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  • 1.
    Brehmer, Yvonne
    et al.
    Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet.
    Rieckmann, Anna
    Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet.
    Bellander, Martin
    Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet.
    Westerberg, Helena
    Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bäckman, Lars
    Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet.
    Neural correlates of training-related working-memory gains in old age2011In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 58, no 4, 1110-1120 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Working memory (WM) functioning declines in old age. Due to its impact on many higher-order cognitive functions, investigating whether training can modify WM performance has recently been of great interest. We examined the relationship between behavioral performance and neural activity following five weeks of intensive WM training in 23 healthy older adults (M = 63.7 years). 12 participants received adaptive training (i.e. individually adjusted task difficulty to bring individuals to their performance maximum), whereas the others served as active controls (i.e. fixed low-level practice). Brain activity was measured before and after training, using fMRI, while subjects performed a WM task under two difficulty conditions. Although there were no training-related changes in WM during scanning, neocortical brain activity decreased post training and these decreases were larger in the adaptive training group than in the controls under high WM load. This pattern suggests intervention-related increases in neural efficiency. Further, there were disproportionate gains in the adaptive training group in trained as well as in non-trained (i.e. attention, episodic memory) tasks assessed outside the scanner, indicating the efficacy of the training regimen. Critically, the degree of training-related changes in brain activity (i.e. neocortical decreases and subcortical increases) was related to the maximum gain score achieved during the intervention period. This relationship suggests that the decreased activity, but also specific activity increases, observed were functionally relevant.

  • 2.
    Brehmer, Yvonne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Rieckmann, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Bellander, Martin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Westerberg, Helena
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bäckman, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Neural correlates of training-related working-memory gains in old age2011In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 58, no 4, 1110-1120 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Working memory (WM) functioning declines in old age. Due to its impact on many higher-order cognitive functions, investigating whether training can modify WM performance has recently been of great interest. We examined the relationship between behavioral performance and neural activity following five weeks of intensive WM training in 23 healthy older adults (M = 63.7 years). 12 participants received adaptive training (i.e. individually adjusted task difficulty to bring individuals to their performance maximum), whereas the others served as active controls (i.e. fixed low-level practice). Brain activity was measured before and after training, using fMRI, while subjects performed a WM task under two difficulty conditions. Although there were no training-related changes in WM during scanning, neocortical brain activity decreased post training and these decreases were larger in the adaptive training group than in the controls under high WM load. This pattern suggests intervention-related increases in neural efficiency. Further, there were disproportionate gains in the adaptive training group in trained as well as in non-trained (i.e. attention, episodic memory) tasks assessed outside the scanner, indicating the efficacy of the training regimen. Critically, the degree of training-related changes in brain activity (i.e. neocortical decreases and subcortical increases) was related to the maximum gain score achieved during the intervention period. This relationship suggests that the decreased activity, but also specific activity increases, observed were functionally relevant.

  • 3.
    Bäckman, Lars
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Karlsson, Sari
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Karlsson, Per
    Brehmer, Yvonne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Rieckmann, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    MacDonald, Stuart W. S.
    Farde, Lars
    Nyberg, Lars
    Dopamine D1 receptors and age differences in brain activation during working memory2011In: Neurobiology of Aging, ISSN 0197-4580, E-ISSN 1558-1497, Vol. 32, no 10, 1849-1856 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In an fMRI study, 20 younger and 20 healthy older adults were scanned while performing a spatial working-memory task under two levels of load. On a separate occasion, the same subjects underwent PET measurements using the radioligand [11C] SCH23390 to determine dopamine D1 receptor binding potential (BP) in caudate nucleus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The fMRI study revealed a significant load modulation of brain activity (higher load > lower load) in frontal and parietal regions for younger, but not older, adults. The PET measurements showed marked age-related reductions of D1 BP in caudate and DLPFC. Statistical control of caudate and DLPFC D1 binding eliminated the age-related reduction in load-dependent BOLD signal in left frontal cortex, and attenuated greatly the reduction in right frontal and left parietal cortex. These findings suggest that age-related alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission may contribute to underrecruitment of task-relevant brain regions during working-memory performance in old age.

  • 4.
    Cortes, Diana
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Asperholm, Martin
    Fredborg, William
    Döllinger, Lillian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
    Xiao, Shanshan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Dang, Junhua
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Intranasal Oxytocin and Response Inhibition in Young and Older Adults2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In normal aging, people are confronted with impairment in both socioemotional and cognitive abilities. Specifically, there are age-related declines in inhibitory processes that regulate attention towards irrelevant material. In last years, the intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin has mainly been related to improvements in several domains such as emotion recognition and memory, but to date the effects of oxytocin in aging remain largely unknown. In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, within-subjects study design, we investigated whether oxytocin facilitates inhibitory processing in older adults compared to younger adults. In total, 41 older adults (51% women; age range 65-75 years) and 37 younger adults (49% women; age range 20-30 years) participated in this study two times, receiving a single intranasal dose of 40 IU of placebo and oxytocin in randomized order 45 minutes before engaging in the task. Participants were tested approximately a month apart and mostly at the same hour during both occasions. Inhibition was measured with a Go/NoGo task which included happy and neutral faces as targets (Go stimuli) and distractors (NoGo stimuli) shown on a computer screen. Participants were instructed to press a button any time they saw a target and remain passive when encountering a distractor. Preliminary results indicate effects for happy and neutral faces, but only in the distractor condition. For happy distractors, women rejected correctly happy faces more accurately than men did, both in the placebo and oxytocin conditions. A main effect of age was observed for the neutral distractors, where older adults were more successful in inhibiting responses than younger adults during oxytocin and placebo treatments. We did not observe effects of oxytocin in the different tasks. The role of oxytocin was not clear distinguished in the tasks. In sum, our findings showed that age and gender can influence inhibition but their effects depend on the displayed emotions. This suggests that the ability to inhibit interfering distractors may remain intact despite of age and that deficits in inhibition may be selective. The role of oxytocin in inhibition needs to be further investigated since it is possible that it is context dependent.

  • 5.
    Cortes, Diana S.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Age differences in judgments of attractiveness, likeability, and trustworthiness of faces2016In: Program of SANS 2016, 2016, 58-58 p., B-23Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    People constantly evaluate faces to obtain social information. However, the link between aging and social evaluation of faces is not well understood. Todorov and colleagues introduced a data-driven model defined by valence and dominance as the two main components underlying social judgments of faces. They also created a stimulus set consisting of computer-generated faces which systematically vary along various social dimensions (e.g., Todorov et al., 2013, Emotion, 13, 724-38). We utilized a selection of these facial stimuli to investigate age-related differences in judgments of the following dimensions: attractiveness, competence, dominance, extraversion, likeability, threat, and trustworthiness. Participants rated how well the faces represented the intended social dimensions on 9-point scales ranging from not at all to extremely well. Results from 71 younger (YA; mean age = 23.42 years) and 60 older adults (OA; mean age = 69.19 years) showed that OA evaluated untrustworthy faces as more trustworthy, dislikeable faces as more likeable, and unattractive faces as more attractive compared to YA. OA also evaluated attractive faces as more attractive compared to YA, whereas YA did rate likeable and trustworthy faces as more likeable and trustworthy than did OA. In summary, our findings showed that OA evaluated negative social features less negatively compared to YA. This suggests that older and younger persons may use different cues for social evaluation of faces, and is in line with prior research suggesting age-related decline in the ability to recognize negative emotion expressions.

  • 6.
    Cortes, Diana S.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Lindahl, Christina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Memory for faces and voices varies as a function of sex and expressed emotion2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 6, e0178423Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated how memory for faces and voices (presented separately and in combination) varies as a function of sex and emotional expression (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and neutral). At encoding, participants judged the expressed emotion of items in forced-choice tasks, followed by incidental Remember/Know recognition tasks. Results from 600 participants showed that accuracy (hits minus false alarms) was consistently higher for neutral compared to emotional items, whereas accuracy for specific emotions varied across the presentation modalities (i.e., faces, voices, and face-voice combinations). For the subjective sense of recollection (“remember” hits), neutral items received the highest hit rates only for faces, whereas for voices and face-voice combinations anger and fear expressions instead received the highest recollection rates. We also observed better accuracy for items by female expressers, and own-sex bias where female participants displayed memory advantage for female faces and face-voice combinations. Results further suggest that own-sex bias can be explained by recollection, rather than familiarity, rates. Overall, results show that memory for faces and voices may be influenced by the expressions that they carry, as well as by the sex of both items and participants. Emotion expressions may also enhance the subjective sense of recollection without enhancing memory accuracy.

