Mathias Weymar

Mathias Weymar
Universität Potsdam · Department of Psychology

Prof. Dr.

About

86
Publications
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1,545
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Publications

Publications (86)
Article
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The theory of constructed emotions suggests that different psychological components, including core affect (mental and neural representations of bodily changes), and conceptualization (meaning-making based on prior experiences and semantic knowledge), are involved in the formation of emotions. However, little is known about their role in experienci...
Preprint
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We present here a unifying framework for affective phenomena: the Human Affectome. By synthesizing a large body of literature, we have converged on definitions that disambiguate the commonly used terms—affect, feeling, emotion, and mood. Based on this definitional foundation, and under the premise that affective states reflect allostatic concerns,...
Article
Full-text available
Classical views suggest that experienced affect is related to a specific bodily response, whereas recent perspectives challenge this view postulating that similar affective experiences rather evoke different physiological responses. To further advance this debate in the field, we used representational similarity analysis to investigate the correspo...
Article
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The Covid-19 pandemic imposed new constraints on empirical research and forced researchers to transfer from traditional laboratory research to the online environment. This study tested the validity of a web-based episodic memory paradigm by comparing participants’ memory performance for trustworthy and untrustworthy facial stimuli in a supervised l...
Preprint
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The functional significance of the two prominent language-related ERP components N400 and P600 is still under debate. It has recently been suggested that one important dimension along which the two vary, is in terms of automaticity versus attentional control, with N400 amplitudes reflecting more automatic and P600 amplitudes reflecting more control...
Article
Full-text available
The theory of constructed emotions suggests that different psychological components, including core affect (mental and neural representations of bodily changes), and conceptualization (meaning-making based on prior experiences and semantic knowledge), are involved in the formation of emotions. However, little is known about their role in experienci...
Article
Full-text available
This is the Editorial to the E-Book and Special Issue on "Cognitive Control of Emotions in Special Contexts"
Article
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Emotional memories are better remembered than neutral ones, but the mechanisms leading to this memory bias are not well understood in humans yet. Based on animal research, it is suggested that the memory-enhancing effect of emotion is based on central noradrenergic release, which is triggered by afferent vagal nerve activation. To test the causal l...
Article
This study investigated whether transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) enhances reversal learning and augments noradrenergic biomarkers (i.e., pupil size, cortisol, and salivary alpha‐amylase [sAA]). We also explored the effect of taVNS on respiratory rate and cardiac vagal activity (CVA). Seventy‐one participants received stimula...
Book
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The ability to cognitively regulate our emotions has emerged as an important moderating factor to multiple forms of psychopathology and human behavior. For this reason, the field of emotion regulation has faced a growing interest and popularity within social, cognitive, and affective neuroscience over the past two decades. Moving from strictly loca...
Preprint
Full-text available
Classical views suggest that experienced affect is related to a specific bodily response ( Fingerprint hypothesis ), whereas recent perspectives challenge this view postulating that similar affective experiences rather evoke different physiological responses. To further advance this debate in the field, we used representational similarity analysis...
Article
Full-text available
During fear conditioning, a cue (CS) signals an inevitable distal threat (US) and evokes a conditioned response that can be described as attentive immobility (freezing). The organism remains motionless and monitors the source of danger while startle responses are potentiated, indicating a state of defensive hypervigilance. Although in animals vagal...
Article
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Two experiments were conducted to determine, first, whether food items influence participants' estimations of the size of their subjective peripersonal space. It was of particular interest whether this representation is influenced by satiated/hungry states and is differentially affected by valence and calorie content of depicted stimuli. Second, ev...
Article
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Procrastination is a self-regulatory problem of voluntarily and destructively delaying intended and necessary or personally important tasks. Previous studies showed that procrastination is associated with executive dysfunctions that seem to be particularly strong in punishing contexts. In the present event-related potential (ERP) study a monetary v...
Article
Full-text available
Given its non-invasive nature, there is increasing interest in the use of transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) across basic, translational and clinical research. Contemporaneously, tVNS can be achieved by stimulating either the auricular branch or the cervical bundle of the vagus nerve, referred to as transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve s...
Article
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Understanding the association between autonomic nervous system [ANS] function and brain morphology across the lifespan provides important insights into neurovisceral mechanisms underlying health and disease. Resting state ANS activity, indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV] has been associated with brain morphology, partic...
Article
Stressful events affect mnemonic processing, in particular for emotionally arousing events. Previous research on the mechanisms underlying stress effects on human memory focused on stress-induced changes in the neural activity elicited by a stimulus. We tested an alternative mechanism and hypothesized that stress may already alter the neural contex...
Article
Full-text available
