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    Hierarchical Bayesian models for the autonomic-based Concealed Information Test.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Nov 13. Epub 2017 Nov 13.
    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. 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 10. Epub 2017 Nov 10.
    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

    On-line action monitoring of response execution: An electrophysiological study.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 12;129:178-185. Epub 2017 Sep 12.
    Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées-ERRSO, Toulon, France; Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, UMR7291, Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, Marseille, France.
    In between-hand choice-RT-tasks, small incorrect EMG activations occurring before the correct response ("partial errors") are assumed to reflect the detection, inhibition and correction of erroneous hand selection, revealing the existence of an action monitoring system, acting "on-line". Now, EMG activations of the correctly selected hand muscles, too small to reach the response threshold, may also occur before these hand muscles produce an overt correct response ("partial corrects"). We hypothesized that partial corrects reflect incorrect execution of correctly selected responses. Read More

    Association between resting-state brain network topological organization and creative ability: Evidence from a multiple linear regression model.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 7;129:165-177. Epub 2017 Sep 7.
    Center for the Study of Applied Psychology, Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science of Guangdong Province, School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China. Electronic address:
    Previous studies have indicated a tight linkage between resting-state functional connectivity of the human brain and creative ability. This study aimed to further investigate the association between the topological organization of resting-state brain networks and creativity. Therefore, we acquired resting-state fMRI data from 22 high-creativity participants and 22 low-creativity participants (as determined by their Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking scores). Read More

    Maternal DRD2, SLC6A3, and OXTR genotypes as potential moderators of the relation between maternal history of care and maternal cortisol secretion in the context of mother-infant separation.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 7;129:154-164. Epub 2017 Sep 7.
    Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, M5B 2K3 Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:
    A mother's cortisol secretion is importantly associated with her own mental health and her infant's cortisol secretion. This study investigated the influences of maternal history of care and maternal DRD2, SLC6A3, and OXTR genotypes on maternal cortisol in the context of infant stress. A community sample of 296 mother-infant dyads completed a maternal separation at infant age 17 months. Read More

    Psychosocial functioning and the cortisol awakening response: Meta-analysis, P-curve analysis, and evaluation of the evidential value in existing studies.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 14;129:207-230. Epub 2017 Sep 14.
    Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, 125 Kastle Hall, Lexington, KY 40506, United States. Electronic address:
    Cortisol levels rise immediately after awakening and peak approximately 30-45min thereafter. Psychosocial functioning influences this cortisol awakening response (CAR), but there is considerable heterogeneity in the literature. The current study used p-curve and meta-analysis on 709 findings from 212 studies to test the evidential value and estimate effect sizes of four sets of findings: those associating worse psychosocial functioning with higher or lower cortisol increase relative to the waking period (CARi) and to the output of the waking period (AUCw). Read More

    Fear acquisition and liking of out-group and in-group members: Learning bias or attention?
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 1;129:195-206. Epub 2017 Sep 1.
    Department of Psychology, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.
    The present study explores the notion of an out-group fear learning bias that is characterized by facilitated fear acquisition toward harm-doing out-group members. Participants were conditioned with two in-group and two out-group faces as conditioned stimuli. During acquisition, one in-group and one out-group face was paired with an aversive shock whereas the other in-group and out-group face was presented without shock. Read More

    Attention bias modification reduces neural correlates of response monitoring.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 1;129:103-110. Epub 2017 Sep 1.
    Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, United States.
    The error-related negativity (ERN) is an electrophysiological response to errors. Individual differences in the ERN have been posited to reflect sensitivity to threat and linked with risk for anxiety disorders. Attention bias modification is a promising computerized intervention that has been shown to decrease threat biases and anxiety symptoms. Read More

    Expectancy effects in feedback processing are explained primarily by time-frequency delta not theta.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 1;129:242-252. Epub 2017 Sep 1.
    Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, United States. Electronic address:
    The roles of outcome valence and expectancy in feedback processing have been investigated as important factors modulating event-related potential (ERP) measures including the feedback negativity (FN) and P300, but results have been inconsistent. Recent work from our group has shown that processes underlying the FN and P300 are better represented as separable processes in the theta (3-7Hz) and delta (0-3Hz) ranges using time-frequency analysis. The current study evaluated the modulation of time-domain FN and P300 and time-frequency theta and delta to outcome valence and expectancy in a gambling feedback task paradigm. Read More

    Rule-based generalisation in single-cue and differential fear conditioning in humans.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 1;129:111-120. Epub 2017 Sep 1.
    University of New South Wales, Australia.
    Fear generalisation refers to the spread of conditioned fear to stimuli similar but distinct from the original conditioned stimulus. In this study, participants were presented with repeated pairings of a conditioned stimulus with a shock, in either a single-cue or differential conditioning paradigm. Generalisation of fear was then tested by presenting stimuli that were novel, but similar to the conditioned stimulus along a spatial stimulus dimension. Read More

    A positive touch: C-tactile afferent targeted skin stimulation carries an appetitive motivational value.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 1;129:186-194. Epub 2017 Sep 1.
    Research Centre for Brain & Behaviour, School of Natural Sciences & Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK. Electronic address:
    The rewarding sensation of touch in affiliative interactions is hypothesised to be underpinned by an unmyelinated system of nerve fibres called C-tactile afferents (CTs). CTs are velocity tuned, responding optimally to slow, gentle touch, typical of a caress. Here we used evaluative conditioning to examine whether CT activation carries a positive affective value. Read More

