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Tag: Anxiety

Sex, Sleep Deprivation, and the Anxious Brain

Published in: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 30, Issue 4, April 2018, 565-578 Abstract “Insufficient sleep is a known trigger of anxiety. Nevertheless, not everyone experiences these effects to the same extent. One determining factor is sex, wherein women experience a greater anxiogenic impact in response to sleep loss than men. However, the underlying brain mechanism(s) governing this sleep-loss-induced anxiety increase, including the markedly different reaction in women and men, is unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that structural brain morphology in a discrete network of emotion-relevant regions represents one such explanatory factor. Healthy participants were assessed across sleep-rested and sleep-deprived… Read More

Anxiety and Threat-Related Attention: Cognitive-Motivational Framework and Treatment

Published in: Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 22, Issue 3, 225-240 Abstract “Research in experimental psychopathology and cognitive theories of anxiety highlight threat-related attention biases (ABs) and underpin the development of a computer-delivered treatment for anxiety disorders: attention-bias modification (ABM) training. Variable effects of ABM training on anxiety and ABs generate conflicting research recommendations, novel ABM training procedures, and theoretical controversy. This article summarises an updated cognitive-motivational framework, integrating proposals from cognitive models of anxiety and attention, as well as evidence of ABs. Interactions between motivational salience-driven and goal-directed influences on multiple cognitive processes (e.g., stimulus evaluation, inhibition, switching, orienting)… Read More

Childhood maltreatment is associated with increased neural response to ambiguous threatening facial expressions in adulthood: Evidence from the late positive potential

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 143-154 Abstract “Childhood maltreatment increases lifetime vulnerability for psychopathology. One proposed mechanism for this association is that early maltreatment increases vigilance for and attention to subtle threat cues, persisting outside of the environment in which maltreatment occurs. To test this possibility, the present study examined neural responses to ambiguous and nonambiguous threatening facial expressions in a sample of 25 adults reporting a history of low-to-moderate levels of abuse in childhood and 46 reporting no or low levels of childhood maltreatment. The measure of neural response used was the late positive… Read More

Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex 5-HT6 receptors regulate anxiety-like behavior

Published in: Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 18, Issue 1, 58-67 Abstract “The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) plays a very important role in decision-related and anxiety-related information processing. It has enriched 5-HT6 receptors; however, the precise role of dmPFC 5-HT6 receptors in anxiety remains to be fully investigated. In this study, we injected dmPFC with the 5-HT6 receptor agonist EMD 386088 and antagonist SB 271046 using stereotactic technology. 5-HT6 receptor activation in mice increased time spent in the center area on the open-field test, increased exploration of the open arms on the elevated plus maze test, and increased ratio on… Read More

The tell-tale heart: physiological reactivity during resolution of ambiguity in youth anxiety

Published in: Cognition and Emotion, Volume 32, Issue 2, 389-396 Abstract “In the past decade, cognitive biases and physiological arousal have each been proposed as mechanisms through which paediatric anxiety develops and is maintained over time. Preliminary studies have found associations between anxious interpretations of ambiguity, physiological arousal, and avoidance, supporting theories that link cognition, psychophysiology, and behaviour. However, little is known about the relationship between youths’ resolutions of ambiguity and physiological arousal during acute stress. Such information may have important clinical implications for use of verbal self-regulation strategies and cognitive restructuring during treatments for paediatric anxiety. In this brief report,… Read More

Algebraic reasoning and bat-and-ball problem variants: Solving isomorphic algebra first facilitates problem solving later

Published in: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Volume 24, Issue 6, December 2017, 1922-1928 Abstract “The classic bat-and-ball problem is used widely to measure biased and correct reasoning in decision-making. University students overwhelmingly tend to provide the biased answer to this problem. To what extent might reasoners be led to modify their judgement, and, more specifically, is it possible to facilitate problem solution by prompting participants to consider the problem from an algebraic perspective? One hundred ninety-seven participants were recruited to investigate the effect of algebraic cueing as a debiasing strategy on variants of the bat-and-ball problem. Participants who were cued to… Read More