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See detailMentalization and Criterion A of the AMPD: Results from a clinical and nonclinical sample
Zettl, M.; Volkert, J.; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment (in press)

Objective: Criterion A of the alternative model for the classification of personality disorders in the DSM-5 introduced the Level of Personality Functioning Scale (LPFS), a dimensional model for the ... [more ▼]

Objective: Criterion A of the alternative model for the classification of personality disorders in the DSM-5 introduced the Level of Personality Functioning Scale (LPFS), a dimensional model for the assessment of impairments in self and interpersonal functioning. The LPFS was developed based on a review of different measures of personality functioning, such as the Reflective Functioning Scale, a measure of mentalizing. This study investigated the empirical overlap between LPFS and mentalization. Methods: The study sample included adult inpatients (n = 55) with a mental disorder and a healthy adult control group (n = 55). All participants were examined regarding the LPFS using the Semi-Structured Interview for Personality Functioning DSM-5 (STiP-5.1); mentalizing was assessed with the Brief Reflective Functioning Interview and coded with the Reflective Functioning Scale. We used structural equation modeling to investigate the relationship between LPFS domains and mentalization. Correlation analysis was used to examine the agreement between interview-rated LPFS and self-report measures of personality dysfunction. Results: All domains of the LPFS were significantly related to mentalizing. Interview-rated LPFS was significantly associated with self-reported personality dysfunction. Conclusion: The findings support the notion that the LPFS and mentalization share a strong conceptual and operational overlap by demonstrating that both constructs are empirically interrelated. The results yield further support for the validity of the LPFS as a dimensional model for the assessment of personality disorder severity. [less ▲]

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See detailCognitive processes underlying impaired decision-making in gambling disorder.
Brevers, Damien UL; Vögele, Claus UL; Billieux, Joël

in Zaleskiewicz, Thomas (Ed.) Psychological Perspectives on Financial Decision Making. (in press)

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See detailGlucocorticoid receptor signaling in leukocytes after early life adversity.
Elwenspoek, M.; Hengesch, X.; Leenen, F. et al

in Development and Psychopathology (in press)

Early life adversity (ELA) has been associated with inflammation and immunosenescence, as well as hyporeactivity of the HPA-axis. As the immune system and HPA-axis are tightly intertwined around the ... [more ▼]

Early life adversity (ELA) has been associated with inflammation and immunosenescence, as well as hyporeactivity of the HPA-axis. As the immune system and HPA-axis are tightly intertwined around the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) we examined peripheral GR functionality in the EpiPath cohort, where participants had either been exposed to ELA (separation from parents and/or institutionalization followed by adoption) (n=40) or had been reared by their biological parents (n=72). Expression of the strict GR target genes FKBP5 and GILZ as well as total and 1F and 1H GR transcripts were similar between groups. Furthermore, there were no differences in GR sensitivity, examined by the effects of dexamethasone on IL6 production in LPS-stimulated whole blood. Although we did not find differences in methylation at the GR 1F exon or promoter region, we identified a region of the GR 1H promoter (CpG 1-9) that showed lower methylation levels in ELA. Peripheral GR signaling was unperturbed in our cohort and the observed immune phenotype does not appear to be secondary to an altered glucocorticoid receptor response to glucocorticoids. To identify signaling pathways that may underlie the ELA immune phenotype, future research should focus on unbiased approaches, such as investigating whole genome methylation profiles. [less ▲]

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See detailCortisol rapidly increases baroreflex sensitivity of heart rate control, but does not affect cardiac modulation of startle
Schulz, André UL; Richter, Steffen; Ferreira de Sá, Diana S. et al

in Physiology and Behavior (2020), 215(1), 112792

Cortisol, the final product of human HPA axis activation, rapidly modulates the cortical processing of afferent signals originating from the cardiovascular system. While peripheral effects have been ... [more ▼]

Cortisol, the final product of human HPA axis activation, rapidly modulates the cortical processing of afferent signals originating from the cardiovascular system. While peripheral effects have been excluded, it remains unclear whether this effect is mediated by cortical or subcortical (e.g. brainstem) CNS mechanisms. Cardiac modulation of startle (CMS) has been proposed as a method to reflect cardio-afferent signals at subcortical (potentially brainstem-) level. Using a single blind, randomized controlled design, the cortisol group (n = 16 volunteers) received 1 mg cortisol intravenously, while the control group (n = 16) received a placebo substance. The CMS procedure involved the assessment of eye blink responses to acoustic startle stimuli elicited at six different latencies to ECG-recorded R-waves (R + 0, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 ms). CMS was assessed at four measurement points: baseline, -16 min, +0 min, and +16 min relative to substance application. Baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) of heart rate (HR) control was measured non-invasively based on spontaneous beat-to-beat HR and systolic blood pressure changes. In the cortisol group, salivary cortisol concentration increased after IV cortisol administration, indicating effective distribution of the substance throughout the body. Furthermore, BRS increased in the cortisol group after cortisol infusion. There was no effect of cortisol on the CMS effect, however. These results suggest that low doses of cortisol do not affect baro-afferent signals, but central or efferent components of the arterial baroreflex circuit presumably via rapid, non-genomic mechanisms. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of rejection intensity and rejection sensitivity on social approach behavior in women
Schaan, Violetta; Schulz, André UL; Bernstein, Michael et al

in PLoS ONE (2020), 15(1), 0227799

Objective: Perceived rejection plays an important role for mental health and social integration. This study investigated the impact of rejection intensity and rejection sensitivity on social approach ... [more ▼]

Objective: Perceived rejection plays an important role for mental health and social integration. This study investigated the impact of rejection intensity and rejection sensitivity on social approach behavior. Method: 121 female participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions differing in the degree of induced rejection (inclusion, medium rejection, severe rejection). Thereafter they were asked to interact with an unknown person during a touch-based cooperative task. Results: Participants high in rejection sensitivity sought significantly less physical contact than participants low in rejection sensitivity. Individuals in the medium rejection condition touched their partners more often than those in the included condition, while no difference between included and severely rejected participants could be observed. Conclusions: The results suggest that the intensity of rejection matters with regard to coping. While participants in the medium intensity rejection condition aimed to ‘repair’ their social self by seeking increased contact with others, severely rejected participants did not adapt their behavior compared to included participants. Implications for therapy are discussed. [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 (2020), 52(3), 248-274

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 detailBinge-Watching: What Do we Know So Far? A First Systematic Review of the Evidence
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Maurage, Pierre; Ridell Di Lorenzo, Kim et al

in Current Addiction Reports (2020), 7(1), 44-60

Purpose of Review: Along with the expansion of on-demand viewing technology, the practice of binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of TV series back-to-back) has recently gained increasing ... [more ▼]

Purpose of Review: Along with the expansion of on-demand viewing technology, the practice of binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of TV series back-to-back) has recently gained increasing research interest, given its potential harmfulness and presumed addictive characteristics. The present article provides the first systematic review of the evidence regarding this increasingly widespread behavior. Recent Findings: The results of this systematic review (including 24 studies and 17,545 participants) show that binge-watching remains an ill-defined construct as no consensus exists on its operationalization and measurement. Although such methodological disparities across studies hinder the comparability of results, the preliminary findings gathered here mainly point to the heterogeneous nature of binge-watching which covers at least two distinct realities, i.e., high but non-harmful engagement and problematic involvement in TV series watching. Summary: In these early stages of research, there is a major need for more consistency and harmonization of constructs and their operationalizations to move forward in the understanding of binge-watching. Just as important, future research should maintain the distinction between high and problematic involvement in binge-watching to avoid overpathologizing this common behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailChildhood trauma affects stress-related interoceptive accuracy
Schaan, Violetta UL; Schulz, André UL; Rubel, Julian A. et al

in Frontiers in Psychiatry (2019), 10(1), 750

Early life adversity (ELA) may cause permanent disturbances in brain-body signaling. These disturbances are thought to contribute to physical symptoms and emotional dysregulation in adulthood. The current ... [more ▼]

Early life adversity (ELA) may cause permanent disturbances in brain-body signaling. These disturbances are thought to contribute to physical symptoms and emotional dysregulation in adulthood. The current study investigated the effects of childhood trauma on young adults’ interoceptive accuracy as an indicator of brain-body communication that may be dysregulated by ELA. Sixty-six participants completed an online-questionnaire followed by a laboratory session including the socially-evaluated cold pressor stress test during which ECG, salivary cortisol and interoceptive accuracy were assessed. Childhood trauma was negatively related to interoceptive accuracy (IAc) after the stressor. This stress-effect could not be observed for heart rate and cortisol, which were unrelated to IAc. Participants reporting higher baseline unpleasantness exhibited lower IAc after the stressor, while increases in unpleasantness due to the stressor were associated with higher IAc. Unpleasantness at baseline mediated the effect of childhood trauma on IAc after the stressor. [less ▲]

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See detailCommunity- and mHealth-based integrated management of diabetes in primary healthcare in Rwanda: the protocol of a mixed-methods study including a cluster randomised controlled trial (D²Rwanda)
Lygidakis, Charilaos UL; Uwizihiwe, JP; Kallestrup, P et al

in BMJ Open (2019), 9(7), 028427

Introduction In Rwanda, diabetes mellitus prevalence is estimated between 3.1% and 4.3%. To address non-communicable diseases and the shortage of health workforce, the Rwandan Ministry of Health has ... [more ▼]

