group. These results suggest that highly aroused angry emotion could prompt a priority response to happy emotion stimuli and restrict the responses to angry emotion stimuli through emotion counter‐regulation.
    August 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12754   open full text
  • “Who” should be focused? The influence of focus status on pronoun resolution.
    Xiaodong Xu, Xiaolin Zhou.
    Psychophysiology. August 27, 2016
    Focus is assumed to be able to enhance the salience of a focused constituent and thereby facilitate the interpretation of a pronoun that refers to a focused antecedent relative to an unfocused antecedent. To assess how discourse‐based focus structure influences the interpretation of a pronoun and whether this process is modulated by the grammatical role of the antecedent, we conducted an ERP study in which the focus status of a pronoun's potential antecedents was manipulated by means of a wh‐question‐answer structure. We found that, relative to those in the focused position, pronouns referring to antecedents in the unfocused position evoked enhanced positive responses in both early (180–230 ms) and late time windows (400–800 ms). Moreover, while a larger positivity was evoked by object‐referring pronouns compared to subject‐referring pronouns in the 400–800 ms time window over the right hemisphere, there was no effect of grammatical role in the 180–230 ms time window. These findings indicate that, while the initial stage of pronoun resolution is modulated by focus information assigned via a wh‐question structure, integration of the pronoun and its antecedent into a coherent discourse representation at the later stage could be constrained by various factors, including the focus status and possibly the grammatical role of the antecedent.
    August 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12740   open full text
  • Higher resting heart rate variability predicts skill in expressing some emotions.
    Natalie L. Tuck, Rosemary C. I. Grant, John J. Sollers, Roger J. Booth, Nathan S. Consedine.
    Psychophysiology. August 27, 2016
    Vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV) is a measure of cardiac vagal tone, and is widely viewed as a physiological index of the capacity to regulate emotions. However, studies have not directly tested whether vmHRV is associated with the ability to facially express emotions. In extending prior work, the current report tested links between resting vmHRV and the objectively assessed ability to facially express emotions, hypothesizing that higher vmHRV would predict greater expressive skill. Eighty healthy women completed self‐reported measures, before attending a laboratory session in which vmHRV and the ability to express six emotions in the face were assessed. A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a marginal main effect for vmHRV on skill overall; individuals with higher resting vmHRV were only better able to deliberately facially express anger and interest. Findings suggest that differences in resting vmHRV are associated with the objectively assessed ability to facially express some, but not all, emotions, with potential implications for health and well‐being.
    August 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12755   open full text
  • Alcohol words elicit reactive cognitive control in low‐sensitivity drinkers.
    Kira Bailey, Bruce D. Bartholow.
    Psychophysiology. August 22, 2016
    Previous ERP studies shown support for the idea that alcohol‐related stimuli are particularly salient to individuals who report low sensitivity (LS) to alcohol's effects (a known risk factor for alcohol‐related problems), leading such stimuli to spontaneously capture their attention and interfere with self‐regulatory goal pursuit. The current study investigated LS individuals' use of reactive and proactive cognitive control in response to alcohol‐related stimuli. Participants performed an alcohol Stroop task in which they indicated the font color of alcohol‐ and nonalcohol‐related words while ERPs were recorded. The probability of alcohol and nonalcohol words was manipulated to test predictions derived from Dual Mechanisms of Control theory. Among LS individuals, infrequent alcohol‐related words elicited slower responses and larger N2 amplitude, consistent with these stimuli eliciting enhanced reactive control responses. Amplitude of the frontal slow wave (FSW) component, associated with proactive control, was marginally larger among LS individuals when alcohol words were more frequent, but response accuracy was lower. These findings demonstrate that LS individuals experience conflict when presented with task‐irrelevant alcohol‐related stimuli, even in a context where conflict arguably should not be present. Findings further suggest that LS individuals can effectively implement reactive control to deal with this conflict when it is infrequent but have difficulty implementing proactive control in the context of more frequent conflict.
    August 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12741   open full text
  • Motor‐evoked potentials reveal a motor‐cortical readout of evidence accumulation for sensorimotor decisions.
    Aviad A. Hadar, Paula Rowe, Steven Di Costa, Alexander Jones, Kielan Yarrow.
    Psychophysiology. August 16, 2016
    Many everyday activities require time‐pressured sensorimotor decision making. Traditionally, perception, decision, and action processes were considered to occur in series, but this idea has been successfully challenged, particularly by neurophysiological work in animals. However, the generality of parallel processing requires further elucidation. Here, we investigate whether the accumulation of a decision can be observed intrahemispherically within human motor cortex. Participants categorized faces as male or female, with task difficulty manipulated using morphed stimuli. Transcranial magnetic stimulation, applied during the reaction‐time interval, produced motor‐evoked potentials (MEPs) in two hand muscles that were the major contributors when generating the required pinch/grip movements. Smoothing MEPs using a Gaussian kernel allowed us to recover a continuous time‐varying MEP average, comparable to an EEG component, permitting precise localization of the time at which the motor plan for the responding muscle became dominant. We demonstrate decision‐related activity in the motor cortex during this perceptual discrimination task, suggesting ongoing evidence accumulation within the motor system even for two independent actions represented within one hemisphere.
    August 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12737   open full text
  • Illusory conjunctions in visual short‐term memory: Individual differences in corpus callosum connectivity and splitting attention between the two hemifields.
    Shuo Qin, Nicholas R. Ray, Nithya Ramakrishnan, Kaoru Nashiro, Margaret A. O'Connell, Chandramallika Basak.
    Psychophysiology. August 08, 2016
    Overloading the capacity of visual attention can result in mistakenly combining the various features of an object, that is, illusory conjunctions. We hypothesize that if the two hemispheres separately process visual information by splitting attention, connectivity of corpus callosum—a brain structure integrating the two hemispheres—would predict the degree of illusory conjunctions. In the current study, we assessed two types of illusory conjunctions using a memory‐scanning paradigm; the features were either presented across the two opposite hemifields or within the same hemifield. Four objects, each with two visual features, were briefly presented together followed by a probe‐recognition and a confidence rating for the recognition accuracy. MRI scans were also obtained. Results indicated that successful recollection during probe recognition was better for across hemifields conjunctions compared to within hemifield conjunctions, lending support to the bilateral advantage of the two hemispheres in visual short‐term memory. Age‐related differences regarding the underlying mechanisms of the bilateral advantage indicated greater reliance on recollection‐based processing in young and on familiarity‐based processing in old. Moreover, the integrity of the posterior corpus callosum was more predictive of opposite hemifield illusory conjunctions compared to within hemifield illusory conjunctions, even after controlling for age. That is, individuals with lesser posterior corpus callosum connectivity had better recognition for objects when their features were recombined from the opposite hemifields than from the same hemifield. This study is the first to investigate the role of the corpus callosum in splitting attention between versus within hemifields.
    August 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12735   open full text
  • Toward the influence of temporal attention on the selection of targets in a visual search task: An ERP study.
    Bettina Rolke, Freya Festl, Verena C. Seibold.
    Psychophysiology. August 01, 2016
    We used ERPs to investigate whether temporal attention interacts with spatial attention and feature‐based attention to enhance visual processing. We presented a visual search display containing one singleton stimulus among a set of homogenous distractors. Participants were asked to respond only to target singletons of a particular color and shape that were presented in an attended spatial position. We manipulated temporal attention by presenting a warning signal before each search display and varying the foreperiod (FP) between the warning signal and the search display in a blocked manner. We observed distinctive ERP effects of both spatial and temporal attention. The amplitudes for the N2pc, SPCN, and P3 were enhanced by spatial attention indicating a processing benefit of relevant stimulus features at the attended side. Temporal attention accelerated stimulus processing; this was indexed by an earlier onset of the N2pc component and a reduction in reaction times to targets. Most importantly, temporal attention did not interact with spatial attention or stimulus features to influence visual processing. Taken together, the results suggest that temporal attention fosters visual perceptual processing in a visual search task independently from spatial attention and feature‐based attention; this provides support for the nonspecific enhancement hypothesis of temporal attention.
    August 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12734   open full text
  • Does intrinsic motivation enhance motor cortex excitability?
    Rémi Radel, Dusan Pjevac, Karen Davranche, Fabienne d'Arripe‐Longueville, Serge S. Colson, Thomas Lapole, Mathieu Gruet.
    Psychophysiology. August 01, 2016
    Intrinsic motivation (IM) is often viewed as a spontaneous tendency for action. Recent behavioral and neuroimaging evidence indicate that IM, in comparison to extrinsic motivation (EM), solicits the motor system. Accordingly, we tested whether IM leads to greater excitability of the motor cortex than EM. To test this hypothesis, we used two different tasks to induce the motivational orientation using either words representing each motivational orientation or pictures previously linked to each motivational orientation through associative learning. Single‐pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation over the motor cortex was applied when viewing the stimuli. Electromyographic activity was recorded on the contracted first dorsal interosseous muscle. Two indexes of corticospinal excitability (the amplitude of motor‐evoked potential and the length of cortical silent period) were obtained through unbiased automatic detection and analyzed using a mixed model that provided both statistical power and a high level of control over all important individual, task, and stimuli characteristics. Across the two tasks and the two indices of corticospinal excitability, the exposure to IM‐related stimuli did not lead to a greater corticospinal excitability than EM‐related stimuli or than stimuli with no motivational valence (ps > .20). While these results tend to dismiss the advantage of IM at activating the motor cortex, we suggest alternative hypotheses to explain this lack of effect, which deserves further research.
    August 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12732   open full text
  • Cross‐modal distractors modulate oscillatory alpha power: the neural basis of impaired task performance.
    Annekathrin Weise, Thomas Hartmann, Erich Schröger, Nathan Weisz, Philipp Ruhnau.
    Psychophysiology. July 29, 2016
    Unexpected novel sounds capture one's attention, even when irrelevant to the task pursued (e.g., playing video game). This often comes at a cost to the task (e.g., slower responding). The neural basis for this behavioral distraction effect is not well understood and is subject of this study. Our approach was motivated by findings from cuing paradigms suggesting a link between modulations in oscillatory activity and voluntary attention shifts. The current study tested whether oscillatory activity is also modulated by a task‐irrelevant auditory distractor, reflecting a neural signature of an involuntary shift of attention and accounting for the impaired task performance. We reanalyzed magnetoencephalographic data collected via an auditory‐visual distraction paradigm in which a task‐relevant visual stimulus was preceded by a task‐irrelevant sound on each trial. In 87.5% this was a regular sound (Standard); in 12.5% this was a novel sound (Distractor). We compared nonphase locked oscillatory activity in a time window prior to the visual target as a function of the experimental manipulation (Distractor, Standard). We found low power in the pretarget time window for Distractors compared to Standards in the alpha and beta frequency bands. Importantly, individual alpha power correlated with response speed on a trial‐by‐trial basis for the Distractor only. Sources were localized to the occipital cortex, and also to the parietal and supratemporal cortices. These findings support our hypothesis that the distractor‐related alpha power modulation indexes an involuntary shift of attention which accounts for the impaired task performance.
    July 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12733   open full text
  • FN400 and LPC memory effects for concrete and abstract words.
    Paweł Stróżak, Christopher W. Bird, Krystin Corby, Gwen Frishkoff, Tim Curran.
    Psychophysiology. July 27, 2016
    According to dual‐process models, recognition memory depends on two neurocognitive mechanisms: familiarity, which has been linked to the frontal N400 (FN400) effect in studies using ERPs, and recollection, which is reflected by changes in the late positive complex (LPC). Recently, there has been some debate over the relationship between FN400 familiarity effects and N400 semantic effects. According to one view, these effects are one and the same. Proponents of this view have suggested that the frontal distribution of the FN400 could be due to stimulus concreteness: recognition memory experiments commonly use highly imageable or concrete words (or pictures), which elicit semantic ERPs with a frontal distribution. In the present study, we tested this claim using a recognition memory paradigm in which subjects memorized concrete and abstract nouns; half of the words changed font color between study and test. FN400 and LPC old/new effects were observed for abstract as well as concrete words, and were stronger over right hemisphere electrodes for concrete words. However, there was no difference in anteriority of the FN400 effect for the two word types. These findings challenge the notion that the frontal distribution of the FN400 old/new effect is fully explained by stimulus concreteness.
    July 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12730   open full text
  • Large‐scale functional brain connectivity during emotional engagement as revealed by beta‐series correlation analysis.
    Daesung Kang, Yuelu Liu, Vladimir Miskovic, Andreas Keil, Mingzhou Ding.
    Psychophysiology. July 25, 2016
    It has been hypothesized that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is a hub in the network that mediates appetitive responses whereas the amygdala is thought to mediate both aversive and appetitive processing. Both structures may facilitate adaptive responses to emotional challenge by linking perception, attention, memory, and motor circuits. We provide an initial exploration of these hypotheses by recording simultaneous EEG‐fMRI in eleven participants viewing affective pictures. MPFC‐ and amygdala‐seeded functional connectivity maps were generated by applying the beta‐series correlation method. The mPFC‐seeded correlation map encompassed visual regions, sensorimotor areas, prefrontal cortex, and medial temporal lobe structures, exclusively for pleasant content. For the amygdala‐seeded correlation map, a similar set of distributed brain areas appeared in the unpleasant‐neutral contrast, with the addition of structures such as the insula and thalamus. A substantially sparser network was recruited for the pleasant‐neutral contrast. Using the late positive potential (LPP) to index the intensity of emotional engagement, functional connectivity was found to be stronger in trials with larger LPP. These results demonstrate that mPFC‐mediated functional interactions are engaged specifically during appetitive processing, whereas the amygdala is coupled to distinct sets of brain regions during both aversive and appetitive processing. The strength of these interactions varies as a function of the intensity of emotional engagement.
    July 25, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12731   open full text
  • Cardiac cycle time effects on selection efficiency in vision.
    Lisa Pramme, Mauro F. Larra, Hartmut Schächinger, Christian Frings.
    Psychophysiology. July 23, 2016
    The effect of cardiac cycle time on attentional selection was investigated in an experiment in which participants classified target letters in a visual selection task. Stimulus onsets were aligned to the R wave of the electrocardiogram and stimuli presented either during the ventricular systole or diastole. Selection efficiency was operationalized as difference in target selection performance under conditions of homogeneous and heterogeneous distractors. Differences in performance (i.e., the impact selection difficulty had on the ability to select the target) were attenuated for stimuli presented during the ventricular systole compared to the diastole. Increased baroafferent signal transmission during the systole appears to reduce interference of highly distracting stimuli on visual selection efficiency.
    July 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12728   open full text
  • Decomposing mechanisms of abnormal saccade generation in schizophrenia patients: Contributions of volitional initiation, motor preparation, and fixation release.
    Benedikt Reuter, Björn Elsner, David Möllers, Norbert Kathmann.
    Psychophysiology. July 23, 2016
    Clinical and theoretical models suggest deficient volitional initiation of action in schizophrenia patients. Recent research provided an experimental model of testing this assumption using saccade tasks. However, inconsistent findings necessitate a specification of conditions on which the deficit may occur. The present study sought to detect mechanisms that may contribute to poor performance. Sixteen schizophrenia patients and 16 healthy control participants performed visually guided and two types of volitional saccade tasks. All tasks varied as to whether the initial fixation stimulus disappeared (fixation stimulus offset) or continued during saccade initiation, and whether a direction cue allowed motor preparation of the specific saccade. Saccade latencies of the two groups were differentially affected by task type, fixation stimulus offset, and cueing, suggesting abnormal volitional saccade generation, fixation release, and motor preparation in schizophrenia. However, substantial performance deficits may only occur if all affected processes are required in a task.
    July 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12729   open full text
  • Working memory maintenance is sufficient to reduce state anxiety.
    Nicholas L. Balderston, David Quispe‐Escudero, Elizabeth Hale, Andrew Davis, Katherine O'Connell, Monique Ernst, Christian Grillon.
    Psychophysiology. July 19, 2016
    According to the attentional control theory (ACT) proposed by Eysenck and colleagues, anxiety interferes with cognitive processing by prioritizing bottom‐up attentional processes over top‐down attentional processes, leading to competition for access to limited resources in working memory, particularly the central executive (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, ). However, previous research using the n‐back working memory task suggests that working memory load also reduces state anxiety. Assuming that similar mechanisms underlie the effect of anxiety on cognition, and the effect of cognition on anxiety, one possible implication of the ACT would suggest that the reduction of state anxiety with increasing working memory load is driven by activation of central executive attentional control processes. We tested this hypothesis using the Sternberg working memory paradigm, where maintenance processes can be isolated from central executive processes (Altamura et al., ; Sternberg, ). Consistent with the n‐back results, subjects showed decreased state anxiety during the maintenance period of high‐load trials relative to low‐load trials, suggesting that maintenance processes alone are sufficient to achieve this state anxiety reduction. Given that the Sternberg task does not require central executive engagement, these results are not consistent with an implication of the ACT where the cognition/anxiety relationship and anxiety/cognition relationship are mediated by similar central executive mechanisms. Instead, we propose an extension of the ACT such that engaging working memory maintenance suppresses state anxiety in a load‐dependent manner. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the efficacy of this effect may moderate the effect of trait anxiety on cognition.
    July 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12726   open full text
  • Resting blood pressure differentially predicts time course in a tonic pain experiment.
    Bjoern Horing, James A. McCubbin, Dewayne Moore, Eric R. Muth.
    Psychophysiology. July 18, 2016
    Resting blood pressure (BP) shows a negative relationship with pain sensitivity (BP‐related hypoalgesia). In chronic pain conditions, this relationship is inverted. The precise mechanisms responsible for the inversion are unknown. Using a tonic pain protocol, we report findings closely resembling this inversion in healthy participants. Resting BP and state measures of anxiety and mood were assessed from 33 participants (21 female). Participants then immersed their dominant hand in painfully hot water (47 °C) for five trials of 1‐min duration, with 30‐s intertrial intervals. Throughout the trials, participants continually registered their pain. After a 35‐min intermission, the trial sequence was repeated. A disassociation of the negative relationship of resting systolic BP (as per Trial 1) was found using hierarchical linear modeling (p < .001, R2 = .07). The disassociation unfolds over each consecutive trial, with an increasingly positive relationship. In Sequence 2, the initially negative relationship is almost completely absent. Furthermore, the association of BP and pain was found to be moderated by anxiety, such that only persons with low anxiety exhibited BP hypoalgesia. Our findings expand the existing literature by incorporating anxiety as a moderator of BP hypoalgesia. Furthermore, the protocol emulates the changing relationship between BP and pain observed in chronic pain patients. The protocol has potential as a model for chronic pain; however, future research should determine if similar physiological systems are involved. The finding holds potential diagnostic or prognostic relevance for certain clinical pain conditions, especially those involving dysfunction of the descending modulation of pain.
    July 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12724   open full text
  • Patients with chronic insomnia have selective impairments in memory that are modulated by cortisol.
    Gui‐hai Chen, Lan Xia, Fang Wang, Xue‐Wei LI, Chuan‐an Jiao.
    Psychophysiology. July 14, 2016
    Memory impairment is a frequent complaint in insomniacs; however, it is not consistently demonstrated. It is unknown whether memory impairment in insomniacs involves neuroendocrine dysfunction. The participants in this study were selected from the clinical setting and included 21 patients with chronic insomnia disorder (CID), 25 patients with insomnia and comorbid depressive disorder (CDD), and 20 control participants without insomnia. We evaluated spatial working and reference memory, object working and reference memory, and object recognition memory using the Nine Box Maze Test. We also evaluated serum neuroendocrine hormone levels. Compared to the controls, the CID patients made significantly more errors in spatial working and object recognition memory (p < .05), whereas the CDD patients performed poorly in all the assessed memory types (p < .05). In addition, the CID patients had higher levels (mean difference [95% CI]) of corticotrophin‐releasing hormone, cortisol (31.98 [23.97, 39.98] μg/l), total triiodothyronine (667.58 [505.71, 829.45] μg/l), and total thyroxine (41.49 [33.23, 49.74] μg/l) (p < .05), and lower levels of thyrotropin‐releasing hormone (‐35.93 [‐38.83, ‐33.02] ng/l), gonadotropin‐releasing hormone (‐4.50 [‐5.02, ‐3.98] ng/l) (p < .05), and adrenocorticotropic hormone compared to the CDD patients. After controlling for confounding variables, the partial correlation analysis revealed that the levels of cortisol positively correlated with the errors in object working memory (r = .534, p = .033) and negatively correlated with the errors in object recognition memory (r = ‐.659, p = .006) in the CID patients. The results suggest that the CID patients had selective memory impairment, which may be mediated by increased cortisol levels.
    July 14, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12700   open full text
  • Reduced amygdala responsivity during conditioning to trauma‐related stimuli in posttraumatic stress disorder.
    Slawomira J. Diener, Frauke Nees, Michèle Wessa, Gustav Wirtz, Ulrich Frommberger, Tina Penga, Michaela Ruttorf, Matthias Ruf, Christian Schmahl, Herta Flor.
    Psychophysiology. July 14, 2016
    Exaggerated conditioned fear responses and impaired extinction along with amygdala overactivation have been observed in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These fear responses might be triggered by cues related to the trauma through higher‐order conditioning, where reminders of the trauma may serve as unconditioned stimuli (US) and could maintain the fear response. We compared arousal, valence, and US expectancy ratings and BOLD brain responses using fMRI in 14 traumatized persons with PTSD and 14 without PTSD (NPTSD) and 13 matched healthy controls (HC) in a differential aversive conditioning paradigm. The US were trauma‐specific pictures for the PTSD and NPTSD group and equally aversive and arousing for the HC; the conditioned stimuli (CS) were graphic displays. During conditioning, the PTSD patients compared to the NPTSD and HC indicated higher arousal to the conditioned stimulus that was paired with the trauma picture (CS+) compared to the unpaired (CS−), increased dissociation during acquisition and extinction, and failure to extinguish the CS/US‐association compared to NPTSD. During early and late acquisition, the PTSD patients showed a significantly lower amygdala activation to CS+ versus CS− and a negative interaction between activation in the amygdala and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), while NPTSD and HC displayed a negative interaction between amygdala and medial PFC. These findings suggest maladaptive anticipatory coping with trauma‐related stimuli in patients with PTSD, indicated by enhanced conditioning, with related abnormal amygdala reactivity and connectivity, and delayed extinction.
    July 14, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12699   open full text
  • Temporal prediction modulates the evaluative processing of “good” action feedback: An electrophysiological study.
    Kenta Kimura, Motohiro Kimura, Sunao Iwaki.
    Psychophysiology. July 14, 2016
    The present study aimed to investigate whether or not the evaluative processing of action feedback can be modulated by temporal prediction. For this purpose, we examined the effects of the predictability of the timing of action feedback on an ERP effect that indexed the evaluative processing of action feedback, that is, an ERP effect that has been interpreted as a feedback‐related negativity (FRN) elicited by “bad” action feedback or a reward positivity (RewP) elicited by “good” action feedback. In two types of experimental blocks, the participants performed a gambling task in which they chose one of two cards and received an action feedback that indicated monetary gain or loss. In fixed blocks, the time interval between the participant's choice and the onset of the action feedback was fixed at 0, 500, or 1,000 ms in separate blocks; thus, the timing of action feedback was predictable. In mixed blocks, the time interval was randomly chosen from the same three intervals with equal probability; thus, the timing was less predictable. The results showed that the FRN/RewP was smaller in mixed than fixed blocks for the 0‐ms interval trial, whereas there was no difference between the two block types for the 500‐ms and 1,000‐ms interval trials. Interestingly, the smaller FRN/RewP was due to the modulation of gain ERPs rather than loss ERPs. These results suggest that temporal prediction can modulate the evaluative processing of action feedback, and particularly good feedback, such as that which indicates monetary gain.
    July 14, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12697   open full text
  • Examining habituation of the startle reflex with the reinforcement sensitivity theory of personality.
    Angel Blanch, Anton Aluja, Eduardo Blanco, Ferran Balada.
    Psychophysiology. July 12, 2016
    The habituation of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) was examined concerning individual differences in sensitivity to punishment (PUN) and sensitivity to reward (REW), within the general framework of the reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) of personality. Two hypotheses derived from the RST were evaluated: the separable subsystems hypothesis and the joint subsystems hypothesis. In addition, we examined the direction of the relationship of PUN and REW with the habituation of the ASR. A habituation segment of electromyography recordings of the orbicularis oculi was assessed with an unconditional latent curve model. In accordance with the RST hypotheses, the relationship of PUN and REW on the habituation process was assessed with two conditional latent curve models. There was higher support for the separable subsystems hypothesis. In addition, PUN and REW related with the habituation trajectory of the ASR in the expected directions. Higher levels of PUN and lower levels of REW related with a slower habituation of the ASR, whereas lower levels of PUN and higher levels of REW related with a faster habituation of the ASR.
    July 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12725   open full text
  • The effects of respiratory sinus arrhythmia on anger reactivity and persistence in major depression.
    Alissa J. Ellis, Jason Shumake, Christopher G. Beevers.
    Psychophysiology. July 12, 2016
    The experience of anger during a depressive episode has recently been identified as a poor prognostic indicator of illness course. Given the clinical implications of anger in major depressive disorder (MDD), understanding the mechanisms involved in anger reactivity and persistence is critical for improved intervention. Biological processes involved in emotion regulation during stress, such as respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), may play a role in maintaining negative moods. Clinically depressed (MDD; n = 49) and nondepressed (non‐MDD; n = 50) individuals were challenged with a stressful computer task shown to increase anger, while RSA (high frequency range 0.15–0.4 Hz) was collected. RSA predicted future anger, but was unrelated to current anger. That is, across participants, low baseline RSA predicted anger reactivity during the task, and in depressed individuals, those with low RSA during the task had a greater likelihood of anger persistence during a recovery period. These results suggest that low RSA may be a psychophysiological process involved in anger regulation in depression. Low RSA may contribute to sustained illness course by diminishing the repair of angry moods.
    July 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12722   open full text
  • Resting‐state functional connectivity differentiates anxious apprehension and anxious arousal.
    Erin N. Burdwood, Zachary P. Infantolino, Laura D. Crocker, Jeffrey M. Spielberg, Marie T. Banich, Gregory A. Miller, Wendy Heller.
    Psychophysiology. July 12, 2016
    Brain regions in the default mode network (DMN) display greater functional connectivity at rest or during self‐referential processing than during goal‐directed tasks. The present study assessed resting‐state connectivity as a function of anxious apprehension and anxious arousal, independent of depressive symptoms, in order to understand how these dimensions disrupt cognition. Whole‐brain, seed‐based analyses indicated differences between anxious apprehension and anxious arousal in DMN functional connectivity. Lower connectivity associated with higher anxious apprehension suggests decreased adaptive, inner‐focused thought processes, whereas higher connectivity at higher levels of anxious arousal may reflect elevated monitoring of physiological responses to threat. These findings further the conceptualization of anxious apprehension and anxious arousal as distinct psychological dimensions with distinct neural instantiations.
    July 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12696   open full text
  • Dynamic spatiotemporal brain analyses of the visual checkerboard task: Similarities and differences between passive and active viewing conditions.
    Stephanie Cacioppo, Robin M. Weiss, John T. Cacioppo.
    Psychophysiology. July 09, 2016
    We introduce a new analytic technique for the microsegmentation of high‐density EEG to identify the discrete brain microstates evoked by the visual reversal checkerboard task. To test the sensitivity of the present analytic approach to differences in evoked brain microstates across experimental conditions, subjects were instructed to (a) passively view the reversals of the checkerboard (passive viewing condition), or (b) actively search for a target stimulus that may appear at the fixation point, and they were offered a monetary reward if they correctly detected the stimulus (active viewing condition). Results revealed that, within the first 168 ms of a checkerboard presentation, the same four brain microstates were evoked in the passive and active viewing conditions, whereas the brain microstates evoked after 168 ms differed between these two conditions, with more brain microstates elicited in the active than in the passive viewing condition. Additionally, distinctions were found in the active condition between a change in a scalp configuration that reflects a change in microstate and a change in scalp configuration that reflects a change in the level of activation of the same microstate. Finally, the bootstrapping procedure identified that two microstates lacked robustness even though statistical significance thresholds were met, suggesting these microstates should be replicated prior to placing weight on their generalizability across individuals. These results illustrate the utility of the analytic approach and provide new information about the spatiotemporal dynamics of the brain states underlying passive and active viewing in the visual checkerboard task.
    July 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12723   open full text
  • Can I trust in what I see? EEG evidence for a cognitive evaluation of perceptual constructs.
    Jürgen Kornmeier, Rike Wörner, Michael Bach.
    Psychophysiology. July 08, 2016
    Environmental information available to our senses is incomplete and to varying degrees ambiguous. It has to be disambiguated in order to construct stable and reliable percepts. Ambiguous figures are artificial examples where perception is maximally unstable and alternates between possible interpretations. Tiny low‐level changes can disambiguate an ambiguous figure and thus stabilize percepts. The present study compares ERPs evoked by ambiguous stimuli and disambiguated stimulus variants across three visual categories: geometry (Necker cube), motion (stroboscopic alternative motion stimulus, SAM) and semantics (Boring's old/young woman). We found that (a) disambiguated stimulus variants cause stable percepts and evoke two huge positive ERP excursions (Cohen's effect sizes 1–2), (b) the amplitudes of these ERP effects are inversely related to the degree of stimulus ambiguity, and (c) this pattern of results is consistent across all three tested visual categories. This generality across visual categories points to mechanisms at a very abstract (cognitive) level of processing. We discuss our results in the context of a high‐level Bayesian inference unit that evaluates the reliability of perceptual processing results, given a priori incomplete, ambiguous sensory information. The ERP components may reflect the outcome of this reliability estimation.
    July 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12702   open full text
  • (Don't) Mind the effort: Effects of contextual interference on ERP indicators of motor preparation.
    Romy Frömer, Birgit Stürmer, Werner Sommer.
    Psychophysiology. July 06, 2016
    Motor learning is associated with a decrease in frontal control‐related brain activity and increase of central and parietal motor‐related activity. Contextual interference (CI), manipulated typically by blocked versus randomized training schedules, affects motor learning, resulting in inferior performance during training but in superior performance during retention and transfer. The CI effect is often explained by increased processing demands under high CI training. Consistently, in the motor preparation phase, the activity of control‐ and attention‐related brain areas is increased under high CI. Here, we investigated the effect of CI on learning‐related changes in ERPs during motor preparation. Participants learned throwing at virtual targets and were tested for retention in the target condition 1 week later. The frontal P3 component decreased with learning during the first session and across sessions. In addition, there was a trend for a stronger reduction of P3 during retention after high CI training. Both initial and late contingent negative variation (iCNV and lCNV) amplitudes decreased with learning and showed a significantly stronger reduction under high CI. We conclude that CI modulates the interplay of cognitive and motor processes in the preparatory phase of motor learning and that a stronger involvement of cognitive processes during high CI training accounts for differential effects of CI on ERP indicators of motor preparation during retention.
    July 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12703   open full text
  • Startle amplitude during unpleasant pictures is greater in veterans with a history of multiple‐suicide attempts and predicts a future suicide attempt.
    Erin A. Hazlett, Nicholas J. Blair, Nicolas Fernandez, Kathryn Mascitelli, M. Mercedes Perez‐Rodriguez, Antonia S. New, Raymond R. Goetz, Marianne Goodman.
    Psychophysiology. July 05, 2016
    Recent studies demonstrate that veterans exhibit higher suicide risk compared with the general U.S. population. A prior suicide attempt is a well‐documented predictor of suicide death. Despite increased attention to clinical risk factors of suicide and efforts to develop psychosocial interventions to reduce suicide risk, the underlying biological factors that confer this risk are not well understood. This study examined affect‐modulated startle (AMS) during a series of intermixed unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant pictures in a sample of 108 demographically‐matched veterans at low (passive ideators: n = 26) and high risk (active ideators: n = 29; single attempters: n = 28; and multiple attempters: n = 25) for suicide based on the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale. An exploratory aim involved a longitudinal component in a subset of the high‐risk sample that went on to participate in a randomized 6‐month clinical trial. We investigated whether baseline AMS predicts a subsequent suicide attempt at 12‐month follow‐up. Compared with the other three groups, multiple attempters showed greater startle potentiation during unpleasant pictures and deficient overall startle habituation from early to later trials. The groups did not differ in startle during neutral or pleasant pictures, or self‐reported picture valence. Greater startle during unpleasant pictures was associated with greater emotion dysregulation as measured by the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale and a future suicide attempt assessed prospectively at 12‐month follow‐up. These findings suggest that startle potentiation during unpleasant pictures in multiple‐suicide attempters is a promising psychophysiological biomarker of suicide risk and underscore the clinical importance of targeting emotion dysregulation in the treatment of patients at‐risk for suicide.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12698   open full text
  • Where is the ball? Behavioral and neural responses elicited by a magic trick.
