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Thirty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Research in Psychopathology

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74. Symptom level predictors of neurophysiological indices of emotional reactivity and regulation in clinically depressed adolescents

Depression is a heterogeneous disorder associated with decreased emotion regulation (ER). The late positive potential (LPP) derived from the electroencephalogram (EEG) is a reliable neurophysiological indicator of reactivity to emotional stimuli that is modifiable by reappraisal. Parsing symptom level predictors of reactivity and regulation could elucidate this heterogeneity. Adolescents (N=38) diagnosed with depression based on a clinical interview reacted to or reappraised dysphoric images while EEG was recorded. Self-reports of symptoms and ER were obtained through the Mood and Feelings questionnaire (MFQ) and Emotion Regulation questionnaire (ERQ). Data from the MFQ were reduced through factor analysis. While some symptoms were associated with a blunted LPP to dysphoric stimuli, others corresponded to heightened reactivity (ps<.05). Anhedonic symptoms inhibited LPP modulation by reappraisal (ps<.05). Associations for all MFQ factors were consistent with the interview-based symptoms, except mood symptoms. LPP amplitude was reduced among those reporting greater use of emotional suppression (p<.05), but not reappraisal. Symptom level analyses reveal heterogeneous associations between depression and reactivity to dysphoric stimuli, providing insight into inconsistent findings of hyper- and hypo-reactivity to negative emotions. The lack of correspondence between self-reported ER and neurophysiological indices suggest the LPP may objectively index reappraisal, highlighting the need for multi-method research.

Lindsay Dickey
Vanderbilt University

Autumn Kujawa
Vanderbilt University


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