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Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2019 Jan 30;283:34-44. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2018.11.010. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

EEG recording during an emotional face-matching task in children of mothers with interpersonal violence-related posttraumatic stress disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address: virginie.pointet@unige.ch.
2
Department of Basic Neurosciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
4
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Service, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland; Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Service, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.
6
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Service, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland; Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland.
7
Department of Basic Neurosciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; Biomedical Imaging Center (CIBM), Lausanne, Geneva, Switzerland.
8
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland; Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of maternal interpersonal violence-related posttraumatic disorder (IPV-PTSD) on child appraisal of emotion, as measured by high-density electroencephalography (HD-EEG) during an Emotional Face-matching Task (EFMT). We recorded HD-EEG in 47 children of mothers with and without IPV-PTSD during an Emotional Face-matching Task (EFMT). Mothers and children each performed the EFMT. Behavioral results demonstrated that both mothers who were directly exposed to violent events, and their children, presented attentional bias toward negative emotions when processing facial stimuli. EEG findings confirmed differences in emotion appraisal between children of IPV-PTSD mothers and non-PTSD controls at scalp-level and in terms of source localization upon which children of IPV-PTSD mothers demonstrated decreased activation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in response to angry and fearful faces as compared to non-PTSD children with respect to the N170 component. Our study, to our knowledge, is the first to show that maternal IPV-PTSD significantly affects a mother's own and her child's neural activity in response to facial expressions of negative emotion. These findings are potentially important to the development and study of effective interventions to interrupt intergenerational cycles of violence and trauma.

KEYWORDS:

Child development; EEG neuroimaging; ERPs; Early life stress; Emotion regulation; Maternal PTSD

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