Introduction In Rwanda, diabetes mellitus prevalence is estimated between 3.1% and 4.3%. To address non-communicable diseases and the shortage of health workforce, the Rwandan Ministry of Health has introduced the home-based care practitioners (HBCPs) programme: laypeople provide longitudinal care to chronic patients after receiving a six-month training. Leveraging technological mobile solutions may also help improve health and healthcare. The D²Rwanda study aims at: (a) determining the efficacy of an integrated programme for the management of diabetes in Rwanda, which will provide monthly patient assessments by HBCPs, and an educational and self-management mHealth patient tool, and; (b) exploring qualitatively the ways the interventions will have been enacted, their challenges and effects, and changes in the patients’ health behaviours and HBCPs’ work satisfaction. Methods and analysis This is a mixed-methods sequential explanatory study. First, there will be a one-year cluster randomised controlled trial including two interventions ((1) HBCPs’ programme; (2) HBCPs’ programme + mobile health application) and usual care (control). Currently, nine hospitals run the HBCPs’ programme. Under each hospital, administrative areas implementing the HBCPs’ programme will be randomised to receive intervention 1 or 2. Eligible patients from each area will receive the same intervention. Areas without the HBCPs’ programme will be assigned to the control group. The primary outcome will be changes in glycated haemoglobin. Secondary outcomes include medication adherence, mortality, complications, health-related quality of life, diabetes-related distress and health literacy. Second, at the end of the trial, focus group discussions will be conducted with patients and HBCPs. Financial support was received from the Karen Elise Jensens Fond, and the Universities of Aarhus and Luxembourg. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval was obtained from the Rwanda National Ethics Committee and the Ethics Review Panel of the University of Luxembourg. Findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. Trial registration number NCT03376607; Pre-results. [less ▲]

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See detailRespiratory modulation of intensity ratings and psychomotor response times to acoustic startle stimuli
Münch, Eva Elisabeth; Vögele, Claus UL; Van Diest, Ilse et al

in Neuroscience Letters (2019), 711(1), 134388

Respiratory interoception may play an important role in the perception of respiratory symptoms in pulmonary diseases. As the respiratory cycle affects startle eye blink responses, startle modulation may ... [more ▼]

Respiratory interoception may play an important role in the perception of respiratory symptoms in pulmonary diseases. As the respiratory cycle affects startle eye blink responses, startle modulation may be used to assess visceral-afferent signals from the respiratory system. To ascertain the potential impact of brainstem-relayed signals on cortical processes, we investigated whether this pre-attentive 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), which were presented at end and mid inspiration and expiration, while performing a paced breathing task (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 stimuli. Psychomotor response time was divided into 'reaction time' (RT; from stimulus onset to home button release; represents stimulus evaluation) and 'movement time' time (MT; from home button release to target button press). Intensity judgements were higher and RTs accelerated during mid expiration. No effect of respiratory cycle phase was found on eye blink responses and MTs. We conclude that respiratory cycle phase affects higher cognitive, attentional processing of startle stimuli. [less ▲]

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See detailSocial Media as an Opportunity for Public Health Interventions: The #Metoo Movement as an Exemplar
Gomez Bravo, Raquel UL; Gomez Bravo, María; Lygidakis, Charilaos UL et al

in Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth (2019), 7(e5), 1-7

Background: Social media have been used exponentially and globally, providing a means for billions of users to connect, interact, share opinions and criticise, becoming one of the main channels of ... [more ▼]

Background: Social media have been used exponentially and globally, providing a means for billions of users to connect, interact, share opinions and criticise, becoming one of the main channels of communication for users around the world. One of the most popular free social media networks is Twitter, with more than 100 million active users per day worldwide. Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyse a sample of the public conversations generated, using the hashtag #MeToo, around the topic of sexual abuse on Twitter. Methods: Using social media marketing software, the use of the #MeToo hashtag was analysed over a period of 60 days (14 September 2017 to 13 November of 2017). Results: The #MeToo conversation was mainly in English (79.3%), located in the United States (48.2% of cases), but with global repercussions. The volume of mentions of the #MeToo hashtag was far greater (97.7%), compared with other hashtags related to violence over this period of time, using mostly Twitter (96.2%). Conclusions: These results suggest that it is possible to describe different groups using the social media, and analyse their conversations to identify opportunities for successful public health interventions. If the topic is relevant for the general public, it will generate interest and conversations at the global level, supported by a universal and borderless channel such as Twitter. [less ▲]

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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