Liat Levita

Liat Levita
The University of Sheffield | Sheffield · Department of Psychology (Faculty of Science)

PhD

About

128
Publications
26,998
Reads
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4,520
Citations
Education
September 1997 - September 2001
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Neuroscience

Publications

Publications (128)
Article
Full-text available
The reinforcing effects of aversive outcomes on avoidance behaviour are well established. However, their influence on perceptual processes are less well explored, especially during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Using EEG, we examined whether learning to actively or passively avoid harm can modulate early visual responses in adolesce...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined whether changes in perceptual processes can partially account for the increase in reward-orientated behaviour during adolescence. This was investigated by examining reinforcement-dependent potentiation to discriminative stimuli (SD) that predicted rewarding or threatening outcomes. To that end, perceptual event-related potential...
Article
Full-text available
Animal studies have suggested that the hippocampus may play an important role in anxiety as part of the Behavioural Inhibition System (BIS), which mediates reactivity to threat and punishment and can predict an individual's response to anxiety-relevant cues in a given environment. The aim of the present structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) s...
Article
The characterization of adolescence as a time of "storm and stress" remains an open debate. Intense and frequent negative affect during this period has been hypothesized to explain the increased rates of affective disorders, suicide, and accidental death during this time of life. Yet some teens emerge from adolescence with minimal turmoil. We provi...
Preprint
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the psychological wellbeing of some people, there is evidence that many have been much less affected. The Ecological Model of Resilience (EMR) may explain why some individuals are not resilient whilst others are. In this study we test the EMR in a comparison of UK survey data collected from the Covid-19 P...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way many individuals go about their daily lives. This study attempted to model the complexity of change in lifestyle quality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its context within the UK adult population. Methods Data from the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium Study (Wave 3, July 2020; N...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study was established in March 2020 to monitor the psychological and socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the UK and other countries. This paper describes the protocol for Wave 5 (March-April 2021). Methods: The survey assessed: COVID-19 related experiences; experiences of c...
Article
A growing body of evidence suggests more catastrophising cognitions are present in patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (pwPNES) compared to patients with epilepsy (PWE). However, the perseverative aspect of catastrophic thinking including repetitive negative thinking (RNT) has had little attention. In this study pwPNES (n=26) and PWE (...
Preprint
Objectives: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study was established in March 2020 to monitor the psychological and socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the UK and other countries. This paper describes the protocol for Wave 6 (August-September 2021). Methods: The survey assessed: COVID-19 related experiences; experiences of...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Given the highly infectious nature of COVID-19, social distancing practices are key in stemming the spread of the virus. We aimed to assess the complex interplay among psychological factors, socio-demographic characteristics and social distancing behaviours within the framework of the widely used Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Beha...
Article
Full-text available
Two theoretical perspectives have been proffered to explain changes in alcohol use during the pandemic: the ‘affordability-availability’ mechanism (i.e., drinking decreases due to changes in physical availability and/or reduced disposable income) and the ‘psychological-coping’ mechanism (i.e., drinking increases as adults attempt to cope with pande...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) are self-report measures of major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. The primary aim of this study was to test for differential item functioning (DIF) on the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 items based on age, sex (males and females), and country....
Article
Full-text available
This paper serves to alert IJPDS readers to the availability of a major new longitudinal survey data resource, the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study, which is being released for secondary use via the Open Science Framework. The C19PRC Study is a rich and detailed dataset that provides a convenient and valuable foundation fro...
Article
Full-text available
COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to global public health. Multiple safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 are available with one-third of the global population now vaccinated. Achieving a sufficient level of vaccine coverage to suppress COVID-19 requires, in part, sufficient acceptance among the public. However, relatively high rates of he...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: This paper outlines fieldwork procedures for Wave 4 of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study in the UK during November-December 2020. Methods: Respondents provided data on socio-political attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours, and mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress). In Phase 1...
Article
Full-text available
Symptoms and functioning can be measured subjectively using self-report measures or objectively, based on physiological changes. This raises the question whether subjective and objective measures are closely correlated and – if not – whether one is more accurate or meaningful than the other, especially in patients with Functional Seizures (FS) or o...
