Lateral prefrontal cortex activity during cognitive control of emotion predicts response to social stress in schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT: LPFC dysfunction is a well-established neural impairment in schizophrenia and is associated with worse symptoms. However, how LPFC activation influences symptoms is unclear. Previous findings in healthy individuals demonstrate that lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) activation during cognitive control of emotional information predicts mood and behavior in response to interpersonal conflict, thus impairments in these processes may contribute to symptom exacerbation in schizophrenia. We investigated whether schizophrenia participants show LPFC deficits during cognitive control of emotional information, and whether these LPFC deficits prospectively predict changes in mood and symptoms following real-world interpersonal conflict. During fMRI, 23 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 24 healthy controls completed the Multi-Source Interference Task superimposed on neutral and negative pictures. Afterwards, schizophrenia participants completed a 21-day online daily-diary in which they rated the extent to which they experienced mood and schizophrenia-spectrum symptoms, as well as the occurrence and response to interpersonal conflict. Schizophrenia participants had lower dorsal LPFC activity (BA9) during cognitive control of task-irrelevant negative emotional information. Within schizophrenia participants, DLPFC activity during cognitive control of emotional information predicted changes in positive and negative mood on days following highly distressing interpersonal conflicts. Results have implications for understanding the specific role of LPFC in response to social stress in schizophrenia, and suggest that treatments targeting LPFC-mediated cognitive control of emotion could promote adaptive response to social stress in schizophrenia.
Project description:Failure to self-regulate after an interpersonal conflict can result in persistent negative mood and maladaptive behaviors. Research indicates that lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) activity is related to emotion regulation in response to laboratory-based affective challenges, such as viewing emotional pictures. This suggests that compromised LPFC function may be a risk factor for mood and behavior problems after an interpersonal conflict. However, it remains unclear whether LPFC activity to a laboratory-based affective challenge predicts self-regulation in real life.We investigated whether LPFC activity to a laboratory-based affective challenge (negative facial expressions of a partner) predicts self-regulation after a real-life affective challenge (interpersonal conflict). During a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan, healthy, adult participants in committed relationships (n = 27) viewed positive, negative, and neutral facial expressions of their partners. In a three-week online daily diary, participants reported conflict occurrence, level of negative mood, rumination, and substance use.LPFC activity in response to the laboratory-based affective challenge predicted self-regulation after an interpersonal conflict in daily life. When there was no interpersonal conflict, LPFC activity was not related to mood or behavior the next day. However, when an interpersonal conflict did occur, ventral LPFC (VLPFC) activity predicted mood and behavior the next day, such that lower VLPFC activity was related to higher levels of negative mood, rumination, and substance use.Low LPFC function may be a vulnerability and high LPFC function may be a protective factor for the development of mood and behavior problems after an interpersonal stressor.
Project description:The ongoing Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study is in the process of forming a gold-standard battery of social cognition tests for use in clinical trials. Previous SCOPE phases have not acknowledged key differences between social cognition skills and biases, and psychometric validity analyses might provide important information if tailored to bias-related outcomes. This study aims to validate these measures with such bias-related outcomes.Two measures of social cognitive bias - the Ambiguous Intention Hostility Questionnaire (AIHQ; hostile attribution bias) and Trustworthiness Task (distrust bias) - were reviewed according to their relationships to (1) current and prospective symptom levels, (2) questionnaires of trait paranoia and hostility and informant-rated hostility, (3) interpersonal conflict, as well as (4) relationships to measures of trait paranoia, hostility, and interpersonal conflict above and beyond the influence of clinically rated symptoms.Results supported hypotheses that social cognitive bias provides information about cognition, symptoms, and functioning related to interpersonal conflict. Each bias demonstrated relationships to trait paranoia questionnaires, hostility, or interpersonal conflict outcomes, and these persisted above and beyond the influence of clinically rated symptoms. Hostile attribution bias also predicted change in symptom levels over a brief interval.Overall, the current bias-specific psychometric analysis provides support for continued study of social cognitive biases.Hostile attribution bias may play a role in important outcome variables given relationships to emotional discomfort and suspiciousness symptoms, trait paranoia and hostility, interpersonal conflict, as well as prospective hostility symptoms. Distrust bias may also impact real-world functioning, as it is related to hostility, suspiciousness, and positive symptoms, trait paranoia, and hostility. Relationships of social cognitive biases to interpersonal conflict outcomes exist independently of interview-rated symptoms and persist above and beyond the influence of social cognitive skills, which appear to demonstrate weaker relationships to these outcomes. Understanding and assessing the individual's biases towards distrust or blame might help practioners predict interpersonal conflict and future increases in symptoms.