    Hugo Caffaratti, Joaquin Navajas, Hernan G. Rey, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga.
    Psychophysiology. June 30, 2016
    We present results from two experiments, in which subjects watched continuous videos of a professional magician repeatedly performing a maneuver in which a ball could “magically” appear under a cup. In all cases, subjects were asked to predict whether the ball would appear under the cup or not, while scalp EEG recordings were performed. Both experiments elicited strong and consistent behavioral and neural responses. In the first experiment, we used two blocks of videos with different probabilities of the ball appearing in the cup and found that, first, based on the behavioral responses, the subjects could track this probability change; and second, the different probabilities modulated the neural responses. In the second experiment, we introduced a control condition in which the magician performed the maneuver under the table, out of subjects' view. Comparing the two conditions (i.e., performing the maneuver within or out of the subjects' view), we found that, first, the magic trick dramatically biased the subjects' behavioral responses; and second, the two conditions led to differential neural responses, in spite of the fact that the stimulus triggering the evoked responses (seeing the ball in the cup) was exactly the same. Altogether, our results show how new insights into sensory and cognitive processing can be obtained using adapted magic tricks. Moreover, the approach of analyzing responses to continuous video presentations offers a more ecological setting compared to classic evoked potential paradigms, which are typically based on presenting static images flashed at the center of the screen.
    June 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12691   open full text
  • Conditioning of amitriptyline‐induced REM sleep suppression in healthy participants: A randomized controlled trial.
    Alexander Winkler, Julia Rheker, Bettina K. Doering, Winfried Rief.
    Psychophysiology. June 29, 2016
    Clinical trials in sleep disorders report substantial improvement in symptoms in their placebo groups. Behavioral conditioning is one of the underlying mechanisms of the placebo response. However, we do not know whether, and if so, the extent to which sleep architecture is influenced by behavioral conditioning, similarly to other physiological responses (i.e., those in the immune system). We therefore applied a conditioning paradigm to 39 healthy adults pairing a novel‐tasting drink (conditioned stimulus, CS) with the REM sleep suppressing tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline as unconditioned stimulus during the acquisition phase. Subsequent sole presentation of the CS (together with a placebo pill) in an evocation night led to significantly more REM sleep in the amitriptyline group. Instead of the expected REM sleep suppression in the evocation night, we observed more REM sleep, indicating a rebound that interferes with the conditioned response.
    June 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12695   open full text
  • Incidental emotions influence risk preference and outcome evaluation.
    Ding Zhao, Ruolei Gu, Ping Tang, Qiwei Yang, Yue‐Jia Luo.
    Psychophysiology. June 29, 2016
    Incidental emotions, which are irrelevant to the current decision, play a significant role in the decision‐making process. In this study, to investigate the influence of incidental emotions on behavioral, psychological, and electrophysiological responses in the process of decision making, participants were required to perform a monetary gambling task. During the selection stage, an emotional picture, which was chosen from the Chinese Affective Picture System and fell into one of three categories: negative, neutral, and positive, was presented between two alternatives (small/large amount of bet). The pictures were provided to induce incidental emotions. ERPs and self‐rating emotional experiences to outcome feedback were recorded during the task. Behavioral results showed that positive incidental emotions elicited risk preference, but emotional experiences to outcome feedback were not influenced by incidental emotions. The feedback‐related negativity amplitudes were larger in the positive emotion condition than in the negative and neutral emotion conditions for small outcomes (including wins and losses), whereas there was no difference between the three conditions for large outcomes. In addition, the amplitudes of P3 were reduced overall in the negative emotion condition. We suggest that incidental emotions have modulated both the option assessment stage (manifested in behavioral choices) and the outcome evaluation stage (manifested in ERP amplitudes) of decision making unconsciously (indicated by unchanged subjective emotional experiences). The current findings have expanded our understanding of the role of incidental emotion in decision making.
    June 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12694   open full text
  • Cerebral mechanisms underlying the effects of music during a fatiguing isometric ankle‐dorsiflexion task.
    Marcelo Bigliassi, Costas I. Karageorghis, Alexander V. Nowicky, Guido Orgs, Michael J. Wright.
    Psychophysiology. June 27, 2016
    The brain mechanisms by which music‐related interventions ameliorate fatigue‐related symptoms during the execution of fatiguing motor tasks are hitherto under‐researched. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of music on brain electrical activity and psychophysiological measures during the execution of an isometric fatiguing ankle‐dorsiflexion task performed until the point of volitional exhaustion. Nineteen healthy participants performed two fatigue tests at 40% of maximal voluntary contraction while listening to music or in silence. Electrical activity in the brain was assessed by use of a 64‐channel EEG. The results indicated that music downregulated theta waves in the frontal, central, and parietal regions of the brain during exercise. Music also induced a partial attentional switching from associative thoughts to task‐unrelated factors (dissociative thoughts) during exercise, which led to improvements in task performance. Moreover, participants experienced a more positive affective state while performing the isometric task under the influence of music.
    June 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12693   open full text
  • A functional classification of medial frontal negativity ERPs: Theta oscillations and single subject effects.
    Stefon J.R. Van Noordt, Allan Campopiano, Sidney J. Segalowitz.
    Psychophysiology. June 24, 2016
    Theta oscillations in the EEG have been linked to several ERPs that are elicited during performance‐monitoring tasks, including the error‐related negativity (ERN), no‐go N2, and the feedback‐related negativity (FRN). We used a novel paradigm to isolate independent components (ICs) in single subjects' (n = 27) EEG accounting for a medial frontal negativity (MFN) to response cue stimuli that signal a potential change in future response demands. Medial frontal projecting ICs that were sensitive to these response cues also described the ERNs, no‐go N2s, and, to a lesser extent, the FRNs, that were elicited in letter flanker, go/no‐go, and time‐estimation tasks, respectively. In addition, percentile bootstrap tests using trimmed means indicated that the medial frontal ICs show an increase in theta activity during the ERN, no‐go N2, and FRN across tasks and within individuals. Our results provide an important validation of previous studies by showing that increases in medial frontal theta to cognitively challenging events in multiple paradigms is a reliable effect within individuals and can be elicited by basic stimulus cues that signal the potential need to adjust response control. Thus, medial frontal theta reflects a neural response common to all MFN paradigms and characterizes the general process of controlling attention without the need to induce error commission, inhibited responses, or to present negative feedback.
    June 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12689   open full text
  • Influence of countermeasures on the validity of the Concealed Information Test.
    Judith Peth, Kristina Suchotzki, Matthias Gamer.
    Psychophysiology. June 24, 2016
    The Concealed Information Test (CIT) is a psychophysiological technique that allows for detecting crime‐related knowledge. Usually, autonomic response measures are used for this purpose, but ocular measures have also been proposed recently. Prior studies reported heterogeneous results for the usage of countermeasures (CM) to corrupt the CIT's validity, depending on the CM technique and the dependent measure. The current study systematically compared the application of physical and mental CM on autonomic and ocular measures during the CIT. Sixty participants committed a mock crime and were assigned to one of three guilty conditions: standard guilty (without CM), physical CM, or mental CM. An additional group of 20 innocents was investigated with the same CIT to calculate validity estimates. Electrodermal responses were more vulnerable for CM usage compared to heart rate and respiration, and physical CM were more effective than mental CM. Independent of CM usage, a combined score of autonomic responses enabled a valid differentiation between guilty and innocent examinees. Fixations and blinks also allowed for detecting crime‐related knowledge, but these measures were more affected by CM application than autonomic responses. The current study delivered further evidence that CM differentially impact physiological and ocular responses in the CIT. Whereas individual data channels were strongly affected by CM usage, a combination of different response measures yielded a relatively stable differentiation of guilty and innocent examinees when mental CM were used. These findings are especially relevant for field applications and might inspire future studies to detect or prevent CM usage in CIT examinations.
    June 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12690   open full text
  • Brain correlates of the orientation of auditory spatial attention onto speaker location in a “cocktail‐party” situation.
    Jörg Lewald, Christina Hanenberg, Stephan Getzmann.
    Psychophysiology. June 23, 2016
    Successful speech perception in complex auditory scenes with multiple competing speakers requires spatial segregation of auditory streams into perceptually distinct and coherent auditory objects and focusing of attention toward the speaker of interest. Here, we focused on the neural basis of this remarkable capacity of the human auditory system and investigated the spatiotemporal sequence of neural activity within the cortical network engaged in solving the “cocktail‐party” problem. Twenty‐eight subjects localized a target word in the presence of three competing sound sources. The analysis of the ERPs revealed an anterior contralateral subcomponent of the N2 (N2ac), computed as the difference waveform for targets to the left minus targets to the right. The N2ac peaked at about 500 ms after stimulus onset, and its amplitude was correlated with better localization performance. Cortical source localization for the contrast of left versus right targets at the time of the N2ac revealed a maximum in the region around left superior frontal sulcus and frontal eye field, both of which are known to be involved in processing of auditory spatial information. In addition, a posterior‐contralateral late positive subcomponent (LPCpc) occurred at a latency of about 700 ms. Both these subcomponents are potential correlates of allocation of spatial attention to the target under cocktail‐party conditions.
    June 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12692   open full text
  • When anger dominates the mind: Increased motor corticospinal excitability in the face of threat.
    Ruud Hortensius, Beatrice de Gelder, Dennis J. L. G. Schutter.
    Psychophysiology. June 21, 2016
    Threat demands fast and adaptive reactions that are manifested at the physiological, behavioral, and phenomenological level and are responsive to the direction of threat and its severity for the individual. Here, we investigated the effects of threat directed toward or away from the observer on motor corticospinal excitability and explicit recognition. Sixteen healthy right‐handed volunteers completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) task and a separate three‐alternative forced‐choice emotion recognition task. Single‐pulse TMS to the left primary motor cortex was applied to measure motor evoked potentials from the right abductor pollicis brevis in response to dynamic angry, fearful, and neutral bodily expressions with blurred faces directed toward or away from the observer. Results showed that motor corticospinal excitability increased independent of direction of anger compared with fear and neutral. In contrast, anger was better recognized when directed toward the observer compared with when directed away from the observer, while the opposite pattern was found for fear. The present results provide evidence for the differential effects of threat direction on explicit recognition and motor corticospinal excitability. In the face of threat, motor corticospinal excitability increases independently of the direction of anger, indicative of the importance of more automatic reactions to threat.
    June 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12685   open full text
  • Delayed extinction fails to reduce skin conductance reactivity to fear‐conditioned stimuli.
    Jon Fricchione, Mark S. Greenberg, Justin Spring, Nellie Wood, Christoph Mueller‐Pfeiffer, Mohammed R. Milad, Roger K. Pitman, Scott P. Orr.
    Psychophysiology. June 17, 2016
    A brief 10‐min time delay between an initial and subsequent exposure to extinction trials has been found to impair memory reconsolidation in fear‐conditioned rodents and humans, providing a potential means to reduce fearfulness in anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The present study used videos of biologically prepared, conditioned stimuli (tarantulas) to test the efficacy of delayed extinction in blocking reconsolidation of conditioned fear in healthy young adults. Strong differential conditioning, measured by skin conductance, was observed among a screened subset of participants during acquisition. However, the delayed‐extinction intervention failed to reduce reactivity to the conditioned stimulus paired with the extinction delay. These results are partially consistent with other recent, mixed findings and point to a need for testing other candidate interventions designed to interfere with the reconsolidation process.
    June 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12687   open full text
  • Effects of continuous and intermittent exercise on executive function in children aged 8–10 years.
    Danielle Lambrick, Lee Stoner, Rebecca Grigg, James Faulkner.
    Psychophysiology. June 17, 2016
    Understanding the effects of acute exercise on executive function in prepubescent children may be important for the enhancement of school performance. This study assessed the effect of an acute bout of continuous (CONT) or intermittent (INT), moderate‐intensity treadmill exercise on executive function in young children. Twenty healthy children, mean (SD); age: 8.8 (0.8) years; height: 140 (9) cm; weight: 36 (11) kg; boys: n = 9, performed a graded‐exercise test to determine maximal oxygen uptake, and two 15‐min submaximal bouts of treadmill exercise; protocols were either CONT or INT. During CONT, participants ran at 90% of gas exchange threshold. During INT, participants performed six consecutive 2.5 min blocks of exercise, which were designed to reflect children's typical activity patterns, comprising 45 s at a heavy intensity, 33 s at a moderate intensity, 10 s at a severe intensity, and 62 s at a low intensity. Participants performed the Stroop task before the submaximal exercise bouts and after, at 1‐, 15‐, and 30‐min intervals. Near‐infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measured cerebral perfusion and oxygenation. Regardless of condition, Stroop performance was improved at 1 min after compared to before, 54.9 (9.8) s versus 57.9 (11) s, respectively, p < .01, and improvements were maintained until 30 min after. NIRS (oxyhemoglobin, total hemoglobin) explained a significant amount of variance in the change in Stroop performance for INT only (49%, p < .05). An acute bout of exercise, of either an intermittent or continuous nature, improves executive function in children, and effects are maintained for ≤ 30 min following exercise cessation. Accordingly, it is recommended that children should engage in physical activity during periods of school recess.
    June 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12688   open full text
  • Self‐referential processing in adolescents: Stability of behavioral and ERP markers.
    Randy P. Auerbach, Erin Bondy, Colin H. Stanton, Christian A. Webb, Stewart A. Shankman, Diego A. Pizzagalli.
    Psychophysiology. June 15, 2016
    The self‐referential encoding task (SRET)—an implicit measure of self‐schema—has been used widely to probe cognitive biases associated with depression, including among adolescents. However, research testing the stability of behavioral and electrocortical effects is sparse. Therefore, the current study sought to evaluate the stability of behavioral markers and ERPs elicited from the SRET over time in healthy, female adolescents (n = 31). At baseline, participants were administered a diagnostic interview and a self‐report measure of depression severity. In addition, they completed the SRET while 128‐channel ERP data were recorded to examine early (P1) and late (late positive potential [LPP]) ERPs. Three months later, participants were readministered the depression self‐report measure and the SRET in conjunction with ERPs. Results revealed that healthy adolescents endorsed, recalled, and recognized more positive and fewer negative words at each assessment, and these effects were stable over time (rs = .44–.83). Similarly, they reported a faster reaction time when endorsing self‐relevant positive words, as opposed to negative words, at both the initial and follow‐up assessment (r = .82). Second, ERP responses, specifically potentiated P1 and late LPP positivity to positive versus negative words, were consistent over time (rs = .56–.83), and the internal reliability of ERPs were robust at each time point (rs = .52–.80). As a whole, these medium‐to‐large effects suggest that the SRET is a reliable behavioral and neural probe of self‐referential processing.
    June 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12686   open full text
  • A pragmatic comparison of noise burst and electric shock unconditioned stimuli for fear conditioning research with many trials.
    Matthias F. J. Sperl, Christian Panitz, Christiane Hermann, Erik M. Mueller.
    Psychophysiology. June 11, 2016
    Several methods that are promising for studying the neurophysiology of fear conditioning (e.g., EEG, MEG) require a high number of trials to achieve an adequate signal‐to‐noise ratio. While electric shock and white noise burst are among the most commonly used unconditioned stimuli (US) in conventional fear conditioning studies with few trials, it is unknown whether these stimuli are equally well suited for paradigms with many trials. Here, N = 32 participants underwent a 260‐trial differential fear conditioning and extinction paradigm with a 240‐trial recall test 24 h later and neutral faces as conditioned stimuli. In a between‐subjects design, either white noise bursts (n = 16) or electric shocks (n = 16) served as US, and intensities were determined using the most common procedure for each US (i.e., a fixed 95 dB noise burst and a work‐up procedure for electric shocks, respectively). In addition to differing US types, groups also differed in closely linked US‐associated characteristics (e.g., calibration methods, stimulus intensities, timing). Subjective ratings (arousal/valence), skin conductance, and evoked heart period changes (i.e., fear bradycardia) indicated more reliable, extinction‐resistant, and stable conditioning in the white noise burst versus electric shock group. In fear conditioning experiments where many trials are presented, white noise burst should serve as US.
    June 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12677   open full text
  • Sweat pore reactivity as a surrogate measure of sympathetic nervous system activity in trauma‐exposed individuals with and without posttraumatic stress disorder.
    Babajide O. Familoni, Kristin L. Gregor, Thomas S. Dodson, Alan T. Krzywicki, Bobby N. Lowery, Scott P. Orr, Michael K. Suvak, Ann M. Rasmusson.
    Psychophysiology. June 11, 2016
    Stress analysis by FLIR (forward‐looking infrared) evaluation (SAFE) has been demonstrated to monitor sweat pore activation (SPA) as a novel surrogate measure of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity in a normal population. SNS responses to a series of 15 1‐s, 82 dB, white noise bursts were measured by skin conductance (SC) and SAFE monitoring of SPA on the fingers (FiP) and face (FaP) in 10 participants with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 16 trauma‐exposed participants without PTSD (Mage = 48.92 ± 12.00 years; 26.9% female). Within participants, SC and FiP responses across trials were strongly correlated (r = .92, p < .001). Correlations between SC and FaP (r = .76, p = .001) and between FiP and FaP (r = .47, p = .005) were smaller. The habituation of SNS responses across the 15 trials was substantial (SC: d = −2.97; FiP: d = −2.34; FaP: d = −1.02). There was a strong correlation between habituation effects for SC and FiP (r = .76, p < .001), but not for SC and FaP (r = .15, p = .45) or FiP and FaP (r = .29, p = .16). Participants with PTSD showed larger SNS responses to the first loud noise than those without PTSD. PTSD reexperiencing symptoms assessed by the PTSD Checklist on the day of testing were associated with the SNS responses to the first loud noise measured by SC (d = 1.19) and FiP (d = .99), but not FaP (d = .10). This study confirms convergence of SAFE and SC as valid measures of SNS activity. SAFE FiP and SC responses were highly predictive of self‐rated PTSD reexperiencing symptoms. SAFE may offer an attractive alternative for applications in PTSD and similar populations.
    June 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12681   open full text
  • Cardiovascular regulation pattern of contamination‐related disgust: Consistency and context dependence.
    Hannah Comtesse, Gerhard Stemmler.
    Psychophysiology. June 09, 2016
    The cardiovascular response to contamination‐related disgust was proposed to be under parasympathetic or parasympathetic‐sympathetic cardiac control. However, findings of physiological disgust responses are inconsistent, possibly due to effects of the emotion induction context and single cardiovascular changes being part of larger cardiovascular regulation patterns. Therefore, we induced an emotionally neutral state and core and contamination disgust in female participants in two induction contexts (auditory script, film clip). Dependent variables were emotion self‐reports and 10 cardiovascular factors derived from 23 cardiovascular variables. We found elevated disgust ratings in both induction contexts. On the cardiovascular level, we observed consistent increases in a factor indicating vagal cardiac control in both contexts and changes in factors indicating sympathetic activation that were bound to the respective context. These findings support the notion of a parasympathetic dominance of the contamination‐related disgust response and underpin the importance of incorporating the induction context in the study of cardiovascular responses to disgust.
    June 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12684   open full text
  • Comparing the validity of informant and self‐reports of personality using laboratory indices of emotional responding as criterion variables.
    Lynne Lieberman, Huiting Liu, Ashley A. Huggins, Andrea C. Katz, Michael J. Zvolensky, Stewart A. Shankman.
    Psychophysiology. June 08, 2016
    Personality traits relate to risk for psychopathology and can inform predictions about treatment outcome. In an effort to obtain a comprehensive index of personality, informant reports of personality are sometimes obtained in addition to self‐reports of personality. However, there is limited research comparing the validity of self‐ and informant reports of personality, particularly among those with internalizing psychopathology. This is important given that informants may provide an additional (and perhaps different) perspective on individuals’ personality. The present study therefore compared how both reports of positive affectivity (PA) and negative affectivity (NA) relate to psychophysiological and subjective measures of emotional responding to positive and negative stimuli. Given that our sample (n = 117) included individuals with no history of psychopathology, as well as individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) and/or panic disorder (PD), we were also able to explore whether these internalizing diagnoses moderated the association between personality reports and measures of emotional responding. Informant‐reported PA predicted physiological responses to positive stimuli (but not negative). Informant‐reported NA predicted physiological responses to negative stimuli (but not positive). Self‐reported personality did not predict physiological responding, but did predict subjectively measured emotional responding (NA for negative responding, PA for positive responding). Diagnoses of internalizing psychopathology (PD or MDD) did not moderate these associations. Results suggest self‐ and informant reports of personality may each provide valid indices of an individual's emotional response tendencies, but predict different aspects of those tendencies.
    June 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12680   open full text
  • Mindfulness‐of‐breathing exercise modulates EEG alpha activity during cognitive performance.
    Hanaan Bing‐Canar, Jacquelyne Pizzuto, Rebecca J. Compton.
    Psychophysiology. June 01, 2016
    The present study investigated whether engaging in a mindful breathing exercise would affect EEG oscillatory activity associated with self‐monitoring processes, based on the notion that mindfulness enhances attentional awareness. Participants were assigned to either an audio exercise in mindful breathing or an audio control condition, and then completed a Stroop task while EEG was recorded. The primary EEG measure of interest was error‐related alpha suppression (ERAS), an index of self‐monitoring in which alpha power is reduced, suggesting mental engagement, following errors compared to correct responses. Participants in the mindful‐breathing condition showed increased alpha power during the listening exercise and enhanced ERAS during the subsequent Stroop task. These results indicate enhanced error‐monitoring among those in the mindful‐breathing group.
    June 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12678   open full text
  • Prepulse inhibition deficits in women with PTSD.
    Suzanne L. Pineles, Terry D. Blumenthal, Andrew J. Curreri, Yael I. Nillni, Katherine M. Putnam, Patricia A. Resick, Ann M. Rasmusson, Scott P. Orr.
    Psychophysiology. May 30, 2016
    Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is an automatic and preattentive process, whereby a weak stimulus attenuates responding to a sudden and intense startle stimulus. PPI is a measure of sensorimotor filtering, which is conceptualized as a mechanism that facilitates processing of an initial stimulus and is protective from interruption by a later response. Impaired PPI has been found in (a) healthy women during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, and (b) individuals with types of psychopathology characterized by difficulty suppressing and filtering sensory, motor, or cognitive information. In the current study, 47 trauma‐exposed women with or without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) completed a PPI session during two different phases of the menstrual cycle: the early follicular phase, when estradiol and progesterone are both low, and the midluteal phase, when estradiol and progesterone are both high. Startle stimuli were 100 dB white noise bursts presented for 50 ms, and prepulses were 70 dB white noise bursts presented for 20 ms that preceded the startle stimuli by 120 ms. Women with PTSD showed deficits in PPI relative to the healthy trauma‐exposed participants. Menstrual phase had no effect on PPI. These results provide empirical support for individuals with PTSD having difficulty with sensorimotor filtering. The potential utility of PPI as a Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) phenotype is discussed.
    May 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12679   open full text
  • Reward‐related neural dysfunction across depression and impulsivity: A dimensional approach.
    Belel Ait Oumeziane, Dan Foti.
    Psychophysiology. May 19, 2016
    Recent theoretical models underline reward sensitivity as a potential endophenotype for major depressive disorder. Neural and behavioral evidence reveals depression is associated with reduced reward sensitivity. However, reward dysfunction is not unique to depression, as it is also common across disorders of poor impulse control. We examined the interrelationships of depression (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale [DASS‐21]) and impulsivity (UPPS‐P Impulsive Behavior Scale) with reward sensitivity among a large, representative sample (N = 260). ERPs were recorded to isolate two neural indicators of consummatory reward processing: initial evaluation of rewards in the 250–350 ms time window postonset of feedback (reward positivity [RewP]), and salience to monetary outcomes (P3). Significant interactions were observed between depression and impulsivity facets across these two stages of reward processing: depression and positive urgency predicted RewP amplitude to reward outcomes (win vs. loss); depression and one other impulsivity trait, (lack of) premeditation, predicted P3 amplitude to monetary outcomes. Conversely, high symptoms of depression were related to three biobehavioral profiles: (1) blunted RewP in conjunction with high positive urgency, (2) combination of blunted RewP and low (lack of) premeditation, and (3) blunted P3 to monetary wins/losses, in conjunction with low (lack of) premeditation. Findings illustrate that reward‐related dysfunctions may be optimally conceptualized when examining the interactions between dimensions of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology.
    May 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12672   open full text
  • Contextualizing individual differences in error monitoring: Links with impulsivity, negative affect, and conscientiousness.
    Kaylin E. Hill, Douglas B. Samuel, Dan Foti.
    Psychophysiology. May 19, 2016
    The error‐related negativity (ERN) is a neural measure of error processing that has been implicated as a neurobehavioral trait and has transdiagnostic links with psychopathology. Few studies, however, have contextualized this traitlike component with regard to dimensions of personality that, as intermediate constructs, may aid in contextualizing links with psychopathology. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to examine the interrelationships between error monitoring and dimensions of personality within a large adult sample (N = 208). Building on previous research, we found that the ERN relates to a combination of negative affect, impulsivity, and conscientiousness. At low levels of conscientiousness, negative urgency (i.e., impulsivity in the context of negative affect) predicted an increased ERN; at high levels of conscientiousness, the effect of negative urgency was not significant. This relationship was driven specifically by the conscientiousness facets of competence, order, and deliberation. Links between personality measures and error positivity amplitude were weaker and nonsignificant. Post‐error slowing was also related to conscientiousness, as well as a different facet of impulsivity: lack of perseverance. These findings suggest that, in the general population, error processing is modulated by the joint combination of negative affect, impulsivity, and conscientiousness (i.e., the profile across traits), perhaps more so than any one dimension alone. This work may inform future research concerning aberrant error processing in clinical populations.
    May 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12671   open full text
  • The pupil's response to affective pictures: Role of image duration, habituation, and viewing mode.
    Robert J. Snowden, Katherine R. O'Farrell, Daniel Burley, Jonathan T. Erichsen, Naomi V. Newton, Nicola S. Gray.
    Psychophysiology. May 13, 2016
    The pupil has been shown to be sensitive to the emotional content of stimuli. We examined this phenomenon by comparing fearful and neutral images carefully matched in the domains of luminance, image contrast, image color, and complexity of content. The pupil was more dilated after viewing affective pictures, and this effect was (a) shown to be independent of the presentation time of the images (from 100–3,000 ms), (b) not diminished by repeated presentations of the images, and (c) not affected by actively naming the emotion of the stimuli in comparison to passive viewing. Our results show that the emotional modulation of the pupil is present over a range of variables that typically vary from study to study (image duration, number of trials, free viewing vs. task), and encourages the use of pupillometry as a measure of emotional processing in populations where alternative techniques may not be appropriate.
    May 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12668   open full text
  • Alone against the group: A unanimously disagreeing group leads to conformity, but cardiovascular threat depends on one's goals.
    Mark D. Seery, Shira Gabriel, Shannon P. Lupien, Mitsuru Shimizu.
    Psychophysiology. May 13, 2016
    A long history of research in psychology has studied the consequences of when individuals face a group that unanimously disagrees with them. However, relatively little research has attempted to understand individuals’ internal reactions to such disagreement while it is experienced. Psychophysiological measures are particularly well suited for this purpose. We used the perspective of the biopsychosocial model of challenge/threat to test whether and under what circumstances expressing one's political opinion to a disagreeing group led to a cardiovascular threat response (high total peripheral resistance, low cardiac output). We hypothesized that, when participants were provided with a goal to fit in with the group, a disagreeing group would elicit cardiovascular responses consistent with greater threat than an agreeing group, but that this effect would disappear if not reverse when participants were provided with a goal to express their individuality. Results supported hypotheses and further revealed a divergence between cardiovascular responses and conformity behavior, such that a disagreeing group fostered conformity regardless of goal condition. These findings suggest that (a) facing the prospect of a disagreeing group need not necessarily result in the negative experience of threat (reflecting evaluating low resources/high demands), and (b) conformity behavior can mask a range of internal states.
    May 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12674   open full text
  • Psychometric properties of startle and corrugator response in NPU, affective picture viewing, and resting state tasks.
    Jesse T. Kaye, Daniel E. Bradford, John J. Curtin.
    Psychophysiology. May 11, 2016
    The current study provides a comprehensive evaluation of critical psychometric properties of commonly used psychophysiology laboratory tasks/measures within the NIMH RDoC. Participants (N = 128) completed the no‐shock, predictable shock, unpredictable shock (NPU) task, affective picture viewing task, and resting state task at two study visits separated by 1 week. We examined potentiation/modulation scores in NPU (predictable or unpredictable shock vs. no‐shock) and affective picture viewing tasks (pleasant or unpleasant vs. neutral pictures) for startle and corrugator responses with two commonly used quantification methods. We quantified startle potentiation/modulation scores with raw and standardized responses. We quantified corrugator potentiation/modulation in the time and frequency domains. We quantified general startle reactivity in the resting state task as the mean raw startle response during the task. For these three tasks, two measures, and two quantification methods, we evaluated effect size robustness and stability, internal consistency (i.e., split‐half reliability), and 1‐week temporal stability. The psychometric properties of startle potentiation in the NPU task were good, but concerns were noted for corrugator potentiation in this task. Some concerns also were noted for the psychometric properties of both startle and corrugator modulation in the affective picture viewing task, in particular, for pleasant picture modulation. Psychometric properties of general startle reactivity in the resting state task were good. Some salient differences in the psychometric properties of the NPU and affective picture viewing tasks were observed within and across quantification methods.
    May 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12663   open full text
  • Double dissociation of configural and featural face processing on P1 and P2 components as a function of spatial attention.
    Hailing Wang, Shichun Guo, Shimin Fu.
    Psychophysiology. May 11, 2016
    Face recognition relies on both configural and featural processing. Previous research has shown that P1 is sensitive to configural face processing, but it is unclear whether any component is sensitive to featural face processing; moreover, if there is such a component, its temporal sequence relative to P1 is unknown. Thus, to avoid confounding physical stimuli differences between configural and featural face processing on ERP components, a spatial attention paradigm was employed by instructing participants to attend an image stream (faces and houses) or an alphanumeric character stream. The interaction between attention and face processing type on P1 and P2 components indicates different mechanisms of configural and featural face processing as a function of spatial attention. The steady‐state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) results clearly demonstrated that participants could selectively attend to different streams of information. Importantly, configural face processing elicited a larger posterior P1 (approximately 128 ms) than featural face processing, whereas P2 (approximately 248 ms) was greater for featural than for configural face processing under attended condition. The interaction between attention and face processing type (configural vs. featural) on P1 and P2 components indicates that there are different mechanisms of configural and featural face processing operating as functions of spatial attention. While the P1 result confirms previous findings separating configural and featural face processing, the newly observed P2 finding in the present study extends this separation to a double dissociation. Therefore, configural and featural face processing are modulated differently by spatial attention, and configural face processing precedes featural face processing.
    May 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12669   open full text
  • The interplay of subjective social status and essentialist beliefs about cognitive aging on cortisol reactivity to challenge in older adults.
    David Weiss, Mona Weiss.
    Psychophysiology. May 09, 2016
    Older adults are more likely than younger adults to experience stress when confronted with cognitive challenges. However, little is known about individual differences that might explain why some older adults exhibit stronger stress responses than others. We examined the interplay of two social‐cognitive factors to explain older adults' cortisol reactivity: (1) subjective social status, and (2) essentialist beliefs about cognitive aging. We hypothesized that, depending on whether older adults believe that aging‐related cognitive decline is inevitable versus modifiable, low subjective social status should lead to stronger or weaker cortisol reactivity. Using longitudinal data, we assessed the impact of cognitive challenges on stress reactivity in a sample of older adults (N = 389; 61–86 years). As predicted, regression analyses confirmed that 44 min after cognitively challenging tasks, older adults exhibited a significantly different cortisol reactivity depending on their subjective social status and their essentialist beliefs about cognitive aging. Specifically, older adults with low subjective social status and high essentialist beliefs showed a significantly elevated cortisol reactivity. We discuss the role of essentialist beliefs about cognitive aging to predict when and why high versus low subjective social status leads to stress responses in older adults.