Preprint
This paper serves to alert IJPDS readers to the availability of a major new longitudinal survey data resource, the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study, which is being released for secondary use via the Open Science Framework. The C19PRC Study is a rich and detailed dataset that provides a convenient and valuable foundation fro...
Article
Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures (PNES) have been linked to dysregulated emotions and arousal. However, the question which emotions may be most relevant has received much less attention. In this multidisciplinary narrative review, we argue that the self-conscious emotion of shame is likely to be of particular importance for PNES. We summarize curr...
Article
Previous research has established a link between Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures (also known as dissociative or functional seizures) and abnormal emotion processing. In a companion article to this multidisciplinary narrative review, we have argued that, in the context of a biopsychosocial understanding of the condition, the emotion of shame is pa...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented global changes in individual and collective behaviour. To reduce the spread of the virus, public health bodies have promoted social distancing measures while attempting to mitigate their mental health consequences. The current study aimed to identify cognitive predictors of social distancing adh...
Preprint
Objective: The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) are self-report measures of major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. The primary aim of this study was to test for differential item functioning (DIF) on the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 items based on age, sex (males and females), and country.M...
Preprint
Shevlin et al. (2021) recently demonstrated heterogeneity in mental health and psychological responses to the COVID-19 pandemic over time from a nationally representative sample of UK adults (March–July 2020). Five subpopulations representing either stability, deterioration or improvement in both anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD were identified...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the severe psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some individuals do not develop high levels of psychological distress and can be termed resilient. Using the ecological resilience model, we examined factors promoting or hindering resilience in the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 1034 participants (49.9±16.2 years; females 51.2%) from Ita...
Preprint
Objectives: This paper describes fieldwork procedures for the fifth wave of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study, conducted during March-April 2021. The C19PRC Study was established in March 2020 to monitor the psychological and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and other countries. Methods: The surve...
Article
Full-text available
Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 have proliferated during the global pandemic, and their rapid spread among certain groups in the population has important implications for policy attitudes (e.g., motivation to engage in social distancing and willingness to vaccinate). Using survey data from two waves of a nationally representative, longitudinal s...
Preprint
Two theoretical perspectives have been proffered to explain changes in alcohol use during the pandemic: the ‘affordability-availability’ mechanism (i.e., drinking decreases due to changes in physical availability and/or reduced disposable income) and the ‘psychological-coping’ mechanism (i.e., drinking increases as adults attempt to cope with pande...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter will explore psychological and demographic influences on citizens’ ability to enact protective health behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. Such behaviours include social distancing and hygienic practices that have been recommended across the globe to reduce the spread of infection from the coronavirus. Such behaviours represent a s...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the adult population in multiple countries. This paper describes the third wave of the UK survey (the 'parent' strand of the Consortium) during July-August 2020. Methods: Adults (N = 2025) who participated in the baseli...
Article
Sense of agency (SoA), the experience of being in control of our voluntary actions and their outcomes, is a key feature of normal human experience. Frontoparietal brain circuits associated with SoA undergo a major maturational process during adolescence. To examine whether this translates to neurodevelopmental changes in agency experience, we inves...
Article
Full-text available
Background The current study argues that population prevalence estimates for mental health disorders, or changes in mean scores over time, may not adequately reflect the heterogeneity in mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the population. Methods The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study is a longitudinal, na...
Article
Adolescents’ experience of heightened anxiety and increased vulnerability to develop anxiety disorders is believed to partly result from blunted fear extinction processes. However, whether this anxiety is mediated by adolescent‐specific differences in perceptual responses to learned threat is not known. To investigate this, we used EEG to examine r...
Article
Full-text available
Background The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency has led to numerous attempts to assess the impact of the pandemic on population mental health. The findings indicate an increase in depression and anxiety but have been limited by the lack of specificity about which aspects of the pandemic (e.g. viral exposure or economic threats) have le...
