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    Neural signatures for active maintenance and interference during working memory updating.
    Biol Psychol 2018 Jan 12. Epub 2018 Jan 12.
    Department of Psychology, Åbo Akademi University, Tehtaankatu 2, Turku 20500, Finland; Brain and Mind Center, University of Turku, Finland.
    Although working memory (WM) is amongst the most studied neurocognitive functions, temporal patterns of its component processes are not fully understood. We examined the neural underpinnings of active maintenance and interference management in the n-back task by manipulating load (1-back vs 3-back) and including so-called lure stimuli. ERPs of 27 young adults revealed that the 1-back condition enabling active maintenance showed a positive slow wave (PSW) prior to the next stimulus (-600-0 ms) and augmented P2 (190-290 ms) and P3b (330-430 ms) responses after the stimulus appeared, albeit the latter effects were driven by the initial PSW. Read More

    Adverse Childhood Experiences are Associated with Self-Regulation and the Magnitude of the Error-Related Negativity Difference.
    Biol Psychol 2018 Jan 5. Epub 2018 Jan 5.
    Psychology Department, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON, L2S3A1, Canada; Jack and Nora Walker Centre for Lifespan Development Research, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, L2S3A1, Canada.
    Trauma and stress, like that which occurs as a result of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), can change brain structure and function, especially in medial prefrontal and hippocampal areas, and can impact self-regulatory skill. The error-related negativity (ERN) is a medial frontal negative event-related potential (ERP) component that is more negative when a participant makes an erroneous versus correct response. We investigated the association of ACEs to adolescents' ERN and self-regulation. Read More

    Veterans with PTSD demonstrate amygdala hyperactivity while viewing threatening faces: A MEG study.
    Biol Psychol 2018 Jan 5;132:228-232. Epub 2018 Jan 5.
    Center for Magnetoencephalography (MEG), University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Omaha, NE, USA; Department of Neurological Sciences, UNMC, Omaha, NE, USA.
    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a major psychiatric disorder that is prevalent in combat veterans. Previous neuroimaging studies have found elevated amygdala activity in PTSD in response to threatening stimuli, but previous work has lacked the temporal specificity to study fast bottom-up fear responses involving the amygdala. Forty-four combat veterans, 28 with PTSD and 16 without, completed psychological testing and then a face-processing task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). Read More

    Neurophysiological correlates of attentional bias for emotional faces in socially anxious individuals - Evidence from a visual search task and N2pc.
    Biol Psychol 2018 Jan 4;132:192-201. Epub 2018 Jan 4.
    University of Potsdam, Department of Psychology, Potsdam, Germany.
    Visual search paradigms have provided evidence for the enhanced capture of attention by threatening faces. Especially in social anxiety, hypervigilance for threatening faces has been found repeatedly across behavioral paradigms, whose reliability however have been questioned recently. In this EEG study, we sought to determine whether the detection of threat (angry faces) is specifically enhanced in individuals with high (HSA) compared to low social anxiety (LSA). Read More

    Resting frontal EEG asymmetry patterns in adolescents with and without major depression.
    Biol Psychol 2018 Jan 4;132:212-216. Epub 2018 Jan 4.
    Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Nußbaumstr. 5a, 80336 Munich, Germany.
    More right-sided frontal brain resting activity has been postulated to be a correlate of major depression in adults. In children and adolescents, more right-sided activity (as indicated by more left-sided alpha activity) seems to be associated with psychosocial risk factors. However, an association of frontal asymmetry and manifest unipolar depression has not been shown in adolescents so far. Read More

    Neural discrimination of speech sound changes in a variable context occurs irrespective of attention and explicit awareness.
    Biol Psychol 2018 Jan 3;132:217-227. Epub 2018 Jan 3.
    Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland; Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Institute for Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland.
    To process complex stimuli like language, our auditory system must tolerate large acoustic variance, like speaker variability, and still be sensitive enough to discriminate between phonemes and to detect complex sound relationships in, e.g., prosodic cues. Read More

