Heartbeat perception in social anxiety before and during speech anticipation.
ABSTRACT According to current cognitive models of social phobia, individuals with social anxiety create a distorted image of themselves in social situations, relying, at least partially, on interoceptive cues. We investigated differences in heartbeat perception as a proxy of interoception in 48 individuals high and low in social anxiety at baseline and while anticipating a public speech. Results revealed lower error scores for high fearful participants both at baseline and during speech anticipation. Speech anticipation improved heartbeat perception in both groups only marginally. Eight of nine accurate perceivers as determined using a criterion of maximum difference between actual and counted beats were high socially anxious. Higher interoceptive accuracy might increase the risk of misinterpreting physical symptoms as visible signs of anxiety which then trigger negative evaluation by others. Treatment should take into account that in socially anxious individuals perceived physical arousal is likely to be accurate rather than false alarm.
SourceAvailable from: Veronika Schöpf[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate how the impairment of the olfactory system influences interoception. Interoception is known as the awareness of one´s body or the sense of the condition of the body; more precisely, this construct is defined as the processing, representation, and perception of the internal physical state. Interoceptive sensitivity and chemosensory performance was assessed in 77 subjects, including 43 functional anosmics, 18 hyposmics, and 16 healthy controls. Interoceptive awareness was predicted by odor detection threshold, as well as the duration of olfactory loss in patients who suffered from reduced olfactory function – the longer the olfactory impairment, the worse the perception of bodily signals. The results of this study will significantly contribute to the basic understanding of the multifaceted effects of olfactory alterations.Psychophysiology 07/2014; 52(2). DOI:10.1111/psyp.12316 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Depression is characterized by disturbed sleep and eating, a variety of other nonspecific somatic symptoms, and significant somatic comorbidities. Why there is such close association between cognitive and somatic dysfunction in depression is nonetheless poorly understood. An explosion of research in the area of interoception—the perception and interpretation of bodily signals— over the last decade nonetheless holds promise for illuminating what have until now been obscure links between the social, cognitive–affective, and somatic features of depression. This article reviews rapidly accumulating evidence that both somatic signaling and interoception are frequently altered in depression. This includes comparative studies showing vagus-mediated effects on depression-like behaviors in rodent models as well as studies in humans indicating both dysfunction in the neural substrates for interoception (e.g., vagus, insula, anterior cingulate cortex) and reduced sensitivity to bodily stimuli in depression. An integrative framework for organizing and interpreting this evidence is put forward which incorporates (a) multiple potential pathways to interoceptive dysfunction; (b) interaction with individual, gender, and cultural differences in interoception; and (c) a developmental psychobiological systems perspective, emphasizing likely differential susceptibility to somatic and interoceptive dysfunction across the lifespan. Combined with current theory and evidence, it is suggested that core symptoms of depression (e.g., anhedonia, social deficits) may be products of disturbed interoceptive– exteroceptive integration. More research is nonetheless needed to fully elucidate the relationship between mind, body, and social context in depression.Psychological Bulletin 03/2015; 141(2):311-363. DOI:10.1037/a0038101 · 14.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Eye contact is a typical human behaviour known to impact concurrent or subsequent cognitive processing. In particular, it has been suggested that eye contact induces self-awareness, though this has never been formally proven. Here, we show that the perception of a face with a direct gaze (that establishes eye contact), as compared to either a face with averted gaze or a mere fixation cross, led adult participants to rate more accurately the intensity of their physiological reactions induced by emotional pictures. Our data support the view that bodily self-awareness becomes more acute when one is subjected to another’s gaze. Importantly, this effect was not related to a particular arousal state induced by eye contact perception. Rejecting the arousal hypothesis, we suggest that eye contact elicits a self-awareness process by enhancing self-focused attention in humans. We further discuss the implications of this proposal.Cognition 10/2014; 133(1):120–127. DOI:10.1016/j.cognition.2014.06.009 · 3.63 Impact Factor
Alexander L Gerlach