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See detailEffects of cold stimulation on cardiac-vagal activation: Randomized controlled trial with healthy participants
Jungmann, Manuela; Vencatachellum, Shervin UL; van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL et al

in Journal of Medical Internet Research (in press)

Background: The experience of psychological stress has not yet been adequately tackled with digital technology by catering to healthy individuals who wish to reduce their acute stress levels. For the ... [more ▼]

Background: The experience of psychological stress has not yet been adequately tackled with digital technology by catering to healthy individuals who wish to reduce their acute stress levels. For the design of digitally mediated solutions, physiological mechanisms need to be investigated that have the potential to induce relaxation with the help of technology. Research has shown that physiological mechanisms embodied in the face and neck regions are effective for diminishing stress related symptoms. The study described in this paper expands on these areas with the design for a wearable in mind. As this study charts new territory in research, it also represents a first evaluation of the viability for a wearables concept to reduce stress. We inquire into the effects of cold stimulation on heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in the neck region using a Thermode device. Objective: The objectives of this study were to assess whether (a) HRV is increased and (b) HR is decreased during a cold stimulation compared to a (non-stimulated) control condition. Effects were in particular expected in the neck and cheek regions and less in the forearm area (c). Methods: Participants were seated in a lab chair and tested with cold stimulation on the right side of the body. A Thermode was placed on the neck, cheek and forearm. Participants’ electrocardiogram was recorded and subsequently analyzed. The study was a fully randomized, within subject design. The cold stimulation was applied in 16 s intervals over 4 trials per testing location. The control condition proceeded exactly like the cold condition, except the thermal variable was manipulated to remain on the baseline temperature. HR was measured in msec IBI. rMSSD analyses were used to index HRV. Data were analyzed using a repeated measurements analysis of variance approach with two repeated measurements factors, i.e. Body Location (neck, cheek, forearm) and Condition (cold, control) Results: The data analysis of 61 participants (on exclusion of outliers) showed a main effect for body location for HR and HRV, a main effect for condition for HR and HRV and an interaction effect for condition and body location for HR and HRV. The results obtained demonstrate a pattern of cardiovascular reactivity to cold stimulation, suggesting an increase in cardiac-vagal activation. The effect was found to be significant for cold stimulation in the lateral neck area. Conclusion: The results confirmed our main hypothesis. This sets the stage for further investigations of the stress reduction potential in the neck region by developing a wearable prototype that can be used for cold application. Future studies should include a stress condition, test for a range of temperatures and durations, and collect self-report data on perceived stress levels to advance current findings. [less ▲]

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See detailTime for a Plot Twist: Beyond Confirmatory Approaches to Binge-Watching Research
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Maurage, Pierre; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Psychology of Popular Media Culture (in press)

The advent of the digital age with its progress in digital technology has been associated in recent years with an increase in binge-watching (i.e., seeing multiple episodes of the same TV series in one ... [more ▼]

The advent of the digital age with its progress in digital technology has been associated in recent years with an increase in binge-watching (i.e., seeing multiple episodes of the same TV series in one session). Binge-watching has now become the new normative way to consume TV shows. Nevertheless, along with its recent massive rise has come concerns about the associated mental and physical health outcomes. Currently available results suggest the potential harmfulness and even addictive nature of binge-watching. The psychological investigation of this behavior, however, is still in its infancy, with most studies using a confirmatory approach and assuming a priori its genuine addictive nature. In contrast, the current perspective paper argues the case for an exploratory approach as an initial step for conducting research on behaviors that − at first sight − look like addiction when applying a symptom-based approach. A qualitative understanding of the phenomenological characteristics of binge-watching as the foundation of an initial comprehensive discussion makes it possible to formulate hypotheses concerning its potentially addictive nature and to emphasize challenges and directions for future research. Here we propose an exploration of the dynamics of binge-watching behavior based on a model involving emotion regulation in the etiology and maintenance of problem binge-watching. [less ▲]

