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Title page for ETD etd-11102016-153819


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kim, Joseph Un
URN etd-11102016-153819
Title Ventral Prefrontal Cortex and Emotion Regulation
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David H. Zald Committee Chair
Bunmi Olatunji Committee Member
Jennifer Blackford Committee Member
Scott Wylie Committee Member
Keywords
  • experience sampling
  • TMS
  • lesion study
  • orbitofrontal cortex
  • emotion regulation
Date of Defense 2016-08-31
Availability restricted
Abstract
Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested ventral prefrontal cortex (PFC) involvement in emotion regulation. However, critical evidence demonstrating the ventral PFC’s direct influence on emotion regulation is still lacking. Furthermore, it is unclear whether this hypothesized role of the ventral PFC in emotion regulation generalizes to situations that require uninstructed and spontaneous engagement of regulation. These critical gaps in our knowledge were addressed by utilizing, i) low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of healthy individuals performing instructed emotion regulation, and ii) experience-sampling of emotion regulation in a sample of patients with ventral PFC lesions. Study results indicated that experimental disruption of cortical activity of healthy individual’s ventrolateral PFC resulted in a laterality-specific modulation of regulation effectiveness for negative affect. Specifically, left-sided disruption resulted in inhibition whereas right-sided disruption resulted in enhancement of reappraisal effectiveness. Supportive evidence from skin conductance responses reflecting physiological arousal during emotion regulation further corroborated these results. Results from the experience sampling study demonstrated that individuals with damage to the ventral PFC region experience intensity of subjective emotional experience and emotional fluctuation that are different from normative patterns of affect regulation observed in healthy controls. Results from these two studies enrich our understanding of frontal lobe involvement in emotion regulation. More broadly, they can contribute to identifying novel treatment targets for clinical conditions affected by mood dysregulation, such as depression, bipolar disorders, and anxiety disorders.
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