Effects of individual differences on emotional perception and affective associative learning
Emotional as compared to neutral events receive prioritized attention and show preferential sensory processing (Vuilleumier, 2005). Differential processing has consistently been found during mid-latency and late processing stages, indicated by modulation of certain event-related potentials, such as the EPN and the LPP (e.g., Junghöfer et al., 2001). However, recent findings indicate that enhanced sensory responses to emotional stimuli may be present at much earlier processing stages. Indeed, significant emotional modulation in response to olfactorily conditioned and shock-conditioned faces was found between 60 and 80 ms in the absence of contingency awareness (Steinberg et al., 2010; Rehbein et al., 2010). Moreover, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) seems to play an important role in early differential processing of emotional events.
The project at hand aims at further investigating early correlates of emotional processing using both visual and auditory stimuli. The main focus will lie on the mechanisms with which individual differences, such as gender, anxiety sensitivity, and social group membership influence early emotional perception and differential PFC activation. This research is founded by the German National Merit Foundation.
PD Dr. M. Junghöfer
Prof. Dr. P. Zwitserlood
Prof. Margaret Bradley, Ph.D.
Rehbein MA, Wessing I, Zwitserlood P, Steinberg C, Eden AS, Dobel C, Junghöfer M (2015) Rapid prefrontal cortex activation towards aversively paired faces and enhanced contingency detection are observed in highly trait-anxious women under challenging conditions. Front Behav Neurosci 9:155. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00155.
Pastor MC*, Rehbein MA*, Junghöfer M, Poy R, López R, Moltó J (2015) Facing challenges in differential classical conditioning research: benefits of a hybrid design for simultaneous electrodermal and electroencephalographic recording. Front Hum Neurosci 9:336. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00336.
Rehbein MA, Steinberg C, Wessing I, Pastor MC, Zwitserlood P, Keuper K, Junghöfer M (2014) Rapid plasticity in the prefrontal cortex during affective associative learning. PLoS One 9:e110720. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110720.
Burgmer M*, Rehbein MA*, Wrenger M, Kandil J, Heuft G, Steinberg C, Pfleiderer B, Junghöfer M (2013) Early affective processing in patients with acute posttraumatic stress disorder: magnetoencephalographic correlates. PLoS One 8:e71289. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071289.
Steinberg, C., Bröckelmann, A.K., Rehbein, M., & Junghöfer, M. (2011, invited) Rapid and highly resolving associative affective learning: convergent magnetoencephalographic evidence from vision and audition, Biological Psychology, Special Issue: “Emotional Attention”
Rehbein, M., Steinberg, C., Dobel, C., Zwitserlood, P., & Junghöfer, M. (2010)
Magnetoencephalographic Correlates of Multiple, Shock-Conditioned Faces.
Psychophysiology, 47, 25 [poster abstract]
|2004–2010||Studies in Psychology, University of Münster, Germany|
|2006–2007||Studies in Psychology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain|
|Feb 2011||Beginning of PhD research project at the Institute of Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University Hospital Münster|