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See detailZur Validität zweier Herzschlagwahrnehmungsaufgaben: Höheres zentrales Blutvolumen durch Kipptischmanipulation verbessert interozeptive Genauigkeit, aber nicht die Genauigkeit zur Schätzung von Zeitintervallen
Back, S.; Schaan, V. K.; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Kirschbaum, C. (Ed.) 45. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn - Abstractband (2019)

Kardiale Interozeption wird typischerweise mittels Herzschlagzählaufgaben (Schandry, 1981) oder Herzschlagdiskriminationsaufgaben (Whitehead et al., 1977) erfasst. Jedoch sind die Determinanten der ... [more ▼]

Kardiale Interozeption wird typischerweise mittels Herzschlagzählaufgaben (Schandry, 1981) oder Herzschlagdiskriminationsaufgaben (Whitehead et al., 1977) erfasst. Jedoch sind die Determinanten der Herzschlagwahrnehmung hinsichtlich Aktivitätsindizes des kardiovaskulären Systems bisher ungeklärt. Die vorliegende Studie untersucht, ob die experimentelle Manipulation kardiovaskulärer Aktivität durch die Variation der Körperposition mittels Kipptisch einen Einfluss auf interozeptive Genauigkeit in Herzschlagzählaufgaben und Herzschlagdiskriminierungsaufgaben hat. Studierende (N=43) führten beide Herzschlagwahrnehmungsaufgaben in drei Körperpositionen (-10°,0° und 10°) durch. Zusätzlich wurde die Fähigkeit zur Einschätzung von Zeitintervallen geprüft (Kontrollaufgabe), da oft kritisiert wurde, dass interozeptive Genauigkeit basierend auf der Herzschlagzählaufgabe mit dieser Fähigkeit konfundiert ist. Die interozeptive Genauigkeit in der Herzschlagzählaufgabe war signifikant höher bei einem Neigungswinkel von -10° (über Kopf), sowie geringer bei 10° (Kopf aufrecht), jeweils im Vergleich zu 0° (horizontale Position). Deskriptiv ist das gleiche Muster bei der Herzschlagdiskriminationssaufgabe zu erkennen, jedoch statistisch nicht signifikant. Die Einschätzungsgenauigkeit von Zeitintervallen bleibt unabhängig von der Körperposition konstant. Regressionsanalysen zeigen, dass die Fähigkeit zur Diskriminierung von Herzschlägen signifikant die Herzschlagzählgenauigkeit vorhersagt und 32% der Gesamtvarianz aufklärt. Herzrate sowie die Einschätzungsgenauigkeit von Zeitintervallen tragen nicht signifikant als Prädiktoren in der Aufklärung der Zählgenauigkeit bei. Die Ergebnisse weisen darauf hin, dass kardiodynamische Parameter, wie z.B. Schlagvolumen, die durch die Variation der Körperposition manipuliert wurden, unabhängig von Variationen der Herzrate, eine Determinante interozeptiver Genauigkeit in Herzschlagzählaufgaben darstellen. Die Einschätzung von Zeitintervallen hat keinen Einfluss auf die Zähl- und Diskriminationsgenauigkeit von Herzschlägen und wird außerdem nicht von der Körperposition beeinflusst. Die Ergebnisse weisen auf gute konvergente und diskriminante Validität der Herzschlagwahrnehmungsaufgaben zur Erfassung kardialer Interozeption hin. [less ▲]

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See detailCardiac cycle phase affect auditory-evoked potentials in response to acoustic startle stimuli, but not perceived intensity ratings
Bernard, Sam UL; Münch, E. E.; Hansen, G. et al

in Kirschbaum, C. (Ed.) 45. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn - Abstractband (2019)

Startle stimuli presented in the early cardiac cycle phase elicit lower responses than stimuli presented in the late cardiac cycle phase. This effect, named ‚Cardiac modulation of startle (CMS)‘, was ... [more ▼]

