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Response choice, emotion, and psychopathy

Peschardt, Karina; (2003) Response choice, emotion, and psychopathy. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Two broad classes of system regulate behavior: those that regulate behaivour in response to affect-neutral task demands (classic executive functions) and those that regulate behaviour according to reinforcement history. As discussed in Chapter One, psychopathy has been suggested to be the developmental consequence of both. In Chapter Two, I explore several manipulations of an executive measure: the parametric Number Stroop paradigm. In Chapter Three, I apply this measure, together with the Object Alternation (OA) and Spatial Alternation (SA) tasks to individuals with psychopathy. Individuals with psychopathy presented with difficulty only on the OA task adding to suggestions that the disorder is associated with difficulties choosing between objects associated with different levels of reward/punishment. This hypothesis is explored further through the use of a novel paradigm, the Differential Reward/ Punishment Learning Task in Chapter Four. Data from this task suggested that individuals with psychopathy face particular difficulty with objects associated with punishment. In Chapter Five, I further explored the processing of stimuli associated with reward/ punishment in individuals with psychopathy through the use of an affective priming paradigm. In Chapter Six, I explore the interaction of systems regulating behavior in response to affect-neutral task demands and those involved in processing emotional stimuli through the use of the Affective Number Stroop paradigm. I demonstrate the effects of emotional stimuli on executive processing as well as the effects of executive processing on emotional processing. In Chapter Seven, I describe potential future directions for this work.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Response choice, emotion, and psychopathy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10097673
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