Biological psychology

Publisher: ScienceDirect (Online service), Elsevier


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    Biological psychology (En ligne)
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    Periodical, Internet resource
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    Internet Resource, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

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    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: When one of the two hemispheres directs visuospatial attention to some contralateral location, this may imply that inhibition is exerted on the other hemisphere. In the dual rapid serial visual presentation task, two targets (T1 and T2) occur among two different visual streams, rapidly presented left and right. We replaced the standard letter distractors in one stream by “easy symbols” (ESy; easily distinguished from targets), to facilitate T1 identification. If interhemispheric inhibition is deployed and released, this facilitation of one hemisphere's task should reduce its inhibitory effect on the other hemisphere, leading to improved T2 identification by the other hemisphere. This prediction was confirmed in three experiments. Furthermore, event-related EEG potentials did not only show a constant bias of allocated attention between ESy and standard streams, with letters evoking visual potentials earlier than ESy, but also short-term enlargement of this effect in the pair of distractors that followed T1. Taken together, these results support the notion of interhemispheric inhibition in visuospatial attention.
    Biological psychology 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Pregnancy anxiety is a potent predictor of adverse birth and infant outcomes. The goal of the current study was to examine one potential mechanism whereby these effects may occur by testing associations between pregnancy anxiety and maternal salivary cortisol on 4 occasions during pregnancy in a sample of 448 women. Higher mean levels of pregnancy anxiety over the course of pregnancy predicted steeper increases in cortisol trajectories compared to lower pregnancy anxiety. Significant differences between cortisol trajectories emerged between 30 to 31 weeks of gestation. Results remained significant when adjusted for state anxiety and perceived stress. Neither changes in pregnancy anxiety over gestation, nor pregnancy anxiety specific to only a particular time in pregnancy predicted cortisol. These findings provide support for one way in which pregnancy anxiety may influence maternal physiology and contribute to a growing literature on the complex biological pathways linking pregnancy anxiety to birth and infant outcomes.
    Biological psychology 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the association between diurnal salivary cortisol profile and perceived stress at work and at home. Healthy participants (N=180, 52% women) collected saliva cortisol samples immediately after waking up, 15min later, 30min later, and at 9:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00 and 21:00. The area under the cortisol awakening curve with respect to ground (AUCgCAR) and increase (AUCiCAR), and diurnal slope between 9:00 and 21:00 were analyzed. Perceived stress at work and at home was measured with the Stress-Energy Questionnaire. Participants reporting stress at home had significantly lower AUCgCAR and a flatter diurnal slope. When performing separate analyses for men and women, this association was only significant among women. Perceived stress at work was not associated with any cortisol measure. This study highlights the importance of stress outside the workplace. The sex differences may indicate an increased vulnerability to non-work stress in women.
    Biological psychology 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to differentiate danger and safety through associative processes emerges early in life. Understanding the mechanisms underlying associative learning of threat and safety can clarify the processes that shape development of normative fears and pathological anxiety. Considerable research has used fear conditioning and extinction paradigms to delineate underlying mechanisms in animals and human adults; however, little is known about these mechanisms in children and adolescents. The current paper summarizes the empirical data on the development of fear conditioning and extinction. It reviews methodological considerations and future directions for research on fear conditioning and extinction in pediatric populations.
    Biological psychology 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: It has been established that acute (within-session) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) improves spatial working memory (SWM). However, questions remain regarding the safety and effectiveness of multiple bouts of rTMS and the optimal cortical area to stimulate. This preliminary study investigated, in healthy participants, multiple bouts of rTMS over the dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex (DLPFC), or posterior parietal cortex (PPC) on SWM. Twenty participants (10m, 10f), all naïve to rTMS, where randomized into a DLPFC or PPC group, receiving six sessions of rTMS (5 Hz at 80% of motor threshold) every second day over two weeks. Prior to and post rTMS bouts, all participants completed testing for SWM measuring individuals’ accuracy, strategy, and speed. Following repeated bouts of rTMS, significant improvements were observed with no contraindications in stimulating PPC but not DLPFC. This preliminary study has demonstrated that repeated rTMS bouts improve SWM safety providing potential for clinical application.
    Biological psychology 04/2014; 100:56-59.
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    ABSTRACT: Event-related potentials provide strong evidence for a face-specific process that peaks at about 170 ms following stimulus onset – the N170 effect. The N170 has been shown to be sensitive to adaptation, reflected in an amplitude reduction by repeated face presentation, which is usually considered to be driven by bottom-up processes. Here we investigated whether the N170 adaptation profile can be modulated by top-down factors aiming at holistic or feature-based processing. Adaptor stimuli were Mooney faces, isolated facial features (eyes or mouths), or houses. Target faces required either a gender decision (holistic task), or a decision on a facial feature (detail task). We observed an intricate crossover interaction pattern, reflected in opposite effects on adaptation to Mooney faces and eyes as compared to mouth conditions. These findings provide evidence that adaptation effects can be modulated by top-down processes.
    Biological psychology 03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive focus on the internal self has maladaptive consequences for mental and physical health. Although the emotional functions of self-focus have been well established, no study has examined physiological arousal during the daily experience of self-focused thinking. The present study investigates the association between self-focus and autonomic activity using the experience sampling method with ambulatory monitoring of heart rate variability (HRV). Forty-five students reported the content of their thoughts during their daily activities while their heart rate (HR) was being recorded. Multilevel modeling analyses showed that HRV was lower (and HR was higher) over the sampling day if participants engaged in more self-focus, while HRV increased (and HR decreased) from midday to nighttime if participants did not engage in self-focused thinking. These results suggest that self-focus at night is associated with increased physiological arousal, and leads to inhibition of de-arousal associated with normal sleep processes. Implications for insomnia are discussed.
    Biological psychology 01/2014;