Poster A18, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Neural Correlates of Immediate and Long-term Effects of Emotion Regulation: A fMRI Study of Explicit and Implicit Emotional Suppression
Yuta Katsumi1, Florin Dolcos1, Sanda Dolcos1; 1University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Successful emotion regulation (ER) allows adaptive coping with emotional challenges, which is vital for psychological well-being. Available evidence suggests that ER can modulate both immediate (emotional experience) and long-term (emotional memory) effects of emotion, and that both explicit and implicit forms of ER may be effective. However, most brain imaging studies have focused on immediate effects of ER, and thus the neural mechanisms by which various ER strategies affect the long-term memory for emotional material remain unclear. Following explicit instructions or implicit priming to suppress emotional responses, in the present study participants (N=18) rated the emotional content of negative and neutral pictures (immediate effect), while brain activity was recorded using fMRI. Then, one week later, participants’ memory for the pictures was also tested in a recognition memory task (long-term effect). Behaviorally, the engagement of explicit and implicit ER resulted in reduced emotional ratings and impaired emotional memory. At the neural level, reduced emotional ratings linked to the engagement of explicit and implicit ER were associated with greater response in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC). Also, impaired emotional memory linked to explicit and implicit ER during encoding was associated with diminished response in the amygdala (AMY) and hippocampus (HC). Overall, these findings demonstrate that explicit and implicit emotional suppression is effective in decreasing both the immediate experience and the long-term memory for negative emotional stimuli, and that these effects are linked to modulation of both top-down (dlPFC) and bottom-up (AMY-HC) mechanisms involved in emotion-cognition interactions.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions