An investigation of automatic affective processing : behavioral correlates in schizophrenia and neural correlates in healthy adults
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] An important mechanism in emotional functioning is automatic affective processing. In Study 1, people with schizophrenia (n = 48) and a non-psychiatric comparison group (n = 28) completed an affective priming and cognitive priming task. Relative to controls, people with schizophrenia exhibited decreased affective priming but increased cognitive priming. In addition, decreased affective priming was associated with increased anhedonia. In contrast, increased cognitive priming was associated with increased disorganized and negative speech symptoms. Overall, these results suggest that there is an automatic affective processing deficit in schizophrenia, and this deficit is related to anhedonia. In Study 2, the neural correlates of automatic affective priming were investigated. Undergraduate participants (n = 21) completed the affective priming task with 2 different consistency proportions (CP; .80 and .50). For the .50 CP condition, there appeared to be evidence of increased controlled processing. In particular, comparing congruent trials in the .80 and .50 CP conditions, there was less priming-related decreases in inferior frontal and inferior temporal regions and increased activation in the dmPFC emotional conflict region for the .50 CP condition. Overall, these results suggest that automatic affective processing is associated with increased semantic priming and decreased emotional conflict.
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