emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder: behavioral and neural responses to three socio-emotional tasks - sabrina malinda

posted Aug 21, 2015, 1:25 AM by Sabrina Malinda   [ updated Aug 21, 2015, 1:28 AM ]
The purpose of this research was to determine whether or not social anxiety disorder (SAD)  involves deficits in emotional regulation and in cognitive reappraisal. The authors conducted an experiment where they examined reappraisal-related behavioral and neural responses in 27 participants with SAD and 27 healthy controls (HC) during three socio-emotional tasks: (1) looming harsh faces (Faces); (2) videotaped actors delivering social criticism(Criticism); (3) written autobiographical negative self-beliefs(Beliefs) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal. They hypothesized that patients with SAD would be less successful in down regulating negative emotional reactivity when implementing cognitive reappraisal in each of the three tasks compared to HC. The results showed that, behaviorally, patients with SAD had a lesser reappraisal-related reduction in negative emotion in the Beliefs task and neurally, they had a less blood oxygen level during the Faces task and the Criticism task compared to the HC participants. They concluded that there is a dysfunction of cognitive reappraisal in SAD patients, especially when reappraising faces. They believe that temporal dynamics of the BOLD response in regulatory brain regions in patients with SAD are still not well understood and they hope future studies could examine brain activity related to different regulatory processes. 

Ziv, Michal, Philippe R. Goldin, Hooria Jazaieri, Kevin S. Hahn, and James J. Gross. "Emotion Regulation in Social Anxiety Disorder: Behavioral and Neural Responses to Three Socio-emotional Tasks." Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders. BioMed Central Ltd., 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 26 July 2015.