  • 7.
    Döllinger, Lillian
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bänziger, Tanja
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Makower, Irena
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Cortes, Diana S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hau, Stephan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Improving psychotherapeutic competencies using socioemotional perceptual training procedures 2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8. Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    Chen, Huaihou
    Porges, Eric
    Lin, Tian
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Feifel, David
    Cohen, Ronald A.
    Oxytocin’s effect on resting-state functional connectivity varies by age and sex2016In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 69, 50-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The neuropeptide oxytocin plays a role in social cognition and affective processing. The neural processes underlying these effects are not well understood. Modulation of connectivity strength between subcortical and cortical regions has been suggested as one possible mechanism. The current study investigated effects of intranasal oxytocin administration on resting-state functional connectivity between amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), as two regions involved in social-cognitive and affective processing. Going beyond previous work that largely examined young male participants, our study comprised young and older men and women to identify age and sex variations in oxytocin’s central processes. This approach was based on known hormonal differences among these groups and emerging evidence of sex differences in oxytocin’s effects on amygdala reactivity and age-by-sex-modulated effects of oxytocin in affective processing. In a double-blind design, 79 participants were randomly assigned to self-administer either intranasal oxytocin or placebo before undergoing resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Using a targeted region-to-region approach, resting-state functional connectivity strength between bilateral amygdala and mPFC was examined. Participants in the oxytocin compared to the placebo group and men compared to women had overall greater amygdala–mPFC connectivity strength at rest. These main effects were qualified by a significant three-way interaction: while oxytocin compared to placebo administration increased resting-state amygdala–mPFC connectivity for young women, oxytocin did not significantly influence connectivity in the other age-by-sex subgroups. This study provides novel evidence of age-by-sex differences in how oxytocin modulates resting-state brain connectivity, furthering our understanding of how oxytocin affects brain networks at rest.

  • 9.
    Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    University of Florida, USA.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Emotion and Aging: Evidence from Brain and Behavior2014In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 5, 996Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emotions play a central role in every human life from the moment we are born until we die. They prepare the body for action, highlight what should be noticed and remembered, and guide decisions and actions. As emotions are central to daily functioning, it is important to understand how aging affects perception, memory, experience, as well as regulation of emotions. The Frontiers research topic Emotion and Aging: Evidence from Brain and Behavior takes a step into uncovering emotional aging considering both brain and behavioral processes. The contributions featured in this issue adopt innovative theoretical perspectives and use novel methodological approaches to target a variety of topics that can be categorized into three overarching questions: How do cognition and emotion interact in aging in brain and behavior? What are behavioral and brain-related moderators of emotional aging? Does emotion-regulatory success as reflected in brain and behavior change with age? In this perspective paper we discuss theoretical innovation, methodological approach, and scientific advancement of the thirteen papers in the context of the broader literature on emotional aging. We conclude by reflecting on topics untouched and future directions to take.

  • 10.
    Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    University of Florida, USA.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Studying the various facets of emotional aging2014In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 5, 1007Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To study emotional aging is to study a very multi-faceted concept. In particular, the study of emotion and aging covers a wide range of topics. Taking a closer look, domains of functioning can be differentiated such as pertaining to the experiential nature of emotion or its regulation, as well as social-cognitive processes associated with the perception of emotion in others or emotion-related attention and memory retrieval. Importantly, evidence over the last two decades suggests that not all of these functional domains are negatively affected by the aging process. Rather late-life development in emotion-related functional domains is characterized by multi-directionality, in that aging seems to be associated with deterioration in abilities related to emotion perception and increased difficulty remembering (particularly negative compared to positive) emotional information, while emotional experience and emotion-regulatory capacities appear to remain relatively preserved or even improve with age.

  • 11. Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    Horta, Marilyn
    Lin, Tian
    Feifel, David
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Cohen, Ronald A.
    Oxytocin modulates meta-mood as a function of age and sex2015In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 7, 175Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Attending to and understanding one's own feelings are components of meta mood and constitute important socio-affective skills across the entire lifespan. Growing evidence suggests a modulatory role of the neuropeptide oxytocin on various socio-affective processes. Going beyond previous work that almost exclusively examined young men and perceptions of emotions in others, the current study investigated effects of intranasal oxytocin on meta-mood in young and older men and women. In a double-blind between-group design, participants were randomly assigned to self-administer either intranasal oxytocin or a placebo before responding to items from the Trait Meta Mood Scale (TMMS) about attention to feelings and clarity of feelings. In contrast to older women, oxytocin relative to placebo increased attention to feelings in older men. Oxytocin relative to placebo enhanced meta-mood in young female participants but reduced it in older female participants. This pattern of findings supports an age- and sex-differential modulatory function of the neuropeptide oxytocin on meta-mood, possibly associated with neurobiological differences with age and sex.

  • 12.
    Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
    Johnson, Marcia K.
    Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Neural mechanisms of reading facial emotions in young and older adults2012In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 3, no 223, 1-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability to read and appropriately respond to emotions in others is central for successful social interaction. Young and older adults are better at identifying positive than negative facial expressions and also expressions of young than older faces. Little, however, is known about the neural processes associated with reading different emotions, particularly in faces of different ages, in samples of young and older adults. During fMRI, young and older participants identified expressions in happy, neutral, and angry young and older faces. The results suggest a functional dissociation of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) in reading facial emotions that is largely comparable in young and older adults: Both age groups showed greater vmPFC activity to happy compared to angry or neutral faces, which was positively correlated with expression identification for happy compared to angry faces. In contrast, both age groups showed greater activity in dmPFC to neutral or angry than happy faces which was negatively correlated with expression identification for neutral compared to happy faces. A similar region of dmPFC showed greater activity for older than young faces, but no brain-behavior correlations. Greater vmPFC activity in the present study may reflect greater affective processing involved in reading happy compared to neutral or angry faces. Greater dmPFC activity may reflect more cognitive control involved in decoding and/or regulating negative emotions associated with neutral or angry than happy, and older than young, faces.

  • 13. Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    Johnson, Matthew R.
    Rieckmann, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Durbin, Kelly A.
    Johnson, Marcia K.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Processing own-age vs. other-age faces: Neuro-behavioral correlates and effects of emotion2013In: NeuroImage, ISSN 1053-8119, E-ISSN 1095-9572, Vol. 78, 363-371 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Age constitutes a salient feature of a face and signals group membership. There is evidence of greater attention to and better memory for own-age than other-age faces. However, little is known about the neural and behavioral mechanisms underlying processing differences for own-age vs. other-age faces. Even less is known about the impact of emotion expressed in faces on such own-age effects. Using fMRI, the present study examined brain activity while young and older adult participants identified expressions of neutral, happy, and angry young and older faces. Across facial expressions, medial prefrontal cortex, insula, and (for older participants) amygdala showed greater activity to own-age than other-age faces. These own-age effects in ventral medial prefrontal cortex and insula held for neutral and happy faces, but not for angry faces. This novel and intriguing finding suggests that processing of negative facial emotions under some conditions overrides age-of-face effects.

  • 14. Ebner, Natalie C.
    et al.
    Maura, Gabriela M.
    MacDonald, Kai
    Westberg, Lars
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Oxytocin and socioemotional aging: Current knowledge and future trends2013In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5161, E-ISSN 1662-5161, Vol. 7, 487- p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The oxytocin (OT) system is involved in various aspects of social cognition and prosocial behavior. Specifically, OT has been examined in the context of social memory, emotion recognition, cooperation, trust, empathy, and bonding, and-though evidence is somewhat mixed-intranasal OT appears to benefit aspects of socioemotional functioning. However, most of the extant data on aging and OT is from animal research and human OT research has focused largely on young adults. As such, though we know that various socioemotional capacities change with age, we know little about whether age-related changes in the OT system may underlie age-related differences in socioemotional functioning. In this review, we take a genetic-neuro-behavioral approach and evaluate current evidence on age-related changes in the OT system as well as the putative effects of these alterations on age-related socioemotional functioning. Looking forward, we identify informational gaps and propose an Age-Related Genetic, Neurobiological, Sociobehavioral Model of Oxytocin (AGeNeS-OT model) which may structure and inform investigations into aging-related genetic, neural, and sociocognitive processes related to OT. As an exemplar of the use of the model, we report exploratory data suggesting differences in socioemotional processing associated with genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) in samples of young and older adults. Information gained from this arena has translational potential in depression, social stress, and anxiety-all of which have high relevance in aging-and may contribute to reducing social isolation and improving well-being of individuals across the lifespan.

