Negative mood state enhances the susceptibility to unpleasant events: neural correlates from a music-primed emotion classification task.PLoS One. 2014;9(2):e89844
Authors: Yuan J, Chen J, Yang J, Ju E, Norman GJ, Ding N
BACKGROUND: Various affective disorders are linked with enhanced processing of unpleasant stimuli. However, this link is likely a result of the dominant negative mood derived from the disorder, rather than a result of the disorder itself. Additionally, little is currently known about the influence of mood on the susceptibility to emotional events in healthy populations.
METHOD: Event-Related Potentials (ERP) were recorded for pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures while subjects performed an emotional/neutral picture classification task during positive, neutral, or negative mood induced by instrumental Chinese music.
RESULTS: Late Positive Potential (LPP) amplitudes were positively related to the affective arousal of pictures. The emotional responding to unpleasant pictures, indicated by the unpleasant-neutral differences in LPPs, was enhanced during negative compared to neutral and positive moods in the entire LPP time window (600-1000 ms). The magnitude of this enhancement was larger with increasing self-reported negative mood. In contrast, this responding was reduced during positive compared to neutral mood in the 800-1000 ms interval. Additionally, LPP reactions to pleasant stimuli were similar across positive, neutral and negative moods except those in the 800-900 ms interval.
IMPLICATIONS: Negative mood intensifies the humans' susceptibility to unpleasant events in healthy individuals. In contrast, music-induced happy mood is effective in reducing the susceptibility to these events. Practical implications of these findings were discussed.