    An ERP study of multidimensional source retrieval in depression.
    Biol Psychol 2018 Jan 3;132:176-191. Epub 2018 Jan 3.
    Center for Depression, Anxiety and Stress Research, McLean Hospital, United States. Electronic address:
    We collected event-related potentials (ERPs) from 24 unmedicated adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 24 controls during source memory retrieval. Words were encoded on the left or right during animacy and mobility judgments. Mobility judgments were slower than animacy judgments, suggesting deeper encoding. Read More

    Conflict between gesture representations extinguishes μ rhythm desynchronization during manipulable object perception: An EEG study.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 29;132:202-211. Epub 2017 Dec 29.
    Univ. Lille, CNRS, CHU Lille, UMR 9193 - SCALab - Sciences Cognitives et Sciences Affectives, F-59000 Lille, France.
    Recent findings showed that competition between object structural ("grasp-to-move") and functional ("grasp-to-use") gestures slows down the initiation of object-directed actions but also object visual processing. The present study investigates the neurophysiological correlates of the competition between gesture representations during object perception. 3D conflictual objects (distinct structural and functional gestures) and non-conflictual objects (similar structural and functional gestures) were presented in three spaces (peripersonal, boundary of peripersonal, and extrapersonal) in a virtual environment. Read More

    Auditory enhancement of visual memory encoding is driven by emotional content of the auditory material and mediated by superior frontal cortex.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 29;132:164-175. Epub 2017 Dec 29.
    NeuroMI Center for Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy.
    Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate how auditory background interacts with learning and memory. Both facilitatory (e.g. Read More

    Inter-brain synchrony and cooperation context in interactive decision making.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 29. Epub 2017 Dec 29.
    School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China.
    People engaged in interactive decision making rely on prior decision behaviors by other persons to make new choices and they exhibit inter-brain synchrony between each other. The functional meanings of such inter-brain synchrony, however, remains obscure. In the present study, dyads (15 pairs, all female) played the Prisoner's Dilemma game while their brain activities were recorded simultaneously by electroencephalography (EEG)-based hyperscanning technique. Read More

    The role of working memory capacity in cardiovascular monitoring of cognitive workload.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 19;132:154-163. Epub 2017 Dec 19.
    School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland.
    Cardiovascular measures have been found to be sensitive to task onset and offset, but are less sensitive to adjacent levels of increasing cognitive workload. A potential confound in the literature is the disregard of individual differences in cardiovascular reactivity. In particular, the individuals' working memory capacity (WMC) is likely to play a role in cardiovascular reactivity to workload. Read More

    Person-centered examination of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase responses to psychosocial stress: Links to preadolescent behavioral functioning and coping.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 15;132:143-153. Epub 2017 Dec 15.
    Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, United States.
    This study adopted a person-centered approach to identify preadolescent salivary cortisol (sC) and alpha-amylase (sAA) co-activation response patterns and examine links to behavioral functioning and coping. Children (N = 151, 51.7% male) were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and one of two randomly-assigned, post-TSST coping conditions: distraction or avoidance. Read More

    Simultaneous EEG-fMRI reveals attention-dependent coupling of early face processing with a distributed cortical network.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 12;132:133-142. Epub 2017 Dec 12.
    Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, The University of Reading, Reading, UK.
    The speed of visual processing is central to our understanding of face perception. Yet the extent to which early visual processing influences later processing in distributed face processing networks, and the top-down modulation of such bottom-up effects, remains unclear. We used simultaneous EEG-fMRI to investigate cortical activity that showed unique covariation with ERP components of face processing (C1, P1, N170, P3), while manipulating sustained attention and transient cognitive conflict employing an emotional face-word Stroop task. Read More

    Sleep restriction undermines cardiovascular adaptation during stress, contingent on emotional stability.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 12;132:125-132. Epub 2017 Dec 12.
    Reykjavik University, Iceland.
    Sleep loss is associated with increased cardiovascular disease, but physiological mechanisms accounting for this relationship are largely unknown. One possible mechanism is that sleep restriction exerts effects on cardiovascular stress responses, and that these effects vary between individuals. Emotional stability (ES) is a personality trait pertinent to sleep restriction and stress responding. Read More

