Article

Affective engagement for facial expressions and emotional scenes: The influence of social anxiety

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32608, United States.
Biological psychology (Impact Factor: 3.47). 05/2012; 91(1):103-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2012.05.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pictures of emotional facial expressions or natural scenes are often used as cues in emotion research. We examined the extent to which these different stimuli engage emotion and attention, and whether the presence of social anxiety symptoms influences responding to facial cues. Sixty participants reporting high or low social anxiety viewed pictures of angry, neutral, and happy faces, as well as violent, neutral, and erotic scenes, while skin conductance and event-related potentials were recorded. Acoustic startle probes were presented throughout picture viewing, and blink magnitude, probe P3 and reaction time to the startle probe also were measured. Results indicated that viewing emotional scenes prompted strong reactions in autonomic, central, and reflex measures, whereas pictures of faces were generally weak elicitors of measurable emotional response. However, higher social anxiety was associated with modest electrodermal changes when viewing angry faces and mild startle potentiation when viewing either angry or smiling faces, compared to neutral. Taken together, pictures of facial expressions do not strongly engage fundamental affective reactions, but these cues appeared to be effective in distinguishing between high and low social anxiety participants, supporting their use in anxiety research.

1 Follower
 · 
213 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cognitive reappraisal has been associated with increased activation in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and cingulate regions implicated in cognitive control and affect regulation. To date, neuroimaging studies of reappraisal have primarily used emotionally evocative scenes, and it remains unclear whether the same cognitive strategy applied to emotional facial expressions would involve similar or different neural underpinnings. The present study used fMRI to examine brain activation during cognitive reappraisal of negatively valenced facial expressions relative to passive viewing of negative and neutral facial expressions. Twenty-two healthy adults completed a cognitive reappraisal task comprised of three different conditions (Look-Neutral, Maintain-Negative, Reappraise-Negative). Results indicated that reappraisal was associated with a decrease in negative affect and engagement of PFC brain regions implicated in cognitive control and affect regulation (DLPFC, mPFC, and VLPFC). Furthermore, individual differences in habitual reappraisal use were associated with greater DLPFC and mPFC activation, while suppression use was associated with greater amygdala activation. The present study provides preliminary evidence that facial expressions are effective alternative 'targets' of prefrontal engagement during cognitive reappraisal. These findings are particularly relevant for future research probing the neural bases of emotion regulation in populations for whom aversive scenes may be less appropriate (e.g., children) and illnesses in which aberrant responses to social signals of threat and negative feedback are cardinal phenotypes. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Behavioural Brain Research 11/2014; 279. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.11.034 · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Repetitions that are distributed (spaced) across time prompt enhancement of a memory-related event-related potential, compared to when repetitions are massed (contiguous). Here, we used fMRI to investigate neural enhancement and suppression effects during free viewing of natural scenes that were either novel or repeated four times with massed or distributed repetitions. Distrib-uted repetition was uniquely associated with a repetition enhancement effect in a bilateral posterior parietal cluster that included the precuneus and posterior cingulate and which has previously been implicated in episodic memory retrieval. Unique to massed repetition, conversely, was enhancement in a right dorsolateral prefrontal cluster that has been implicated in short-term maintenance. Repetition suppression effects for both types of spacing were widespread in regions activated during novel picture processing. Taken together, the data are consistent with a hypothesis that distributed repetition prompts spontaneous retrieval of prior occurrences, whereas massed repetition prompts short-term maintenance of the episodic representation, due to contiguous presentation. These proc-essing differences may mediate the classic spacing effect in learning and memory. Hum Brain Mapp 00:000–000, 2014. V C 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 12/2014; 36(4). DOI:10.1002/hbm.22708 · 6.92 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In everyday life, multiple sensory channels jointly trigger emotional experiences and one channel may alter processing in another channel. For example, seeing an emotional facial expression and hearing the voice's emotional tone will jointly create the emotional experience. This example, where auditory and visual input is related to social communication, has gained considerable attention by researchers. However, interactions of visual and auditory emotional information are not limited to social communication but can extend to much broader contexts including human, animal, and environmental cues. In this article, we review current research on audiovisual emotion processing beyond face-voice stimuli to develop a broader perspective on multimodal interactions in emotion processing. We argue that current concepts of multimodality should be extended in considering an ecologically valid variety of stimuli in audiovisual emotion processing. Therefore, we provide an overview of studies in which emotional sounds and interactions with complex pictures of scenes were investigated. In addition to behavioral studies, we focus on neuroimaging, electro- and peripher-physiological findings. Furthermore, we integrate these findings and identify similarities or differences. We conclude with suggestions for future research.
    Frontiers in Psychology 12/2014; 5:1351. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01351 · 2.80 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
5 Downloads
Available from
Mar 6, 2015