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Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Neuroscience

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Emotional modulation of cognitive control in referred gifted male adolescents: A pilot study

Author(s): Sébastien Urben*, Valérie Camos, Stéphanie Habersaat and Philippe Stéphan

OBJECTIVES: Self-regulation skills might help to understand the heterogeneity of adjustment behaviors in gifted youths. This study investigates the bottom-up influence of emotional material on cognitive control abilities (specific cognitive self-regulation skills) in gifted and nongifted adolescents.

METHOD: Nineteen gifted male adolescents and twenty non-gifted adolescents completed three versions of the Stop Signal task, measuring the bottom-up influence of emotional material on cognitive control abilities (i.e., response inhibition, proactive and reactive adjustments).

RESULTS: Response inhibition abilities of the gifted adolescents were more impaired when emotional material has been presented, compared to the non-gifted adolescents. Gifted adolescents displayed more proactive adjustments than non-gifted adolescents. Finally, although gifted adolescents displayed more efficient reactive adjustment than non-gifted adolescents, their performances were more affected by emotional material.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that referred gifted adolescents display a different pattern of bottom-up influence of emotional material on specific cognitive control processes indicating differences in selfregulations skills of gifted adolescents.

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