Alexander J. Shackman

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It has been argued that emotion, pain and cognitive control are functionally segregated in distinct subdivisions of the cingulate cortex. However, recent observations encourage a fundamentally different view. Imaging studies demonstrate that negative affect, pain and cognitive control activate an overlapping region of the dorsal cingulate--the anterior(More)
Stress can fundamentally alter neural responses to incoming information. Recent research suggests that stress and anxiety shift the balance of attention away from a task-directed mode, governed by prefrontal cortex, to a sensory-vigilance mode, governed by the amygdala and other threat-sensitive regions. A key untested prediction of this framework is that(More)
On the basis of a review of the extant literature describing emotion-cognition interactions, the authors propose 4 methodological desiderata for studying how task-irrelevant affect modulates cognition and present data from an experiment satisfying them. Consistent with accounts of the hemispheric asymmetries characterizing withdrawal-related negative affect(More)
Anhedonia, the loss of pleasure or interest in previously rewarding stimuli, is a core feature of major depression. While theorists have argued that anhedonia reflects a reduced capacity to experience pleasure, evidence is mixed as to whether anhedonia is caused by a reduction in hedonic capacity. An alternative explanation is that anhedonia is due to the(More)
Compassion is a key motivator of altruistic behavior, but little is known about individuals' capacity to cultivate compassion through training. We examined whether compassion may be systematically trained by testing whether (a) short-term compassion training increases altruistic behavior and (b) individual differences in altruism are associated with(More)
Muscle electrical activity, or "electromyogenic" (EMG) artifact, poses a serious threat to the validity of electroencephalography (EEG) investigations in the frequency domain. EMG is sensitive to a variety of psychological processes and can mask genuine effects or masquerade as legitimate neurogenic effects across the scalp in frequencies at least as low as(More)
Despite growing interest in emotion regulation, the degree to which psychophysiological measures of emotion regulation are stable over time remains unknown. We examined four-week test-retest reliability of corrugator electromyographic and eyeblink startle measures of negative emotion and its regulation. Both measures demonstrated similar sensitivity to the(More)
Extreme early-life anxiety is associated with an evolutionarily conserved reduction in the strength of intrinsic functional connectivity between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the central nucleus of the amygdala (a) Children with anxiety disorders. The bottom-left panel shows the Ce seed (cyan in red ring). The upper-left panel depicts a coronal(More)
Evidence from imaging and anatomical studies suggests that the midcingulate cortex (MCC) is a dynamic hub lying at the interface of affect and cognition. In particular, this neural system appears to integrate information about conflict and punishment in order to optimize behavior in the face of action-outcome uncertainty. In a series of meta-analyses, we(More)
Aggression correlates with relatively greater left than right frontal electroencephalographic activity (inverse of EEG alpha power). The present experiment extends this research by manipulating frontal asymmetry and examining its effect on aggression. Participants were assigned to increase left frontal activation or increase right frontal activation by(More)