Emotion Regulation in the Brain: Conceptual Issues and Directions for Developmental Research
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2004
Volume 75, Issue 2, pages 371–376, March 2004
How to Cite
Lewis, M. D. and Stieben, J. (2004), Emotion Regulation in the Brain: Conceptual Issues and Directions for Developmental Research. Child Development, 75: 371–376. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00680.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2004
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2004
Emotion regulation cannot be temporally distinguished from emotion in the brain, but activation patterns in prefrontal cortex appear to mediate cognitive control during emotion episodes. Frontal event-related potentials (ERPs) can tap cognitive control hypothetically mediated by the anterior cingulate cortex, and developmentalists have used these to differentiate age, individual, and emotion-valence factors. Extending this approach, the present article outlines a research strategy for studying emotion regulation in children by combining emotion induction with a go/no-go task known to produce frontal ERPs. Preliminary results indicate that medial-frontal ERP amplitudes diminish with age but become more sensitive to anxiety, and internalizing children show higher amplitudes than noninternalizing children, especially when anxious. These results may reflect age and individual differences in the effortful regulation of negative emotion.