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Neural Correlates of Stress Recovery in a Positive Emotional Context

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abstract
Despite accruing evidence showing that positive emotions facilitate stress recovery, the neural basis for this effect remains unclear. To identify the mechanism underlying the beneficial effects from positive emotions on stress recovery, we compared stress recovery for people reflecting on a stressor while in a positive emotional context with that for people in a neutral context. We first conducted a behavioral pilot (n = 89), then recruited healthy community participants (n = 50) to complete the study in the MRI scanner. In the study, the participants did a stressful anagram task followed by a recovery period when they reflected on the stressor and watched a positive or neutral emotion inducing video. Participants reported in the moment pleasant and unpleasant mood ratings, and thoughts and personality data in retrospect. In addition to examining the between group differences in stress recovery based on the emotional context assignment, we also investigated how changes in positive mood correlated with neural activation changes to the stressor. We found evidence for positive emotions facilitating negative emotion recovery through enhancing cognitive control (decentering thoughts) and providing positive contextual information (positive video thoughts). Positive video thoughts also correlated with stronger vmPFC activation during stress recovery.
subject
change point analysis
neural
positive emotion
stress recovery
vmPFC
contributor
Yang, Xi (author)
Waugh, Christian (committee chair)
Stone, Eric (committee member)
Blumenthal, Terry (committee member)
Zeidan, Fadel (committee member)
date
2017-06-15T08:36:03Z (accessioned)
2019-06-14T08:30:13Z (available)
2017 (issued)
degree
Psychology (discipline)
embargo
2019-06-14 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/82216 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Neural Correlates of Stress Recovery in a Positive Emotional Context
type
Thesis

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