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(p. 45) Behavioral and Psychophysiological Investigations of Irritability 

(p. 45) Behavioral and Psychophysiological Investigations of Irritability
(p. 45) Behavioral and Psychophysiological Investigations of Irritability

Mariah DeSerisy

, and Christen M. Deveney

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date: 27 May 2020

A better understanding of neurocognitive mechanisms underlying irritability has the potential to inform treatments and improve quality of life for the children for whom this symptom is severe and persistent. This chapter examines the existing behavioral and psychophysiological investigations into irritability-related mechanisms in youth. Together, these measures provide insight into the cognitive and socioemotional abilities of youth with irritability. Existing research explores three domains: executive functioning, reward processing, and responses to emotional stimuli. Although deficits have been observed in each domain, the strongest evidence exists for atypical frustrative nonreward responses (i.e., when an expected reward is not received), face emotion identification deficits, and increased attention toward threatening faces. We discuss limitations to the existing literature and propose avenues for future research, including exploring cognitive-emotion interactions, using dimensional measures of irritability, and examining whether deficits are unique to irritability or related to co-occurring symptoms.

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