Affective states influence subsequent attention allocation. We evaluated emotional negativity bias modulation by reappraisal in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) relative to normal controls. Event-related potential (ERP) recordings were obtained, and changes in P200 and P300 amplitudes in response to negative or neutral words were noted after decreasing negative emotion or establishing a neutral condition. We found that in GAD patients only, the mean P200 amplitude after negative word presentation was much higher than after the presentation of neutral words. In normal controls, after downregulation of negative emotion, the mean P300 amplitude in response to negative words was much lower than after neutral words, and this was significant in both the left and right regions. In GAD patients, the negative bias remained prominent and was not affected by reappraisal at the early stage. Reappraisal was observed to have a lateralized effect at the late stage
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