Startle stimuli presented in the early cardiac cycle phase elicit lower responses than stimuli presented in the late cardiac cycle phase. This effect, named ‚Cardiac modulation of startle (CMS)‘, was proposed to reflect baro-afferent signal processing in the central nervous system. It is yet unclear, however, whether the CMS is due to a general sensory attenuation effect by baro-afferent signal transmission or to a specific neural pathway that selectively attenuates startle stimulus processing, but may eventually enhance other processes. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to address this issue. In this present study 23 female participants were presented acoustic stimuli of varying intensities (95, 100, and 105 dBA) during early (R-wave + 230 ms) and late (R+ 530 ms) cardiac cycle phase. Startle responses (EMG of the M. Orbicularis Oculi), auditory-evoked potentials (AEPs), and perceived intensity ratings of all stimuli were assessed. Higher startle stimulus intensities evoked higher perceived intensity ratings, stronger EMG startle responses, and higher N1, P2, and P3 AEPs. Startle stimuli in the early cardiac cycle phase elicited lower startle responses, and a positive shift of the N1 and P3 components as compared to the late cardiac cycle phase. Intensity ratings were unaffected by the cardiac cycle phases. The present AEP pattern associated with CMS appears to be unique across all startle modulation paradigms, supporting a more specific neural pathway, rather than a general sensory attenuation. [less ▲]

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See detailEmotion regulation and sexual health: an online study protocol
Fischer, Vinicius; Andersson, gerhard; Billieux, Joël et al

in International Journal of Sexual Health (2019), 31

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See detailHerzschlag-evozierte Potenziale bei Bulimia nervosa
Lutz, Annika UL; Van Dyck, Zoé UL; Schulz, André UL et al

Poster (2019)

Die ursprüngliche Annahme, dass Essstörungspatient/innen unter einem umfassenden Defizit der interozeptiven Wahrnehmung leiden, wird inzwischen differenzierter betrachtet. Unterschiedliche Befunde ergeben ... [more ▼]

Die ursprüngliche Annahme, dass Essstörungspatient/innen unter einem umfassenden Defizit der interozeptiven Wahrnehmung leiden, wird inzwischen differenzierter betrachtet. Unterschiedliche Befunde ergeben sich je nach betrachtetem Organsystem (Herz, Magen), Verarbeitungsebene (neuronal, Selbstbericht) und Diagnose. Die bisherige Befundlage ist jedoch unübersichtlich und widersprüchlich. Für Bulimia nervosa (BN) wurde sowohl reduzierte, als auch unveränderte Herzschlagwahrnehmung berichtet. Mit dem vorliegenden Beitrag steuern wir weitere Ergebnisse zur Herzschlagwahrnehmung bei und ergänzen diese um einen physiologischen Indikator der kortikalen Verarbeitung kardio-afferenter Signale (Herzschlag-evozierte Potenziale, HEPs). Es wurden 22 Frauen mit akuter oder teilremittierter BN (BMI 23,94±3,61; Alter 31,86±11,20) und 22 gesunde Frauen untersucht (BMI 24,24±3,37; Alter 31,00±10,15). Die Stichproben wurden nach Alter und BMI parallelisiert. Die Teilnehmerinnen führten eine Herzschlagwahrnehmungsaufgabe nach Schandry durch, während ein 64-Kanal-EEG aufgezeichnet wurde. HEPs wurden als mittlere EEG-Amplitude von 455ms bis 595ms nach der R-Zacke berechnet. Die Ergebnisse zeigen keine signifikanten Gruppenunterschiede in Herzschlagwahrnehmung, HEPs und Herzrate. Dies bestätigt vorherige Befunde einer intakten Herzschlagwahrnehmung bei BN. Zusätzlich können wir von einer intakten kortikalen Verarbeitung kardio-afferenter Reize ausgehen. Die Wahrnehmung des Herzschlags ist insbesondere für die Verarbeitung und Regulation von Emotionen relevant. Auf Basis der vorliegenden und früheren Befunde ist davon auszugehen, dass defizitäre Emotionsregulation bei BN nicht auf veränderte Herzschlagwahrnehmung zurückzuführen ist. [less ▲]

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See detailHerzschlag-evozierte Potenziale bei Bulimia nervosa
Lutz, Annika UL; Van Dyck, Zoé UL; Schulz, André UL et al

in Kirschbaum, C. (Ed.) 45. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn - Abstractband (2019)

