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Emotion and attention in the psychopath : an investigation of affective response and facilitated attention using event related potentials.

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dc.contributor.advisor Stanford, Matthew S.
dc.contributor.author Anderson, Nathaniel Erik.
dc.date.copyright 2011-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2104/8254
dc.description.abstract A prominent concern in psychopathy research is a deficit in processing emotionally relevant information, which may occur in the very early neural processing stages of stimulus evaluation. While contemporary functional imaging techniques like fMRI have unparalleled spatial resolution, their poor temporal resolution makes them inadequate for measuring the time-course of very early stages of information processing. Conversely, electrocortical measures, particularly event related potentials (ERPs), are capable of determining the time-course of such processing on the order of milliseconds. The goal of this investigation was to establish the existence of differences between psychopaths and controls in their integration of emotional information in the very early stages of information processing as indexed by ERP waveform differences, and determine whether manipulations of attentional focus are capable of modulating these differences. In a series of presentations of emotionally evocative pictures and words, psychopaths and controls indeed displayed robust differences in their ERP waveforms. Psychopaths lacked a persistent emotion-related positivity present in controls beginning around 200 ms into the processing stream and continuing throughout the 900 ms epoch of interest. Under conditions where the emotional information was relevant to an ongoing task, psychopaths showed moderate changes in ERPs for emotional stimuli, yet these waveforms remained dissimilar from those of controls. These data provide evidence that psychopaths present with deficits in early-stage discrimination of emotionally salient information, which may be partially sensitive to manipulations of effortful attention. These outcomes have implications for later-stages of processing such as the integration of this information into memory systems and the utilization of this information for the modification of ongoing behavior. en_US
dc.publisher en
dc.rights Baylor University theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. Contact librarywebmaster@baylor.edu for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Psychopathy. en_US
dc.subject Emotion. en_US
dc.subject Attention. en_US
dc.subject Event related potentials. en_US
dc.title Emotion and attention in the psychopath : an investigation of affective response and facilitated attention using event related potentials. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.rights.accessrights Worldwide access. en_US
dc.rights.accessrights Access changed 7-1-13.
dc.contributor.department Psychology and Neuroscience. en_US
dc.contributor.schools Baylor University. Dept. of Psychology and Neuroscience. en_US


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