Preprint
Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way many individuals go about their daily lives. This study attempted to model the complexity of change in lifestyle quality as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its context within the UK adult population.Methods: Data from the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium Study (Wave 3, July 2020; N...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adult population in multiple countries. This paper describes the design and execution of the fourth wave of the UK survey (the ‘parent’ strand of the Consortium) during November-December 2020. Methods: This survey prio...
Preprint
Background: The current study argues that population prevalence estimates for mental health disorders, or changes in mean scores over time, may not adequately reflect the heterogeneity in mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the population.Methods: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study is a longitudinal, na...
Article
There is increasing evidence implicating altered NMDA-receptor function in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To investigate potential alterations in NMDA-dependent cortical plasticity in ASD, we examined the effect of visual high-frequency stimulation (HFS) on changes in plasticity in the visual cortex, measured by persistent changes in visual evoked...
Preprint
Background. The COVID-19 emergency has led to numerous attempts to assess the impact of the pandemic on population mental health. Findings indicate an increase in depression and anxiety but have been limited by the lack of specificity about which aspects of the pandemic (e.g. viral exposure or economic threats) have led to adverse mental health out...
Article
Full-text available
The over-purchasing and hoarding of necessities is a common response to crises, especially in developed economies where there is normally an expectation of plentiful supply. This behaviour was observed internationally during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the absence of actual scarcity, this behaviour can be described as ‘panic buyin...
Article
Full-text available
Research has demonstrated that situational factors such as perceived threats to the social order activate latent authoritarianism. The deadly COVID-19 pandemic presents a rare opportunity to test whether existential threat stemming from an indiscriminate virus moderates the relationship between authoritarianism and political attitudes toward the na...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying and understanding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy within distinct populations may aid future public health messaging. Using nationally representative data from the general adult populations of Ireland ( N = 1041) and the United Kingdom (UK; N = 2025), we found that vaccine hesitancy/resistance was evident for 35% and 31% of these populations...
Article
Introduction Research suggests that patients with Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder (pwFND) struggle to identify their own emotions and associated physiological cues (interoceptive sensitivity, IS). However, it is not known how this deficit interacts with stress. This study aimed to assess IS in pwFND at baseline and following stress inducti...
Preprint
Conspiracy theories about COVID-19 have proliferated during the global pandemic, and their rapid spread among certain groups inthe population has important implications for policy attitudes (e.g., motivation to engage in social distancing and willingness to vaccinate). Using survey data from two waves of a nationally representative, longitudinal st...
Article
Sense of agency (SoA), the fundamental feeling of control over our actions and their consequences, may show key developmental changes during adolescence. We examined SoA in childhood (9–10), mid-adolescence (13–14), late-adolescence (18–20) and adulthood (25-28) using two tasks (Libet Clock and Stream of Letters). SoA was implicitly indexed by inte...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Previous research suggests that catastrophisation and perseverative, or repetitive negative thinking (RNT) could play an important role in the aetiology of Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures (PNES). This study was designed to explore whether these cognitive tendencies are more prevalent in patients with PNES than those with epilepsy and to e...
Preprint
Objectives: The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the adult population in multiple countries. This paper describes the execution of the third wave of the UK survey (the ‘parent’ strand of the Consortium) during July-August 2020. Methods: Adults (N=2025) who previously par...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The C19PRC study aims to assess the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic in the adult population of the UK, Republic of Ireland, and Spain. This paper describes the conduct of the first two waves of the UK survey (the “parent” strand of the Consortium) during March–April 2020. Methods A longitudinal, internet panel survey was designed to ass...
Preprint
Full-text available
The C19PRC Study aims to assess the psychological, social, and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, Republic of Ireland, and Spain. This paper describes the the first two waves of the UK survey (the ‘parent’ strand of the Consortium) during March-April 2020. A longitudinal, internet panel survey assessed: (1) COVID-19 related knowled...
