Defence of the PhD Thesis of Mathieu LEMAIRE

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on the December 14, 2017


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Site Tonnellé, Amphi C

Particularités des réponses émotionnelles dans le trouble bipolaire et chez l’adulte avec autisme. Dirigé par Wissam El-Hage et Frédérique Bonnet-Brilhault.

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Interest in emotional disturbances is relatively recent in psychiatry despite its high prevalence in mental disorders. Very few studies have explored global emotional process, which includes subjective, physiological and expressive responses and usually measures only one aspect of emotional process. Understanding emotional disturbances in neuropsychiatric disorders is essential because it may be a target of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments.

The aim of our work was to study the different components of emotional responses in two psychiatric disorders, bipolar disorder and autism.

Results are only available for bipolar disorder. No difference was found between euthymic bipolar patients and controls regarding subjective emotional response. Symptomatic bipolar patients evidenced increased affective reactivity to neutral pictures and reduced maintenance of subjective affective responses to all pictures. Upon viewing positive pictures, pupil dilation was significantly lower in euthymic patients compared to controls. Patients, regardless of their symptomatic status, were comparable to healthy individuals in terms of voluntary control of affective responses during experiential suppression.

Due to our results and conflicting results in the literature, we built a study aiming to explore the different components of emotional responses in laboratory setting but also in real life, in bipolar disorder and autism, for a better global understanding of emotional process even at an individual level.

Keywords: Emotion, emotion regulation, bipolar disorder, autism, electrodermal activity, heart rate variability, pupillometry.