  • 15. Frazier, I.
    et al.
    Lin, T.
    Sondre, S.
    Feifel, D.
    Cohen, R.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Ebner, N.C.
    Older Adults Show More Trust Than Younger Adults Post-Betrayal in Trust/Lottery Game2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Older adults comprise both the fastest growing population segment in industrialized nations and the majority of political and industry leaders. Regardless of social status, older adults face a constant flow of highly consequential decisions. These decisions are often social in nature, even when they primarily concern health, finance, or politics; in particular, they often require putting trust in others. However, older adults’ social decision making processes relating to trust have not been well researched yet. Trust is an important aspect of maintaining social supports and maintenance of social supports is health protective. This is of particular concern in older adults as aging is linked to increased social loss, isolation, and loneliness. Evidence has indicated that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) is linked to several aspects of socioemotional functioning including trust. There is emerging evidence of a possible deficit in OT in older, specifically male, adults. Intranasally administered OT before a trust game has resulted in young adults acting in a more trusting, but not gullible manner. However, the potential effects of OT administration on trust game performance in older adults is unknown. We compared older (N = 54, 56% female) and younger adults’ (N = 48, 48% female) performance on a Trust/Lottery game after intranasal administration of either OT or placebo (P). Participants played the role of investors with ostensible same age social partners (trust) or a computer (lottery). At the beginning of each game investors received monetary units to invest in increments. They were instructed that if money was sent it would be tripled and then the investee (ostensible social partner) would be able to send an amount, or none, back or the lottery would be played (in the lottery condition). The probabilities of the trustee returning behavior in both the trust and lottery conditions were drawn from the same probability distributions, thus the participants faced the same objective risk but only interacted socially in the trust condition. Twelve trust and 12 lottery games were played in a pseudo-randomly, counterbalanced fashion. After half of the trust and lottery trials were played, a feedback screen was presented informing participants that in both the trust and lottery conditions only 50% of their investments bore returns, signifying 50% chance of trust breach or lottery success. While no effects of OT were detected, trust trials older adults increased their investments post betrayal while younger adults decreased their investments (F = 5.53, p = .021). No such differences were found in the lottery game. These results may indicate that older adults are more forgiving of breaching trust than younger adults. However, these results may also indicate vulnerability to being taken advantage of in a social context. To address these interpretations, research examining older adults’ goals in social decision making contexts is warranted.

  • 16.
    Frick, A
    et al.
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Howner, K
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Kristiansson, M
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Furmark, T
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Altered fusiform connectivity during processing of fearful faces in social anxiety disorder2013In: Translational Psychiatry, ISSN 2158-3188, E-ISSN 2158-3188, Vol. 3, e312- p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been associated with hyper-reactivity in limbic brain regions like the amygdala, both during symptom provocation and emotional face processing tasks. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study we sought to examine brain regions implicated in emotional face processing, and the connectivity between them, in patients with SAD (n=14) compared with healthy controls (n=12). We furthermore aimed to relate brain reactivity and connectivity to self-reported social anxiety symptom severity. SAD patients exhibited hyper-reactivity in the bilateral fusiform gyrus in response to fearful faces, as well as greater connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and amygdala, and decreased connectivity between the fusiform gyrus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Within the SAD group, social anxiety severity correlated positively with amygdala reactivity to emotional faces, amygdala-fusiform connectivity and connectivity between the amygdala and superior temporal sulcus (STS). These findings point to a pivotal role for the fusiform gyrus in SAD neuropathology, and further suggest that altered amygdala-fusiform and amygdala-STS connectivity could underlie previous findings of aberrant socio-emotional information processing in this anxiety disorder.

  • 17. Frick, Andreas
    et al.
    Gingnell, Malin
    Marquand, Andre F.
    Howner, Katarina
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Kristiansson, Marianne
    Williams, Steven C. R.
    Fredrikson, Mats
    Furmark, Tomas
    Classifying social anxiety disorder using multivoxel pattern analyses of brain function and structure2014In: Behavioural Brain Research, ISSN 0166-4328, E-ISSN 1872-7549, Vol. 259, 330-335 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Functional neuroimaging of social anxiety disorder (SAD) support altered neural activation to threat-provoking stimuli focally in the fear network, while structural differences are distributed over the temporal and frontal cortices as well as limbic structures. Previous neuroimaging studies have investigated the brain at the voxel level using mass-univariate methods which do not enable detection of more complex patterns of activity and structural alterations that may separate SAD from healthy individuals. Support vector machine (SVM) is a supervised machine learning method that capitalizes on brain activation and structural patterns to classify individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate if it is possible to discriminate SAD patients (n = 14) from healthy controls (n = 12) using SVM based on (1) functional magnetic resonance imaging during fearful face processing and (2) regional gray matter volume. Whole brain and region of interest (fear network) SVM analyses were performed for both modalities. For functional scans, significant classifications were obtained both at whole brain level and when restricting the analysis to the fear network while gray matter SVM analyses correctly classified participants only when using the whole brain search volume. These results support that SAD is characterized by aberrant neural activation to affective stimuli in the fear network, while disorder-related alterations in regional gray matter volume are more diffusely distributed over the whole brain. SVM may thus be useful for identifying imaging biomarkers of SAD.

  • 18. Frick, Andreas
    et al.
    Howner, Katarina
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Eskildsen, Simon Fristed
    Kristiansson, Marianne
    Furmark, Tomas
    Cortical thickness alterations in social anxiety disorder2013In: Neuroscience Letters, ISSN 0304-3940, E-ISSN 1872-7972, Vol. 536, 52-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) has been associated with aberrant processing of socio-emotional stimuli and failure to adaptively regulate emotion, corroborated by functional neuroimaging studies. However, only a few studies of structural brain abnormalities in SAD have been reported, and among these only one investigated cortical thickness. In the present study we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in conjunction with an automated method to measure cortical thickness in patients with SAD (n=14) and healthy controls (n=12). Results showed significantly increased thickness of the left inferior temporal cortex in SAD patients relative to controls. Within the patient group, a negative association was found between social anxiety symptom severity and thickness of the right rostral anterior cingulate cortex. The observed alterations in brain structure may help explain previous findings of dysfunctional regulation and processing of emotion in SAD.

  • 19. Furmark, Tomas
    et al.
    Marteinsdottir, Ina
    Frick, Andreas
    Heurling, Kerstin
    Tillfors, Maria
    Appel, Lieuwe
    Antoni, Gunnar
    Hartvig, Per
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Långström, Bengt
    Eriksson, Elias
    Fredrikson, Mats
    Serotonin synthesis rate and the tryptophan hydroxylase-2: G-703T polymorphism in social anxiety disorder2016In: Journal of Psychopharmacology, ISSN 0269-8811, E-ISSN 1461-7285, Vol. 30, no 10, 1028-1035 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is disputed whether anxiety disorders, like social anxiety disorder, are characterized by serotonin over- or underactivity. Here, we evaluated whether our recent finding of elevated neural serotonin synthesis rate in patients with social anxiety disorder could be reproduced in a separate cohort, and whether allelic variation in the tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) G-703T polymorphism relates to differences in serotonin synthesis assessed with positron emission tomography. Eighteen social anxiety disorder patients and six healthy controls were scanned during 60 minutes in a resting state using positron emission tomography and 5-hydroxy-L-[β -11C]tryptophan, [11C]5-HTP, a substrate of the second enzymatic step in serotonin synthesis. Parametric images were generated, using the reference Patlak method, and analysed using Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM8). Blood samples for genotyping of the TPH2 G-703T polymorphism were obtained from 16 social anxiety disorder patients (T carriers: n=5, GG carriers: n=11). A significantly elevated [11C]5-HTP accumulation rate, indicative of enhanced decarboxylase activity and thereby serotonin synthesis capacity, was detected in social anxiety disorder patients compared with controls in the hippocampus and basal ganglia nuclei and, at a more lenient (uncorrected) statistical threshold, in the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex. In patients, the serotonin synthesis rate in the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex was significantly elevated in TPH2 T carriers in comparison with GG homozygotes. Our results support that social anxiety disorder entails an overactive presynaptic serotonergic system that, in turn, seems functionally influenced by the TPH2 G-703T polymorphism in emotionally relevant brain regions.

  • 20.
    Gavazzeni, Joachim
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Andersson, Tom
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics.
    Bäckman, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Wiens, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Age, Gender, and Arousal in Recognition of Negative and Neutral Pictures 1 Year Later2012In: Psychology and Aging, ISSN 0882-7974, E-ISSN 1939-1498, Vol. 27, no 4, 1039-1052 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Compared with nonarousing stimuli, arousing stimuli enhance memory performance. The most robust effects have been reported for negative stimuli, "the negativity effect," although a number of mediating factors prevent definitive conclusions, for example, age, gender, memory task, retention period, and alternative arousal measures. To clarify whether the negativity effect is robust across age, gender, and time, we studied incidental recognition of neutral and negative pictures from the International Affective Picture System (Lang, Bradley, & Cuthbert, 1999) in healthy younger and older adults-women and men-after a 1-year retention interval. Memory performance was related to 2 arousal measures at encoding, skin conductance response (SCR), and intensity rating of unpleasantness. The results showed weaker overall memory performance for older adults compared with younger adults. The negativity effect on accuracy (d') was gender dependent and age independent. In contrast, the negativity effect on response bias (c) interacted with age, but not gender, being weaker for older adults. Despite significant differences in arousal (SCR and arousal rating) between negative and neutral pictures, the correlations between arousal measures and memory performance were weak. Controlling for age and gender, a small negative partial correlation was found between arousal ratings and accuracy. The results extend previous studies by relating long-term recognition to both age and gender as well as to arousal at encoding.

  • 21.
    Gerhardsson, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Work and organizational psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Lekander, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Axelsson, John
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Åkerstedt, Torbjörn
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Schwarz, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Emotional working memory in older adults after total sleep deprivation2017In: Sleep Medicine, Elsevier, 2017, Vol. 40, e110-e110 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Even though the occurrence of sleep problems increases with age, few studies have focused on the cognitive effects of acute sleep deprivation in elderly. Most previous research indicate that, compared to young, older adults show less impairment in e.g. attention after sleep deprivation. However, little is known of whether the same pattern holds for higher cognitive functions. In addition, while old age is usually related to a general decrease in working memory abilities, performance on working memory tasks may differ depending on the emotional valence of the stimuli, where positive stimuli seem to be beneficial for working memory performance in older adults. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of sleep deprivation on emotional working memory in older adults using two levels of working memory load.

    Materials and methods: A healthy sample of 48 old adults (MAge=66.69 years, SDAge=3.44 years) was randomized into a total sleep deprivation group (TSD; n=24) or a sleep control group (SC; n=24). They performed a working memory task (n-back) containing positive, negative and neutral pictures in a low (1-back) and a high (3-back) working memory load condition. Performance was measured as Accuracy (d'), Omissions and Reaction Time (RT).

    Results: For the d' and Omissions we performed two separate 2x2x3 (sleep, working memory load, valence) repeated measures analyses of variance (rmANOVA). For the RTs, we applied a mixed-effects model. For both d' and RT we found no effect of sleep deprivation (Ps > .05). For valence, we found main effects on both d' (F1,46 = 5.56, P=.005) and RT (F1,95.7 = 4.84, P=.01). d' did not differ for positive and neutral pictures, but was in both cases significantly better than for negative pictures. RTs were significantly faster for positive pictures. However, a working memory loadvalence interaction (F1,95.7 = 4.50, P=.01) further revealed an effect of valence in the low, but not in the high load condition. In the low load condition, RTs were faster for positive than for neutral pictures and faster for neutral than for negative pictures. There was no significant effect of Omissions.

    Conclusions: Our results showed that emotional working memory performance was not significantly affected by one night of sleep deprivation in older adults, which contrast what we found in a sample of young adults from the same project. In line with previous research, our results indicate a beneficial effect of positive stimuli on working memory in older adults. This effect was present in both groups and most pronounced for reaction times in the condition with a lower cognitive demand. We can conclude that, among older adults, the working memory performance is not impaired by sleep deprivation and that the benefits of positive stimuli on working memory seem intact. These findings contribute to a better understanding of older adults' cognitive functioning after sleep deprivation.

  • 22.
    Gerhardsson, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Viewing distance matter to perceived intensity of facial expressions2015In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, 944Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In our daily perception of facial expressions, we depend on an ability to generalize across the varied distances at which they may appear. This is important to how we interpret the quality and the intensity of the expression. Previous research has not investigated whether this so called perceptual constancy also applies to the experienced intensity of facial expressions. Using a psychophysical measure (Borg CR100 scale) the present study aimed to further investigate perceptual constancy of happy and angry facial expressions at varied sizes, which is a proxy for varying viewing distances. Seventy-one (42 females) participants rated the intensity and valence of facial expressions varying in distance and intensity. The results demonstrated that the perceived intensity (PI) of the emotional facial expression was dependent on the distance of the face and the person perceiving it. An interaction effect was noted, indicating that close-up faces are perceived as more intense than faces at a distance and that this effect is stronger the more intense the facial expression truly is. The present study raises considerations regarding constancy of the PI of happy and angry facial expressions at varied distances.

  • 23.
    Gerhardsson, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Åkerstedt, Torbjörn
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet.
    Axelsson, John
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Lekander, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Schwarz, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet.
    The effect of sleep loss on emotional working memory2016In: Abstracts of the 23rd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society, 13–16 September 2016, Bologna, Italy. Journal of Sleep Research, 25(S1), 17-18., 2016, Vol. 25(S1), 17-18 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: Emotional stimuli differently affect working memory (WM) performance. As sleep deprivation has a known impact on both emotion and WM our aim was to investigate how one night without sleep affects emotional WM performance. Methods: Healthy subjects (n = 56; age 18–30 years) were randomized to a total sleep deprivation (TSD) or a rested control (RC) condition. Subjects rated their affective state and performed a 1 and a 3-back WM task consisting of neutral, positive and negative pictures at 3 pm or 6 pm (balanced) the day after sleep manipulation. Accuracy (d’) and target response time (RT) were used as outcomes. Results: In the TSD condition, subjects rated themselves as less positive (P = 0.006) but not more negative than in the RC condition. In the WM task, TSD had a detrimental effect on accuracy (P = 0.03) regardless of difficulty. Moreover, accuracy was higher in the 1-back than in the 3-back (P < 0.001) and higher for neutral compared to both negative and positive stimuli (Ps < 0.05). RT was faster for positive compared to negative and neutral stimuli (Ps < 0.05). The latter effect was particularly pronounced in the TSD condition as shown by a condition*valence interaction (P < 0.03). Conclusions: One night of total sleep loss impaired emotional WM accuracy. Noticeable, RT was faster for positive stimuli compared to negative and neutral stimuli. This effect was particularly pronounced after sleep loss. This suggests that sleep loss strengthens the opposing effects of positive and negative stimuli on WM performance, possibly due to increased emotion reactivity.

  • 24. Gulliford, Desiree
    et al.
    Chen, Huaihou
    Porges, Eric
    Lin, Tian
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Feifel, David
    Cohen, Ronald
    Ebner, Natalie
    Gender-differential effects of intranasal oxytocin on resting-state anterior cingulate activity2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: As individuals age, there is an increased focus on social relationships (Carstensen, 2006). However, age-related changes in the brain can interfere with social functioning (Ebner, et al, 2012; Mather, et al, 2005; Ruffman, et al, 2008). While age-related changes in cognition are well studied, social-cognitive changes in aging are still underinvestigated, especially the brain mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. The administration of intranasal oxytocin (OT) has the potential to modulate social cognition (De Dreu, 2014) by altering BOLD signal in regions of the social brain (eg. amygdala and vmPFC) (Ebner, et al, 2016). Currently, there is very little known about the role of OT in human development in aging (Campbell, et al, 2014; Huffmeijer, et al, 2012). Methods: 40 young (18–31 years, 50% female) and 39 older (63–81 years, 59% female) were randomly assigned (in a double-blind design) to self-administer either 24 UIs of intranasal OT or placebo (P) 70-90 minutes prior to resting-state fMRI. T1-weighted anatomical reference images, using an MP-RAGE sequence (sagittal plane, FOV = 240 mm × 240 mm × 170; 1 × 1 × 1 mm isotropic voxels), and functional gradient-echo-planar imaging (EPI) data, during an open-eye, white cross-hair on black background, 8 minute resting-state scan (38 interleaved slices, TR 2 sec, TE 30 msec, FOV 252 × 252 × 133 mm, 80 × 80 × 38 mm matrix, flip angle 90°, in plane resolution of 3.15 × 3.15 mm, slice thickness 3.5 mm, 0 mm skip), were acquired with a 3T Philips Achieva MR Scanner using a 32-channel head coil. Preprocessing, including slice time correction, motion correction with artifact rejection, spatial normalization, and smoothing with an 8 mm Gaussian kernel, were implemented with Functional Connectivity Toolbox (Whitfield-Gabrieli, et al, 2012; http://www.nitrc.org/projects/conn/). Results: Younger individuals showed significantly greater overall anterior cingulate (AC) activity in P condition (p=.044). Intranasal OT administration significantly increased activity in the AC in both younger and older women (p=.024), but not men, when compared to P. The effect was slightly greater in older women than younger, but this effect was not significant potentially due to sample size.There were no significant gender effects in AC activity during rest between males and females in either younger or older P control groups. Conclusions: Intranasal OT has differential gender effects on AC activity during resting-state, increasing activity in women but not men. Additionally, there is evidence for age differences in overall AC activity at rest.

  • 25. Harmat, Laszlo
    et al.
    de Manzano, Örjan
    Theorell, Töres
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Ullén, Fredrik
    Physiological correlates of the flow experience during computer game playing2015In: International Journal of Psychophysiology, ISSN 0167-8760, E-ISSN 1872-7697, Vol. 97, no 1, 1-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Flow is the subjective experience of effortless attention, reduced self-awareness, and enjoyment that typically occurs during optimal task performance. Previous studies have suggested that flow may be associated with a non-reciprocal coactivation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems and, on a cortical level, with a state of hypofrontality and implicit processing. Here, we test these hypotheses, using the computer game TETRIS as model task. The participants (n = 77) played TETRIS under three conditions that differed in difficulty (Easy < Optimal < Difficult). Cardiac and respiratory activities, and the average oxygenation changes of the prefrontal cortex were measured continuously with functional near infrared spectroscopy (INIRS) during performance. The Optimal condition was characterized by the highest levels of state flow, positive affect, and effortless attention. The associations between self-reported psychological flow and physiological measures were investigated using a series of repeated measures linear mixed model analyses. The results showed that higher flow was associated with larger respiratory depth and lower LF. The higher respiratory depth during high flow is indicative of a more relaxed state with an increased parasympathetic activity, and thus provides partial support for the main hypotheses. There was no association between frontal cortical oxygenation and flow, even at liberal thresholds; i.e. we found no support that flow is related to a state of hypofrontality.