    DSM-5 personality trait domains and withdrawal versus approach motivational tendencies in response to the perception of other people's desperation and angry aggression.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 27;132:106-115. Epub 2017 Nov 27.
    Department of Psychology, Biological Psychology Unit, University of Graz, Austria.
    Expressions of affect communicate social messages, which trigger approach and withdrawal/avoidance motivational tendencies in the observer. The present study investigated relationships between inter-individual differences in the motivational responses to other people's affect expressions and DSM-5 personality trait domains. State-dependent, transient EEG alpha asymmetry responses provided indicators of the relative activation of withdrawal versus approach motivation in the respective social-emotional contexts. Read More

    Investigating error-related processing in incarcerated adolescents with self-report psychopathy measures.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 24;132:96-105. Epub 2017 Nov 24.
    Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, United States; The Mind Research Network (MRN) & Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute (LBERI), Albuquerque, NM, United States. Electronic address:
    Disparate results have been found in previous reports when incorporating both interview-based and self-report measures of psychopathic traits within the same sample, suggesting such assessments should not be used interchangeably. We previously found Total and Facet 4 scores from Hare's Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) were negatively related to amplitude of the error-related positivity (Pe) event-related potential (ERP) component. Here, we investigated using the same previously published sample whether scores on four different self-report measures of adolescent psychopathic traits (the Antisocial Process Screening Device [APSD], Child Psychopathy Scale [CPS], Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits [ICU], and Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory [YPI]) were similarly associated with reduced Pe amplitude. Read More

    Exhaled nitric oxide and vascular endothelial growth factor as predictors of cold symptoms after stress.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 21;132:116-124. Epub 2017 Nov 21.
    Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, USA.
    Objective: Prior research has demonstrated that psychosocial stress is associated with respiratory infections. Immunologic, endocrine, and cardiovascular predictors of such infections have been explored with varying success. We therefore sought to study the unexplored role of airway mucosal immunity factors, nitric oxide (NO) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Read More

    Preliminary evidence that digit length ratio (2D:4D) predicts neural response to delivery of motivational stimuli.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 20;132:91-95. Epub 2017 Nov 20.
    Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Ave., PCD4118G, Tampa, FL 33620, United States.
    Reduced relative length of the 2nd to 4th digits (2D:4D) is thought to partially reflect fetal testosterone (FT) exposure, a process suspected to promote relatively permanent effects on the brain and behavior via structural and functional neuroadaptations. We examined the effect of 2D:4D on neural response - assessed by P2a and feedback-related negativity (FRN) event-related potentials (ERPs) - to motivational stimuli (reward or punishment) using two counterbalanced conditions of a passive S1/S2 outcome prediction design. P2a to expected and unexpected delivered rewards or punishments ($1 or white noise burst, respectively) and FRN to withheld rewards or punishments ($0 or silence, respectively) were observed in undergraduates. Read More

    Patterns of neuroendocrine coupling in 9-year-old children: Effects of sex, body-mass index, and life stress.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 16. Epub 2017 Nov 16.
    Stony Brook University, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook, New York, United States.
    Previous investigations have explored stress and pubertal hormones in parallel; it has been a recent development, however, to explore the relationships between different hormones during puberty, and how this hormonal cross-talk may be influenced by the environment. The current study investigated neuroendocrine coupling, or the extent to which hormones are correlated within the individual, and also investigated early life stressors that may influence coupling. Participants were 405 adrenarcheal children (mean Tanner stage=1. Read More

    Hierarchical Bayesian models for the autonomic-based concealed information test.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 14;132:81-90. Epub 2017 Nov 14.
    National Research Institute of Police Science, Chiba, Japan.
    The concealed information test (CIT) is a psychophysiological memory detection technique for examining whether an examinee recognizes crime-relevant information. In current statistical analysis practice, the autonomic responses are usually transformed into Z scores within individuals to remove inter- and intra-individual variability. However, this conventional procedure leads to overestimation of the effect size, specifically the standardized mean difference of the autonomic responses between the crime-relevant information and the crime-irrelevant information. Read More