Die ursprüngliche Annahme, dass Essstörungspatient/innen unter einem umfassenden Defizit der interozeptiven Wahrnehmung leiden, wird inzwischen differenzierter betrachtet. Unterschiedliche Befunde ergeben ... [more ▼]

Die ursprüngliche Annahme, dass Essstörungspatient/innen unter einem umfassenden Defizit der interozeptiven Wahrnehmung leiden, wird inzwischen differenzierter betrachtet. Unterschiedliche Befunde ergeben sich je nach betrachtetem Organsystem (Herz, Magen), Verarbeitungsebene (neuronal, Selbstbericht) und Diagnose. Die bisherige Befundlage ist jedoch unübersichtlich und widersprüchlich. Für Bulimia nervosa (BN) wurde sowohl reduzierte, als auch unveränderte Herzschlagwahrnehmung berichtet. Mit dem vorliegenden Beitrag steuern wir weitere Ergebnisse zur Herzschlagwahr nehmung bei und ergänzen diese um einen physiologischen Indikator der kortikalen Verarbeitung kardio-afferenter Signale (Herzschlag-evozierte Potenziale, HEPs). Es wurden 22 Frauen mit akuter oder teilremittierter BN (BMI 23,94±3,61; Alter 31,86±11,20) und 22 gesunde Frauen untersucht (BMI 24,24±3,37; Alter 31,00±10,15). Die Stichproben wurden nach Alter und BMI parallelisiert. Die Teilnehmerinnen führten eine Herzschlagwahrnehmungsaufgabe nach Schandry durch, während ein 64-Kanal-EEG aufgezeichnet wurde. HEPs wurden als mittlere EEG-Amplitude von 455ms bis 595ms nach der R-Zacke berechnet. Die Ergebnisse zeigen keine signifikanten Gruppenunterschiede in Herzschlagwahrnehmung, HEPs und Herzrate. Dies bestätigt vorherige Befunde einer intakten Herzschlagwahrnehmung bei BN. Zusätzlich können wir von einer intakten kortikalen Verarbeitung kardio-afferenter Reize ausgehen. Die Wahrnehmung des Herzschlags ist insbesondere für die Verarbeitung und Regulation von Emotionen relevant. Auf Basis der vorliegenden und früheren Befunde ist davon auszugehen, dass defizitäre Emotionsregulation bei BN nicht auf veränderte Herzschlagwahrnehmung zurückzuführen ist. [less ▲]

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See detailDie Rolle von Sport und Bewegung für die körperliche und psychische Gesundheit.
Vögele, Claus UL

in Schneider, Silvia; Margraf, Jürgen (Eds.) Lehrbuch der Verhaltenstherapie, Band 3: Psychologische Therapie bei Indikationen im Kindes- und Jugendalter (2019)

Physical activity plays an important role in children’s growth and development. Understanding why a child is active or inactive is, therefore, essential for prevention of and intervention in childhood ... [more ▼]

Physical activity plays an important role in children’s growth and development. Understanding why a child is active or inactive is, therefore, essential for prevention of and intervention in childhood obesity. This narrative review provides an up-to-date summary of the literature pertaining to biological, psychosocial and environmental factors affecting young children’s acquisition of physical activity behaviour. Physical activity-related traits are characterized by familial aggregation and influenced by genetic factors. Nevertheless, the genetic contribution to physical activity shows increasing expression with age, supporting the need for interventions in early childhood. In addition to genetic factors, a range of psychosocial and environmental factors that are associated with physical activity in children have been identified: boys are more active than girls, and children with active parents tend to be more active. Overall physical activity support provided by parents predicts children’s organized physical activity. Perceived road safety and threat posed by strangers are major causes of parental anxiety in relation to their children’s safety in the neighbourhood. Programmes designed to increase physical activity should promote the importance of physical activity to parents. In addition, improving perceived safety may help to ease parental restriction of their children's active transport and physical activity. [less ▲]

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See detailSomatoforme Symptome: Zusammenhänge mit Low-Frequency-Herzratenvariabilität und Selbstberichte zu chronischem psychosozialen Stress, aber nicht mit HPA-Achsen-Aktivität
Hansen, G.; Larra, M. F.; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Kirschbaum, C. (Ed.) 45. Jahrestagung Psychologie und Gehirn - Abstractband (2019)

