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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 793673, 7 pages
Research Article

Enhanced Intensity Dependence as a Marker of Low Serotonergic Neurotransmission in High Optimistic College Students

1Medical Psychological Institute, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, No. 139, Middle Renmin Road, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China
2Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

Received 24 August 2013; Revised 10 November 2013; Accepted 25 November 2013

Academic Editor: Eva Widerstrom-Noga

Copyright © 2013 Jibiao Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Positive psychology focuses were on the merits of individuals, such as optimism and positive attitude, and the subsequent cultivation of these virtues. Optimism or pessimism is a significant predictor of physical health outcomes. The present study examined whether optimism or pessimism is associated with the loudness dependence of auditory evoked potentials (LDAEP), a biological indicator of serotonergic neurotransmission, for the N1, P2, and N1/P2 peaks in college students. The amplitudes and amplitude-stimulus intensity function (ASF) slopes of the N1, P2, and N1/P2 peaks were determined in the 24 (10 males) high optimistic and 24 (14 males) high pessimistic individuals. Significantly higher P2 ASF slopes were found in the optimistic group relative to the pessimistic group. Concerning peaks and ASF slopes of N1 and N1/P2, no significant differences were observed. Our results suggest that the serotonergic neurotransmission of the high optimistic college students was inferior to that of the pessimistic ones. Further investigations are needed to provide sufficient support for our results.