Project description:Understanding the specific mechanisms that explain why people who have relatives with schizophrenia (i.e., people at familial high risk; FHR) are more likely to develop the disorder is crucial for prevention. We investigated a diathesis-stress model of familial risk by testing whether FHR individuals under-recruit brain regions central to emotion regulation when exposed to social conflict, resulting in worse mood and symptoms following conflict. FHR and non-FHR participants listened to critical, neutral, and praising comments in an fMRI scanner before completing 4?weeks of daily-diary records. Compared to non-FHR individuals, FHR individuals under-recruited the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)-a region strongly implicated in cognitive emotion regulation-following criticism. Furthermore, within FHR participants, weak DLPFC response to criticism in the laboratory task was associated with elevated negative mood and positive symptoms on days with distressing social conflicts in daily-diary assessments. Results extend diathesis-stress models of schizophrenia by clarifying neural and environmental pathways to dysregulation in FHR individuals.
Project description:Deliberate emotion regulation, the ability to willfully modulate emotional experiences, is shaped through interpersonal scaffolding and forecasts later functioning in multiple domains. However, nascent deliberate emotion regulation in early childhood is poorly understood due to a paucity of studies that simulate interpersonal scaffolding of this skill and measure its occurrence in multiple modalities. Our goal was to identify neural and behavioral components of early deliberate emotion regulation to identify patterns of competent and deficient responses. A novel probe was developed to assess deliberate emotion regulation in young children. Sixty children (age 4-6?years) were randomly assigned to deliberate emotion regulation or control conditions. Children completed a frustration task while lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) activation was recorded via functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Facial expressions were video recorded and children self-rated their emotions. Parents rated their child's temperamental emotion regulation. Deliberate emotion regulation interpersonal scaffolding predicted a significant increase in frustration-related LPFC activation not seen in controls. Better temperamental emotion regulation predicted larger LPFC activation increases post- scaffolding among children who engaged in deliberate emotion regulation interpersonal scaffolding. A capacity to increase LPFC activation in response to interpersonal scaffolding may be a crucial neural correlate of early deliberate emotion regulation.
Project description:Cognitive control enables successful goal-directed behavior by resolving a conflict between opposing action tendencies, while emotional control arises as a consequence of emotional conflict processing such as in irony. While negative emotion facilitates both cognitive and emotional conflict processing, it is unclear how emotional conflict processing is affected by positive emotion (e.g., humor). In 2 EEG experiments, we investigated the role of positive audiovisual target stimuli in cognitive and emotional conflict processing. Participants categorized either spoken vowels (cognitive task) or their emotional valence (emotional task) and ignored the visual stimulus dimension. Behaviorally, a positive target showed no influence on cognitive conflict processing, but impeded emotional conflict processing. In the emotional task, response time conflict costs were higher for positive than for neutral targets. In the EEG, we observed an interaction of emotion by congruence in the P200 and N200 ERP components in emotional but not in cognitive conflict processing. In the emotional conflict task, the P200 and N200 conflict effect was larger for emotional than neutral targets. Thus, our results show that emotion affects conflict processing differently as a function of conflict type and emotional valence. This suggests that there are conflict- and valence-specific mechanisms modulating executive control.
Project description:Cognitive control supports goal-directed behavior by resolving conflict among opposing action tendencies. Emotion can trigger cognitive control processes, thus speeding up conflict processing when the target dimension of stimuli is emotional. However, it is unclear what role emotionality of the target dimension plays in the processing of emotional conflict (e.g. in irony). In two EEG experiments, we compared the influence of emotional valence of the target (emotional, neutral) in cognitive and emotional conflict processing. To maximally approximate real-life communication, we used audiovisual stimuli. Participants either categorized spoken vowels (cognitive conflict) or their emotional valence (emotional conflict), while visual information was congruent or incongruent. Emotional target dimension facilitated both cognitive and emotional conflict processing, as shown in a reduced reaction time conflict effect. In contrast, the N100 in the event-related potentials showed a conflict-specific reversal: the conflict effect was larger for emotional compared with neutral trials in cognitive conflict and smaller in emotional conflict. Additionally, domain-general conflict effects were observed in the P200 and N200 responses. The current findings confirm that emotions have a strong influence on cognitive and emotional conflict processing. They also highlight the complexity and heterogeneity of the interaction of emotion with different types of conflict.