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See detailHealth benefits of walking in nature: a randomized controlled study under conditions of real-life stress.
Olafsdottir, Gunnthora; Cloke, Paul; Schulz, André UL et al

in Environment & Behavior (in press)

We investigated the effects of recreational exposure to the natural environment on mood and psychophysiological responses to stress. We hypothesized that walking in nature has restorative effects over and ... [more ▼]

We investigated the effects of recreational exposure to the natural environment on mood and psychophysiological responses to stress. We hypothesized that walking in nature has restorative effects over and above the effects of exposure to nature scenes (viewing-nature-on-TV) or physical exercise alone (walking-on-a-treadmill-in-a-gym) and that these effects are greater when participants were expected to be more stressed. Healthy university students (N=90) were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 conditions and tested during an exam-free period and again during their exam time. Mood and psychophysiological responses were assessed before and after the interventions, and again after a laboratory stressor. All interventions had restorative effects on cortisol levels (p < .001), yet walking in nature resulted in lower cortisol levels than did nature viewing (p < .05) during the exam period. Walking in nature improved mood more than watching nature scenes (p < .001) or physical exercise alone (p < .05). [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing binge-watching behaviors: Development and validation of the “Watching TV Series Motives” and “Binge-Watching Engagement and Symptoms” questionnaires
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Canale, Natale; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Computers in Human Behavior (2019), 90

The widespread practice of binge-watching (i.e. watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) recently generated concerns about associated negative outcomes. Its psychological investigation ... [more ▼]

The widespread practice of binge-watching (i.e. watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) recently generated concerns about associated negative outcomes. Its psychological investigation, however, remains fragmentary. Based on the previous phenomenological investigation of TV series watching, we developed and validated two original assessment instruments, assessing TV series watching motives and binge-watching engagement and symptoms, respectively. Preliminary items were created for each questionnaire, and a focus group with TV series viewers was conducted and analyzed to generate the final instruments. The questionnaires were then administered via an online survey (N=6556), together with complementary measures of affect, problematic Internet use and substance use. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, along with correlational analyses, were performed to examine both structural and external validity of the scales. The factorial analyses resulted in a 4-factor model (i.e. emotional enhancement, enrichment, coping-escapism and social) for the Watching TV Series Motives Questionnaire (WTSMQ), and in a 7-factor model (i.e. engagement, positive emotions, desire-savoring, pleasure preservation, binge-watching, dependency and loss of control) for the Binge-Watching Engagement and Symptoms Questionnaire (BWESQ). The results suggest good psychometric properties for both scales. The current study thus provides theoretically-driven and psychometrically sound instruments for further research on binge-watching behaviors [less ▲]

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See detailTask interference and distraction efficacy in patients with fibromyalgia: an experimental investigation
van Ryckeghem, Dimitri UL; Rost, Silke; Kissi, Ama et al

in Pain (2018), 159(6), 1119-1126

Pain has the capacity to interfere with daily tasks. Although task interference by pain is largely unintentional, it can be controlled to a certain extent. Such top-down control over pain has been thought ... [more ▼]

Pain has the capacity to interfere with daily tasks. Although task interference by pain is largely unintentional, it can be controlled to a certain extent. Such top-down control over pain has been thought to be reduced in fibromyalgia patients. In this study, we investigated task interference and distraction efficacy in fibromyalgia patients (FM) and a matched healthy control group. Forty-nine fibromyalgia patients and 49 heathy volunteers performed as quickly as possible (a) a visual localization task in the presence of non-painful vibrating or painful electric somatic stimuli, and (b) a somatosensory localization task (using non-painful or painful stimuli). Participants reported on their experience of the somatic stimuli on some of the trials during both localisation tasks. Results indicated that pain interferes with performance of the visual task, in both FM patients and healthy individuals. Furthermore, participants experienced the pain stimulus as less intense when directing attention away from the pain than when focusing on the pain. Overall, task performance of FM patients was slower compared to the task performance in the healthy control group. In contrast to our hypotheses, FM patients and healthy volunteers did not differ in the magnitude of the interference effect and distraction-efficacy. In conclusion, current study provides support for contemporary theories claiming that attention modulates the experience of pain and vice versa. However, no evidence was however found for an altered attentional processing of pain in fibromyalgia patients. Furthermore, results indicate that task interference and distraction-efficacy are not just two sides of the same coin. [less ▲]