    May 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12667   open full text
  • Effects of interstimulus intervals on behavioral, heart rate, and event‐related potential indices of infant engagement and sustained attention.
    Wanze Xie, John E. Richards.
    Psychophysiology. May 09, 2016
    Maximizing infant attention to stimulus presentation during an EEG or ERP experiment is important for making valid inferences about the neural correlates of infant cognition. The present study examined the effects of stimulus presentation interstimulus interval (ISI) on behavioral and physiological indices of infant attention including infants' fixation to visual presentation, the amount of heart rate (HR) change during sustained attention, and ERP components. This study compared an ISI that is typically used in infant EEG/ERP studies (e.g., 1,500–2,000 ms) with two shorter durations (400–600 ms and 600–1,000 ms). Thirty‐six infants were tested cross‐sectionally at 3, 4.5, and 6 months. It was found that using the short (400–600 ms) and medium (600–1,000 ms) ISIs resulted in more visually fixated trials and reduced frequency of fixation disengagement per experimental block. We also found larger HR changes during sustained attention to both of the shorter ISIs compared with the long ISI, and larger ERP responses when using the medium ISI compared to using the short and long ISIs. These data suggest that utilizing an optimal ISI (e.g., 600–1,000 ms), which increases the presentation complexity and provides sufficient time for information processing, can promote infant engagement and sustained attention during stimulus presentation.
    May 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12670   open full text
  • Quantifying learning‐dependent changes in the brain: Single‐trial multivoxel pattern analysis requires slow event‐related fMRI.
    Renée M. Visser, Michelle I. C. de Haan, Tinka Beemsterboer, Pia Haver, Merel Kindt, H. Steven Scholte.
    Psychophysiology. May 06, 2016
    Single‐trial analysis is particularly useful for assessing cognitive processes that are intrinsically dynamic, such as learning. Studying these processes with fMRI is problematic, as the low signal‐to‐noise ratio of fMRI requires the averaging over multiple trials, obscuring trial‐by‐trial changes in neural activation. The superior sensitivity of multivoxel pattern analysis over univariate analyses has opened up new possibilities for single‐trial analysis, but this may require different fMRI designs. Here, we measured fMRI and pupil dilation responses during discriminant aversive conditioning, to assess associative learning in a trial‐by‐trial manner. The impact of design choices was examined by varying trial spacing and trial order in a series of five experiments (total n = 66), while keeping stimulus duration constant (4.5 s). Our outcome measure was the change in similarity between neural response patterns related to two consecutive presentations of the same stimulus (within‐stimulus) and between patterns related to pairs of different stimuli (between‐stimulus) that shared a specific outcome (electric stimulation vs. no consequence). This trial‐by‐trial similarity analysis revealed clear single‐trial learning curves in conditions with intermediate (8.1–12.6 s) and long (16.5–18.4 s) intervals, with effects being strongest in designs with long intervals and counterbalanced stimulus presentation. No learning curves were observed in designs with shorter intervals (1.6–6.1 s), indicating that rapid event‐related designs—at present, the most common designs in fMRI research—are not suited for single‐trial pattern analysis. These findings emphasize the importance of deciding on the type of analysis prior to data collection.
    May 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12665   open full text
  • Prestimulus alpha power influences response criterion in a detection task.
    Katharina Limbach, Paul M. Corballis.
    Psychophysiology. May 04, 2016
    Recent studies have linked variability in near‐threshold stimulus detection to fluctuations in the prestimulus EEG alpha power (α, ∼8–12 Hz). Typically, these studies rely on hit rate as a measure of detection performance and show that detection is enhanced when α power is low compared to when it is high. However, hit rates are determined by both sensitivity to the stimulus and the placement of the response criterion. Here, we investigated the relationships between prestimulus α power and variability in these two measures on a single‐trial basis. We confirm earlier reports that detection is inversely related to power in the individual α‐frequency band. However, our results show a stronger relationship between α power and response criterion than with sensitivity. Higher α power was related to a more conservative response criterion (i.e., more “no” responses). A response criterion that varies depending on α power might help to optimize performance in an excited state and protect against false positives in a relatively disengaged state.
    May 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12666   open full text
  • When rumination counts: Perceived social support and heart rate variability in daily life.
    Ann Kathrin S. Gerteis, Andreas R. Schwerdtfeger.
    Psychophysiology. May 03, 2016
    Rumination and social support could modulate cardiac activity. Although both variables are somehow interrelated, they are often studied independently, and their interplay is seldom considered. We aimed to analyze the interaction of rumination and perceived social support on vagally mediated heart rate variability (HRV) in daily life. The sample consisted of 117 healthy participants (57% female, mean age = 27.9, SD = 5.5 years). Ambulatory HRV (root mean squared successive differences), respiration, body position, and body movements were recorded continuously on three consecutive weekdays. Momentary social, situational, and cognitive‐affective variables (affect, ruminative thoughts, perceived social support) were assessed using a computerized diary. There was a significant interaction between momentary rumination and perceived social support on ambulatory HRV: When participants were involved in social interactions with low social support, concurrent rumination was associated with attenuated HRV. However, when rumination was accompanied by a strong sense of support, HRV significantly increased. The quality of social interactions and rumination seem to interact in daily life to predict cardiac autonomic control. The results stress the necessity to consider the interplay of psychological and social factors in order to evaluate beneficial or adverse effects on cardiac health.
    May 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12652   open full text
  • Sex differences in concordance rates between auditory event‐related potentials and subjective sexual arousal.
    Taylor L. Oliver, Marta Meana, Joel S. Snyder.
    Psychophysiology. April 29, 2016
    Much research indicates men show a greater concordance between subjective and genital sexual arousal than do women. We investigated the relationship between subjective sexual arousal and brain activation in men and women. Subjective sexual arousal and auditory N1 and P3b ERP amplitudes were measured while 38 participants viewed erotic and non‐erotic films. Most notably, there was a significant correlation between N1 amplitude and sexual arousal in men; for women, there was a significant correlation between the P3b amplitude and sexual arousal. ERP amplitudes were inversely associated with reported arousal, suggesting that sexual arousal interferes with early tone processing for men, and with later tone processing for women. Lastly, for women, pornography/erotica consumption was negatively correlated with P3b amplitudes, suggesting that women who consume more pornography/erotica may also show greater attention to erotic films.
    April 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12661   open full text
  • What's the meaning of this? A behavioral and neurophysiological investigation into the principles behind the classification of visual emotional stimuli.
    Kristína Czekóová, Daniel J. Shaw, Tomáš Urbánek, Jan Chládek, Martin Lamoš, Robert Roman, Milan Brázdil.
    Psychophysiology. April 21, 2016
    Two experiments were performed to investigate the principles by which emotional stimuli are classified on the dimensions of valence and arousal. In Experiment 1, a large sample of healthy participants rated emotional stimuli according to both broad dimensions. Hierarchical cluster analyses performed on these ratings revealed that stimuli were clustered according to their semantic content at the beginning of the agglomerative process. Example semantic themes include food, violence, nudes, death, and objects. Importantly, this pattern occurred in a parallel fashion for ratings on both dimensions. In Experiment 2, we investigated if the same semantic clusters were differentiated at the neurophysiological level. Intracerebral EEG was recorded from 18 patients with intractable epilepsy who viewed the same set of stimuli. Not only did electrocortical responses differentiate between these data‐defined semantic clusters, they converged with the behavioral measurements to highlight the importance of categories associated with survival and reproduction. These findings provide strong evidence that the semantic content of affective material influences their classification along the broad dimensions of valence and arousal, and this principle of categorization exerts an effect on the evoked emotional response. Future studies should consider data‐driven techniques rather than normative ratings to identify more specific, semantically related emotional images.
    April 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12662   open full text
  • Frontal asymmetry and alcohol cue reactivity: Influence of core personality systems.
    Nicole Mechin, Philip A. Gable, Joshua A. Hicks.
    Psychophysiology. April 20, 2016
    Greater left frontal activation appears to be a measure of appetitive reactivity for desired stimuli, such as alcohol cues. However, inconsistencies in past research examining frontal asymmetry to appetitive stimuli suggest that individual differences strongly influence frontal asymmetry to appetitive stimuli. Because core personality systems of approach, avoidance, and supervisory control play a fundamental role in directing alcohol behavior, the current study sought to determine which core system would influence asymmetric frontal activation to alcohol cues. Results revealed that greater trait impulsivity (reduced functioning of the supervisory control system) is related to greater relative left frontal activation in response to alcohol cues. Approach motivation and avoidance motivation were unrelated to greater relative left frontal activation in response to alcohol cues. These results suggest that decreased activation of the supervisory control system (increased trait impulsivity) is responsible for appetitive reactivity to alcohol cues.
    April 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12659   open full text
  • The accessory stimulus effect is mediated by phasic arousal: A pupillometry study.
    Klodiana‐Daphne Tona, Peter. R. Murphy, Stephen B.R.E. Brown, Sander Nieuwenhuis.
    Psychophysiology. April 20, 2016
    People usually respond faster to a visual stimulus when it is immediately preceded by a task‐irrelevant, auditory accessory stimulus (AS). This AS effect occurs even in choice reaction time tasks, despite the fact that the AS carries no information about the correct response. Researchers often assume that the AS effect is mediated by a phasic arousal burst evoked by the AS, but direct evidence for that assumption is lacking. We conducted a pupillometry study to directly test the phasic arousal hypothesis. Participants carried out a demanding choice reaction time task with accessory stimuli occurring on 25% of the trials. Pupil diameter, a common index of arousal, was measured throughout the task. Standard analyses of task performance and pupil diameter showed that participants exhibited the typical AS effect, and that accessory stimuli evoked a reliable early pupil dilation on top of the more protracted dilation associated with the imperative stimulus. Moreover, regression analyses at the single‐trial level showed that variation in reaction times on AS trials was selectively associated with pupil dilation during the early time window within which the AS had an effect, such that particularly large AS‐evoked dilations were associated with especially fast responses. These results provide the first evidence that the AS effect is mediated by AS‐evoked phasic arousal.
    April 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12653   open full text
  • Emotion regulation during threat: Parsing the time course and consequences of safety signal processing.
    Kathryn R. Hefner, Edelyn Verona, John. J. Curtin.
    Psychophysiology. April 18, 2016
    Improved understanding of fear inhibition processes can inform the etiology and treatment of anxiety disorders. Safety signals can reduce fear to threat, but precise mechanisms remain unclear. Safety signals may acquire attentional salience and affective properties (e.g., relief) independent of the threat; alternatively, safety signals may only hold affective value in the presence of simultaneous threat. To clarify such mechanisms, an experimental paradigm assessed independent processing of threat and safety cues. Participants viewed a series of red and green words from two semantic categories. Shocks were administered following red words (cue+). No shocks followed green words (cue‐). Words from one category were defined as safety signals (SS); no shocks were administered on cue+ trials. Words from the other (control) category did not provide information regarding shock administration. Threat (cue+ vs. cue‐) and safety (SS+ vs. SS‐) were fully crossed. Startle response and ERPs were recorded. Startle response was increased during cue+ versus cue‐. Safety signals reduced startle response during cue+, but had no effect on startle response during cue‐. ERP analyses (PD130 and P3) suggested that participants parsed threat and safety signal information in parallel. Motivated attention was not associated with safety signals in the absence of threat. Overall, these results confirm that fear can be reduced by safety signals. Furthermore, safety signals do not appear to hold inherent hedonic salience independent of their effect during threat. Instead, safety signals appear to enable participants to engage in effective top‐down emotion regulatory processes.
    April 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12660   open full text
  • Goal relevance influences performance monitoring at the level of the FRN and P3 components.
    Wioleta Walentowska, Agnes Moors, Katharina Paul, Gilles Pourtois.
    Psychophysiology. April 18, 2016
    The feedback‐related negativity (FRN) provides a reliable ERP marker of performance monitoring (PM). It is usually larger for negative compared to positive feedback, and for unexpected relative to expected feedback. In two experiments, we assessed whether these effects could be modulated by goal relevance, defined as feedback informativeness (reliability) and/or impact on a person's goals. EEG (64‐channel) was recorded while 30 participants (in each experiment) performed a speeded go/no‐go task across blocks in which the feedback on task performance was deemed either relevant or not. At the ERP level, the FRN component was larger for (frequent) negative compared to (deviant) positive feedback exclusively when the feedback was relevant (Experiment 1). When the probability of positive and negative feedback was balanced (Experiment 2), this valence‐driven FRN effect was absent. However, across these two experiments, the FRN was always larger for irrelevant than relevant feedback. Moreover, the subsequent P300 component was larger for feedback in the relevant than the irrelevant blocks. This effect was valence unspecific in Experiment 1, while in Experiment 2 larger P3 amplitudes were recorded for negative than positive (relevant) feedback. Across the two experiments, a larger correct‐related negativity in the irrelevant than relevant context was also observed, suggesting that PM is flexible. These ERP findings indicate that goal relevance influences feedback (and response) processing during PM, with two nonoverlapping neurophysiological effects: It gates reward prediction error brain mechanisms (FRN effect), before enhancing subsequent motivational processes (P300 effect).
    April 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12651   open full text
  • 40‐Hz oscillations underlying perceptual binding in young and older adults.
    Bernhard Ross, Takako Fujioka.
    Psychophysiology. April 15, 2016
    Auditory object perception requires binding of elementary features of complex stimuli. Synchronization of high‐frequency oscillation in neural networks has been proposed as an effective alternative to binding via hard‐wired connections because binding in an oscillatory network can be dynamically adjusted to the ever‐changing sensory environment. Previously, we demonstrated in young adults that gamma oscillations are critical for sensory integration and found that they were affected by concurrent noise. Here, we aimed to support the hypothesis that stimulus evoked auditory 40‐Hz responses are a component of thalamocortical gamma oscillations and examined whether this oscillatory system may become less effective in aging. In young and older adults, we recorded neuromagnetic 40‐Hz oscillations, elicited by monaural amplitude‐modulated sound. Comparing responses in quiet and under contralateral masking with multitalker babble noise revealed two functionally distinct components of auditory 40‐Hz responses. The first component followed changes in the auditory input with high fidelity and was of similar amplitude in young and older adults. The second, significantly smaller in older adults, showed a 200‐ms interval of amplitude and phase rebound and was strongly attenuated by contralateral noise. The amplitude of the second component was correlated with behavioral speech‐in‐noise performance. Concurrent noise also reduced the P2 wave of auditory evoked responses at 200‐ms latency, but not the earlier N1 wave. P2 modulation was reduced in older adults. The results support the model of sensory binding through thalamocortical gamma oscillations. Limitation of neural resources for this process in older adults may contribute to their speech‐in‐noise understanding deficits.
    April 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12654   open full text
  • Theta EEG neurofeedback benefits early consolidation of motor sequence learning.
    Roman Rozengurt, Anat Barnea, Sunao Uchida, Daniel A. Levy.
    Psychophysiology. April 15, 2016
    Procedural learning is subject to consolidation processes believed to depend on the modulation of functional connections involved in representing the acquired skill. While sleep provides the most commonly studied framework for such consolidation processes, posttraining modulation of oscillatory brain activity may also impact on plasticity processes. Under the hypothesis that consolidation of motor learning is associated with theta band activity, we used EEG neurofeedback (NFB) to enable participants to selectively increase either theta or beta power in their EEG spectra following the acquisition phase of motor sequence learning. We tested performance on a motor task before and after training, right after the NFB session to assess immediate NFB effects, 1 day after NFB to assess interaction between NFB effects and overnight sleep‐dependent stabilization, and 1 week after the initial session, to assess the effects of NFB on long‐term stabilization of motor training. We also explored the extent of the influence of single‐electrode NFB on EEG recorded across the scalp. Results revealed a significantly greater improvement in performance immediately after NFB in the theta group than in the beta group. This effect continued for testing up to 1 week following training. Across participants, post‐NFB improvement correlated positively with theta/beta ratio change achieved during NFB. Additionally, NFB was found to cause widespread band‐power modulation beyond the electrode used for feedback. Thus, upregulating postlearning theta power may yield contributions to the immediate performance and subsequent consolidation of an acquired motor skill.
    April 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12656   open full text
  • Blood pressure and the perception of illusive pain.
    Raymonde Scheuren, Stefan Duschek, André Schulz, Stefan Sütterlin, Fernand Anton.
    Psychophysiology. April 15, 2016
    Numerous studies have documented an inverse relationship between blood pressure and sensitivity to experimental nociceptive stimulation. The present study aimed to investigate possible associations between blood pressure and the occurrence and intensity of paradoxical pain induced by the thermal grill paradigm. Thirty‐one healthy subjects were stimulated three times for 1 min with the nonnoxious temperatures of 15°C and 41°C set at the interlaced cold and warm bars of a water bath‐driven thermal grill. Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded concomitantly. On account of previous observations of an association between the sensitivity of the cardiac baroreflex and pain perception, this parameter was additionally obtained. Numerical rating scales were used to quantify subjective pain intensity and pain unpleasantness; subjects were classified as responders and nonresponders to thermal grill stimulation based on pain intensity ratings. Responders exhibited lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure than nonresponders, and inverse linear associations arose between blood pressure and pain intensity and unpleasantness. Baroreflex sensitivity was unrelated to pain ratings. The findings confirmed the hypothesis of a blood pressure dependence of paradoxical pain and support the notion that the cardiovascular and pain regulatory systems interact not only in the processing of pain elicited by noxious input, but also in nonnoxiously generated illusive pain. While this finding is not consistent with the assumption of an involvement of the baroreflex system in mediating the observed interaction, psychological traits and neurochemical factors are alternatively considered.
    April 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12658   open full text
  • Preejection period can be calculated using R peak instead of Q.
    Mark D. Seery, Cheryl L. Kondrak, Lindsey Streamer, Thomas Saltsman, Veronica M. Lamarche.
    Psychophysiology. April 15, 2016
    Preejection period (PEP) is a common measure of sympathetic nervous system activation in psychophysiological research, which makes it important to measure reliably for as many participants as possible. PEP is typically calculated as the interval between the onset or peak of the electrocardiogram Q wave and the impedance cardiography B point, but the Q wave can lack clear definition and even its peak is not visible for all participants. We thus investigated the feasibility of using the electrocardiogram R wave peak (Rpeak) instead of Q because it can be consistently identified with ease and precision. Across four samples (total N = 408), young adult participants completed a variety of minimally metabolically demanding laboratory tasks after a resting baseline. Results consistently supported a close relationship between absolute levels of the Rpeak‐B interval and PEP (accounting for approximately 90% of the variance at baseline and 89% during task performance, on average), but for reactivity values, Rpeak‐B was practically indistinguishable from PEP (accounting for over 98% of the variance, on average). Given that using Rpeak rather than the onset or peak of Q saves time, eliminates potential subjectivity, and can be applied to more participants (i.e., those without a visible Q wave), findings suggest that Rpeak‐B likely provides an adequate estimate of PEP when absolute levels are of interest and clearly does so for within‐person changes.
    April 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12657   open full text
  • Dynamic RSA: Examining parasympathetic regulatory dynamics via vector‐autoregressive modeling of time‐varying RSA and heart period.
    Aaron J. Fisher, Jonathan W. Reeves, Cyrus Chi.
    Psychophysiology. April 04, 2016
    Expanding on recently published methods, the current study presents an approach to estimating the dynamic, regulatory effect of the parasympathetic nervous system on heart period on a moment‐to‐moment basis. We estimated second‐to‐second variation in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in order to estimate the contemporaneous and time‐lagged relationships among RSA, interbeat interval (IBI), and respiration rate via vector autoregression. Moreover, we modeled these relationships at lags of 1 s to 10 s, in order to evaluate the optimal latency for estimating dynamic RSA effects. The IBI (t) on RSA (t‐n) regression parameter was extracted from individual models as an operationalization of the regulatory effect of RSA on IBI—referred to as dynamic RSA (dRSA). Dynamic RSA positively correlated with standard averages of heart rate and negatively correlated with standard averages of RSA. We propose that dRSA reflects the active downregulation of heart period by the parasympathetic nervous system and thus represents a novel metric that provides incremental validity in the measurement of autonomic cardiac control—specifically, a method by which parasympathetic regulatory effects can be measured in process.
    April 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12644   open full text
  • External validity of Concealed Information Test experiment: Comparison of respiration, skin conductance, and heart rate between experimental and field card tests.
    Wataru Zaitsu.
    Psychophysiology. March 31, 2016
    The Concealed Information Test (CIT) is a memory detection method based on an examinee's physiological responses to crime‐relevant items (critical items) in comparison with crime‐irrelevant items (noncritical items). I examined the external validity of CIT laboratory experiments by comparing respiratory speed (RS), skin conductance response (SCR), and heart rate (HR) between a laboratory experiment (n = 30) and a field test (n = 30) in a card test. A linear mixed models analysis showed that the critical items in both CIT contexts elicited CIT effects: RS repression, SCR increase, and HR deceleration. Additionally, the critical items in the field elicited a larger RS suppression than those in the laboratory; however, SCR and HR on the critical items showed no statistical differences between the laboratory and field CITs. Moreover, the tonic HRs in the field tests were higher than in the CIT experiments, but there were no significant correlations between the tonic HR and each CIT effect in RS, SCR, and HR. These results suggested that CIT detection efficiency was not affected by arousal levels and may imply that the CIT effects observed with RS, SCR, and HR in the CIT laboratory experiments has adequate external validity and can be generalized to the CIT field.
    March 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12650   open full text
  • Lapses in skin conductance responding across anatomical sites: Comparison of fingers, feet, forehead, and wrist.
    Andrew F. H. Payne, Anne M. Schell, Michael E. Dawson.
    Psychophysiology. March 26, 2016
    The fingers are widely accepted as the gold standard for skin conductance (SC) recording, with the feet as a strong alternative. However, there are gaps in the current literature comparing these sites. There is also a great deal of interest in alternative recording sites to permit mobility, but data evaluating these are few and inconsistent. The present report compared multiple sites (fingers, abductor hallucis of the foot, arch of the foot, toes, forehead, and wrist) from 45 college student participants in a short‐term sedentary laboratory setting and found large variation in both tonic and phasic SC responses, as well as crucial lapses in responding at nonpalmar sites. Across‐site correlations between participants and within participants were also examined. The present data show that, in the laboratory setting employing commonly used recording techniques and stimuli, the nonpalmar sites are generally less responsive than the fingers, and the wrist in particular is the lowest in responding, whereas the toes are most similar to the fingers in responding. Within‐participant correlations between the fingers and other sites were greatest for the plantar sites and least for the forehead.
    March 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12643   open full text
  • Diminished heart rate reactivity to acute psychological stress is associated with enhanced carotid intima‐media thickness through adverse health behaviors.
    Annie T. Ginty, Sarah E. Williams, Alexander Jones, Tessa J. Roseboom, Anna C. Phillips, Rebecca C. Painter, Douglas Carroll, Susanne R. de Rooij.
    Psychophysiology. March 23, 2016
    Recent evidence demonstrates that individuals with low heart rate (HR) reactions to acute psychological stress are more likely to be obese or smokers. Smoking and obesity are established risk factors for increased carotid intima‐media thickness (IMT). The aim of this study was to examine the potential pathways linking intima‐media thickness, smoking, body mass index (BMI), and HR stress reactivity. A total of 552 participants, 47.6% male, M (SD) age = 58.3 (0.94) years, were exposed to three psychological stress tasks (Stroop, mirror drawing, and speech) preceded by a resting baseline period; HR was recorded throughout. HR reactivity was calculated as the average response across the three tasks minus average baseline HR. Smoking status, BMI, and IMT were determined by trained personnel. Controlling for important covariates (e.g., socioeconomic status), structural equation modeling revealed that BMI and smoking mediated the negative relationship between HR reactivity and IMT. The hypothesized model demonstrated a good overall fit to the data, χ2(8) = 0.692, p = .403; CFI = 1.00; TLI = 1.00 SRMR = .01; RMSEA < .001 (90% CI < 0.01–0.11). HR reactivity was negatively related to BMI (β = −.16) and smoking (β = −.18), and these in turn were positively associated with IMT (BMI: β = .10; smoking: β = .17). Diminished HR stress reactivity appears to be a marker for enlarged IMT and appears to be exerting its impact through already established risks. Future research should examine this relationship longitudinally and aim to intervene early.
    March 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12640   open full text
  • Preventing (impulsive) errors: Electrophysiological evidence for online inhibitory control over incorrect responses.
    Borís Burle, Wery P. M. van den Wildenberg, Laure Spieser, K. Richard Ridderinkhof.
    Psychophysiology. March 23, 2016
    In a rich environment, with multiple action affordances, selective action inhibition is critical in preventing the execution of inappropriate responses. Here, we studied the origin and the dynamics of incorrect response inhibition and how it can be modulated by task demands. We used EEG in a conflict task where the probability of compatible and incompatible trials was varied. This allowed us to modulate the strength of the prepotent response, and hence to increase the risk of errors, while keeping the probability of the two responses equal. The correct response activation and execution was not affected by compatibility or by probability. In contrast, incorrect response inhibition in the primary motor cortex ipsilateral to the correct response was more pronounced on incompatible trials, especially in the condition where most of the trials were compatible, indicating a modulation of inhibitory strength within the course of the action. Two prefrontal activities, one medial and one lateral, were also observed before the response, and their potential links with the observed inhibitory pattern observed are discussed.
    March 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12647   open full text
  • Cross‐modal symbolic processing can elicit either an N2 or a protracted N2/N400 response.
    Oren Griffiths, Mike E. Le Pelley, Bradley N. Jack, David Luque, Thomas J. Whitford.
    Psychophysiology. March 23, 2016
    A cross‐modal symbolic paradigm was used to elicit EEG activity related to semantic incongruence. Twenty‐five undergraduate students viewed pairings of visual lexical cues (e.g., DOG) with congruent (50% of trials) or incongruent (50%) auditory nonlexical stimuli (animal vocalizations; e.g., sound of a dog woofing or a cat meowing). In one condition, many different pairs of congruent/incongruent stimuli were shown, whereas in a second condition only two pairs of stimuli were repeatedly shown. A typical N400‐like pattern of incongruence‐related activity (including activity in the N2 time window) was evident in the condition using many stimuli, whereas the incongruence‐related activity in the two‐stimuli condition was confined to differential N2‐like activity. A supplementary analysis excluded stimulus characteristics as the source of this differential activity between conditions. We found that a single individual performing a fixed task can demonstrate either a protracted N400‐like pattern of activity or a more temporally focused N2‐like pattern of activity in response to the same stimulus, which suggests that the N2 may be a precursor to the protracted N400 response.
    March 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12649   open full text
  • One‐year developmental stability and covariance among oddball, novelty, go/no‐go, and flanker event‐related potentials in adolescence: A monozygotic twin study.
    Scott J. Burwell, Stephen M. Malone, William G. Iacono.
    Psychophysiology. March 21, 2016
    ERP measures may index genetic risk for psychopathology before disorder onset in adolescence, but little is known about their developmental rank‐order stability during this period of significant brain maturation. We studied ERP stability in 48 pairs of identical twins (age 14–16 years) tested 1 year apart. Trial‐averaged voltage waveforms were extracted from electroencephalographic recordings from oddball/novelty, go/no‐go, and flanker tasks, and 16 amplitude measures were examined. Members of twin pairs were highly similar, whether based on ERP amplitude measures (intraclass correlation [ICC] median = .64, range = .44–.86) or three factor scores (all ICCs ≥ .69) derived from them. Stability was high overall, with 69% of the 16 individual measures generating stability coefficients exceeding .70 and all factor scores showing stability above .75. Measures from 10 difference waveforms calculated from paired conditions within tasks were also examined, and were associated with lower twin similarity (ICC median = .52, .38–.64) and developmental stability (only 30% exceeding .70). In a supplemental analysis, we found significant developmental stability for error‐related negativity (range = .45–.55) and positivity (.56–.70) measures when average waveforms were based on one or more trials, and that these values were equivalent to those derived from averages using the current field recommendation, which requires six or more trials. Overall, we conclude that the studied brain measures are largely stable over 1 year of mid‐ to late adolescence, likely reflecting familial etiologic influences on brain functions pertaining to cognitive control and salience recognition.
    March 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12646   open full text
  • Rewarded visual items capture attention only in heterogeneous contexts.
    Tobias Feldmann‐Wüstefeld, Ruben Brandhofer, Anna Schubö.
    Psychophysiology. March 21, 2016
    Reward is known to affect visual search performance. Rewarding targets can increase search performance, whereas rewarding distractors can decrease search performance. We used subcomponents of the N2pc in the event‐related EEG, the NT (target negativity) and ND/PD (distractor negativity/positivity), in a visual search task to disentangle target and distractor processing related to reward. The visual search task comprised homogeneous and heterogeneous contexts in which a target and a colored distractor were embedded. After each correct trial, participants were given a monetary reward that depended on the color of the distractor. We found longer response times for displays with high‐reward distractors compared to displays with low‐reward distractors, indicating reward‐induced interference, however, only for heterogeneous contexts. The NT component, indicative of attention deployment to the target, showed that target selection was impaired by high‐reward distractors, regardless of the context homogeneity. Processing of distractors was not affected by reward in homogeneous contexts. In heterogeneous contexts, however, high‐reward distractors were more likely to capture attention (ND) and required more effort to be suppressed (PD) than low‐reward distractors. In sum the results showed that, despite the fact that target selection is impaired by high‐reward distractors in both homogeneous and heterogeneous background contexts, high‐reward distractors capture attention only in scenarios that foster attentional capture.
    March 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12641   open full text
  • Emotional responses to irony and emoticons in written language: Evidence from EDA and facial EMG.
    Dominic Thompson, Ian G. Mackenzie, Hartmut Leuthold, Ruth Filik.
    Psychophysiology. March 17, 2016
    While the basic nature of irony is saying one thing and communicating the opposite, it may also serve additional social and emotional functions, such as projecting humor or anger. Emoticons often accompany irony in computer‐mediated communication, and have been suggested to increase enjoyment of communication. In the current study, we aimed to examine online emotional responses to ironic versus literal comments, and the influence of emoticons on this process. Participants read stories with a final comment that was either ironic or literal, praising or critical, and with or without an emoticon. We used psychophysiological measures to capture immediate emotional responses: electrodermal activity to directly measure arousal and facial electromyography to detect muscle movements indicative of emotional expressions. Results showed higher arousal, reduced frowning, and enhanced smiling for messages with rather than without an emoticon, suggesting that emoticons increase positive emotions. A tendency toward less negative responses (i.e., reduced frowning and enhanced smiling) for ironic than literal criticism, and less positive responses (i.e., enhanced frowning and reduced smiling) for ironic than literal praise suggests that irony weakens the emotional impact of a message. The present findings indicate the utility of a psychophysiological approach in studying online emotional responses to written language.
    March 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12642   open full text
  • Attentional guidance by relative features: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence.
    Josef G. Schönhammer, Anna Grubert, Dirk Kerzel, Stefanie I. Becker.
    Psychophysiology. March 17, 2016
    Our ability to select task‐relevant information from cluttered visual environments is widely believed to be due to our ability to tune attention to the particular elementary feature values of a sought‐after target (e.g., red, orange, yellow). By contrast, recent findings showed that attention is often tuned to feature relationships, that is, features that the target has relative to irrelevant features in the context (e.g., redder, yellower). However, the evidence for such a relational account is so far exclusively based on behavioral measures that do not allow a safe inference about early perceptual processes. The present study provides a critical test of the relational account, by measuring an electrophysiological marker in the EEG of participants (N2pc) in response to briefly presented distractors (cues) that could either match the physical features of the target or its relative features. In a first experiment, the target color and nontarget color were kept constant across trials. In line with a relational account, we found that only cues with the same relative color as the target were attended, regardless of whether the cues had the same physical color as the target. In a second experiment, we demonstrate that attention is biased to the exact target feature value when the target is embedded in a randomly varying context. Taken together, these results provide the first electrophysiological evidence that attention can modulate early perceptual processes differently; in a context‐dependent manner versus a context‐independent manner, resulting in marked differences in the range of colors that can attract attention.
    March 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12645   open full text
  • Cardiorespiratory interactions: Noncontact assessment using laser Doppler vibrometry.
    Erik J. Sirevaag, Sara Casaccia, Edward A. Richter, Joseph A. O'Sullivan, Lorenzo Scalise, John W. Rohrbaugh.
