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See detailHigh blood pressure responders show largest increase in heartbeat perception accuracy after post-learning stress following a cardiac interoceptive learning task
Schenk, Lara; Fischbach, Jean T. M.; Müller, Ruta UL et al

in Biological Psychology (2020), 154(1), 107919

Mental disorders with physical symptoms, e.g. somatic symptom disorder, are characterized by altered interoceptive accuracy (IAc), which can be explained by individual differences in interoceptive ... [more ▼]

Mental disorders with physical symptoms, e.g. somatic symptom disorder, are characterized by altered interoceptive accuracy (IAc), which can be explained by individual differences in interoceptive learning (IL). We investigated if stress facilitates IL. Seventy-three healthy participants performed a heartbeat counting task (HCT: T1) and a heartbeat perception training (HBPT). After exposure to a socially-evaluated cold pressor stress test (SECPT; n=48) or a control condition (n=25), two more HCTs were performed (T2: 30 minutes after SECPT; T3: 24 h later). After the HBPT, all participants showed an increase in IAc. We separated the stress group into high vs. low systolic blood pressures (SBP) responders (n=24 each), with high SBP responders showing the largest IAc increases. Only SBP, but not cortisol responsiveness significantly predicted IAc increase from T1 to T2. Our results indicate that post-learning autonomic stress response facilitates IL, whereas the HPA axis response may be less important for this effect. [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 detailModulation of startle and heart rate responses by fear of physical activity in patients with heart failure and in healthy adults
Hoffmann, Jeremia Mark; Finke, Johannes B.; Schächinger, Hartmut et al

in Physiology and Behavior (2020), 225(1), 113044

Fear of physical activity (FoPA) is prevalent in patients with heart failure and associated with lower physical activity despite medical exercise prescriptions. The present study examined physiological ... [more ▼]

Fear of physical activity (FoPA) is prevalent in patients with heart failure and associated with lower physical activity despite medical exercise prescriptions. The present study examined physiological indicators of FoPA by assessing startle modulation and heart rate responses after affective priming with lexical stimuli of positive, neutral, and negative valence, as well as words related to physical activity as potentially phobic cues. After screening for FoPA in patients with heart failure and healthy adults, twenty participants each were assigned to one of three subsamples: a healthy control group and two cardiac patient groups scoring either low or high on FoPA. The high-FoPA group showed more pronounced startle potentiation and heart rate acceleration (i.e., mobilization of defensive behavior) in the phobic prime condition compared to controls. Differences in FoPA accounted for 30% of the startle potentiation by phobic priming, whereas general anxiety, depression, and disease severity were no significant predictors in patients with heart failure. These findings suggest that heart failure-associated FoPA elicits avoidance behavior at a largely automatic level, and might thereby contribute to low adherence to exercise regimen. Thus, FoPA should be addressed in the design of psychological interventions for cardiac patients to foster physical activity. [less ▲]

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See detailFight, Flight, – Or Grab a Bite! Trait Emotional and Restrained Eating Style Predicts Food Cue Responding Under Negative Emotions
Schnepper, Rebekka; Georgii, Claudio; Elchin, Katharina et al

in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience (2020), 14

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See detailDistinctive body perception mechanisms in high versus low symptom reporters: a neurophysiological model for medically-unexplained symptoms
Schulz, André UL; Rost, Silke; Flasinski, Tabea et al

in Journal of Psychosomatic Research (2020), 137(1), 110223

OBJECTIVE: The neurophysiological processes involved in the generation of medicallyunexplained symptoms (MUS) remain unclear. This study tested three assumptions of the perception-filter model ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: The neurophysiological processes involved in the generation of medicallyunexplained symptoms (MUS) remain unclear. This study tested three assumptions of the perception-filter model contributing to MUS: (I.) increased bodily signal strength (II.) decreased filter function, (III.) increased perception. METHODS: In this cross-sectional, observational study, trait MUS was assessed by a webbased survey (N=486). The upper and lower decile were identified as extreme groups of high (HSR; n=29; 26 women; Mage=26.0 years) and low symptom reporters (LSR; n=29; 21 women; Mage=28.4 years). Mean heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV), and cortisol awakening response (CAR) were assessed as indicators of bodily signal strength (I.). Heartbeat-evoked potentials (HEPs) were assessed during rest and a heartbeat perception task. HEPs reflect attentional resources allocated towards heartbeats and served as index of filter function (II.). Interoceptive accuracy (IAc) in heartbeat perception was assessed as an indicator of perception (III.). RESULTS: HSR showed higher HR and lower HRV (RMSSD) than LSR (I.), but no differences in CAR. HSR exhibited a stronger increase of HEPs when attention was focused on heartbeats than LSR (II.); there were no group differences in IAc (III.). CONCLUSIONS: The perception-filter model was partially confirmed in that HSR showed altered bodily signals suggesting higher sympathetic activity (I.); higher HEP increases indicated increased filter function for bodily signals (II.). As more attentional resources are mobilized to process heartbeats, but perception accuracy remains unchanged (III.), this overflow could be responsible for detecting minor bodily changes associated with MUS. [less ▲]

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See detailAltered interoceptive awareness in high habitual symptom reporters and patients with somatoform disorders
Flasinski, Tabea; Dierolf, Angelika UL; Rost, Silke et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2020), 11(1), 1859

Objective. Altered interoception may play a major role in the etiology of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). It remains unclear, however, if these alterations concerns noticing of signals or if they ... [more ▼]

Objective. Altered interoception may play a major role in the etiology of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). It remains unclear, however, if these alterations concerns noticing of signals or if they are limited to the interpretation of signals. We investigated whether individuals with MUS differ in interoceptive awareness as assessed with the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) questionnaire. Methods. Study 1: 486 individuals completed the Screening for Somatoform Disorders (SOMS-2). 32 individuals each of the upper and lower decile of the SOMS distribution (low symptom reporters/LSR, high symptom reporters/HSR) completed the MAIA. Study 2: MAIA scores of individuals diagnosed with somatoform disorder (SFD; n = 26) were compared to individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD; n = 25) and healthy controls (HC; n = 26). Results. HSR had lower scores than LSR on the MAIA scales Not-Distracting and Not-Worrying. The SFD and MDD groups showed lower scores than HC on the MAIA scales Not-Distracting, Self-Regulation, and Trusting. The MDD group scored lower than the other two groups on the scales Body Listening and Attention Regulation. There were no group differences on the scale Noticing. Conclusion. HSR, SFD and MDD patients do not differ from HC in the awareness of noticing of interoceptive signal processing, whereas cognitive facets of interoception, such as distraction or self-regulation are differentially affected. This highlights the necessity of including specifically targeted interventions, which improve interoceptive awareness, in the prevention and treatment of SFDs. [less ▲]

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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 (2020), 32(3), 853-863

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 detailTowards a cross-cultural assessment of binge-watching: Psychometric evaluation of the “watching TV series motives” and “binge-watching engagement and symptoms” questionnaires across nine languages
Flayelle, Maèva; Castro-Calvo, Jesús; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Computers in Human Behavior (2020), 111

In view of the growing interest regarding binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of television (TV) series in a single sitting) research, two measures were developed and validated to assess ... [more ▼]

In view of the growing interest regarding binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of television (TV) series in a single sitting) research, two measures were developed and validated to assess binge-watching involvement (“Binge-Watching Engagement and Symptoms Questionnaire”, BWESQ) and related motivations (“Watching TV Series Motives Questionnaire”, WTSMQ). To promote international and cross-cultural binge-watching research, the present article reports on the validation of these questionnaires in nine languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Hungarian, Persian, Arabic, Chinese). Both questionnaires were disseminated, together with additional self-report measures of happiness, psychopathological symptoms, impulsivity and problematic internet use among TV series viewers from a college/university student population (N = 12,616) in 17 countries. Confirmatory factor, measurement invariance and correlational analyses were conducted to establish structural and construct validity. The two questionnaires had good psychometric properties and fit in each language. Equivalence across languages and gender was supported, while construct validity was evidenced by similar patterns of associations with complementary measures of happiness, psychopathological symptoms, impulsivity and problematic internet use. The results support the psychometric validity and utility of the WTSMQ and BWESQ for conducting cross-cultural research on binge-watching. [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 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 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 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 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 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 detailParental divorce is associated with an increased risk to develop mental disorders in women
Schaan, Violetta UL; Schulz, André UL; Schächinger, Hartmut et al

in Journal of Affective Disorders (2019), 257(1), 91-99

Background: Parental divorce has been associated with reduced well-being in young adults. It is, however, unclear whether this finding is clinically relevant as studies using structural clinical ... [more ▼]

Background: Parental divorce has been associated with reduced well-being in young adults. It is, however, unclear whether this finding is clinically relevant as studies using structural clinical interviews are missing. This study, therefore, investigated if young adults with divorced parents are at risk to develop mental disorders. Furthermore, differences in parental care, social connectedness, chronic stress and traumatic experiences between children of divorced and non-divorced parents were investigated. Methods: 121 women (mean age: 23 years) were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSMIV Axis I (i.e., major mental disorders) and II (i.e., personality disorders) Disorders and asked to complete questionnaires assessing parental care, social connectedness (loneliness, attachment anxiety and avoidance), chronic stress, childhood trauma and depression. Results: Young adults of divorced parents had a higher risk for Axis I but not Axis II disorders as compared to young adults of non-divorced parents. Participants from divorced families as compared to non-divorced families reported more depression, loneliness, childhood trauma, attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, chronic stress and less parental care. Limitations: Due to the cross-sectional design of this study, conclusions about causality remain speculative. Conclusion: The increased vulnerability of children of divorced parents to develop mental disorders, and to experience more chronic stress, loneliness, attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, and traumatic experiences during childhood is alarming and highlights the importance of prevention programs and psycho-education during the process of parental divorce. Parental support with regard to adequate caregiving is needed to help parents to better support their children during and after their divorce. [less ▲]

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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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