Publications by authors named "Anna Luisa Klahn"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Commonalities and differences in the neural substrates of threat predictability in panic disorder and specific phobia.

Neuroimage Clin 2017 20;14:530-537. Epub 2017 Feb 20.

Institute for Biogmagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Muenster, Germany.

Different degrees of threat predictability are thought to induce either phasic fear or sustained anxiety. Maladaptive, sustained anxious apprehension is thought to result in overgeneralization of anxiety and thereby to contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Therefore, differences in threat predictability have been associated with pathological states of anxiety with specific phobia (SP) representing phasic fear as heightened response to predictable threat, while panic disorder (PD) is characterized by sustained anxiety (unpredictable threat) and, as a consequence, overgeneralization of fear. The present study aimed to delineate commonalities and differences in the neural substrates of the impact of threat predictability on affective processing in these two anxiety disorders. Twenty PD patients, 20 SP patients and 20 non-anxious control subjects were investigated with an adapted NPU-design (no, predictable, unpredictable threat) using whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). Group independent neural activity in the right dlPFC increased with decreasing threat predictability. PD patients showed a sustained hyperactivation of the vmPFC under threat and safety conditions. The magnitude of hyperactivation was inversely correlated with PDs subjective arousal and anxiety sensitivity. Both PD and SP patients revealed decreased parietal processing of affective stimuli. Findings indicate overgeneralization between threat and safety conditions and increased need for emotion regulation via the vmPFC in PD, but not SP patients. Both anxiety disorders showed decreased activation in parietal networks possibly indicating attentional avoidance of affective stimuli. Present results complement findings from fear conditioning studies and underline overgeneralization of fear, particularly in PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2017.02.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5345973PMC
November 2017

Healthy individuals maintain adaptive stimulus evaluation under predictable and unpredictable threat.

Neuroimage 2016 Aug 18;136:174-85. Epub 2016 May 18.

Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University Hospital Muenster, D-48149 Muenster, Germany; Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany.

The anxiety inducing paradigms such as the threat-of-shock paradigm have provided ample data on the emotional processing of predictable and unpredictable threat, but little is known about the processing of aversive, threat-irrelevant stimuli in these paradigms. We investigated how the predictability of threat influences the neural visual processing of threat-irrelevant fearful and neutral faces. Thirty-two healthy individuals participated in an NPU-threat test, consisting of a safe or neutral condition (N) and a predictable (P) as well as an unpredictable (U) threat condition, using audio-visual threat stimuli. In all NPU-conditions, we registered participants' brain responses to threat-irrelevant faces via magnetoencephalography. The data showed that increasing unpredictability of threat evoked increasing emotion regulation during face processing predominantly in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex regions during an early to mid-latency time interval. Importantly, we obtained only main effects but no significant interaction of facial expression and conditions of different threat predictability, neither in behavioral nor in neural data. Healthy individuals with average trait anxiety are thus able to maintain adaptive stimulus evaluation processes under predictable and unpredictable threat conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.05.041DOI Listing
August 2016

Prepare for scare-Impact of threat predictability on affective visual processing in spider phobia.

Behav Brain Res 2016 07 29;307:84-91. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

Institute for Biogmagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University of Muenster, Germany. Electronic address:

The visual processing of emotional faces is influenced by individual's level of stress and anxiety. Valence unspecific affective processing is expected to be influenced by predictability of threat. Using a design of phasic fear (predictable threat), sustained anxiety (unpredictable threat) and safety (no threat), we investigated the magnetoencephalographic correlates and temporal dynamics of emotional face processing in a sample of phobic patients. Compared to non-anxious controls, phobic individuals revealed decreased parietal emotional attention processes during affective processing at mid-latency and late processing stages. While control subjects showed increasing parietal processing of the facial stimuli in line with decreasing threat predictability, phobic subjects revealed the opposite pattern. Decreasing threat predictability also led to increasing neural activity in the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex at mid-latency stages. Additionally, unpredictability of threat lead to higher subjective discomfort compared to predictability of threat and no threat safety condition. Our findings indicate that visual processing of emotional information is influenced by both stress induction and pathologic anxiety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2016.03.045DOI Listing
July 2016

Impact of electroconvulsive therapy on magnetoencephalographic correlates of dysfunctional emotional processing in major depression.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2016 Apr 8;26(4):684-92. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

Institute for Biogmagnetism and Biosignal Analysis, University of Münster, Germany; Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Münster, D-48151 Münster, Germany. Electronic address:

In major depressive disorder (MDD), electrophysiological and imaging studies provide evidence for a reduced neural activity in parietal and dorsolateral prefrontal regions. In the present study, neural correlates and temporal dynamics of visual affective perception have been investigated in patients with unipolar depression in a pre/post treatment design using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Nineteen in-patients and 19 balanced healthy controls passed MEG measurement while passively viewing pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures. After a 4-week treatment with electroconvulsive therapy or 4-week waiting period without intervention respectively, 16 of these patients and their 16 corresponding controls participated in a second MEG measurement. Before treatment neural source estimations of magnetic fields evoked by the emotional scenes revealed a general bilateral parietal hypoactivation in depressed patients compared to controls predominately at early and mid-latency time intervals. Successful ECT treatment, as reflected by a decline in clinical scores (Hamilton Depression Scale; HAMD) led to a normalization of this distinct parietal hypoactivation. Effective treatment was also accompanied by relatively increased neural activation at right temporo-parietal regions. The present study indicates dysfunctional parietal information processing and attention processes towards emotional stimuli in MDD patients which can be returned to normal by ECT treatment. Since convergent neural hypoactivations and treatment effects have recently been shown in MDD patients before and after pharmacological therapy, this electrophysiological correlate might serve as a biomarker for objective treatment evaluation and thereby potentially advance treatment options and support the prediction of individual treatment responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.02.005DOI Listing
April 2016