Category: Cognitive Science / Cognitive Processes

Symposium

Symposium 84 - Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Worry and Rumination

Saturday, November 18
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Aqua Salon C & D, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Rumination | Worry | Cognitive Processes
Presentation Type: Symposium

Negative, repetitive thought (NRT), or self-referential thought that is negative, repetitive, and difficult-to-control, has been identified as a core transdiagnostic construct within the emotional (i.e., mood and anxiety-related) disorders.  NRT in the form of worry and rumination has been experimentally and prospectively linked to increased anxiety, depression, and a range of other negative mental and physical health outcomes. Currently little is understood about the neurocognitive mechanisms that contribute to NRT, nor the mechanisms by which NRT might be successfully or unsuccessfully regulated. Identifying these mechanisms is a critical first step toward developing targeted treatments that improve patients’ ability to disengage from NRT and reduce symptoms. This symposium presents new findings derived from a variety of methods (i.e., experimental; neuroimaging; network analysis), all aimed at clarifying the neurocognitive mechanisms of worry and rumination, two of the most common and persistent forms of NRT.


This symposium includes four presentations.  First, Dr. Lauren Hallion will present experimental data showing that a reduced ability to shift attention between internal and external foci, as compared to traditionally-conceptualized shifting (i.e., the ability to shift attention between two external foci), is a potential mechanism of uncontrollable worry and rumination.  Second, Dr. Neil Jones will present results from a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of negative self-referential processing and autobiographical problem-solving in depressed and non-depressed adults. Findings indicate that rumination is associated with reduced recruitment of default mode regions involved in autobiographical problem-solving and may underlie the abstract thinking style that characterizes rumination. Third, Dr. Kim Arditte will present data that illustrate the relationship between worry, rumination, and obsessive thinking and that link all three thought types to impaired inhibitory control on an experimental task. Fourth, Emily Bernstein will present data describing the application of a novel statistical technique called network analysis to elucidate the relationship between rumination and several distinct facets of executive functioning. Results from these analyses are consistent with a negative feedback loop between rumination and executive functioning impairment and additionally suggest a particularly central role for self-criticism.  Finally, Dr. Ernst Koster, an internationally-recognized expert on cognition-emotion interactions and neurocognitive mechanisms of NRT, will serve as discussant.

Learning Objectives:

Lauren S. Hallion

University of Pittsburgh

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Lauren Hallion

Ernst Koster

Professor
Ghent University

Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Ernst Koster

    Lauren S. Hallion

    University of Pittsburgh

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Lauren Hallion

    Neil Jones

    University of Pittsburgh

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Neil Jones

    Kimberly A. Arditte Hall

    Advanced Research Fellow in Women's Mental Health
    National Center for PTSD/VA Boston Healthcare System; Boston University School of Medicine

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Kimberly Arditte Hall

    Emily E. Bernstein

    Graduate Student
    Harvard University

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Emily Bernstein


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