Neural markers of emotion regulation in childhood maltreatment: Prospective associations with psychopathology
Childhood maltreatment (CM) is a major risk factor for virtually all common mental disorders, but the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying this relation are unknown. Emotion regulation has been recently singled out as a potential mechanism, and theories have argued that neural circuits underlying emotion regulation are particularly vulnerable to CM due to their protracted development. However, current evidence has focused on the subjective level, and studies on neural markers of emotion regulation in CM are long overdue. Furthermore, two major caveats that hamper progress in the field are related to the relative lack of prospective data in CM, emotion regulation and psychopathology, and the absence of studies on emotion regulation training in CM. The present project will directly address these empirical gaps, in a series of studies focusing on: (1) identifying neural markers of emotion regulation in CM, using dense-array electroencephalogram (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERPs); (2) examining the prospective relations between EEG/ERP markers of emotion regulation in CM and psychopathology; and (3) investigating the impact of emotion regulation training on EEG/ERP markers of emotion regulation in CM. These studies would bring unparalleled evidence for the hypothesis that emotion regulation is one of the mechanisms through which CM enhances risk for psychopathology, and open the perspective for a new field of intervention to protect mental health in CM.
Professor Andrei C. Miu, PhD
Professor Aurora Szentágotai-Tătar, PhD
Associate Professor Balázsi Róbert, PhD
PhD student Simina Pițur
PhD student Alexandra Huh
PhD student Ștefania Crișan