Project description:Healthy aging is characterized by a gradual decline in cognitive control and inhibition of interferences, while emotional control is either preserved or facilitated. Emotional control regulates the processing of emotional conflicts such as in irony in speech, and cognitive control resolves conflict between non-affective tendencies. While negative emotion can trigger control processes and speed up resolution of both cognitive and emotional conflicts, we know little about how aging affects the interaction of emotion and control. In two EEG experiments, we compared the influence of negative emotion on cognitive and emotional conflict processing in groups of younger adults (mean age = 25.2 years) and older adults (69.4 years). Participants viewed short video clips and either categorized spoken vowels (cognitive conflict) or their emotional valence (emotional conflict), while the visual facial information was congruent or incongruent. Results show that negative emotion modulates both cognitive and emotional conflict processing in younger and older adults as indicated in reduced response times and/or enhanced event-related potentials (ERPs). In emotional conflict processing, we observed a valence-specific N100 ERP component in both age groups. In cognitive conflict processing, we observed an interaction of emotion by congruence in the N100 responses in both age groups, and a main effect of congruence in the P200 and N200. Thus, the influence of emotion on conflict processing remains intact in aging, despite a marked decline in cognitive control. Older adults may prioritize emotional wellbeing and preserve the role of emotion in cognitive and emotional control.
Project description:Parsing multisensory information from a complex external environment is a fundamental skill for all organisms. However, different organizational schemes currently exist for how multisensory information is processed in human (supramodal; organized by cognitive demands) versus primate (organized by modality/cognitive demands) lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC). Functional magnetic resonance imaging results from a large cohort of healthy controls (N = 64; Experiment 1) revealed a rostral-caudal stratification of LPFC for auditory versus visual attention during an audio-visual Stroop task. The stratification existed in spite of behavioral and functional evidence of increased interference from visual distractors. Increased functional connectivity was also observed between rostral LPFC and auditory cortex across independent samples (Experiments 2 and 3) and multiple methodologies. In contrast, the caudal LPFC was preferentially activated during visual attention but functioned in a supramodal capacity for resolving multisensory conflict. The caudal LPFC also did not exhibit increased connectivity with visual cortices. Collectively, these findings closely mirror previous nonhuman primate studies suggesting that visual attention relies on flexible use of a supramodal cognitive control network in caudal LPFC whereas rostral LPFC is specialized for directing attention to auditory inputs (i.e., human auditory fields).
Project description:Team sports activities are effective for improving the negative symptoms and cognitive functions in patients with schizophrenia. However, the interpersonal coordination during the sports and visual cognition of patients with schizophrenia who have team sports habits are unknown. The main objectives of this study were to test two hypotheses: first, patients with schizophrenia perform the skill requiring ball passing and receiving worse than healthy controls; and second, the patients will be impaired in these functionings in accordance with the previous studies regarding schizophrenia in general. Twelve patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy controls, who had habits in football, participated in this study. The participants performed three conventional cognitive tests and a 3-vs-1 ball possession task to evaluate their interpersonal coordination. The results showed that in the 3-vs-1 possession task, the displacement in the pass angle for the patients was significantly smaller than that for the control. The recall in the complex figure test, the performance in the trail making test, and that in the five-choice reaction task for the patients were worse than those for the control. Moreover, we found the significant partial correlations in the patients between the extradimensional shift error and the pass angle as well as between the time in the trail making test and the displacement in the pass angle, whereas there was no significant correlation in the control group. This study clarified the impaired interpersonal coordination during team sports and the visual cognition of patients with schizophrenia who have team sports habits.
Project description:Endogenous oxytocin has been associated with different aspects of social cognition in healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia. In this pilot study, we investigated the relationship between plasma oxytocin and oxytocin level changes induced by empathy-eliciting, attachment-related movie scenes with correlates of cognitive and emotional empathy in patients and healthy controls. The Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) were administered to patients with schizophrenia (N = 35, 12 females) and healthy controls (N = 35, 12 females) to estimate dimensions of cognitive and emotional empathy. Peripheral basal oxytocin concentrations and oxytocin responses to movie-based emotional stimuli were assessed using radioimmunoassay with sample extraction. In patients, induced oxytocin level changes were inversely correlated with MET cognitive empathy regarding negative emotional states. Controlling for non-social cognition and age revealed a significant negative association between basal oxytocin levels and MET cognitive empathy for positive emotions. In healthy subjects, oxytocin reactivity was inversely correlated with the IRI subscale "fantasy". Oxytocin was not related to any measure of emotional empathy. A hyper-reactive oxytocin system might be linked to impaired cognitive empathy as a part of a dysfunctional regulative circuit of attachment-related emotions and interpersonal stressors or threats by attribution of meaning. Healthy adults with a disposition to identify with fictional characters showed lower oxytocin reactivity, possibly indicating familiarity with movie-based stimuli. The oxytocinergic system may be involved in maladaptive coping mechanisms in the framework of impaired mentalizing and associated dysfunctional responses to interpersonal challenges in schizophrenia.