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Electromagnetic indication of hypervigilant responses to emotional stimuli in blood-injection-injury fear

Authors
Journal
Neuroscience Letters
0304-3940
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
424
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2007.07.024
Keywords
  • Blood Phobia
  • Emotional Processing
  • Magnetoencephalography
Disciplines
  • Physics

Abstract

Abstract Blood phobia differs from other phobias and anxiety disorders in that no attentional bias for blood-related stimuli has been consistently observed. The present study aimed at clarifying this characteristic by investigating electromagnetic brain activity to blood-related and -unrelated pictures in high blood-fearful and non-fearful individuals. Relative to non-fearful controls, high blood-fearful subjects displayed more intense occipito-parietal activation 190–250 ms after picture onset, which was interpreted as non-specifically enhanced sensory encoding of visual stimuli. Blood-related stimuli did not elicit different activity patterns in high blood-fearful subjects and controls, supporting the hypothesis that non-specific hypervigilance does not provide a basis for subsequent, specifically enhanced processing of fear-related contents.

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