Nach dem Perception-Filter-Modell der somatoformen Störungen (Rief & Barsky, 2005) könnte verstärkte Signalübermittlung von Körperorganen zur Symptomentstehung beitragen. Dabei wurden insbesondere das ... [more ▼]

Nach dem Perception-Filter-Modell der somatoformen Störungen (Rief & Barsky, 2005) könnte verstärkte Signalübermittlung von Körperorganen zur Symptomentstehung beitragen. Dabei wurden insbesondere das sympathische Nervensystem und die HPA-Achse als primäre physiologische Stressachsen diskutiert. Aufgrund hoher Heterogenität somatoformer Störungen ist die Befundlage zu beiden Achsen jedoch gemischt, was dafürspricht, größere Populationen ohne Multi-Komorbidität zu untersuchen. Bei einer studentischen Stichprobe (N=217; 113 w; Alter: 18-33 [M=23.0; SD=2.9] Jahre; BMI=22.2 [SD=2.8]) wurden selbstberichteter chronischer Stress (Trierer Inventar für Chronischen Stress/TICS) und somatoforme Symptome (Screening für Somatoforme Störungen/SOMS-2) erhoben. Alle Probanden lieferten Cortisol- Aufwachreaktionen (Erwachen, +15,+30,+45,+60 Min.) an zwei aufeinanderfolgenden Tagen, sowie ein Cortisol-Tagesprofil. Zusätzlich wurde im Labor in einer 10-minütigen Ruhemessung EKG zur Bestimmung der Ruhe-Herzratenvariabilität (RMSSD, pNN50, SDNN; Low- und High-Frequency) als Indikatoren des zentralen sympathischen und parasympathischen Tonus erfasst. Diejenigen TICS-Skalen, die psychosozialen Stress reflektieren, sowie „Chronische Besorgnis“ waren zwischen r=.16 und .26 mit somatoformen Symptomen korreliert. Die Skala „Chronische Besorgnis“ korrelierte außerdem positiv mit dem Tagescortisolspiegel (r=.19), sowie negativ mit SDNN (r=-.20), RMSSD (r=-.17), pNN50 (r=-.17), LF-Power (r=-.19) und HF-Power (r=-.16; alle ps < .05). Somatoforme Symptome korrelierten hingegen nicht mit Indikatoren der physiologischen Stressachsen. In einem Regressionsmodell mit Somatisierungsindex als Kriterium zeigte sich nur für die TICS-Skalen „Mangel an sozialer Anerkennung“ (b=.19) und „Chronische Besorgnis“ (b=.25), sowie LF-HRV (b=.20) signifikante Vorhersagekraft. Die Annahmen des Perception-Filter-Modells konnten nur hinsichtlich des sympathischen Nervensystems bestätigt werden, was daher als Frühindikator für somatoforme Störungen betrachtet werden könnte. Dennoch sind selbstberichteter chronischer Stress, vor allem „Besorgnis“, bei gesunden Probanden die stärksten Prädiktoren für somatoforme Symptome. [less ▲]

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See detailFamily Violence Curricula in Europe (FAVICUE): a cross-sectional descriptive study protocol
Gomez Bravo, Raquel UL; Lygidakis, Charilaos UL; Feder, Gene et al

in BMJ Open (2019), 9

Introduction. Family violence (FV) is a widespread public health problem of epidemic proportions and serious consequences. Doctors may be the first or only point of contact for victims who may be hesitant ... [more ▼]