    Psychophysiology. March 11, 2016
    The application of a noncontact physiological recording technique, based on the method of laser Doppler vibrometry (LDV), is described. The effectiveness of the LDV method as a physiological recording modality lies in the ability to detect very small movements of the skin, associated with internal mechanophysiological activities. The method is validated for a range of cardiovascular variables, extracted from the contour of the carotid pulse waveform as a function of phase of the respiration cycle. Data were obtained from 32 young healthy participants, while resting and breathing spontaneously. Individual beats were assigned to four segments, corresponding with inspiration and expiration peaks and transitional periods. Measures relating to cardiac and vascular dynamics are shown to agree with the pattern of effects seen in the substantial body of literature based on human and animal experiments, and with selected signals recorded simultaneously with conventional sensors. These effects include changes in heart rate, systolic time intervals, and stroke volume. There was also some evidence for vascular adjustments over the respiration cycle. The effectiveness of custom algorithmic approaches for extracting the key signal features was confirmed. The advantages of the LDV method are discussed in terms of the metrological properties and utility in psychophysiological research. Although used here within a suite of conventional sensors and electrodes, the LDV method can be used on a stand‐alone, noncontact basis, with no requirement for skin preparation, and can be used in harsh environments including the MR scanner.
    March 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12638   open full text
  • Modeling fear‐conditioned bradycardia in humans.
    Giuseppe Castegnetti, Athina Tzovara, Matthias Staib, Philipp C. Paulus, Nicolas Hofer, Dominik R. Bach.
    Psychophysiology. March 07, 2016
    Across species, cued fear conditioning is a common experimental paradigm to investigate aversive Pavlovian learning. While fear‐conditioned stimuli (CS+) elicit overt behavior in many mammals, this is not the case in humans. Typically, autonomic nervous system activity is used to quantify fear memory in humans, measured by skin conductance responses (SCR). Here, we investigate whether heart period responses (HPR) evoked by the CS, often observed in humans and small mammals, are suitable to complement SCR as an index of fear memory in humans. We analyze four datasets involving delay and trace conditioning, in which heart beats are identified via electrocardiogram or pulse oximetry, to show that fear‐conditioned heart rate deceleration (bradycardia) is elicited and robustly distinguishes CS+ from CS−. We then develop a psychophysiological model (PsPM) of fear‐conditioned HPR. This PsPM is inverted to yield estimates of autonomic input into the heart. We show that the sensitivity to distinguish CS+ and CS− (predictive validity) is higher for model‐based estimates than peak‐scoring analysis, and compare this with SCR. Our work provides a novel tool to investigate fear memory in humans that allows direct comparison between species.
    March 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12637   open full text
  • Selectivity of conditioned fear of touch is modulated by somatosensory precision.
    Daniel S. Harvie, Ann Meulders, Emily Reid, Danny Camfferman, Russell S. A. Brinkworth, G. Lorimer Moseley.
    Psychophysiology. March 07, 2016
    Learning to initiate defenses in response to specific signals of danger is adaptive. Some chronic pain conditions, however, are characterized by widespread anxiety, avoidance, and pain consistent with a loss of defensive response specificity. Response specificity depends on ability to discriminate between safe and threatening stimuli; therefore, specificity might depend on sensory precision. This would help explain the high prevalence of chronic pain in body areas of low tactile acuity, such as the lower back, and clarify why improving sensory precision may reduce chronic pain. We compared the acquisition and generalization of fear of pain‐associated vibrotactile stimuli delivered to either the hand (high tactile acuity) or the back (low tactile acuity). During acquisition, tactile stimulation at one location (CS+) predicted the noxious electrocutaneous stimulation (US), while tactile stimulation at another location (CS−) did not. Responses to three stimuli with decreasing spatial proximity to the CS+ (generalizing stimuli; GS1–3) were tested. Differential learning and generalization were compared between groups. The main outcome of fear‐potentiated startle responses showed differential learning only in the hand group. Self‐reported fear and expectancy confirmed differential learning and limited generalization in the hand group, and suggested undifferentiated fear and expectancy in the back group. Differences in generalization could not be inferred from the startle data. Specificity of fear responses appears to be affected by somatosensory precision. This has implications for our understanding of the role of sensory imprecision in the development of chronic pain.
    March 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12631   open full text
  • Sympathetic and hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal asymmetry in generalized anxiety disorder.
    Jonathan W. Reeves, Aaron J. Fisher, Michelle G. Newman, Douglas A. Granger.
    Psychophysiology. March 02, 2016
    Physiologic investigations of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have skewed toward assessment of the autonomic nervous system, largely neglecting hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal (HPA) axis variables. Although these systems coordinate—suggesting a degree of symmetry—to promote adaptive functioning, most studies opt to monitor either one system or the other. Using a ratio of salivary alpha‐amylase (sAA) over salivary cortisol, the present study examined symmetry between the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and HPA axis in individuals with GAD (n = 71) and healthy controls (n = 37). Compared to healthy controls, individuals with GAD exhibited greater baseline ratios of sAA/cortisol and smaller ratios of sAA/cortisol following a mental arithmetic challenge. We propose that the present study provides evidence for SNS‐HPA asymmetry in GAD. Further, these results suggest that increased SNS suppression in GAD may be partially mediated by cortisol activity.
    March 02, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12634   open full text
  • Frequency‐specific disruptions of neuronal oscillations reveal aberrant auditory processing in schizophrenia.
    Lauren K. Hayrynen, Jordan P. Hamm, Scott R. Sponheim, Brett A. Clementz.
    Psychophysiology. March 02, 2016
    Individuals with schizophrenia exhibit abnormalities in evoked brain responses in oddball paradigms. These could result from (a) insufficient salience‐related cortical signaling (P300), (b) insufficient suppression of irrelevant aspects of the auditory environment, or (c) excessive neural noise. We tested whether disruption of ongoing auditory steady‐state responses at predetermined frequencies informed which of these issues contribute to auditory stimulus relevance processing abnormalities in schizophrenia. Magnetoencephalography data were collected for 15 schizophrenia and 15 healthy subjects during an auditory oddball paradigm (25% targets; 1‐s interstimulus interval). Auditory stimuli (pure tones: 1 kHz standards, 2 kHz targets) were administered during four continuous background (auditory steady‐state) stimulation conditions: (1) no stimulation, (2) 24 Hz, (3) 40 Hz, and (4) 88 Hz. The modulation of the auditory steady‐state response (aSSR) and the evoked responses to the transient stimuli were quantified and compared across groups. In comparison to healthy participants, the schizophrenia group showed greater disruption of the ongoing aSSR by targets regardless of steady‐state frequency, and reduced amplitude of both M100 and M300 event‐related field components. During the no‐stimulation condition, schizophrenia patients showed accentuation of left hemisphere 40 Hz response to both standard and target stimuli, indicating an effort to enhance local stimulus processing. Together, these findings suggest abnormalities in auditory stimulus relevance processing in schizophrenia patients stem from insufficient amplification of salient stimuli.
    March 02, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12635   open full text
  • Psychophysiological arousal and inter‐ and intraindividual differences in risk‐sensitive decision making.
    Bettina Studer, Benjamin Scheibehenne, Luke Clark.
    Psychophysiology. February 29, 2016
    The current study assessed peripheral responses during decision making under explicit risk, and tested whether intraindividual variability in choice behavior can be explained by fluctuations in peripheral arousal. Electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate (HR) were monitored in healthy volunteers (N = 68) during the Roulette Betting Task. In this task, participants were presented with risky gambles to bet on, with the chances of winning varying across trials. Hierarchical Bayesian analyses demonstrated that EDA and HR acceleration responses during the decision phase were sensitive to the chances of winning. Interindividual differences in this peripheral reactivity during risky decision making were related to trait sensitivity to punishment and trait sensitivity to reward. Moreover, trial‐by‐trial variation in EDA and HR acceleration responses predicted a small portion of intraindividual variability in betting choices. Our results show that psychophysiological responses are sensitive to explicit risk and can help explain intraindividual heterogeneity in choice behavior.
    February 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12627   open full text
  • Psychophysiological responses to auditory change.
    Lorraine Chuen, David Sears, Stephen McAdams.
    Psychophysiology. February 29, 2016
    A comprehensive characterization of autonomic and somatic responding within the auditory domain is currently lacking. We studied whether simple types of auditory change that occur frequently during music listening could elicit measurable changes in heart rate, skin conductance, respiration rate, and facial motor activity. Participants heard a rhythmically isochronous sequence consisting of a repeated standard tone, followed by a repeated target tone that changed in pitch, timbre, duration, intensity, or tempo, or that deviated momentarily from rhythmic isochrony. Changes in all parameters produced increases in heart rate. Skin conductance response magnitude was affected by changes in timbre, intensity, and tempo. Respiratory rate was sensitive to deviations from isochrony. Our findings suggest that music researchers interpreting physiological responses as emotional indices should consider acoustic factors that may influence physiology in the absence of induced emotions.
    February 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12633   open full text
  • Multiple neural signatures of social proof and deviance during the observation of other people's preferences.
    Robert Schnuerch, Jasmin Richter, Judith Koppehele‐Gossel, Henning Gibbons.
    Psychophysiology. February 29, 2016
    Detecting one's agreement with or deviation from other people, a key principle of social cognition, relies on neurocognitive mechanisms involved in reward processing, mismatch detection, and attentional orienting. Previous studies have focused on explicit depictions of the (in)congruency of individual and group judgments. Here, we report data from a novel experimental paradigm in which participants first rated a set of images and were later simply confronted with other individuals’ ostensible preferences. Participants strongly aligned their judgments in the direction of other people's deviation from their own initial rating, which was neither an effect of regression toward the mean nor of evaluative conditioning (Experiment 1). Most importantly, we provide neurophysiological evidence of the involvement of fundamental cognitive functions related to social comparison (Experiment 2), even though our paradigm did not overly boost this process. Mismatches, as compared to matches, of preferences were associated with an amplitude increase of a broadly distributed N400‐like deflection, suggesting that social deviance is represented in the human brain in a similar way as conflicts or breaches of expectation. Also, both early (P2) and late (LPC) signatures of attentional selection were significantly modulated by the social (mis)match of preferences. Our data thus strengthen and valuably extend previous findings on the neurocognitive principles of social proof.
    February 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12636   open full text
  • Shared and distinct oculomotor function deficits in schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder.
    Angeliki Damilou, Sotirios Apostolakis, Eleftheria Thrapsanioti, Christos Theleritis, Nikolaos Smyrnis.
    Psychophysiology. February 23, 2016
    Detailed analysis of oculomotor function phenotypes in antisaccade, smooth eye pursuit, and active fixation tasks was performed in a sample of 44 patients with schizophrenia, 34 patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and 45 matched healthy controls. A common pattern of performance deficits in both schizophrenia and OCD emerged including higher antisaccade error rate, increased latency for corrective antisaccades, as well as higher rates of unwanted saccades in smooth eye pursuit compared to healthy controls. This common pattern could be related to the dysfunction of a network of cognitive control that is present in both disorders, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the posterior parietal cortex, and the anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, only patients with schizophrenia showed a specific increase for correct antisaccade mean latency and the intrasubject variability of latency for error prosaccades as well as a decrease in the gain for smooth eye pursuit, suggesting a specific deficit in saccadic motor control and the frontal eye field in schizophrenia that is not present in OCD. A specific deficit in fixation stability (increased frequency of unwanted saccades during active fixation) was observed only for OCD patients pointing to a deficit in the frontostriatal network controlling fixation. This deficit was pronounced for OCD patients receiving additional antipsychotic medication. In conclusion, oculomotor function showed shared and distinct patterns of deviance for schizophrenia and OCD pointing toward shared and specific neurobiological substrates for these psychiatric disorders.
    February 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12630   open full text
  • Cognitive flexibility, heart rate variability, and resilience predict fine‐grained regulation of arousal during prolonged threat.
    Lea K. Hildebrandt, Cade McCall, Haakon G. Engen, Tania Singer.
    Psychophysiology. February 22, 2016
    Emotion regulation in the ongoing presence of a threat is essential for adaptive behavior. Threatening situations change over time and, as a consequence, require a fine‐tuned, dynamic regulation of arousal to match the current state of the environment. Constructs such as cognitive flexibility, heart rate variability, and resilience have been proposed as resources for adaptive emotion regulation, especially in a moment‐to‐moment fashion. Nevertheless, none of these constructs has been empirically related to the dynamic regulation of arousal as it unfolds over the course of a prolonged threatening episode. Here, we do so by placing participants in a threatening and evolving immersive virtual environment called Room 101, while recording their skin conductance. Subsequently, participants rated their subjective arousal continuously over the course of the experience. Participants who had shown greater cognitive flexibility in a separate task (i.e., fewer task‐switching costs when switching to evaluating the valence of positive stimuli) showed better regulation of physiological arousal (skin conductance level), during less‐threatening phases of Room 101. Individuals with higher trait resilience and individuals with higher resting heart rate variability showed more regulation in terms of their subjective arousal experience. The results indicate that emotional, cognitive, and physiological flexibility support nuanced adaptive regulation of objective and experienced arousal in the ongoing presence of threats. Furthermore, the results indicate that these forms of flexibility differentially affect automatic and objective versus reflective and subjective processes.
    February 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12632   open full text
  • Two stages of directed forgetting: Electrophysiological evidence from a short‐term memory task.
    Heming Gao, Bihua Cao, Mingming Qi, Jing Wang, Qi Zhang, Fuhong Li.
    Psychophysiology. February 19, 2016
    In this study, a short‐term memory test was used to investigate the temporal course and neural mechanism of directed forgetting under different memory loads. Within each trial, two memory items with high or low load were presented sequentially, followed by a cue indicating whether the presented items should be remembered. After an interval, subjects were asked to respond to the probe stimuli. The ERPs locked to the cues showed that (a) the effect of cue type was initially observed during the P2 (160–240 ms) time window, with more positive ERPs for remembering relative to forgetting cues; (b) load effects were observed during the N2‐P3 (250–500 ms) time window, with more positive ERPs for the high‐load than low‐load condition; (c) the cue effect was also observed during the N2‐P3 time window, with more negative ERPs for forgetting versus remembering cues. These results demonstrated that directed forgetting involves two stages: task‐relevance identification and information discarding. The cue effects during the N2 epoch supported the view that directed forgetting is an active process.
    February 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12628   open full text
  • Defensive activation to (un)predictable interoceptive threat: The NPU respiratory threat test (NPUr).
    Mathias Schroijen, Simona Fantoni, Carmen Rivera, Bram Vervliet, Koen Schruers, Omer van den Bergh, Ilse van Diest.
    Psychophysiology. February 16, 2016
    Potentially life‐threatening interoceptive sensations easily engage the behavioral defensive system. Resulting fear and anxiety toward interoceptive threat are functionally distinct states that are hypothesized to play a prominent role in the etiology of panic disorder. The present study aimed to investigate whether fear‐ and anxiety‐potentiated startle responses occur to predictable and unpredictable interoceptive threat, respectively. Therefore, we modified the NPU threat test (Schmitz & Grillon, ) and replaced the aversive electrocutaneous stimulus with an aversive interoceptive stimulus (a breathing occlusion, making it briefly impossible to breathe). Healthy participants (N = 48) underwent three instructed conditions. A visual cue signaled the occlusion in the predictable condition (P), whereas another cue was unrelated to the occurrence of the occlusion in the unpredictable condition (U). The safe condition (N) also had a visual cue, but no occlusion. Both fear‐ and anxiety‐potentiated startle blink responses were observed in response to predictable and unpredictable respiratory threat, respectively. The current study presents and validates the NPU respiratory threat test (NPUr) as an ecologically valid paradigm to study both anxiety and fear in response to a panic‐relevant interoceptive threat. The paradigm allows future testing of contextual generalization, investigation of different clinical groups, and more explicit comparisons of defensive responding to interoceptive versus exteroceptive threats.
    February 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12621   open full text
  • Differential heart rate responses to social and monetary reinforcement in women with obesity.
    Jana Kube, Anne Schrimpf, Isabel García‐García, Arno Villringer, Jane Neumann, Annette Horstmann.
    Psychophysiology. February 12, 2016
    Obesity is often accompanied by weight stigmatization; subsequently, individuals with obesity frequently face social rejection. It has been shown that recurrent negative social experiences can alter the perception of social cues. However, the way individuals with obesity process social stimuli is not well understood. This study aims to investigate obesity‐related alterations in social compared to nonsocial information processing. Women with obesity (n = 14) and without obesity (n = 14) participated in a social and a monetary incentive delay task in which they anticipated and received positive, negative, and neutral outcomes in the form of faces or money. During the experiment, phasic heart rate changes and reaction times were measured. Women with obesity, compared to lean women, exhibited a stronger differentiation during the anticipation of monetary and social reinforcement, showing slower reaction times to social cues compared to monetary cues. During the outcome processing phase, women with obesity relative to controls demonstrated diminished heart rate responses particularly to negative social outcomes. Interestingly, differences in cardiac responses in participants with obesity were moderated by weight‐related teasing experiences. In women with obesity, a higher BMI was associated with blunted cardiac responses to social cues relative to monetary cues only if they reported more emotional pain after weight‐related teasing. Our results contribute to a better understanding of social information processing in obesity and give first evidence for the role of negative social experiences in reinforcement processing.
    February 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12624   open full text
  • Event‐related potential indices of congruency sequence effects without feature integration or contingency learning confounds.
    Michael J. Larson, Peter E. Clayson, C. Brock Kirwan, Daniel H. Weissman.
    Psychophysiology. February 08, 2016
    The congruency effect in Stroop‐like tasks (i.e., increased response time and reduced accuracy in incongruent relative to congruent trials) is often smaller when the previous trial was incongruent as compared to congruent. This congruency sequence effect (CSE) is thought to reflect cognitive control processes that shift attention to the target and/or modulate the response engendered by the distracter differently after incongruent relative to congruent trials. The neural signatures of CSEs are therefore usually attributed to cognitive control processes that minimize distraction from irrelevant stimuli. However, CSEs in previous functional neuroimaging studies were ubiquitously confounded with feature integration and/or contingency learning processes. We therefore investigated whether a neural CSE can be observed without such confounds in a group of healthy young adults (n = 56). To this end, we combined a prime‐probe task that lacks such confounds with high‐density ERPs to identify, for the first time, the neural time course of confound‐minimized CSEs. Replicating recent behavioral findings, we observed strong CSEs in this task for mean response time and mean accuracy. Critically, conceptually replicating prior ERP results from confounded tasks, we also observed a CSE in both the parietal conflict slow potential (conflict SP) and the frontomedial N450. These findings indicate for the first time that neural CSEs as indexed by ERPs can be observed without the typical confounds. More broadly, the present study provides a confound‐minimized protocol that will help future researchers to better isolate the neural bases of control processes that minimize distraction from irrelevant stimuli.
    February 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12625   open full text
  • Deficient attention modulation of lateralized alpha power in schizophrenia.
    Thomas Kustermann, Brigitte Rockstroh, Johanna Kienle, Gregory A. Miller, Tzvetan Popov.
    Psychophysiology. February 08, 2016
    Modulation of 8–14 Hz (alpha) activity in posterior brain regions is associated with covert attention deployment in visuospatial tasks. Alpha power decrease contralateral to to‐be‐attended stimuli is believed to foster subsequent processing, such as retention of task‐relevant input. Degradation of this alpha‐regulation mechanism may reflect an early stage of disturbed attention regulation contributing to impaired attention and working memory commonly found in schizophrenia. The present study tested this hypothesis of early disturbed attention regulation by examining alpha power modulation in a lateralized cued delayed response task in 14 schizophrenia patients (SZ) and 25 healthy controls (HC). Participants were instructed to remember the location of a 100‐ms saccade‐target cue in the left or right visual hemifield in order to perform a delayed saccade to that location after a retention interval. As expected, alpha power decrease during the retention interval was larger in contralateral than ipsilateral posterior regions, and SZ showed less of this lateralization than did HC. In particular, SZ failed to show hemifield‐specific alpha modulation in posterior right hemisphere. Results suggest less efficient modulation of alpha oscillations that are considered critical for attention deployment and item encoding and, hence, may affect subsequent spatial working memory performance.
    February 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12626   open full text
  • Modeling event‐related heart period responses.
    Philipp C. Paulus, Giuseppe Castegnetti, Dominik R. Bach.
    Psychophysiology. February 05, 2016
    Cardiac rhythm is generated locally in the sinoatrial node, but modulated by central neural input. This may provide a possibility to infer central processes from observed phasic heart period responses (HPR). Currently, operational methods are used for HPR analysis. These methods embody implicit assumptions on how central states influence heart period. Here, we build an explicit psychophysiological model (PsPM) for event‐related HPR. This phenomenological PsPM is based on three experiments involving white noise sounds, an auditory oddball task, and emotional picture viewing. The model is optimized with respect to predictive validity—the ability to separate experimental conditions from each other. To validate the PsPM, an independent sample of participants is presented with auditory stimuli of varying intensity and emotional pictures of negative and positive valence, at short intertrial intervals. Our model discriminates these experimental conditions from each other better than operational approaches. We conclude that our PsPM is more sensitive to distinguish experimental manipulations based on heart period data than operational methods, and furnishes a principled approach to analysis of HPR.
    February 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12622   open full text
  • Trait anxiety but not state anxiety level associates with biomarkers for hypertension in the metabolic syndrome.
    Alexandra V. Lemche, Oleg S. Chaban, Erwin Lemche.
    Psychophysiology. February 03, 2016
    Various studies link hypertension with anxiety; however, it remains unclarified if such relations are present in the metabolic syndrome (MetS). We studied cross‐sectionally the interrelations of self‐reported anxiety (Spielberger STAI), and MetS components in MetS patients. We investigated a nationally sampled treatment cohort for MetS with familial Type 2 diabetes risk. N = 101 patients fulfilling International Diabetes Federation criteria for MetS participated. Both laboratory and nonlaboratory measures were included. Structural equation models (SEM) were adjusted. The final SEM had an R2 = .998 with the obesity component linking to waist, BMI, and degree of adiposity, and the hypertension component linking to systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, total cholesterol, and trait anxiety. For state anxiety, no significant regressive causal path could be estimated. SEM supports the assumption of an interaction of pulse pressure, systolic blood pressure, cholesterol metabolism, and high trait anxiety in the pathophysiology of hypertension in MetS.
    February 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12623   open full text
  • S‐R compatibility effects on motor potentials associated with hand and foot movements.
    Jeff Miller.
    Psychophysiology. November 06, 2015
    Two four‐choice reaction time (RT) experiments used the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) and the limb selection potential (LSP) to assess the effects of spatial S‐R compatibility on motor processes. Individual stimuli were presented at one corner of a square centered at fixation, and each response was made with the left or right hand or foot. In Experiment 1, the correct response was determined by stimulus location, whereas in Experiment 2 it was determined by stimulus identity. Horizontal and vertical compatibility affected both RT and response accuracy, but the LRP and LSP results suggested that compatibility had little or no direct effect on the duration of motor processes. In addition, the results suggest that the relatively new LSP measure is a useful index of motor activation processes. Its insensitivity to horizontal stimulus artifacts makes it especially useful for studying the effects of horizontal spatial compatibility.
    November 06, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12574   open full text
  • Effect of working memory load on electrophysiological markers of visuospatial orienting in a spatial cueing task simulating a traffic situation.
    Alexandra Y. Vossen, Veerle Ross, Ellen M. M. Jongen, Robert A. C. Ruiter, Fren T. Y. Smulders.
    Psychophysiology. November 02, 2015
    Visuospatial attentional orienting has typically been studied in abstract tasks with low ecological validity. However, real‐life tasks such as driving require allocation of working memory (WM) resources to several subtasks over and above orienting in a complex sensory environment. The aims of this study were twofold: firstly, to establish whether electrophysiological signatures of attentional orienting commonly observed under simplified task conditions generalize to a more naturalistic task situation with realistic‐looking stimuli, and, secondly, to assess how these signatures are affected by increased WM load under such conditions. Sixteen healthy participants performed a dual task consisting of a spatial cueing paradigm and a concurrent verbal memory task that simulated aspects of an actual traffic situation. Behaviorally, we observed a load‐induced detriment of sensitivity to targets. In the EEG, we replicated orienting‐related alpha lateralization, the lateralized ERPs ADAN, EDAN, and LDAP, and the P1‐N1 attention effect. When WM load was high (i.e., WM resources were reduced), lateralization of oscillatory activity in the lower alpha band was delayed. In the ERPs, we found that ADAN was also delayed, while EDAN was absent. Later ERP correlates were unaffected by load. Our results show that the findings in highly controlled artificial tasks can be generalized to spatial orienting in ecologically more valid tasks, and further suggest that the initiation of spatial orienting is delayed when WM demands of an unrelated secondary task are high.
    November 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12572   open full text
  • Microstructural white matter changes mediate age‐related cognitive decline on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).
    Todd A. D. Jolly, Patrick S. Cooper, Syarifah Azizah Wan Ahmadul Badwi, Natalie A. Phillips, Jaime L. Rennie, Christopher R. Levi, Karen A. Drysdale, Mark W. Parsons, Patricia T. Michie, Frini Karayanidis.
    Psychophysiology. October 29, 2015
    Although the relationship between aging and cognitive decline is well established, there is substantial individual variability in the degree of cognitive decline in older adults. The present study investigates whether variability in cognitive performance in community‐dwelling older adults is related to the presence of whole brain or tract‐specific changes in white matter microstructure. Specifically, we examine whether age‐related decline in performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a cognitive screening tool, is mediated by the white matter microstructural decline. We also examine if this relationship is driven by the presence of cardiovascular risk factors or variability in cerebral arterial pulsatility, an index of cardiovascular risk. Sixty‐nine participants (aged 43–87) completed behavioral and MRI testing including T1 structural, T2‐weighted FLAIR, and diffusion‐weighted imaging (DWI) sequences. Measures of white matter microstructure were calculated using diffusion tensor imaging analyses on the DWI sequence. Multiple linear regression revealed that MoCA scores were predicted by radial diffusivity (RaD) of white matter beyond age or other cerebral measures. While increasing age and arterial pulsatility were associated with increasing RaD, these factors did not mediate the relationship between total white matter RaD and MoCA. Further, the relationship between MoCA and RaD was specific to participants who reported at least one cardiovascular risk factor. These findings highlight the importance of cardiovascular risk factors in the presentation of cognitive decline in old age. Further work is needed to establish whether medical or lifestyle management of these risk factors can prevent or reverse cognitive decline in old age.
    October 29, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12565   open full text
  • The effect of obesity on inflammatory cytokine and leptin production following acute mental stress.
    H. L. Caslin, R. L. Franco, E. B. Crabb, C. J. Huang, M. K. Bowen, E. O. Acevedo.
    Psychophysiology. October 29, 2015
    Obesity may contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk by eliciting chronic systemic inflammation and impairing the immune response to additional stressors. There has been little assessment of the effect of obesity on psychological stress, an independent risk factor for CVD. Therefore, it was of interest to examine interleukin‐6, tumor necrosis factor‐α, interleukin‐1β (IL‐1β), interleukin‐1 receptor antagonist (IL‐1Ra), and leptin following an acute mental stress task in nonobese and obese males. Twenty college‐aged males (21.3 ± 0.56 years) volunteered to participate in a 20‐min Stroop color‐word and mirror‐tracing task. Subjects were recruited for obese (body mass index: BMI > 30) and nonobese (BMI < 25) groups, and blood samples were collected for enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay analysis. The acute mental stress task elicited an increase in heart rate, catecholamines, and IL‐1β in all subjects. Additionally, acute mental stress increased cortisol concentrations in the nonobese group. There was a significant reduction in leptin in obese subjects 30 min posttask compared with a decrease in nonobese subjects 120 min posttask. Interestingly, the relationship between the percent change in leptin and IL‐1Ra at 120 min posttask in response to an acute mental stress task was only observed in nonobese individuals. This is the first study to suggest that adiposity in males may impact leptin and inflammatory signaling mechanisms following acute mental stress.
    October 29, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12568   open full text
  • Modulation of ERP components by task instructions in a cued go/no‐go task.
    Ida Emilia Aasen, Jan Ferenc Brunner.
    Psychophysiology. October 21, 2015
    The present study investigated how components of ERPs are modulated when participants optimize speed versus accuracy in a cued go/no‐go task. Using a crossover design, 35 participants received instructions to complete the task prioritizing response speed in half of the task, and accurate responding in the other half of the task. Analysis was performed on the contingent negative variation (CNV), P3go, and P3no‐go and the corresponding independent components (IC), as identified by group independent component analysis. After speed instructions, the IC CNVlate, P3goanterior, P3no‐goearly, and P3no‐golate all had larger amplitudes than after accuracy instructions. Furthermore, both the IC P3goposterior and IC P3goanterior had shorter latencies after speed than after accuracy instructions. The results demonstrate that components derived from the CNV and P3 components are facilitated when participants optimize response speed. These findings indicate that these ERP components reflect executive processes enabling adjustment of behavior to changing demands.
    October 21, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12563   open full text
  • Alterations in electrodermal activity and cardiac parasympathetic tone during hypnosis.
    Zoltán Kekecs, Anna Szekely, Katalin Varga.
    Psychophysiology. October 21, 2015
    Exploring autonomic nervous system (ANS) changes during hypnosis is critical for understanding the nature and extent of the hypnotic phenomenon and for identifying the mechanisms underlying the effects of hypnosis in different medical conditions. To assess ANS changes during hypnosis, electrodermal activity and pulse rate variability (PRV) were measured in 121 young adults. Participants either received hypnotic induction (hypnosis condition) or listened to music (control condition), and both groups were exposed to test suggestions. Blocks of silence and experimental sound stimuli were presented at baseline, after induction, and after de‐induction. Skin conductance level (SCL) and high frequency (HF) power of PRV measured at each phase were compared between groups. Hypnosis decreased SCL compared to the control condition; however, there were no group differences in HF power. Furthermore, hypnotic suggestibility did not moderate ANS changes in the hypnosis group. These findings indicate that hypnosis reduces tonic sympathetic nervous system activity, which might explain why hypnosis is effective in the treatment of disorders with strong sympathetic nervous system involvement, such as rheumatoid arthritis, hot flashes, hypertension, and chronic pain. Further studies with different control conditions are required to examine the specificity of the sympathetic effects of hypnosis.
    October 21, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12570   open full text
  • Preparing for (valenced) action: The role of differential effort in the orthogonalized go/no‐go task.
    Hanne Schevernels, Klaas Bombeke, Ruth M. Krebs, C. Nico Boehler.
    Psychophysiology. October 20, 2015
    Associating reward to task performance has been shown to benefit scores of cognitive functions. Importantly, this typically entails associating reward to the execution of a response, hence intertwining action‐related processes with motivational ones. However, recently, preparatory action requirements (go/no‐go) and outcome valence (reward/punishment) were elegantly separated using a cued orthogonalized go/no‐go task. Functional magnetic resonance imaging results from this task showed that typical areas of the “reward network,” like the dopaminergic midbrain and the striatum, predominantly encode action rather than valence, displaying enhanced activity when preparing for action (go) compared to inaction (no‐go). In the current study, we used ERPs to probe for differences in preparatory state related to cognitive effort in this task, which has similarly been linked to reward‐network activity. Importantly, the contingent negative variation, which is linked to effortful cognitive preparation processes during cue‐target intervals, was clearly observed in go trials but not in no‐go trials. Moreover, target‐locked ERP results (N1 and P3) suggested that attention to the target was enhanced when an action had to be performed (go trials), and typical inhibition‐related ERP components were not observed in no‐go trials, suggesting a lack of active response inhibition. Finally, feedback‐related P3 results could suggest that correct feedback was valued more in motivated go trials, again implying that more effort was required to correctly perform the task. Together, these results indicate that the anticipation of action compared to inaction simultaneously entails differences in mental effort, highlighting the need for further dissociation of these concepts.
    October 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12558   open full text
  • Electrophysiological signatures of the race model in human primary motor cortex.
    Matthew E. Hughes, W. Ross Fulham, Patricia T. Michie.
    Psychophysiology. October 20, 2015
    For 30 years, the independent race model has been used to account for the attempt to reactively inhibit on‐going responses in the stop‐signal task (reactive behavioral inhibition). The success of the race model derives in part by assuming that motor response activation speed is not different on inhibition trials compared to trials where inhibition is not required. To date, neurophysiological evidence supporting this assumption (context independence) has been limited, especially in human participants. In this study, we used EEG to investigate stop‐signal task performance in human participants, focusing on lateralized readiness potentials (LRPs) to examine context independence in human primary motor cortex (M1). The current results provided support for the context independence assumption, and further showed that successful inhibition was largely contingent upon the timing of response activation in M1 relative to stop‐signal onset. These data afford a valuable insight into how stop‐signal response inhibition is effected in the human brain.
