Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Recent studies posit that deficits in emotion regulation may lead to increased negative emotional experience in schizophrenia. While individuals with schizophrenia evidence a number of abnormalities in emotion regulation, it is unclear whether these deficits are discrete or related; furthermore, the mechanisms underlying these deficits are not clear. Cognitive control has been posited as an important mechanism supporting emotion regulation. The current study examined the relationship between attentional deployment and both lexical and self-reported indices of reappraisal, as well as the mediating role of cognitive control on this relationship in a sample of 22 individuals with psychotic disorders. A novel eye-tracking paradigm was used in which participants were asked to view thematically related positive and negative images while verbal reappraisals were elicited in order to examine the relationship between attentional deployment and reappraisal. Cognitive control was measured by the AX-CPT. Results indicated that cognitive control alone was not a significant mediator in the relationship between attentional deployment and reappraisal. However, post hoc analyses indicated cognitive control was a significant mediator in a group of individuals who rated positive stimuli as more intense than negative stimuli, suggesting that individual differences in emotional reactivity may moderate this relationship between lower- and higher-order emotion regulation strategies.



Committee Chair

Cohen, Alex