Introduction. Family violence (FV) is a widespread public health problem of epidemic proportions and serious consequences. Doctors may be the first or only point of contact for victims who may be hesitant or unable to seek other sources of assistance, and they tend not to disclose abuse to doctors if not specifically asked. A comprehensive healthcare response is key to a coordinated community-wide approach to FV, but most of the practising physicians have received either no or insufficient education or training in any aspect of FV. Training of medical students concerning FV is often delivered in an inconsistent or ad hoc manner. The main aim of this project, Family Violence Curricula in Europe (FAVICUE), is to (1) describe current FV education delivery in European medical universities (undergraduate period) and during the specialist training in general practice (GP)/family medicine (FM) (postgraduate residency programme), and (2) compare it with WHO recommendations for FV curriculum. Methods and analysis. This is the protocol of a cross-sectional descriptive study consisting of two self-report online surveys (for undergraduate and postgraduate training, respectively) with 40 questions each. For both surveys, general practitioners, residents, medical students and professionals involved in their education from countries of the European region will be identified through the European Regional Branch of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA Europe) and will be invited to provide information regarding the training on FV. Descriptive tests will be carried out and a thematic analysis will be conducted on the open-ended questions. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval has been obtained by the University of Luxembourg (ERP 17–015 FAVICUE). The results will provide important information concerning current curricula on FV, and can be used for mapping the educational needs and planning the implementation of future training interventions. They will be published and disseminated through WONCA Europe and its networks. [less ▲]

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See detailSurgery
Vögele, Claus UL; Powell, Rachael; Johnston, Marie

in Llewellyn, C.D.; Ayers, S.; McManus, C. (Eds.) et al Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine (2019)

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See detailHospitalisation
Powell, Rachael; Vögele, Claus UL; Johnston, Marie

in Llewellyn, C.D.; Ayers, S.; McManus, C. (Eds.) et al Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine (2019)

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See detailEnhanced Cortical Processing of Cardio-Afferent Signals in Anorexia Nervosa
Lutz, Annika UL; Schulz, André UL; Voderholzer, U. et al

in Clinical Neurophysiology (2019), 130(9), 1620-1627

Objective: To assess cardiac interoception in anorexia nervosa (AN) using a multidimensional approach. Methods: We assessed the physiological dimensions of cardioception, i.e. the peripheral signal itself ... [more ▼]

Objective: To assess cardiac interoception in anorexia nervosa (AN) using a multidimensional approach. Methods: We assessed the physiological dimensions of cardioception, i.e. the peripheral signal itself (heart rate, HR, and heart rate variability, HRV) and its cortical representation (heartbeat evoked potentials, HEPs), and the psychological dimensions of interoceptive accuracy (heartbeat perception) and interoceptive sensibility (confidence ratings). Electroencephalogram (EEG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) were recorded concurrently during rest and while performing a heartbeat perception task in a sample of 19 female in-patients with AN (DSM-5) and 19 healthy control women (HC). Results: HEPs, defined as mean EEG amplitude in a time window of 455-595 ms after the Rpeak of the ECG, were significantly larger in the AN than in the HC group across conditions (p = .002, d = 1.06). There was a trend toward better heartbeat perception in AN, but no group differences in HR, HRV, and confidence ratings. Conclusions: Individuals with AN showed an interoceptive profile of heightened cortical processing, a trend toward heightened interoceptive accuracy, and unaltered cardiac autonomic activation and interoceptive sensibility. Significance: In terms of neurobiological models of AN, enhanced cortical representations of interoceptive signals might reflect a mechanism, which promotes fasting by alleviating negative body states. [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 (2019), 8(3), 308-318

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 detailOvercoming the unitary exploration of binge-watching: A cluster analytical approach.
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Maurage, Pierre; Karila, Laurent et al

in Journal of behavioral addictions (2019), 8(3), 586-602

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) has recently become standard practice among TV series viewers; this expansion generates concerns ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) has recently become standard practice among TV series viewers; this expansion generates concerns regarding the potential negative outcomes associated with this habit. However, the investigation of its psychological correlates remains fragmentary, with few initial studies a priori conceptualizing this behavior as a new addictive disorder. This study explored these psychological correlates using cluster analysis of binge-watching behavior based on three key psychological factors: motivations, impulsivity, and emotional reactivity. METHODS: An online survey was completed by 4,039 TV series viewers. Data were analyzed using hierarchical and non-hierarchical cluster analyses, the validity of the clusters being finally determined through mutual comparisons with a selection of external correlates. RESULTS: Four clusters were identified: recreational TV series viewers (presenting low involvement in binge-watching), regulated binge-watchers (moderately involved), avid binge-watchers (presenting elevated but non-problematic involvement), and unregulated binge-watchers (presenting potentially problematic involvement associated with negative outcomes). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: This study underlines the heterogeneous and multidetermined nature of binge-watching. Our findings suggest that high engagement in binge-watching is distinct from problematic binge-watching, thus reinforcing the notion that conceptualizing binge-watching as an addictive disorder is of low relevance and might actually lead to the overpathologization of this highly popular leisure activity. [less ▲]

