Carien Van Reekum

Carien Van Reekum
University of Reading · School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences

PhD in Psychology

About

111
Publications
23,429
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Introduction
Carien van Reekum is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Reading. She is interested in all sorts of affective phenomena, and focuses her work on biological (brain and body) aspects of emotion regulation, the overlap between emotional and cognitive control across lifespan development and ageing, and the consequences of adaptive emotional responding for well-being.

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Checking behaviour has been described as a form of preventative behaviour used by an individual to establish control over the environment and avoid future misfortune. However, when compulsive, checking behaviours can become disabling and distressing and have been linked to the maintenance of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Despite this,...
Article
The ratio of fronto-central theta (4-7 Hz) to beta oscillations (13-30 Hz), known as the theta-beta ratio, is negatively correlated with attentional control, reinforcement learning, executive function, and age. Although theta-beta ratios have been found to decrease with age in adolescents and young adults, theta has been found to increase with age...
Preprint
The Neurovisceral Integration Model posits that shared neural networks support the effective regulation of emotions and heart rate, with heart rate variability (HRV) serving as an objective, peripheral index of prefrontal inhibitory control. Prior neuroimaging studies have predominantly examined both HRV and associated neural functional connectivit...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Conditioned pain modulation (CPM) is a psychophysical assessment used to estimate the efficiency of an individual's endogenous modulatory mechanisms. Conditioned pain modulation has been used as a predictive assessment for the development of chronic pain and responses to pain interventions. Although much is known about the spinal cor...
Article
Escitalopram may have pain-alleviating effects for patients with comorbid pain and depression. This study aimed to quantify improvements in pain for patients on escitalopram and adjunctive aripiprazole. A secondary analysis of the CAN-BIND-1 trial was conducted which only included participants with a current depressive episode and pain. Participant...
Preprint
Checking behaviour has been described as a form of preventative behaviour used by an individual to establish control over the environment and avoid future misfortune. However, when compulsive, checking behaviours can become disabling and distressing and have been linked to the maintenance of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Despite this,...
Article
Full-text available
The constructs of empathy (i.e., understanding and/or sharing another's emotion) and emotion regulation (i.e., the processes by which one manages emotions) have largely been studied in relative isolation of one another. To better understand the interrelationships between their various component processes, this manuscript reports two studies that ex...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Central sensitization (CS) was first defined in animal studies to be increased nociceptive responsiveness due to sensitization of neurons in the central nervous system, usually the result of prolonged nociceptive input or a disease state. Recently, the concept of CS has been adopted in clinical assessments of chronic pain, but its di...
Article
Increasing use of electric power assisted bikes (‘e-bikes’) could play a significant part in expanding the variety of people participating in cycling and contribute to replacing a greater range of journeys that are currently made by car. E-bike use is growing across the Europe and the UK government has committed to establishing a national e-bike su...
Article
Excessive avoidance and safety behaviours are a hallmark feature of social anxiety disorder. However, the conditioning and extinction of avoidance behaviour in social anxiety is understudied. Here, we examined the effect of individual differences in social anxiety on low-cost operant avoidance conditioning and extinction in 80 female participants....
Article
Full-text available
Heightened responding to uncertain threat is considered a hallmark of anxiety disorder pathology. We sought to determine whether individual differences in self-reported intolerance of uncertainty (IU), a key transdiagnostic dimension in anxiety-related pathology, underlies differential recruitment of neural circuitry during cue-signalled uncertaint...
Article
Full-text available
Research over the past decades has demonstrated the explanatory power of emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, and other affective processes when trying to understand and predict how we think and behave. In this consensus article, we ask: has the increasingly recognized impact of affective phenomena ushered in a new era, the era of affectivism?
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Evidence suggests that attention to pain is a product of both incoming sensory signals and cognitive evaluation of a stimulus. Intrinsic attention to pain (IAP) is a measure that captures an individual's natural tendency to attend to a painful stimulus and may be important in understanding why pain disrupts cognitive functioning in s...