Previous clinical research found that invasive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) enhanced word recognition memory in epileptic patients, an effect assumed to be related to the activation of brainstem arousal systems. In this study, we applied non-invasive transcutaneous auricular VNS (tVNS) to replicate and extend the previous work. Using a single-blin...
Article
Since Tulving's influential work on the distinction between familiarity and recollection-based retrieval, numerous studies have found evidence for differential contribution of these retrieval mechanisms on emotional episodic memory. Particularly, retrieval advantage for emotional, compared to neutral, information has been related to recollection-,...
Article
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Inhibiting fear-related thoughts and defensive behaviors when they are no longer appropriate to the situation is a prerequisite for flexible and adaptive responding to changing environments. Such inhibition of defensive systems is mediated by ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), limbic basolateral amygdala (BLA), and brain stem locus-coeruleus n...
Article
In his seminal works, Endel Tulving argued that functionally distinct memory systems give rise to subjective experiences of remembering and knowing (i.e., recollection-vs. familiarity-based memory, respectively). Evidence shows that emotion specifically enhances recollection, and this effect is subserved by a synergistic mechanism involving the amy...
Article
Full-text available
In daily life, we automatically form impressions of other individuals on basis of subtle facial features that convey trustworthiness. Because these face-based judgements influence current and future social interactions, we investigated how perceived trustworthiness of faces affects long-term memory using event-related potentials (ERPs). In the curr...
Article
Recent evidence points to enhanced episodic memory retrieval not only for emotional items but also for neutral information encoded in emotional contexts. However, prior research only tested instructed explicit recognition, and hence here we investigated whether memory retrieval is also heightened for cues from emotional contexts when retrieval is n...
Article
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Due to their ability to capture attention, emotional stimuli tend to benefit from enhanced perceptual processing, which can be helpful when such stimuli are task-relevant but hindering when they are task-irrelevant. Altered emotion-attention interactions have been associated with symptoms of affective disturbances, and emerging research focuses on...
Article
Objective The affective-reflective theory of physical inactivity and exercise suggests that the mere thought of exercise can lead to an immediate somato-affective response which, if negative, will drive a physically inactive person to maintain his or her current exercise-avoidant behavior. This study aimed to test the assumption that the somatic co...
Article
Previous research indicates that acute stress around the time of learning facilitates attention and memory for emotionally salient information. Despite accumulating evidence for these acute stress effects, less is known about the role of chronic stress. In the present study, we therefore tested emotional and neutral scene processing and later recog...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the widespread use of oral contraceptives (OCs), remarkably little is known about the effects of OCs on emotion, cognition, and behavior. However, coincidental findings suggest that OCs impair the ability to recognize others’ emotional expressions, which may have serious consequences in interpersonal contexts. To further investigate the eff...
Article
Objective: The affective-reflective theory of physical inactivity and exercise suggests that the mere thought of exercise can lead to an immediate somato-affective response which, if negative, will drive a physically inactive person to maintain his or her current exercise-avoidant behavior. This study aimed to test the assumption that the somatic c...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research suggests that the P3b may be closely related to the activation of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system. To further study the potential association, we applied a novel technique, the non-invasive transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS), which is speculated to increase noradrenaline levels. Using a within-subject cr...
Article
Full-text available
Stimulus repetition elicits either enhancement or suppression in neural activity, and a recent fMRI meta‐analysis of repetition effects for visual stimuli (Kim, 2017) reported cross‐stimulus repetition enhancement in medial and lateral parietal cortex, as well as regions of prefrontal, temporal, and posterior cingulate cortex. Repetition enhancemen...
Article
Response conflicts play a prominent role in the flexible adaptation of behavior as they represent context-signals that indicate the necessity for the recruitment of cognitive control. Previous studies have highlighted the functional roles of the affectively aversive and arousing quality of the conflict signal in triggering the adaptation process. T...
Preprint
Resting state autonomic nervous system activity [ANS] indexed by measures of heart rate [HR] and its variability [HRV], is associated with brain morphology, in particular cortical thickness [CT]. However, findings have been mixed regarding the regions of interest [ROI] associated with HR/HRV and the direction of the association. Sex and age differe...
Article
During social interactions, we rapidly judge others’ trustworthiness on basis of their facial characteristics. Face-based trustworthiness judgments may not only affect our current but also our future interactions because we seem to be more inclined to remember untrustworthy than trustworthy faces. Memory formation of salient stimuli like untrustwor...
Article
Visual search paradigms have provided evidence for the enhanced capture of attention by threatening faces. Especially in social anxiety, hypervigilance for threatening faces has been found repeatedly across behavioral paradigms, whose reliability however have been questioned recently. In this EEG study, we sought to determine whether the detection...
Chapter
Full-text available
What are the neural markers of encoding and retrieving memories of emotional events with increased efficacy? In recent years, this question has captured the attention of neuroscientists, who have been fervently engaged in addressing it using a multitude of approaches. The present chapter emphasizes evidence from brain imaging investigations regardi...
Article