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See detailNahrungsvermeidung versus Nahrungsaversion bei restriktiven Essstörungen.
Garcia-Burgos, David; Wilhelm, Peter; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie, Psychologie und Psychotherapie (2019), 67(1), 1-9

The terms food avoidance and food aversion are often used interchangeably in the eating disorders (EDs) literature. However, they represent two different (but closely related) constructs that are the ... [more ▼]

The terms food avoidance and food aversion are often used interchangeably in the eating disorders (EDs) literature. However, they represent two different (but closely related) constructs that are the result of different processes. In patients suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and avoidant / restrictive food intake disorder, food avoidance / restriction is usually assumed to be motivated by fear / anxiety (e. g., “intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat” or “being afraid to eat after a frightening episode of choking”). In contrast, studies show that taste aversion often leads to food avoidance. Unlike fear-motivated avoidance in which the flavour of food becomes a signal for danger, avoidance produced by taste aversions involves a reduction in the amount consumed due to a hedonic downshift. Here the attractiveness of the flavour changes by its association with a nauseogenic event. It is noteworthy that both sources of food avoidance exhibit different behavioural characteristics, contents of learning, and activate different brain regions and neuromodulators. This is especially important for the understanding and treatment of the EDs and their most serious behavioural manifestation: the life-threatening food refusal. Finally, the clinical implications of such a distinction and promising future research directions are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of alexithymia in parent-child interaction and in the emotional ability of children with autism spectrum disorder
Pinto Costa, Andreia UL; Steffgen, Georges UL; Vögele, Claus UL

in Autism Research (2019)

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have more emotional difficulties than typically developing (TD) children. Of all the factors that impact children’s emotional development, parents, and the way ... [more ▼]

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have more emotional difficulties than typically developing (TD) children. Of all the factors that impact children’s emotional development, parents, and the way they interact with their children, are of crucial importance. The present study compared the amount of parent-child interactions among 35 dyads of parents and their children with ASD and 41 dyads of parents and their TD children, aged between 3 and 13 years, during a frustration-eliciting situation. We further examined whether children’s alexithymia is linked to parent-child interactions and whether parent-child interactions are linked to children’s emotional difficulties. We found that parents of children with ASD interacted significantly less with their children than parents of TD children. This reduced interaction was better explained by children’s alexithymia than by children’s ASD diagnosis. Finally, parent-child interaction mediated the relationship between children’s ASD diagnosis and children’s emotion regulation ability, as well as some aspects of children’s emotional reactivity but only if not accounting for children’s alexithymia levels. Our results demonstrate the determinant role children’s alexithymia plays on parent-child interactions and on how these interactions are linked to children’s difficulties in emotion regulation and emotional reactivity. Results are discussed in light of how parent-child interactions and the emotional ability of children with ASD can be improved by targeting children’s alexithymia. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of acute yohimbine administration on interoception in major depression and childhood adversity
Kuehl, L. K.; Deuter, C. E.; Breden, I.-H. et al

in Psychoneuroendocrinology (2019), 107(Supplement 1), 4

Acute stress, release of stress hormones and chronic stress can affect the processing of visceral-afferent neural signals at different brain levels, which are important for interoception. However, it ... [more ▼]

