K. Roelofs

K. Roelofs
Radboud University | RU · Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour And Behavioural Science Institute

PhD

About

258
Publications
57,574
Reads
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9,738
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Radboud University
Position
  • PI, full professor

Publications

Publications (258)
Article
Full-text available
Background The freezing response is a universal response to threat, linked to attentive immobility and action preparation. It is relevant for acute stress coping in animals and humans, and subtle deviations in toddler freezing duration (absence of, or excessively long reactions) have been linked to higher risk for internalizing symptoms in adolesce...
Article
Full-text available
Effective stress recovery is crucial to prevent the long-term consequences of stress exposure. Studies have suggested that listening to music may be beneficial for stress reduction. Thus, music listening stands to be a promising method to promote effective recovery from exposure to daily stressors. Despite this, empirical support for this opinion h...
Article
Animals have sophisticated mechanisms for coping with danger. Freezing is a unique state that, upon threat detection, allows evidence to be gathered, response possibilities to be previsioned and preparations to be made for worst-case fight or flight. We propose that — rather than reflecting a passive fear state — the particular somatic and cognitiv...
Article
Full-text available
Threatening situations ask for rapid and accurate perceptual decisions to optimize coping. Theoretical models have stated that psychophysiological states, such as bradycardia during threat-anticipatory freezing, may facilitate perception. However, it’s unclear if this occurs via enhanced bottom-up sensory processing or by relying more on prior expe...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Stress-related mental disorders are highly prevalent and pose a significant burden on individuals and society. Improving strategies of their treatment and prevention requires knowledge about risk and resilience. This multi-center study aims to contribute to this endeavor by investigating psychological resilience in healthy, but vulnerabl...
Article
Full-text available
Simultaneous execution of memory retrieval and cognitively demanding interventions alter the subjective experience of aversive memories. This principle can be used in treatment to target traumatic memories. An often-used interpretation is that cognitive demand interferes with memory reconsolidation. Laboratory models applying this technique often d...
Preprint
Studies have suggested that listening to music may be beneficial for stress reduction. Despite this, empirical support for this opinion has been largely equivocal. To clarify the current literature, we conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized, controlled experimental studies investigating the effects of music listening on stre...
Article
Full-text available
SKORA, L.I., J.J.A. LIVERMORE and K. Roelofs. The functional role of cardiac activity in perception and action. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV X(X) XXX-XXX, 2022. Patterns of cardiac activity continuously vary with environmental demands, accelerating or decelerating depending on circumstances. Simultaneously, cardiac cycle affects a host of higher-order pro...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic might affect mental health. Data from population-representative panel surveys with multiple waves including pre-COVID data investigating risk and protective factors are still rare. Methods: In a stratified random sample of the German household population (n = 6684), we conducted survey...
Article
Full-text available
Substantial individual differences exist in how acute stress affects large-scale neurocognitive networks, including salience (SN), default mode (DMN), and central executive networks (CEN). Changes in the connectivity strength of these networks upon acute stress may predict vulnerability to long-term stress effects, which can only be tested in prosp...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely recognized that police performance may be hindered by psychophysiological state changes during acute stress. To address the need for awareness and control of these physiological changes, police academies in many countries have implemented Heart-Rate Variability (HRV) biofeedback training. Despite these trainings now being widely delive...
Preprint
Full-text available
Stress-related mental disorders are highly prevalent and pose a significant burden on individuals and society. Improving strategies of their treatment and prevention requires knowledge about risk and resilience. This multi-center study aims to contribute to this endeavor by investigating psychological resilience in healthy, but vulnerable young adu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic might affect mental health. Data from population-representative panel surveys with multiple waves including pre-COVID data investigating risk and protective factors are still rare.Methods: In a stratified random sample of the German household population (n=6,684), we conducted survey-weighted multiple linear regres...
Preprint
It is widely recognized that police performance may be hindered by psychophysiological state changes during acute stress. To address the need for awareness and control of these physiological changes, police academies in many countries have implemented Heart-Rate Variability (HRV) biofeedback training. Despite these trainings now being widely delive...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate emerging adults’ mental health before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether social support from mothers, fathers, and best friends moderated the change in mental health. Participants were 98 emerging adults (46% men) who were assessed prior to COVID-19 (Mage = 20.60 years) and during the...
Article
The anticipation of threat facilitates innate defensive behaviours including freezing reactions. Freezing in humans is characterised by reductions in body sway and heart rate. Limited evidence suggests that individual differences in freezing reactions are associated with predictors of anxiety-related psychopathology including trait anxiety and hypo...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) show hypofunctioning of the hypothalamus–pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, which is linked to social fear and avoidance behavior. As testosterone administration has been shown to facilitate social-approach behavior in this population, it may enhance the effectiveness of exposure treatment. In this proof-...
Article
Full-text available
Regulating social emotional actions is essential for coping with life stressors and is associated with control by the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) over the amygdala. However, it remains unclear to what extent prefrontal emotion regulation capacities contribute to resilience against developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Her...
Preprint
Full-text available
Substantial individual differences exist in how acute stress affects large-scale neurocognitive networks, including Salience (SN), Default Mode (DMN) and Central Executive Networks (CEN). These network-level changes upon acute stress may predict vulnerability to long-term stress effects, which can only be tested in prospective longitudinal studies....
Article
Full-text available
Successful responding to acutely threatening situations requires adequate approach–avoidance decisions. However, it is unclear how threat-induced states—like freezing-related bradycardia—impact the weighing of the potential outcomes of such value-based decisions. Insight into the underlying computations is essential, not only to improve our models...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past three decades, functional MRI (fMRI) has become key to study how cognitive processes are implemented in the human brain. However, the question of whether participants recruited into fMRI studies differ from participants recruited into other study contexts has received little to no attention. This is particularly pertinent when effects...
Preprint
Freezing to impending threat is a core defensive response. It has been studied primarily using fear-conditioning in non-human animals, thwarting advances in translational human anxiety-research. Here we examine postural freezing as a human conditioning-index for translational anxiety-research. We show (n=28) that human freezing is highly sensitive...
Article
Full-text available
Acutely challenging or threatening situations frequently require approach-avoidance decisions. Acute threat triggers fast autonomic changes that prepare the body to freeze, fight or flee. However, such autonomic changes may also influence subsequent instrumental approach-avoidance decisions. Since defensive bodily states are often not considered in...
Article
Full-text available
As part of the Dutch national science program “Professional Games for Professional Skills” we developed a stress-exposure biofeedback training in virtual reality (VR) for the Dutch police. We aim to reduce the acute negative impact of stress on performance, as well as long-term consequences for mental health by facilitating physiological stress reg...
Article
Social anxiety and psychopathy have conceptually been linked to nearly opposite emotional, behavioral and endocrinological endophenotypes, representing social fearfulness and fearlessness, respectively. Although such a dimensional view has theoretical and practical implications, no study has directly compared social anxiety and psychopathy in terms...
Article
Full-text available
Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) can cause maladaptive social behavior, but the cognitive processes underlying these behavioral changes are still uncertain. Here, we tested whether patients with acquired VMPFC lesions show altered approach-avoidance tendencies to emotional facial expressions. Thirteen patients with focal VMPFC l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Successful responding to acutely threatening situations requires adequate approach-avoidance decisions. However, it is unclear how threat-induced states -like freezing-related bradycardia- impact the weighing of the potential outcomes of such value-based decisions. Insight into the underlying computations is essential, not only to improve our model...
Article
Early interventions to improve resilience require the identification of objective risk biomarkers for PTSD symptom development. Although altered hippocampal and amygdala volumes are consistently observed in PTSD, it remains currently unknown whether they represent a predisposing vulnerability factor for PTSD symptom development or an acquired conse...
Preprint
The aim of this prospective longitudinal study was to examine emerging adults’ mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, while taking into account pre-existing problems as well as social support from close others. Participants were 85 emerging adults (46% boys) who were assessed prior to COVID-19 (February-September 2018; Mage = 20.60 ye...
Chapter
The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) plays a critical modulatory role in driving fear responses. Part of the so-called extended amygdala, this region shares many functions and connections with the substantially more investigated amygdala proper. In this chapter, we review contributions of the BNST and amygdala to subjective, behavioral, a...
Article
Full-text available
Excessive avoidance behaviour is a cardinal symptom of anxiety disorders. Avoidance is not only associated with the benefits of avoiding threats, but also with the costs of missing out on rewards upon exploration. Psychological and psychophysiological mechanisms contributing to these costly avoidance decisions in prospect of mixed outcomes remain u...
Article
Full-text available
Control over emotional action tendencies is essential for everyday interactions. This cognitive function fails occasionally during socially challenging situations, and systematically in social psychopathologies. We delivered dual-site phase-coupled brain stimulation to facilitate theta-gamma phase-amplitude coupling between frontal regions known to...
Article
Full-text available
The short (S) allele of the serotonin transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) polymorphism has been linked to reactive aggression in men, but this association is less consistent in females. Reactive aggression has been particularly described as a result of fear-driven defense to threat, but how this interaction between defensive behavior and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) can cause maladaptive social behavior, but the cognitive processes underlying these behavioral changes are still uncertain. Here, we tested whether patients with acquired VMPFC lesions show altered approach-avoidance tendencies to emotional facial expressions. Thirteen patients with focal VMPFC l...
Preprint
Full-text available