    Electrophysiological correlates of performance monitoring under social observation in patients with social anxiety disorder and healthy controls.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 11;132:71-80. Epub 2017 Nov 11.
    Institute of Medical Psychology and Systems Neuroscience, University of Münster, Von-Esmarch-Str. 52, 48149 Münster, Germany.
    Previous research suggests that electrophysiological correlates of performance monitoring, in particular the error-related negativity (ERN), vary according to psychopathology and context factors. The present study examined the effect of social context on behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of performance monitoring in healthy adult subjects and in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Participants performed two runs of a Go/NoGo flanker task in different social conditions: in the observation condition, they were observed by a confederate while performing the task, whereas there was no observation in the control condition. Read More

    Influence of lighting color temperature on effort-related cardiac response.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 11;132:64-70. Epub 2017 Nov 11.
    Centre for Chronobiology, Transfaculty Research Platform Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
    Higher color temperature refers to a higher proportion of blue spectral components of light, that are known to be associated with higher alertness state in humans. Based on motivational intensity theory (Brehm & Self, 1989), here we predicted that this lighting-induced alertness state should inform about the readiness to perform and this way influence subjective task demand and thus mental effort. To test this, study participants spent 15min under one of four lighting color temperature conditions and then performed a cognitive task. Read More

    On the implicit influence of pain cues on cognitive effort: Evidence from cardiovascular reactivity.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 7;132:45-54. Epub 2017 Nov 7.
    University of Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:
    To extend previous findings on the impact of implicit affect on behavior, two experiments investigated the influence of priming pain cues on cognitive effort. Effort was assessed as cardiovascular reactivity (PEP, SBP, DBP, and HR) during an easy or difficult cognitive task integrating briefly presented and masked pain-related words. The control condition included neutral words (Experiment 1) or anger-related words (Experiment 2). Read More

    Your attention makes me smile: Direct gaze elicits affiliative facial expressions.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 7;132:1-8. Epub 2017 Nov 7.
    Human Information Processing Laboratory, Faculty of Social Sciences/Psychology, University of Tampere, FI-33014, Finland.
    Facial electromyographic responses and skin conductance responses were measured to investigate whether, in a neutral laboratory environment, another individual's direct gaze elicits a positive or negative affective reaction in the observer. The results showed that greater zygomatic responses associated with positive affect were elicited by seeing another person with direct as compared to averted gaze. The zygomatic responses were greater in response to another person's direct gaze both when the participant's own gaze was directed towards the other and when the participant was not looking directly towards the other. Read More

    Central theta amplitude as a negative correlate of performance proficiency in a dynamic visuospatial task.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 28;132:37-44. Epub 2017 Oct 28.
    Chair of Sport Psychology, Technical University of Munich, 80992 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:
    Dynamic visuospatial tasks, requiring continuous engagement of attention over long time periods, have been little studied with the electroencephalogram. Specifically, the role of the theta band in these tasks is unclear, with task-related theta enhancements improving performance in some studies, and hindering it in others. In this study, 30 participants performed the Pong videogame as a dynamic visuospatial task to analyze the influence of theta and alpha amplitude as well as alpha asymmetry on performance. Read More

    Parent emotion socialization and pre-adolescent's social and emotional adjustment: Moderating effects of autonomic nervous system reactivity.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 28;130:67-76. Epub 2017 Oct 28.
    University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Tobin Hall, 135 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01002, United States.
    This study examined whether measures of children's autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity to social stress moderated the effect of parent emotion socialization on children's social and emotional adjustment. Sixty-one children (9-13 years) completed a peer rejection task while their respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity (RSA-R) and skin conductance level reactivity (SCL-R) were assessed. Parents' report of supportive and non-supportive reactions to their child's negative emotions served as measures of emotion socialization. Read More

