Neural signatures of child cognitive emotion regulation are bolstered by parental social regulation in two cultures.
ABSTRACT: Caregiver impact on the efficacy of cognitive emotion regulation (ER; i.e. reappraisal) during childhood is poorly understood, particularly across cultures. We tested the hypothesis that in children from Japan and the USA, a neurocognitive signature of effective reappraisal, the late positive potential (LPP), will be bolstered by cognitive scaffolding by parents, and explored whether the two cultures differed in whether mere physical proximity of parents provides similar benefit. Five-to-seven-year-olds (N?=?116; nJapan?=?58; nUSA?=?58) completed a directed reappraisal task (EEG-recorded) in one of three contexts: (i) parent-scaffolding, (ii) parent-present and (iii) parent-absent. Across cultures, those in the parent-scaffolding group and parent-present group showed effective reappraisal via the LPP relative to those in the parent-absent group. Results suggest that scaffolding is an effective method through which parents in these two cultures buttress child ER, and even parental passive proximity appears to have a meaningful effect on child ER across cultures.
Project description:Theoretical accounts of emotion regulation (ER) discriminate various cognitive strategies to voluntarily modify emotional states. Amongst these, attentional deployment (i.e. distraction) and cognitive change (i.e. reappraisal), have been shown to successfully down-regulate emotions. Neuroimaging studies found that both strategies differentially engage neural structures associated with selective attention, working memory and cognitive control. The aim of this study was to further delineate similarities and differences between the ER strategies reappraisal and distraction by investigating their temporal brain dynamics using event-related potentials (ERPs) and their patterns of facial expressive behavior. Twenty-one participants completed an ER experiment in which they had to either passively view positive, neutral and negative pictures, reinterpret them to down-regulate affective responses (reappraisal), or solve a concurrently presented mathematical equation (distraction). Results demonstrate the efficacy of both strategies in the subjective control of emotion, accompanied by reductions of facial expressive activity (Corrugator supercilii and Zygomaticus major). ERP results indicated that distraction, compared with reappraisal, yielded a stronger and earlier attenuation of the late positive potential (LPP) magnitude for negative pictures. For positive pictures, only distraction but not reappraisal had significant effect on LPP attenuation. The results support the process model of ER, separating subtypes of cognitive strategies based on their specific time course.
Project description:The ability to modulate emotional responses, or emotion regulation, is a key mechanism in the development of mood disruptions. Detection of a neural marker for emotion regulation thus has the potential to inform early detection and intervention for mood problems. One such neural marker may be the late positive potential (LPP), which is a scalp-recorded event-related potential reflecting facilitated attention to emotional stimuli. In adults, the LPP is reduced following use of cognitive emotion regulation strategies such as reappraisal. No studies to date have examined the LPP in relation to cognitive emotion regulation in children, and whether the LPP is related to parent-report measures of emotion regulation and mood disruptions.To examine this question, high-density electroencephalograph (EEG) was recorded from 20 children (M age = 87.8 months, SD = 18.02; 10 girls) while they viewed unpleasant emotional pictures following either a directed negative or neutral interpretation of the picture.As predicted, the LPP was smaller following neutral versus negative interpretations at posterior recording sites, except for younger girls (aged 5-6). The timing of this effect was later than that reported in studies with adults. For all children, greater modulation of the LPP by neutral interpretations was associated with reduced anxious-depressed symptoms, whereas larger LPPs for both interpretation types were associated with greater mood symptoms and worse parent-reported emotion regulation.Results suggest that the LPP may represent a clinically relevant neural marker for emotion regulation and mood disruptions.
Project description:Emotion regulation (ER) strategies have a clear impact on mental health outcomes. In 2 studies (N = 695, N = 433) we investigated gender differences in the use of 2 ER strategies (reappraisal and suppression) to handle parent-child conflict in Taiwanese adolescents. We also identified the implications of these differences for some negative emotions (self-blame and resentment) and internalizing problems (psychosomatic symptoms and social withdrawal). Results of the correlation analyses in both studies indicated that reappraisal and suppression ER strategies are positively correlated only in male Taiwanese adolescents. Hierarchical regression analyses in the second study confirmed that reappraisal buffers male but not female adolescents against the negative effects of suppression on the arousal of negative affect and internalizing problems.
