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Neural Responses to Facial Expressions of Disgust but not Fear are Modulated by Washing Symptoms in OCD

Authors
 Natalia S. Lawrence  ;  Suk Kyoon An  ;  Mary L. Phillips  ;  Anne Speckens  ;  Florian Ruths  ;  David Mataix-Cols 
Citation
 BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, Vol.61(9) : 1072-1080, 2007 
Journal Title
BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY
ISSN
 0006-3223 
Issue Date
2007
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Washing symptoms in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are associated with increased trait sensitivity to disgust. This study explored neural systems underlying sensitivity to symptom-unrelated disgust and fear in OCD using functional neuroimaging. METHODS: Seventeen OCD subjects and 19 controls viewed facial expressions of disgust and fear (versus neutral) presented just above the level of conscious awareness in a backward masking paradigm. RESULTS: The OCD group showed greater activation than controls in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, but reduced activation in the thalamus, to facial expressions of disgust. There were no between-group differences in response to fear. Further analysis using a median-split to divide OCD subjects into high and low washers suggested that the enhanced ventrolateral prefrontal cortex response was being driven by predominantly female OCD subjects with high washing symptoms. These subjects also reported higher levels of trait sensitivity to disgust. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are consistent with previous reports of increased response to symptom-relevant and generally disgusting stimuli in neural regions associated with disgust and autonomic response processing in OCD patients with prominent washing symptoms. Together, these findings point to increased sensitivity to disgust stimuli as a component of the pathophysiology of the washing/contamination symptom dimension of OCD.
Full Text
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006322306008638
DOI
10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.06.033
Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
An, Suk Kyoon(안석균) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-6184
URI
https://ir.ymlib.yonsei.ac.kr/handle/22282913/95707
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