Short-term fluctuations in mood have significant effects on a multitude of outcomes. The ability to regulate one's mood therefore has potentially far-reaching implications. The current work addressed three sub-domains in the area of short-term mood regulation. Study 1 tested the hypothesis that recalled memories influence mood in a congruent direction, using experimental assignment to memory recall condition (positive, neutral, negative) and minimizing demand characteristics. Results from the first study confirmed this hypothesis. Study 2 focused on the role of prefrontal brain regions in the experience of and recovery from negative and positive emotions. Contrary to our hypotheses, prefrontal regions did not appear to be necessary for either the experience of or recovery from sadness or happiness. Individuals with damage to dorsal and lateral portions of prefrontal cortex exhibited a greater sadness response than did control participants and individuals with damage to ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Finally, in Study 3 we examined the effect of variability in the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) on neural activations during sad mood and sad mood regulation. We hypothesized that carriers of the short allele would show greater activity in brain areas associated with sad mood and depression, especially amygdala, during the sad mood and during mood regulation. Results demonstrated that the primary amygdala difference was during regulation of the sad mood, with greater activity among carriers of the short allele. Together these results further our understanding of the cognitive, neural, and genetic variables that are associated with short-term mood regulation, and suggest clear directions for future research.
|Advisor:||Farah, Martha J.|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Behavioral genetics, Brain lesion, Cognitive neuroscience, Depression, Emotion, Mood regulation|
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