Linear association between social anxiety symptoms and neural activations to angry faces: From subclinical to clinical levels

Abstract : Social anxiety disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the fear of being rejected and negatively evaluated, involves altered brain activation dur ing the processing of negative emotions in a social context. Although associated temperament traits, such as shyness or behavioral inhibition, have been studied, there is still insufficient knowledge to support the dimensional approach, which assumes a continuum from subclinical to clinical levels of social anxiety symptoms. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural bases of individual differences in social anxiety. Our sample included participants with both healthy/subclinical as well as clinical levels of social anxiety. Forty-six participants with a wide range of social anxiety levels performed a gender decision task with emotional facial expressions during fMRI scanning. Activation in the left anterior insula and right lateral prefrontal cortex in response to angry faces was positively correlated with the level of social anxiety in a regression analysis. The results substantiate, with a dimensional approach, those obtained in previous studies that involved SAD patients or healthy and subclinical participants. It may help to refine further therapeutic strategies based on markers of social anxiety.
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https://hal.univ-reims.fr/hal-01822518
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Submitted on : Monday, June 25, 2018 - 11:37:18 AM
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Arnaud Carre, Fabien Gierski, Cedric Lemogne, Eric Tran, Delphine Raucher-Chéné, et al.. Linear association between social anxiety symptoms and neural activations to angry faces: From subclinical to clinical levels. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2014, 9 (6), pp.880-886. ⟨hal-01822518⟩

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