Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Individuals With Social Phobia See Themselves Differently

Date:
October 7, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Magnetic resonance brain imaging reveals that patients with generalized social phobia respond differently than others to negative comments about themselves, according to a new report.

Magnetic resonance brain imaging reveals that patients with generalized social phobia respond differently than others to negative comments about themselves, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Related Articles


"Generalized social phobia is characterized by fear/avoidance of social situations and fear of being judged negatively by others," the authors write as background information in the article. "It is the most common anxiety disorder in the general population, with the lifetime prevalence estimated at 13.3 percent, and it is associated with a high risk for depression, alcohol and drug abuse and suicide." Previous studies have found differences in the way brains of affected individuals respond to facial expressions, suggesting that the condition involves increased responsiveness to social stimuli in areas linked to emotion.

Karina Blair, Ph.D., and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md., compared functional MRI (fMRI) scans of 17 unmedicated individuals with generalized social phobia to those of 17 controls who were the same age and sex and had the same IQ but did not have the disorder. "During fMRI scans, individuals read positive (e.g., You are beautiful), negative (e.g., You are ugly) and neutral (e.g., You are human) comments that could be either about the self or about somebody else (e.g., He is beautiful)," the authors write.

The patients with generalized social phobia showed increased blood flow in their medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala—areas of the brain linked to concepts of self as well as fear, emotion and stress response—when reading negative statements about themselves. However, there were no differences between the two groups in response to negative comments referring to others or neutral or positive comments referring to either self or others.

"Given that medial prefrontal cortex regions are involved in representations of the self, it might be suggested that these regions, together with the amygdala, play a primary role in the development and maintenance of generalized social phobia and that the pathology in the disorder at least partly reflects a negative attitude toward the self, particularly in response to social stimuli—that in generalized social phobia what engages the mind is others' criticism," the authors conclude. "This highly context-dependent response in generalized social phobia helps constrain existing models of the disorder and may thus guide future therapeutic formulations in the treatment of the disorder."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Blair et al. Neural Response to Self- and Other Referential Praise and Criticism in Generalized Social Phobia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2008; 65 (10): 1176-1184 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Individuals With Social Phobia See Themselves Differently." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006180656.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, October 7). Individuals With Social Phobia See Themselves Differently. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006180656.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Individuals With Social Phobia See Themselves Differently." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006180656.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins