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49. Neuroticism and emotional carry-over effects as captured by the Late Positive Potential
The late positive potential (LPP) is a neurophysiological component often employed as an objective measure of emotional reactivity. The present study assessed differences in the LPP across repeated blocks of emotional images via block-wise averages and trial-wise slopes, rather than solely conditional averages for each valence category, as is typically done in research examining the LPP. Furthermore, the present study investigated these differences in relation to trait affective style (i.e. neuroticism). Participants (N = 112) completed a passive-viewing task designed to assess carry-over effects from one fixed emotionally valenced block to the next. Traditional analyses and multilevel modeling procedures were employed. Results indicated that the block-wise LPP increased for the second versus first iterations of valenced-matched blocks. Trial-wise variation in the LPP also systematically related to trait affective style. Specifically, neuroticism moderated slopes of reactivity to both pleasant and unpleasant images and produced emotional carry-over effects for those higher in neuroticism. Together, results suggest that the LPP is modulated by block sequence; furthermore, conditional averages may obscure trial-wise dynamics that systematically relate to individual differences in affective style. Neuroticism is a well-established risk factor for depression and other internalizing disorders, and thus f this paradigm and analytical framework could be extended to clinical populations in future studies to better understand emotional reactivity in psychopathology.