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Emotion Regulation

Lecture 13
Prof. Storbeck

Emotion
Multi-faceted, whole-body responses
that involve coordinated changes in
domains of
Subjective experience
Behavior
Peripheral physiology

Arise when evaluates a situation that


is relevant to a persons goals

Emotion
A chronological sequence of events involving:
Real or imaginary situation
Attention to and evaluation of situation (appraisal)
by the individual
Emotional response

Emotion-generative process cycles rapidly


through these situation-evaluation-responses
steps, and each stage powerfully shapes
subsequent cycles of the emotion-generative
process.

Emotion Regulation
Individuals deliberate or automatic
attempts to influence which emotions they
have, when they have them, and how
these emotions are experienced or
expressed.
Emotion regulation involves changes to
one or more aspects of the emotion,
including the elicit situation, attention,
appraisals, subjective experience,
behavior, or physiology.

Emotion Regulation
Emotional response that is
diminished or augmented either in
amplitude or duration.

Regulation Strategies
Antecedent-Focus
Strategies to change the meaning of the
situation before the emotional response

Response-Focus
Change emotional response once the
response has already been elicited

Strategies
Cognitive Reappraisal
Form of cognitive change that involves
construing a potentially emotioneliciting situation in a way that changes
its emotional impact
Decreases emotional experience and
expressive behavior
Little negative impact on cognitive,
physiological or interpersonal costs.

Strategies
Expressive Suppression
A form of response modulation that
involves inhibiting ongoing emotionexpressive behavior
Down-regulates expressive behavior but
fails to provide subjective relief
(negative emotions)
Leads to physiological and cognitive
costs
Increased sympathetic activation of
cardiovascular system, worse memory,

Systems
Bottom-up affective appraisal system
Bottom-up perceptual appraisal
system
Top-down description-based appraisal
systems
Top-down outcome-based appraisal
systems

Bottom-up Affective Appraisal


System
Amygdala, Basal Ganglia
Ventral portions of the striatum
Insula

Bottom-up Perceptual Appraisal


System
Parietal, Occipital, and Temporal
lobes

Top-down Description-based
Appraisal Systems
Dorsal PFC and ACC
Re-represent non-specific feeling states in
a symbolic format that often is verbalizable
Controlled generation of emotion via
expectation, and the controlled regulation
of emotion via reappraisal and placebo
recruit this system
Few reciprocal connections with bottom-up
appraisal systems

Top-down Outcome-based Appraisal


Systems
Orbital and Ventral PFC
ACC
Representing associations between
emotional outcomes and the choices
or percepts that predict their
occurrence
Classical conditioning, instrumental
learning
Controlled regulation of emotion by
extinction or stimulus-reinforcer

Neuropsychology Motivation
Damage to OFC
Lack of knowledge of social rewards
Impaired filtering of emotion information
Failure to maximize positive emotion
Impaired reversal learning
Failure to accomplish goals
Impaired response to anticipated startle

Neuropsychology Manipulating
magnitude of response
Damage to OFC
Increased anxiety, aggression
Depression, less happiness
Lack of embarrassment

Damage to ACC
Change in subjective emotional experience

Damage to Amygdala
Increased rage, aggression, temper

Damage to dlPFC
Depression, less happiness
Blunted affect

Damage to vmPFC
impulsiveness

Regulation of Emotion- Physiological


Response
Regulation involves changes to
physiological responses to a
situation.
These responses may include heart
rate, skin conductivity, startle
eyeblink, etc.

Emotion Regulation- Physiological


Response
Participants told to suppress,
enhance or maintain emotional
response to negative pictures.
Auditory sound presented to elicit
startle eyeblink response
Measured startle eyeblink and
corrugator
Jackson et al 2000

Prefrontal-Amygdala
Network
The simplest regulation pathway is
between the prefrontal cortex and
the amygdala.
PFC regulates activation of the
amygdala in emotional situations.

Monkeys
Cooing behavior and PrefrontalAmygdala connection

Fox et al 2005

Prefrontal-Amygdala
Network

Ochsner et al
2004

Urry et al 2006

Time course for Regulation?

Hajcak &
Nieuwenhuis
2006

Attend Condition

Attend - Reappraisal

Induced Reappraisal
Does emotion regulation work by
decreasing emotional reactions or by
directing attention to cognitive
processes?
Story line told concurrently with
picture.
Story line negative or neutral.
This main has just lost his wife to
cancer.
This mans wife was ill but is
fully recovering.
Foti & Hajack
2008

Induced Reappraisal

Gender Differences

McRae et al 2008

Greater decrease
in amygdala for

Development
Stronger bottom-up appraisal
systems
Greater amygdala response to
threatening stimuli (2 yr olds)
Schwartz et al., 2003
PFC develops rapidly from 8-12, and
continues until late 20s.
Cognitive control tracks with
developmental change in PFC.
Super olds have more positive

Children
Can children regulate their
responses?
Children were shown negative or
neutral pictures.
A story line was played
simultaneously, child determined if
story line matched picture
Story line was either negative or
neutral
Found a greater LPP when negative

Dennis & Hajack, 2009

Social Regulation
Can emotion regulation be
contracted out to a partner, or a
stranger?

Depression

Drevets 2001

Disorders
Ventral medial PFC interacts with
amygdala to inhibit amygdala.
vmPFC related to anxiety and mood
disorders.
Anterior cingulate cortex related to
PTSD
Study examined individuals from
Vietnam War with PTSD and had
them recall personal trauma.

Shin et al 2004