Article
Full-text available
Background Intolerance of uncertainty (IU), the tendency to find uncertainty distressing, is an important transdiagnostic dimension in mental health disorders. Higher self-reported IU has been linked to poorer threat extinction training (i.e. the updating of threat to safe associations), a key process that is targeted in exposure-based therapies. H...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Intolerance of uncertainty (IU), the tendency to find uncertainty distressing, is an important transdiagnostic dimension in mental health disorders. Higher self-reported IU has been linked to poorer threat extinction training (i.e., the updating of threat to safe associations), a key process that is targeted in exposure-based therapies....
Preprint
Prior research has found the ratio of fronto‐central theta (4–7 Hz) and beta oscillations (13–30 Hz), known as the theta-beta ratio, to be negatively correlated with attentional control, reinforcement learning, executive function, and age. While theta-beta ratios have been found to decrease with age in adolescents and undergraduate samples, theta h...
Article
Neural dynamics in response to affective stimuli are linked to momentary emotional experiences. The amygdala, in particular, is involved in subjective emotional experience and assigning value to neutral stimuli. Because amygdala activity persistence following aversive events varies across individuals, some may more readily evaluate subsequent neutr...
Preprint
Excessive avoidance and safety behaviours are a hallmark feature of social anxiety disorder. However, the conditioning and extinction of avoidance behaviour in social anxiety is understudied. Here, we examined the effect of individual differences in social anxiety on low-cost operant avoidance conditioning and extinction in 80 female participants....
Preprint
Although exposure-based therapy has been found to be effective at alleviating symptoms of social anxiety disorder, it often does not lead to full remission, and relapse after treatment is common. Exposure therapy is based on theoretical principles of extinction of conditioned fear responses. However, there are inconsistencies in findings across exp...
Article
Extinction-resistant threat is regarded as a central hallmark of pathological anxiety. However, it remains relatively under-studied in social anxiety. Here we sought to determine whether self-reported trait social anxiety is associated with compromised threat extinction learning and retention. We tested this hypothesis within two separate, socially...
Preprint
The constructs of empathy (i.e. understanding/sharing another’s emotion) and emotion regulation (i.e. the processes by which one manages emotions) have largely been studied in relative isolation of one another. To better understand the interrelationships between their various component processes, this manuscript reports two studies that examined th...
Article
Full-text available
Networks in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that are important for executive function are also engaged in adaptive responding to negative events. These networks are particularly vulnerable to age-related structural atrophy and an associated loss of executive function, yet existing evidence suggests preserved emotion processing ability in ageing. Using...
Article
Full-text available
Background Difficulty updating threat associations to safe associations has been observed in individuals who score high in self-reported Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU). Here we sought to determine whether an instruction based on fundamental principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy could promote safety learning in individuals with higher levels...
Preprint
Full-text available
Heightened responding to uncertain threat is associated with anxiety disorder pathology. Here, we sought to determine if individual differences in self-reported intolerance of uncertainty (IU) underlie differential recruitment of neural circuitry during instructed threat of shock (n = 42). During the task, cues signalled uncertain threat of shock (...
Article
Full-text available
Emotional reactivity and recovery are crucial for maintaining well-being. It remains unknown, however, to what extent emotion modulates the time course of recovery assessed using a simple categorization task and how this varies based on individual differences in worry. To address these questions, 35 participants viewed emotional pictures, followed...
Article
Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is a transdiagnostic risk factor for internalizing disorders. Prior work has found that IU may be associated with either increased reactivity to threat or, alternatively, with decreased differential responding between threat and nonthreat/safety cues (i.e., threat generalization). For example, work by Morriss, Macdon...
Preprint
Difficulty updating threat associations to safe associations has been observed in individuals who score high in self-reported Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU). Here we sought to determine whether an instruction based on fundamental principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) could promote safety learning in individuals with higher levels of IU...
Preprint
Full-text available
Networks in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that are important for executive function are also engaged in adaptive responding to negative events. These networks are particularly vulnerable to age-related structural atrophy and an associated loss of executive function, yet existing evidence suggests preserved emotion processing ability in aging. Using l...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research in rodents and humans points to an evolutionarily conserved profile of blunted threat extinction learning during adolescence, underpinned by brain structures such as the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In this study, we examine age-related effects on the function and structural connectivity of this system in threat e...
Article
Recent evidence suggests that individual differences in intolerance of uncertainty (IUS) are associated with disrupted threat extinction. However, it is unknown what maintains the learned threat association in high IUS individuals: is it the experienced uncertainty during extinction or the combination of experienced uncertainty with potential threa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evidence suggests that empathy and emotion regulation may be related, but few studies have directly investigated this relationship. Here we report two experiments which examined: 1) how different components of empathy (cognitive & affective) relate to the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal to regulate emotions (N=220), and 2) how these component...