Project description:Although emotional intensity powerfully challenges regulatory strategies, its influence remains largely unexplored in affective-neuroscience. Accordingly, the present study addressed the moderating role of emotional intensity in two regulatory stages--implementation (during regulation) and pre-implementation (prior to regulation), of two major cognitive regulatory strategies--distraction and reappraisal. According to our framework, because distraction implementation involves early attentional disengagement from emotional information before it gathers force, in high-intensity it should be more effective in the short-term, relative to reappraisal, which modulates emotional processing only at a late semantic meaning phase. Supporting findings showed that in high (but not low) intensity, distraction implementation resulted in stronger modulation of negative experience, reduced neural emotional processing (centro-parietal late positive potential, LPP), with suggestive evidence for less cognitive effort (frontal-LPP), relative to reappraisal. Related pre-implementation findings confirmed that anticipating regulation of high-intensity stimuli resulted in distraction (over reappraisal) preference. In contrast, anticipating regulation of low-intensity stimuli resulted in reappraisal (over distraction) preference, which is most beneficial for long-term adaptation. Furthermore, anticipating cognitively demanding regulation, either in cases of regulating counter to these preferences or via the more effortful strategy of reappraisal, enhanced neural attentional resource allocation (Stimulus Preceding Negativity). Broad implications are discussed.
Project description:Monitoring and deciding how to adjust an active regulatory strategy in order to maximize adaptive outcomes is an integral element of emotion regulation, yet existing evidence remains scarce. Filling this gap, the present study examined core factors that determine behavioral regulatory monitoring decisions and the neuro-affective consequences of these decisions. Using a novel paradigm, the initial implementation of central downregulation strategies (distraction, reappraisal) and the emotional intensity (high, low) were manipulated, prior to making a behavioral decision to maintain the initial implemented strategy or switch from it. Neuro-affective consequences of these behavioral decisions were evaluated using the Late Positive Potential (LPP), an electro-cortical measure of regulatory success. Confirming predictions, initial implementation of reappraisal in high intensity and distraction in low intensity (Strategy × Intensity combinations that were established in prior studies as non-preferred by individuals), resulted in increased behavioral switching frequency. Neurally, we expected and found that in high (but not low) emotional intensity, where distraction was more effective than reappraisal, maintaining distraction (relative to switching to reappraisal) and switching to distraction (relative to maintaining reappraisal) resulted in larger LPP modulation. These findings suggest that monitoring decisions are consistent with previously established regulatory preferences and are associated with adaptive short-term neural consequences.
Project description:Emotional-intensity is a core characteristic of affective events that strongly determines how individuals choose to regulate their emotions. Our conceptual framework suggests that in high emotional-intensity situations, individuals prefer to disengage attention using distraction, which can more effectively block highly potent emotional information, as compared with engagement reappraisal, which is preferred in low emotional-intensity. However, existing supporting evidence remains indirect because prior intensity categorization of emotional stimuli was based on subjective measures that are potentially biased and only represent the endpoint of emotional-intensity processing. Accordingly, this study provides the first direct evidence for the role of online emotional-intensity processing in predicting behavioral regulatory-choices. Utilizing the high temporal resolution of event-related potentials, we evaluated online neural processing of stimuli's emotional-intensity (late positive potential, LPP) prior to regulatory-choices between distraction and reappraisal. Results showed that enhanced neural processing of intensity (enhanced LPP amplitudes) uniquely predicted (above subjective measures of intensity) increased tendency to subsequently choose distraction over reappraisal. Additionally, regulatory-choices led to adaptive consequences, demonstrated in finding that actual implementation of distraction relative to reappraisal-choice resulted in stronger attenuation of LPPs and self-reported arousal.