  • 26. Henningsson, Susanne
    et al.
    Zettergren, Anna
    Hovey, Daniel
    Jonsson, Lina
    Svärd, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Cortes, Diana S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Melke, Jonas
    Ebner, Natalie C.
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Westberg, Lars
    Association between polymorphisms in NOS3 and KCNH2 and social memory2015In: Frontiers in Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-4548, E-ISSN 1662-453X, Vol. 9, 393Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social memory, including the ability to recognize faces and voices, is essential for social relationships. It has a large heritable component, but the knowledge about the contributing genes is sparse. The genetic variation underlying inter-individual differences in social memory was investigated in an exploratory sample (n = 55), genotyped with a chip comprising approximately 200,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and in a validation sample (n = 582), where 30 SNPs were targeted. In the exploratory study face identity recognition was measured. The validation study also measured vocal sound recognition, as well as recognition of faces and vocal sounds combined (multimodal condition). In the exploratory study, the 30 SNPs that were associated with face recognition at puncorrected < 0.001 and located in genes, were chosen for further study. In the validation study two of these SNPs showed significant associations with recognition of faces, vocal sounds, and multimodal stimuli: rs1800779 in the gene encoding nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3) and rs3807370 in the gene encoding the voltage-gated channel, subfamily H, member 2 (KCNH2), in strong linkage disequilibrium with each other. The uncommon alleles were associated with superior performance, and the effects were present for men only (p < 0.0002). The exploratory study also showed a weaker but significant association with (non-emotional) word recognition, an effect that was independent of the effect on face recognition. This study demonstrates evidence for an association between NOS3 and KCNH2SNPs and social memory.

  • 27. Holding, Benjamin C.
    et al.
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Bänziger, Tanja
    Axelsson, John
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Sundelin, Tina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Multimodal Emotion Recognition Is Resilient to Insufficient Sleep: Results From Cross-Sectional and Experimental Studies2017In: Sleep, ISSN 0161-8105, E-ISSN 1550-9109, Vol. 40, no 11, zsx145Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: Insufficient sleep has been associated with impaired recognition of facial emotions. However, previous studies have found inconsistent results, potentially stemming from the type of static picture task used. We therefore examined whether insufficient sleep was associated with decreased emotion recognition ability in two separate studies using a dynamic multimodal task.

    Methods: Study 1 used a cross-sectional design consisting of 291 participants with questionnaire measures assessing sleep duration and self-reported sleep quality for the previous night. Study 2 used an experimental design involving 181 participants where individuals were quasi-randomized into either a sleep-deprivation (N = 90) or a sleep-control (N = 91) condition. All participants from both studies were tested on the same forced-choice multimodal test of emotion recognition to assess the accuracy of emotion categorization.

    Results: Sleep duration, self-reported sleep quality (study 1), and sleep deprivation (study 2) did not predict overall emotion recognition accuracy or speed. Similarly, the responses to each of the twelve emotions tested showed no evidence of impaired recognition ability, apart from one positive association suggesting that greater self-reported sleep quality could predict more accurate recognition of disgust (study 1).

    Conclusions: The studies presented here involve considerably larger samples than previous studies and the results support the null hypotheses. Therefore, we suggest that the ability to accurately categorize the emotions of others is not associated with short-term sleep duration or sleep quality and is resilient to acute periods of insufficient sleep.

  • 28. Holding, J.B.C.
    et al.
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Axelsson, John
    Sundelin, Tina
    Total sleep deprivation does not impact emotioncategorisation in dynamic stimuli2016In: Abstracts of the 23rd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society, 13–16 September 2016, Bologna, Italy. Journal of Sleep Research, 2016, Vol. 25(S1), 152-152 p., P193Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous studies have highlighted a deficit in facial emotion recognition after sleep loss. However, while some studies suggest an overall deficit in ability, others have only found effects in individual emotions, or no effect at all. The aim of this study was to investigate this relationship in a large sample and to utilise a dynamic test of emotion recognition in multiple modalities. 145 individuals (91 female, ages 18–45) participated in a sleep-deprivation experiment. Participants were randomised into: one night of total sleep deprivation (TSD) or normal sleep (8–9 h in bed). The following day participants completed a computerised emotional recognition test, consisting of 72 visual, audio, and audio-visual clips, representing 12 different emotions. The stimuli were divided into “easy” and “hard” depending on the intensity of emotional display. A mixed ANOVA revealed significant main effects of modality and difficulty, P < 0.001, but no main effect of condition, P = 0.31, on emotional recognition accuracy. Additionally, there was no interaction between condition and difficulty, P = 0.96, or modality, P = 0.67. This study indicates that sleep deprivation does not reduce the ability to recognise emotions. Given that some studies have only found effects on single emotions, it is possible that the effects of sleep loss are more specific than investigated here. However, it is also possible that previous findings relate to the types of static stimuli used. The ability to recognise emotions is key to social perception; this study suggests that this ability is resilient to one night of sleep deprivation.

  • 29. Howner, Katarina
    et al.
    Eskildsen, Simon Fristed
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Dierks, Thomas
    Wahlund, Lars-Olof
    Jonsson, Tomas
    Wiberg, Maria Kristoffersen
    Kristiansson, Marianne
    Thinner cortex in the frontal lobes in mentally disordered offenders2012In: Psychiatry Research, ISSN 0165-1781, E-ISSN 1872-7123, Vol. 203, no 2-3, 126-131 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Antisocial and violent behaviour have been associated with both structural and functional brain abnormalities in the frontal and the temporal lobes. The aim of the present study was to assess cortical thickness in offenders undergoing forensic psychiatric assessments, one group with psychopathy (PSY, n=7) and one group with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, n=7) compared to each other as well as to a reference group consisting of healthy non-criminal subjects (RG, n=12). A second aim was to assess correlation between scores on a psychopathy checklist (PCL-SV) and cortical thickness. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and surface-based cortical segmentation were used to calculate cortical thickness. Analyses used both regions of interest and statistical maps. When the two groups of offenders were compared, there were no differences in cortical thickness, but the PSY group had thinner cortex in the temporal lobes and in the whole right hemisphere compared to RG. There were no differences in cortical thickness between the ASD group and RG. Across subjects there was a negative correlation between PCL-SV scores and cortical thickness in the temporal lobes and the whole right hemisphere. The findings indicate that thinner cortex in the temporal lobes is present in psychopathic offenders and that these regions are important for the expression of psychopathy. However, whether thinner temporal cortex is a cause or a consequence of the antisocial behaviour is still unknown.

  • 30. Howner, Katarina
    et al.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Dierks, Thomas
    Federspiel, Andrea
    Wahlund, Lars-Olof
    Jonsson, Tomas
    Kristoffersen Wiberg, Maria
    Kristoffersen Wiberg, Marianne
    Brain processing of fearful facial expression in mentally disordered offenders2011In: Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, ISSN 2160-5866, E-ISSN 2160-5874, Vol. 1, no 3, 115-123 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emotional facial expressions are important cues for interaction between people. The aim of the present study was to investigate brain function when processing fearful facial expressions in offenders with two psychiatric disorders which include impaired emotional facial perception; autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and psychopathy (PSY). Fourteen offenders undergoing forensic psychiatric assessment (7 with ASD, and 7 psychopathic offenders) and 12 healthy controls (HC) viewed fearful and neutral faces while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Brain activity (fearful versus neutral faces) was compared both between HC and offenders and between the two offender groups (PSY and ASD). Functional co-activation was also investigated. The offenders had increased activity bilaterally in amygdala and medial cingulate cortex as well as the left hippocampus during processing fearful facial expressions compared to HC. The two subgroups of offenders differed in five regions compared with each other. Results from functional co-activation analysis suggested a strong correlation between the amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in the left hemisphere only in the PSY group. These findings suggest enhanced neural processing of fearful faces in the amygdala as well as in other facial processing brain areas in offenders compared to HC. Moreover, the co-activation between amygdala and ACC in the PSY but not the ASD group suggested qualitative differences in amygdala activity in the two groups. Since the sample size is small the study should be regarded as a pilot study.

  • 31. Johansson, Anette
    et al.
    Hellsing, Anna-Natalia
    Harmat, Laszlo
    Kristiansson, Marianne
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Severity of past aggression coupled to higher baseline oxygenated hemoglobin in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Are there differences in working memory task related oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in those with schizophrenia, who had committed instrumental violence as opposed to reactive aggression? Is there any relationship to the severity of such aggression?

    Methods: 22 stable forensic psychiatric inpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (20 schizophrenia) were rated on symptom scales. Their most severe aggressive act was rated according to Cornell’s classification of instrumental or reactive aggression. The severity of aggression was also noted. Subjects completed a computerized Corsi-block-tapping test during functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Correlation analyses and GLM were used to identify factors that correlated with oxygenated hemoglobin signal in optodes 1 and 15 (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex DLPFC).

    Results / Discussion: Spearman Rank correlations with task-minus-baseline HbO in optode 1(left DLPFC) were found for total antipsychotic daily dose and scores on block 5 of the Corsi task, as well as between daily dose and negative symptom scores. Correlations were found between baseline HbO in optode 1 and 15, as well as in task-minus-baseline.  There was no effect of type of aggression on optode 1 or 15 baseline or task-minus-baseline HbO when controlled for the above. Past severe aggression, controlled for SANS, daily dose and Corsi correct responses correlated with higher HbO at baseline in optode 15 (F=9.45 p=0.007, adj R2=0.33, p=0.032) as opposed to task related HbO. Baseline and task-minus baseline optode 1 HbO correlated only with antipsychotic dose and Corsi score.

  • 32.
    Johnell, Kristina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Dopaminergic and Serotonergic Drug Use: A Nationwide Register-Based Study of Over 1 300 000 Older People2011In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 8, e23750- p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To investigate the use of dopaminergic and serotonergic drugs in elderly people. Methods: We analyzed data on age, sex and dispensed drugs for individuals aged >= 65 years registered in the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register from July to September 2008 (n = 1 347 564; 81% of the total population aged >= 65 years in Sweden). Main outcome measures were dopaminergic (enhancing and/or lowering) and serotonergic (enhancing and/or lowering) drugs and combinations of these. Results: Dopaminergic and serotonergic drugs were used by 5.6% and 13.2% the participants, respectively. Female gender was related to use of both dopaminergic and, particularly, serotonergic drugs. Higher age was associated with use of dopamine lowering drugs and serotonergic drugs, whereas the association with use of dopamine enhancing drugs declined in the oldest old. The occurrence of combinations of dopaminergic and serotonergic drugs was generally low, with dopamine lowering + serotonin lowering drug the most common combination (1.6%). Female gender was associated with all of the combinations of dopaminergic and serotonergic drugs, whereas age showed a mixed pattern. Conclusion: Approximately one out of ten older patients uses serotonergic drugs and one out of twenty dopaminergic drugs. The frequent use of dopaminergic and serotonergic drugs in the elderly patients is a potential problem due to the fact that aging is associated with a down-regulation of both these monoaminergic systems. Future studies are needed for evaluation of the impact of these drugs on different cognitive and emotional functions in old age.

  • 33.
    Kalpouzos, Grégoria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rieckmann, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    MacDonald, Stuart W. S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Bäckman, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Impact of negative emotion on the neural correlates of long-term recognition in younger and older adults2012In: Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, ISSN 1662-5145, E-ISSN 1662-5145, Vol. 6, no 74, 1-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Some studies have suggested that the memory advantage for negative emotional information over neutral information (“negativity effect”) is reduced in aging. Besides the fact that most findings are based on immediate retrieval, the neural underpinnings of long-term emotional memory in aging have so far not been investigated. To address these issues, we assessed recognition of neutral and negative scenes after 1- and 3-week retention intervals in younger and older adults using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We further used an event-related design in order to disentangle successful, false, and true recognition. This study revealed four key findings: (1) increased retention interval induced an increased rate of false recognitions for negative scenes, canceling out the negativity effect (present for hit rates only) on discrimination in both younger and older adults; (2) in younger, but not older, adults, reduced activity of the medial temporal lobe was observed over time for neutral scenes, but not for negative scenes, where stable or increased activity was seen; (3) engagement of amygdala (AMG) was observed in older adults after a 3-week delay during successful recognition of negative scenes (hits vs. misses) in comparison with neutral scenes, which may indicate engagement of automatic processes, but engagement of ventrolateral prefrontal cortex was unrelated to AMG activity and performance; and (4) after 3 weeks, but not after 1 week, true recognition of negative scenes was characterized by more activity in left hippocampus and lateral occipito-temporal regions (hits vs. false alarms). As these regions are known to be related to consolidation mechanisms, the observed pattern may indicate the presence of delayed consolidation of true memories. Nonetheless, older adults’ low performance in discrimination of negative scenes could reflect the fact that overall, after long delays of retention, they rely more on general information rather than on perceptual detail in making recognition judgments.

  • 34. Karlsson, Sara
    et al.
    Henningsson, Susanne
    Hovey, Daniel
    Zettergren, Anna
    Jonsson, Lina
    Cortes, Diana S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Melke, Jonas
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Cognitive psychology.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Westberg, Lars
    Social memory associated with estrogen receptor polymorphisms in women2016In: Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, ISSN 1749-5016, E-ISSN 1749-5024, Vol. 11, no 6, 877-883 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ability to recognize the identity of faces and voices is essential for social relationships. Although the heritability of social memory is high, knowledge about the contributing genes is sparse. Since sex differences and rodent studies support an influence of estrogens and androgens on social memory, polymorphisms in the estrogen and androgen receptor genes (ESR1, ESR2, AR) are candidates for this trait. Recognition of faces and vocal sounds, separately and combined, was investigated in 490 subjects, genotyped for 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ESR1, four in ESR2 and one in the AR. Four of the associations survived correction for multiple testing: women carrying rare alleles of the three ESR2 SNPs, rs928554, rs1271572 and rs1256030, in linkage disequilibrium with each other, displayed superior face recognition compared with non-carriers. Furthermore, the uncommon genotype of the ESR1 SNP rs2504063 was associated with better recognition of identity through vocal sounds, also specifically in women. This study demonstrates evidence for associations in women between face recognition and variation in ESR2, and recognition of identity through vocal sounds and variation in ESR1. These results suggest that estrogen receptors may regulate social memory function in humans, in line with what has previously been established in mice.

  • 35. Letellier, Isabelle
    et al.
    Döllinger, Lillian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Neal, Emma
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bänziger, Tanja
    Makower, Irena
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hau, Stephan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Assessing the impact of attachment on emotion recognition: accuracy scores and types of confusion2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 36. Letellier, Isabelle
    et al.
    Döllinger, Lillian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Neal, Emma
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bänziger, Tanja
    Makower, Irena
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hau, Stephan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Avoidant attachment impairs global accuracy in emotion recognition2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 37. Letellier, Isabelle
    et al.
    Döllinger, Lillian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Högman, Lennart
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Neal, Emma
    Laukka, Petri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Bänziger, Tanja
    Makower, Irena
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hau, Stephan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The role of the psychotherapist’s perception of emotion in therapy: Presentation of a Forte-Marie Curie Project2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 38. Lin, T.
    et al.
    Horta, M.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Feifel, D.
    Cohen, R.
    Ebner, N.
    Effects of Intranasal Oxytocin on Perceptions of Trustworthiness in Aging2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Perceptions of trustworthiness in others influence thought and behavior during social interactions. Growing evidence suggests that intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin increases perceived trustworthiness of unfamiliar faces, with particularly pronounced effects for in-group compared to out-group faces. To date, prosocial effects of oxytocin have been mostly investigated in young adults, and the majority of studies comprised men. Recent evidence that older adults experience increased difficulty in determining trustworthiness in faces highlights the importance of examining the potentially beneficial role of oxytocin on perceptions of trustworthiness in aging. In the present study, 48 young and 54 older participants evaluated the trustworthiness of young and older male and female unfamiliar faces, while undergoing magnetic resonance imaging. Participants were randomly assigned to either self-administer intranasal oxytocin or a placebo before engagement in the task. Behavioral analysis suggested that female faces were generally rated as more trustworthy than male faces. This effect was particularly pronounced in older participants in the oxytocin group but young participants in the placebo group. Functional connectivity analysis between amygdala and prefrontal cortex is currently underway and will identify the underlying brain mechanism of oxytocin’s effect on trustworthiness perceptions. Findings from this study emphasize the importance of considering age and sex of participants and faces when examining effects of oxytocin on perceptions of facial trustworthiness. Results will be discussed in the context of an emerging literature on oxytocin’s age-by-sex modulatory role in social and affective information processing.

  • 39.
    Lundqvist, Daniel
    et al.
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Svärd, Joakim
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Institutet.
    Age-Related Differences in Sensitivity to Emotional Facial Stimuli but Age-Independent Association between Arousal Ratings and Visual Search Efficiency2013In: Psychological Topics, ISSN 1332-0742, Vol. 22, no 2, 271-286 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The latter part of the lifespan is commonly associated with a decline of cognitive functions, but also with changes in emotional responding. To explore the effect of age on processing of emotional stimuli, we used a two-task design. In a stimulus-rating task, we investigated the emotional responses to 15 different schematic facial emotional stimuli (one neutral, seven positive, seven negative) on Arousal, Valence and Potency measures in 20 younger (21-32 yrs, M=26, SD=3.7) and 20 older (65-81 yrs, M=72, SD=4.9) participants. In a visual attention task, we used the same 15 stimuli in a visual search paradigm to investigate differences between younger and older participants in how the emotional properties of these emotional stimuli influence visual attention.The results from the stimulus-rating task showed significantly reduced range in responses to emotional stimuli in the older compared to the younger group. This difference was found on both emotional Arousal and Potency measures, but not on emotional Valence measures; indicating an age-related flattening of affect on two of the three emotional key dimensions. The results from the visual search task showed – apart from the general extension of response latencies in older – no general emotion-related differences between how emotional stimuli influences attention in the younger and older groups.Analysis of the relationships between attention and emotion measures showed that higher ratings on Arousal and Potency were associated with both shorter reaction times and fewer errors in the attention task. This correlation was age-independent, indicating a similar influence from emotional Arousal on detection of angry faces in younger and older adults.

  • 40. Lundqvist, Daniel
    et al.
    Svärd, Joakim
    Michelgård Palmquist, Åsa
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Svenningsson, Per
    Patients with Parkinson’s disease display a dopamine therapy related negative bias and an enlarged range in emotional responses to facial emotional stimuli2017In: Neuropsychology, ISSN 0894-4105, E-ISSN 1931-1559, Vol. 31, no 6, 605-612 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: The literature on emotional processing in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients shows mixed results. This may be because of various methodological and/or patient-related differences, such as failing to adjust for cognitive functioning, depression, and/or mood. Method: In the current study, we tested PD patients and healthy controls (HCs) using emotional stimuli across a variety of tasks, including visual search, short-term memory (STM), categorical perception, and emotional stimulus rating. The PD and HC groups were matched on cognitive ability, depression, and mood. We also explored possible relationships between task results and antiparkinsonian treatment effects, as measured by levodopa equivalent dosages (LED), in the PD group. Results: The results show that PD patients use a larger emotional range compared with HCs when reporting their impression of emotional faces on rated emotional valence, arousal, and potency. The results also show that dopaminergic therapy was correlated with stimulus rating results such that PD patients with higher LED scores rated negative faces as less arousing, less negative, and less powerful. Finally, results also show that PD patients display a general slowing effect in the visual search tasks compared with HCs, indicating overall slowed responses. There were no group differences observed in the STM or categorical perception tasks. Conclusions: Our results indicate a relationship between emotional responses, PD, and dopaminergic therapy, in which PD per se is associated with stronger emotional responses, whereas LED levels are negatively correlated with the strength of emotional responses.

  • 41.
    Lövén, Johanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Svärd, Joakim Lång
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Ebner, Natalie C
    Herlitz, Agneta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Face gender modulates women’s brain activity during face encoding2014In: Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, ISSN 1749-5016, E-ISSN 1749-5024, Vol. 9, no 7, 1000-1005 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Women typically remember more female than male faces, whereas men do not show a reliable own-gender bias. However, little is known about the neural correlates of this own-gender bias in face recognition memory. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated whether face gender modulated brain activity in fusiform and inferior occipital gyri during incidental encoding of faces. Fifteen women and 14 men underwent fMRI while passively viewing female and male faces, followed by a surprise face recognition task. Women recognized more female than male faces and showed higher activity to female than male faces in individually defined regions of fusiform and inferior occipital gyri. In contrast, men's recognition memory and blood-oxygen-level-dependent response were not modulated by face gender. Importantly, higher activity in the left fusiform gyrus (FFG) to one gender was related to better memory performance for that gender. These findings suggest that the FFG is involved in the gender bias in memory for faces, which may be linked to differential experience with female and male faces.

  • 42.
    Nilsonne, G.
    et al.
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Tamm, S.
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Schwarz, J.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Almeida, R.
    Fischer, H.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Kecklund, G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Lekander, M.
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Fransson, P.
    Åkerstedt, T.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Increased global FMRI signal variability after partial sleep deprivation: Findings from the Stockholm sleepy brain study2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Neural correlates of sleep deprivation are not fully understood and the difference between young and older adults in this regard has received little attention. We aimed to investigate the effect of partial sleep deprivation on resting state connectivity.

    Methods: 30 younger (20–30 years) and 23 older (65–75 years) healthy participants underwent MR imaging after normal sleep and partial sleep deprivation (3 h sleep). We acquired two runs of eyes-open resting state functional magnetic resonance images. Participants were monitored with eye-tracking to ensure their eyes remained open during scanning.

    Results: Global signal variability, defined as log-transformed standard deviation of average gray matter signal, was increased following partial sleep deprivation (0.16 [0.07, 0.24], p = 0.0004). In contrast to previous studies, we did not find that partial sleep deprivation inhibited connectivity in the default mode network, nor in other major networks investigated.

    Conclusion: Sleep deprivation caused increased global signal variability. This novel finding should be confirmed using independent data. Our finding of no difference in default mode connectivity in the sleep deprived state, could possibly be due to stricter monitoring of participants’ wakefulness compared to some earlier studies.

  • 43.
    Nilsonne, Gustav
    et al.
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Tamm, Sandra
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Schwarz, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Almeida, Rita
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Lekander, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Fransson, Peter
    Åkerstedt, Torbjörn
    Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Intrinsic brain connectivity after partial sleep deprivation in young and older adults2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Sleep deprivation has been reported to affect intrinsic brain connectivity, notably in the default mode network, but studies to date have shown inconsistent effects and have largely included young participants. We therefore aimed to investigate effects of partial sleep deprivation on intrinsic brain connectivity in young and older participants. Methods: Participants aged 20-30 (n = 30) and 65-75 (n = 23) years underwent partial sleep deprivation (3 h sleep) in a cross-over design, with two eyes-open resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) runs in each session. We assessed intrinsic brain connectivity using independent components analysis (ICA) as well as seed-region analyses of functional connectivity, and also analysed global signal variability, regional homogeneity, and the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations. Participants were monitored with eye-tracking to ensure they did not fall asleep during scanning. Results: Sleep deprivation caused increased global signal variability, defined as log-transformed standard deviation of average gray matter signal (0.16 [0.07, 0.24], p = 0.0004). In contrast to previous studies, sleep deprivation did not cause major changes in investigated resting state networks, nor did it cause changes in regional homogeneity. Younger participants had higher functional connectivity in most examined resting state networks, as well as higher regional homogeneity in brain areas including anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Conclusions: We show for the first time that partial sleep deprivation caused increased global signal variability. This outcome should be examined as a potential biomarker for sleepiness using independent data. Unlike a few earlier studies, we did not find less default mode connectivity in the sleep deprived state, possibly because of stricter monitoring of participants' wakefulness.

  • 44.
    Nilsonne, Gustav
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden .
    Tamm, Sandra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden .
    Schwarz, Johanna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden .
    Almeida, Rita
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Lekander, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden .
    Fransson, Peter
    Åkerstedt, Torbjörn
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden .
    Intrinsic brain connectivity after partial sleep deprivation in young and older adults: results from the Stockholm Sleepy Brain study2017In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, 9422Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sleep deprivation has been reported to affect intrinsic brain connectivity, notably reducing connectivity in the default mode network. Studies to date have however shown inconsistent effects, in many cases lacked monitoring of wakefulness, and largely included young participants. We investigated effects of sleep deprivation on intrinsic brain connectivity in young and older participants. Participants aged 20–30 (final n = 30) and 65–75 (final n = 23) years underwent partial sleep deprivation (3 h sleep) in a cross-over design, with two 8-minutes eyes-open resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) runs in each session, monitored by eye-tracking. We assessed intrinsic brain connectivity using independent components analysis (ICA) as well as seed-region analyses of functional connectivity, and also analysed global signal variability, regional homogeneity, and the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations. Sleep deprivation caused increased global signal variability. Changes in investigated resting state networks and in regional homogeneity were not statistically significant. Younger participants had higher connectivity in most examined networks, as well as higher regional homogeneity in areas including anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. In conclusion, we found that sleep deprivation caused increased global signal variability, and we speculate that this may be caused by wake-state instability.

