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    Contextual effects of surprised expressions on the encoding and recognition of emotional target faces: an event-related potential (ERP) study.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 19. Epub 2017 Sep 19.
    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 Sep 16. Epub 2017 Sep 16.
    Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), Dortmund, Germany; Institute for Work, 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 Sep 15. Epub 2017 Sep 15.
    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 Sep 15. Epub 2017 Sep 15.
    Neuroeconomics Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education, 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 Sep 14. Epub 2017 Sep 14.
    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 Sep 9. 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 Sep 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 Sep 11;129:178-185. Epub 2017 Sep 11.
    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 Sep 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 Sep 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 Sep 13;129:207-230. Epub 2017 Sep 13.
    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 Sep 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 Sep 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 Sep 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 Sep 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 Sep 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Aug 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 Jul 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

    Individual differences in early adolescents' latent trait cortisol: Interaction of early adversity and 5-HTTLPR.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Jul 27;129:8-15. Epub 2017 Jul 27.
    Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, the University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.
    The present study aimed to examine the interaction of 5-HTTLPR and early adversity on trait-like levels of cortisol. A community sample of 117 early adolescent girls (M age=12.39years) provided DNA samples for 5-HTTLPR genotyping, and saliva samples for assessing cortisol 3 times a day (waking, 30min post-waking, and bedtime) over a three-day period. Read More

    Individual differences in the processing of smoking-cessation video messages: An imaging genetics study.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 28;128:125-131. Epub 2017 Jul 28.
    Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States; Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States; Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Administration Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States. Electronic address:
    Studies testing the benefits of enriching smoking-cessation video ads with attention-grabbing sensory features have yielded variable results. Dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) has been implicated in attention deficits. We hypothesized that DAT1 polymorphism is partially responsible for this variability. Read More

    Deficient prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex in schizophrenia using a cross-modal paradigm.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 25;128:112-116. Epub 2017 Jul 25.
    Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CNSR) and Center for Clinical Intervention and Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research (CINS), Mental Health Center Glostrup, Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Dept. of Clinical Medicine, Denmark; Department of Psychiatry, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
    Objectives: To investigate whether the typically reported deficient sensorimotor gating in patients with schizophrenia using unimodal paradigms can also be detected by a cross-modal paradigm which made use of an electrocutaneous-acoustic coupling of stimuli.

    Methods: Twenty-one male schizophrenia patients took part in a prepulse inhibition (PPI) paradigm with an electrocutaneous prepulse and an acoustic startle-eliciting pulse. Their results were compared with those from nineteen healthy males. Read More

    Physiological correlates of emotional reactivity and regulation in early adolescents.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Jul 25;127:229-238. Epub 2017 Jul 25.
    Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, USA; Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia; Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address:
    Few studies have examined physiological correlates of emotional reactivity and regulation in adolescents, despite the occurrence in this group of significant developmental changes in emotional functioning. The current study employed multiple physiological measures (i.e. Read More

    A dual mechanism underlying alpha lateralization in attentional orienting to mental representation.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 23;128:63-70. Epub 2017 Jul 23.
    Departamento de Psicología Básica, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Calle Ivan Pavlov 6, 28049, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:
    Numerous electrophysiological findings support the notion that selective attention modulates alpha oscillatory activity. Specifically, alpha enhancement and suppression can be dissociated in time and space. It is now accepted that selective attention operates in either the perceptual or the representational environments. Read More

    Mental imagery of face enhances face-sensitive event-related potentials to ambiguous visual stimuli.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Jul 22;129:16-24. Epub 2017 Jul 22.
    School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Key Laboratory on Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Peking University, Beijing 100080, China; Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing 100069, China. Electronic address:
    Visual mental imagery forms mental representations of visual objects when correspondent stimuli are absent and shares some characters with visual perception. Both the vertex-positive-potential (VPP) and N170 components of event-related potentials (ERPs) to visual stimuli have a remarkable preference to faces. This study investigated whether visual mental imagery modulates the face-sensitive VPP and/or N170 components. Read More

    Distraction coping predicts better cortisol recovery after acute psychosocial stress.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 22;128:117-124. Epub 2017 Jul 22.
    Chair of Health Psychology, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nägelsbachstraße 49a, 91052 Erlangen, Germany.
    The aim of this study was to explore whether different manifestations of state coping predict cortisol response and recovery in an acute stress situation. Fifty-nine healthy adults (59.3% female) were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and salivary cortisol was measured repeatedly before and after stress. Read More

    "Lacking warmth": Alexithymia trait is related to warm-specific thermal somatosensory processing.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 20;128:132-140. Epub 2017 Jul 20.
    Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK. Electronic address:
    Alexithymia is a personality trait involving deficits in emotional processing. The personality construct has been extensively validated, but the underlying neural and physiological systems remain controversial. One theory suggests that low-level somatosensory mechanisms act as somatic markers of emotion, underpinning cognitive and affective impairments in alexithymia. Read More

    Blunted neural response to implicit negative facial affect in anorexia nervosa.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 20;128:105-111. Epub 2017 Jul 20.
    King's College London, The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, Department of Psychological Medicine, United Kingdom.
    Background: People with anorexia nervosa (AN) have difficulties in a wide range of social-emotional processes. Previous work suggests atypical involvement of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala, insula, and fusiform gyri during social-emotional processing in AN.

    Methods: Twenty women with AN and twenty healthy comparison (HC) women were presented with happy, fearful, and neutral faces during a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Read More

    Temporal dynamics of reward anticipation in the human brain.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 21;128:89-97. Epub 2017 Jul 21.
    Department of Psychology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China. Electronic address:
    Reward anticipation is a complex process including cue evaluation, motor preparation, and feedback anticipation. The present study investigated whether these psychological processes were dissociable on neural dynamics in terms of incentive valence and approach motivation. We recorded EEG when participants were performing a monetary incentive delay task, and found a cue-P3 during the cue-evaluation stage, a contingent negative variation (CNV) during the motor-preparation stage, and a stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) during the feedback-anticipation stage. Read More

    Atypical interference control in children with AD/HD with elevated theta/beta ratio.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 20;128:82-88. Epub 2017 Jul 20.
    Peking University Sixth Hospital/Institute of Mental Health, Beijing, China; National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders (Peking University Sixth Hospital), Beijing, China. Electronic address:
    The theta/beta ratio (TBR) is a major area of interest within electroencephalogram (EEG) research in AD/HD. While researchers suggest a prognostic role for TBR in AD/HD, its relationship to behavior remains uncertain. Recent evidence suggests that elevated TBR in AD/HD may be related to atypical inhibition, particularly at an attentional level. Read More

    Prefrontal neuromodulation reverses spatial associations of non-numerical sequences, but not numbers.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 18;128:39-49. Epub 2017 Jul 18.
    Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neurophysiology & Interventional Neuropsychiatry, University of Tübingen, Calwerstrasse 14, 72076 Tübingen, Germany; Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN), Otfried-Müller-Str. 25, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
    Numerical and non-numerical sequence items interact with spatial responding, pointing towards mental representations that are grounded in space and referred to as SNARC effects (spatial-numerical association of response codes). An ongoing controversy pertains to the universal origin of different SNARC effects and whether their underpinning is a spatial arrangement of cardinal magnitude (mental number line) or a sequential arrangement of ordinal elements in working memory. Recent results from prefrontal neuromodulation with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) were supportive of the unified working memory account. Read More

    Boldness psychopathic traits predict reduced gaze toward fearful eyes in men with a history of violence.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 17;128:29-38. Epub 2017 Jul 17.
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.
    Research with developmental and adult samples has shown a relationship of psychopathic traits with reduced eye gaze. However, these relationships remained to be investigated among forensic samples. Here we examined the eye movements of male violent offenders during an emotion recognition task. Read More

    Heart rate variability is enhanced by long-lasting pleasant touch at CT-optimized velocity.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 16;128:71-81. Epub 2017 Jul 16.
    Dept. of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Dept. of Behavioral Sciences in Medicine, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Introduction: The present study explores whether long-lasting pleasant touch has positive effects on the stress response, reward sensitivity, mood, and interoceptive awareness.

    Methods: 40 participants received either 35min of brush stroking targeting C-tactile fibres (CT) or vibration on the forearm, and rated pleasantness and intensity. Prior and after, stress response (cortisol and heart rate variability), reward sensitivity, mood and interoceptive awareness were measured. Read More

    Heart rate variability predicts inhibitory control in adults with autism spectrum disorders.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 15;128:141-152. Epub 2017 Jul 15.
    Dr. Leo Kannerhuis, Houtsniplaan 1, 6865 XZ Doorwerth, The Netherlands; University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Dutch Autism & ADHD Research Center, Brain and Cognition, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129, 1001 NK Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Several studies suggest that inhibition difficulties among people with ASD might be related to atypical cardiac vagal control. We examined how low versus high baseline heart rate variability (HRV) influences prepotent response inhibition in 31 males with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; mean age: 32.2; mean IQ: 107. Read More

    Interaction between prenatal risk and infant parasympathetic and sympathetic stress reactivity predicts early aggression.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 15;128:98-104. Epub 2017 Jul 15.
    Department of Clinical Child and Adolescent Studies, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands; Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.
    Nonreciprocal action of the parasympathetic (PNS) and sympathetic (SNS) nervous systems, increases susceptibility to emotional and behavioral problems in children exposed to adversity. Little is known about the PNS and SNS in interaction with early adversity during infancy. Yet this is when the physiological systems involved in emotion regulation are emerging and presumably most responsive to environmental influences. Read More

    Social processing in early adolescence: Associations between neurophysiological, self-report, and behavioral measures.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 13;128:55-62. Epub 2017 Jul 13.
    Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, United States.
    Peer relationships play a major role in adolescent development, but few methods exist for measuring social processing at the neurophysiological level. This study extends our pilot study of Island Getaway, a task for eliciting event-related potentials (ERPs) to peer feedback. We differentiated ERPs using principal components analysis (PCA) and examined associations with behavioral and self-report measures in young adolescents (N=412). Read More

    Gene by cognition interaction on stress-induced attention bias for food: Effects of 5-HTTLPR and ruminative thinking.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 13;128:21-28. Epub 2017 Jul 13.
    University Maastricht, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
    Introduction: Stress is often found to increase the preference and intake of high caloric foods. This effect is known as emotional eating and is influenced by cognitive as well as biological stress vulnerabilities. An S-allele of the 5-HTTLPR gene has been linked to decreased (brain) serotonin efficiency, leading to decreased stress resilience and increased risks for negative affect and eating related disturbances. Read More

    Heart rate variability reactivity and new romance: Cause or consequence?
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 10;128:50-54. Epub 2017 Jul 10.
    Department of Psychology, Lakehead University, Canada.
    There are documented physiological differences between single and coupled individuals during the "honeymoon period" of nascent romantic relationships. One such difference is in autonomic reactivity, specifically heart rate variability (HRV) reactivity. This finding had previously been interpreted as evidence of a stress buffering effect of relationship formation. Read More

    Neural correlates of prosocial behavior towards persons in pain in healthcare providers.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 30;128:1-10. Epub 2017 Jun 30.
    École de psychologie, Faculté des sciences sociales, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada; Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en réadaptation et en intégration sociale, Québec, QC, Canada; Centre de recherche de l'Institut en universitaire en santé mentale de Québec, Québec, QC, Canada. Electronic address:
    Pain perceived in others can be a stressful signal that elicits personal distress and discomfort that can interfere with prosocial behaviors. Healthcare providers (HCPs) have to be able to regulate these self-oriented feelings to offer optimal help to patients in pain. However, previous studies have documented a tendency in HCPs to underestimate the pain of patients that could interfere with optimal help to these patients. Read More

    Neural signals of selective attention are modulated by subjective preferences and buying decisions in a virtual shopping task.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Sep 27;128:11-20. Epub 2017 Jun 27.
    Department of Psychology, Monash University, Malaysia Campus, Bandar Sunway, Selangor State 47500, Malaysia. Electronic address:
    We investigated whether well-known neural markers of selective attention to motivationally-relevant stimuli were modulated by variations in subjective preference towards consumer goods in a virtual shopping task. Specifically, participants viewed and rated pictures of various goods on the extent to which they wanted each item, which they could potentially purchase afterwards. Using the event-related potentials (ERP) method, we found that variations in subjective preferences for consumer goods strongly modulated positive slow waves (PSW) from 800 to 3000 milliseconds after stimulus onset. Read More

    Family functioning and parents' dispositions moderate the affective, attentional and physiological consequences of rumination in children.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Jul 27;127:220-228. Epub 2017 Jun 27.
    Department of Developmental & Social Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.
    In adults, rumination has been associated with costs at affective, cognitive, and physiological levels. We examined if rumination in children is characterized by the same dysfunctional consequences and the possible moderating role of family functioning (cohesion and flexibility) and parents' trait rumination and depression. After induction of rumination, forty children (20 girls; 9. Read More

    COMT genotype is differentially associated with single trial variability of ERPs as a function of memory type.
    Biol Psychol 2017 Jul 23;127:209-219. Epub 2017 Jun 23.
    Department of Psychology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Germany.
    Previous research on the association between intra-subject variability (ISV) in reaction times (RTs) and the Val(158)Met polymorphism of the catechol-o-methyltransferase gene (COMT; rs4680) has yielded mixed results. The present study compared the associations between COMT genotype and ISV in P3b latency measured during working and secondary memory tasks using residue iteration decomposition (RIDE) of single trial latencies. We compared the outcome of the present analyses with a previous analysis of the same data (N=70, n-back tasks) using an alternative single-trial method. Read More

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