Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)
Doctor of Philosophy, Cornell University (2016)
Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College (2008)
Transcranial magnetic stimulation demonstrates a role for the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in emotion perception.
The lateral prefrontal cortex, a region with both structural and functional connectivity to the amygdala, has been consistently implicated in the downregulation of subcortical-generated emotional responses. Although previous work has demonstrated that the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) is important to emotion processing, no study has interrupted vlPFC function in order to test is role in emotion perception. In the current study, we acutely disrupted vlPFC function in twenty healthy adult participants by administering sham stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), in randomized order, during performance of an emotional perception task. During sham stimulation, participants demonstrated increased perceptual sensitivity for happy faces compared to angry faces. Disruption of the vlPFC eliminated this difference: in this condition, perceptual sensitivity did not differ between happy and angry faces. Reaction times and response bias did not differ between emotions or TMS conditions. This pattern of perceptual bias is consistent with effects observed in a wide range of affective disorders, in which vlPFC dysfunction has also been reported. This study provides insight into a possible mechanism through which the vlPFC may contribute to emotion perception.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112515
View details for PubMedID 31831202
- Cooperative versus competitive influences of emotion and cognition on decision making: A primer for psychiatry research PSYCHIATRY RESEARCH 2019; 273: 493–500
Cooperative versus competitive influences of emotion and cognition on decision making: A primer for psychiatry research.
2019; 273: 493–500
Clinical research across the developmental spectrum increasingly reveals the nuanced ways in which emotion and cognition can work to either support or derail rational (i.e., healthy or goal-consistent) decision making. However, psychological theories offer discrepant views on how these processes interact, and on whether emotion is helpful or harmful to rational decision making. In order to translate theoretical predictions from basic psychology to clinical research, an understanding of theoretical perspectives on emotion and cognition, as informed by experimental psychology, is needed. Here, I review the ways in which dual-process theories have incorporated emotion into the process of decision making, discussing how they account for both positive and negative influences. I first describe seven theoretical perspectives that make explicit assumptions and predictions about the interaction between emotion and cognition: affect as information, the affect heuristic, risk as feelings, hot versus cool cognition, the somatic parker hypothesis, prospect theory, and fuzzy-trace theory. I then discuss the conditions under which each theoretical perspective conceptualizes emotion as beneficial or harmful to decision making, providing examples from research on psychiatric disorders.
View details for PubMedID 30708200
My Body, Your Emotions: Viscerosomatic Modulation of Facial Expression Discrimination.
Interoception reflects the ability to observe one's innermost bodily states. Here, we assessed whether interoceptive accuracy (IA) is related to the empathic ability to discriminate others' emotions. Participants (N = 111) completed a heartbeat tracking task, as well as an emotional go/no-go task with fearful and disgusted faces. Empathic facial mimicry during the go/no-go task was measured using electromyography (EMG) of the Corrugator Supercilii muscle. Higher IA was associated with higher perceptual sensitivity for emotional faces but was unrelated to response bias. Individuals higher in IA had stronger coupling between facial EMG and task performance. IA and facial EMG were associated with Go but not with NoGo trials, consistent with a specific modulation of perceptual sensitivity. These results suggest that tuning into one's own viscerosomatic signals relates to empathic mimicry and perception of others' emotional states.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.107779
View details for PubMedID 31644926
Factors Associated with Supportive Care Service Use Among California Alzheimer's Disease Patients and Their Caregivers.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD
Existing literature on factors associated with supportive care service (SCS) use is limited. A better understanding of these factors could help tailor SCS to the needs of frequent users, as well as facilitate targeted outreach to populations that underutilize available services.To investigate the prevalence of SCS use and to identify factors associated with, and barriers to, service use.California Alzheimer's Disease Center patients with AD (n = 220) participated in the study from 2006-2009. Patients and their caregivers completed assessments to determine SCS use. Cognitive, functional, and behavioral status of the patients were also assessed. A two-part hurdle analysis identified 1) factors associated with any service use and 2) service use frequency among users.Forty percent of participants reported using at least one SCS. Patients with more impaired cognition and activities of daily living and more of the following: total number of medications, comorbid medical conditions, and years of education were more likely to use any SCS (p < 0.05). Factors associated with more frequent SCS use included younger age, more years of education, older age of AD onset, female gender, and having a spouse or relative for a caregiver (p < 0.05). Caregivers frequently indicated insufficient time as a reason for not receiving enough services.Factors associated with any SCS use mostly differed from those associated with SCS frequency, suggesting different characteristics between those who initiate versus those who continue SCS use. Our findings highlight the importance of targeted education on services and identifying barriers to long-term SCS use.
View details for DOI 10.3233/JAD-190438
View details for PubMedID 31743997