Article
Full-text available
Intolerance of uncertainty (IU) is associated with difficulty in updating contingencies from threatening to safe during extinction learning. However, it is unknown whether high IU individuals have difficulty (1) generally with updating threat to safe associations when contingencies change or (2) specifically with updating threat to safe association...
Article
Extinction-resistant threat is considered to be a central feature of pathological anxiety. Reduced threat extinction is observed in individuals with high intolerance of uncertainty (IU). Here we sought to determine whether contingency instructions could alter the course of threat extinction for individuals high in IU. We tested this hypothesis in t...
Article
Full-text available
It has been demonstrated that, on their own, both exercise and stimulation from the environment can improve cognitive function and well-being in older adults. The combined effect of exercising in the outdoor environment on psychological function is less well studied. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of an outdoor cycling i...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores how people aged 50 and over, who were returning to cycling as part of an 8-week health and well-being trial, created their own cycling microadventures. Applying a stage model of the process of adventure to qualitative data generated from personal diaries and focus groups, we examine how older people anticipated and prepared for...
Article
Uncertainty is often inevitable in everyday life and can be both stressful and exciting. Given its relevance to psychopathology and wellbeing, recent research has begun to address the brain basis of uncertainty. In the current review we examined whether there are discrete and shared neural signatures for different uncertain contexts. From the liter...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent evidence suggests that individual differences in intolerance of uncertainty (IU) are associated with disrupted threat extinction. However, it is unknown what maintains the learned threat association in high IU individuals: is it the experienced uncertainty during extinction or the combination of experienced uncertainty with potential threat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Extinction-resistant threat is considered to be a central feature of pathological anxiety. Reduced threat extinction is observed in individuals with high intolerance of uncertainty (IU). Here we sought to determine whether contingency instructions could alter the course threat extinction for individuals high in IU. We tested this hypothesis in two...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability to learn and reverse threat associations is crucial for survival. The extent to which old threat associations are inhibited and new threat associations are formed may depend on sensitivity to future threat uncertainty. To assess the extent to which Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) predicts threat learning and reversal, we recorded expect...
Article
Pervasive avoidance behaviour is a core feature of anxiety disorders. However, little is known about how the availability of avoidance modulates learned threat responding. To assess this question, we recorded avoidance behaviour, electrodermal activity and expectancy ratings in 53 healthy participants during an associative learning paradigm with em...
Article
The recent meta-analysis by Fullana et al. (2018) is both timely and significant, providing a vital milestone towards understanding the neural networks involved in threat extinction in humans. Fullana et al. (2018) examined both threat extinction and recall separately using sophisticated meta-analytic methods based on raw contrast maps. Importantly...
Preprint
Full-text available
Previous research in rodents and humans points to an evolutionarily conserved profile of blunted fear extinction during adolescence, underpinned by brain structures such as the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In this study, we examine age-related effects on the function and structural connectivity of this system in fear extinction in...
Article
Full-text available
The neural circuitry associated with threat regulation in the absence of other people is well established. An examination of threat regulatory processes with people from different domains of an individual’s social world is key to understanding social emotion regulation and personality functioning conceptualised as social domain organisation. In thi...
Article
Full-text available
The capacity to adaptively respond to negative emotion is in part dependent upon lateral areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Lateral PFC areas are particularly susceptible to age-related atrophy, which affects executive function (EF). We used structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to test the hypothesis that older age is assoc...
Article
Attentional bias to uncertain threat is associated with anxiety disorders. Here we examine the extent to which emotional face distractors (happy, angry and neutral) and individual differences in intolerance of uncertainty (IU), impact saccades in two versions of the “follow a cross” task. In both versions of the follow the cross task, the probabili...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: Research on psychological well-being in later life has identified strengths and vulnerabilities that occur with aging. We review the conceptual and philosophical foundations of a eudaimonic model of well-being and its empirical translation into six key dimensions of positive functioning. We also consider its implications for hea...