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis, necessitating drastic changes to living conditions, social life, personal freedom and economic activity. No study has yet examined the presence of psychiatric symptoms in the UK population under similar conditions. Aims We investigated the prevalence of COVID-19-related a...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The C19PRC Study aims to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the adult population of the UK, Republic of Ireland, and Spain. This paper describes the conduct of the first two waves of the UK survey (the ‘parent’ strand of the Consortium) during March-April 2020. Methods: A longitudinal, internet panel survey was designed to as...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented changes in the day-to-day behaviours of populations globally, especially in areas where social distancing rules have been mandated. Understanding the cognitive mechanisms underlying (un)successful behaviour change around social distancing is crucial to inform public health policy for both the current a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Over-purchasing and hoarding of necessities is a common response to crises, especially in developed economies where there is normally an expectation of plentiful supply. This behaviour was observed internationally early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. In the absence of actual scarcity, this behaviour can be described as ‘panic buying’ and can lead to...
Article
During task performance, our level of cognitive control is dynamically adjusted to task demands as reflected, for example, by the congruency sequence effect (CSE) in conflict tasks. Although brain areas related to cognitive control show protracted maturation across adolescence, previous studies found that adolescents show similar behavioural CSEs t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, yet rates of missed- and mis-diagnoses are alarmingly high. The introduction of objective biomarkers, to aid diagnosis, informed by depression's physiological pathology may alleviate some of the burden on strained mental health services. Three minutes of eyes-closed resting state heart rate a...
Preprint
Full-text available
COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented disruption of normal social relationships and activities, which are so important during the teen years and young adulthood, and to education and economic activity worldwide. The impact of this on young people’s mental health and future prospects may affect their need for support and services, and the speed of th...
Preprint
Full-text available
A brief follow on report (from Report 1, see https://psyarxiv.com/uq4rn/). This report presents data on parents and their children's well being as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from our adult survey study. In addition to presenting additional data showing a potentially significant increase in anxiety and depression in young people aged 13-24, a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Extant research relating to the psychological impact of infectious respiratory disease epidemics/pandemics suggests that frontline workers are particularly vulnerable.Methods: The current study used data from the first two waves of the United Kingdom (UK) survey of the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study to compare...
Preprint
Full-text available
Successful delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine may be undermined if populations are not receptive to inoculation as a primary public health strategy for combatting the virus. We gathered nationally representative data from the general adult populations of Ireland (N=1,041) and the United Kingdom (UK; N=2,025) to determine rates of hesitancy and resistan...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to estimate the association between anxiety associated with COVID‐19 and somatic symptoms, using data from a large, representative sample (N = 2,025) of the UK adult population. Results showed that moderate to high levels of anxiety associated with COVID‐19 were significantly associated with general somatic symptoms and in particul...
Preprint
Full-text available
Successful delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine may be undermined if populations are not receptive to inoculation as a primary public health strategy for combatting the virus. We gathered nationally representative data from the general adult populations of Ireland (N=1,041) and the United Kingdom (UK; N=2,025) to determine rates of hesitancy and resistan...
Preprint
Full-text available
The primary aim of this study was to estimate the rate of face mask use during the COVID-19 pandemic in a representative UK adult population sample and assess its association with demographic, health, and mental health variables. The rate of face mask wearing was 16.7% and was associated with being younger, male, living in an urban environment, hav...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research has demonstrated that situational factors such as perceived threats to the social order activate latent authoritarianism. The deadly COVID-19 pandemic presents a rare opportunity to test whether existential threat stemming from an indiscriminate virus moderates the relationship between authoritarianism and political attitudes toward the na...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to estimate the association between anxiety associated with COVID-19 and somatic symptoms, using data from a large, representative sample (N=2025) of the UK adult population. Results showed that moderate to high levels of anxiety associated with COVID-19 were significantly associated with general somatic symptoms, and in particular...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The COVID‐19 pandemic is one of the greatest global health threats facing humanity in recent memory. This study aimed to explore influences on hygienic practices, a set of key transmission behaviours, in relation to the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation‐Behaviour (COM‐B) model of behaviour change (Michie et al., 2011). Design Data fro...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study aimed to estimate the association between anxiety associated with COVID-19 and somatic symptoms, using data from a large, representative sample (N=2025) of the UK adult population. Results showed that moderate to high levels of anxiety associated with COVID-19 were significantly associated with general somatic symptoms, and in particular...