Publications by authors named "Rebecca Dyer"

4 Publications

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SDHC phaeochromocytoma and paraganglioma: A UK-wide case series.

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2021 Sep 24. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Birmingham Women's Hospital, Birmingham, UK.

Objective: Phaeochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGL) are rare, but strongly heritable tumours. Variants in succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits are identified in approximately 25% of cases. However, clinical and genetic information of patients with SDHC variants are underreported.

Design: This retrospective case series collated data from 18 UK Genetics and Endocrinology departments.

Patients: Both asymptomatic and disease-affected patients with confirmed SDHC germline variants are included.

Measurements: Clinical data including tumour type and location, surveillance outcomes and interventions, SDHC genetic variant assessment, interpretation, and tumour risk calculation.

Results: We report 91 SDHC cases, 46 probands and 45 non-probands. Fifty-one cases were disease-affected. Median age at genetic diagnosis was 43 years (range: 11-79). Twenty-four SDHC germline variants were identified including six novel variants. Head and neck paraganglioma (HNPGL, n = 30, 65.2%), extra-adrenal paraganglioma (EAPGL, n = 13, 28.2%) and phaeochromocytomas (PCC) (n = 3, 6.5%) were present. One case had multiple PPGLs. Malignant disease was reported in 19.6% (9/46). Eight cases had non-PPGL SDHC-associated tumours, six gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) and two renal cell cancers (RCC). Cumulative tumour risk (95% CI) at age 60 years was 0.94 (CI: 0.79-0.99) in probands, and 0.16 (CI: 0-0.31) in non-probands, respectively.

Conclusions: This study describes the largest cohort of 91 SDHC patients worldwide. We confirm disease-affected SDHC variant cases develop isolated HNPGL disease in nearly 2/3 of patients, EAPGL and PCC in 1/3, with an increased risk of GIST and RCC. One fifth developed malignant disease, requiring comprehensive lifelong tumour screening and surveillance.
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September 2021

Dimorphous expressions of positive emotion: displays of both care and aggression in response to cute stimuli.

Psychol Sci 2015 Mar 27;26(3):259-73. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

Yale University.

Extremely positive experiences, and positive appraisals thereof, produce intense positive emotions that often generate both positive expressions (e.g., smiles) and expressions normatively reserved for negative emotions (e.g., tears). We developed a definition of these dimorphous expressions and tested the proposal that their function is to regulate emotions. We showed that individuals who express emotions in this dimorphous manner do so as a general response across a variety of emotionally provoking situations, which suggests that these expressions are responses to intense positive emotion rather than unique to one particular situation. We used cute stimuli (an elicitor of positive emotion) to demonstrate both the existence of these dimorphous expressions and to provide preliminary evidence of their function as regulators of emotion.
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March 2015

Automaticity in social-cognitive processes.

Trends Cogn Sci 2012 Dec 2;16(12):593-605. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Yale University, Department of Psychology, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

Over the past several years, the concept of automaticity of higher cognitive processes has permeated nearly all domains of psychological research. In this review, we highlight insights arising from studies in decision-making, moral judgments, close relationships, emotional processes, face perception and social judgment, motivation and goal pursuit, conformity and behavioral contagion, embodied cognition, and the emergence of higher-level automatic processes in early childhood. Taken together, recent work in these domains demonstrates that automaticity does not result exclusively from a process of skill acquisition (in which a process always begins as a conscious and deliberate one, becoming capable of automatic operation only with frequent use) - there are evolved substrates and early childhood learning mechanisms involved as well.
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December 2012

An fMRI investigation of racial paralysis.

Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2013 Apr 20;8(4):387-93. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02163, USA.

We explore the existence and underlying neural mechanism of a new norm endorsed by both black and white Americans for managing interracial interactions: "racial paralysis', the tendency to opt out of decisions involving members of different races. We show that people are more willing to make choices--such as who is more intelligent, or who is more polite-between two white individuals (same-race decisions) than between a white and a black individual (cross-race decisions), a tendency which was evident more when judgments involved traits related to black stereotypes. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the mechanisms underlying racial paralysis, to examine the mechanisms underlying racial paralysis, revealing greater recruitment of brain regions implicated in socially appropriate behavior (ventromedial prefrontal cortex), conflict detection (anterior cingulate cortex), deliberative processing (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and inhibition (ventrolateral prefrontal cortex). We also discuss the impact of racial paralysis on the quality of interracial relations.
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April 2013