    October 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12562   open full text
  • Curvilinear shapes and the snake detection hypothesis: An ERP study.
    Jan W. Van Strien, Gerwin Christiaans, Ingmar H. A. Franken, Jorg Huijding.
    Psychophysiology. October 20, 2015
    Consistent with the snake detection hypothesis, previous ERP studies have established a larger early posterior negativity (EPN) in response to pictures depicting snakes than to pictures depicting other creatures. Here, we examined to what extent the curvilinear shape of the snake's body drives the larger EPN. To this end, we employed pictures of threatening and nonthreatening species with or without typical curvature. Participants watched a random rapid serial visual presentation of snake, worm, spider, and beetle pictures. The EPN was scored as the mean activity (225–300 ms after picture onset) at occipital and parieto‐occipital electrodes. Across electrodes, the EPN was significantly larger for snake pictures than for spider, worm, and beetle pictures, and for spider and worm pictures than for beetle pictures. The results suggest that curvilinear body shapes may partly drive the enhanced EPN. However, the unique cortical response to snakes is not fully explained by this mechanism, and is most probably also determined by other threat‐relevant cues.
    October 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12564   open full text
  • Error‐related electromyographic activity over the corrugator supercilii is associated with neural performance monitoring.
    Nathaniel Elkins‐Brown, Blair Saunders, Michael Inzlicht.
    Psychophysiology. October 16, 2015
    Emerging research in social and affective neuroscience has implicated a role for affect and motivation in performance monitoring and cognitive control. No study, however, has investigated whether facial electromyography (EMG) over the corrugator supercilii—a measure associated with negative affect and the exertion of effort—is related to neural performance monitoring. Here, we explored these potential relationships by simultaneously measuring the error‐related negativity, error positivity (Pe), and facial EMG over the corrugator supercilii muscle during a punished, inhibitory control task. We found evidence for increased facial EMG activity over the corrugator immediately following error responses, and this activity was related to the Pe for both between‐ and within‐subject analyses. These results are consistent with the idea that early, avoidance‐motivated processes are associated with performance monitoring, and that such processes may also be related to orienting toward errors, the emergence of error awareness, or both.
    October 16, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12556   open full text
  • Event‐related potentials in response to cheating and cooperation in a social dilemma game.
    Raoul Bell, Julia Sasse, Malte Möller, Daniela Czernochowski, Susanne Mayr, Axel Buchner.
    Psychophysiology. October 16, 2015
    A sequential prisoner's dilemma game was combined with psychophysiological measures to examine the cognitive underpinnings of reciprocal exchange. Participants played four rounds of the game with partners who either cooperated or cheated. In a control condition, the partners’ faces were shown, but no interaction took place. The partners’ behaviors were consistent in the first three rounds of the game, but in the last round some of the partners unexpectedly changed strategies. In the first round of the game, the feedback about a partner's decision elicited a feedback P300, which was more pronounced for cooperation and cheating in comparison to the control condition, but did not vary as a function of feedback valence. In the last round, both the feedback negativity and the feedback P300 were sensitive to expectancy violations. There was no consistent evidence for a negativity bias, that is, enhanced allocation of attention to feedback about another person's cheating in comparison to feedback about another person's cooperation. Instead, participants focused on both positive and negative information, and flexibly adjusted their processing biases to the diagnosticity of the information. This conclusion was corroborated by the ERP correlates of memory retrieval. Successful retrieval of a partner's reputation was associated with an anterior positivity between 400 and 600 ms after face onset. This anterior positivity was more pronounced for both cooperator and cheater faces in comparison to control faces. The results suggest that it is not the negativity of social information, but rather its motivational and behavioral relevance that determines its processing.
    October 16, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12561   open full text
  • N1 and P2 to words and wordlike stimuli in late elementary school children and adults.
    Donna Coch, Gabriela Meade.
    Psychophysiology. October 16, 2015
    In an investigation of the development of fine‐tuning for word processing across the late elementary school years as indexed by the posterior N1 and P2 components of the ERP waveform, third, fourth, and fifth graders and a comparison group of adults viewed words, pseudowords, nonpronounceable letter strings, and false font strings in a semantic categorization task. In adults, N1 was larger to and P2 was later to words as compared to pseudowords, a finely tuned effect of lexicality reflecting specialization for word processing. In contrast, in each group of children, N1 was larger to letter strings than false font strings and P2 was larger to false font strings than letter strings, reflecting coarse encoding for orthography. In regression analyses, scores on standardized behavioral test measures of orthographic knowledge, decoding skill, and fluency predicted N1 amplitude; these effects were not significant with age included as a separate predictor. None of the behavioral scores, in models including or not including age, predicted P2 amplitude. In direct comparisons between groups, there were multiple differences between the child and adult groups for both N1 and P2 amplitude effects, and only a single significant difference between two child groups. Overall, the findings suggest a lengthy developmental time course for the fine‐tuning of early word processing as indexed by N1 and P2.
    October 16, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12567   open full text
  • How modality specific is processing of auditory and visual rhythms?
    Amanda C. Pasinski, J. Devin McAuley, Joel S. Snyder.
    Psychophysiology. October 13, 2015
    The present study used ERPs to test the extent to which temporal processing is modality specific or modality general. Participants were presented with auditory and visual temporal patterns that consisted of initial two‐ or three‐event beginning patterns. This delineated a constant standard time interval, followed by a two‐event ending pattern delineating a variable test interval. Participants judged whether they perceived the pattern as a whole to be speeding up or slowing down. The contingent negative variation (CNV), a negative potential reflecting temporal expectancy, showed a larger amplitude for the auditory modality compared to the visual modality but a high degree of similarity in scalp voltage patterns across modalities, suggesting that the CNV arises from modality‐general processes. A late, memory‐dependent positive component (P3) also showed similar patterns across modalities.
    October 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12559   open full text
  • Feedback delay gradually affects amplitude and valence specificity of the feedback‐related negativity (FRN).
    Jutta Peterburs, Stefan Kobza, Christian Bellebaum.
    Psychophysiology. October 13, 2015
    Processing of performance‐related feedback is an essential prerequisite for adaptive behavior. Even though in everyday life feedback is rarely immediate, to date very few studies have investigated whether the feedback‐related negativity (FRN), a relative negativity in the ERP approximately 200 to 300 ms after feedback that is sensitive to feedback valence and predictability, is modulated by feedback timing, and findings are inconsistent. The present study investigated effects of gradually increasing feedback delays on feedback processing in the FRN time window. Subjects completed a probabilistic learning task in which feedback was provided after short, intermediate, or long delays. Difference wave‐based analyses showed that amplitudes decreased linearly with increasing feedback delay. A distinct pattern was observed for the FRN as defined in the original waveforms, with FRN amplitudes being largest for long and smallest for short delays. This pattern of results is consistent with the notion that the neural systems underlying feedback processing vary depending on feedback timing. The gradually reduced difference wave signal might reflect a gradual shift away from processing in frontostriatal circuits toward medial temporal involvement. To what extent increased signal amplitudes for longer delays in the original waveforms are related to processing in certain brain structures will need to be determined in future studies.
    October 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12560   open full text
  • Embodied simulation of emotional valence: Facial muscle responses to abstract and concrete words.
    Janina Künecke, Werner Sommer, Annekathrin Schacht, Marina Palazova.
    Psychophysiology. October 06, 2015
    Semantic knowledge is thought to be at least partially grounded in sensory, motor, and affective information, acquired through experiences in our inner and outer world. The reactivation of experience‐related information during meaning access is called simulation. In the affective simulation account, it is assumed that the grounding information depends on the concepts’ concreteness. Whereas abstract concepts are thought to be mainly represented through affective experiential information, concrete words rely more on sensory‐motor experiential information. To test this hypothesis, we measured facial muscle activity as an indicator of affective simulation during visual word recognition. Words varied on the dimensions of concreteness and valence. Behavioral and electromyographic data were analyzed with linear mixed‐effects models with maximal random effect structure to optimize generalization over participants and word samples. Contrary to this hypothesis, we found a valence effect in the m. corrugator supercilii only in response to concrete but not to abstract words. Our data show that affective simulation as measured with facial muscle activity occurs in response to concrete rather than to abstract words. More concrete words are supposed to have higher context availability and richer visual imagery, which might promote affective simulation on the expressive level of facial muscle activity. The results are in line with embodied accounts of semantic representation but speak against its predominant role for representing affective information in abstract concepts.
    October 06, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12555   open full text
  • Temperature effects on polygraph detection of concealed information.
    A. Luke MacNeill, M. T. Bradley.
    Psychophysiology. October 05, 2015
    Thermoregulatory influences on electrodermal and cardiovascular activity may interfere with the detection of concealed information using a polygraph. This possibility was assessed by means of a mock terrorism scenario. Seventy‐two participants were assigned to either a guilty or an innocent role. They were given a polygraph test at one of three ambient temperatures: 10°C, 22°C, or 34°C. Among guilty participants, electrodermal and cardiovascular measures were least effective at 10°C. Electrodermal results were optimal at 22°C, whereas cardiovascular results were optimal at 34°C. Among innocent participants, the effectiveness of these same measures was not affected by ambient temperature. Temperature had no significant impact on respiration results within the guilty or the innocent groups. Taken together, these findings have implications for those who use polygraphs in uncontrolled testing environments.
    October 05, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12557   open full text
  • ERP evidence for hemispheric asymmetries in abstract but not exemplar‐specific repetition priming.
    Kristina Küper, Anna M. Liesefeld, Hubert D. Zimmer.
    Psychophysiology. September 24, 2015
    Implicit memory retrieval is thought to be exemplar‐specific in the right hemisphere (RH) but abstract in the left hemisphere (LH). Yet, conflicting behavioral priming results illustrate that the level at which asymmetries take effect is difficult to pinpoint. In the present divided visual field experiment, we tried to address this issue by analyzing ERPs in addition to behavioral measures. Participants made a natural/artificial decision on lateralized visual objects that were either new, identical repetitions, or different exemplars of studied items. Hemispheric asymmetries did not emerge in either behavioral or late positive complex (LPC) priming effects, but did affect the process of implicit memory retrieval proper as indexed by an early frontal negativity (N350/(F)N400). Whereas exemplar‐specific N350/(F)N400 priming effects emerged irrespective of presentation side, abstract implicit memory retrieval of different exemplars was contingent on right visual field presentation and the ensuing initial stimulus processing by the LH.
    September 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12542   open full text
  • Prediction and perception: Defensive startle modulation.
    Christopher T. Sege, Margaret M. Bradley, Peter J. Lang.
    Psychophysiology. September 24, 2015
    Previous research indicates that predictive cues can dampen subsequent defensive reactions. The present study investigated whether effects of cuing are specific to aversive stimuli, using modulation of the blink startle reflex as a measure of emotional reactivity. Participants viewed pictures depicting violence, romance/erotica, or mundane content. On half of all trials, a cue (color) predicted the content of the upcoming picture; on the remaining trials, scenes were presented without a cue. Acoustic startle probes were presented during picture viewing on trials with predictive cues and trials without a cue. Replicating previous studies, blink reflexes elicited when viewing violent pictures that had not been preceded by a cue were potentiated compared to uncued mundane scenes, and reflexes were attenuated when viewing scenes of erotica/romance that had not been cued. On the other hand, reflex potentiation when viewing scenes of violence (relative to mundane scenes) was eliminated when these pictures were preceded by a predictive cue, whereas scenes of romance prompted reliable reflex attenuation regardless of whether pictures were cued or not. Taken together, the data suggest that cuing elicits an anticipatory coping process that is specific to aversive stimuli.
    September 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12546   open full text
  • Longitudinal stability and predictive utility of the visual P3 response in adults with externalizing psychopathology.
    Henry H. Yoon, Stephen M. Malone, William G. Iacono.
    Psychophysiology. September 24, 2015
    We determined whether time‐domain P3 amplitude and time‐frequency principal component (TF‐PC) reductions could serve as stable and predictive developmental endophenotypes of externalizing psychopathology. Participants from the Minnesota Twin Family Study were assessed at age 17 and again at age 29 for lifetime externalizing (EXT) disorders. Comparisons of P3 amplitude and TF‐PCs at delta and theta frequencies were made between EXT and unaffected comparison subjects. P3 amplitude and all five extracted TF‐PCs were significantly reduced in those presenting lifetime EXT disorders at both ages 17 and 29 and showed substantial 12‐year rank‐order stability. P3 amplitude and delta TF‐PCs measured at age 17 also predicted subsequent development of EXT by age 29, with every 1‐microvolt decrease in age 17 amplitude associated with an approximately 5% increase in risk for an EXT diagnosis by age 29. Overall, results from this study further confirm that these P3‐derived brain measures maintain their potential as putative EXT endophenotypes through the third decade of life.
    September 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12548   open full text
  • Social support moderates the relationship between sleep and inflammation in a population at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
    Lianne M. Tomfohr, Kate M. Edwards, joshua W. Madsen, Paul J. Mills.
    Psychophysiology. September 24, 2015
    Poor sleep and low social support have each been associated with mortality and morbidity from chronic illness, and a small body of research suggests that the two interact to influence systemic inflammation whereby good social relationships may buffer the relationship between poor sleep and increased inflammation. The current study investigated interactions between sleep and social support in the prediction of inflammation in a clinical population (prehypertensive and hypertensive individuals) at high risk for the development of cardiovascular disease. Using a standardized subjective measure of sleep quality, we found that social support moderated the association between sleep and circulating levels of both IL‐6 and CRP, such that poor sleep appeared to confer a risk of increased inflammation only in those participants who also reported low social support. In women, the same relationship was observed for TNF‐α. These results extend previous findings into a clinical population and also demonstrate that sleep quality and social support interact in the prediction of two previously uninvestigated clinically relevant inflammatory markers (CRP and TNF‐α). High levels of perceived social support may compensate for the negative health impact of poor sleep quality and vice versa.
    September 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12549   open full text
  • Latency as a region contrast: Measuring ERP latency differences with Dynamic Time Warping.
    A. Zoumpoulaki, A. Alsufyani, M. Filetti, M. Brammer, H. Bowman.
    Psychophysiology. September 15, 2015
    Methods for measuring onset latency contrasts are evaluated against a new method utilizing the dynamic time warping (DTW) algorithm. This new method allows latency to be measured across a region instead of single point. We use computer simulations to compare the methods’ power and Type I error rates under different scenarios. We perform per‐participant analysis for different signal‐to‐noise ratios and two sizes of window (broad vs. narrow). In addition, the methods are tested in combination with single‐participant and jackknife average waveforms for different effect sizes, at the group level. DTW performs better than the other methods, being less sensitive to noise as well as to placement and width of the window selected.
    September 15, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12521   open full text
  • Empirically based comparisons of the reliability and validity of common quantification approaches for eyeblink startle potentiation in humans.
    Daniel E. Bradford, Mark J. Starr, Alexander J. Shackman, John J. Curtin.
    Psychophysiology. September 15, 2015
    Startle potentiation is a well‐validated translational measure of negative affect. Startle potentiation is widely used in clinical and affective science, and there are multiple approaches for its quantification. The three most commonly used approaches quantify startle potentiation as the increase in startle response from a neutral to threat condition based on (1) raw potentiation, (2) standardized potentiation, or (3) percent‐change potentiation. These three quantification approaches may yield qualitatively different conclusions about effects of independent variables (IVs) on affect when within‐ or between‐group differences exist for startle response in the neutral condition. Accordingly, we directly compared these quantification approaches in a shock‐threat task using four IVs known to influence startle response in the no‐threat condition: probe intensity, time (i.e., habituation), alcohol administration, and individual differences in general startle reactivity measured at baseline. We confirmed the expected effects of time, alcohol, and general startle reactivity on affect using self‐reported fear/anxiety as a criterion. The percent‐change approach displayed apparent artifact across all four IVs, which raises substantial concerns about its validity. Both raw and standardized potentiation approaches were stable across probe intensity and time, which supports their validity. However, only raw potentiation displayed effects that were consistent with a priori specifications and/or the self‐report criterion for the effects of alcohol and general startle reactivity. Supplemental analyses of reliability and validity for each approach provided additional evidence in support of raw potentiation.
    September 15, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12545   open full text
  • Noradrenergic and cholinergic modulation of late ERP responses to deviant stimuli.
    Stephen B. R. E. Brown, Nic J. A. van der Wee, Martijn S. van Noorden, Erik J. Giltay, Sander Nieuwenhuis.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2015
    Researchers have proposed several hypotheses about the neuromodulator systems involved in generating P3 components of the ERP. To test some of these hypotheses, we conducted a randomized placebo‐controlled crossover study in which we investigated how the late positive ERP response to deviant stimuli is modulated by (a) clonidine, an α2 agonist that attenuates baseline noradrenergic activity; and (b) scopolamine, a muscarinic antagonist of acetylcholine receptors. We collected EEG data from 18 healthy volunteers during the performance of an auditory oddball task with several active and passive task conditions. We then used temporospatial principal component analysis (PCA) to decompose the ERP waveforms. The PCA revealed two distinct late positive ERP components: the classic parietal P300 and the frontal novelty P3. Statistical analysis of the temporospatial factor scores indicated that in most conditions the amplitude of the classic P300 was increased by clonidine and scopolamine. In contrast, the amplitude of the novelty P3 was decreased by both drugs. The similar pattern of results for clonidine and scopolamine probably reflects the strong interactions between the noradrenergic and cholinergic systems. The results, in combination with previous pharmacological studies, suggest a critical role for both neuromodulator systems in the generation of the P300 and the novelty P3.
    September 09, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12544   open full text
  • Somatosensory mu activity reflects imagined pain intensity of others.
    Matthias Hoenen, Katrin T. Lübke, Bettina M. Pause.
    Psychophysiology. September 07, 2015
    In accordance with simulation theories of empathy, the somatosensory cortex is involved in the perception of pain of others. Cognitive processes, like perspective taking, can alter empathy‐related activity within the somatosensory cortex. The current study investigates whether this modulation is caused by the imagined sensation of pain or by the cognitive load of a perspective‐taking task. Applying a within‐subject design, participants (N = 30) watched pictures of painful and nonpainful actions, while imagining reduced, normal, or increased pain perception of the observed individual. Mu activity (8–13 Hz), which is inversely correlated with sensorimotor‐cortex activity, was measured via EEG. To calculate mu activity (central electrodes) and alpha activity (occipital electrodes), which served as a control for effects of cognitive load, a fast Fourier transform was applied. Mu suppression linearly increased from reduced to normal to increased imagined pain (p < .05), while alpha activity was unaffected by the imagined pain (p > .80). Suppression of the 8–13 Hz band at central and occipital electrodes was stronger in response to painful actions compared to nonpainful actions (p < .01). These results indicate that modulation of mu activity through perspective taking reflects the imagined pain intensity and not the cognitive load induced by the task.
    September 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12522   open full text
  • Sympathetic pain? A role of poor parasympathetic nervous system engagement in vicarious pain states.
    Julia Nazarewicz, Antonio Verdejo‐Garcia, Melita J. Giummarra.
    Psychophysiology. September 04, 2015
    This study investigated the psychophysiological correlates of the subjective experience of vicarious pain; that is, a spontaneous experience of pain when seeing another in pain. Forty‐nine healthy, otherwise pain‐free individuals aged 18–55 years completed empathy and anxiety questionnaires and were classified into three groups: vicarious responders with high anxiety (n = 11), vicarious responders with low anxiety (n = 22), and nonresponders (n = 16). Electrophysiological recordings of heart rate variability (HRV) during paced breathing and cognitive stress (serial sevens task) were completed before participants viewed short videos of athletes in states of pain or happiness, taken from Australian League Football matches. Change in beats per minute, relative to neutral scenes, were analyzed for the first 4 s after onset of the painful or happy event. Anxious responders had lower HF‐HRV than both other groups, implicating poor parasympathetic regulation specific to states of stress. Both vicarious responder groups had elevated HR at the event onset, regardless of valence. After viewing painful injuries, nonanxious vicarious responders showed sustained HR over time, anxious responders showed HR acceleration with a peak at 3 s after the injury onset, and nonresponders showed a pattern of marked HR deceleration. These findings suggest that vicarious pain in anxious responders is associated with poorly regulated sympathetic arousal via insufficient inhibitory parasympathetic activity, whereas nonanxious persons show sustained arousal. Clearly, multiple mechanisms in the central and peripheral nervous system must play a role in vicarious pain states, and the different manifestations are likely to lead to very different behavioral consequences.
    September 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12516   open full text
  • You see what you have learned. Evidence for an interrelation of associative learning and visual selective attention.
    Tobias Feldmann‐Wüstefeld, Metin Uengoer, Anna Schubö.
    Psychophysiology. September 04, 2015
    Besides visual salience and observers’ current intention, prior learning experience may influence deployment of visual attention. Associative learning models postulate that observers pay more attention to stimuli previously experienced as reliable predictors of specific outcomes. To investigate the impact of learning experience on deployment of attention, we combined an associative learning task with a visual search task and measured event‐related potentials of the EEG as neural markers of attention deployment. In the learning task, participants categorized stimuli varying in color/shape with only one dimension being predictive of category membership. In the search task, participants searched a shape target while disregarding irrelevant color distractors. Behavioral results showed that color distractors impaired performance to a greater degree when color rather than shape was predictive in the learning task. Neurophysiological results show that the amplified distraction was due to differential attention deployment (N2pc). Experiment 2 showed that when color was predictive for learning, color distractors captured more attention in the search task (ND component) and more suppression of color distractor was required (PD component). The present results thus demonstrate that priority in visual attention is biased toward predictive stimuli, which allows learning experience to shape selection. We also show that learning experience can overrule strong top‐down control (blocked tasks, Experiment 3) and that learning experience has a longer‐term effect on attention deployment (tasks on two successive days, Experiment 4).
    September 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12514   open full text
  • On the roles of distinctiveness and semantic expectancies in episodic encoding of emotional words.
    Siri‐Maria Kamp, Geoffrey F. Potts, Emanuel Donchin.
    Psychophysiology. September 04, 2015
    We examined the factors that contribute to enhanced recall for emotionally arousing words by analyzing behavioral performance, the P300 as an index of distinctiveness, and the N400 as an index of semantic expectancy violation in a modified Von Restorff paradigm. While their EEG was recorded, participants studied three list types (1) neutral words including one emotionally arousing isolate (either positive or negative), (2) arousing, negative words including one neutral isolate, or (3) arousing, positive words including one neutral isolate. Immediately after each list, free recall was tested. Negative, but not positive, words exhibited enhanced recall when presented as isolates in lists of neutral words and elicited a larger P300 for subsequently recalled than not‐recalled words. This suggests that arousing, negative words stand out and that their distinctiveness contributes to their superior recall. Positive valence had an enhancing effect on recall only when the list contained mostly other positive words. Neutral isolates placed in either positive or negative lists elicited an N400, suggesting that semantic expectations developed in emotional word lists regardless of valence. However, semantic relatedness appeared to more strongly contribute to recall for positive than negative words. Our results suggest that distinctiveness and semantic relatedness contribute to episodic encoding of arousing words, but the impact of each factor depends on both a word's valence and its context.
    September 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12537   open full text
  • The facilitation of motor actions by acoustic and electric stimulation.
    Welber Marinovic, Magdalene Milford, Timothy Carroll, Stephan Riek.
    Psychophysiology. September 04, 2015
    The presentation of a loud acoustic stimulus during the preparation of motor actions can both speed movement initiation and increase response vigor. Several recent studies have explored this phenomenon as a means to investigate the mechanisms and neural correlates of movement preparation. Here, we sought to determine the generality of this effect across sensory modalities, and in particular whether unexpected somatosensory stimulation can facilitate movements in a manner similar to loud sounds. We show that electric and acoustic stimuli can be similarly effective in inducing the early release of motor actions, in both reaction time and anticipatory timing tasks. Consistent with recent response activation models of motor preparation, we also demonstrate that increasing the intensity of electric stimuli induces both progressive decreases in reaction time and increases in response vigor. Additionally, we show that the early release of motor actions can be induced by electric stimuli targeting predominantly either muscle afferents or skin afferents. Finally, we show that simultaneous acoustic and electric stimulation leads to earlier releases of anticipatory actions than either unimodal stimulus. These findings may lead to new avenues for experimental and clinical exploitation of the effects of accessory sensory information on movement preparation and initiation.
    September 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12540   open full text
  • Gender differences in the impact of daily sadness on 24‐h heart rate variability.
    Bart Verkuil, Jos F. Brosschot, Andrea H. Marques, Kevin Kampschroer, Esther M. Sternberg, Julian F. Thayer.
    Psychophysiology. September 04, 2015
    Reduced heart rate variability (HRV) is proposed to mediate the relation between depressive symptoms and cardiovascular health problems. Yet, several studies have found that in women depression is associated with higher HRV levels, whereas in men depression is associated with lower HRV levels. So far, these studies have only examined gender differences in HRV levels using a single assessment. This study aimed to test the interactive effects of gender and sadness on ambulatory‐assessed HRV levels. A sample of 60 (41 women) employees participated in an ambulatory study. HRV levels (mean of successive differences; MSD) were continuously measured for 24 h. During the daytime, hourly assessments of sadness and other mood states were taken, while depressive symptoms were assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES‐D). Gender differences were observed when examining the impact of average daily sadness on MSD. In women, but not in men, the total amount of sadness experienced during the day was associated with higher circadian MSD levels. These findings suggest that researchers need to take gender differences into account when examining the relation between sadness, HRV, and cardiovascular problems.
    September 04, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12541   open full text
  • Heart rate variability across the menstrual cycle in young women taking oral contraceptives.
    André L. Teixeira, Plínio S. Ramos, Lauro C. Vianna, Djalma R. Ricardo.
    Psychophysiology. September 02, 2015
    Previous studies have shown that resting heart rate variability (HRV) is modified by different phases of the menstrual cycle in nonusers of oral contraceptive pills (OCP); however, the effect of OCP on autonomic control of the heart remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate HRV during the low hormone (LH—not taking OCP) and during the high hormone (HH—active OCP use) phases of the menstrual cycle in young women. Seventeen healthy women (19–31 years) taking OCP for at least 6 consecutive months were enrolled in this study. Plasma estradiol and progesterone were verified at each visit. HRV was assessed by using one‐lead electrocardiography in time and frequency domains, in which participants rested in the supine position for a 20‐min period with a breathing rate of 15 cycles/min. In addition, resting heart rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure were obtained. Both plasma estradiol (LH: 19.8 ± 4.2 pg/mL vs. HH: 12.4 ± 1.5 pg/mL; p > .05) and progesterone (LH: 0.247 ± 0.58 ng/mL vs. HH: 0.371 ± 0.08 ng/mL; p > .05) (mean ± SE) levels were similar in both phases. No significant difference was obtained for any component of HRV, heart rate, or blood pressure between the LH and HH phases (p > .05). These results provide preliminary evidence that use of OCP does not affect HRV during the menstrual cycle in healthy women.
    September 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12510   open full text
  • Spatial attention facilitates assembly of the briefest percepts: Electrophysiological evidence from color fusion.
    Elkan G. Akyürek, E. Manon van Asselt.
    Psychophysiology. September 02, 2015
    When two different color stimuli are presented in rapid succession, the resulting percept is sometimes that of a mixture of both colors, due to a perceptual process called color fusion. Although color fusion might seem to occur very early in the visual pathway, and only happens across the briefest of stimulus presentation intervals (< 50 ms), the present study showed that spatial attention can alter the fusion process. In a series of experiments, spatial cues were presented that either validly indicated the location of a pair of (different) color stimuli in successive stimulus arrays, or did not, pointing toward isoluminant gray distractors in the other visual hemifield. Increased color fusion was observed for valid cues across a range of stimulus durations, at the expense of individual color reports. By contrast, perception of repeated, same‐color stimulus pairs did not change, suggesting that the enhancement was specific to fusion, not color discrimination per se. Electrophysiological measures furthermore showed that the amplitude of the N1, N2pc, and P3 components of the ERP were differentially modulated during the perception of individual and fused colors, as a function of cueing and stimulus duration. Fusion itself, collapsed across cueing conditions, was reflected uniquely in N1 amplitude. Overall, the results suggest that spatial attention enhances color fusion and decreases competition between stimuli, constituting an adaptive slowdown in service of temporal integration.
    September 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12523   open full text
  • The neural correlates of motion‐induced shifts in reaching.
    Borja Rodríguez‐Herreros, Antoni Rodríguez‐Fornells, Joan López‐Moliner.
    Psychophysiology. September 02, 2015
    A basic function of the visual system is to estimate the location of objects. Among other sensory inputs, the coding of an object's position involves the integration of visual motion, such as that produced by other moving patterns in the scene. Psychophysical evidence has shown that motion signals can shift, in the direction of motion, both the perceived position and the directed action to a stationary object. The neural mechanisms that sustain this effect are generally assumed to be mediated by feedback circuits from the middle temporal area to the primary visual cortex. However, evidence from neural responses is lacking. We used measures of ERPs and Granger causality analysis—a tool to predict the causal connectivity of two brain responses—to unravel the circuit by which motion influences position coding. We found that the motion‐induced hand shift is tightly related to a neural delay: Participants with larger shifts of the pointing location presented slower sensory processing, in terms of longer peak latencies of the primary visual evoked potentials. We further identified early neural activity in the vicinity of the extrastriate cortex as the cause of this delay, which likely reflects the early processing of motion signals in position coding. These results suggest the rapid transfer of visual motion through feedforward circuits as a putative neural substrate in charge of the motion‐induced shift in reaching.
    September 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12519   open full text
  • Frequency tagging of steady‐state evoked potentials to explore the crossmodal links in spatial attention between vision and touch.
    Elisabeth Colon, Valéry Legrain, Gan Huang, André Mouraux.
    Psychophysiology. August 29, 2015
    The sustained periodic modulation of a stimulus induces an entrainment of cortical neurons responding to the stimulus, appearing as a steady‐state evoked potential (SS‐EP) in the EEG frequency spectrum. Here, we used frequency tagging of SS‐EPs to study the crossmodal links in spatial attention between touch and vision. We hypothesized that a visual stimulus approaching the left or right hand orients spatial attention toward the approached hand, and thereby enhances the processing of vibrotactile input originating from that hand. Twenty‐five subjects took part in the experiment: 16‐s trains of vibrotactile stimuli (4.2 and 7.2 Hz) were applied simultaneously to the left and right hand, concomitantly with a punctate visual stimulus blinking at 9.8 Hz. The visual stimulus was approached toward the left or right hand. The hands were either uncrossed (left and right hands to the left and right of the participant) or crossed (left and right hands to the right and left of the participant). The vibrotactile stimuli elicited two distinct SS‐EPs with scalp topographies compatible with activity in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex. The visual stimulus elicited a third SS‐EP with a topography compatible with activity in visual areas. When the visual stimulus was over one of the hands, the amplitude of the vibrotactile SS‐EP elicited by stimulation of that hand was enhanced, regardless of whether the hands were uncrossed or crossed. This demonstrates a crossmodal effect of spatial attention between vision and touch, integrating proprioceptive and/or visual information to map the position of the limbs in external space.
    August 29, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12511   open full text
  • Revisiting the incremental effects of context on word processing: Evidence from single‐word event‐related brain potentials.
    Brennan R. Payne, Chia‐Lin Lee, Kara D. Federmeier.
    Psychophysiology. August 27, 2015
    The amplitude of the N400—an event‐related potential (ERP) component linked to meaning processing and initial access to semantic memory—is inversely related to the incremental buildup of semantic context over the course of a sentence. We revisited the nature and scope of this incremental context effect, adopting a word‐level linear mixed‐effects modeling approach, with the goal of probing the continuous and incremental effects of semantic and syntactic context on multiple aspects of lexical processing during sentence comprehension (i.e., effects of word frequency and orthographic neighborhood). First, we replicated the classic word‐position effect at the single‐word level: Open‐class words showed reductions in N400 amplitude with increasing word position in semantically congruent sentences only. Importantly, we found that accruing sentence context had separable influences on the effects of frequency and neighborhood on the N400. Word frequency effects were reduced with accumulating semantic context. However, orthographic neighborhood was unaffected by accumulating context, showing robust effects on the N400 across all words, even within congruent sentences. Additionally, we found that N400 amplitudes to closed‐class words were reduced with incrementally constraining syntactic context in sentences that provided only syntactic constraints. Taken together, our findings indicate that modeling word‐level variability in ERPs reveals mechanisms by which different sources of information simultaneously contribute to the unfolding neural dynamics of comprehension.
