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Engaging in an experiential processing mode increases positive emotional response during recall of pleasant autobiographical memories

Gadeikis, D; Bos, N; Schweizer, S; Murphy, F; Dunn, B; (2017) Engaging in an experiential processing mode increases positive emotional response during recall of pleasant autobiographical memories. Behaviour Research and Therapy , 92 pp. 68-76. 10.1016/j.brat.2017.02.005. Green open access

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Abstract

It is important to identify effective emotion regulation strategies to increase positive emotion experience in the general population and in clinical conditions characterized by anhedonia. There are indications that engaging in experiential processing (direct awareness of sensory and bodily experience) bolsters positive emotion experience but this has not been extensively tested during memory recall. To further test this notion, 99 community participants recalled two positive autobiographical memories. Prior to the second recall, participants either underwent an experiential, analytical, or distraction induction (n = 33 per condition). Subjective happiness and sadness ratings and heart rate variability (HRV) response were measured during each recall. Greater spontaneous use of experiential processing during the first memory was associated with greater happiness experience, but was unrelated to HRV and sadness experience. Inducing experiential processing increased happiness experience relative to both the analytical and distraction conditions (but had no impact on sadness experience). There was a significant difference in HRV between conditions. The experiential condition led to a trend-significant increase, and the other conditions a non-significant decrease, in HRV from the first to the second memory. These results suggest that engaging in experiential processing is an effective way to up-regulate positive emotion experience during positive memory recall.

Type: Article
Title: Engaging in an experiential processing mode increases positive emotional response during recall of pleasant autobiographical memories
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2017.02.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2017.02.005
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Processing mode, Positive affect, Autobiographical memory, Emotion regulation, Anhedonia, Happiness
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050328
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