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Biased emotional attention in patients with dental phobia
Verfasser / VerfasserinDoering, Stephan ; Alexopoulos, Johanna ; Steinberg, Christian ; Liebergesell-Kilian, Nora ; Hoeffkes, Berit ; Junghöfer, Markus
Erschienen in
European Journal of Neuroscience, 2019, Jg. 49, H. 2, S. 290-302
ErschienenWiley-Blackwell, 2019
SpracheEnglisch
DokumenttypAufsatz in einer Zeitschrift
Schlagwörter (EN)attention / dental phobia / emotion / MEG / vision
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubmuw:3-764 Persistent Identifier (URN)
DOI10.1111/ejn.14295 
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 Das Werk ist frei verfügbar
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Biased emotional attention in patients with dental phobia [1.12 mb]
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Zusammenfassung (Englisch)

Biased motivated attention towards phobiarelevant pictures is a typical finding in specific phobia. In the visual system, the allocation of motivated attention is indexed by two eventrelated potential components the Early Posterior Negativity and the Late Positive Potential. Enhanced Early Posterior Negativity and Late Positive Potential amplitudes are reliably observed in specific phobia such as, for instance, snake, spider, or bloodinjectioninjury phobia and to some extent also in dental phobia. However, regarding dental phobia results are sparse and its theoretical concept is not undisputed. To further elucidate the electrophysiological characteristics of dental phobia, we investigated visual emotional processing in dental phobia patients and controls. Subjects viewed neutral, phobiairrelevant and phobiarelevant pictures while magnetoencephalographic and behavioural measures were recorded. All patients reported a history of traumatic experiences and depressive and anxiety symptoms, as well as dissociative and posttraumatic symptoms. In the magnetoencephalography, patients showed generally less evoked neural activation at parietal and temporal regions and a reduced differentiation between picture categories compared to controls. At the behavioural level, patients rated phobiarelevant pictures as clearly more negative as did controls. In contrast to previous reports, our results suggest that dental phobia cannot be associated with the typical effects of biased motivated attention seen in other specific phobias. Instead, results indicate that dental phobia shares typical characteristics with mild forms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

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