    August 27, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12515   open full text
  • Enhanced sensitization to animal, interpersonal, and intergroup fear‐relevant stimuli (but no evidence for selective one‐trial fear learning).
    Ottmar V. Lipp, Sophie L. Cronin, Sakinah S. J. Alhadad, Camilla C. Luck.
    Psychophysiology. August 18, 2015
    Selective sensitization has been proposed as an alternative explanation for enhanced responding to animal fear‐relevant stimuli—snakes and spiders—during extinction of Pavlovian fear conditioning. The current study sought to replicate the phenomenon using a shock workup procedure as the sensitizing manipulation and to extend it to interpersonal and intergroup fear‐relevant stimuli—angry faces and other‐race faces. Assessment of selective sensitization was followed by a one‐trial fear learning procedure. Selective sensitization, larger electrodermal responses to fear‐relevant than to control stimuli after sensitization, or a larger increase in electrodermal responding to fear‐relevant than to control stimuli after sensitization was observed across stimulus domains. However, the one‐trial fear learning procedure failed to provide evidence for enhanced fear conditioning to fear‐relevant stimuli. One‐trial fear learning was either absent or present for fear‐relevant and nonfear‐relevant stimuli. The current study confirms that electrodermal responses to fear‐relevant stimuli across stimulus domains are subject to selective sensitization.
    August 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12513   open full text
  • Gap prepulse inhibition of the auditory late response in healthy subjects.
    Yunseo Ku, Joong Woo Ahn, Chiheon Kwon, Myung‐Whan Suh, Jun Ho Lee, Seung Ha Oh, Hee Chan Kim.
    Psychophysiology. August 13, 2015
    The gap‐startle paradigm has been used as a behavioral method for tinnitus screening in animal studies. This study aimed to investigate gap prepulse inhibition (GPI) of the auditory late response (ALR) as the objective response of the gap‐intense sound paradigm in humans. ALRs were recorded in response to gap‐intense and no‐gap‐intense sound stimuli in 27 healthy subjects. The amplitudes of the baseline‐to‐peak (N1, P2, and N2) and the peak‐to‐peak (N1P2 and P2N2) were compared between two averaged ALRs. The variations in the inhibition ratios of N1P2 and P2N2 during the experiment were analyzed by increasing stimuli repetitions. The effect of stimulus parameter adjustments on GPI ratios was evaluated. No‐gap‐intense sound stimuli elicited greater peak amplitudes than gap‐intense sound stimuli, and significant differences were found across all peaks. The overall mean inhibition ratios were significantly lower than 1.0, where the value 1.0 indicates that there were no differences between gap‐intense and no‐gap‐intense sound responses. The initial decline in GPI ratios was shown in N1P2 and P2N2 complexes, and this reduction was nearly complete after 100 stimulus repetitions. Significant effects of gap length and interstimulus interval on GPI ratios were observed. We found significant inhibition of ALR peak amplitudes in performing the gap‐intense sound paradigm in healthy subjects. The N1P2 complex represented GPI well in terms of suppression degree and test‐retest reliability. Our findings offer practical information for the comparative study of healthy subjects and tinnitus patients using the gap‐intense sound paradigm with the ALR.
    August 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12507   open full text
  • Heartbeat‐related EEG amplitude and phase modulations from wakefulness to deep sleep: Interactions with sleep spindles and slow oscillations.
    Julia Lechinger, Dominik Philip Johannes Heib, Walter Gruber, Manuel Schabus, Wolfgang Klimesch.
    Psychophysiology. August 13, 2015
    Based on physiological models of neurovisceral integration, different studies have shown how cognitive processes modulate heart rate and how the heartbeat, on the other hand, modulates brain activity. We tried to further determine interactions between cardiac and electrical brain activity by means of EEG. We investigated how the heartbeat modulates EEG in 23 healthy controls from wakefulness to deep sleep and showed that frontocentral heartbeat evoked EEG amplitude and phase locking (as measured by intertrial phase locking), at about 300‐400 ms after the R peak, decreased with increasing sleep depth with a renewed increase during REM sleep, which underpins the assumption that the heartbeat evoked positivity constitutes an active frontocortical response to the heartbeat. Additionally, we found that individual heart rate was correlated with the frequency of the EEG's spectral peak (i.e., alpha peak frequency during wakefulness). This correlation was strongest during wakefulness and declined linearly with increasing sleep depth. Furthermore, we show that the QRS complex modulates spindle phase possibly related to the correspondence between the frequency of the QRS complex and the spindle frequency of about 12–15 Hz. Finally, during deep sleep stages, a loose temporal coupling between heartbeats and slow oscillation (0.8 Hz) could be observed. These findings indicate that cardiac activity such as heart rate or individual heartbeats can modulate or be modulated by ongoing oscillatory brain activity.
    August 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12508   open full text
  • Methodological recommendations for a heartbeat detection‐based measure of interoceptive sensitivity.
    Ian R. Kleckner, Jolie Baumann Wormwood, W. Kyle Simmons, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Karen S. Quigley.
    Psychophysiology. August 12, 2015
    Heartbeat detection tasks are often used to measure cardiac interoceptive sensitivity—the ability to detect sensations from one's heart. However, there is little work to guide decisions on the optimum number of trials to use, which should balance reliability and power against task duration and participant burden. Here, 174 participants completed 100 trials of a widely used heartbeat detection task where participants attempt to detect whether presented tones occurred synchronously or asynchronously with their heartbeats. First, we quantified measurement reliability of the participant's accuracy derived from differing numbers of trials of the task using a correlation metric; we found that at least 40–60 trials were required to yield sufficient reliability. Next, we quantified power by simulating how the number of trials influenced the ability to detect a correlation between cardiac interoceptive sensitivity and other variables that differ across participants, including a variable measured from our sample (body mass index) as well as simulated variables of varying effect sizes. Using these simulations, we quantified the trade‐offs between sample size, effect size, and number of trials in the heartbeat detection task such that a researcher can easily determine any one of these variables at given values of the other two variables. We conclude that using fewer than 40 trials is typically insufficient due to poor reliability and low power in estimating an effect size, although the optimal number of trials can differ by study.
    August 12, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12503   open full text
  • Teasing apart the anticipatory and consummatory processing of monetary incentives: An event‐related potential study of reward dynamics.
    Keisha D. Novak, Dan Foti.
    Psychophysiology. July 29, 2015
    The monetary incentive delay (MID) task has been widely used in fMRI studies to investigate the neural networks involved in anticipatory and consummatory reward processing. Previous efforts to adapt the MID task for use with ERPs, however, have had limited success. Here, we sought to further decompose reward dynamics using a comprehensive set of anticipatory (cue‐N2, cue‐P3, contingent negative variation [CNV]) and consummatory ERPs (feedback negativity [FN], feedback P3 [fb‐P3]). ERP data was recorded during adapted versions of the MID task across two experiments. Unlike previous studies, monetary incentive cues modulated the cue‐N2, cue‐P3, and CNV; however, cue‐related ERPs and the CNV were uncorrelated with one another, indicating distinct anticipatory subprocesses. With regard to consummatory processing, FN amplitude primarily tracked outcome valence (reward vs. nonreward), whereas fb‐P3 amplitude primarily tracked outcome salience (uncertain vs. certain). Independent modulation of the cue‐P3 and fb‐P3 was observed, indicating that these two P3 responses may uniquely capture the allocation of attention during anticipatory and consummatory reward processing, respectively. Overall, across two samples, consistent evidence of both anticipatory and consummatory ERP activity was observed on an adapted version of the MID paradigm, demonstrating for the first time how these ERP components may be integrated with one another to more fully characterize the time course of reward processing. This ERP‐MID paradigm is well suited to parsing reward dynamics, and can be applied to both healthy and clinical populations.
    July 29, 2015   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12504   open full text
  • How do 9‐month‐old infants categorize human and ape faces? A rapid repetition ERP study.
    Stefanie Peykarjou, Sabina Pauen, Stefanie Hoehl.
    Psychophysiology. June 02, 2014
    The current study investigates how infants categorize human compared to ape faces. Nine‐month‐old infants were presented with priming stimuli related to human (N = 24) or ape (N = 25) face targets on different levels of categorization. Event‐related potentials were recorded during a passive‐looking rapid repetition paradigm. In a within‐subjects design, priming effects of the same faces, different faces from the same basic‐level category, different faces from the other basic‐level category (human/ape faces), and house fronts were examined. Human and ape faces were first categorized on a superordinate level (“faces”), as indicated by enhanced P1 amplitude and reduced P1 latency for faces primed by any faces. Then, human and ape faces were categorized on a basic level. N290 amplitude and latency were larger for human and monkey targets primed by human faces. Neither human nor ape faces were categorized on the individual level.
    June 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12238   open full text
  • Does a single session of Attentional Bias Modification influence early neural mechanisms of spatial attention? An ERP study.
    Roman Osinsky, Dominika Wilisz, Yewon Kim, Christian Karl, Johannes Hewig.
    Psychophysiology. June 02, 2014
    A relatively new cognitive‐affective training procedure, the Attentional Bias Modification (ABM) technique, is thought to decrease biases in the allocation of attention toward negative emotional stimuli. In two studies, we tested in samples of healthy students whether a single session of ABM has an influence on early orienting of spatial attention as indexed by the N2pc. Replicating previous studies, we found an occipitotemporal N2pc (180–300 ms) contralateral to angry versus neutral facial expressions, indicating that threatening faces automatically draw attention in early stages of stimulus processing. However, this N2pc effect did not significantly change during the ABM training session. Our results therefore indicate that a single session of ABM does not affect early attentional orienting. ABM effects reported in prior research may therefore have been mediated by later cognitive‐affective mechanisms.
    June 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12247   open full text
  • Facial, verbal, and symbolic stimuli differently affect the right hemisphere preponderance of stimulus‐preceding negativity.
    Yoshimi Ohgami, Yasunori Kotani, Jun‐Ichirou Arai, Shigeru Kiryu, Yusuke Inoue.
    Psychophysiology. May 22, 2014
    The present study investigated whether the right hemisphere preponderance of stimulus‐preceding negativity (SPN) was affected by different categories of visual feedback stimulus. A time estimation task was performed with facial, verbal, symbolic, and no‐feedback conditions. A principal component analysis identified an early component of SPN in addition to a late component that was morphologically similar to the original SPN. Motivational scores in the verbal and facial conditions were higher than that in the symbolic condition. Significant right hemisphere preponderance of the late SPN was observed in the symbolic condition but not in the verbal condition, whereas right hemisphere preponderance of the early SPN was observed in the facial condition. The right hemisphere preponderance was influenced by the category of visual feedback stimulus through stimulus‐related activation and the effect of the motivational level.
    May 22, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12234   open full text
  • Three‐year stability of cardiovascular and autonomic nervous system responses to psychological stress.
    Anda I. Dragomir, Christina Gentile, Robert P. Nolan, Bianca D'Antono.
    Psychophysiology. May 22, 2014
    Chronically heightened physiological reactivity to or delayed recovery from stress may contribute to cardiovascular (CV) risk and mortality. Long‐term stability of physiological stress responses has received little attention. Our objectives were to evaluate the 3‐year stability of reactivity and recovery change scores across CV and autonomic parameters and assess whether sex and age moderate stability. A total of 134 healthy participants underwent two laboratory stress protocols, including four 5‐min interpersonal stressors, each followed by a 5‐min recovery period. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and HR variability (high frequency, low frequency, very low frequency [VLF]) were obtained. Spearman rank correlations and linear regressions were performed. Significant correlations emerged for all physiological measures except diastolic BP and VLF recovery. No significant sex or age differences were found. Stress responses represent stable individual traits little affected by sex or age.
    May 22, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12231   open full text
  • The temporal course of the influence of anxiety on fairness considerations.
    Yi Luo, Tingting Wu, Lucas S. Broster, Chunliang Feng, Dandan Zhang, Ruolei Gu, Yue‐Jia Luo.
    Psychophysiology. May 20, 2014
    This study investigated the potential causes of anxious people's social avoidance. The classic ultimatum game was utilized in concert with electroencephalogram recording. Participants were divided into two groups according to levels of trait anxiety as identified by a self‐report scale. The behavioral results indicate that high‐anxious participants were more prone to reject human‐proposed than computer‐proposed unequal offers compared to their low‐anxious counterparts. The event‐related potential results indicate that the high‐anxious group showed a larger feedback‐related negativity when receiving unequal monetary offers than equal ones, and a larger P3 when receiving human‐proposed offers than computer‐proposed ones, but these effects were absent in the low‐anxious group. We suggest anxious people's social avoidance results from hypersensitivity to unequal distributions during interpersonal interactions.
    May 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12235   open full text
  • Enhanced response to music in pregnancy.
    Thomas Hans Fritz, Marian Ciupek, Ambika Kirkland, Klas Ihme, Anika Guha, Jana Hoyer, Arno Villringer.
    Psychophysiology. May 18, 2014
    Given a possible effect of estrogen on the pleasure‐mediating dopaminergic system, musical appreciation in participants whose estrogen levels are naturally elevated during the oral contraceptive cycle and pregnancy has been investigated (n = 32, 15 pregnant, 17 nonpregnant; mean age 27.2). Results show more pronounced blood pressure responses to music in pregnant women. However, estrogen level differences during different phases of oral contraceptive intake did not have any effect, indicating that the observed changes were not related to estrogen. Effects of music on blood pressure were independent of valence, and dissonance elicited the greatest drop in blood pressure. Thus, the enhanced physiological response in pregnant women probably does not reflect a protective mechanism to avoid unpleasantness. Instead, this enhanced response is discussed in terms of a facilitation of prenatal conditioning to acoustical (musical) stimuli.
    May 18, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12228   open full text
  • Cardiac sensitivity in children: Sex differences and its relationship to parameters of emotional processing.
    Anne Koch, Olga Pollatos.
    Psychophysiology. May 09, 2014
    In adults, the level of ability to perceive one's own body signals plays an important role for many concepts of emotional experience as demonstrated for emotion processing or emotion regulation. Representative data on perception of body signals and its emotional correlates in children is lacking. Therefore, the present study investigated the cardiac sensitivity of 1,350 children between 6 and 11 years of age in a heartbeat perception task. Our main findings demonstrated the distribution of cardiac sensitivity in children as well as associations with interpersonal emotional intelligence and adaptability. Furthermore, independent of body mass index, boys showed a significantly higher cardiac sensitivity than girls. We conclude that cardiac sensitivity in children appears to show weaker but similar characteristics and relations to emotional parameters as found in adults, so that a dynamic developmental process can be assumed.
    May 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12233   open full text
  • Changing your mind before it is too late: The electrophysiological correlates of online error correction during response selection.
    Clémence Roger, Elena Núñez Castellar, Gilles Pourtois, Wim Fias.
    Psychophysiology. May 07, 2014
    Inhibiting actions when they are no longer appropriate is essential for adaptive goal‐directed behavior. In this study, we used high‐density EEG and a standard flanker task to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics of cognitive control and inhibitory mechanisms aimed to prevent the commission of errors. By recording hand‐related electromyographic activity, we could disentangle successful from unsuccessful inhibition attempts. Our results confirm that (a) the latency of the error‐related negativity (ERN; or Ne) component is too late to be associated with these online inhibitory mechanisms, and (b) instead, a frontal slow negative component with an earlier time course was associated with the implementation of online inhibition. These findings are consistent with single‐cell recordings in monkeys showing that the supplementary motor area provides cognitive control signals to the primary motor cortex to exert online inhibition and in turn rectify the course of erroneous actions.
    May 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12224   open full text
  • An 8‐month exercise intervention alters frontotemporal white matter integrity in overweight children.
    David J. Schaeffer, Cynthia E. Krafft, Nicolette F. Schwarz, Lingxi Chi, Amanda L. Rodrigue, Jordan E. Pierce, Jerry D. Allison, Nathan E. Yanasak, Tianming Liu, Catherine L. Davis, Jennifer E. McDowell.
    Psychophysiology. May 05, 2014
    In childhood, excess adiposity and low fitness are linked to poor academic performance, lower cognitive function, and differences in brain structure. Identifying ways to mitigate obesity‐related alterations is of current clinical importance. This study examined the effects of an 8‐month exercise intervention on the uncinate fasciculus, a white matter fiber tract connecting frontal and temporal lobes. Participants consisted of 18 unfit, overweight 8‐ to 11‐year‐old children (94% Black) who were randomly assigned to either an aerobic exercise (n = 10) or a sedentary control group (n = 8). Before and after the intervention, all subjects participated in a diffusion tensor MRI scan. Tractography was conducted to isolate the uncinate fasciculus. The exercise group showed improved white matter integrity as compared to the control group. These findings are consistent with an emerging literature suggesting beneficial effects of exercise on white matter integrity.
    May 05, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12227   open full text
  • Stress‐induced cortisol secretion impairs detection performance in x‐ray baggage screening for hidden weapons by screening novices.
    Livia Thomas, Adrian Schwaninger, Nadja Heimgartner, Patrik Hedinger, Franziska Hofer, Ulrike Ehlert, Petra H. Wirtz.
    Psychophysiology. May 02, 2014
    Aviation security strongly depends on screeners' performance in the detection of threat objects in x‐ray images of passenger bags. We examined for the first time the effects of stress and stress‐induced cortisol increases on detection performance of hidden weapons in an x‐ray baggage screening task. We randomly assigned 48 participants either to a stress or a nonstress group. The stress group was exposed to a standardized psychosocial stress test (TSST). Before and after stress/nonstress, participants had to detect threat objects in a computer‐based object recognition test (X‐ray ORT). We repeatedly measured salivary cortisol and X‐ray ORT performance before and after stress/nonstress. Cortisol increases in reaction to psychosocial stress induction but not to nonstress independently impaired x‐ray detection performance. Our results suggest that stress‐induced cortisol increases at peak reactivity impair x‐ray screening performance.
    May 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12229   open full text
  • Frontal EEG asymmetry as predictor of physiological responses to aversive memories.
    Thomas Meyer, Conny W. E. M. Quaedflieg, Timo Giesbrecht, Ewout H. Meijer, Schahrasad Abiad, Tom Smeets.
    Psychophysiology. April 30, 2014
    Evidence suggests that asymmetry in frontal electrical activity predicts responses to aversive experiences, such that higher left‐sided activity might dampen responses to trauma reminders. We measured frontal asymmetry at rest and during viewing of a trauma film, and assessed startle responses to film‐reminder images. To explore potential moderators, we compared two films (Study 1; N = 64) and modulated reappraisal (Study 2; N = 72). As expected, left frontal activation during film viewing predicted dampened responses in individuals who viewed a staged road accident. However, this effect tended to be reversed when a genocide documentary was used. In Study 2, all participants viewed the genocide film. Left frontal activity at rest again predicted higher startle responses, while reappraisal did not moderate the effects. Thus, the type of trauma film plays a crucial role in the effects of frontal asymmetry, which warrants further critical investigation.
    April 30, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12230   open full text
  • The effects of age on the neural correlates of feedback processing in a naturalistic gambling game.
    Robert West, Brandy N. Tiernan, Paul D. Kieffaber, Kira Bailey, Stephen Anderson.
    Psychophysiology. April 24, 2014
    We examined age‐related differences in the spatiotemporal distribution of event‐related brain potentials (ERPs) related to feedback processing in a virtual blackjack game. The behavioral data revealed that older adults were less risk seeking than younger adults both within and across trials. Age‐related differences were observed in the amplitude of several ERP components (P2‐FN‐P3a, P3a, slow wave activity) related to feedback processing. These components were localized to the anterior and posterior cingulate, the occipital cortex, and the inferior and medial frontal cortices. The effects of aging on the ERPs ranged from 200–2,000 ms after feedback onset. Our findings indicate that aging affects the activity of a distributed neural network that underpins processing the valence and motivational significance of feedback related to risky decisions.
    April 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12225   open full text
  • What is and what could have been: An ERP study on counterfactual comparisons.
    Roman Osinsky, Helen Walter, Johannes Hewig.
    Psychophysiology. April 17, 2014
    Prior research indicates that the feedback‐related negativity (FRN) reflects a good versus bad evaluation of decision outcomes, which is insensitive to the local utilitarian relation between chosen and unchosen outcomes. We tested whether this negative finding holds when the chosen outcome has an objective value of zero and therefore a comparison with the unchosen outcome is needed to identify overall choice valence. Participants completed a gambling task in which chosen and unchosen options could result in monetary wins, losses, or breaking even. Results show that the FRN does not reflect local favorableness but rather a dichotomy of gain versus no‐gain for both chosen and unchosen outcomes. In contrast, P300 amplitude appears to reflect motivational salience derived from counterfactual comparisons of chosen and unchosen outcomes. Based on our and prior findings, we propose a threefold taxonomy of contextual factors and their relation to the FRN.
    April 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12221   open full text
  • Complementary modulation of N2 and CRN by conflict frequency.
    Rosa Grützmann, Anja Riesel, Julia Klawohn, Norbert Kathmann, Tanja Endrass.
    Psychophysiology. April 15, 2014
    The present study investigated the modulation of the N2 and the correct‐related negativity (CRN) by conflict frequency. Conflict costs, as measured by reaction times and error rate, were reduced with increasing conflict frequency, indicating improved conflict resolution. N2 amplitudes in incompatible trials increased with higher conflict frequency, while postresponse CRN amplitudes decreased. In concert with behavioral findings of reduced conflict costs and greater interference suppression, the increase of N2 might reflect enhanced conflict resolution during stimulus processing. The CRN, however, might reflect postresponse implementation of cognitive control, which is reduced when conflict is already adequately resolved during stimulus processing. Furthermore, N2 and CRN in incompatible trials were inversely related on the between‐ and within‐subject level, implying that the two modes of implementing cognitive control are applied complementarily.
    April 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12222   open full text
  • The distractor positivity (Pd) signals lowering of attentional priority: Evidence from event‐related potentials and individual differences.
    Nicolas Burra, Dirk Kerzel.
    Psychophysiology. April 08, 2014
    We investigated the effects of task demands and individual differences on the allocation of attention. Using the same stimuli, participants indicated the orientation of a line contained in a shape singleton (identification task) or the presence of singletons (detection task). Shape singletons in the identification task elicited a contralateral negativity (N2pc) whereas shape singletons in the detection task elicited a contralateral positivity (Pd). We suggest that the reduction of attentional priority of a salient stimulus, reflected by the Pd, occurred more rapidly with the less demanding detection task. Further, fewer distractible participants showed a larger N2pc to lateral color distractors than highly distractible participants. We suggest that highly distractible participants developed compensatory mechanisms to suppress distracting stimuli.
    April 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12215   open full text
  • Resting vagal tone and vagal response to stress: Associations with anxiety, aggression, and perceived anxiety control among youths.
    Brandon G. Scott, Carl F. Weems.
    Psychophysiology. April 08, 2014
    This study tested the associations of both resting vagal tone and vagal response to stress with anxiety control beliefs, anxiety, and aggression among 80 youths (aged 11–17 years). Measures included physiological assessments of emotion regulation along with youth self‐report of anxiety control beliefs, anxiety, and aggression and caregiver reports of their child's anxiety and aggression. Resting vagal tone was positively related to anxiety control beliefs, but negatively associated with anxiety. Conversely, higher levels of anxiety and aggression were associated with increased vagal tone during a cognitive stress task. Findings suggest associations between physiological and self‐report of emotion regulation (anxiety control beliefs) and that anxiety and aggression may have specific and nonspecific relations with physiological indices of emotion regulation.
    April 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12218   open full text
  • Does cardiac reactivity in the laboratory predict ambulatory heart rate? Baseline counts.
    Andreas R. Schwerdtfeger, Anne Schienle, Verena Leutgeb, Eva‐Maria Rathner.
    Psychophysiology. April 02, 2014
    Cardiovascular reactivity to laboratory stress might predict cardiovascular load in everyday life. However, previous research throws doubt on this hypothesis. This study examined associations between heart rate (HR) to a public speaking task and ambulatory HR throughout a day. Electrocardiogram, bodily movement, and psychosocial variables (affect, context) were recorded in 111 individuals. Ambulatory HR was positively associated with both positive and negative affect. Baseline HR in the laboratory significantly predicted ambulatory HR, but HR reactivity did not. The interaction of momentary negative affect and cardiac reactivity in the laboratory was also not significant. However, a significant interaction of baseline HR and reactivity indicated that, when baseline was high, there was a positive relation between HR reactivity and ambulatory HR. Findings suggest that baseline has to be considered when aiming to predict cardiovascular load in everyday life.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12199   open full text
  • Dissociable effects of psychopathic traits on cortical and subcortical visual pathways during facial emotion processing: An ERP study on the N170.
    Pedro R. Almeida, Fernando Ferreira‐Santos, Joana B. Vieira, Pedro S. Moreira, Fernando Barbosa, João Marques‐Teixeira.
    Psychophysiology. April 02, 2014
    This study examined the relation between psychopathic traits and the brain response to facial emotion by analyzing the N170 component of the ERP. Fifty‐four healthy participants were assessed for psychopathic traits and exposed to images of emotional and neutral faces with varying spatial frequency content. The N170 was modulated by the emotional expressions, irrespective of psychopathic traits. Fearless dominance was associated with a reduced N170, driven by the low spatial frequency components of the stimuli, and dependent on the tectopulvinar visual pathway. Conversely, coldheartedness was related to overall enhanced N170, suggesting mediation by geniculostriate processing. Results suggest that different dimensions of psychopathy are related to distinct facial emotion processing mechanisms and support the existence of both amygdala deficits and compensatory engagement of cortical structures for emotional processing in psychopathy.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12209   open full text
  • Should I smile or should I frown? An ERP study on the voluntary control of emotion‐related facial expressions.
    Guillermo Recio, Olga Shmuilovich, Werner Sommer.
    Psychophysiology. April 02, 2014
    We investigated the motor planning and reprogramming of facial expressions of happiness and anger with a response‐priming task. A response signal commanded the production of a validly or invalidly cued facial expression. Electromyogram showed performance costs of inhibiting the falsely prepared expression and reprogramming the correct one in invalid trials. These performance costs were larger in zygomaticus major than corrugator supercilii, indicating better control over the latter. Event‐related potentials indicated no emotion specificity in the initial preparation of anger and happiness in the contingent negative variation. During reprogramming, anger came along with greater allocation of processing resources for the inhibition of the preactivated motor plan (N2), and the updating of a new one (P3). These additional processing resources and the faster control over corrugator may reflect the need for being quick and accurate in displaying threat.
    April 02, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12220   open full text
  • Testing the temporal stability of individual differences in the acquisition and generalization of fear.
    David Torrents‐Rodas, Miquel A. Fullana, Albert Bonillo, Oscar Andión, Beatriz Molinuevo, Xavier Caseras, Rafael Torrubia.
    Psychophysiology. March 28, 2014
    We studied the temporal stability of individual differences in the acquisition and generalization of fear. Seventy‐one participants were tested in two almost identical fear‐acquisition and fear‐generalization sessions (separated by 8 months). Acquisition and generalization were measured by the fear‐potentiated startle, the skin conductance response, and online expectancies of the unconditioned stimulus. To control for the effects of previous experience, different stimuli were used for half of the participants in Session 2. Acquisition and generalization did not differ across sessions or as a function of the stimuli used in Session 2, and a significant proportion of individual differences in these processes was stable over time (generalizability coefficients ranged from 0.17 to 0.38). When the same stimuli were used, acquisition measures showed compromised stability. The results are discussed in terms of their theoretical and applied implications.
    March 28, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12213   open full text
  • Altered frontal EEG asymmetry in obsessive‐compulsive disorder.
    Moritz Ischebeck, Tanja Endrass, Daniela Simon, Norbert Kathmann.
    Psychophysiology. March 28, 2014
    Hemispheric topography of alpha band power in the electroencephalogram has been linked to approach/avoidance motivation and may index the risk for anxiety disorders and depression. We quantified lower alpha band power (8–10 Hz) in 20 patients with obsessive‐compulsive disorder (OCD) and 20 matched healthy controls during blocks of rest and presentation of neutral, aversive, and OCD‐related pictures. Compared to the control group, OCD patients showed altered asymmetry, with frontal alpha power in the 8–10 Hz band being more dominant in the left hemisphere across all conditions. This alteration was not observed over parietal areas, and also did not show in the upper alpha, and the theta and beta bands. This change in hemispheric topography of lower alpha band power supports the hypothesis of relatively increased avoidance motivation in OCD. Altered asymmetry appears to be traitlike in OCD, suggesting a link to depressive disorders.
    March 28, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12214   open full text
  • Perceptual properties of feedback stimuli influence the feedback‐related negativity in the flanker gambling task.
    Yanni Liu, Lindsay D. Nelson, Edward M. Bernat, William J. Gehring.
    Psychophysiology. March 28, 2014
    A negative deflection in the event‐related potential is enhanced following error‐ and loss‐related feedback in decision‐making and simple gambling tasks. Researchers have assumed that the perceptual properties of the feedback stimuli are unimportant in explaining these effects. This assumption was tested in the present study through a flanker gambling task, in which the perceptual properties of the feedback were manipulated. Consistent with previous studies, loss elicited a larger feedback‐related negativity (FRN) than gain feedback. However, this FRN reward effect was modulated by the perceptual properties of the feedback stimuli. When gain and loss feedback were perceptually similar to each other, the enhancement of the FRN following the loss feedback was smaller compared to when the gain and loss feedback were different from each other. In addition, incongruent feedback elicited a larger FRN than congruent feedback; this FRN congruency effect was larger following gain than loss feedback. These results suggested that perceptual properties of the feedback stimuli play a role in the elicitation of the FRN.
    March 28, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12216   open full text
  • EEG delta oscillations index inhibitory control of contextual novelty to both irrelevant distracters and relevant task‐switch cues.
    Laura Prada, Francisco Barceló, Christoph S. Herrmann, Carles Escera.
    Psychophysiology. March 27, 2014
    Delta oscillations contribute to the human P300 event‐related potential evoked by oddball targets, although it is unclear whether they index contextual novelty (event oddballness, novelty P3, nP3), or target‐related processes (event targetness, target P3b). To examine this question, the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded during a cued task‐switching version of the Wisconsin card‐sorting test. Each target card was announced by a tone cueing either to switch or repeat the task. Novel sound distracters were interspersed among trials. Time‐frequency EEG analyses revealed bursts of delta (2–4 Hz) power associated with enhanced nP3 amplitudes to both task‐switch cues and novel distracters—but no association with target P3b. These findings indicate that the P300‐delta response indexes contextual novelty regardless of whether novelty emanates from endogenous (new task rules) or exogenous (novel distracters) sources of information.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12210   open full text
  • The neural fate of neutral information in emotion‐enhanced memory.
    Sarah Watts, Luciano G. Buratto, Emilie V. Brotherhood, Gemma E. Barnacle, Alexandre Schaefer.
    Psychophysiology. March 27, 2014
    In this study, we report evidence that neural activity reflecting the encoding of emotionally neutral information in memory is reduced when neutral and emotional stimuli are intermixed during encoding. Specifically, participants studied emotional and neutral pictures organized in mixed lists (in which emotional and neutral pictures were intermixed) or in pure lists (only‐neutral or only‐emotional pictures) and performed a recall test. To estimate encoding efficiency, we used the Dm effect, measured with event‐related potentials. Recall for neutral items was lower in mixed compared to pure lists and posterior Dm activity for neutral items was reduced in mixed lists, whereas it remained robust in pure lists. These findings might be caused by an asymmetrical competition for attentional and working memory resources between emotional and neutral information, which could be a major determinant of emotional memory effects.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12211   open full text
  • Task motivation influences alpha suppression following errors.
    Rebecca J. Compton, Bryn Bissey, Sharoda Worby‐Selim.
    Psychophysiology. March 27, 2014
    The goal of the present research is to examine the influence of motivation on a novel error‐related neural marker, error‐related alpha suppression (ERAS). Participants completed an attentionally demanding flanker task under conditions that emphasized either speed or accuracy or under conditions that manipulated the monetary value of errors. Conditions in which errors had greater motivational value produced greater ERAS, that is, greater alpha suppression following errors compared to correct trials. A second study found that a manipulation of task difficulty did not affect ERAS. Together, the results confirm that ERAS is both a robust phenomenon and one that is sensitive to motivational factors.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12212   open full text
  • Investigating the age‐related “anterior shift” in the scalp distribution of the P3b component using principal component analysis.
    Brittany R. Alperin, Katherine K. Mott, Dorene M. Rentz, Phillip J. Holcomb, Kirk R. Daffner.
    Psychophysiology. March 24, 2014
    An age‐related “anterior shift” in the distribution of the P3b is often reported. Temporospatial principal component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate the basis of this observation. ERPs were measured in young and old adults during a visual oddball task. PCA revealed two spatially distinct factors in both age groups, identified as the posterior P3b and anterior P3a. Young subjects generated a smaller P3a than P3b, while old subjects generated a P3a that did not differ in amplitude from their P3b. Rather than having a more anteriorly distributed P3b, old subjects produced a large, temporally overlapping P3a. The pattern of the age‐related “anterior shift” in the P3 was similar for target and standard stimuli. The increase in the P3a in elderly adults may not represent a failure to habituate the novelty response, but may reflect greater reliance on executive control operations (P3a) to carry out the categorization/updating process (P3b).
    March 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12206   open full text
  • Prolonged marital stress is associated with short‐lived responses to positive stimuli.
    Regina C. Lapate, Carien M. Reekum, Stacey M. Schaefer, Lawrence L. Greischar, Catherine J. Norris, David R.W. Bachhuber, Carol D. Ryff, Richard J. Davidson.
    Psychophysiology. March 24, 2014
    Marital stress is associated with a higher incidence of psychiatric disorders, in particular major depression. One pathway through which marital stress may impact emotional health is by compromising emotion‐responding processes. We examined a longitudinal sample of adults (N = 116; 59 males; 39–84 years) to verify how marital stress predicts reactivity to, and recovery from, emotional provocation. Individuals watched positive, neutral, and negative pictures while an objective measure of affective state, corrugator supercilii muscle activity, was recorded continuously. Our results indicate that marital stress is associated with short‐lived responses to positive pictures, indexed by a less persistent decrease in corrugator activity after picture offset. Extending beyond the prior focus on negative emotional processes, these results suggest that social stress may impact health by influencing the time course of responding to positive events.
    March 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12203   open full text
  • Episodic temporal structure modulates associative recognition processes: An MEG study.
    Roni Tibon, Eli Vakil, Daniel A. Levy, Abraham Goldstein.
    Psychophysiology. March 20, 2014
    The formation of mnemonic associations can occur between items processed in temporal proximity. It has been proposed that such intertemporal associations are not unitizable, and may therefore be retrieved only via recollective processes. To examine this claim, we conducted a magnetoencephalograph study of recognition memory for items encoded and retrieved sequentially. Participants studied successively presented pairs of object pictures, and subsequently made old‐new item judgments under several retrieval conditions, differing in degree of reinstatement of associative information. Correct recognition was accompanied by an early event‐related field (ERF) component, seemingly corresponding to the FN400 event‐related potential component asserted to reflect familiarity; this retrieval success effect was not modulated by degree of associative binding. A later ERF component, corresponding to the late positive component asserted to reflect recollection, was modulated by degree of associative reinstatement. These results suggest that memory of intertemporal associations, which are not amenable to unitization, is accessed via recollection.
    March 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12207   open full text
  • Psychometric properties of the error‐related negativity in children and adolescents.
    Alexandria Meyer, Jennifer N. Bress, Greg Hajcak Proudfit.
    Psychophysiology. March 20, 2014
    Error processing is frequently examined using the error‐related negativity (ERN), a negative‐going event‐related potential occurring after the commission of an error at frontal‐central sites, and has been suggested as a neural biomarker that may be useful in characterizing trajectories of risk for anxiety. While the ERN has been shown to have excellent psychometric properties in adults, few studies have examined psychometric properties of the ERN in children and adolescents. The current study examined the 2‐year test‐retest reliability of the ERN in a sample of children and adolescents, and the convergent validity of the ERN using a flanker and go/no‐go task. Results suggest that the ERN is both reliable and stable across 2 years and across tasks. However, results also indicate that the internal consistency obtained using the flanker task is greater than the internal consistency obtained using the go/no‐go task.
    March 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12208   open full text
  • Opposite effect of conflict context modulation on neural mechanisms of cognitive and affective control.
    Taolin Chen, Keith Maurice Kendrick, Chunliang Feng, Suyong Yang, Xiaogang Wang, Xun Yang, Du Lei, Min Wu, Xiaoqi Huang, Qiyong Gong, Yuejia Luo.
    Psychophysiology. March 17, 2014
    This study investigated the neural effect of conflict context modulation of cognitive and affective conflict processing by recording evoked‐response potentials in cognitive and affective versions of a flanker task. By varying the proportion of congruent and incongruent trials in a block, we found different patterns of the context effect on evoked potentials during cognitive and affective conflict processing. For posterior N1 amplitude, frequent incongruent trials produced a larger effect only in the affective task. The opposite pattern of the context effect was observed for the central N450, which was enhanced by frequent cognitive but reduced by frequent affective contexts. We found similar context effect on the parietal sustained potential in both tasks. Overall, our findings suggest that cognitive and affective conflict processing engage a context‐dependent attentional control mechanism but a common conflict response system.
    March 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12165   open full text
  • Problem gamblers are hyposensitive to wins: An analysis of skin conductance responses during actual gambling on electronic gaming machines.
    Lisa Lole, Craig J. Gonsalvez, Robert J. Barry, Alex Blaszczynski.
    Psychophysiology. March 03, 2014
    Physiological arousal is purportedly a key determinant in the development and maintenance of gambling behaviors, with problem gambling conceptualized in terms of abnormal autonomic responses. Theoretical conceptualizations of problem gambling are discordant regarding the nature of deficit in this disorder; some accounts posit that problem gamblers are hypersensitive to reward, and others that they are hyposensitive to reward and/or punishment. Previous research examining phasic electrodermal responses in gamblers has been limited to laboratory settings, and reactions to real gaming situations need to be examined. Skin conductance responses (SCRs) to losses, wins, and losses disguised as wins (LDWs) were recorded from 15 problem gamblers (PGs) and 15 nonproblem gamblers (NPGs) while they wagered their own money during electronic gaming machine play. PGs demonstrated significantly reduced SCRs to reward. SCRs to losses and LDWs did not differ for either PGs or NPGs. This hyposensitivity to wins may reflect abnormalities in incentive processing, and may represent a potential biological marker for problem gambling.
    March 03, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12198   open full text
  • Shifting attention between the space of the body and external space: Electrophysiological correlates of visual‐nociceptive crossmodal spatial attention.
    Louis Favril, André Mouraux, Chiara F. Sambo, Valéry Legrain.
    Psychophysiology. March 03, 2014
    The study tested whether nociceptive stimuli applied to a body limb can orient spatial attention in external space toward visual stimuli delivered close to that limb. Nociceptive stimuli were applied to either the left or the right hand. Task‐relevant visual stimuli were delivered at the location adjacent to the stimulated hand (70% valid trials) or adjacent to the other hand (30% invalid trials). Visual stimuli were discriminated with shorter reaction times and elicited ERPs of greater magnitude in the valid as compared to the invalid trials. This enhancement affected the N1 component, suggesting that the location of the nociceptive cue modifies visual processing through a modulation of neural activity in the visual cortex. We hypothesize the existence of a common frame of reference able to coordinate the mapping of the space of the body and the mapping of the external space.
    March 03, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12157   open full text
  • Reconciling discrepant findings for P3 brain response in criminal psychopathy through reference to the concept of externalizing proneness.
    Noah C. Venables, Christopher J. Patrick.
    Psychophysiology. March 03, 2014
    We sought to address inconsistencies in the literature on amplitude of P3 brain potential response in offenders diagnosed with psychopathy. These inconsistencies contrast with the reliable finding of reduced P3 in relation to externalizing tendencies, which overlap with impulsive‐antisocial features of psychopathy, as distinguished from the affective‐interpersonal features. Employing a sample of incarcerated male offenders (N = 154) who completed the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised along with a three‐stimulus visual oddball task, we tested the hypothesis that impulsive‐antisocial features of psychopathy would selectively exhibit an inverse relationship with P3 amplitude. Clear support for this hypothesis was obtained. Our findings clarify the discrepant findings regarding psychopathy and P3, and establish P3 as a neurophysiological point of contact between psychopathy and externalizing proneness from the broader psychopathology literature.
    March 03, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12189   open full text
  • When tonic cardiac vagal tone predicts changes in phasic vagal tone: The role of fear and perceptual load.
    Gewnhi Park, Michael W. Vasey, Jay J. Van Bavel, Julian F. Thayer.
    Psychophysiology. February 27, 2014
    We examined the relationship between tonic—a correlate of self‐regulatory functioning—and phasic cardiac vagal activity (indexed by heart rate variability; HRV) during a selective attentional task with varying levels of load. Participants detected a target letter among letter strings superimposed on either fearful or neutral face distractors. Letter strings consisted of six target letters under low load and one target letter and five nontarget letters under high load. With fearful distractors, lower tonic HRV was associated with phasic HRV suppression, suggesting an autonomic stress response under both low and high load. In contrast, higher tonic HRV was associated with phasic HRV enhancement, suggesting greater self‐regulatory effort under low load and an absence of phasic HRV suppression under high load. The current research suggests that tonic cardiac vagal tone is associated with the ability to flexibly adapt autonomic responses.
    February 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12186   open full text
  • Adolescent girls with emotional disorders have a lower end‐tidal CO2 and increased respiratory rate compared with healthy controls.
    Eva Henje Blom, Eva Serlachius, Margaret A. Chesney, Erik M. G. Olsson.
    Psychophysiology. February 27, 2014
    Hyperventilation has been linked to emotional distress in adults. This study investigates end‐tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2), respiratory rate (RR), and heart rate variability (HRV) in adolescent girls with emotional disorders and healthy controls. ETCO2, RR, HRV, and ratings of emotional symptom severity were collected in adolescent female psychiatric patients with emotional disorders (n = 63) and healthy controls (n = 62). ETCO2 and RR differed significantly between patients and controls. ETCO2, HR, and HRV were significant independent predictors of group status, that is, clinical or healthy, while RR was not. ETCO2 and RR were significantly related to emotional symptom severity and to HRV in the total group. ETCO2 and RR were not affected by use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It is concluded that emotional dysregulation is related to hyperventilation in adolescent girls. Respiratory‐based treatments may be relevant to investigate in future research.
    February 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12188   open full text
  • Spatial conceptual associations between music and pictures as revealed by N400 effect.
    Linshu Zhou, Cunmei Jiang, Franco Delogu, Yufang Yang.
    Psychophysiology. February 26, 2014
    The processing of extramusical meaning can be reflected in N400 effects of the ERP. However, how conceptual representations can be activated in music still needs to be specified. We investigated the activation of iconic meaningful representations in music by using a cross‐modal semantic priming paradigm with an implicit task. Pictures of spatial scenes were semantically congruent or incongruent to preceding music in three stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) conditions. The results revealed that the semantically incongruent target pictures elicited larger N400 amplitude than the congruent target pictures. Moreover, the semantic priming effect was modulated by the SOAs. The N400 effect was observed in the 200‐ms and 800‐ms SOA conditions, but not in the 1,200‐ms SOA condition. These results suggest that extramusical meaning purely due to iconic sign quality can be activated, and that the conceptual activation in music can be rapid and automatic.
    February 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12195   open full text
  • Probing the sensory effects of involuntary attention change by ERPs to auditory transients.
    János Horváth.
    Psychophysiology. February 26, 2014
    An auditory selective attention set allows one to enhance the processing of goal‐relevant sound events, which is reflected by the enhancement of the N1 event‐related potential (ERP). The present study investigated whether the sensory consequences of distraction (i.e., involuntary attention changes triggered by infrequent sensory events) can be revealed as the removal of this attentional ERP enhancement. Continuous tones featuring occasional gaps were presented, and participants performed a gap‐detection task. Independently from gaps, abrupt pitch changes (glides) were introduced, either rarely or frequently, in separate conditions. Whereas rare glides preceding gaps by 150 ms strongly impacted gap‐detection performance and gap‐related N1 amplitudes, their impact on gaps following rare glides by 650 ms was significantly smaller in both measures. This result demonstrates the utility of N1 in probing the sensory impact of auditory distraction.
    February 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12187   open full text
  • Event‐related potential N270 delayed and enhanced by the conjunction of relevant and irrelevant perceptual mismatch.
    Matthew A. Bennett, Philip A. Duke, Giorgio Fuggetta.
    Psychophysiology. February 26, 2014
    Event‐related potential studies using delayed match‐to‐sample tasks have demonstrated the presence of two components, N270 and N400, possibly reflecting the sequential processing of multiple sources of endogenous mismatch. To date, studies have only investigated mismatch between a single cue and target. In this study, we used distractor stimuli to investigate the effect of a secondary source of mismatch distinct from the task‐relevant stimulus. Subjects performed two paradigms in which the cue and target could match or mismatch. In one paradigm, task‐irrelevant distractors were added—producing a source of task‐irrelevant perceptual mismatch. A mismatch‐triggered negativity was elicited in both paradigms, but was delayed and enhanced in magnitude in the distractors present paradigm. It is suggested that the distractors may differentially affect mismatch responses through the generation of a task‐irrelevant mismatch response.
    February 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12192   open full text
  • Resting and task‐elicited prefrontal EEG alpha asymmetry in depression: Support for the capability model.
    Jennifer L. Stewart, James A. Coan, David N. Towers, John J. B. Allen.
    Psychophysiology. February 26, 2014
    The capability model of frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry suggests that brain activity during emotional challenge will be a more powerful indicator of predispositions toward psychopathology than activity observed at rest. EEG data were assessed during a resting baseline and a facial emotion task, wherein individuals with (n = 143) and without (n = 163) lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD) made approach (angry and happy) and withdrawal (afraid and sad) facial expressions. EEG asymmetry during emotional challenge was a more powerful indicator of MDD status than resting asymmetry for average, Cz, and linked mastoid references, results in support of the capability model. However, current‐source‐density (CSD) transformed asymmetry was indicative of lifetime MDD status under resting and task‐elicited conditions. Findings suggest that CSD‐transformed data may be more robust indicators of trait frontal EEG asymmetry.
    February 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12191   open full text
  • Altering the primacy bias—How does a prior task affect mismatch negativity?
    Daniel Mullens, Jessica Woodley, Lisa Whitson, Alexander Provost, Andrew Heathcote, István Winkler, Juanita Todd.
    Psychophysiology. February 26, 2014
    The role in which two tones are first encountered in an unattended oddball sequence affects how deviance detection, reflected by mismatch negativity, treats them later when the roles reverse: a “primacy bias.” We tested whether this effect is modulated by previous behavioral relevance assigned to the two tones. To this end, sequences in which the roles of the two tones alternated were preceded by a go/no‐go task in which tones were presented with equal probability. Half of the participants were asked to respond to the short sounds, the other half to long sounds. Primacy bias was initially abolished but returned dependent upon the go‐stimulus that the participant was assigned. Results demonstrate a long‐term impact of prior learning on deviance detection, and that even when prior importance/equivalence is learned, the bias ultimately returns. Results are discussed in terms of persistent go‐stimulus specific changes in responsiveness to sound.
    February 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12190   open full text
  • Prefrontal‐posterior coupling while observing the suffering of other people, and the development of intrusive memories.
    Eva M. Reiser, Elisabeth M. Weiss, Günter Schulter, Emily A. Holmes, Andreas Fink, Ilona Papousek.
    Psychophysiology. February 24, 2014
    Witnessing the suffering of others, for instance, in hospital emergency rooms but also through televised images in news or reality programs, may be associated with the occurrence of later intrusive memories. The factors contributing to why some people develop intrusive memories and others do not are still poorly understood. N = 121 healthy women were exposed to film scenes showing the suffering of dying, severely injured, and mourning people while their EEG was recorded. Individuals showing greater decreases of functional coupling between prefrontal and posterior cortices (greater decreases of EEG beta coherences) reported more intrusive memories of the witnessed events. This was shown for intrusions in the short term (immediately after viewing the film) as well as in the medium term (intrusive memories over 1 week). The findings illuminate brain mechanisms involved in the encoding of information in ways that make intrusive memories more likely.
    February 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12197   open full text
  • Age‐related decline in thermal adaptation capacities: An evoked potentials study.
    Jennifer Kemp, Olivier Després, Thierry Pebayle, André Dufour.
    Psychophysiology. February 24, 2014
    Aging is associated with changes in thermosensitivity and decreases in the functionality of the autonomic thermoregulation. The underlying mechanisms are, however, not fully understood. Elderly subjects may undergo functional changes in the integration process of the thermal sensory system, especially in their thermal adaptation capacities. To verify this hypothesis, we compared thermal evoked responses in younger and older subjects exposed to thermoneutral (27°C) and warm (30°C) environments. In the warm environment, the amplitudes of thermal evoked potentials (EPs) were significantly lower in older than in younger subjects, whereas in the thermoneutral environment, the EP amplitudes were similar in both groups. These findings suggest that thermal adaptation capacities are reduced in elderly individuals, due to a dysfunction of C‐fibers with aging, particularly expressed by lowered adaptation capacities to temperature variations.
    February 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12202   open full text
  • Does temporal preparation speed up visual processing? Evidence from the N2pc.
    Verena C. Seibold, Bettina Rolke.
    Psychophysiology. February 24, 2014
    A growing number of studies show that temporal preparation, which denotes processes of anticipation and preparation for an upcoming stimulus, facilitates perceptual processing. Recently, it has been hypothesized that this perceptual benefit arises due to an acceleration of early perceptual processing. Whereas this idea receives some direct support from a recent study showing that temporal preparation reduces the latency of early auditory ERPs, supportive evidence regarding the visual modality lacks so far. To further investigate this acceleration account, we measured the latency of early visual ERPs in a visual search task. We observed that temporal preparation, manipulated via constant foreperiods, reduced the latency of early visual ERPs, specifically the N2pc as an index of attentional target processing. This finding supports a modality‐independent acceleration of perceptual processing by temporal preparation.
    February 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12196   open full text
  • Modafinil augments oscillatory power in middle frequencies during rule selection.
    Michael J. Minzenberg, Glenn C. Gomes, Jong H. Yoon, Andrew J. Watrous, Joy Geng, Alana J. Firl, Cameron S. Carter.
    Psychophysiology. February 24, 2014
    Control‐related cognitive processes are associated with cortical oscillations and modulated by catecholamine neurotransmitters. It remains unclear how catecholamine systems modulate control‐related oscillations. We tested modafinil effects on rule‐related 4–30 Hz oscillations, with double‐blind, placebo‐controlled (within‐subjects) testing of 22 healthy adults, using EEG during cognitive control task performance. EEG data underwent time‐frequency decomposition with Morlet wavelets to determine power of 4–30 Hz oscillations. Modafinil enhanced oscillatory power associated with high‐control rule selection in theta, alpha, and beta ranges, with a frontotemporal topography and minimal effects during rule maintenance. Augmentation of catecholamine signaling enhances middle‐frequency cortical oscillatory power associated with rule selection, which may subserve diverse subcomponent processes in proactive cognitive control.
    February 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12201   open full text
  • Sequential effects in continued visual search: Using fixation‐related potentials to compare distractor processing before and after target detection.
    Christof Körner, Verena Braunstein, Matthias Stangl, Alois Schlögl, Christa Neuper, Anja Ischebeck.
    Psychophysiology. February 11, 2014
    To search for a target in a complex environment is an everyday behavior that ends with finding the target. When we search for two identical targets, however, we must continue the search after finding the first target and memorize its location. We used fixation‐related potentials to investigate the neural correlates of different stages of the search, that is, before and after finding the first target. Having found the first target influenced subsequent distractor processing. Compared to distractor fixations before the first target fixation, a negative shift was observed for three subsequent distractor fixations. These results suggest that processing a target in continued search modulates the brain's response, either transiently by reflecting temporary working memory processes or permanently by reflecting working memory retention.
    February 11, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12062   open full text
  • Cognitive processing load across a wide range of listening conditions: Insights from pupillometry.
    Adriana A. Zekveld, Sophia E. Kramer.
    Psychophysiology. February 09, 2014
    The pupil response to speech masked by interfering speech was assessed across an intelligibility range from 0% to 99% correct. In total, 37 participants aged between 18 and 36 years and with normal hearing were included. Pupil dilation was largest at intermediate intelligibility levels, smaller at high intelligibility, and slightly smaller at very difficult levels. Participants who reported that they often gave up listening at low intelligibility levels had smaller pupil dilations in these conditions. Participants who were good at reading masked text had relatively large pupil dilation when intelligibility was low. We conclude that the pupil response is sensitive to processing load, and possibly reflects cognitive overload in difficult conditions. It seems affected by methodological aspects and individual abilities, but does not reflect subjective ratings.
    February 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12151   open full text
  • Frontal alpha asymmetry and sexually motivated states.
    Nicole Prause, Cameron Staley, Verena Roberts.
    Psychophysiology. January 27, 2014
    Anterior alpha asymmetry of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals has been suggested to index state approach (or avoidance) motivation. This model has not yet been extended to high approach‐motivation sexual stimuli, which may represent an important model of reward system function. Sixty‐five participants viewed a neutral and a sexually motivating film while their EEG was recorded, and reported their sexual feelings after each film. Greater alpha power in the left hemisphere during sexually motivated states was evident. A positive relationship between self‐reported mental sexual arousal and alpha asymmetry was identified, where coherence between these indicators was higher in women. Notably, coherence was stronger when mental versus physical sexual arousal was rated. Alpha asymmetry appears to offer a new method for further examining this novel coherence pattern across men and women.
    January 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12173   open full text
  • Late electrophysiological modulations of feature‐based attention to object shapes.
    Bobby Boge Stojanoski, Matthias Niemeier.
    Psychophysiology. January 15, 2014
    Feature‐based attention has been shown to aid object perception. Our previous ERP effects revealed temporally late feature‐based modulation in response to objects relative to motion. The aim of the current study was to confirm the timing of feature‐based influences on object perception while cueing within the feature dimension of shape. Participants were told to expect either “pillow” or “flower” objects embedded among random white and black lines. Participants more accurately reported the object's main color for valid compared to invalid shapes. ERPs revealed modulation from 252–502 ms, from occipital to frontal electrodes. Our results are consistent with previous findings examining the time course for processing similar stimuli (illusory contours). Our results provide novel insights into how attending to features of higher complexity aids object perception presumably via feed‐forward and feedback mechanisms along the visual hierarchy.
    January 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12174   open full text
  • Psychological pain and reduced resting‐state heart rate variability in adults with a history of depression.
    Esther L. Meerwijk, Catherine A. Chesla, Sandra J. Weiss.
    Psychophysiology. January 15, 2014
    Psychological pain is a prominent symptom in people who experience depression, but its relation with physiological measures has not been explored. This study compared two measures of psychological pain, the Orbach & Mikulincer Mental Pain (OMMP) questionnaire and the Psychache Scale, for their relationship with resting‐state heart rate variability (HRV) in 35 adults with a history of depression. Low‐frequency HRV decreased significantly with increasing psychological pain, particularly in participants who did not use antidepressants, while the beat‐to‐beat fractal dimension decreased in participants who did use antidepressants. Neither heart rate nor high‐frequency HRV was associated with psychological pain. These results suggest a state of arousal characterized by increased sympathetic activity. Results also indicate that the OMMP may be a more accurate measure of autonomic arousal associated with current psychological pain than the Psychache Scale.
    January 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12175   open full text
  • Heart rate, startle response, and intrusive trauma memories.
    Chia‐Ying Chou, Roberto La Marca, Andrew Steptoe, Chris R. Brewin.
    Psychophysiology. January 08, 2014
    The current study adopted the trauma film paradigm to examine potential moderators affecting heart rate (HR) as an indicator of peritraumatic psychological states and as a predictor of intrusive memories. We replicated previous findings that perifilm HR decreases predicted the development of intrusive images and further showed this effect to be specific to images rather than thoughts, and to detail rather than gist recognition memory. Moreover, a group of individuals showing both an atypical sudden reduction in HR after a startle stimulus and higher trait dissociation was identified. Only among these individuals was lower perifilm HR found to indicate higher state dissociation, fear, and anxiety, along with reduced vividness of intrusions. The current findings emphasize how peritraumatic physiological responses relate to emotional reactions and intrusive memory. The moderating role of individual difference in stress defense style was highlighted.
    January 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12176   open full text
  • Mechanisms underlying hemodynamic and neuroendocrine stress reactivity at different phases of the menstrual cycle.
    Jennifer L. Gordon, Susan S. Girdler.
    Psychophysiology. January 08, 2014
    This study examined the association of menstrual cycle phase with stress reactivity as well as the hormonal and neuroendocrine mechanisms contributing to cycle effects. Fifty‐seven women underwent a modified Trier Social Stress Test during the early follicular, late follicular, and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. Greater increases in cardiac index (CI) and greater decreases in vascular resistance index (VRI) during speech were observed in the luteal phase relative to other phases, while greater increases in epinephrine (EPI) was observed during the late follicular and luteal phases compared to the early follicular phase. Luteal phase estradiol predicted luteal EPI reactivity but not CI or VRI reactivity, while luteal phase EPI reactivity predicted luteal phase CI and VRI reactivity. Thus, cycle‐related changes in EPI reactivity may be a stronger determinant of cycle effects on hemodynamic reactivity than sex hormones per se.
    January 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12177   open full text
  • Variability in the decision process leading to saccades: A specific marker for schizophrenia?
    Christos Theleritis, Ioannis Evdokimidis, Nikolaos Smyrnis.
    Psychophysiology. January 08, 2014
    In a previous study, deviance in the reaction time (RT) distribution of saccades for patients with schizophrenia was explained using an oculomotor decision model. Here, RTs of visually guided saccades in young healthy men, healthy children, older adults, patients with schizophrenia, and patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) were modeled to study the specificity of this decision process deviance for schizophrenia. The mean decision rate to saccade decreased with age in children and increased in older adults while the decision rate intrasubject variability (ISV) was not modulated by age. A significant increase in ISV of the decision rate was confirmed for patients with schizophrenia but not OCD compared to healthy controls. There was no effect of medication on model parameters in the OCD patient group. These results confirm the specificity of the deviance in a simple oculomotor decision process in schizophrenia.
    January 08, 2014   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12178   open full text
  • Does exercise induce hypoalgesia through conditioned pain modulation?
    Laura D. Ellingson, Kelli F. Koltyn, Jee‐Seon Kim, Dane B. Cook.
    Psychophysiology. December 20, 2013
    Pain sensitivity decreases with exercise. The mechanisms that underlie this exercise‐induced hypoalgesia (EIH) are unclear. Our purpose was to investigate conditioned pain modulation (CPM) as a potential mechanism of EIH. Sixteen women completed pain testing during three sessions: painful exercise, nonpainful exercise, and quiet rest. Intensity and unpleasantness ratings to noxious heat stimuli were assessed at baseline and during and following each session. Results showed that pain sensitivity decreased significantly during both exercise sessions (p < .05), but not during quiet rest. Effect size calculations showed that the size of the hypoalgesic response was greater following painful exercise than nonpainful exercise. Our results suggest that exercise‐induced muscle pain may contribute to the magnitude of EIH. However, as pain sensitivity also decreased following nonpainful exercise, CPM is not likely the primary mechanism of EIH.
    December 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12168   open full text
  • Speaking under pressure: Low linguistic complexity is linked to high physiological and emotional stress reactivity.
    Laura R. Saslow, Shannon McCoy, Ilmo Löwe, Brandon Cosley, Arbi Vartan, Christopher Oveis, Dacher Keltner, Judith T. Moskowitz, Elissa S. Epel.
    Psychophysiology. December 20, 2013
    What can a speech reveal about someone's state? We tested the idea that greater stress reactivity would relate to lower linguistic cognitive complexity while speaking. In Study 1, we tested whether heart rate and emotional stress reactivity to a stressful discussion would relate to lower linguistic complexity. In Studies 2 and 3, we tested whether a greater cortisol response to a standardized stressful task including a speech (Trier Social Stress Test) would be linked to speaking with less linguistic complexity during the task. We found evidence that measures of stress responsivity (emotional and physiological) and chronic stress are tied to variability in the cognitive complexity of speech. Taken together, these results provide evidence that our individual experiences of stress or “stress signatures”—how our body and mind react to stress both in the moment and over the longer term—are linked to how complex our speech under stress.
    December 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12171   open full text
  • Heuristic and analytic processes in reasoning: An event‐related potential study of belief bias.
    Adrian P. Banks, Christopher Hope.
    Psychophysiology. December 19, 2013
    Human reasoning involves both heuristic and analytic processes. This study of belief bias in relational reasoning investigated whether the two processes occur serially or in parallel. Participants evaluated the validity of problems in which the conclusions were either logically valid or invalid and either believable or unbelievable. Problems in which the conclusions presented a conflict between the logically valid response and the believable response elicited a more positive P3 than problems in which there was no conflict. This shows that P3 is influenced by the interaction of belief and logic rather than either of these factors on its own. These findings indicate that belief and logic influence reasoning at the same time, supporting models in which belief‐based and logical evaluations occur in parallel but not theories in which belief‐based heuristic evaluations precede logical analysis.
    December 19, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12169   open full text
  • The effects of social exclusion on the ERN and the cognitive control of action monitoring.
    Jason R. Themanson, Aaron B. Ball, Stephanie M. Khatcherian, Peter J. Rosen.
    Psychophysiology. December 19, 2013
    The current study investigated the influence of social exclusion, created through the Cyberball paradigm, on cognitive control using neural and behavioral measures of action monitoring. Healthy young adults performed a modified flanker task while their post‐error behavior (accuracy, RT) and error‐related negativity (ERN) were assessed. Results indicated that excluded participants showed decreased ERN and post‐error response accuracy compared to included participants following their social interactions. These findings suggest that a common neural framework may exist for cognitive control processes and that cognitive control allocated toward exclusion‐related processing following exclusionary social interactions may disrupt the capability to support self‐regulatory action monitoring.
    December 19, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12172   open full text
  • “Glass fairies” and “bone children”: Adolescents and young adults with anorexia nervosa show positive reactions towards extremely emaciated body pictures measured by the startle reflex paradigm.
    Valeska A. Reichel, Nora Schneider, Barbara Grünewald, Thorsten Kienast, Ernst Pfeiffer, Ulrike Lehmkuhl, Alexander Korte.
    Psychophysiology. November 11, 2013
    In this study, we investigated the emotional processing of extremely emaciated body cues in adolescents and young adults with (n = 36) and without (n = 36) anorexia nervosa (AN), introducing a new picture type, which was taken from websites that promote extreme thinness and is targeted specifically at adolescents interested in extreme thinness. A startle reflex paradigm was used for implicit reactions, while a self‐assessment instrument was used for subjective responses. We found a significant group difference with a startle inhibition (appetitive response) among the patients and a startle potentiation (aversive response) among the controls, whereas no such difference for subjective measures was found. The results are in contrast to previous studies, which proposed a general failure to activate the appetitive motivational system in AN, but in keeping with findings from other addictions, where the same response pattern has been found. Implications for prevention and therapy are discussed.
    November 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12160   open full text
  • Committee report: Publication guidelines and recommendations for studies using electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography.
    Andreas Keil, Stefan Debener, Gabriele Gratton, Markus Junghöfer, Emily S. Kappenman, Steven J. Luck, Phan Luu, Gregory A. Miller, Cindy M. Yee.
    Psychophysiology. October 22, 2013
    Electromagnetic data collected using electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) are of central importance for psychophysiological research. The scope of concepts, methods, and instruments used by EEG/MEG researchers has dramatically increased and is expected to further increase in the future. Building on existing guideline publications, the goal of the present paper is to contribute to the effective documentation and communication of such advances by providing updated guidelines for conducting and reporting EEG/MEG studies. The guidelines also include a checklist of key information recommended for inclusion in research reports on EEG/MEG measures.
    October 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12147   open full text
  • Distinguishing different fictional worlds during sentence comprehension: ERP evidence.
    Jie Yang, Jin Xue.
