Poster A26, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Disturbed Emotional Processing in Post-traumatic Stress: Evidence from the Late Positive Potential
Brian Albanese1, Richard Macatee1, Nicholas Allan2, Edward Bernat3, Norman Schmidt1; 1Florida State University, 2Ohio University, 3University of Maryland
Background: Despite a breadth of evidence for disturbed emotional processing in post-traumatic stress (PTS), few studies have investigated associations between PTS symptom clusters and the late positive potential (LPP), a well-validated neural marker of emotional processing. The current study addressed this gap by evaluating the unique associations between the PTS clusters and the LPP during a picture viewing and regulation paradigm. Methods: Trauma-exposed participants (n = 198) completed an emotional picture paradigm during which participants were asked to either passively view (view-unpleasant, view-neutral) or down-regulate (regulate-unpleasant) their emotional reactions during the presentation of unpleasant and neutral images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS). Results: The view-negative LPP was significantly associated with hyperarousal (β = .39, p = .002) and negative cognition (β = -.31, p = .007) but not re-experiencing (p = .11) and avoidance (p = .39). The view-neutral LPP was significantly associated with hyperarousal (β = .31, p = .012) and marginally significantly associated with negative cognition (β = -.20, p = .09) but not re-experiencing (p = .27) or avoidance (p = .54). Lastly, the regulate-unpleasant LPP was negatively associated with re-experiencing (β = -.26, p = .03) and positively associated with hyperarousal (β = .28, p = .03), but not with avoidance (p = .78) or negative cognitions (p = .55). Discussion: These findings indicate that PTS symptom clusters have unique and sometimes opposing influences on processing of emotional information, underscoring the importance of evaluating PTS clusters as distinct, but related, constructs.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions