In a given day we make hundreds of decisions, all of which can be influenced by our emotions for better or worse. For example, the decision to buy French fries may be motivated by emotions elicited upon seeing someone enjoying them in a tempting commercial. Positive emotions stemming from salient cues, like that advertisement, are key aspects of addictions and other extreme cases of maladaptive decision-making. This proposal aims to examine the effect of regulation of positive emotions on subsequent decision-making. The broad long term goal is to understand how cognitive emotion regulation strategies can be used to control craving in drug addiction in order to ultimately reduce drug-seeking behavior. Drug addiction is a major health problem in the United States. A hallmark of drug addiction is craving, which is elicited by salient drug-associated cues. Craving has been associated with drug-seeking and relapse, making it a major factor in addiction. This proposal will use behavioral (choice and reaction time), subjective (ratings), physiological (skin conductance responses), and neural (functional magnetic resonance imaging) measures to examine 1) the effects of emotion regulation on positive emotions associated with salient non-drugs cues in non-addicted adults, 2) the effect of this regulation on subsequent decision-making associated with those cues, 3) the effect of these same regulation strategies on craving in a nicotine addicted population. Three separate experiments will test these three aims. Society is plagued by maladaptive decision-making, from drug abuse to unstable financial choices, making it extremely important to understand the process by which successful positive emotion regulation can promote thoughtful, goal-directed decision-making. The goal of this research is to examine the use of cognitive strategies in controlling positive emotions and reducing risk-taking behavior and the influence of these strategies on the brain networks involved in motivated behavior and reward processing. This research will examine these processes in a typical as well as an addicted population (smokers) in order to test if these regulation strategies can reduce craving in drug addiction.
|Martin Braunstein, Laura; Herrera, Stefanie J; Delgado, Mauricio R (2014) Reappraisal and expected value modulate risk taking. Cogn Emot 28:172-81|
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