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Sci Rep. 2019 May 20;9(1):7576. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42951-y.

Characteristics of the regulation of the surprise emotion.

Author information

1
School of Education, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, China.
2
Research Center of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian, 116029, China.
3
School of Education, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, China. dianzhiliu@foxmail.com.
4
Research Center of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian, 116029, China. luowb@lnnu.edu.cn.
5
Laboratory of Emotion and Mental Health, Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, Chongqing, 402168, China. luowb@lnnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the characteristics of the regulation of the emotion of surprise. Event-related potentials (ERPs) of college students when using cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression to regulate their surprise level were recorded. Different contexts were presented to participants, followed by the image of surprised facial expression; subsequently, using a 9-point scale, participants were asked to rate the intensity of their emotional experience. The behavioral results suggest that individuals' surprise level could be reduced by using both expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal, in basic and complex conditions. The ERP results showed that (1) the N170 amplitudes were larger in complex than basic contexts, and those elicited by using expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal showed no significant differences, suggesting that emotion regulation did not occur at this stage; (2) the LPC amplitudes elicited by using cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression were smaller than those elicited by free viewing in both context conditions, suggesting that the late stage of individuals' processing of surprised faces was influenced by emotion regulation. This study found that conscious emotional regulation occurred in the late stages when individuals processed surprise, and the regulation effects of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression were equivalent.

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