Cognitive control in the face of fear: Reduced cognitive-emotional flexibility in women with a history of child abuse

Jon G. Caldwell, Marie K. Krug, Cameron S Carter, Michael J. Minzenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Child abuse can negatively affect neurobiological systems involved in regulating emotions. Adults who were maltreated as children show diminished capacity to flexibly integrate the prefrontal and limbic circuits underlying emotion regulation. Using a facial identification Stroop task with nonemotional and emotional stimuli, we found that women who reported more childhood abuse (N = 44) were no different from women reporting less childhood abuse (N = 45) on nonemotional conflict adaptation, but were significantly less able to adapt to emotional conflict. Women who reported more abuse were especially impaired in adapting to emotional conflict when incongruent stimuli involved a fearful face. These results help characterize the relation between cognitive control and emotion regulation and highlight the far-reaching effects of childhood abuse on cognitive-emotional flexibility. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-472
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2014

Keywords

  • amygdala
  • anterior cingulate cortex
  • child abuse
  • childhood maltreatment
  • cognitive control
  • cognitive flexibility
  • conflict adaptation
  • emotion regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)

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