Stopping in (e)motion: reactive action inhibition when facing valence-independent emotional stimuli

Battaglia, S., Cardellicchio, P., Di Fazio, C., Nazzi, C., Fracasso, A. and Borgomaneri, S. (2022) Stopping in (e)motion: reactive action inhibition when facing valence-independent emotional stimuli. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 16, 998714. (doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2022.998714) (PMID:36248028) (PMCID:PMC9561776)

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Emotions are able to impact our ability to control our behaviors. However, it is not clear whether emotions play a detrimental or an advantageous effect on action control and whether the valence of the emotional stimuli differently affects such motor abilities. One way to measure reactive inhibitory control is the stop-signal task (SST), which estimates the ability to cancel outright a response to the presentation of a stop signal by means of the stop signal reaction times (SSRT). Impaired as well as facilitated action control has been found when faced with emotional stimuli such as stop signals in SSTs and mixed results were observed for positive versus negative stimuli. Here, we aimed to investigate these unresolved issues more deeply. Action control capabilities were tested in 60 participants by means of a SST, in which the stop signals were represented by a fearful and a happy body posture together with their neutral counterpart. Results showed that both positive and negative body postures enhanced the ability to suppress an ongoing action compared to neutral body postures. These results demonstrate that emotional valence-independent emotional stimuli facilitate action control and suggest that emotional stimuli may trigger increased sensory representation and/or attentional processing that may have promote stop-signal processing and hence improved inhibitory performance.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by grants from the Ministero della Salute, Italy (GR-2018-12365733) awarded to SBo and supported by a grant from the Biotechnology and Biology Research Council (BBSRC, Grant number: BB/S006605/1) and the Bial Foundation, Bial Foundation Grants Programme Grant id: A-29315, number: 203/2020, Grant edition: G15516 awarded to AF.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fracasso, Dr Alessio
Authors: Battaglia, S., Cardellicchio, P., Di Fazio, C., Nazzi, C., Fracasso, A., and Borgomaneri, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):1662-5153
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Battaglia, Cardellicchio, Di Fazio, Nazzi, Fracasso and Borgomaner
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 16: 998714
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303685Stable perception of external stimuli over time: oculo-motor and visual processing mechanismsAlessio FracassoBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/S006605/1Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging