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Neural correlates of victimization in psychosis: differences in brain response to angry faces

Individuals with psychosis are at an increased risk of victimization. Processing of facial expressions has been suggested to be associated with victimization in this patient group. Especially processing of angry expressions may be relevant in the context of victimization. Therefore, differences in brain activation and connectivity between victimized and nonvictimized patients during processing of angry faces were investigated. Thirty-nine patients, of whom nineteen had experienced threats, assaults, or sexual violence in the past 5 years, underwent fMRI scanning, during which they viewed angry and neutral facial expressions. Using general linear model (GLM) analyses, generalized psychophysiological (gPPI) analysis and independent component analyses (ICA) differences in brain activation and connectivity between groups in response to angry faces were investigated. Whereas differences in regional brain activation GLM and gPPI analyses yielded no differences between groups, ICA revealed more deactivation of the sensorimotor network in victimized participants. Deactivation of the sensorimotor network in response to angry faces in victimized patients, might indicate a freeze reaction to threatening stimuli, previously observed in traumatized individuals.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41537-019-0082-z?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=organic&utm_campaign=NPJS_2_mp_NPJs_USG_SCHZ_organic_twitter

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