    Visual reminders of death enhance nociceptive-related cortical responses and event-related alpha desynchronisation.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 30;129:121-130. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
    Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Psicologia, Italy; Fondazione Santa Lucia, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Italy.
    Previous research suggests that prompting individuals to think on their own mortality affects their perception of painful somatic stimuli and related brain activity. Grounded on the assumption that reminders of mortality may recruit threat-defence mechanisms similar to the ones activated by painful nociceptive stimuli, we hypothesize that the effects exerted by linguistic reminders of death on pain perception and brain activity would be elicited by passive observation of death-related pictures vs. more generic threat-related pictures. Read More

    Goal impact influences the evaluative component of performance monitoring: Evidence from ERPs.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 24;129:90-102. Epub 2017 Aug 24.
    Cognitive & Affective Psychophysiology Laboratory, Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Belgium. Electronic address:
    Successful performance monitoring (PM) requires continuous assessment of context and action outcomes. Electrophysiological studies have reliably identified event-related potential (ERP) markers for evaluative feedback processing during PM: the Feedback-Related Negativity (FRN) and P3 components. The functional significance of FRN remains debated in the literature, with recent research suggesting that feedback's goal relevance can account for FRN (amplitude) modulation, apart from its valence or expectedness alone. Read More

    Peripheral physiological responses to subliminally presented negative affective stimuli: A systematic review.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 24;129:131-153. Epub 2017 Aug 24.
    Health, Clinical Psychology Unit, Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
    Negative affective information may be presented outside of awareness and change physiological activity. By increasing peripheral physiological activity, subliminally presented negative affective information may contribute to the development of disease. The current systematic review evaluated 65 studies in which negative affective stimuli were presented subliminally to a healthy sample while cardiovascular, electrodermal, electromyographical, hormonal, or immunological activity was measured. Read More

    Exogenous testosterone affects early threat processing in socially anxious and healthy women.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 12;129:82-89. Epub 2017 Aug 12.
    Radboud University Nijmegen, Behavioural Science Institute (BSI), Nijmegen, Montessorilaan 3, PO Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.; Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.. Electronic address:
    Testosterone plays an important role in social threat processing. Recent evidence suggests that testosterone administration has socially anxiolytic effects, but it remains unknown whether this involves early vigilance or later, more sustained, processing-stages. We investigated the acute effects of testosterone administration on social threat processing in 19 female patients with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and 19 healthy controls. Read More

    Emotion regulation in adolescents: An ERP study.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 10;129:52-61. Epub 2017 Aug 10.
    Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London & The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, London, United Kingdom.
    Aims: The use of emotion regulation strategies can reduce the intensity of negative emotional experiences. Event related potentials (ERPs), specifically the late positive potential (LPP), are known to be sensitive to this modulation in adults. This is the first study to explore the neural correlates of expressive suppression in adolescents. Read More

    Intranasal oxytocin and the neural correlates of infant face processing in non-parent women.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 8;129:45-48. Epub 2017 Aug 8.
    Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, United States.
    Event-related potentials (ERPs) have been widely employed to identify different stages of face processing, with recent research probing the neural dynamics of adult's processing of infant faces. Infant faces represent a salient category of visual stimuli, especially in parents, likely prioritized for processing through activity of the oxytocinergic system. Here we employed a randomized, double-blind, and within-subject crossover study of 24 non-parent women to examine the impact of intranasal oxytocin administration, relative to placebo, on processing infant and adult faces. Read More

    Multisensory integration in orienting behavior: Pupil size, microsaccades, and saccades.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 5;129:36-44. Epub 2017 Aug 5.
    Centre for Neuroscience Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
    Signals from different sensory modalities are integrated in the brain to optimize behavior. Although multisensory integration has been demonstrated in saccadic eye movements, its influence on other orienting responses, including pupil size and microsaccades, is still poorly understood. We examined human gaze orienting responses following presentation of visual, auditory, or combined audiovisual stimuli. Read More

    Self-construal differences in neural responses to negative social cues.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 3;129:62-72. Epub 2017 Aug 3.
    School of Psychology, UNSW Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia.
    Cultures differ substantially in representations of the self. Whereas individualistic cultural groups emphasize an independent self, reflected in processing biases towards centralized salient objects, collectivistic cultures are oriented towards an interdependent self, attending to contextual associations between visual cues. It is unknown how these perceptual biases may affect brain activity in response to negative social cues. Read More

    Memory detection: The effects of emotional stimuli.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 3;129:25-35. Epub 2017 Aug 3.
    Department of Psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.
    The Concealed Information Test (CIT) aims to detect the presence of crime-related information in memory. In two experiments, we examined the influence of stimulus emotionality on the outcomes of the CIT. In experiment 1, each participant was tested immediately or after one week, on a series of neutral and either negative arousing or negative non-arousing pictures. Read More

    Facial expressions perceived by the adolescent brain: Towards the proficient use of low spatial frequency information.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 2;129:1-7. Epub 2017 Aug 2.
    Department of Developmental Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of Experimental Psychology, Helmholtz Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
    Rapid decoding of emotional expressions is essential for social communication. Fast processing of facial expressions depends on the adequate (subcortical) processing of important global face cues in the low spatial frequency (LSF) ranges. However, children below 9 years of age extract fearful expression information from local details represented by high SF (HSF) image content. Read More

    The effect of visual and musical suspense on brain activation and memory during naturalistic viewing.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Oct 29;129:73-81. Epub 2017 Jul 29.
    School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.
    We tested the hypothesis that, during naturalistic viewing, moments of increasing narrative suspense narrow the scope of attentional focus. We also tested how changes in the emotional congruency of the music would affect brain responses to suspense, as well as subsequent memory for narrative events. In our study, participants viewed suspenseful film excerpts while brain activation was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Read More

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