Emotion Regulation and the Brain: The Reappraisal of Positive and Negative Images in School-Age Girls Open Access

Winfield, Manas Samuel (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/vh53ww44r?locale=en


Emotion Regulation and the Brain: The Reappraisal of Positive and Negative Images in School-
Age Girls

Emotion regulation is important for our emotional well-being, with dysfunctional
emotion regulation having been linked to psychopathology. Reappraisal is a particularly
effective cognitive emotion regulation strategy that has been shown to reduce the late-positive
potential (LPP), a neural marker of emotion processing. Previous neuroscientific research has
focused on the reappraisal of negative stimuli in adults, and very little research has examined the
development of reappraisal. In the present research, we recorded event-related potentials (ERP)
in fourteen 8-year-old girls to measure their neural response to neutral images as well as positive
and negative images that were accompanied by auditory narratives either matching the emotional
content of the images or reinterpreting them as neutral. Participants also rated images for their
subjective levels of emotional valence and arousal. Our results did not reveal the presence of an
LPP, and the only significant differences in neural processing were between the response to
reappraised positive images and neutral controls. Subjective ratings of the images showed
marginally dampened levels of valence and arousal, although these results were not significant.
These results suggest that emotion processing normally represented by the LPP may be affected
during the reappraisal of positive images, and that the reappraisal of positive stimuli may be a
distinct process compared to the reappraisal of negative stimuli.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

10 Method
17 Results
20 Discussion
27 References


30 Figure 1: SAM valence rating scale
31 Figure 2: SAM arousal rating scale
32 Figure 3: Electrode head plot
33 Figure 4: Time windows selected for ERP data analyses
34 Figure 5: Left anterior cluster ERP waveform
35 Figure 6: Left posterior cluster ERP waveform
36 Figure 7: Right anterior cluster ERP waveform
37 Figure 8: Right posterior cluster ERP waveform
38 Figure 9: Average SAM valence ratings
39 Figure 10: Average SAM arousal ratings


40 List of Narratives

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