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Psychosocial Intervention Is Associated with Altered Emotion Processing: An Event-Related Potential Study in At-Risk Adolescents

Pincham, HL; Bryce, D; Kokorikou, D; Fonagy, P; Fearon, RM; (2016) Psychosocial Intervention Is Associated with Altered Emotion Processing: An Event-Related Potential Study in At-Risk Adolescents. PLoS One , 11 (1) , Article e0147357. 10.1371/journal.pone.0147357. Green open access

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Abstract

Emotion processing is vital for healthy adolescent development, and impaired emotional responses are associated with a number of psychiatric disorders. However, it is unclear whether observed differences between psychiatric populations and healthy controls reflect modifiable variations in functioning (and thus could be sensitive to changes resulting from intervention) or stable, non-modifiable, individual differences. The current study therefore investigated whether the Late Positive Potential (LPP; a neural index of emotion processing) can be used as a marker of therapeutic change following psycho-social intervention. At-risk male adolescents who had received less than four months intervention (minimal-intervention, N = 32) or more than nine months intervention (extended-intervention, N = 32) passively viewed emotional images whilst neural activity was recorded using electroencephalography. Significant differences in emotion processing, indicated by the LPP, were found between the two groups: the LPP did not differ according to valence in the minimal-intervention group, whereas the extended-intervention participants showed emotion processing in line with low risk populations (enhanced LPP for unpleasant images versus other images). Further, an inverse relationship between emotional reactivity (measured via the LPP) and antisocial behaviour was observed in minimal-intervention participants only. The data therefore provide preliminary cross-sectional evidence that abnormal neural responses to emotional information may be normalised following psychosocial intervention. Importantly, this study uniquely suggests that, in future randomised control trials, the LPP may be a useful biomarker to measure development and therapeutic change.

Type: Article
Title: Psychosocial Intervention Is Associated with Altered Emotion Processing: An Event-Related Potential Study in At-Risk Adolescents
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147357
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147357
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Pincham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473690
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