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The Role of Emotion Regulation in Reducing Emotional Distortions of Duration Perception

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      Emotional events, especially negative ones, are consistently reported to last longer than neutral events. Previous studies suggested that this distortion of duration perception is linked to arousal and attention bias in response to emotional events. Reappraisal and suppression, arguably the most effective strategies for emotion regulation, have been demonstrated to decrease such arousal and attention bias. The present study investigated whether reappraisal and suppression can reduce emotional distortions of duration perception. Seventy-eight Chinese undergraduates were recruited as paid participants and randomly assigned to nonregulation, reappraisal, and suppression groups. Before they performed a temporal bisection task involving presentation of emotional pictures for different durations, the groups were each given one of three different sets of instructions requiring them to passively perceive, reappraise, or suppress the emotions of the pictures. The results indicated that the distortion of duration perception occurred only in the nonregulation group, suggesting that it can be effectively reduced by reappraisal and suppression.

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          The neural bases of emotion regulation: reappraisal and suppression of negative emotion.

          Emotion regulation strategies are thought to differ in when and how they influence the emotion-generative process. However, no study to date has directly probed the neural bases of two contrasting (e.g., cognitive versus behavioral) emotion regulation strategies. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine cognitive reappraisal (a cognitive strategy thought to have its impact early in the emotion-generative process) and expressive suppression (a behavioral strategy thought to have its impact later in the emotion-generative process). Seventeen women viewed 15 sec neutral and negative emotion-eliciting films under four conditions--watch-neutral, watch-negative, reappraise-negative, and suppress-negative--while providing emotion experience ratings and having their facial expressions videotaped. Reappraisal resulted in early (0-4.5 sec) prefrontal cortex (PFC) responses, decreased negative emotion experience, and decreased amygdala and insular responses. Suppression produced late (10.5-15 sec) PFC responses, decreased negative emotion behavior and experience, but increased amygdala and insular responses. These findings demonstrate the differential efficacy of reappraisal and suppression on emotional experience, facial behavior, and neural response and highlight intriguing differences in the temporal dynamics of these two emotion regulation strategies.

            Author and article information

            Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University , Chongqing, China
            Author notes

            Edited by: Kielan Yarrow, City, University of London, United Kingdom

            Reviewed by: Sylvie Droit-Volet, Blaise Pascal University, France; Jessica Lake, University of California, Los Angeles, United States

            *Correspondence: Xiting Huang, xthuang@

            This article was submitted to Perception Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

            Front Psychol
            Front Psychol
            Front. Psychol.
            Frontiers in Psychology
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            15 March 2018
            : 9
            5862850 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00347
            Copyright © 2018 Tian, Liu and Huang.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

            Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Equations: 1, References: 89, Pages: 10, Words: 0
            Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China 10.13039/501100001809
            Award ID: 31600879
            Original Research


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