Alexander J. Shackman

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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)
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)
Dispositional anxiety is a well-established risk factor for the development of psychiatric disorders along the internalizing spectrum, including anxiety and depression. Importantly, many of the maladaptive behaviors characteristic of anxiety, such as anticipatory apprehension, occur when threat is absent. This raises the possibility that anxious individuals(More)
Dispositional anxiety is a well-established risk factor for the development of anxiety and other emotional disorders. These disorders are common, debilitating, and challenging to treat, pointing to the need to understand the more elementary neurocognitive mechanisms that confer elevated risk. Importantly, many of the maladaptive behaviors characteristic of(More)
Recent years have witnessed the emergence of powerful new tools for assaying the brain and a remarkable acceleration of research focused on the interplay of emotion and cognition. This work has begun to yield new insights into fundamental questions about the nature of the mind and important clues about the origins of mental illness. In particular, this(More)
Many of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders are marked by prominent disturbances of cognition and emotion. Characterizing the complex neural circuitry underlying the interplay of cognition and emotion is critically important, not just for clarifying the nature of the mind, but also for discovering the root causes of a broad spectrum of debilitating(More)
Startle potentiation is a well-validated translational measure of negative affect. Startle potentiation is widely used in clinical and affective science, and there are multiple approaches for its quantification. The three most commonly used approaches quantify startle potentiation as the increase in startle response from a neutral to threat condition based(More)
Recent years have witnessed an explosion of interest focused on the interplay of emotion and cognition (Pessoa, 2013; Braver et al., 2014; Dolcos and Denkova, 2014). The goal of our Special Research Topic was to survey recent advances in understanding how emotional and cognitive processes interact, how they are integrated in the brain, and the implications(More)