Control over emotional action tendencies is essential for every-day interactions. This cognitive function can fail during socially challenging situations, and is chronically attenuated in social psychopathologies such as social anxiety and aggression. Previous studies have shown that control over social-emotional action tendencies depends on phase-...
Article
Full-text available
Acute stress induces large‐scale neural reorganization with relevance to stress‐related psychopathology. Here, we applied a novel supervised machine learning method, combining the strengths of a priori theoretical insights with a data‐driven approach, to identify which connectivity changes are most prominently associated with a state of acute stres...
Preprint
Over the past three decades, MRI has become a key tool to study how cognitive processes are implemented in the human brain. However, the question of whether participants recruited into MRI studies differ from participants recruited into other study contexts has received little to no attention. This is particularly pertinent when effects fail to gen...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Interpersonal deficits are a core symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD), which could be related to increased social threat sensitivity and a tendency to approach rather than avoid interpersonal threats. The neuropeptide oxytocin has been shown to reduce threat sensitivity in patients with BPD and to modify approach–avoidance...
Article
Regulation of emotional behavior is essential for human social interactions. Recent work has exposed its cognitive complexity, as well as its unexpected reliance on portions of the anterior PFC (aPFC) also involved in exploration, relational reasoning, and counterfactual choice, rather than on dorsolateral and medial prefrontal areas involved in se...
Article
Social–emotional cues, such as affective vocalizations and emotional faces, automatically elicit emotional action tendencies. Adaptive social–emotional behavior depends on the ability to control these automatic action tendencies. It remains unknown whether neural control over automatic action tendencies is supramodal or relies on parallel modality-...
Preprint
Full-text available
Regulation of emotional behavior is essential for human social interactions. Recent work has exposed its cognitive complexity, as well as its unexpected reliance on portions of the anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) also involved in exploration, relational reasoning, and counterfactual choice, rather than on dorsolateral and medial prefrontal areas...
Article
Full-text available
Susceptibility to stress-related psychopathology is associated with reduced expression of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT), particularly in combination with stress exposure. Aberrant physiological and neuronal responses to threat may underlie this increased vulnerability. Here, implementing a cross-species approach, we investigated the association...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anxiety disorders are prevalent in the population and costly for society, while current treatment is not effective in all individuals. A central symptom of anxiety is avoidance behaviour, with excessive avoidance being predictive of poor clinical outcomes. Appetitive motivation could play a role in decreasing avoidance behaviour by increasing the p...
Article
Full-text available
Although police officers are carefully selected for their high emotion-regulation abilities, excessive aggression in police officers has been reported, particularly in socially challenging situations known to elicit high state testosterone levels. Adequate regulation of emotional actions depends on the prefrontal cortex’s control over the amygdala....
Chapter
Adequate control over emotions and emotional actions is essential for adaptive responding in social and emotional situations, and is critically impaired in various forms of human psychopathology. Variations of the serotonergic system have been associated with variations in action control during emotional and valence specific situations. The present...
Article
Full-text available
Active adaptation to acute stress is essential for coping with daily life challenges. The stress hormone cortisol, as well as large scale re-allocations of brain resources have been implicated in this adaptation. Stress-induced shifts between large-scale brain networks, including salience (SN), central executive (CEN) and default mode networks (DMN...
Article
Full-text available
Real-life shooting decisions typically occur under acute threat and require fast switching between vigilant situational assessment and immediate fight-or-flight actions. Recent studies suggested that freezing facilitates action preparation and decision-making but the neurocognitive mechanisms remain unclear. We applied functional magnetic resonance...
Article
Rapid detection of threats has been proposed to rely on automatic processing of their coarse visual features. However, it remains unclear whether such a mechanism is restricted to detection of threat cues, or whether it reflects a broader sensitivity to even neutral coarse visual information features during states of threat. We used a backward mask...
Preprint
Full-text available
The detection and anticipation of threat facilitates innate defensive behaviours including freezing reactions. Freezing in humans is characterized by reductions in body sway and heart rate and limited evidence suggests that individual differences in freezing reactions are associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and anxiet...
Article
Learning and decision-making are modulated by socio-emotional processing and such modulation is implicated in clinically relevant personality traits of social anxiety. The present study elucidates the computational and neural mechanisms by which emotionally aversive cues disrupt learning in socially anxious human individuals. Healthy volunteers wit...
Article
Full-text available
Probiotics are microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed. In animals, probiotics reverse gut microbiome-related alterations in depression-like symptoms, in cognition, and in hormonal stress response. However, in humans, a causal understanding of the gut-brain link in emotion and cognition is lacking. Additionally, whether the effect...
Article
Difficulty in anger control and anger-related aggressive outbursts against others are frequently reported by patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Although male sex is a known predictor for aggression, hardly any study has addressed the neural correlates of deficient anger control in male patients with BPD. Building on previous repor...