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Attention bias to threat faces in severe mood dysregulation

Attention bias to threat faces in severe mood dysregulation
Attention bias to threat faces in severe mood dysregulation
Background: We used a dot-probe paradigm to examine attention bias toward threat (i.e., angry) and happy face stimuli in Severe Mood Dysregulation (SMD) vs. healthy comparison (HC) youth. The tendency to allocate attention to threat is well established in anxiety and other disorders of negative affect. SMD is characterized by the negative affect of irritability, and longitudinal studies suggest childhood irritability predicts adult anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is important to study pathophysiologic connections between irritability and anxiety disorders. Methods: SMD patients (N=74) and HC youth (N=42) completed a visual probe paradigm to assess attention bias to emotional faces. Diagnostic interviews were conducted and measures of irritability and anxiety were obtained in patients. Results: SMD youth differed from HC youth in having a bias toward threatening faces (p<0.01). Threat bias was positively correlated with the severity of the SMD syndrome and depressive symptoms; degree of threat bias did not differ between SMD youth with and without co-occurring anxiety disorders or depression. SMD and HC youth did not differ in bias toward or away from happy faces. Conclusions: SMD youth demonstrate an attention bias toward threat, with greater threat bias associated with higher levels of SMD symptom severity. Our findings suggest that irritability may share a pathophysiological link with anxiety and depressive disorders. This finding suggests the value of exploring further whether attention bias modification treatments that are effective for anxiety are also helpful in the treatment of irritability.
child and adolescent, anxiety, mood disorders, biological markers, cognition
559-565
Hommer, Rebecca E
e81c0ddc-6b93-481d-a840-54c6746816d6
Meyer, Allison
410b4a8b-2b18-4cfc-94b1-dc7243a8eae5
Stoddard, Joel
c6caa142-e905-4a96-a84a-cc351fd7c17a
Connolly, Megan E.
e0bcd9e5-7fd1-4874-8d31-923d90668e23
Mogg, Karin
5f1474af-85f5-4fd3-8eb6-0371be848e30
Bradley, Brendan P.
bdacaa6c-528b-4086-9448-27ebfe463514
Pine, Daniel S.
debffc1c-1efc-4bcf-81b3-87aadee1047d
Leibenluft, Ellen
c362a484-909b-4fbd-bcfd-814fedfe100f
Brotman, Melissa A.
002528c9-0900-446e-ab28-ed31d0560eec
Hommer, Rebecca E
e81c0ddc-6b93-481d-a840-54c6746816d6
Meyer, Allison
410b4a8b-2b18-4cfc-94b1-dc7243a8eae5
Stoddard, Joel
c6caa142-e905-4a96-a84a-cc351fd7c17a
Connolly, Megan E.
e0bcd9e5-7fd1-4874-8d31-923d90668e23
Mogg, Karin
5f1474af-85f5-4fd3-8eb6-0371be848e30
Bradley, Brendan P.
bdacaa6c-528b-4086-9448-27ebfe463514
Pine, Daniel S.
debffc1c-1efc-4bcf-81b3-87aadee1047d
Leibenluft, Ellen
c362a484-909b-4fbd-bcfd-814fedfe100f
Brotman, Melissa A.
002528c9-0900-446e-ab28-ed31d0560eec

Hommer, Rebecca E, Meyer, Allison, Stoddard, Joel, Connolly, Megan E., Mogg, Karin, Bradley, Brendan P., Pine, Daniel S., Leibenluft, Ellen and Brotman, Melissa A. (2014) Attention bias to threat faces in severe mood dysregulation. Depression and Anxiety, 31 (7), 559-565. (doi:10.1002/da.22145). (PMID:23798350 )

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: We used a dot-probe paradigm to examine attention bias toward threat (i.e., angry) and happy face stimuli in Severe Mood Dysregulation (SMD) vs. healthy comparison (HC) youth. The tendency to allocate attention to threat is well established in anxiety and other disorders of negative affect. SMD is characterized by the negative affect of irritability, and longitudinal studies suggest childhood irritability predicts adult anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is important to study pathophysiologic connections between irritability and anxiety disorders. Methods: SMD patients (N=74) and HC youth (N=42) completed a visual probe paradigm to assess attention bias to emotional faces. Diagnostic interviews were conducted and measures of irritability and anxiety were obtained in patients. Results: SMD youth differed from HC youth in having a bias toward threatening faces (p<0.01). Threat bias was positively correlated with the severity of the SMD syndrome and depressive symptoms; degree of threat bias did not differ between SMD youth with and without co-occurring anxiety disorders or depression. SMD and HC youth did not differ in bias toward or away from happy faces. Conclusions: SMD youth demonstrate an attention bias toward threat, with greater threat bias associated with higher levels of SMD symptom severity. Our findings suggest that irritability may share a pathophysiological link with anxiety and depressive disorders. This finding suggests the value of exploring further whether attention bias modification treatments that are effective for anxiety are also helpful in the treatment of irritability.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 24 May 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 June 2013
Published date: July 2014
Keywords: child and adolescent, anxiety, mood disorders, biological markers, cognition
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 355273
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355273
PURE UUID: 7ed6dfc8-cbc4-4502-91b6-e725e5dc9b8d
ORCID for Brendan P. Bradley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2801-4271

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Aug 2013 15:39
Last modified: 18 Jul 2019 01:03

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