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Exploring children's emotion understanding through EEG measurement of neural correlates and a standard emotion understanding task

Larkin, HK; (2015) Exploring children's emotion understanding through EEG measurement of neural correlates and a standard emotion understanding task. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Overview This thesis aimed to explore children’s emotion understanding through an investigation of neural correlates and a review of the impact of emotion understanding ability on mental well-being. Part one is a literature review of 38 papers measuring emotion understanding and mental health symptoms in children under 13 years old. Details of the studies are given and results are considered in terms of age group studied, emotion understanding task used and mental health symptom measurement. The evidence found was mixed, but suggests that early emotion understanding difficulties may be linked with externalising symptoms and may predict later mental health symptoms. Part two presents an empirical paper detailing an electroencephalogram (EEG) task used to investigate neural correlates of emotion understanding in 5 to 8 year olds, which was compared with a self-report measure: the Test of Emotion Comprehension (TEC; Pons & Harris, 2000). Neural responses to congruent and incongruent, emotional and physical story outcomes were analysed and provided strong evidence for a neural index of emotion understanding. No significant correlation was found between the TEC score and neural components, which may reflect the brain-based measure’s reduced reliance on language skills. Part three provides a critical appraisal of the role of science in EEG and clinical psychology. Limitations and the role of interpretation in EEG are explored and the importance and implications of psychology being seen as a science are discussed. Finally, the value of combining findings from different methodologies to enhance understanding from a biopsychosocial perspective is outlined.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Exploring children's emotion understanding through EEG measurement of neural correlates and a standard emotion understanding task
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Emotion understanding, EEG, children, neural correlate, mental health
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471110
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