Suppressing Emotions Impairs Subsequent Stroop Performance and Reduces Prefrontal Brain Activation

Malte Friese, Julia Binder, Roger Luechinger, Peter Bösiger & Björn Rasch
Abundant behavioral evidence suggests that the ability to self-control is limited, and that any exertion of self-control will increase the likelihood of subsequent self-control failures. Here we investigated the neural correlates underlying the aftereffects of self-control on future control processes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An initial act of self-control (suppressing emotions) impaired subsequent performance in a second task requiring control (Stroop task). On the neural level, increased activity during emotion suppression was followed...
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