Limits...
The social regulation of threat-related attentional disengagement in highly anxious individuals.

Maresh EL, Beckes L, Coan JA - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Bottom Line: We examined the role of both state and trait anxiety in the link between social support and the neural response to threat.We found significant interactions between trait anxiety and threat condition in regions including the hypothalamus, putamen, precentral gyrus, and precuneus.These findings support past research suggesting that individuals high in anxiety tend to have elevated neural responses to mild or moderate threats but paradoxically lower responses to high intensity threats, suggesting a curvilinear relationship between anxiety and threat responding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Social support may normalize stress reactivity among highly anxious individuals, yet little research has examined anxious reactions in social contexts. We examined the role of both state and trait anxiety in the link between social support and the neural response to threat. We employed an fMRI paradigm in which participants faced the threat of electric shock under three conditions: alone, holding a stranger's hand, and holding a friend's hand. We found significant interactions between trait anxiety and threat condition in regions including the hypothalamus, putamen, precentral gyrus, and precuneus. Analyses revealed that highly trait anxious individuals were less active in each of these brain regions while alone in the scanner-a pattern that suggests the attentional disengagement associated with the perception of high intensity threats. These findings support past research suggesting that individuals high in anxiety tend to have elevated neural responses to mild or moderate threats but paradoxically lower responses to high intensity threats, suggesting a curvilinear relationship between anxiety and threat responding. We hypothesized that for highly anxious individuals, shock cues would be perceived as highly threatening while alone in the scanner, possibly due to attentional disengagement, but this perception would be mitigated if they were holding someone's hand. The disengagement seen in highly anxious people under conditions of high perceived threat may thus be alleviated by social proximity. These results suggest a role for social support in regulating emotional responses in anxious individuals, which may aid in treatment outcomes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Clusters of activity significantly correlated with trait anxiety in the Alone condition. Blue areas indicate a negative correlation with trait anxiety. (A) Cluster 1, peak activation in left precuneus. (B) Cluster 2, peak activation in precentral gyrus. (C) Cluster 3, peak activation in right lateral occipital cortex. (D) Cluster 4, peak activation in left lingual gyrus. (E) Cluster 5, peak activation in left precuneus.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3757296&req=5

Figure 2: Clusters of activity significantly correlated with trait anxiety in the Alone condition. Blue areas indicate a negative correlation with trait anxiety. (A) Cluster 1, peak activation in left precuneus. (B) Cluster 2, peak activation in precentral gyrus. (C) Cluster 3, peak activation in right lateral occipital cortex. (D) Cluster 4, peak activation in left lingual gyrus. (E) Cluster 5, peak activation in left precuneus.

Mentions: Trait anxiety significantly negatively correlated with brain activity in the Alone condition in five main clusters (Table 1, Figures 2A–E). The first cluster reached peak activity in the left precuneus and extended to the PCC, right temporo-occipital inferior temporal gyrus, right temporal occipital fusiform gyrus, right lingual gyrus, left cerebellum, left superior lateral occipital cortex, left insula, left inferior frontal gyrus pars opercularis, left angular gyrus, left central opercular cortex, and precentral gyrus (Figure 2A). The second cluster peaked in the precentral gyrus and extended to the PCC, ACC, supplementary motor cortex, precentral gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, left anterior supramarginal gyrus (Figure 2B). The third cluster peaked in the right lateral occipital cortex and extended to the right supracalcarine cortex, right lateral occipital cortex, and right temporo-occipital middle temporal gyrus. (Figure 2C) The fourth cluster peaked in the left lingual gyrus and extended to the left posterior parahippocampal gyrus, left posterior temporal fusiform cortex, left occipital fusiform gyrus, left temporal occipital fusiform cortex, and cerebellum (Figure 2D). The fifth cluster also peaked in the left precuneus and extended into the left superior lateral occipital cortex and left superior parietal lobule (Figure 2E).


