Looking at the Sunny Side of Life Age-Related Change in an Event-Related Potential Measure of the Negativity Bias

Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150, USA.
Psychological Science (Impact Factor: 4.43). 10/2007; 18(9):838-43. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01988.x
Source: PubMed


Studies of the negativity bias have demonstrated that negative information has a stronger influence than positive information in a wide range of cognitive domains. At odds with this literature is extensive work now documenting emotional and motivational shifts that result in a positivity effect in older adults. It remains unclear, however, whether this age-related positivity effect results from increases in processing of positive information or from decreases in processing of negative information. Also unknown is the specific time course of development from a negative bias to an apparently positive one. The present study was designed to investigate the negativity bias across the life span using an event-related potential measure of responding to emotionally valenced images. The results suggest that neural reactivity to negative images declines linearly with age, but responding to positive images is surprisingly age invariant across most of the adult life span.

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Available from: Stacey Wood, Dec 20, 2015
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    • "The second dimension of the affect system, the negativity bias, is the assignment of higher negative valence to unpleasant information as compared to the positive valence assigned to pleasant information , when controlling for the arousal and extremity of the images. Experimental studies have shown that unpleasant stimuli evoke more pronounced and rapid automatic responses than equally extreme and arousing pleasant stimuli (Cacioppo et al., 1997; Delplanque, Silvert, Hot, & Sequeira, 2005; Huang & Luo, 2009; Kisley, Wood, & Burrows, 2007). Furthermore, the negativity bias has been associated with physiological indices, including a larger late positive potential (LPP, Ito & Cacioppo, 2005; Ito, Larsen, Smith, & Cacioppo, 1998; Smith et al., 2006), increased corrugator activity (Neta, Norris, & Whalen, 2009), and increased neural activation of the left inferior frontal gyrus (Gollan et al,. "
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    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
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    • "In one study, the early LPP was modulated by both intrinsic (i.e., the stimulus type) and extrinsic (i.e., the re-appraisal description type) manipulations of the emotional significance of the stimuli, whereas the late LPP only reflected extrinsic emotion regulation (Macnamara et al., 2009). Furthermore, the linear decline with age of LPP in response to negative stimuli (Kisley et al., 2007) suggests that the LPP increase seems to be a valid index to examine the maturation of cognitive appraisal in childhood (Hajcak and Dennis, 2009; Hajcak et al., 2010). "
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    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
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    • "It was more specifically measured at the amplitude peak of the component, i.e. Pz, in accordance with the literature data [3], [30], [31], [33]. For each participant, the mean amplitude of the LPP was measured over the Pz electrode, for each emotional valence, in the two experimental blocks. "
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