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See detailBlunted endocrine response to a combined physical-cognitive stressor in adults with early life adversity
Hengesch, X.; Elwenspoek, M.M.C.; Schaan, Violetta UL et al

in Child Abuse & Neglect (2018)

The negative health effects of early life adversity (ELA) continue long into adulthood. Changes in the physiological response to psychosocial stressors have been proposed to mediate this effect. However ... [more ▼]

The negative health effects of early life adversity (ELA) continue long into adulthood. Changes in the physiological response to psychosocial stressors have been proposed to mediate this effect. However, many previous studies have come to contradicting conclusions as to whether ELA induces a long-term increase or decrease in stress reactivity. Therefore, we tested the association of ELA exposure and adult stress reactivity in a sample of early life adoptees and controls.Two previously validated stressful elements (bilateral feet CPT and the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT)) were combined in an extended Cold Pressor Test (CPT). This test was performed on 22 participants who had experienced severe ELA (separation from biological parents, institutionalization, and adoption in early childhood), and in 22 age-matched control participants.A prior history of ELA was associated with blunted reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (Cohen´s d = 0.680). Cardiovascular reactivity remained unchanged, and affective reactivity (self-report ratings) were increased in participants exposed to ELA compared to the control group (range Cohen´s d: 0.642–0.879).Our results suggest that the activity of the HPA axis reactivity was inhibited in ELA participants. Importantly, cardiovascular stress responsiveness was not affected by ELA. This separation of the HPA axis and cardiovascular stress responses may best be explained by ELA selectively enhancing central feedback-sensitivity to glucocorticoids, but preserving cardiovascular/ autonomic stress reactivity. [less ▲]

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See detailLate heartbeat-evoked potentials are associated with survival after cardiac arrest
Schulz, André UL; Stammet, P.; Dierolf, A. M. et al

in Resuscitation (2018), 126(1), 7-13

RATIONALE: Cardiac arrest (CA) is a serious condition characterized by high mortality rates, even after initial successful resuscitation, mainly due to neurological damage. Whether brain-heart ... [more ▼]

RATIONALE: Cardiac arrest (CA) is a serious condition characterized by high mortality rates, even after initial successful resuscitation, mainly due to neurological damage. Whether brain-heart communication is associated with outcome after CA is unknown. Heartbeat-evoked brain potentials (HEPs) represent neurophysiological indicators of brain-heart communication. The aim of this study was to address the association between HEPs and survival after CA. METHODS: HEPs were calculated from resting EEG/ECG in 55 CA patients 24 hours after resuscitation. All patients were treated with targeted temperature management and a standardized sedation protocol during assessment. We investigated the association between HEP amplitude (180- 320 ms, 455-595 ms, 860-1000 ms) and 6-month survival. RESULTS: Twenty-five of 55 patients (45%) were still alive at 6-month follow-up. Survivors showed a higher HEP amplitude at frontopolar and frontal electrodes in the late HEP interval than non-survivors. This effect remained significant after controlling for between-group differences in terms of age, Fentanyl dose, and time lag between resuscitation and EEG assessment. There were no group differences in heart rate or heart rate variability. CONCLUSION: Brain-heart communication, as reflected by HEPs, is associated with survival after CA. Future studies should address the brain-heart axis in CA. [less ▲]

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See detailThe D²Rwanda Study: March 2018 Report
Kallestrup, Per; Vögele, Claus UL; Uwizihiwe, JeanPaul et al

Report (2018)