Acute stress, release of stress hormones and chronic stress can affect the processing of visceral-afferent neural signals at different brain levels, which are important for interoception. However, it remains unclear if these effects are due to activation of the sympatho-adreno-medullary (SAM) axis or hypothalamicpituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis. With this study, we aimed to investigate the selective effect of SAM axis activation on interoceptive accuracy. Central alpha2-adrenergic receptors represent a negative feedback mechanism of the SAM axis. For major depressive disorder (MDD) and adverse childhood experiences (ACE), alterations in the biological stress systems, including density and sensitivity of central alpha2-adrenergic receptors, have been shown. Healthy individuals without ACE (n = 46), healthy individuals with ACE (n = 23), patients with MDD and without ACE (n = 26) and patients with MDD with ACE (n = 22, all without antidepressant medication) were tested after oral administration of 10mg of yohimbine (alpha2-adrenergic receptors antagonist) and placebo administration in a repeated measures design. Interoceptive accuracy and sensibility were assessed in a heartbeat tracking task. Increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure after yohimbine administration in all groups confirmed successful activation of the SAM axis. Interoceptive accuracy decreased after yohimbine intake only in the healthy group with ACE, but remained unchanged in all other groups. This ‘group’בdrug’ interaction effect may be due to selective up-regulation of alpha2- adrenergic receptors after experience of childhood trauma, which reduces capacity for attention focus on heartbeats. Suppressed processing of physical sensations in stressful situations may represent an adaptive response in healthy individuals with childhood adversity. [less ▲]

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See detailInteroception in Bulimia Nervosa: Evidence at cortical and self-report levels
Lutz, Annika UL; Van Dyck, Zoé UL; Schulz, André UL et al

in Psychophysiology (2019), 56(S1), 117

Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating and compensatory behaviors, such as self- induced vomiting. Body image disturbance is also prominent in BN. Current research is ... [more ▼]

Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating and compensatory behaviors, such as self- induced vomiting. Body image disturbance is also prominent in BN. Current research is trying to determine which dimensions and sensory domains of body perception are affected in BN. Regarding heartbeat perception, findings are inconclusive, with some studies reporting reduced and others reporting unaltered interoceptive accuracy in BN. The current study contributes further data on heartbeat perception by using an indicator of the cortical processing of cardio- afferent signals (heartbeat evoked potentials, HEPs). We investigated 22 women with current or partially remitted BN (BMI 23.94[3.61]; age 31.86[11.20]) and 22 healthy women (HC; BMI 24.24[3.37]; age 31.00[10.15]). Participants performed a heartbeat perception task (according to Schandry) with concurrent 64- channel- EEG and ECG recording. HEPs were calculated as mean EEG amplitudes in the interval 455- 595ms after the R- peak of the ECG. Results show no significant differences between the BN and HC groups, neither for heartbeat perception, HEPs, or mean heartrate. These results confirm previous findings of intact heartbeat perception in BN. In addition, cortical processing of cardio- afferent signals is unaltered. Heartbeat perception is particularly relevant for emotion processing and regulation. The previously reported emotion- regulation deficits in BN appear not to be based on altered CNS processing of cardiac signals [less ▲]

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See detailVisceral-afferent signals from the cardiovascular system, but not urinary urge, affect startle eye blink
Schulz, André UL; Schilling, Thomas M.; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Physiology and Behavior (2019), 199(1), 165-172

The aim of the current study was to investigate if startle methodology is suitable to reflect urinary urgency. Eighteen healthy men were tested on two separate days, each including an ingestion of fluid ... [more ▼]

The aim of the current study was to investigate if startle methodology is suitable to reflect urinary urgency. Eighteen healthy men were tested on two separate days, each including an ingestion of fluid until 80% of the subjective urge to micturate was reached. EMG responses to acoustic startle stimuli were assessed before and after micturition, as well as in the early and late cardiac cycle phases (230 vs. 530 ms after a cardiac R-wave). Sonographic assessment confirmed bladder-filling status. Emotional arousal, stress, urge and unpleasantness ratings, as well as mean blood pressure were higher before than after micturition. Startle eye blink responses were lower during the early than during the late cardiac cycle phase, but were not affected by bladder filling status. We conclude that startle methodology is suitable for the investigation of afferent signals from the cardiovascular system, but not to reflect urinary urgency. This result may be due to different neurophysiological mechanisms underlying afferent signals from the bladder compared to other visceral organs or interference with affective states or sympathetic activation associated with bladder filling. Notwithstanding, the present research protocol of fluid intake, sonographic assessment of the bladder, and subjective reports, can be applied to examine visceral-afferent signals from the bladder. [less ▲]

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