ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (2): 210-223.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00210

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


高可翔1,2, 张岳瑶2, 李思瑾2, 袁加锦1, 李红1, 张丹丹1,2,3()   

  1. 1四川师范大学脑与心理科学研究院, 成都 610066
    2深圳大学心理学院/磁共振成像中心, 深圳 518060
    3深港脑科学创新研究院, 深圳 518055
  • 收稿日期:2022-05-16 发布日期:2022-11-10 出版日期:2023-02-25
  • 通讯作者: 张丹丹
  • 基金资助:

Ventromedial prefrontal cortex plays a critical role on implicit emotion regulation: A tDCS study

GAO Kexiang1,2, ZHANG Yueyao2, LI Sijin2, YUAN Jiajin1, LI Hong1, ZHANG Dandan1,2,3()   

  1. 1Institute of Brain and Psychological Sciences, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu 610066, China
    2School of Psychology/MRI Center, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
    3Shenzhen-Hong Kong Institute of Brain Science, Shenzhen 518055, China
  • Received:2022-05-16 Online:2022-11-10 Published:2023-02-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Dandan


情绪调节对维持个体心理健康、适应社会生活十分重要, 然而以往研究主要关注外显情绪调节, 目前我们对内隐情绪调节的认知神经机制的了解还非常有限。为揭示内隐情绪调节的核心脑区, 本研究使用句子整理任务启动内隐认知重评, 并采用经颅直流电刺激(transcranial direct current stimulation, tDCS)激活内侧前额叶特别是腹内侧前额叶(ventromedial prefrontal cortex, vmPFC), 考察该脑区在内隐情绪调节中的因果作用。结果表明, vmPFC被激活的被试组(实验组, n = 40)在内隐认知重评启动条件下比tDCS伪刺激组(对照组, n = 40), 在观看负性图片时报告了更少的负性情绪, 同时负性图片诱发的晚正成分(late positive potential, LPP)波幅更低(LPP是情绪体验强度的客观指标)。同时, 实验组比对照组在观看负性图片时表现出更低的枕区P1波幅(P1为早期视觉注意程度的客观指标)。以上结果说明, 激活以vmPFC为代表的内侧前额叶不但能增强内隐情绪调节的效果, 还能减少被试对负性刺激的早期注意分配。本研究是采用tDCS技术考察启动引起的内隐情绪调节的首次尝试, 研究结果不但表明了以vmPFC为代表的内侧前额叶在内隐认知重评中的关键作用, 还为临床应用研究指出了增强内隐情绪调节能力的神经调控潜在靶点。

关键词: 腹内侧前额叶, 内隐情绪调节, 经颅直流电刺激, 启动, 认知重评


Emotion regulation is crucial to mental health and social life. Traditional view conceived emotion regulation as a deliberative process. However, there is growing evidence that emotion regulation can implement at an implicit level without or with limited involvement of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) that is responsible for cognitive control. Unlike explicit emotion regulation, we have few knowledge on the neural mechanisms underlying implicit emotion regulation. Here, we investigated the effect of excitatory the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to provide causal evidence for the key role of the vmPFC in implicit emotion regulation.
This study had a mixed design, with group (anodal vs. sham) as the between-subject factor and priming type (reappraisal vs. baseline) as the within-subject factor. A total of 80 participants were recruited and randomly assigned to the anodal group and the sham tDCS group. The task was divided into two blocks, i.e., the implicit reappraisal block and the baseline block. The order of the two blocks was counterbalanced within the participants in each group. At the beginning of each block, participants were required to complete a tDCS session (1.5 mA; 10 min for the active group and 1 min for the sham group). The anodal electrode was placed in the middle of Fz and Fpz and the ground electrode was placed under the chin). Then, participants completed six sessions of sentence unscramble task (10 trials per session) to prime the emotion regulation goal. Each session of the sentence unscramble task was followed by a picture viewing task (5 trials) to evoke negative emotions. The self-reported emotion rating and EEG signals were recorded during the picture viewing task. Half an hour after the end of the picture viewing task, participants were asked to rate the valence (1 = very unpleasant; 9 = very pleasant) of all viewed images in the picture viewing task.
The results showed that the experimental group (n = 40) reported lower negative emotional experience and showed lower LPP amplitudes (measured as the average amplitude of Pz P3, P4, CP1, CP2) when the vmPFC was activated in the cognitive reappraisal block compared to the control group (n = 40), indicating that excitatory vmPFC could effectively facilitate the ability of implicit emotion regulation. Furthermore, we also found that excitatory vmPFC can reduce the P1 amplitude (measured as the average amplitude of O1, O2) under both baseline and reappraisal conditions.
The above results indicated that activating the vmPFC could not only facilitate implicit emotion regulation but also reduce early attention distribution to negative stimuli. This study is the first attempt to use the tDCS technique to investigate priming-induced implicit emotion regulation. The results directly reveal the causal relationship between the vmPFC and implicit cognitive reappraisal, suggesting this brain region as a potential target of neural modulation to enhance the ability of implicit emotion regulation in clinical populations.

Key words: ventromedial prefrontal cortex, implicit emotion regulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, priming, cognitive reappraisal