Poster D19, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Attenuated P3 and FPS During Social Support in Individuals with Psychopathic Traits
Meghan Pierce1,2, Stephen Benning3; 1Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS), VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, 2Harvard Medical School, 3University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Psychopathy is a personality disorder that can be broken up into two factors: Fearless Dominance (FD) and Impulsive Antisociality (IA). Both factors are associated with maladaptive behaviors that negatively influence personal relationships. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of physical support on the P3 event related potential and the Fear Potentiated Startle (FPS). Participants (n = 124) were presented with letter cues and were instructed that a higher probability of shock was associated with one of two letter colors. Participants were instructed to attend to the color of the letter during a threat focused (TF) condition or instructed to pay attention to the letter case in an alternative focus (AF) condition. During half of the task, the participant’s friend placed his or her hand on the participant’s shoulder. Physical support was associated with an attenuated P3 measured at Fz and FPS regardless of psychopathy factor. Participants also experienced an attenuated FPS during the CS- compared to the CS+ condition. FD was associated with an attenuated FPS during the AF condition but not during the TF condition. Both FD and IA were associated with a larger difference in P3 amplitude between the support and alone conditions. This study provides the first evidence that social support buffers the psychophysiological response to physical stress in individuals higher in FD and IA. Thus the development and incorporation of psychosocial interventions may assist in the rehabilitation of psychopathic individuals.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding