University of Illinois at Chicago

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Neural Reactivity to Affective Stimuli and Internalizing Symptom Dimensions in a Transdiagnostic Sample

posted on 2021-08-01, 00:00 authored by Maria P Granros
Background: Internalizing psychopathologies (IPs) are highly comorbid and share similar attributes, such as abnormal affective reactivity. The Late Positive Potential (LPP), an electroencephalogram event-related potential (ERP) component, has been utilized to index neural affective reactivity in IPs. Studies often examine aberrations in the LPP specific to individual IPs, ignoring overlap between IPs. Few studies have examined how IP symptoms associate with the LPP in individuals with comorbid diagnoses. The current study examined how IP symptom dimensions relate to neural affective reactivity in a highly comorbid transdiagnostic patient sample. Method: Participants (N = 99) completed a battery of IP symptom measures in addition to a target categorization task while viewing pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral images during electroencephalography recording. To calculate the LPP, ERPs to each image valence were averaged from 400 to 1,000 ms following picture onset at pooled parietal and occipital electrodes. A principal components analysis performed on the IP symptom measures resulted in two factors: affective distress/misery and fear-based anxiety. Results: Fear-based anxiety was associated with enhanced LPP reactivity specific to unpleasant images while distress/misery indexed attenuated average LPP reactivity across images. Conclusions: Results revealed a dissociable pattern of neural reactivity between IP symptom factors in a transdiagnostic sample. Enhanced reactivity to negative images was specific to greater fear-based anxiety symptoms while distress/misery symptoms were associated with valence-independent blunted affective reactivity. Neural affective reactivity may serve as an objective, biological marker to elucidate the nature of psychological concerns in individuals with comorbid IPs.



Burkhouse, Katie L


Herbener, Ellen S



Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Masters

Degree name

MA, Master of Arts

Committee Member

K l u m p p , H e i d e

Submitted date

August 2021

Thesis type



  • en

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