Jinxiao is a graduate student in the Psychology Department. His research interest generally lies in how the "emotion system" and the "cognition system" interplay with each other. Specifically, he is interested in how cognitive control can modulate emotion processes as well as how emotion can affect cognitive processes. He is also interested in how the emotion-cognition interaction relates to psychological health. He uses neuroimaging, physiological, eye-tracking, and behavioral methods to investigate these research questions. In his recent work, he studies how sleep influences emotion regulation and other emotional processes. He is a big fan of interdisciplinary research (psychological, biochemical, and computational) and open science practice.

All Publications

  • The Role of Emotion Regulation, Affect, and Sleep in Individuals With Sleep Bruxism and Those Without: Protocol for a Remote Longitudinal Observational Study. JMIR research protocols Kreibig, S. D., Ten Brink, M., Mehta, A., Talmon, A., Zhang, J. X., Brown, A. S., Lucas-Griffin, S. S., Axelrod, A. K., Manber, R., Lavigne, G. J., Gross, J. J. 2023; 12: e41719


    Sleep bruxism (SB) is an oral behavior characterized by high levels of repetitive jaw muscle activity during sleep, leading to teeth grinding and clenching, and may develop into a disorder. Despite its prevalence and negative outcomes on oral health and quality of life, there is currently no cure for SB. The etiology of SB remains poorly understood, but recent research suggests a potential role of negative emotions and maladaptive emotion regulation (ER).This study's primary aim investigates whether ER is impaired in individuals with SB, while controlling for affective and sleep disturbances. The secondary aim tests for the presence of cross-sectional and longitudinal mediation pathways in the bidirectional relationships among SB, ER, affect, and sleep.The study used a nonrandomized repeated-measures observational design and was conducted remotely. Participants aged 18-49 years underwent a 14-day ambulatory assessment. Data collection was carried out using electronic platforms. We assessed trait and state SB and ER alongside affect and sleep variables. We measured SB using self-reported trait questionnaires, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) for real-time reports of SB behavior, and portable electromyography for multinight assessment of rhythmic masticatory muscle activity. We assessed ER through self-reported trait questionnaires, EMA for real-time reports of ER strategies, and heart rate variability derived from an electrocardiography wireless physiological sensor as an objective physiological measure. Participants' trait affect and real-time emotional experiences were obtained using self-reported trait questionnaires and EMA. Sleep patterns and quality were evaluated using self-reported trait questionnaires and sleep diaries, as well as actigraphy as a physiological measure. For the primary objective, analyses will test for maladaptive ER in terms of strategy use frequency and effectiveness as a function of SB using targeted contrasts in the general linear model. Control analyses will be conducted to examine the persistence of the SB-ER relationship after adjusting for affective and sleep measures, as well as demographic variables. For the secondary objective, cross-sectional and longitudinal mediation analyses will test various competing models of directional effects among self-reported and physiological measures of SB, ER, affect, and sleep.This research received funding in April 2017. Data collection took place from August 2020 to March 2022. In all, 237 participants were eligible and completed the study. Data analysis has not yet started.We hope that the effort to thoroughly measure SB and ER using gold standard methods and cutting-edge technology will advance the knowledge of SB. The findings of this study may contribute to a better understanding of the relationship among SB, ER, affect, and sleep disturbances. By identifying the role of ER in SB, the results may pave the way for the development of targeted interventions for SB management to alleviate the pain and distress of those affected.DERR1-10.2196/41719.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/41719

    View details for PubMedID 37616042

  • Daytime affect and sleep EEG activity: A data-driven exploration. Journal of sleep research Zhang, J. X., Ten Brink, M., Yan, Y., Goldstein-Piekarski, A., Krause, A. J., Manber, R., Kreibig, S., Gross, J. J. 2023: e13916


    It has long been thought that links between affect and sleep are bidirectional. However, few studies have directly assessed the relationships between: (1) pre-sleep affect and sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) activity; and (2) sleep EEG activity and post-sleep affect. This study aims to systematically explore the correlations between pre-/post-sleep affect and EEG activity during sleep. In a community sample of adults (n = 51), we measured participants' positive and negative affect in the evening before sleep and in the next morning after sleep. Participants slept at their residence for 1 night of EEG recording. Using Fourier transforms, the EEG power at each channel was estimated during rapid eye movement sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep for the full range of sleep EEG frequencies. We first present heatmaps of the raw correlations between pre-/post-sleep affect and EEG power during rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement sleep. We then thresholded the raw correlations with a medium effect size |r| ≥ 0.3. Using a cluster-based permutation test, we identified a significant cluster indicating a negative correlation between pre-sleep positive affect and EEG power in the alpha frequency range during rapid eye movement sleep. This result suggests that more positive affect during the daytime may be associated with less fragmented rapid eye movement sleep that night. Overall, our exploratory results lay the foundation for confirmatory research on the relationship between daytime affect and sleep EEG activity.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jsr.13916

    View details for PubMedID 37156757

  • Emotion regulation and choice of bilateral mastectomy for the treatment of unilateral breast cancer. Cancer medicine Zhang, J. X., Kurian, A. W., Jo, B., Nouriani, B., Neri, E., Gross, J. J., Spiegel, D. 2023


    There has been steadily increasing use of bilateral mastectomy (BMX) in the treatment of primary breast cancer (BC). In this study, we utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the influence of emotion regulation on the decision of newly diagnosed BC patients to choose BMX rather than non-BMX treatments.We recruited 123 women with unilateral BC, 61 of whom received BMX and 62 of whom received non-BMX treatments, and 39 healthy controls. While participants were in the fMRI scanner, we showed them BC-related and non-BC-negative images. In one condition, they were instructed to watch the images naturally. In another, they were instructed to regulate their negative emotion. We compared the fMRI signal during these conditions throughout the brain.With non-BC-negative images as the baseline, BC patients showed greater self-reported reactivity and neural reactivity to BC-related images in brain regions associated with self-reflection than did controls. Among the BC patients, the BMX group showed weaker activation in prefrontal emotion regulation brain regions during emotion regulation than did the non-BMX group.BC patients are understandably emotionally hyper-reactive to BC-related stimuli and those who ultimately received BMX experience more difficulty in regulating BC-related negative emotion than non-BMX BC patients. These findings offer neuropsychological evidence that difficulty in managing anxiety related to the possibility of cancer recurrence is a factor in surgical treatment decision-making and may be an intervention target with the goal of strengthening the management of cancer-related anxiety by nonsurgical means.NCT03050463.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cam4.5963

    View details for PubMedID 37083300

  • Pre-sleep affect predicts subsequent REM frontal theta in nonlinear fashion. Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience Ten Brink, M., Yan, Y., Zhang, J., Goldstein-Piekarski, A., Krause, A., Kreibig, S., Manber, R., Gross, J. 2023


    Pre-sleep affect is thought to influence sleep, but associations with both sleep architecture and the electroencephalographic (EEG) power spectrum are mixed. In this pre-registered study, we assessed negative valence and arousal 1h pre-sleep in 52 adults drawn from the community, then recorded one night of polysomnography (PSG) in participants' own homes. Pre-sleep affect was not associated with nonrapid eye movement (NREM) or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep architecture parameters, but we did observe inverted U-shaped relationships between both negative valence and arousal and REM frontal theta power, such that theta power was highest at moderate negative valence and arousal, and lowest at either affective extreme. When entered into a model together, both valence and arousal accounted for independent variance. Secondary analyses revealed a similar quadratic association with pre-sleep positive valence, suggesting a nonspecific effect of pre-sleep valence on REM frontal theta. Robustness checks confirmed that effects were not explained by homeostatic sleep pressure or sleep timing. Our results suggest that mixed findings in the literaturemay reflect different ends of a quadratic function, underscoring the importance of assessing how different components of pre-sleep affect relate to sleep.

    View details for DOI 10.3758/s13415-022-01051-7

    View details for PubMedID 36702991

  • Negative dream affect is associated with next-day affect level, but not with affect reactivity or affect regulation. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience Sikka, P., Engelbrektsson, H., Zhang, J., Gross, J. J. 2022; 16: 981289


    There is increasing evidence that sleep plays an important role in affective processing. However, it is unclear whether dreaming-the subjective experiences we have during sleep-also serves an affect regulation function. Here, we investigated the within-person relationship between negative affect experienced in dreams and next-day waking affect level, affect reactivity, and affect regulation. For 5 days, 40 participants reported their dreams and rated their dream affect and post-sleep waking affect level upon morning awakening. Thereafter, they performed an affect reactivity and regulation task which involved viewing neutral and negative pictures with the instruction either to simply view the pictures or to down-regulate the affect evoked by these pictures. Multilevel regression analyses showed that the more negative affect people experienced in their dreams at night, the more negative affect and the less positive affect they reported the next morning. However, negative dream affect was associated neither with affect reactivity to the pictures nor with the ability to down-regulate negative affect in response to these pictures. In fact, Bayesian analyses favored the null hypotheses. These findings fail to provide support for the affect regulation function of dreaming and, instead, speak for affective continuity between dreaming and post-sleep wakefulness.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fnbeh.2022.981289

    View details for PubMedID 36338877

  • Frontoparietal and Default Mode Network Contributions to Self-Referential Processing in Social Anxiety Disorder. Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience Dixon, M. L., Moodie, C. A., Goldin, P. R., Farb, N., Heimberg, R. G., Zhang, J., Gross, J. J. 2021


    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by negative self-referential processing, which triggers excessive emotional reactivity. In healthy individuals, positive self-views typically predominate and are supported by regions of the default mode network (DMN) that represent self-related information and regions of the frontoparietal control network (FPCN) that contribute to metacognitive awareness and emotion regulation. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine patterns of DMN and FPCN activation during positive and negative self-referential judgments in SAD patients (N = 97) and controls (N = 34). As expected, SAD patients demonstrated a striking difference in self-beliefs compared with non-anxious healthy controls, endorsing fewer positive traits and more negative traits. However, SAD patients and controls demonstrated largely similar patterns of DMN and FPCN recruitment during self-referential judgements. No significant group differences were observed. However, equivalence testing identified numerous regions demonstrating effect sizes that were not small enough to conclude that they were practically equivalent to zero, despite the nonsignificant null hypothesis test. These regions may be key targets to investigate in future studies using larger samples.

