Variability in human resting state electroencephalography (EEG) may reflect emotion regulation processes (for a review, see Knyazev, 2007). For instance, it has been suggested that correlation between slow (1-3 Hz) and fast (13-30 Hz) activity (or δ-β coherence) may reflect functional synchronization between limbic and cortical brain systems. Indirect support comes from several studies reporting relationships between δ-β coherence and subjectively reported behavioral inhibition and state anxiety. The present study sought to extend this work and tested the prediction that objectively, experimentally, measured threat-selective attention should also be related to δ-β coherence. EEG frequency band power and dot probe task performance were assessed in forty healthy women and results demonstrated a negative association between delta-beta coherence and automatic, anxiety-driven attentional avoidance of threatening pictorial stimuli. These first reported objective measures for cognitive-emotional behavior obtained in relation to delta-beta coherence provide additional support for the hypothesis that this EEG parameter may reflect emotion regulation processes and supports suggestions that δ-β coherence may be a useful tool in the experimental study of affect and psychopathology. In addition, results showed an unexpected negative association between δ-β coherence and self-reported trait anxiety (but no association with behavioral inhibition).
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