Temperament, behavior and motivation

  • Although definitions vary, most researchers agree that emotion regulation involves efforts to modulate emotional arousal in a way that facilitates adaptive functioning. (Graziano 2007). 

    Emotion regulation refers to the set of processes by which we modify the experience and expression of our emotions (Gross, 1998b).

    This ability is critical to sustained mental health, and impairments in emotion regulation are observed in a range of childhood behavior disorders.

  • From an adaptive stance it has been argued that disgust evolved with the core function of protecting individuals against contamination by facilitating avoidance of toxins and pathogens . In line with this idea disgust has been conceptualised as a disease-avoidance mechanism (Bosman 2016)

    Disgust elicitors have been shown to lead to avoidant behavior very young children and it is possible that disgust may be a prime factor in touch and food aversive behavior (tactile defensiveness).

  • Sensory gating is often considered an automatic and involuntary first step in the attentional process and, in adults and children diminished sensory gating ability is associated with neurocognitive and behavioral problems in attention. (Hutchinson 2013)

    Sensory gating of auditory input

    Diminished auditory sensory gating is linked to both internalizing and externalizing disorders in children. 

  • Anxiety sensitivity is the fear of arousal-related sensations (including increased heart rate, sweating, muscle tension, shortness of breath)  based on the belief that these sensations may have harmful or negative consequences.

    Information about the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index and the impact of fitness training of anxiety sensitivity.

  • "In the study of childhood anxiety and related disorders, parental accommodation refers to parental behavior modifications that attempt to prevent or reduce child distress associated with participation in age-appropriate activities and/or exposure to feared or avoided stimuli (Flessner, Freeman, et al., 2011;Lebowitz et al., 2013)."


  • The frontal cortex continues to be a primary area of focus in attempts to uncover the neural mechanisms that support component processes that are necessary for cognitive control. The frontal cortex is hierarchically organized and provides critical bias signals that sculpt goal-directed behavior. Much work is still needed regarding the nature of these signals, and the mechanisms by which the frontal cortex maintains relevant information and communicates with other brain regions. Moreover, ascending brainstem neuromodulatory systems, such as the dopaminergic system, likely influence most of the cognitive processes mentioned in this review.