Ilona Papousek

Ilona Papousek
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz | KFU Graz · Section for Biological Psychology

PhD

About

222
Publications
57,458
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3,573
Citations
Introduction
Ilona Papousek currently works at the Section for Biological Psychology, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz. Her research interests and collaborations are manifold. The primary fields of expertise are laterality research (functional asymmetries between the left and the right cerebral hemisphere); emotion regulation and social-emotional processes; humor and laughter research; and flexibility in emotional, cognitive, and physiological domains. Her research is primarily experimental in nature, her core methodological competencies include EEG, ECG, as well as sophisticated behavioral testing.

Publications

Publications (222)
Article
Full-text available
Deficits in social cognition are a core feature of neuropsychiatric disorders. The purpose of this study was to compare profiles of self-perceived abilities across the core domains of emotional functioning between patients with schizophrenia (n = 22), major depressive disorder (n = 31) and healthy participants (n = 43) with the Self-report Emotiona...
Article
In the present study, informed by insights from cognitive and interactional linguistics, we set out to explore how facial expressions systematically occur as responses in interactional sequences. More specifically, we use FACS-analyses (Facial Action Coding System) to study which Action Units (AU) on the part of the listener co-occur with multimoda...
Article
Background and Objectives Persons with dementia often show circadian rhythm disturbances and sleep problems. Timed light exposure seems to be a promising non-pharmacological treatment option. In this review, meta-analyses were run on light effects on circadian activity rhythm parameters in persons with dementia measured with wrist actimetry. Furth...
Article
This study examined the effects of a two-week running intervention on depressive symptoms and structural changes of different subfields of the hippocampus in young adults from the general population. The intervention was realized in small groups of participants in a mostly forested area and was organized into seven units of about 60 minutes each. T...
Article
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Paul McGhee, one of the most influential pioneers in the field of humor research has been engaged for decades in exploring how humor can be used for the maintenance or improvement of well-being in the face of adversity. The present paper reviews recent empirical research corroborating several of his propositions. Undeniably, the benefits of humor c...
Article
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The experience of social exclusion has been shown to trigger aggressive, antisocial behavior. This outcome is particularly problematic if such retaliatory acts, in addition to being harmful, are also highly original and creative, and thus, difficult to anticipate and to defend against. For this reason, the present study investigated whether a labor...
Article
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The COVID-19 summer semester 2020 posed many challenges and uncertainties, quite unexpectedly and suddenly. In a sample of 314 psychology students, it was investigated how they experienced learning and preparing for an end-of-semester exam, which emotions and strain they experienced, how academic performance was affected, and how personal anteceden...
Article
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Apophenia, patternicity, and the experience of meaningful coincidences describe the propensity to perceive meaning in random arrangements, which is known to be linked with paranormal beliefs. Additionally, this trait of combining unrelated elements to create new meanings suggests an association with creativity. However, studies indicating a relatio...
Article
The personality trait of schizotypy has received considerable attention in creativity research; however, to date, literature has exclusively focused on its relationship with benevolent creative ideation. The present study investigated how different subdimensions of schizotypy were related to malevolent creativity, where original ideas are generated...
Article
Everyday life often requires considerable creativity in dealing with challenging circumstances. This implies that creativity regularly operates in an affective context, however, this “C” of creativity is rarely addressed in contemporary research. In this brief review article, we address some important milestones in this nascent field of research. S...
Article
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Citation: Hackl-Wimmer, S.; Eglmaier, M.T.W.; Eichen, L.; Rettenbacher, K.; Macher, D.; Walter-Laager, C.; Lackner, H.K.; Papousek, I.; Paechter, M. Effects of Touchscreen Media Use on Toddlers' Sleep: Insights from Longtime ECG Monitoring. Sensors 2021, 21, 7515. Abstract: Wearable biomedical sensor technology enables reliable monitoring of physio...
Article
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Converting visual-Arabic digits to auditory number words and vice versa is seemingly effortless for adults. However, it is still unclear whether this process takes place automatically and whether accessing the underlying magnitude representation is necessary during this process. In two event-related potential (ERP) experiments, adults were presente...
