Dokument: Perception and regulation of emotions elicited by chemosensory signals in socially anxious individuals

Titel:Perception and regulation of emotions elicited by chemosensory signals in socially anxious individuals
Weiterer Titel:Wahrnehmung und Regulation chemosensorisch ausgelöster Emotionen bei sozial ängstlichen Personen
URL für Lesezeichen:https://docserv.uni-duesseldorf.de/servlets/DocumentServlet?id=17131
URN (NBN):urn:nbn:de:hbz:061-20110128-082347-5
Kollektion:Dissertationen
Sprache:Englisch
Dokumententyp:Wissenschaftliche Abschlussarbeiten » Dissertation
Medientyp:Text
Autor: Adolph, Dirk [Autor]
Dateien:
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Dateien vom 26.01.2011 / geändert 26.01.2011
Beitragende:Prof. Dr. Pause, Bettina Maxi [Gutachter]
Prof. Dr. Pietrowsky, Reinhard [Gutachter]
Stichwörter:Chemosensory Communication, Emotion, Emotion Regulation, Social Anxiety, Startle Reflex, Skin Conductance Response, Event Related Potentials
Dewey Dezimal-Klassifikation:100 Philosophie und Psychologie » 150 Psychologie
Beschreibung:In five studies it was aimed to explore the relationship between the processing and the voluntary regulation of emotions elicited by chemosensory signals and social anxiety. Therefore, emotional responses to non social (disgust) and social (anxiety, aggression/dominance) emotional chemosensory signals were assessed.
In study I, it was assessed whether socially anxious individuals exhibit a hyperreactivity towards chemosensory anxiety signals as compared to non-anxious individuals. Therefore, 16 non anxious and 16 socially anxious individuals perceived chemosensory anxiety signals, chemosensory sport stimuli, and cotton pad control stimuli while the startle response was elicited. The startle response was larger in the context of the chemosensory anxiety signals than in the context of control stimuli. This modulation was more pronounced in the socially anxious group, and socially anxious participants showed larger startle responses to the chemosensory anxiety stimuli than non-anxious individuals.
Within study II, and III, the specificity of this hyperreactivity in socially anxious individuals towards social emotional stimuli was investigated. Furthermore, emotion regulation was assessed. Within both studies, 20 socially anxious individuals and 20 non anxious individuals regulated their emotions in response to fearful facial expressions presented in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals (study II) or to disgusting pictures and odors (study III) while the startle reflex was assessed. Results demonstrate that participants described themselves to feel less negative, and less aroused, while down regulating their emotions as compared to the instruction to enhance their emotions in both studies. In study II, anxious participants showed larger startle responses towards faces in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals than non anxious participants, but both groups showed effective emotion regulation. In study III, disgusting odors elicited larger startle responses than pictures and emotion regulation towards them was less effective. The results highlight the unique role of chemosensory stimuli in emotion processing, and suggest that the effectiveness of cognitive emotion regulation is limited. Furthermore they demonstrate a specific hyperreactivity in socially anxious individuals towards social chemosensory signals.
Study IV examines early (N1, N170) and late (P3, LPP) event-related potential modulation during the voluntary regulation of emotions elicited by fearful facial expressions in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals. Therefore, 18 socially anxious and 18 non anxious participants used cognitive regulation strategies in response to fearful facial expressions presented either in the context of chemosensory signals (anxiety, sport) or control stimuli (cotton pad). Results demonstrate that the early perceptual processing of target stimuli (N1) is modulated by the instruction to enhance or decrease emotions. Furthermore, anxious, but not non anxious participants showed emotion regulation effects on the late positive potential (LPP) in response to faces presented without a chemosensory context. An enhanced processing of the facial stimuli (N170, LPP) in anxious participants may account for this effect. Overall, the chemosensory context stimuli enhanced early perceptual processing (N1, N170), but diminished late evaluative (P3, LPP) processing of the faces. Correspondingly, no emotion regulation effects on the LPP were found when the faces were presented with contextual chemosensory stimuli. It is assumed that the chemosensory context information has distracted neuronal resources from the elaborative processing of the facial expressions, leading to reduced late ERPs towards the faces, and thus to impaired emotion regulation.
Study V investigated, whether chemosensory signals of aggression/ dominance are also communicated between humans, and whether they elicit physiological changes in the perceiver. Therefore chemosensory stimuli of aggression/ dominance were presented to 18 participants while the skin conductance response (SCR) was measured. Results reveal that the SCR was larger in response to chemosensory signals collected during the aggression/ dominance condition as compared to those collected during the sport control condition. Furthermore, regression analyses showed, that higher scores on trait social anxiety were related to larger SCRs towards the chemosensory signals of competition.
Taken together results highlight the unique role of chemosensory cues in emotion processing. Chemosensory anxiety signals elicited larger withdrawal motivation than control stimuli (study I). Additionally, disgusting odors elicited larger startle responses than disgusting pictures and emotions elicited by them were also less effectively regulated by the participants (study III). Furthermore, when fearful facial expressions were presented in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals, emotion regulation was not effective in terms of late positive potentials (study IV). Concerning social anxiety, the current results demonstrate for the first time a hyperreactivity (more intense early stimulus processing, larger withdrawal related motor behavior) of socially anxious individuals towards social chemosensory signals of anxiety, and fearful facial expression presented in the context of these stimuli, as compared to non anxious individuals (study I, II, IV). This hyperreactivity was specific for social emotional signals and did not manifest in response to non social disgusting odors (study III). Furthermore, it could be shown that also social signals of aggression/ dominance are communicated chemosensorily between humans and that socially anxious individuals are also more sensitive towards these stimuli. These findings parallel research showing a hyperreactivity of socially anxious individuals towards visual social signals of threat. In sum, the current studies extend existing knowledge in the fields of chemosensory communication of emotions, emotion regulation and social anxiety.
Fachbereich / Einrichtung:Mathematisch- Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät » WE Psychologie
Dokument erstellt am:28.01.2011
Dateien geändert am:28.01.2011
Promotionsantrag am:22.11.2010
Datum der Promotion:21.01.2011
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