The Community- and MHealth-Based Integrated Management of Diabetes in Primary Healthcare in Rwanda: the D²Rwanda Study (which stands for Digital Diabetes Study in Rwanda) is a twin PhD project, developed ... [more ▼]

The Community- and MHealth-Based Integrated Management of Diabetes in Primary Healthcare in Rwanda: the D²Rwanda Study (which stands for Digital Diabetes Study in Rwanda) is a twin PhD project, developed in collaboration with Aarhus University (AU) and the University of Luxembourg (UL), and under the auspices of the University of Rwanda and Rwanda Biomedical Centre. The project involves two PhD students, Jean Paul Uwizihiwe (enrolled at AU) and Charilaos Lygidakis (enrolled at UL), and is kindly sponsored by the Karen Elise Jensens Foundation, alongside AU and UL. In this report we wished to narrate what we had been working on for the past two years: from the first steps to understanding better the context and mapping the territory; from obtaining the necessary authorisations to developing the app and translating the questionnaires. [less ▲]

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See detailA Latent State-Trait Analysis of Interoceptive Accuracy
Wittkamp, M.; Bertsch, K.; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Psychophysiology (2018), e0185802

Interoceptive accuracy (IAc), i.e. the ability to accurately perceive one’s own bodily signals, is widely assumed to be a trait, although experimental manipulations, such as stress, may affect IAc. We ... [more ▼]

Interoceptive accuracy (IAc), i.e. the ability to accurately perceive one’s own bodily signals, is widely assumed to be a trait, although experimental manipulations, such as stress, may affect IAc. We used structural equation modeling to estimate the reliability of IAc, and the proportions of individual differences in IAc, explained by a trait and occasion-specific effects of situation and person-situation interactions. We assessed IAc in 59 healthy participants (40 women, MAge = 23.4 years) on three consecutive measurement occasions, approx. one week apart, in a ‘rest’ and ‘poststress’ condition, using a heartbeat counting and a heartbeat discrimination task. The results show fair temporal stability (intraclass correlation coefficients ≥ 0.38) and good reliability (Mdn = .63; range .49-.83) for both methods. While around 40% of the variance of a single IAc measurement could be explained by a trait, approx. 27% were accounted for by occasion-specific effects of situation and person-situation interaction. These results suggest that IAc measures are relatively consistent and that situations and person-situation interactions impact IAc as measured at a certain point in time. An aggregation across at least two measurements is recommended when using IAc as a trait variable. [less ▲]

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See detailOperationsvorbereitung
Vögele, Claus UL

in Kohlmann, Carl-Walter; Salewski, Christel; Wirtz, Markus Antonius (Eds.) Psychologie in der Gesundheitsförderung (2018)

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See detailTrends and transitions
Vögele, Claus UL

in European Journal of Health Psychology (2018), 25(1), 1

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See detailMood, emotions and eating disorders
Vögele, Claus UL; Lutz, Annika UL; Gibson, E. Leigh

in Agras, W. Stewart; Robinson, Athena (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Eating Disorders, Second Edition (2018)

Mood and emotions are intrinsically involved with eating. This chapter discusses basic mechanisms, findings, and models that help our understanding of the interactions between eating and emotions, in both ... [more ▼]

Mood and emotions are intrinsically involved with eating. This chapter discusses basic mechanisms, findings, and models that help our understanding of the interactions between eating and emotions, in both clinical and nonclinical populations. The finding that negative affect predicts EDs transdiagnostically, and that comorbidity with depressive disorders and anxiety disorders is the norm among patients with EDs suggests that EDs may not necessarily be restricted to domains of eating behavior and body image but may also be associated with significant difficulties in affective functioning. This chapter reviews the evidence relating to the notion that EDs are disturbances of mood regulation, in which regulatory strategies specifically related to eating and the body are used to diminish negative affect associated with food, body image, or stress. [less ▲]