Project description:Love feelings can be more intense than desired (e.g., after a break-up) or less intense than desired (e.g., in long-term relationships). If only we could control our love feelings! We present the concept of explicit love regulation, which we define as the use of behavioral and cognitive strategies to change the intensity of current feelings of romantic love. We present the first two studies on preconceptions about, strategies for, and the feasibility of love regulation. Questionnaire responses showed that people perceive love feelings as somewhat uncontrollable. Still, in four open questions people reported to use strategies such as cognitive reappraisal, distraction, avoidance, and undertaking (new) activities to cope with break-ups, to maintain long-term relationships, and to regulate love feelings. Instructed up-regulation of love using reappraisal increased subjective feelings of attachment, while love down-regulation decreased subjective feelings of infatuation and attachment. We used the late positive potential (LPP) amplitude as an objective index of regulation success. Instructed love up-regulation enhanced the LPP between 300-400 ms in participants who were involved in a relationship and in participants who had recently experienced a romantic break-up, while love down-regulation reduced the LPP between 700-3000 ms in participants who were involved in a relationship. These findings corroborate the self-reported feasibility of love regulation, although they are complicated by the finding that love up-regulation also reduced the LPP between 700-3000 ms in participants who were involved in a relationship. To conclude, although people have the preconception that love feelings are uncontrollable, we show for the first time that intentional regulation of love feelings using reappraisal, and perhaps other strategies, is feasible. Love regulation will benefit individuals and society because it could enhance positive effects and reduce negative effects of romantic love.
Project description:The present study tested a theoretical model of emotion regulation between parent-offspring dynamics and emerging adults' adjustment. The mediating role of emotion regulation strategies, including cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, were investigated for the effects of mother-offspring and father-offspring dynamics on emerging adults' adjustment. A sample of 352 Chinese emerging adults in Hong Kong (230 female, 121 male) participated in this study. Participants were asked to complete a set of self-reported questionnaires. Findings based on structural equation modeling indicated that greater mother-offspring intimacy and father-offspring intimacy predicted emerging adults' better cognitive reappraisal and psychological, social, and general health. Greater mother-offspring conflict also predicted more expressive suppression and poorer psychological and social functioning. Distinctive mediation pathways as a function of parents' gender were identified. These findings enrich the literature for parent-offspring dynamics and emotion regulation as explanatory processes of emerging adults' adjustment.
Project description:Although impaired ability to regulate emotion is commonly reported in schizophrenic patients, the exact pattern of regulation of negative emotions in high-risk individuals remains unclear. In the current study, 26 high-schizotypy individuals paired with 26 controls completed an emotion regulation questionnaire (ERQ) and a laboratory emotion regulation task with electroencephalogram (EEG) recording. Two emotion regulation strategies, namely, reappraisal and expression suppression, were concurrently examined. The late positive potential (LPP) and frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA) were selected as two independent neural indicators of the emotion regulation effect. In the ERQ questionnaire, individuals in the high schizotypy group reported higher habitual use of suppression than the controls. During the emotion regulation task, the high schizotypy group showed no early LPP reduction in reappraisal compared with the control group and exhibited a general negative FAA pattern (left-biased alpha). In conclusion, we found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited maladaptive regulation of negative emotions, manifested in hindered reappraisal and biased suppression; this may exacerbate the negative affect of such emotions and further serve as a risk factor for psychosis conversion. Early interventions targeting the regulation of negative emotions may be beneficial for individuals with high schizotypal traits.
Project description:Both extreme levels of social anhedonia (SocAnh) and perceptual aberration/magical ideation (PerMag) are associated with risk for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders and with emotional abnormalities. Yet, the nature of any psychophysiological-measured affective abnormality, including the role of automatic/controlled processes, is unclear. We examined the late positive potential (LPP) during passive viewing (to assess automatic processing) and during cognitive reappraisal (to assess controlled processing) in three groups: SocAnh, PerMag, and controls. The SocAnh group exhibited an increased LPP when viewing negative images. Further, SocAnh exhibited greater reductions in the LPP for negative images when told to use strategies to alter negative emotion. Similar to SocAnh, PerMag exhibited an increased LPP when viewing negative images. However, PerMag also exhibited an increased LPP when viewing positive images as well as an atypical decreased LPP when increasing positive emotion. Overall, these results suggest that at-risk groups are associated with shared and unique automatic and controlled abnormalities.