Poster
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Malevolent creativity refers to creative ideas purposely generated to damage others. People high in malevolent creativity may find it rewarding to see their social interaction partners upset or hurt. This may be reflected in the brain’s responses to others’ emotional states. We examined if phasic changes in the functional coupling of the prefrontal...
Article
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Insecure attachment, impaired personality structure and impaired emotion regulation figure prominently in substance use disorders. While negative emotions can trigger drug-use and relapse, cognitive reappraisal may reduce emotional strain by promoting changes in perspective. In the present study, we explored behavioral and neural correlates of cogn...
Article
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To investigate differences in hemodynamic, hormonal and heart rate variability parameters in women following complication-free pregnancies (healthy), preeclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) after giving childbirth. Data of 60 women (healthy: n = 29, age 32.7 ± 4.5 years, BMI 24.2 ± 4.3 kg/m2; preeclampsia: n = 16, age 35.3 ± 4.4 years,...
Presentation
Full-text available
The emotion regulation strategy of cognitive reappraisal is considered particularly effective in dealing with aversive events. For this reason, encouraging the use of cognitive reappraisal in the daily lives of patients is an integral part of modern psychotherapeutic approaches to improved well-being. However, it remains an open question whether sh...
Article
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This study investigates the link between the revised reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) and individuals’ capacity to spontaneously invent alternate appraisals for aversive events. Eighty-two women completed the Reappraisal Inventiveness Test for anger-eliciting situations, and quantity and quality of reappraisal ideas were correlated with BIS,...
Article
Die positive Umbewertung von belastenden Ereignissen oder Situationen gilt als vielversprechende Strategie, um gut mit den Widrigkeiten des täglichen Lebens zurecht zu kommen und ist integraler Bestandteil der Psychotherapie. Ein relativ junges Konzept, das von modernen, anwendungsorientierten Ansätzen in der Kreativitätsforschung inspiriert ist, b...
Article
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Background and objectives: The complexities of daily life often necessitate creative ideas to successfully cope with negative social situations. This study investigated the relationship of two types of creativity that may be elicited by similar contexts but are associated with different goals and impact of ideas: reappraisal inventiveness (the capa...
Article
The link between creativity and psychopathology is legendary and has been studied until today. The first part of the present paper describes the current stage of literature with a clear focus on psychopathologies and personality traits, which are closely linked with psychosis and psychosis-proneness. The second part outlines how these traits might...
Article
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Several studies reported impaired cognitive functioning after pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia. The present study examined cognitive and executive functioning in women with preeclampsia at a time at which immediate effects of gestation have resolved, brain damage due to other risk factors have not yet manifested, and impairments may thus prima...
Article
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Creativity is an important source of success in soccer players. In order to be effective in soccer, unpredictable, sudden and at the same time creative (i.e., unique, original, and effective) ideas are required in situations with high time pressure. Accordingly, creative task performance in soccer should be primarily driven by rapid and automatic c...
Article
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Research indicates that non-human attachment figures may mitigate the negative consequences of social exclusion. In the current experiment, we examined how the presence of an unfamiliar companion dog in the laboratory effects physiological and behavioral reactions in female emerging adults after social exclusion compared to inclusion. Results revea...
Article
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Research is currently witnessing more investigations into malevolent creativity—creativity that is used to intentionally harm others. Inspired by previous methods to measure malevolent creativity, in the present study, we introduce a real‐world behavioral task designed to capture individuals’ capacity for using creativity for the purpose of attaini...
Article
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Recent developments in noninvasive electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring with small, wearable sensors open the opportunity to record high-quality ECG over many hours in an easy and non-burdening way. However, while their recording has been tremendously simplified, the interpretation of heart rate variability (HRV) data is a more delicate matter. The a...
Article
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Previous (predominantly) laboratory studies reported positive relations of physical activity (or everyday bodily movement) with executive functioning, some even showed effects on creative thinking. Furthermore, positive-activated affect was found to be positively associated with everyday bodily movements and creativity. The mechanisms, however, und...
