How does cognitive reappraisal affect the response to gains and losses?


  • This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30930031, 91132704), the Ministry of Science and Technology (973 Program, 2011CB711000), the Global Research Initiative Program, United States National Institutes of Health grant (1R01TW007897), and the Scientific Foundation of Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y2CQ013005). The authors sincerely thank the editor Dr. Greg Hajcak and two anonymous reviewers for their contribution in improving the manuscript.


To investigate the influence of cognitive reappraisal, one important kind of emotion regulation strategy, on psychological and electrophysiological responses to gains and losses, a monetary gambling task was performed in two conditions, that is, spontaneity and regulation. Event-related potentials (ERP) and self-rating emotional experiences to outcome feedback were recorded during the task. Cognitive reappraisal reduced self-rating emotional experience to both gains and losses and the amplitudes of the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and the P3 of ERPs. According to these results, we suggest that the application of cognitive reappraisal strategy significantly modulated the motivational salience of current outcomes, thus weakening the subjective emotional experience elicited. In addition, cognitive reappraisal might have changed the allocation of cognitive resources during outcome evaluation. This study extends emotion regulation studies by applying monetary outcomes as emotional stimuli, and also implicates the significance of emotion regulation in decision-making processes.