The social regulation of threat-related attentional disengagement in highly anxious individuals.

Maresh EL, Beckes L, Coan JA - Front Hum Neurosci (2013)

Clusters of activity significantly correlated with trait anxiety in the Alone condition. Blue areas indicate a negative correlation with trait anxiety. (A) Cluster 1, peak activation in left precuneus. (B) Cluster 2, peak activation in precentral gyrus. (C) Cluster 3, peak activation in right lateral occipital cortex. (D) Cluster 4, peak activation in left lingual gyrus. (E) Cluster 5, peak activation in left precuneus.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3757296&req=5

Figure 2: Clusters of activity significantly correlated with trait anxiety in the Alone condition. Blue areas indicate a negative correlation with trait anxiety. (A) Cluster 1, peak activation in left precuneus. (B) Cluster 2, peak activation in precentral gyrus. (C) Cluster 3, peak activation in right lateral occipital cortex. (D) Cluster 4, peak activation in left lingual gyrus. (E) Cluster 5, peak activation in left precuneus.
Mentions: Trait anxiety significantly negatively correlated with brain activity in the Alone condition in five main clusters (Table 1, Figures 2A–E). The first cluster reached peak activity in the left precuneus and extended to the PCC, right temporo-occipital inferior temporal gyrus, right temporal occipital fusiform gyrus, right lingual gyrus, left cerebellum, left superior lateral occipital cortex, left insula, left inferior frontal gyrus pars opercularis, left angular gyrus, left central opercular cortex, and precentral gyrus (Figure 2A). The second cluster peaked in the precentral gyrus and extended to the PCC, ACC, supplementary motor cortex, precentral gyrus, left postcentral gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, left anterior supramarginal gyrus (Figure 2B). The third cluster peaked in the right lateral occipital cortex and extended to the right supracalcarine cortex, right lateral occipital cortex, and right temporo-occipital middle temporal gyrus. (Figure 2C) The fourth cluster peaked in the left lingual gyrus and extended to the left posterior parahippocampal gyrus, left posterior temporal fusiform cortex, left occipital fusiform gyrus, left temporal occipital fusiform cortex, and cerebellum (Figure 2D). The fifth cluster also peaked in the left precuneus and extended into the left superior lateral occipital cortex and left superior parietal lobule (Figure 2E).

Bottom Line: We examined the role of both state and trait anxiety in the link between social support and the neural response to threat.We found significant interactions between trait anxiety and threat condition in regions including the hypothalamus, putamen, precentral gyrus, and precuneus.These findings support past research suggesting that individuals high in anxiety tend to have elevated neural responses to mild or moderate threats but paradoxically lower responses to high intensity threats, suggesting a curvilinear relationship between anxiety and threat responding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Social support may normalize stress reactivity among highly anxious individuals, yet little research has examined anxious reactions in social contexts. We examined the role of both state and trait anxiety in the link between social support and the neural response to threat. We employed an fMRI paradigm in which participants faced the threat of electric shock under three conditions: alone, holding a stranger's hand, and holding a friend's hand. We found significant interactions between trait anxiety and threat condition in regions including the hypothalamus, putamen, precentral gyrus, and precuneus. Analyses revealed that highly trait anxious individuals were less active in each of these brain regions while alone in the scanner-a pattern that suggests the attentional disengagement associated with the perception of high intensity threats. These findings support past research suggesting that individuals high in anxiety tend to have elevated neural responses to mild or moderate threats but paradoxically lower responses to high intensity threats, suggesting a curvilinear relationship between anxiety and threat responding. We hypothesized that for highly anxious individuals, shock cues would be perceived as highly threatening while alone in the scanner, possibly due to attentional disengagement, but this perception would be mitigated if they were holding someone's hand. The disengagement seen in highly anxious people under conditions of high perceived threat may thus be alleviated by social proximity. These results suggest a role for social support in regulating emotional responses in anxious individuals, which may aid in treatment outcomes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus