ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (8): 1312-1323.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01312

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Interactive Regulation of Negative Emotions by #br# Anticipation and Cognitive Strategies

YANG Jiemin1,2; ZHANG Shu1; YUAN Jiajin1; LIU Guangyuan3   

  1. (1 Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU), Ministry of Education; School of Psychology, Southwest University;
    Postdoctoral research station of mathematics, Southwest University; 3 School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2014-11-21 Online:2015-08-15 Published:2015-08-15
  • Contact: LIU Guangyuan, E-mail:


Recent studies showed that antecedent anticipations of upcoming negative events effectively reduced post hoc negative emotional experiences elicited by these events. However, this anticipatory process itself has been shown to result in activations of emotion-related neural circuits and subjective anxiety. It raises a striking question that how to use healthy cognitive emotion regulation strategies to attenuate the negative effect of emotional anticipation, and consequently to fully develop the advantage of antecedent anticipation in emotion regulation. On the other hand, excessive negative expectation, which is characterized by both overestimation of the costs and the emotion-focused coping for uncertain events, is suggested to be an important determinant for the occurrence of anxiety disorders. Accordingly, it is probably an important route for anxiety disorder intervention, to train anxiety patients with adaptive cognitive regulation strategies during the emotional anticipatory process, which target at offsetting the maladaptive emotion-focused coping and reducing excessive negative expectation. Therefore, it is necessary to use behavioral, physiological and neuroimaging approaches comprehensively to unravel the interactive impacts of cognitive strategies and antecedent expectation on emotional consequences of negative events. Its important implication lies not only in reducing the costs and developing the advantage of antecedent anticipation in emotion regulation, but also in providing new insights into the clinical treatment of anxiety disorders.

Key words: emotion regulation, negative emotions, anxiety disorder, neural mechanisms, Event-related potentials