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See detailDo not respond! Doing the think/no-think and go/no-go task concurrently leads to memory impairment of unpleasant items during later recall
Herbert, Cornelia; Sütterlin, Stefan UL

in Frontiers in Psychology (2012), 3(269), 1-6

Previous research using neuroimaging methods proposed a link between mechanisms controlling motor response inhibition and suppression of unwanted memories.The present study investigated this hypothesis ... [more ▼]

Previous research using neuroimaging methods proposed a link between mechanisms controlling motor response inhibition and suppression of unwanted memories.The present study investigated this hypothesis behaviorally by combining the think/no-think paradigm (TNT) with a go/no-go motor inhibition task. Participants first learned unpleasant cue-target pairs. Cue words were then presented as go or no-go items in the TNT. Participants’ task was to respond to the cues and think of the target word aloud or to inhibit their response to the cue and the target word from coming to mind. Cued recall assessed immediately after the TNT revealed reduced recall performance for no-go targets compared to go targets or baseline cues not presented in the TNT. The results demonstrate that doing the no-think and no-go task concurrently leads to memory suppression of unpleasant items during later recall. Results are discussed in line with recent empirical research and theoretical positions. [less ▲]

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See detailCardiac threat appraisal and depression after first myocardial infarction
Vögele, Claus UL; Christ, Oliver; Spaderna, Heike

in Frontiers in Psychology (2012), 3:365

The present study investigated cardiac threat appraisal and its association with depression after first myocardial infarction (MI). A semi-structured interview allowing for DSM-IV-Axis I diagnoses was ... [more ▼]

The present study investigated cardiac threat appraisal and its association with depression after first myocardial infarction (MI). A semi-structured interview allowing for DSM-IV-Axis I diagnoses was administered to 36 patients after first MI. Patients completed self-reports 5 to 15 days after the MI (time 1), 6 to 8 weeks later (time 2) and again 6 months later (time 3). Assessments at time 1 included indices of cardiac threat appraisal, locus of control, coping, and depression while at time 2 and time 3 only measures of depression were obtained. Cardiac threat appraisal was significantly correlated with depression at time 1, but was unrelated to depression scores at time 2 and time 3. Furthermore, there was a significant inverse association between cardiac threat appraisal and the subscales “search for affiliation” and "threat minimization" of the coping questionnaire. Additionally, “search for affiliation” correlated negatively with depression scores at time 1 and time 3, and "threat minimization" negatively with depression scores at time 1 and time 2. These results suggest a significant association between cardiac threat appraisal and depressive symptoms shortly after MI. Practical implications for treatment are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailLocal discriminability determines the strength of holistic processing for faces in the fusiform face area.
Goffaux, Valerie; Schiltz, Christine UL; Mur, Marieke et al

in Frontiers in psychology (2012), 3

Recent evidence suggests that the Fusiform Face Area (FFA) is not exclusively dedicated to the interactive processing of face features, but also contains neurons sensitive to local features. This suggests ... [more ▼]

Recent evidence suggests that the Fusiform Face Area (FFA) is not exclusively dedicated to the interactive processing of face features, but also contains neurons sensitive to local features. This suggests the existence of both interactive and local processing modes, consistent with recent behavioral findings that the strength of interactive feature processing (IFP) engages most strongly when similar features need to be disambiguated. Here we address whether the engagement of the FFA into interactive versus featural representational modes is governed by local feature discriminability. We scanned human participants while they matched target features within face pairs, independently of the context of distracter features. IFP was operationalized as the failure to match the target without being distracted by distracter features. Picture-plane inversion was used to disrupt IFP while preserving input properties. We found that FFA activation was comparably strong, irrespective of whether similar target features were embedded in dissimilar contexts(i.e., inducing robust IFP) or dissimilar target features were embedded in the same context (i.e., engaging local processing). Second, inversion decreased FFA activation to faces most robustly when similar target features were embedded in dissimilar contexts, indicating that FFA engages into IFP mainly when features cannot be disambiguated at a local level. Third, by means of Spearman rank correlation tests, we show that the local processing of feature differences in the FFA is supported to a large extent by the Occipital Face Area, the Lateral Occipital Complex, and early visual cortex, suggesting that these regions encode the local aspects of face information. The present findings confirm the co-existence of holistic and featural representations in the FFA. Furthermore, they establish FFA as the main contributor to the featural/holistic representational mode switches determined by local discriminability. [less ▲]

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See detailFinger numeral representations: more than just another symbolic code
Di Luca, Samuel UL; Pesenti, Mauro

in Frontiers in Psychology (2011), 2

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See detail“What am I going to say here?” The experiences of doctors and nurses communicating with patients in a cancer unit.
Cleland, Jennifer A.; McLean, Margaret; Worrell, Marcia et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2011), 2

This paper describes a study investigating the provider-patient communication perceptions, experiences, needs and strategies of doctors and nurses working together in a UK cancer setting. This was a ... [more ▼]

This paper describes a study investigating the provider-patient communication perceptions, experiences, needs and strategies of doctors and nurses working together in a UK cancer setting. This was a qualitative study using individual interviews and 32 focus group discussions. Interpretative Phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to underpin data collection and analysis. Twenty-six staff participated in the project (18 nurses and 8 doctors). Both professional groups identified an inherent emotional strain in their daily interactions with patients. The strategies they adopted to reduce this strain fell into two main categories: 1) Handling or managing the patient to keep negative emotion at bay; and 2) Managing self to keep negative emotion at bay. These strategies allowed staff to maintain a sense of control in an emotionally-stressful environment. Most believed that their communication skills were sufficient. In conclusion, communicating with and caring for cancer patients causes considerable psycho-social burden for doctors and nurses. Managing this burden influences their communication with patients. Without recognition of the need for staff to protect their own emotional well-being, communication skills training programmes, emphasised in current UK cancer care guidelines, may have little impact on practice. [less ▲]

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See detailOvercoming selfishness: Reciprocity, inhibition, and cardiac autonomic control in the ultimatum game
Sütterlin, Stefan UL; Herbert, Cornelia; Schmitt, Michael et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2011), 2(173), 1-16

The processes underlying decision-making in response to unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG) have recently been discussed in light of models of reciprocity and fairness-related behavior. It has been ... [more ▼]

The processes underlying decision-making in response to unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG) have recently been discussed in light of models of reciprocity and fairness-related behavior. It has been suggested that behavior following norm-oriented, internalized expectations of reciprocity requires overcoming economic self-interest. In this study we investigated both, behavioral and peripheral-physiological indicators of inhibitory capacity related to neuronal networks that are likely to be involved in the behavioral response to unfair offers. Both heart-rate variability as an index of inhibitory capacity, and performance in a motor response inhibition task predicted rejection of unfair offers in an ultimatum game, suggesting an important role of inhibitory processes in overcoming economic temptations and regulating behavior conforming to social norms of reciprocity and fairness. The role of parasympathetic activity as a physiological trait-marker predicting inter-individual differences in the rejection of unfair offers is discussed. [less ▲]

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