Robert F. Simons1, Jason S. Moser2, Greg Hajcak3 & Jason W. Krompinger1
1University
of Delaware
2Michigan State University
3 Stony Brook University

Snoop Dogg

Introduction
◦ Emotion regulation
◦ Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)

Main Focus
◦ Sensitivity of ERPs to affective content of pictures
◦ Can ERPs be modulated by emotion-regulation instructions?
◦ What are some temporal characteristics of different types of
emotion regulation?
◦ Reappraisal v. Suppression – Does strategy matter?
◦ An emotion-cognition interaction

What to do next?

Introduction
◦ Emotion regulation
 Dysregulation thought to underlie a variety of psychopathologies
 An example of emotion-cognition interaction
 Cognitive control of emotion
 Manipulate (regulate) emotion – How does it impact cognition?
◦ Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)
 Early studies focused on autonomic measures
 Most current work involves fMRI
 ERPs have advantages
 Direct manifestation of neural activity
 Real-time measure
 Sensitive to affective properties of eliciting stimuli

Introduction
◦ Emotion regulation
◦ Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)

Main Focus
◦ Sensitivity of ERPs to affective content of pictures
◦ Can ERPs be modulated by emotion-regulation instructions?
 Does valence matter?
 Do specific instructions matter?
 Does direction of regulation matter?
◦ What are some temporal characteristics of different types of
emotion regulation?

Summary & Plans
Lang et al., 1999
LPP
• Larger for
motivationally
relevant stimuli
LPP
• Reflects
facilitated
attentional/
perceptual
processing
Schupp et al., 2000
LPP
• Larger for
motivationally
relevant stimuli
• Sustained for
picture duration
LPP
Cuthbert et al., 2000
LPP
• Larger for
motivationally
relevant stimuli
• Motivational
differences
sustained past
slide termination
Hajcak & Olvet, 2008

Introduction
◦ Emotion regulation
◦ Event-related brain potentials (ERPs)

Main Focus
◦ Sensitivity of ERPs to affective content of pictures
◦ Can ERPs be modulated by emotion-regulation
instructions?
 Does valence matter?
 Do specific instructions matter?
 Does direction of regulation matter?
◦ What are some temporal characteristics of emotion
regulation?

What to do next?
”The extrinsic or intrinsic processes
responsible for monitoring, evaluating and
modifying emotional reactions, especially
their intensity and temporal features … “
(Thompson, 1994, pp. 27-28)

Attentional Deployment
◦ Overt or covert refocusing

Cognitive reappraisal
◦ Think about the stimulus from different
perspectives
◦ Think about possible outcomes for the stimulus

Behavioral expression regulation
◦ Control facial expressions of emotion

Attentional Deployment
◦ Overt or covert refocusing

Cognitive reappraisal
◦ Think about the stimulus from different
perspectives
◦ Think about possible outcomes for the stimulus

Behavioral expression regulation
◦ Control facial expressions of emotion
Attending
to Affect
• Decisions
• Judge Valence
• Count people
Hajcak, Moser & Simons, 2006
Attending
to Affect
• Attentional Focus
• Cue at Onset
• Cue at 3000 ms
Dunning & Hajcak, 2008
Attending
to Affect
• Attentional Focus
• Tone cues at 3000 ms
• Attend neutral content
• Attend arousing content
Hajcak, Dunning & Foti, 2008

Attentional Deployment
◦ Overt or covert refocussing

Cognitive reappraisal
◦ Think about the stimulus from different
perspectives
◦ Think about possible outcomes for the stimulus

Behavioral expression regulation
◦ Control facial expressions of emotion
Moser, Hajcak, Bukay & Simons, 2006
Block 1
50%
Instruction
to View
Naturally
50%
Blocks 2 & 3
SUPPRESS
ENHANCE
Fix
2000 ms
500 ms
1000 ms
View
Moser et al., 2000
Regulate
View = Enhance > Suppress
Hajcak & Nieuwenhuis, 2006
LPP
• Pictures preceded
by brief description
• Reappraisal
without effort
• Effects present at
30 minute representation
The harmless snake is in a zoo exhibit.
The snake is about to attack.
Foti & Hajcak, 2008
Krompinger, Moser & Simons, 2008
Block 1
50%
Instruction
to View
Naturally
50%
Blocks 2 & 3
SUPPRESS
ENHANCE
Fix
2000 ms
500 ms
1000 ms
View
Pz
Pleasant
Neutral
-4
-2
microvolts
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
-200
0
200
400
600
800
time (ms)
Krompinger et al., 2008
Regulate
Pz
View
Suppress
Enhance
-4
-2
microvolts
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
-200
0
200
400
time (ms)
View = Enhance > Suppress
600
800
Moser, Krompinger, Dietz & Simons, 2009
Block 1
LOOK
DECREASE
Block 2
LOOK
INCREASE
B/F
2000 ms
1000 ms
4000 ms
• Pre-pic effects
•SPN
• Picture effects
•LPP
• Pre-pic effects
•SPN
• Picture effects
•LPP

Look
◦ “I looked at the picture and let my emotions run
naturally.”

Decrease
◦ “I looked at the pictures as if I was detached from the
situation.”

Increase
◦ “I tried to view them as happening to someone I
know.”

Pre-picture (SPN) effects
◦ Decrease associated with increased preparatory
activity
◦ No increase effect

Picture (LPP) effects
◦ Decrease and increase associated with similar time
course; starting at ~400ms
◦ Emotion regulation occurred ~100ms after emotion
effect
◦ Regulation is not a filter


The LPP seems to be a viable measure of
emotion regulation outcome and together with
other ERP components can provide insights
into emotion regulation processes
Timing of emotion regulation quite fast
◦ Regulation seems to follow shortly after emotion effects…
◦ and, can involve preparation prior to stimulus onset
Moser, Krompinger, Dietz & Simons, in preparation
Group 1
LOOK
REAPPRAISE
Group 2
LOOK
SUPPRESS
B/F
2000 ms
1500 ms
6000 ms
Results: LPP
-4
Look
-2
Pz
-4
-2
Reappraise
0
2
2
4
4
6
6
8
8
10
10
12
12
uV
0
14
-200
Look
Suppress
14
800
1800
2800
3800
4800
5800
-200
time (ms)
800
1800
2800
3800
4800
5800
Results: Emotion Intensity
Results: Effort
5
4.5
4
3.5
3
Look
2.5
Regulate
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
Reappraise
Suppress
Moser, Most & Simons, 2010
Block 1
1
11
111
‘LOOK’
‘DECREASE’
2
22
222
Block 2
‘LOOK’
3
33
333
‘INCREASE’
2000 ms
2000 ms
1800 ms
500 ms
Results: Stroop Interference
Dietz, 2009
Low Anxious
High Anxious
Dietz, 2008
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