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See detailRespiratory modulation of startle: effects on subjective intensity and psychomotor response times
Münch, Eva Elisabeth UL; Vögele, Claus UL; Van Diest, Ilse et al

in Hennig, J.; Stark, R. (Eds.) Abstractband Psychologie und Gehirn 2018 (2018)

Respiratory cycle time modulates reflexive startle eye blink responses to acoustic stimuli. Responsible for this effect seems to be the afferent input of slow adapting pulmonary stretch receptors. It ... [more ▼]

Respiratory cycle time modulates reflexive startle eye blink responses to acoustic stimuli. Responsible for this effect seems to be the afferent input of slow adapting pulmonary stretch receptors. It remains unclear, however, whether this respiratory modulation of startle (RMS) effect is also reflected in the modulation of higher cognitive, evaluative processing of the startle stimulus. Twenty-nine healthy volunteers received 80 acoustic startle stimuli (100 or 105 dB(A); 50 ms; binaural; instantaneous rise time), which were presented during peak and ongoing inspiration and expiration, while performing a paced breathing task at 0.25 Hz. Participants first responded to the startle probes by `as fast as possible' button pushes and then rated the perceived intensity of the acoustic stimuli. Psychomotor response time was divided into pre-motor (from stimulus onset to home button release; represents stimulus evaluation) and motor response time (from home button release to target button press). Intensity judgements were higher and evaluative response times accelerated during on-going expiration. No effect of respiratory cycle phase was found on eye blink responses and motor response time. We conclude, therefore, that respiratory cycle phase affects higher cognitive, attentional processing of acoustic startle stimuli. [less ▲]

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See detailRespiratory modulation of startle: effects on subjective intensity and psychomotor response times
Münch, Eva Elisabeth UL; Vögele, Claus UL; Van Diest, Ilse et al

in Abstractband Psychologie und Gehirn 2018 (2018)

Respiratory cycle time modulates reflexive startle eye blink responses to acoustic stimuli. Responsible for this effect seems to be the afferent input of slow adapting pulmonary stretch receptors. It ... [more ▼]

Respiratory cycle time modulates reflexive startle eye blink responses to acoustic stimuli. Responsible for this effect seems to be the afferent input of slow adapting pulmonary stretch receptors. It remains unclear, however, whether this respiratory modulation of startle (RMS) effect is also reflected in the modulation of higher cognitive, evaluative processing of the startle stimulus. Twenty-nine healthy volunteers received 80 acoustic startle stimuli (100 or 105 dB(A); 50 ms; binaural; instantaneous rise time), which were presented during peak and ongoing inspiration and expiration, while performing a paced breathing task at 0.25 Hz. Participants first responded to the startle probes by `as fast as possible' button pushes and then rated the perceived intensity of the acoustic stimuli. Psychomotor response time was divided into pre-motor (from stimulus onset to home button release; represents stimulus evaluation) and motor response time (from home button release to target button press). Intensity judgements were higher and evaluative response times accelerated during on-going expiration. No effect of respiratory cycle phase was found on eye blink responses and motor response time. We conclude, therefore, that respiratory cycle phase affects higher cognitive, attentional processing of acoustic startle stimuli. [less ▲]

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See detailHow does food taste in anorexia and bulimia nervosa? A protocol for a quasiexperimental, cross-sectional design to investigate taste aversion or increased hedonic valence of food in eating disorders
Garcia-Burgos, David; Maglieri, Sabine; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2018), 9

Background. Despite on-going efforts to better understand dysregulated eating, the olfactory-gustatory deficits and food preferences in eating disorders (ED), and the mechanisms underlying the perception ... [more ▼]