    Frontal alpha asymmetry and aerobic exercise: are changes due to cardiovascular demand or bilateral rhythmic movement?
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 2;132:9-16. Epub 2017 Nov 2.
    University of Waterloo, Kinesiology, 200 University Avenue West, B.C. Matthews Hall, N2L 3G1, Canada.
    The left and right prefrontal cortices are linked to networks that control approach and withdrawal motivation, respectively. The relationship between activity in the left and right prefrontal activity is used to assess brain states and specifically their link to motivational behaviours and tendencies. The most common measure used in this context is called the frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA), which compares alpha (8-13Hz) power at each region. Read More

    Neurophysiological differentiation between preattentive and attentive processing of emotional expressions on French vowels.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 2;132:55-63. Epub 2017 Nov 2.
    University Paris Nanterre - Paris Lumières, CNRS, UMR 7114 Models, Dynamics, Corpora, France.
    The present electrophysiological study investigated the processing of emotional prosody by minimizing as much as possible the effect of emotional information conveyed by the lexical-semantic context. Emotionally colored French vowels (i.e. Read More

    Trait anxiety and probabilistic learning: Behavioral and electrophysiological findings.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 31;132:17-26. Epub 2017 Oct 31.
    Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Affective and Social Cognitive Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China; Center for Emotion and Brain, Shenzhen Institute of Neuroscience, Shenzhen 518057, China.
    Anxiety is a negative emotion that affects various aspects of people's daily life. To explain why individuals with high anxiety tend to make suboptimal decisions, we suggest that their learning ability might play an important role. Regarding that anxiety modulates both outcome expectation and attention allocation, it is reasonable to hypothesize that the function of feedback learning should be sensitive to individual level of anxiety. Read More

    Emotional eating and instructed food-cue processing in adolescents: An ERP study.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 31;132:27-36. Epub 2017 Oct 31.
    Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
    We examined the P3 (250-500ms) and Late Positive Potential (LPP; 500-2000ms) event-related potentials (ERPs) to food vs. nonfood cues among adolescents reporting on emotional eating (EE) behavior. Eighty-six adolescents 10-17 years old were tested using an instructed food versus nonfood cue viewing task (imagine food taste) during high-density EEG recording. Read More

    Cardiac vagal control as a marker of emotion regulation in healthy adults: A review.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 25;130:54-66. Epub 2017 Oct 25.
    Psychology Department, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Gemelli 1, 20123, Milan, Italy.
    In the last two decades, a growing body of theory and research has targeted the role of cardiac vagal control (CVC) in emotional responding. This research has either focused on resting CVC (also denoted as cardiac vagal tone) or phasic changes in CVC (also denoted as vagal reactivity) in response to affective stimuli. The present paper is aimed at reporting a review of the papers published between 1996 and 2016, and focused on the results of 135 papers examining cardiac vagal control as a physiological marker of emotion regulation in healthy adults. Read More

    Psychophysiology of proactive and reactive relational aggression.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 18;130:77-85. Epub 2017 Oct 18.
    University of Vermont, United States.
    This study investigated the joint effects of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system reactivity to social and non-social stressors on proactive (i.e., goal-directed, unemotional) and reactive (i. Read More

    Parental perception of child weight and inflammation: Perceived overweight is associated with higher child c-reactive protein.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 17;130:50-53. Epub 2017 Oct 17.
    Florida State University College of Medicine, United States.
    Self-perceived overweight and weight discrimination are associated with inflammation in adulthood. We test whether there is an intergenerational association of parent perception of child overweight on higher levels of child c-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation implicated in stress. Data were from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2014 (N=4988). Read More