    View details for DOI 10.3758/s13415-021-00933-6

    View details for PubMedID 34341966

  • Individual Differences in Perceived Sleep Quality Do Not Predict Negative Affect Reactivity or Regulation. Biological psychology Zhang, J., Ten Brink, M., Kreibig, S. D., Gilam, G., Goldin, P. R., Manber, R., Mackey, S., Gross, J. J. 2021: 108149


    Do people who have low-quality sleep tend to have more negative affect? This question is of great public interest, and many would assume the answer is "yes." However, previous findings have been mixed, possibly due to differing measures of sleep and affect, or to a failure to separately examine negative affect reactivity and regulation. Across two studies, we assessed adults' perceived sleep quality for at least two weeks and tested their negative affect reactivity and regulation in response to unpleasant pictures (Study 1) or painful thermal stimulation (Study 2) using both self-report and physiological measures. The relationships between perceived sleep quality, on the one hand, and negative affect reactivity and regulation, on the other, were non-significant. Furthermore, a Bayesian approach unanimously favored the null hypothesis. These results suggest that individual differences in perceived sleep quality may not predict negative affect reactivity or regulation across adult individuals.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2021.108149

    View details for PubMedID 34284070

  • Sleep Deprivation Undermines the Link Between Identity and Intergroup Bias. Sleep Zhang, J., Yang, Y., Hong, Y. 2019


    This research seeks to bridge two findings - on the one hand, top-down controlled processes inhibit display of intergroup bias; on the other one hand, sleep deprivation impairs cognitive control processes. Connecting these two proven statements, begs the question: would sleep deprivation also influence intergroup bias? This intriguing link has hardly been explored in extant literature. To fill this gap, we theorize through the lens of social identity. Previous research has shown that individuals who share a common identity with an outgroup are more motivated to inhibit biases toward the outgroup than do their counterparts who do not endorse such common identity. We predicted that this motivated inhibition would be compromised by sleep deprivation. Across two studies, as predicted, we found that only when an individual has adequate sleep did common ingroup identity attenuate the display of intergroup bias, whereas individuals with short habitual sleep (Study 1) or after one-night sleep deprivation (Study 2) displayed equally high levels of intergroup bias regardless of their high or low levels of common ingroup identity. In the global context of incessant intergroup bias and diminishing sleep time, our findings offer new insights for understanding and handling intergroup bias.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/sleep/zsz213

    View details for PubMedID 31552407

  • Sleep deprivation compromises resting-state emotional regulatory processes: An EEG study JOURNAL OF SLEEP RESEARCH Zhang, J., Lau, E., Hsiao, J. H. 2019; 28 (3)

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jsr.12671

    View details for Web of Science ID 000474808000009

  • Individuals with insomnia misrecognize angry faces as fearful faces while missing the eyes: an eye-tracking study SLEEP Zhang, J., Chan, A. B., Lau, E., Hsiao, J. H. 2019; 42 (2)
  • Using emotion regulation strategies after sleep deprivation: ERP and behavioral findings. Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience Zhang, J. n., Lau, E. Y., Hsiao, J. H. 2018


    Sleep deprivation is suggested to impact emotion regulation, but few studies have directly examined it. This study investigated the influence of sleep deprivation on three commonly used emotion regulation strategies (distraction, reappraisal, suppression) in Gross's (1998) process model of emotion regulation. Young healthy adults were randomly assigned to a sleep deprivation group (SD; n = 26, 13 males, age = 20.0 ± 1.7) or a sleep control group (SC; n = 25, 13 males, age = 20.2 ± 1.7). Following 24-h sleep deprivation or normal nighttime sleep, participants completed an emotion regulation task, in which they naturally viewed or applied a given emotion regulation strategy towards negative pictures, with electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. A reduction in the centroparietal late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes towards negative pictures from the naturally viewing condition to a regulated condition was calculated as an index of regulatory effects. Comparisons between the two groups indicated that sleep deprivation significantly impaired the regulatory effects of distraction and reappraisal on LPP amplitudes. Suppression did not reduce LPP amplitudes in either group. In addition, habitual sleep quality moderated the effect of sleep deprivation on subjective perception of emotional stimuli, such that sleep deprivation only made good sleepers perceive negative pictures as more unpleasant and more arousing, but it had no significant effect on poor sleepers' perception of negative pictures. Altogether, this study provides the first evidence that sleep deprivation may impair the effectiveness of applying adaptive emotion regulation strategies (distraction and reappraisal), creating potentially undesirable consequences to emotional well-being.

    View details for PubMedID 30460483

  • Sleep-related daytime consequences mediated the neuroticism-depression link SLEEP AND BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS Wong, M., Zhang, J., Wing, Y., Lau, E. 2017; 15 (1): 21–30
  • Insomniacs misidentify angry faces as fearful faces because of missing the eyes: an eye-tracking study The 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society Zhang, J., Chan, A., Lau, E., Hsiao, J. 2017