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APS Award Address

A Behavioral Approach System Dysregulation Perspective on Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: Theory and Evidence

Saturday, May 23, 2009, 4:00 PM - 4:50 PM
Yerba Buena 10 - 11

Lyn Y. Abramson

Lyn Y. Abramson
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Lauren B. Alloy

Lauren B. Alloy
Temple University

According to a Behavioral Approach System (BAS) dysregulation model of bipolar disorder, individuals vulnerable to bipolar spectrum disorders exhibit an overly sensitive BAS that is hyper-reactive to relevant cues and thus becomes dysregulated easily. In essence, individuals vulnerable to bipolar disorder are unable to effectively regulate their emotions and behavior because their proneness to BAS dysregulation renders them excessively responsive to BAS-relevant events. In this talk, we will present the BAS dysregulation model of bipolar disorders and evidence from the Longitudinal Investigation of Bipolar Spectrum (LIBS) Disorders Project designed to test some of the predictions of the model. Evidence will include the role of BAS sensitivity, BAS-relevant cognitive styles, and BAS-relevant life events in predicting the onset and course of bipolar mood episodes and differential outcomes of bipolar disorder (impairment vs. achievement), as well as bipolar individuals’ responsiveness to rewards and punishments in a challenging task as assessed by electroencephalography (EEG).

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Festschrift for Donald Stein