  • 45.
    Persson, Jonas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Umeå University, Sweden.
    Rieckmann, Anna
    Kalpouzos, Grégoria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Bäckman, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Influences of a DRD2 polymorphism on updating of long-term memory representations and caudate BOLD activity: magnification in aging2015In: Human Brain Mapping, ISSN 1065-9471, E-ISSN 1097-0193, Vol. 36, no 4, 1325-1334 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A number of genetic polymorphisms are related to individual differences in cognitive performance. Striatal dopamine (DA) functions, associated with cognitive performance, are linked to the TaqIA polymorphism of the DRD2/ANKK1 gene. In humans, presence of an A1 allele of the DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIA polymorphism is related to reduced density of striatal DA D2 receptors. The resource-modulation hypothesis assumes that aging-related losses of neurochemical and structural brain resources modulate the extent to which genetic variations affect cognitive functioning. Here, we tested this hypothesis using functional MRI during long-term memory (LTM) updating in younger and older carriers and noncarriers of the A1-allele of the TaqIa polymorphism. We demonstrate that older A1-carriers have worse memory performance, specifically during LTM updating, compared to noncarriers. Moreover, A1-carriers exhibited less blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activation in left caudate nucleus, a region critical to updating. This effect was only seen in older adults, suggesting magnification of genetic effects on functional brain activity in aging. Further, a positive relationship between caudate BOLD activation and updating performance among non-A1 carriers indicated that caudate activation was behaviorally relevant. These results demonstrate a link between the DRD2/ANKK1-TaqIA polymorphism and neurocognitive deficits related to LTM updating, and provide novel evidence that this effect is magnified in aging.

  • 46.
    Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Ebner, Natalie C.
    Lin, Tian
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Functional Correlates of Personality and Emotional Faces in Young and Older Adults2016In: 2016 Annual Meeting Program, 2016, 79-79 p., B21Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Individual differences in personality may affect perceptions of emotional states in others. Studies investigating the link between personality and blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activation to facial expressions of emotion are scarce. We assessed the influence of personality on peak BOLD activation from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the middle frontal (MFG), inferior frontal (IFG), and insula (IN) gyri to happy and angry faces contrasted with a low-level baseline, in young (n= 30, 20-31 years) and older (n=30, 65-74 years) adults, using a facial emotion identification paradigm. Self-reported information about neuroticism, extraversion, and openness was included (NEO-PI). Latent difference score models gauged the influence of personality on BOLD activation. Individuals with higher levels of neuroticism had decreased BOLD in left IN and right IFG and in the MFG to angry faces, after accounting for age. Greater openness predicted activation of IN, controlling for the influence of age. Age magnified the effect of openness and extraversion on BOLD response to angry facial expressions, to greater activation in older adults. Inter-individual differences in personality did not explain BOLD activation to happy faces. Our findings suggest that the personality trait neuroticism is associated with increased neuronal response to negative (angry) cues in key structures associated with emotional processing, IFG, MFG and IN. Greater IN activation in more extraverted and open older compared to young individuals may be of importance for age-specific differences in emotional processing.

  • 47.
    Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Ebner, N.C.
    Lin, T.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. ARC, Karolinska Institutet.
    Functional correlates of personality & facial perception in old and young adults2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Daily social interaction involves perception of emotional faces. Individual personality is of vital importance for how we perceive and interact with the outer world. Personality has been associated with age sensitive structures in the frontal cortices, and emotional perception. The literature investigating the link between personality, facial perception and BOLD activation is scarce. We assessed the influence of personality on peak fMRI BOLD activation in fronto- parietal areas in response to happy, neutral, and angry faces in a sample of younger (n= 30, 20-31 years) and older (n=31, 65-74 years) men and women. A series of Structural Equation Models was specified to evaluate the influence of age and personality on BOLD activation to emotional faces, contrasted with neutral faces. The behavioral measures included aspects of neuroticism (N), extraversion (E), and openness (O), assessed by a standard questionnaire (NEO-PI) during a first session. During the second session (fMRI), participants worked on the Facial Expression Identification Task that presented them with photos of old and young neutral, happy, and angry faces, randomly intermixed. Images were acquired using a 3T scanner (Siemens Magnetom Tim Trio). Onehundred and sixty functional images each were acquired with a T2*-weighted echo- planar sequence. Thirty-nine oblique axial slices were positioned parallel to the AC-PC line and acquired interleaved. A 1 × 1 × 1 mm T1-weighted image was used for co-registration with functional images. Processing of emotional faces was associated with increased activation in the medial frontal gyrus (MFG) and the post central gyrus (PCG), (FWE corrected). Older adults showed lesser degree of N and O than their younger counterparts. There were no reliable group differences in E. Older age predicted greater activity in PCG to angry faces compared to neutral faces, but there was no significant association for MFG. Extraverted subjects showed greater activity to angry than neutral faces after age was accounted for. E also predicted greater activity in MFG in response to happy than neutral faces, but the association was gone after age was taken into account. A trend was present for lesser activity in the PCG to angry than neutral faces for more neurotic subjects, but the association did not hold when adjusting for age. O was not related to activation to emotional faces in any of the ROIs.Our findings suggest that higher degree of extraversion is particularly important for BOLD activation in age-sensitive key structures in emotional processing. Greater activation of fronto-parietal networks to emotional faces in extroverted subjects may reflect increased use of cognitive control.

  • 48.
    Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Li, Tie-Qiang
    Age-related alteration of functional connectivity in the default mode network and insular cortex detected by quantitative data-driven analysis of resting-state fMRI2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Age-related changes in the brain-parenchyma may alter the brains functional connectivity. Studies have consistently reported significant age-effects in the default mode network (DMN). Less is known about sex differences and the interaction effect with older age. Both independent component analysis and seed-based analysis have been widely used in the literature.

    Method: We investigated 29 young (age=25.0±3.4) and 31 older (n=31, age=68.4±2.7) healthy adults (♀50%) with a resting-state fMRI protocol at 3T. We evaluated voxel-wise differences in brain functional connectivity in relation to age and sex of the participants by taking advantage of a recently developed quantitative data-driven analysis (QDA) method, where the connection counters (CCI) and strength (CSI) indies for each voxel in the brain are measured.

    Results: Compared with the CSI result, more extensive brain regions showed significantly reduction in CCI in older age. Besides the brain regions involved in the DMN, we found that older age induced also functional connectivity decline in thalamus and insula cortex. On average, females had lower CCI and CSI in the right middle frontal gyrus. The anterior cingulate, right middle frontal gyrus, and left lentiform nucleus showed age and sex interaction effect. The finding of reduced functional connectivity in older adults was also confirmed by the result from linear regression analysis.

    Conclusion: Age-related effect as detected by the QDA method is largely consistently with previously reported findings. Furthermore, our study added interesting new findings in age-related differences. This indicates that QDA provides a sensitive model-free approach for voxel-wise analysis of functional connectivity.

  • 49. Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Lavebratt, Catarina
    Ebner, Natalie C.
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Influence of DARPP-32 genetic variation on BOLD activation to happy faces2017In: Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, ISSN 1749-5016, E-ISSN 1749-5024, Vol. 12, no 10, 1658-1667 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dopaminergic pathways play a crucial role in reward processing, and advanced age can modulate its efficiency. DARPP-32 controls dopaminergic function and is a chemical nexus of reward processing. In 61 younger (20-30 years) and older adults (54% female) (65-74 years), we examined how blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activation to emotional faces, vary over genotypes at three single nucleotide polymorphism(SNPs), coding for DARPP-32 (rs879606; rs907094; 3764352). We also assessed age-magnification of DARPP-32 effects on BOLD activation. We found that major homozygote G, T or A genotypes, with higher cortical expression of DARPP-32, higher dopamine receptor efficacy, and greater bias toward positive cues, had increased functional connectivity in cortical-subcortical circuits in response to happy faces, engaging the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), fusiform gyrus (FG) and the midbrain (MB). Local BOLD response to happy faces in FG, and MB was age dependent, so that older carriers of the major G, T or A alleles showed lesser activation than minor genotypes. These genetic variants of DARPP-32 did not modulate BOLD response to angry faces, or engagement of the inferior occipital gyrus, to happy or angry faces. Taken together our results lend support for a potential role of DARPP-32 genetic variants in neural response to potential reward triggering cues.

  • 50.
    Persson, Ninni
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Lavebratt, Catharina
    Sundström, Anna
    Fischer, Håkan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Biological psychology.
    Pulse Pressure magnifies the effect of COMT Val158Met on 15 Year Episodic Memory Trajectories2016In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 8, 34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We investigated whether a physiological marker of cardiovascular health, pulse pressure (PP), and age magnified the effect of the functional COMT Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism on 15-years cognitive trajectories [episodic memory (EM), visuospatial ability, and semantic memory] using data from 1585 non-demented adults from the Betula study. A multiple-group latent growth curve model was specified to gauge individual differences in change, and average trends therein. The allelic variants showed negligible differences across the cognitive markers in average trends. The older portion of the sample selectively age-magnified the effects of Val158Met on EM changes, resulting in greater decline in Val compared to homozygote Met carriers. This effect was attenuated by statistical control for PP. Further, PP moderated the effects of COMT on 15-years EM trajectories, resulting in greater decline in Val carriers, even after accounting for the confounding effects of sex, education, cardiovascular diseases (diabetes, stroke, and hypertension), and chronological age, controlled for practice gains. The effect was still present after excluding individuals with a history of cardiovascular diseases. The effects of cognitive change were not moderated by any other covariates. This report underscores the importance of addressing synergistic effects in normal cognitive aging, as the addition thereof may place healthy individuals at greater risk for memory decline.

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