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Neural correlates of cognitive reappraisal of positive and negative affect in older adults.

Authors
  • Halfmann, Kameko1
  • Hedgcock, William2
  • Denburg, Natalie L3
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Platteville, WI, USA.
  • 2 Department of Marketing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
  • 3 Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Aging & Mental Health
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
25
Issue
1
Pages
126–133
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1693970
PMID: 31769305
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Compromised regulation of negative and positive emotions is a common feature of psychopathology. Healthy aging relates to changes in affective processing, but older adults' regulation of positive affect is less well understood than regulation of negative affect. We examined the cognitive reappraisal of positive and negative affect in healthy younger and older adults, and the neural correlates of reappraisal among older adults. Participants viewed negative, positive, and neutral IAPS images and were instructed to attend or reappraise their affective response. Younger and older adults (N = 31) in the behavioral pilot were asked to report on their affect after each image. Another group of older adults (N = 19) completed the same task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. Behaviorally, older adults were less effective than young adults at downregulating negative and positive affect. Older adults showed engagement of cognitive control regions when regulating negative affect, but not positive affect. Older adults showed increased, rather than decreased, activation in emotion appraisal regions when reappraising negative affect. These results may suggest that older adults are less engaged with negative stimuli ; however, future work is needed to address several limitations such as a limited sample size. In addition, we recommend future researchers expand on this work examining regulation of both positive and negative affect among older adults.

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