Poster E19, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
When the Emotional Stroop Task Does Not Produce a Stroop Effect in Adolescents
Diana Rodriguez Moreno1, Yael M. Cycowicz1,2, Lawrence V. Amsel1,2, Zhishun Wang1,2, Xiaofu He1,2, Christina Hoven1,2; 1New York State Psychiatric Institute, 2Columbia University
Emotional Stroop effect and its associated brain circuitry are often used to assess emotion regulation. The Stroop effect (SE), consisting of faster reaction time (RT) to the congruent (C) trials than to the incongruent (I) trials, is thought to originate from the emotional and cognitive competing features of the stimuli. Thus, task performance requires cognitive and emotion regulation mechanisms. Emotion regulation increases during childhood and reaches maturity at the end of adolescence, and therefore SE may show a developmental trajectory. In our fMRI study with adolescents (N=26, mean age 14.8 years), we used emotional facial Stroop task and found that 12 participants did not show the expected behavioral SE. For those who did not show the SE, RTs in the C and I trials did not differ but fell between the RTs of the C and I trials for the group that showed an SE. On fMRI, Adolescents who showed an SE demonstrated higher activity (I vs. C) in regions previously associated to conflict resolution (ACC), while the adolescents who did not show the SE had higher activation in face recognition and emotion processing areas (amygdala, hippocampus, fusiform gyrus, lingual gyrus). Therefore, a large percentage of the sample showed neither the behavioral SE nor brain activities typically associated with SE. Instead, during the I trials, these participants demonstrated brain activity that is more typical of processing emotional facial expressions. These results suggest that the adolescents who did not show behavioral SE used alternative strategy to perform the task.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions