Intentional modulation of emotional responding to unpleasant pictures: An ERP study


Jason S. Moser, Greg Hajcak, Emily Bukay & Robert F. Simons


Department of Psychology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA


Intentionally altering responses to unpleasant stimuli affects physiological and hemodynamic activity associated with emotional and cognitive processing. In the present experiment, we measured the late-positive potential (LPP) of the visually evoked event-related brain potential to examine the effects of intentional emotion modulation on electrophysiological correlates of emotional and cognitive processing. Seventeen participants received instructions to view, suppress, and enhance emotional responses to unpleasant stimuli. Results revealed significantly decreased electrophysiological activity during suppression of emotional responses beginning around 250 ms poststimulus and lasting several hundred milliseconds. These data suggest that ERPs are sensitive to emotion modulation/regulation processes.


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