Article
Visual stimuli may be selected for priority at different stages within the processing stream, depending on how motivationally relevant they are to the perceiver. Here we examine the extent to which individual differences in motivational relevance of task-irrelevant images (spider, crash, baby, food and neutral) guide eye-movements to a simple “foll...
Article
Frontal EEG asymmetry is thought to reflect variations in affective style, such that greater relative right frontal activity at rest predicts enhanced emotional responding to threatening or negative stimuli, and risk of depression and anxiety disorders. A diathesis-stress model has been proposed to explain how this neuro-affective style might predi...
Article
Full-text available
Attending to stimuli that share perceptual similarity to learned threats is an adaptive strategy.However, prolonged threat generalization to cues signalling safety is considered a core feature of pathological anxiety. One potential factor that may sustain over-generalization is sensitivity to future threat uncertainty. To assess the extent to which...
Data
Data in long format for SPSS. (XLS)
Data
Supporting Information (DOC)
Data
Syntax for MLM analysis using SPSS. (TXT)
Article
Full-text available
Extinction-resistant fear is considered to be a central feature of pathological anxiety. Here we sought to determine if individual differences in Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU), a potential risk factor for anxiety disorders, underlies compromised fear extinction. We tested this hypothesis by recording electrodermal activity in 38 healthy participa...
Article
Full-text available
Implementation intention (IMP) has recently been highlighted as an effective emotion regulatory strategy (Schweiger Gallo et al., 2009). Most studies examining the effectiveness of IMPs to regulate emotion have relied on self-report measures of emotional change. In two studies we employed electrodermal activity (EDA) and heart rate (HR) in addition...
Article
Full-text available
Coordination of activity between the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is important for fear-extinction learning. Aberrant recruitment of this circuitry is associated with anxiety disorders. Here, we sought to determine if individual differences in future threat uncertainty sensitivity, a potential risk factor for anxiety disorder...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In a brain network, weak and non-significant edge weights between nodes signal spurious connections and are often discarded by thresholding the weights. Traditional practice of thresholding edge weights at an arbitrary value can be problematic. Network filtration provides an alternative by summarizing the changes in the network topology with respec...
Article
Acute water supplementation has been shown to influence mood and sustained attention in young adults. Little is known about older adult cognition after water supplementation, despite this being a risk group for sustaining chronic dehydration. This study tested changes in cognitive performance and mood after water supplementation in both young and o...
Conference Paper
We present a new unified kernel regression framework on manifolds. Starting with a symmetric positive definite kernel, we formulate a new bivariate kernel regression framework that is related to heat diffusion, kernel smoothing and recently popular diffusion wavelets. Various properties and performance of the proposed kernel regression framework ar...
Article
Marital stress is associated with a higher incidence of psychiatric disorders, in particular major depression. One pathway through which marital stress may impact emotional health is by compromising emotion-responding processes. We examined a longitudinal sample of adults (N = 116; 59 males; 39-84 years) to verify how marital stress predicts reacti...
Article
Full-text available
The sparse regression framework has been widely used in medical image processing and analysis. However, it has been rarely used in anatomical studies. We present a sparse shape modeling framework using the Laplace-Beltrami (LB) eigenfunctions of the underlying shape and show its improvement of statistical power. Traditionally, the LB-eigenfunctions...
Article
Full-text available
Although it is well known that water is essential for human homeostasis and survival, only recently have we begun to understand its role in the maintenance of brain function. Herein, we integrate emerging evidence regarding the effects of both dehydration and additional acute water consumption on cognition and mood. Current findings in the field su...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Acute water supplementation has shown to improve cognitive abilities in young adults and school children predominantly in visual attention and short term memory. This study aimed to replicate and expand on previous findings reported in young adults. Participants (N = 30; mean age = 23.4 SD = 5.6) attended three experimental sessions. Each session c...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose in life predicts both health and longevity suggesting that the ability to find meaning from life's experiences, especially when confronting life's challenges, may be a mechanism underlying resilience. Having purpose in life may motivate reframing stressful situations to deal with them more productively, thereby facilitating recovery from st...
Conference Paper
Our recent study demonstrated that implementation intentions (IMP) modulated picture-induced physiological arousal (Azbel-Jackson et al., under review) however the effectiveness of IMP was assessed relative to a no-regulatory Control condition. The present study examined success of IMP relative to goal intention (GI) in regulating physiological aro...