The glass is half empty: Negative self-appraisal bias and attenuated neural response to positive self-judgment in adolescence

Academic Article


  • © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Substantial changes in cognitive-affective self-referential processing occur during adolescence. We studied the behavioral and ERP correlates of self-evaluation in healthy male and female adolescents aged 12–17 (N = 109). Participants completed assessments of depression symptoms and puberty as well as a self-referential encoding task while 128-channel high-density EEG data were collected. Depression symptom severity was associated with increased endorsement of negative words and longer reaction times. In an extreme group analysis, a negative appraisal-bias subsample (n = 28) displayed decreased frontal P2 amplitudes to both positive and negative word stimuli, reflecting reduced early attentional processing and emotional salience. Compared to the positive appraisal-bias subsample (n = 27), the negative appraisal-bias subsample showed reduced LPP to positive words but not negative words, suggesting attenuated sustained processing of positive self-relevant stimuli. Findings are discussed in terms of neural processes associated with ERPs during negative versus positive self-appraisal bias, and developmental implications.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ke T; Wu J; Willner CJ; Brown Z; Banz B; Van Noordt S; Waters AC; Crowley MJ
  • Start Page

  • 140
  • End Page

  • 157
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 2