Article
Previous research has indicated that in several domains, women and men may use different cognitive processes along with different neurophysiological activation to achieve similar behavioral performance. The present study extended this line of research to the novel field of soccer playing. In female and male active soccer players, we investigated pa...
Article
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An increasing amount of evidence indicates the significance of attachment in the etiology of poly-drug use disorder (PUD). The aim of this study was to investigate associations between PUD and adult attachment in particular, with a focus on white matter (WM) fiber tract integrity. For this purpose, we selected several regions-of-interest based on p...
Article
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Research is still disputing if an individual’s use of humor in everyday life is also indicative of his or her creative potential. To date, the focus has been mainly restricted to shared cognitive factors, while motivational aspects that may link the production of humor and of creative ideas have been largely neglected. Humor motivation implicates l...
Article
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Humor comprehension is increasingly recognized as showing parallels to more conventional creative cognition; yet our understanding of brain mechanisms underlying creative cognition in a humorous context is still limited. The present study addressed this issue by investigating functional patterns of EEG alpha activity while 93 participants viewed no...
Article
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Physical activity may improve stress resilience and well‐being. However, specific links to individuals’ coping abilities with stressful events are sparse. This study tested whether individuals reporting more physical activity in daily life showed a higher capacity for cognitive reappraisal in dealing with potential stressors. Ninety‐eight participa...
Article
Affective dispositions may shape students' typical ways of coping when faced with demanding performance situations in their educational lives. We recorded frontal EEG alpha asymmetry responses in psychology students during the course of a scenario designed to simulate a real examination, which required oral explanation of statistical concepts. Whil...
Article
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Purpose: Giving a presentation in a seminar is a strenuous academic situation. To meet such a challenge adequately, individuals not only have to activate their mental and physical resources, but they also have to disengage from the task and recover once the challenge has been met. How students experience these situations depends in part on how the...
Article
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Exams often trigger avoidance motivation and a tendency to withdraw; instead, an approach‐oriented motivational state would be more desirable, since this encourages an invigorated and persistent approach to tasks. This study investigated the role of academic self‐concept on the activation of relative approach versus avoidance motivation during the...
Article
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The neuroscientific investigation of creative cognition has advanced by considering the functional connectivity between brain regions and its dynamic changes over time, which are consistent with stages in the ideation process. Surprisingly, although the communication between neuronal networks takes place in a time-scale of milliseconds, EEG studies...
Article
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Against the background of inconsistent findings regarding the symptomatology, etiology, and risk factors of burnout, Farber (1990) proposed three different burnout subtypes: frenetic, underchallenged, and worn-out. Montero-Marín et al. (2011b) expanded the typology to the academic context and developed the Burnout Clinical Subtypes Questionnaire–St...
Presentation
Reappraisal inventiveness constitutes a promising ability concept in cognitive reappraisal research, measuring what individuals are maximally capable of when reappraising aversive situations. Previous research demonstrated that this capacity depended on recruitment of more left-lateralized activation in the lateral prefrontal cortex during reapprai...
Article
There are ample inter-individual differences in the frequency with which people perceive meaningful coincidences. Previous research has identified increased proactive interference, that is a reduced working memory capacity, as one possible mechanism associated with this phenomenon. The present study aimed at extending this finding into the domain o...
Article
Background Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is often accompanied by severe sleep problems and circadian rhythm disturbances which may to some extent be attributed to a dysfunction in the biological clock. The 24-h light/dark cycle is the strongest Zeitgeber for the biological clock. People with AD, however, often live in environments with inappropriate pho...
Article
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Substance use disorders (SUDs) are defined by obsessive and uncontrolled consumption, which is related to neurobiological changes. Based on previous work, this study investigated potential alterations in brain structure in poly-drug use disordered (PUD) patients in comparison to controls from the normal population. This study involved a sample of 1...
