Examining the Temporal Dynamics of Emotion Regulation via Cognitive Reappraisal

Bryan Thomas Denny
2017
Regulating emotions effectively is an indispensable human task, essential for maintaining proper health and well-being. While the investigation of emotions and strategies for regulating them has been a timeless and irresistible activity, pursued by artists and philosophers throughout human history, recent decades have given rise to the controlled examination of emotion and emotion regulation by psychologists in the laboratory. While substantial progress has been made in describing,
more » ... ibing, categorizing, and understanding the effectiveness of multiple strategies to regulate emotion in the laboratory, and while several long-term cognitive treatment modalities incorporating numerous regulation strategies are in practice in clinical psychology, there has been substantially less basic investigation into two overarching questions that form the basis of this dissertation: (1) how we can effectively prepare to regulate emotion using specific strategies? and (2) how can emotion regulation efficacy using particular strategies can change over time through repeated training? In this dissertation, I will focus on one promising type of cognitive change-based emotion regulation strategy, that of cognitive reappraisal. Cognitive reappraisal refers to reevaluating the meaning of an affective stimulus in a way that alters its emotional impact. In a series of four studies, I will address the two above questions using a combination of dependent measures, including questionnaire and task-based self-reported behavior, psychophysiology, and functional neuroimaging. In Study 1, I will provide evidence for the neural mechanisms that are conducive to reappraisal success and failure (measured via behavioral self-report) during anticipation of emotion regulation using whole-brain mediation and pattern expression analyses. Anticipatory activity in an area of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) commonly associated with stimulus-independent mind-wandering was associated with poorer regulation outcomes, while anticipatory anterior insula activity i [...]
doi:10.7916/d8qf8qxv fatcat:tyoutmvp2fellmitkydb6kpf5u