    Attend or defend? Sex differences in behavioral, autonomic, and respiratory response patterns to emotion-eliciting films.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 18;130:30-40. Epub 2017 Oct 18.
    Clinical Stress & Emotion Lab, Division of Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Health Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria; Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
    Sex differences in emotional reactivity have been studied primarily for negative but less so for positive stimuli; likewise, sex differences in the psychophysiological response-patterning during such stimuli are poorly understood. Thus, the present study examined sex differences in response to negative/positive and high/low arousing films (classified as threat-, loss-, achievement-, and recreation-related, vs. neutral films), while measuring 18 muscular, autonomic, and respiratory parameters. Read More

    BDNF Val66Met polymorphism modulates the effect of loneliness on white matter microstructure in young adults.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 5;130:41-49. Epub 2017 Oct 5.
    Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU), Ministry of Education, Chongqing 400715, China; Department of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China. Electronic address:
    Loneliness is a common experience. Susceptibility to loneliness is a stable trait and is heritable. Previous studies have suggested that loneliness may impact regional gray matter density and brain activation to social stimuli, but its relation to white matter structure and how it may interact with genetic factors remains unclear. Read More

    Electrophysiological indicators of inhibitory control deficits in depression.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 3;130:1-10. Epub 2017 Oct 3.
    Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware, United States.
    Ample evidence from behavioral and brain imaging studies suggests that inhibitory control is impaired in depression, though the precise nature of this impairment is unclear. The purpose of the present study was to examine potential deficits in three aspects of inhibitory control - conflict monitoring, conflict resolution, and overt behavioral inhibition - in the context of depressive symptoms. Depressed (n=15) and non-depressed (n=15) participants completed a stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) task while electroencephalography (EEG) data were recorded. Read More

    Electrocortical measures of information processing biases in social anxiety disorder: A review.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 28;129:324-348. Epub 2017 Sep 28.
    Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by information processing biases, however, their underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. The goal of this review was to give a comprehensive overview of the most frequently studied EEG spectral and event-related potential (ERP) measures in social anxiety during rest, anticipation, stimulus processing, and recovery. A Web of Science search yielded 35 studies reporting on electrocortical measures in individuals with social anxiety or related constructs. Read More

    Neural bases of action abstraction.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 28;129:314-323. Epub 2017 Sep 28.
    Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, 3701 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States.
    There has been recent debate over whether actions are processed primarily by means of motor simulation or cognitive semantics. The current study investigated how abstract action concepts are processed in the brain, independent of the format in which they are presented. Eighteen healthy adult participants viewed different actions (e. Read More

    The individual contribution of DSM 5 symptom clusters of PTSD, life events, and childhood adversity to frontal oscillatory brain asymmetry in a large sample of active combatants.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 25;129:305-313. Epub 2017 Sep 25.
    Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; MSH Medical School Hamburg, University of Applied Sciences and Medical University, Germany.
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been linked to deviations in lateralized frontal functional oscillatory activity. This is possibly because left and right DLPFC have differential roles in regulating both memory and stress response, which are both dysfunctional in PTSD. However, previous results are heterogeneous, and could be attributable to individual symptom clusters, traumatic or aggressive life events, early life stress, or the interaction of these factors. Read More

    EEG differences between eyes-closed and eyes-open resting remain in healthy ageing.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 21;129:293-304. Epub 2017 Sep 21.
    Brain & Behaviour Research Institute and School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    In young adults and children, the eyes-closed (EC) resting state is one of low EEG arousal, with the change to eyes-open (EO) primarily involving an increase in arousal. We used this arousal perspective to interpret EC/EO differences in healthy young and older adults. EEG was recorded from 20 young (Mage=20. Read More

    Laughter catches attention!
    Biol Psychol 2017 Dec 21;130:11-21. Epub 2017 Sep 21.
    Department of Neuropsychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany; Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
    In social interactions, emotionally salient and sudden changes in vocal expressions attract attention. However, only a few studies examined how emotion and attention interact in voice processing. We investigated neutral, happy (laughs) and angry (growls) vocalizations in a modified oddball task. Read More

    Contextual effects of surprised expressions on the encoding and recognition of emotional target faces: An event-related potential (ERP) study.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 20;129:273-281. Epub 2017 Sep 20.
    Institute of Medical Psychology and Systems Neuroscience, University of Muenster, 48149 Muenster, Germany.
    Several studies reported that the encoding and recognition of emotional target faces are modulated by negative contextual expressions. However, it is unknown whether other contextual expressions, such as emotionally ambiguous expressions, affect the encoding and recognition of target faces. To this end, electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded during the presentation of angry or happy target faces after a random sequence of surprised or neutral contextual faces that did not differ in normative valence ratings. Read More

    Burnout is associated with changes in error and feedback processing.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 18;129:349-358. Epub 2017 Sep 18.
    Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo),at TU, Dortmund, Germany1; Institute for Working, Learning and Aging, Bochum, Germany.
    Burnout is a pattern of complaints in individuals with emotionally demanding jobs that is often seen as a precursor of depression. One often reported symptom of burnout is cognitive decline. To analyze cognitive control and to differentiate between subclinical burnout and mild to moderate depression a double-blinded study was conducted that investigates changes in the processing of performance errors and feedback in a task switching paradigm. Read More

    Frontoparietal theta oscillations during proactive control are associated with goal-updating and reduced behavioral variability.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 18;129:253-264. Epub 2017 Sep 18.
    Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory, School of Psychology, The University of Newcastle, Australia; Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health, The University of Newcastle, Australia; Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury, The University of Newcastle, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute, The University of Newcastle, Australia. Electronic address:
    Low frequency oscillations in the theta range (4-8Hz) are increasingly recognized as having a crucial role in flexible cognition. Such evidence is typically derived from studies in the context of reactive (stimulus-driven) control processes. However, little research has explored the role of theta oscillations in preparatory control processes. Read More

    When theory and biology differ: The relationship between reward prediction errors and expectancy.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 18;129:265-272. Epub 2017 Sep 18.
    Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 2Y2, Canada.
    Comparisons between expectations and outcomes are critical for learning. Termed prediction errors, the violations of expectancy that occur when outcomes differ from expectations are used to modify value and shape behaviour. In the present study, we examined how a wide range of expectancy violations impacted neural signals associated with feedback processing. Read More

    Examining the time course of genital and subjective sexual responses in women and men with concurrent plethysmography and thermography.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 15;129:359-369. Epub 2017 Sep 15.
    Queen's University, Canada. Electronic address:
    Sexual response is a dynamic process, though there is limited knowledge of the time course and relationships among its psychological and physiological components. To address this gap, we concurrently assessed self-reported sexual arousal, genital temperature (with thermography), and genital vasocongestion (with vaginal photoplethysmography [VPP] or penile plethysmography [PPG]) during sexual and nonsexual films in 28 androphilic women (attracted to men) and 27 gynephilic men (attracted to women). Men and women had similarly strong agreement between subjective and genital responses (sexual concordance) with thermography, but this agreement was stronger in men than women with PPG/VPP. Read More

    A neural signature of food semantics is associated with body-mass index.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 9;129:282-292. Epub 2017 Sep 9.
    Area of Neuroscience, SISSA, via Bonomea 265, I-34136 Trieste, Italy; ANVUR, Via Ippolito Nievo, 35, 00153 Rome, Italy. Electronic address:
    Visual recognition of objects may rely on different features depending on the category to which they belong. Recognizing natural objects, such as fruits and plants, weighs more on their perceptual attributes, whereas recognizing man-made objects, such as tools or vehicles, weighs more upon the functions and actions they enable. Edible objects are perceptually rich but also prepared for specific functions, therefore it is unclear how perceptual and functional attributes affect their recognition. Read More

    Sustained engagement of attention is associated with increased negative self-referent processing in major depressive disorder.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 8;129:231-241. Epub 2017 Sep 8.
    Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, United States.
    This study investigated the link between self-reference and attentional engagement in adults with (n=22) and without (HC; n=24) Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants completed the Self-Referent Encoding Task (SRET). MDD participants endorsed significantly fewer positive words and more negative words as self-descriptive than HC participants. Read More

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