Article
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Coping with mental challenges is vital to everyday functioning. In accordance with prominent theories, the adaptive and flexible adjustment of the organism to daily demands is well expressed in task-related changes of cardiac vagal control. While many mental challenges are associated with increased effort and associated decreased task-related heart...
Presentation
Full-text available
Cognitive reappraisal is generally considered a highly effective emotion regulation strategy in dealing with adverse events. Yet, multiple different tactics can be applied in cognitive re-interpretations of critical situations, some of which potentially more adaptive than others. In three studies, we tested individuals’ inventiveness in generating...
Article
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Women with pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia appear to be at increased risk of metabolic and vascular diseases in later life. Previous research has also indicated disturbed cardiorespiratory adaptation during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to follow up on the physiological stress response in preeclampsia several weeks postpartum. A stan...
Article
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The brain-based ability to direct attention away from interfering negative information may co-determine to which degree one may benefit from humour as a source of positive emotional experiences. This should be particularly relevant when it comes to humour that implicates a target the joke makes fun of, which inherently entails rivalry between posit...
Article
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This interdisciplinary study examined the structure of humor creation in the specific context of efforts to positively reappraise stressful situations for effective coping. In a sample of n = 101 participants, a performance test was used to assess the quantity (fluency, number of generated ideas that qualified as humor) and quality (rated funniness...
Article
Light therapy is a well-established treatment option for seasonal affective disorders and is effective in reducing sleep problems and daytime fatigue. Symptoms of severe burnout include feelings of exhaustion and impaired sleep and mood. Thus, light therapy seems promising for burnout treatment. So far, light therapy effects in burnout were investi...
Article
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Difficulties in emotion regulation, particularly in using adaptive regulation strategies such as cognitive re-appraisal, are a commonly observed correlate of paranoia. While it has been suggested that poor implementation of cognitive reappraisal in dealing with aversive events precedes the onset of subclinical paranoid thinking, there is little emp...
Article
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Despite major research interest regarding gender differences in emotion regulation, it is still not clear whether men and women differ in their basic capacity to implement specific emotion regulation strategies, as opposed to indications of the habitual use of these strategies in self-reports. Similarly, little is known on how such basic capacities...
Article
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A three-week unicycling training was associated with (1) reductions of gray matter volume in regions closely linked to visuospatial processes such as spatial awareness, (2) increases in fractional anisotropy primarily in the right corticospinal tract and in the right forceps major of the corpus callosum, and (3) a slowly evolving increase in cortic...
Article
Background Reduced facial expressivity (flat affect) and deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors are characteristic symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Based on the important interpersonal functions of facial emotional responsiveness the present study aimed at a comprehensive and differentiated analysis of perceptible facial behavior...
Article
Full-text available
Although there exists increasing knowledge about brain correlates underlying creative ideation in general, the specific neurocognitive mechanisms implicated in different stages of the creative thinking process are still under-researched. Some recent EEG studies suggested that alpha power during creative ideation varies as a function of time, with t...
Article
Full-text available
The capacity to find humorous perspectives in aversive situations may outline a helpful strategy in the context of cognitive reappraisal. Yet, research suggested that some people produce more adaptive humour than others. At the same time, not all forms of cognitive reinterpretation seem to be unequivocally beneficial. The present study aimed to inv...
Data
Reappraisal sub-strategies scored in this study. (DOCX)
Article
Evidence suggests that in dyadic conversations some alignment occurs at the physiological level, but relatively little is known about the conditions that may facilitate physiological synchrony of two interlocutors. In the present interdisciplinary study, the impact of specific linguistic features of ongoing dialogues—the use of humor‐related commun...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The current study investigated gender differences with a focus on mood, personality characteristics, sleepiness/alertness and cognitive measures in a group of 103 clinically diagnosed burnout patients, who were enrolled in a five week rehabilitation program in specialized centers in Austria. Methods: Patients completed a series of qu...
Article
A growing body of evidence suggests that creativity is associated with functional connectivity across widespread neural networks, including regions associated with executive processes and cognitive control, along with regions linked to the default mode network (DMN) of the brain. This study investigated whether a three-week verbal divergent thinkin...