    Psychophysiology. October 22, 2013
    The neural mechanism of distinguishing reality from fiction has been explored recently. While people only represent one real world, they are likely to have representations for multiple fictional worlds. This study used event‐related potentials to investigate how different fictional events were distinguished during sentence comprehension. Participants read fictional events involving real people (e.g., President Bush) or unreal characters (e.g., Lord Voldemort). Inconsistency of reality was created by introducing real people into the events involving unreal characters or introducing unreal characters into the events involving real people. The results indicated that inconsistency in reality in both types of fictional events elicited a late positive effect, and an interaction between event type and consistency effect was found in medial sites. These results suggested that reality information is important for the construction and updating of situation models.
    October 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12149   open full text
  • Event‐related potentials reveal the effect of prior knowledge on competition for representation and attentional capture.
    Matthew R. Hilimire, Paul M. Corballis.
    Psychophysiology. October 22, 2013
    Objects compete for representation in our limited capacity visual system. We examined how this competition is influenced by top‐down knowledge using event‐related potentials. Competition was manipulated by presenting visual search arrays in which the target or distractor was the only color singleton compared to displays in which both singletons were presented. Experiments 1 and 2 manipulated whether the observer knew the color of the target in advance. Experiment 3 ruled out low‐level sensory explanations. Results show that, under conditions of competition, the distractor does not elicit an N2pc when the target color is known. However, the N2pc elicited by the target is reduced in the presence of a distractor. These findings suggest that top‐down knowledge can prevent the capture of attention by distracting information, but this prior knowledge does not eliminate the competitive influence of the distractor on the target.
    October 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12154   open full text
  • Are two threats worse than one? The effects of face race and emotional expression on fear conditioning.
    Shannon Bramwell, Kimberley M. Mallan, Ottmar V. Lipp.
    Psychophysiology. October 22, 2013
    Facial cues of racial outgroup or anger mediate fear learning that is resistant to extinction. Whether this resistance is potentiated if fear is conditioned to angry, other race faces has not been established. Two groups of Caucasian participants were conditioned with two happy and two angry face conditional stimuli (CSs). During acquisition, one happy and one angry face were paired with an aversive unconditional stimulus whereas the second happy and angry faces were presented alone. CS face race (Caucasian, African American) was varied between groups. During habituation, electrodermal responses were larger to angry faces regardless of race and declined less to other race faces. Extinction was immediate for Caucasian happy faces, delayed for angry faces regardless of race, and slowest for happy racial outgroup faces. Combining the facial cues of other race and anger does not enhance resistance to extinction of fear.
    October 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12155   open full text
  • Relation between emotional distress and heart rate variability in patients with an implantable cardioverter‐defibrillator.
    Madelein T. Hoogwegt, Susanne S. Pedersen, Dominic A. M. J. Theuns, Nina Kupper.
    Psychophysiology. October 22, 2013
    We investigated the relationship between Type D personality, depression, and anxiety, and heart rate variability (HRV) in 64 patients with an implantable cardioverter‐defibrillator (ICD). HRV was obtained via 24‐h Holter monitoring, and 24‐h, 30‐min daytime rest and 30‐min nighttime sleep HRV were analyzed. In adjusted analyses, significant associations (standard deviation of normal‐to‐normal [NN] intervals [SDNN]: p = .043; standard deviation of NN intervals over 5‐min periods [SDANN]: p = .010) and a trend (HRV triangular index: p = .09) were found for Type D personality, and trends were found for depression (lower RMSSD: p = .10; lower pNN50: p = .09). During daytime rest, similar results were found for anxiety and depression. During sleep, only noteworthy adjusted associations were found for depression (lower root mean square of successive differences in NN intervals [RMSSD]: p = .06; lower pNN50: p = .043). A Benjamini‐Hochberg correction for multiple testing led to reduction of the number of significant relationships, but there was still support for lower autonomic control patients with Type D personality and depression. Future research with larger sample sizes is warranted.
    October 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12158   open full text
  • The temporal dynamics of cognitive reappraisal: Cardiovascular consequences of downregulation of negative emotion and upregulation of positive emotion.
    Sergei V. Pavlov, Natalia V. Reva, Konstantin V. Loktev, Alexei V. Tumyalis, Vladimir V. Korenyok, Lyubomir I. Aftanas.
    Psychophysiology. October 17, 2013
    This study examines the effects of cognitive reappraisal on the cardiovascular response to affective stimuli. Participants (N = 53) were shown affective images and were asked either to attend to the images, or to downregulate negative affect through reappraisal of negative images or upregulate positive affect through reappraisal of positive images while continuous measures of cardiovascular activity were recorded. Reappraisal of negative images was associated with lower total peripheral resistance and larger cardiac output in the prestimulus period, whereas reappraisal of positive images was associated with less pronounced decreases of heart rate, cardiac output, and mean blood pressure in the viewing period as compared to unregulated conditions. The results indicate that cognitive reappraisal engenders adaptive hemodynamic profiles both during anticipation and during viewing of affective images depending on their valence and the regulatory goal.
    October 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12159   open full text
  • Test‐retest reliability of amygdala response to emotional faces.
    Colin L. Sauder, Greg Hajcak, Mike Angstadt, K. Luan Phan.
    Psychophysiology. October 16, 2013
    In the current study, we evaluated the test‐retest reliability of amygdala response using an emotional face‐matching task that has been widely used to examine pathophysiology and treatment mechanisms in psychiatric populations. Activation within the fusiform face area (FFA) was also examined. Twenty‐seven healthy volunteers completed a variation of the face‐matching paradigm developed by Hariri et al. (2000) at two time points approximately 90 days apart. Estimates of test‐retest reliability of amygdala response to fearful faces were moderate, whereas angry and happy faces showed poor reliability. Test‐retest reliability of the FFA was moderate to strong, regardless of facial affect. Collectively, these findings indicate that the reliability of the BOLD MR signal in the amygdala varies substantially by facial affect. Efforts to improve measurement precision, enlarge sample sizes, or increase the number of assessment occasions seem warranted.
    October 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12129   open full text
  • Cerebral functional asymmetry and phonological performance in dyslexic adults.
    N. Hernandez, F. Andersson, M. Edjlali, C. Hommet, J. P. Cottier, C. Destrieux, F. Bonnet‐Brilhault.
    Psychophysiology. October 07, 2013
    Developmental dyslexia is a frequent language‐based learning disorder characterized by difficulty in reading. The predominant etiologic view postulates that reading impairment is related to phonological and orthographic dysfunction. The aim of this fMRI study was to evaluate the neural bases of phonological processing impairment in remediated dyslexic adults (DD). We used a rhyming words judgment task contrasted with an unreadable fonts font‐matching judgment task to compare patterns of activation and functional asymmetry in DD and normal‐reading young adults. We found evidence of a link between asymmetry in inferior frontal gyrus and performance during the phonological processing. We also observed that DD recruit a network including regions involved in articulatory control in order to achieve rhyme judgment suggesting that, due to a lack of hemispheric specialization, DD recruit the latter network to achieve rhyme judgment.
    October 07, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12141   open full text
  • Auditory startle reflex inhibited by preceding self‐action.
    Yousuke Kawachi, Yoshihiko Matsue, Michiaki Shibata, Osamu Imaizumi, Jiro Gyoba.
    Psychophysiology. October 07, 2013
    A startle reflex to a startle pulse is inhibited when preceded by a prestimulus. We introduced a key‐press action (self‐action) or an 85 dB noise burst as a prestimulus, followed by a 115 dB noise burst as a startle pulse. We manipulated temporal offsets between the prestimulus and the startle pulse from 30–1,500 ms to examine whether self‐action modulates the startle reflex and the temporal properties of the modulatory effect. We assessed eyeblink reflexes by electromyography. Both prestimuli decreased reflexes compared to pulse‐alone trials. Moreover, the temporal windows of inhibition were different between the types of prestimuli. A faster maximal inhibition and narrower temporal window in self‐action trials suggest that preceding self‐action inhibits the startle reflex and allows prediction of the coming pulse in different ways from auditory prestimuli.
    October 07, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12150   open full text
  • The effects of recurrent episodes of depression on startle responses.
    Uma Vaidyanathan, Evan J. Welo, Stephen M. Malone, Scott J. Burwell, William G. Iacono.
    Psychophysiology. October 07, 2013
    Prior work suggests that major depression is associated with abnormal startle blink responses; however, only chronic or recurrent depression appears to be associated with this effect. The current study tested this hypothesis directly by examining whether recurrent major depression accounted for the anomalous startle seen in major depression using a sample of 515 female twins from the Minnesota Twin Family Study. Blink responses recorded at the age of 20 were examined in relation to number of episodes of depression prospectively assessed from ages 11 to 20. Results showed that only subjects who had experienced multiple episodes of depression showed abnormal startle responses. Subjects who had experienced just one episode of depression in their lifetime did not differ from controls. This lends additional support to the idea that recurrent depression may have a different etiological basis than nonrecurrent depression.
    October 07, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12152   open full text
  • Effect of synchronized or desynchronized music listening during osteopathic treatment: An EEG study.
    Lolita Mercadié, Julie Caballe, Jean‐Julien Aucouturier, Emmanuel bigand.
    Psychophysiology. September 30, 2013
    While background music is often used during osteopathic treatment, it remains unclear whether it facilitates treatment, and, if it does, whether it is listening to music or jointly listening to a common stimulus that is most important. We created three experimental situations for a standard osteopathic procedure in which patients and practitioner listened either to silence, to the same music in synchrony, or (unknowingly) to different desynchronized montages of the same material. Music had no effect on heart rate and arterial pressure pre‐ and posttreatment compared to silence, but EEG measures revealed a clear effect of synchronized versus desynchronized listening: listening to desynchronized music was associated with larger amounts of mu‐rhythm event‐related desynchronization (ERD), indicating decreased sensorimotor fluency compared to what was gained in the synchronized music listening condition. This result suggests that, if any effect can be attributed to music for osteopathy, it is related to its capacity to modulate empathy between patient and therapist and, further, that music does not systematically create better conditions for empathy than silence.
    September 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12143   open full text
  • Cardiac stability at differing levels of temporal analysis in panic disorder, post‐traumatic stress disorder, and healthy controls.
    Aaron J. Fisher, Steven H. Woodward.
    Psychophysiology. September 16, 2013
    The panic disorder (PD) literature provides evidence for both physiologic rigidity and instability as pathognomonic features of this disorder. This ambiguity may be a result of viewing PD at differential levels of temporal analysis. We assessed cardiac variability across three levels of temporal scale in PD patients, post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients, and healthy controls. Sixteen healthy controls, 14 PD patients, 23 PTSD patients, and 16 PTSD + PD patients presented for a polysomnogram. Differences were assessed in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), autoregressive stability of heart rate (HR), and the number of nonspecific accelerations in HR over the night. No differences in RSA were found between groups; however, PD patients exhibited significantly lower autoregressive HR stability, and all patients had significantly more HR accelerations than controls. These data reinforce prior findings demonstrating physiologic instability in PD and indicate that prior equivocalities regarding physiologic variability in PD may be due to limited temporal scaling of measurements.
    September 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12148   open full text
  • Differences in the readiness of guilty and informed innocent examinees to cooperate on the Guilty Action Test.
    Eitan Elaad.
    Psychophysiology. September 11, 2013
    A mock crime experiment was designed in which 100 participants were randomly assigned to five conditions: four experimental conditions in a 2 × 2 factorial design (two guilt conditions—guilty or informed innocents, crossed with two incentive level conditions—with or without a promised reward for proving innocence), and one control condition of uninformed innocents. Along with the common dependent polygraph measures, attitudes towards cooperating with the test were assessed. Results indicated that the informed innocents preferred to cooperate whereas guilty participants preferred to try and obstruct the test. These tendencies were amplified among participants who were promised a reward. The cooperative choice attenuated electrodermal responses to the critical items. Respiration measures were sensitive to the incentive level manipulation. Implications of the results for future research and for actual detection of information tests were discussed.
    September 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12146   open full text
  • Behind the scenes: How visual memory load biases selective attention during processing of visual streams.
    Peter Klaver, Durk Talsma.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2013
    We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory‐matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12126   open full text
  • Association of Type D personality with the autonomic and hemodynamic response to the cold pressor test.
    Nina Kupper, Aline Pelle, Johan Denollet.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2013
    Mechanisms relating Type D personality to poor health are largely unknown, with autonomic nervous system function being a candidate. This study examined the physiologic response to cold stress. Undergraduates (N = 101, 84% female) underwent a cold pressor test. An electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, and blood pressure were recorded. Type D personality was assessed by self‐report questionnaire. Type D was associated with increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure reactivity. Exploratory analyses showed Type D men to respond with increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia (i.e., higher parasympathetic activity), and decreased pre‐ejection period (i.e., larger sympathetic activity), while Type D women showed a reciprocal response pattern. In conclusion, Type D personality was associated with an exaggerated hemodynamic response to cold stress, which may contribute to an increased risk of hypertension in Type D individuals.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12133   open full text
  • Regularity encoding and deviance detection of frequency modulated sweeps: Human middle‐ and long‐latency auditory evoked potentials.
    Miriam Cornella, Sumie Leung, Sabine Grimm, Carles Escera.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2013
    Fast encoding of frequency modulated (FM) sweeps is crucial for communication. In humans, FM sweeps deviating from the acoustic regularity elicit the mismatch negativity (MMN) evoked potential. Yet, direction sensitivity to FM sweeps is found in animals' primary auditory cortex, upstream of MMN sources found in humans. Here, we were interested in whether direction deviants of complex FM sweeps modulated brain responses earlier than MMN. We used a controlled oddball paradigm, and measured the middle latency responses (MLRs) and the MMN. Our results showed a repetition enhancement to the standards at the Pa component of the MLR and a genuine MMN in the later response range. These results show that, early in the cortical hierarchy, the system is sensitive to the physical characteristics of the repetitive stimuli, but a higher‐order mechanism is needed to detect violations of the acoustic regularity.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12137   open full text
  • Foreground‐background discrimination indicated by event‐related brain potentials in a new auditory multistability paradigm.
    Orsolya Szalárdy, István Winkler, Erich Schröger, Andreas Widmann, Alexandra Bendixen.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2013
    For studying multistable auditory perception, we propose a paradigm that evokes integrated or segregated perception of a sound sequence, and permits decomposition of the segregated grouping into foreground and background sounds. The paradigm combines 3‐tone pitch patterns with alternating timbres, resulting in a repeating 6‐tone structure that can be perceived as rising based on temporal proximity, or as falling based on timbre similarity. Listeners continuously report their percept while EEG is recorded. Results show an ERP modulation starting at ∼70 ms after sound onset that can be explained by whether a sound belongs to perceived foreground or background, with no additional effect of integrated versus segregated grouping. Auditory grouping as indexed by the mismatch negativity did not correspond with reported sound grouping. The paradigm offers a new possibility for investigating effects of conscious perceptual organization on sound processing.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12139   open full text
  • Cortical potentials in an auditory oddball task reflect individual differences in working memory capacity.
    Kate A. Yurgil, Edward J. Golob.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2013
    This study determined whether auditory cortical responses associated with mechanisms of attention vary with individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) and perceptual load. The operation span test defined subjects with low versus high WMC, who then discriminated target/nontarget tones while EEG was recorded. Infrequent white noise distracters were presented at midline or ±90° locations, and perceptual load was manipulated by varying nontarget frequency. Amplitude of the N100 to distracters was negatively correlated with WMC. Relative to targets, only high WMC subjects showed attenuated N100 amplitudes to nontargets. In the higher WMC group, increased perceptual load was associated with decreased P3a amplitudes to distracters and longer‐lasting negative slow wave to nontargets. Results show that auditory cortical processing is associated with multiple facets of attention related to WMC and possibly higher‐level cognition.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12140   open full text
  • Cortical and cerebellar modulation of autonomic responses to loud sounds.
    Christoph Mueller‐Pfeiffer, Thomas Zeffiro, Ruth O'Gorman, Lars Michels, Peter Baumann, Nellie Wood, Justin Spring, Michael Rufer, Roger K. Pitman, Scott P. Orr.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2013
    Detecting unexpected environmental change causes modulation of autonomic activity essential for survival. Understanding the neural mechanisms associated with responses to loud sounds may provide insights into the pathophysiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), since individuals with PTSD exhibit heightened autonomic responses to unexpected loud sounds. We combined fMRI with autonomic psychophysiological assessment to investigate central and peripheral reactivity to loud tones in 20 healthy participants. Activity in anterior insula, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, anterior midcingulate cortex, supplementary motor area, supramarginal gyrus, and cerebellar lobules VIII–IX was associated with both tones and concomitant skin conductance responses. Since regions signaling unexpected external events modulate autonomic activity, heightened loud tone autonomic responses in PTSD may reflect sensitization of this “salience” network.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12142   open full text
  • Sleep duration and cardiovascular responses to stress in undergraduate men.
    Elizabeth J. Mezick, Karen A. Matthews, Martica H. Hall, J. Richard Jennings, Thomas W. Kamarck.
    Psychophysiology. September 09, 2013
    Short sleep has been related to incident cardiovascular disease, but physiological mechanisms accounting for this relationship are largely unknown. This study examines sleep duration and cardiovascular stress responses in 79 healthy, young men. Sleep duration was assessed by wrist actigraphy for seven nights. Participants then completed a series of laboratory stress tasks while heart rate and blood pressure were monitored. Shorter total sleep time was related to a greater reduction in high‐frequency heart rate variability during stress tasks, and to prolonged elevations in heart rate and diastolic pressure following tasks. Associations were independent of age, race, body mass index, caffeine intake, and smoking status. In sum, healthy young men with shorter actigraphy‐assessed sleep exhibit less cardiac vagal activity, and poorer heart rate and diastolic blood pressure recovery, upon encountering stressful stimuli, than those with longer sleep.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12144   open full text
  • Can you give me a hand? A comparison of hands and feet as optimal anatomical sites for skin conductance recording.
    Andrew F. H. Payne, Michael E. Dawson, Anne M. Schell, Kulwinder Singh, Christopher G. Courtney.
    Psychophysiology. August 29, 2013
    The fingers and feet have long been accepted as optimal anatomical recording sites for electrodermal activity. The available literature suggests that the feet are more responsive than the fingers. The present report compared skin conductance level (SCL) and responses (SCRs) from the left foot and the distal phalanges of the fingers on the nondominant hand among 19 participants. The principal results were (a) SCRs recorded from the fingers were significantly larger and more frequent with shorter latencies than SCRs from the foot, (b) SCL from the fingers was significantly higher than from the foot, (c) the fingers exhibited significantly greater discrimination conditioning than the foot, and (d) skin conductance measures recorded from the fingers and foot were significantly positively correlated. Specifically, our results demonstrate that the distal phalanges of the fingers are electrodermally more responsive than the abductor hallucis area of the foot.
    August 29, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12093   open full text
  • The effects of performance‐based rewards on neurophysiological correlates of stimulus, error, and feedback processing in children with ADHD.
    Keri Shiels Rosch, Larry W. Hawk.
    Psychophysiology. August 29, 2013
    Rewards have been shown to improve behavior and cognitive processes implicated in attention‐deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the information‐processing mechanisms by which these improvements occur remain unclear. We examined the effect of performance‐based rewards on ERPs related to processing of the primary task stimuli, errors, and feedback in children with ADHD and typically developing controls. Participants completed a flanker task containing blocks with and without performance‐based rewards. Children with ADHD showed reduced amplitude of ERPs associated with processing of the flanker stimuli (P3) and errors (ERN, Pe), but did not differ in feedback‐processing (FRN). Rewards enhanced flanker‐related P3 amplitude similarly across groups and error‐related Pe amplitude differentially for children with ADHD. These findings suggest that rewards may improve cognitive deficits in children with ADHD through enhanced processing of relevant stimuli and increased error evaluation.
    August 29, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12127   open full text
  • Psychometric properties of conflict monitoring and conflict adaptation indices: Response time and conflict N2 event‐related potentials.
    Peter E. Clayson, Michael J. Larson.
    Psychophysiology. August 29, 2013
    We assessed the psychometric properties, including internal consistency, test‐retest reliability, and number of trials needed for stability, for response time (RT) and conflict N2 amplitude measures of conflict adaptation (i.e., sequential trial or Gratton effects). Event‐related potentials (ERPs) were obtained from 79 healthy individuals (44 female) during completion of a modified Eriksen flanker task. RTs and N2 amplitude showed reliable conflict adaptation (i.e., previous‐trial congruency influenced current‐trial measures). Conflict adaptation indices were stable as indicated by reliable internal consistency and 2‐week test‐retest stability. The number of trials needed for conservative, reliable RT and N2 amplitude measurements was 29 and 30, respectively. This investigation empirically establishes that these conflict adaptation indices represent robust, dependable measures.
    August 29, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12138   open full text
  • Electrophysiological responses to visuospatial regularity.
    Alexis D. J. Makin, Giulia Rampone, Anna Pecchinenda, Marco Bertamini.
    Psychophysiology. August 14, 2013
    Humans are quicker to detect reflectional than rotational or translational symmetry, despite the fact that these patterns are equally regular. We were interested in the neural correlates of these perceptual effects. Participants viewed random, reflection, rotation, and translation patterns while we recorded EEG from the scalp. Half the participants classified the pattern regularity overtly, the other half did not explicitly attend to pattern regularity but reported rare oddball trials, where two squares were embedded among the dots. The amplitude of a symmetry‐related ERP known as the sustained posterior negativity was most pronounced for reflection, then rotation and translation. We suggest that reflectional symmetry, despite its biological significance, may not be processed by unique visual mechanisms, but instead it could be a preferred stimulus for a more general regularity‐sensitive network in the extrastriate visual cortex.
    August 14, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12082   open full text
  • Why do we need to use a zero reference? Reference influences on the ERPs of audiovisual effects.
    Yin Tian, Dezhong Yao.
    Psychophysiology. August 14, 2013
    Using ERPs in the audiovisual stimulus, the current study is the first to investigate the influence of the reference on experimental effects (between two conditions). Three references, the average reference (AR), the mean mastoid (MM), and a new infinity zero reference (IR), were comparatively investigated via ERPs, statistical parametric scalp mappings (SPSM), and LORETA. Specifically, for the N1 (170–190 ms), the SPSM results showed an anterior distribution for MM, a posterior distribution for IR, and both anterior and posterior distributions for AR. However, the circumstantial evidence provided by LORETA is consistent with SPSM of IR. These results indicated that the newly developed IR could provide increased accuracy; thus, we recommend IR for future ERP studies.
    August 14, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12130   open full text
  • Moderate alcohol intake is related to increased heart rate variability in young adults: Implications for health and well‐being.
    Daniel S. Quintana, Adam J. Guastella, Iain S. McGregor, Ian B. Hickie, Andrew H. Kemp.
    Psychophysiology. August 14, 2013
    Epidemiological literature indicates that the relationship between alcohol consumption and health outcomes reflects a J‐shaped curve such that moderate alcohol consumption confers a protective effect in comparison to abstinence, while heavy consumption is associated with poorer health. While heart rate variability (HRV) may underpin the relationship between drinking and poor health in heavy drinkers, it is unclear whether HRV is increased in moderate, habitual drinkers relative to nonhabitual drinkers. HRV and drinking habits were assessed in 47 volunteers. Results supported hypotheses suggesting that moderate, habitual drinking increases HRV. Although not supported by a significant interaction between drinking group and sex, planned follow‐up analysis also revealed that these findings may be specific to males. Regardless, results highlight HRV as a candidate mechanism for the findings reported in the epidemiological literature.
    August 14, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12134   open full text
  • Intentional forgetting reduces the semantic processing of to‐be‐forgotten items: An ERP study of item‐method directed forgetting.
    Wen‐Jing Lin, Yu‐Ching Kuo, Tzu‐Ling Liu, Yi‐Jhong Han, Shih‐Kuen Cheng.
    Psychophysiology. August 05, 2013
    In two ERP experiments, we examined whether active inhibition is involved in intentional forgetting. Both experiments consisted of a nondirected‐forgetting (nDF) and a directed‐forgetting (DF) block. Participants were sequentially presented with a prime, an R/F (remember/forget) cue, and a target. Participants made lexical decisions to both the primes and targets (Experiment 1) or only to the targets (Experiment 2). They were also instructed to remember or to forget the primes in response to the R/F cues in the DF block but to ignore these cues in the nDF block. The N400 semantic priming effect was observed when comparing the ERPs elicited by semantically unrelated and related targets in the DF block. In comparison to the nDF block, the N400 effect was greatly reduced for targets preceded by F cues in the DF block. These findings suggest that semantic processing is reduced by the instruction to forget and active inhibition is involved in intentional forgetting.
    August 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12125   open full text
  • P300 amplitude reduction is associated with early‐onset and late‐onset pathological substance use in a prospectively studied cohort of 14‐year‐old adolescents.
    Greg Perlman, Abraham Markin, William G. Iacono.
    Psychophysiology. August 02, 2013
    P3 amplitude reduction (P3AR) is associated with risk for adolescent‐onset pathological substance use (PSU). In this longitudinal study, data from over 1,100 adolescent twins were used to examine P3AR in relation to early adolescent onset PSU (i.e., by age 14), late adolescent onset PSU (i.e., ages 14–18), misuse of different classes of substances (PSU‐nicotine, PSU‐alcohol, PSU‐illicit), degree of PSU comorbidity, and gender differences. P3 amplitude was recorded at age 14 from two midline electrodes during a visual oddball paradigm. PSU was defined as meeting criteria for any symptom of a substance use disorder assessed using semistructured clinical interviews. P3AR was associated with degree of drug class comorbidity, early adolescent onset PSU for all three substance classes, and late adolescent onset PSU for alcohol and illicit PSU. Gender differences in P3AR were not statistically significant. These findings provide further evidence that P3AR indexes a nonspecific diathesis for adolescent‐onset PSU.
    August 02, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12081   open full text
  • Object detection is completed earlier than object categorization: Evidence from LRP and N200.
    You Li, Weifang Zhong, Qi Chen, Lei Mo.
    Psychophysiology. August 02, 2013
    The classic account of object recognition, which proposes that object detection precedes categorization, was challenged by recent behavioral evidence. The present study investigated the temporal relation between object detection and categorization by employing ERP measures. Participants performed a dual‐choice go/no‐go task based on the outcomes of object detection and categorization. A no‐go lateralized readiness potential, which indexed motor preparation, was obtained only when detection determined responding hand and categorization determined go/no‐go, indicating that detection was completed earlier and thus activated preparation. Additionally, the N200 effect, which indicated the completion of go/no‐go, was obtained 70 ms earlier when detection determined go/no‐go than when categorization determined go/no‐go. Our ERP results indicate that object detection is completed earlier than categorization, which supports the traditional models of object recognition.
    August 02, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12131   open full text
  • Physical activity and working memory in healthy older adults: An ERP study.
    Yu‐Kai Chang, Chung‐Ju Huang, Kuan‐Fu Chen, Tsung‐Min Hung.
    Psychophysiology. July 30, 2013
    This study examined the effects of physical activity on working memory in older adults using both behavioral and neuroelectric measures. Older adults were assigned to either a higher or lower physical activity group, and event‐related potentials were recorded during assessments of a modified Sternberg task. The results indicated that older adults in the higher physical activity group exhibited shorter response times, independent of the working memory load. Enhanced P3 and N1 amplitudes and a decreased P3 latency were observed in the higher physical activity group. These findings suggested that physical activity facilitates working memory by allocating more attentional resources and increasing the efficiency of evaluating the stimulus during the retrieval phase as well as engaging more attentional resources for the early discriminative processes during the encoding phase of a working memory task.
    July 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12089   open full text
  • Effects of aerobic conditioning on cardiovascular sympathetic response to and recovery from challenge.
    M. Lindgren, C. Alex, P. A. Shapiro, P. S. McKinley, E. N. Brondolo, M. M. Myers, C. J. Choi, S. Lopez‐Pintado, R. P. Sloan.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2013
    Exercise has widely documented cardioprotective effects, but the mechanisms behind these effects are still poorly understood. Here, we test the hypothesis that aerobic training lowers cardiovascular sympathetic responses to and speeds recovery from challenge. We conducted a randomized, controlled trial contrasting aerobic versus strength training on indices of cardiac (pre‐ejection period, PEP) and vascular (low‐frequency blood pressure variability, LF‐BPV) sympathetic responses to and recovery from psychological and orthostatic challenge in 149 young, healthy, sedentary adults. Aerobic and strength training did not alter PEP or LF‐BPV reactivity to or recovery from challenge. These findings, from a large randomized, controlled trial using an intent‐to‐treat design, show that moderate aerobic exercise training has no effect on PEP and LF‐BPV reactivity to or recovery from psychological or orthostatic challenge. In healthy young adults, the cardioprotective effects of exercise training are unlikely to be mediated by changes in sympathetic activity.
    July 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12078   open full text
  • Racial identity and autonomic responses to racial discrimination.
    Enrique W. Neblett, Steven O. Roberts.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2013
    Several studies identify racial identity—the significance and meaning that individuals attribute to race—as a mitigating factor in the association between racial discrimination and adjustment. In this study, we employed a visual imagery paradigm to examine whether racial identity would moderate autonomic responses to blatant and subtle racial discrimination analogues with Black and White perpetrators. We recruited 105 African American young adults from a public, southeastern university in the United States. The personal significance of race as well as personal feelings about African Americans and feelings about how others view African Americans moderated autonomic responses to the vignettes. We use polyvagal theory and a stress, appraisal, and coping framework to interpret our results with an eye toward elucidating the ways in which racial identity may inform individual differences in physiological responses to racial discrimination.
    July 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12087   open full text
  • The component structure of ERP subsequent memory effects in the Von Restorff paradigm and the word frequency effect in recall.
    Siri‐Maria Kamp, Ty Brumback, Emanuel Donchin.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2013
    We examined the degree to which ERP components elicited by items that are isolated from their context, either by their font size (“size isolates”) or by their frequency of usage, are correlated with subsequent immediate recall. Study lists contained (a) 15 words including a size isolate, (b) 14 high frequency (HF) words with one low frequency word (“LF isolate”), or (c) 14 LF words with one HF word. We used spatiotemporal PCA to quantify ERP components. We replicated previously reported P300 subsequent memory effects for size isolates and found additional correlations with recall in the novelty P3, a right lateralized positivity, and a left lateralized slow wave that was distinct from the slow wave correlated with recall for nonisolates. LF isolates also showed evidence of a P300 subsequent memory effect and also elicited the left lateralized subsequent memory effect, supporting a role of distinctiveness in word frequency effects in recall.
    July 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12090   open full text
  • How does cognitive reappraisal affect the response to gains and losses?
    Qiwei Yang, Ruolei Gu, Ping Tang, Yue‐Jia Luo.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2013
    To investigate the influence of cognitive reappraisal, one important kind of emotion regulation strategy, on psychological and electrophysiological responses to gains and losses, a monetary gambling task was performed in two conditions, that is, spontaneity and regulation. Event‐related potentials (ERP) and self‐rating emotional experiences to outcome feedback were recorded during the task. Cognitive reappraisal reduced self‐rating emotional experience to both gains and losses and the amplitudes of the feedback‐related negativity (FRN) and the P3 of ERPs. According to these results, we suggest that the application of cognitive reappraisal strategy significantly modulated the motivational salience of current outcomes, thus weakening the subjective emotional experience elicited. In addition, cognitive reappraisal might have changed the allocation of cognitive resources during outcome evaluation. This study extends emotion regulation studies by applying monetary outcomes as emotional stimuli, and also implicates the significance of emotion regulation in decision‐making processes.
    July 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12091   open full text
  • Waveform difference between skin conductance and skin potential responses in relation to electrical and evaporative properties of skin.
    Christian Tronstad, Håvard Kalvøy, Sverre Grimnes, Ørjan G. Martinsen.
    Psychophysiology. July 28, 2013
    The shapes of skin conductance (SC) and skin potential (SP) responses are often similar, but can also be very different due to an unexplained cause. Using a new method to measure SC and SP simultaneously at the same electrode, this difference was investigated in a new way by comparing their temporal peak differences. SC, SP, skin susceptance (SS), and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were recorded from 40 participants during relaxation and stress. The SP response could peak anywhere between the onset of an SC response to some time after the peak of an SC response. This peak time difference was associated with the magnitude of the SCR, the hydration of the skin, and the filling of the sweat ducts. Interpretation of the results in light of existing biophysical theories suggests that this peak difference may indicate the hydraulic capacity state of the sweat ducts at the time of a response.
    July 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/psyp.12092   open full text