Flat affect (i.e., diminished expressivity) and self-reported anhedonia (i.e., lack of pleasure) are associated with many psychiatric disorders. There is a need to examine the relationship between specific anhedonia subtypes and flat affect in a non-clinical sample. Forty-seven undergraduate students (59% male; mean age 20.37; SD = 4.74) completed self-report questionnaires assessing four subtypes of anhedonia - consummatory/anticipatory by social/non-social. Participants then viewed 15 randomly-presented pictures (five neutral, ten negative) from the International Affective Pictures System while facial muscle activity (electromyography; EMG) was recorded. Male participants reporting a greater level of anhedonia, particularly consummatory social anhedonia, showed greater EMG activity change in the corrugator supercilii muscle to negative pictures, as compared with neutral pictures. Females showed the opposite pattern: more consummatory social anhedonia related to less EMG activity change in the corrugator muscle. In summary, consummatory social anhedonia in particular showed a strong relationship with facial expressivity that interacted with sex. In the presence of more consummatory social anhedonia, males show more negative facial reactions to negative stimuli while females show a more flattened affect. These findings may help explain discrepancies in existing research examining anhedonia and flat affect in clinical populations and have implications for etiology and treatments.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Kadison, Lisa, "Subtypes of anhedonia and facial electromyography response to negative affective pictures in healthy adults" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1412.