Recent event-related potential (ERP) data showed that neutral objects encoded in emotional background pictures were better remembered than objects encoded in neutral contexts, when recognition memory was tested one week later. In the present study, we investigated whether this long-term memory advantage for items is also associated with correct mem...
Article
Full-text available
Building upon the existing literature on emotional memory, the present review examines emerging evidence from brain imaging investigations regarding four research directions: (1) Social Emotional Memory, (2) The Role of Emotion Regulation in the Impact of Emotion on Memory, (3) The Impact of Emotion on Associative or Relational Memory, and (4) The...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative encourages a search for dimensional biological measures of psychopathology, unconstrained by current diagnostic categories. Consistent with this aim, the presented research studies a large sample of anxiety and mood disorder patients, assessing principal DSM diagnostic differences and...
Article
Defensive behaviors in animals and humans vary dynamically with increasing proximity of a threat and depending upon the behavioral repertoire at hand. The current study investigated physiological and behavioral adjustments and associated brain activation when participants were exposed to dynamically approaching threat that was either inevitable or...
Article
During social interactions, individuals rapidly and automatically judge others' trustworthiness on the basis of subtle facial cues. To investigate the behavioral and neural correlates of these judgments, we conducted 2 studies: 1 study for the construction and evaluation of a set of natural faces differing in trustworthiness (Study 1: n = 30) and a...
Article
Full-text available
Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is a very emotionally aversive and stressful life event, which can lead to impaired cognitive functioning and mental health. Breast cancer survivors responding with repressive emotion regulation strategies often show less adaptive coping and adverse outcomes. We investigated cognitive functioning and neural...
Article
fMRI studies of reward find increased neural activity in ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), whereas other regions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and anterior insula, are activated when anticipating aversive exposure. Although these data suggest differential activation durin...
Article
Inhibitory learning is an important factor for decreasing fear expression. We investigated conditioned inhibition of learned fear responses using conditioned excitors and inhibitors differing in fear-relevance in a sample of 48 healthy female students. To study the effect of stimulus fear-relevance, we used the fear potentiated startle paradigm in...
Article
The ability to associate neutral stimuli with motivationally relevant outcomes is an important survival strategy. In the present study, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate brain dynamics of associative emotional learning when participants were confronted with multiple heterogeneous information. Participants viewed 144 different o...
Article
Full-text available
There is abundant evidence in memory research that emotional stimuli are better remembered than neutral stimuli. However, effects of an emotionally charged context on memory for associated neutral elements is also important particularly in trauma and stress-related disorders, where strong memories are often activated by neutral cues due to their em...
Article
Full-text available
When detecting a threat, humans and other animals engage in defensive behaviors and supporting physiological adjustments that vary with threat imminence and potential response options. In the present study, we shed light on the dynamics of defensive behaviors and associated physiological adjustments in humans using multiple psychophysiological and...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study we investigated long-term memory for unpleasant, neutral and spider pictures in 15 spider-fearful and 15 non-fearful control individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. During the initial (incidental) encoding, pictures were passively viewed in three separate blocks and were subsequently rated for valence an...
Article
Full-text available
Recent ERP studies using immediate recognition suggest better recollection for emotional, relative to neutral, scenes when retrieved in tasks where memory is not explicitly probed. In the present study we examined ERPs associated with explicit and spontaneous retrieval using a long retention interval. In a between-group design, one week after incid...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent ERP studies using immediate recognition suggest better recollection for emotional, relative to neutral, scenes when retrieved in tasks where memory is not explicitly probed. In the present study we examined ERPs associated with explicit and spontaneous retrieval using a long retention interval. In a between-group design, one week after incid...
Chapter
Emotional memories can be extremely robust and long lasting. Extremely unpleasant and arousing (traumatic) memories haunt some individuals throughout their entire life and sometimes lead to strong impairments. Therefore, one goal is to understand the neural mechanisms involved in encoding, consolidation, and storage of such emotional memories. This...
Article
Full-text available
Recent animal and human research indicates that stress around the time of encoding enhances long-term memory for emotionally arousing events but neural evidence remains unclear. In the present study we used the ERP old/new effect to investigate brain dynamics underlying the long-term effects of acute pre-encoding stress on memory for emotional and...
Article
Full-text available
When event-related potentials (ERP) are measured during a recognition task, items that have previously been presented typically elicit a larger late (400-800 ms) positive potential than new items. Recent data, however, suggest that emotional, but not neutral, pictures show ERP evidence of spontaneous retrieval when presented in a free-viewing task...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous studies suggest that anxious individuals are more hypervigilant to threat in their environment than nonanxious individuals. In the present event-related potential (ERP) study, we sought to investigate the extent to which afferent cortical processes, as indexed by the earliest visual component C1, are biased in observers high in fear of spe...
Article
In the present study, we used high-density EEG during a visual search task to investigate the dynamics of spatial attention to fear-relevant targets and background stimuli in small animal phobia during a visual search task. Twenty-five spider fearful (22 females) and 25 healthy nonfearful participants (19 females) were measured, while searching for...