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    ABSTRACT: Despite the widely recognized link between schizophrenia and violence, the illness-specific factors underlying that association remain unclear. A body of work has implicated deficits in social cognition, consistently seen in schizophrenia, that may mediate the risk of violence. Two specific areas of interest are attributional bias and interpersonal style. We conducted a systematic literature search using EMBASE, Scopus, Ovid Medline, PsycINFO and Science Direct databases with search terms relating to attributional bias, interpersonal style and violence/aggression in schizophrenia. Eleven studies were identified, six related specifically to attributional bias and five to interpersonal style. Results suggest an association between hostile and externalizing attribution biases, and violence in schizophrenia. Furthermore, hostile, dominant, and coercive interpersonal styles are also frequently associated with violence in schizophrenia. An interaction between cognitive impairments and underlying personality traits, as well as other co-morbid or illness factors, is proposed to likely underpin associations with violence in schizophrenia. Conclusions are limited by methodological constraints. The field would benefit from consistent definitions of violence, and a more systematic approach to cognitive assessment. Furthermore, studies with more homogeneous samples; and longitudinal designs are warranted in order to gain a better understanding of causation with regard to illness factors specific to schizophrenia.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Aggression and Violent Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: Studies have long reported that aging is associated with declines in several functions modulated by the prefrontal cortex, including executive functions like working memory, set shifting, and inhibitory control. The neurochemical basis to this is poorly understood, but may include the serotonergic system. We investigated the modulatory effect of serotonin using acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) during a cognitive switching task involving visual-spatial set shifting modified for a functional MRI environment. Ten healthy women over 55 years were tested on two separate occasions in this within-group double-blind sham-controlled crossover study to compare behavioral and physiological brain functioning following ATD and following a ("placebo") sham depletion condition. ATD did not significantly affect task performance. It did modulate brain functional recruitment. During sham depletion women significantly activated the expected task-relevant brain regions associated with the Switch task including prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. In contrast, following ATD participants activated posterior regions of brain more during switch than repeat trials. In addition to the main effects of depletion condition, a comparison of the ATD relative to the sham condition confirmed this anterior-to-posterior shift in activation. The posterior (increased) activation clusters significantly and negatively correlated with the reduced prefrontal activation clusters suggesting a compensation mechanism for reduced prefrontal activation during ATD. Thus, serotonin modulates an anterior-to-posterior shift of activation during cognitive switching in older adults. Neural adaptation to serotonin challenge during cognitive control may prove useful in determining cognitive vulnerability in older adults with a predisposition for serontonergic down-regulation (e.g., in vascular or late life depression). Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Human Brain Mapping
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    ABSTRACT: Sensory processing abnormalities are common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and now form part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition (DSM-5) diagnostic criteria, but it is unclear whether they characterize the 'broader phenotype' of the disorder. We recruited adults (n = 772) with and without an ASD and administered the Autism Quotient (AQ) along with the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile (AASP), the Cardiff Anomalous Perceptions Scale (CAPS), and the Glasgow Sensory Questionnaire (GSQ), all questionnaire measures of abnormal sensory responsivity. Autism traits were significantly correlated with scores on all three sensory scales (AQ/GSQ r = 0.478; AQ/AASP r = 0.344; AQ/CAPS r = 0.333; all p < 0.001). This relationship was linear across the whole range of AQ scores and was true both in those with, and without, an ASD diagnosis. It survived correction for anxiety trait scores, and other potential confounds such as mental illness and migraine.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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