Background. Despite on-going efforts to better understand dysregulated eating, the olfactory-gustatory deficits and food preferences in eating disorders (ED), and the mechanisms underlying the perception of and responses to food properties in anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) remain largely unknown; both during the course of the illness and compared to healthy populations. It is, therefore, necessary to systematically investigate the gustatory perception and hedonics of taste in patients with AN and BN. To this end, we will examine whether aversions to the taste of high-calorie food is related to the suppression of energy intake in restricting-type AN, and whether an increased hedonic valence of sweet, caloric-dense foods may be part of the mechanisms triggering binge-eating episodes in BN. In addition, the role of cognitions influencing these mechanisms will be examined. Method. In study 1, four mixtures of sweet-fat stimuli will be presented in a sensory two-alternative forced-choice test involving signal detection analysis. In study 2, a full-scale taste reactivity test will be carried out, including psychophysiological and behavioural measures to assess subtle and covert hedonic changes. We will compare the responses of currently-ill AN and BN patients to those who have recovered from AN and BN, and also to those of healthy normal-weight and underweight individuals without any eating disorder pathology. Discussion. If taste response profiles are differentially linked to ED types, then future studies should investigate whether taste responsiveness represents a useful diagnostic measure in the prevention, assessment and treatment of EDs. The expected results on cognitive mechanisms in the top-down processes of food hedonics will complement current models and contribute to the refinement of interventions to change cognitive aspects of food aversions, to establish functional food preferences and to better manage food cravings associated with binge-eating episodes. No trial registration was required for this protocol, which was approved by the Swiss ethics committee (CER-VD, nº2016-02150) and the Ethics Review Panel of the University of Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailKardiale Modulation der Schreckreaktion bei hoher gegenüber niedriger Symptombelastung: afferente Signalübermittlung auf der Hirn-Körper-Achse beein usst frühe Stimulus-Verarbeitung bei hoher Symptombelastung
Dierolf, Angelika UL; Rost, Silke; Lutz, Annika UL et al

in Hennig, J.; Stark, R. (Eds.) Abstractband Psychologie und Gehirn 2018 (2018)

Somatische Belastungsstörungen (SBS) sind oftmals durch andauernde medizinisch- unerklärte Symptome gekennzeichnet, deren Entstehung größtenteils ungeklärt ist. Diese Studie hatte zum Ziel, die empirisch ... [more ▼]

Somatische Belastungsstörungen (SBS) sind oftmals durch andauernde medizinisch- unerklärte Symptome gekennzeichnet, deren Entstehung größtenteils ungeklärt ist. Diese Studie hatte zum Ziel, die empirisch bislang unbeantwortete Frage zu klären, ob Symptomentstehung auf veränderte Signalübermittlung auf der Hirn-Körper-Achse zurückzuführen ist. Zunächst wurden 486 Personen aus der Allgemeinbevölkerung anhand des SOMS-2 in Personen mit hoher Symptombelastung (HSB; unterstes Perzentil) und niedriger Symptombelastung (NSB; oberstes Perzentil) unterteilt. Personen mit HSB stellen eine besondere Risikogruppe für SBS dar. 28 HSB- und 31 NSB-Personen durchliefen ein Paradigma der kardialen Modulation der Schreckreaktion (CMS), ein Verfahren, das kardio-afferente Signalübermittlung prä-attentiv abbilden kann. Ihnen wurden je zehn akustische Schreckreize (105 dB) in sechs Zeitpunkten nach der kardialen R-Zacke (0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 ms) präsentiert. Als Indikator für die Schreckreaktion wurden die N1- und P2-Amplitude der auditorisch-evozierten Potenziale über Cz gemessen, da der Effekt der Hirn-Körper-Signalübermittlung im Kortex abgebildet werden sollte. Es zeigten sich geringere N1-Amplituden auf die Schreckreize, die während der systolischen Phase (200, 300 ms) im Vergleich zur diastolischen Phase (0 ms) präsentiert wurden (p=.0002), was für das Vorliegen eines CMS-Effekts spricht. Die HSB-Gruppe zeigte höhere P2-Amplituden als die NSB-Gruppe. Es zeigte sich außerdem, dass der CMS-Effekt bezüglich der N1-Komponente in der HSB-Gruppe geringer ist (p=.035), jedoch bezüglich der P2-Komponente stärker ist als in der NSB-Gruppe (p=.031). Afferente Signalübermittlung auf der Hirn-Körper-Achse könnte bei Personen mit HSB bereits frühe, automatischeWahrnehmungsprozesse verändern, die durch späte, aufmerksamkeits-gesteuerte Prozesse kompensiert werden. Diese prä-attentive Beeinflussung der Stimulus-Verarbeitung könnte ein Mechanismus der Symptomentstehung bei Personen mit HSB und SBS sein. [less ▲]

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See detailPost-learning cold pressor stress, after a heartbeat perception training, enhances interoceptive accuracy in high blood pressure responders
Breden, Ion-Hideo UL; Fischbach, Jean; Schenk, Lara UL et al

in Hennig, J.; Stark, R. (Eds.) Abstractband Psychologie und Gehirn 2018 (2018)

Interoceptive accuracy (IAc) plays an important role for generation of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) and trainings to enhance IAc reduces the perceived symptom severity of MUS. Post-learning stress ... [more ▼]

Interoceptive accuracy (IAc) plays an important role for generation of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) and trainings to enhance IAc reduces the perceived symptom severity of MUS. Post-learning stress may facilitate recognition learning. It is yet unknown, however, if acute stress, when evoked during the memory consolidation phase, could enhance the visceral learning in a heartbeat perception training (HBPT). The present study is the first to investigate the effects of a socially evaluated cold pressor test (SECPT) induced after a HBPT aimed at increasing IAc. The sample consisted of 48 healthy students (28 women). IAc was assessed at three different time points: (1) once as a baseline measure, (2) 30 minutes after the SECPT, and (3) the day after. Assessment of IAc was performed using the heartbeat perception task developed by Schandry (1981). The HBPT followed the baseline IAc assessment and was a replication of the paradigm developed by Schaefer et al. (2014). The SECPT followed immediately after the HBPT. Results showed that post-encoding stress significantly increased IAc between T1 and T3 for participants showing a high blood pressure (BP) response in the SECPT compared to the control group, whereas low BP responders did not show such an effect. This indicates that post-encoding stress enhances visceral memory consolidation in high BP responders compared to low BP responder and non-stressed control participants. Post-learning stress facilitation of visceral learning and memory may represent a mechanism underlying symptom generation, which should be addressed in studies on somatic symptom disorders in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailSensing Your Body: Interoceptive Awareness and Medically Unexplained Symptoms
Flasinski, Tabea UL; Dierolf, Angelika UL; Voderholzer, Ulrich et al

in Abtracts of the 32nd Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society (2018)

According to contemporary theories of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), alterations in interoception play a major role in symptom development and maintenance. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying ... [more ▼]

According to contemporary theories of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), alterations in interoception play a major role in symptom development and maintenance. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying this relationship remains unclear. To address this unresolved issue, we investigated whether individuals with varying degrees of MUS differ in different facets of interoceptive awareness as assessed with the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) questionnaire. In study 1, 486 individuals were screened with an online version of the Screening for Somatoform Disorders (SOMS-2). Individuals with a SOMS index below 5 (low reporter, n=32) and above 20 (high reporter, n=32) were invited to fill in the MAIA. High symptom reporter had lower scores on the Not-Distracting, Not-Worrying, and Trusting subscales, and higher scores on the Emotional Awareness subscale (Cohen´s d=.70–1.16). In study 2, individuals with DSM-IV somatoform disorder (SFD; n=25) were compared to individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD; n=24) and healthy controls (HC; n=25). The SFD and MDD groups had lower scores on the Not-Distracting, Attention Regulation, Self-Regulation, and Trusting subscales than HC. The MDD group had lower scores than the SFD and HC groups on the Body Listening subscale (partial eta-squared=.18-.26). No differences with regard to Noticing of bodily sensations were found. Groups with subclinical SFD, SFD and MDD do not differ from healthy individuals in terms of actual body perception, whereas cognitive facets of interoception, such as distraction or self-regulation are differentially affected. This highlights the necessity of including specifically targeted mindfulness-based interventions [less ▲]

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See detailLate heartbeat-evoked potentials, indicators of cortical representation of interoceptive signal processing, are associated with survival after cardiac arrest
Schulz, André UL; Stammet, Pascal; Dierolf, Angelika UL et al

in Hennig, J.; Stark, R. (Eds.) Abstractband Psychologie und Gehirn 2018 (2018)

Rationale: Cardiac arrest (CA) is a serious condition characterized by high mortality rates, even after initial successful resuscitation, mainly due to neurological damage. Whether brain-heart ... [more ▼]

Rationale: Cardiac arrest (CA) is a serious condition characterized by high mortality rates, even after initial successful resuscitation, mainly due to neurological damage. Whether brain-heart communication is associated with outcome after CA is unknown. Heartbeat-evoked brain potentials (HEPs) represent neurophysiological indicators of brain-heart communication, as they reflect cortical representation of interoceptive signal processing. The aim of this study was to address the association between HEPs and survival after CA. Methods: HEPs were calculated from resting EEG/ECG in 55 CA patients 24 h after resuscitation. All patients were treated with targeted temperature management and a standardized sedation protocol during assessment. We investigated the association between HEP amplitude (180{320 ms, 455{595 ms, 860{1000 ms) and 6-month survival. Results: Twenty-five of 55 patients (45%) were still alive at 6-month follow-up. Survivors showed a higher HEP amplitude at frontopolar and frontal electrodes in the late HEP interval than non-survivors. This effect remained significant after controlling for between-group differences in terms of age, Fentanyl dose, and time lag between resuscitation and EEG assessment. There were no group differences in heart rate or heart rate variability. Conclusion: Brain-heart communication, as re ected by HEPs, is associated with survival after CA. Cardiovascular autonomic arousal may not be involved in mediating this effect. Adequate cortical representation of interoceptive signals may be essential to preserve cariovascular health and should be in the focus of prevention strategies. Future studies should address the brain-heart axis in CA. [less ▲]

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See detailLate heartbeat-evoked potentials, indicators of cortical representation of interoceptive signal processing, are associated with survival after cardiac arrest
Schulz, André UL; Stammet, Pascal; Dierolf, Angelika UL et al

in Abstractband Psychologie und Gehirn 2018 (2018)

Rationale: Cardiac arrest (CA) is a serious condition characterized by high mortality rates, even after initial successful resuscitation, mainly due to neurological damage. Whether brain-heart ... [more ▼]

Rationale: Cardiac arrest (CA) is a serious condition characterized by high mortality rates, even after initial successful resuscitation, mainly due to neurological damage. Whether brain-heart communication is associated with outcome after CA is unknown. Heartbeat-evoked brain potentials (HEPs) represent neurophysiological indicators of brain-heart communication, as they reflect cortical representation of interoceptive signal processing. The aim of this study was to address the association between HEPs and survival after CA. Methods: HEPs were calculated from resting EEG/ECG in 55 CA patients 24 h after resuscitation. All patients were treated with targeted temperature management and a standardized sedation protocol during assessment. We investigated the association between HEP amplitude (180{320 ms, 455{595 ms, 860{1000 ms) and 6-month survival. Results: Twenty-five of 55 patients (45%) were still alive at 6-month follow-up. Survivors showed a higher HEP amplitude at frontopolar and frontal electrodes in the late HEP interval than non-survivors. This effect remained significant after controlling for between-group differences in terms of age, Fentanyl dose, and time lag between resuscitation and EEG assessment. There were no group differences in heart rate or heart rate variability. Conclusion: Brain-heart communication, as reflected by HEPs, is associated with survival after CA. Cardiovascular autonomic arousal may not be involved in mediating this e ect. Adequate cortical representation of interoceptive signals may be essential to preserve cariovascular health and should be in the focus of prevention strategies. Future studies should address the brain-heart axis in CA. [less ▲]

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