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1.
Transl Psychiatry ; 9(1): 328, 2019 Dec 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31801937

RESUMO

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by severe interpersonal dysfunction with problems in social cognition, empathy and social approach. Although the neuropeptide oxytocin is known to regulate complex social cognition and behavior in healthy individuals and clinical populations, there is still a lack of evidence for a potential beneficial effect of oxytocin administration on social cognition and social approach in BPD. Fifty-one women with BPD and 51 matched healthy controls were randomized to a double-blind, placebo-controlled, between-subject experimental trial. We administered a single dose of 24 IU oxytocin or placebo intranasally prior to a standardized task measuring affective and cognitive empathy and approach motivation. All participants were free of hormonal contraception and tested in the mid-luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. In the placebo condition, patients with BPD showed reduced cognitive and affective empathy, and less approach behavior motivation than healthy controls. Intranasal oxytocin significantly increased affective empathy and approach motivation in both BPD patients and healthy controls compared to placebo. More importantly, oxytocin administration led to similar scores between BPD and healthy controls. These findings provide the first evidence for a beneficial effect of oxytocin on deficits in affective empathy and approach motivation of BPD. Our results indicate a beneficial effect of a single dose of oxytocin on affective empathy and approach motivation in women with BPD adapting their level of social functioning to healthy controls. Future clinical trials will need to investigate the long-term effects and effectiveness of oxytocin as an add-on treatment for social impairments in BPD.

2.
Psychol Psychother ; 2019 Nov 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31692159

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: Social cognitive impairment is considered to be a psychopathological cornerstone in adolescent females with borderline personality disorder. The aim is to compare the social cognitive performance in adolescent females with borderline personality traits and healthy adolescent females, and to assess the social cognitive performance in relation to the severity of borderline personality features. DESIGN: A case-control study was conducted on 30 adolescent females who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV of borderline personality traits, compared to 30 matched healthy volunteer adolescent females. METHODS: Borderline Personality Questionnaire (BPQ) was used to rate borderline personality features. Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET) and Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) were applied to assess social cognitive abilities. RESULTS: The scores of RMET and some domains of MASC showed a highly significant difference between the patient and control groups. Scores of RMET and some domains of MASC showed significant correlation with impulsiveness, emptiness, relationship patterns, and quasi-psychotic states subscales of BPQ. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent females with borderline personality traits had lower social cognitive performance compared to healthy adolescent females. The intensity of this social cognitive deficit was evident to be related to impulsivity, emptiness, pattern of relationships, and quasi-psychotic states.

3.
Autism Res ; 12(12): 1745-1757, 2019 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31507084

RESUMO

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often exhibit altered representations of the external world. Consistently, when localizing touch, children with ASDs were less influenced than their peers by changes of the stimulated limb's location in external space [Wada et al., Scientific Reports 2015, 4(1), 5985]. However, given the protracted development of an external-spatial dominance in tactile processing in typically developing children, this difference might reflect a developmental delay rather than a set suppression of external space in ASDs. Here, adults with ASDs and matched control-participants completed (a) the tactile temporal order judgment (TOJ) task previously used to test external-spatial representation of touch in children with ASDs and (b) a tactile-visual cross-modal congruency (CC) task which assesses benefits of task-irrelevant visual stimuli on tactile localization in external space. In both experiments, participants localized tactile stimuli to the fingers of each hand, while holding their hands either crossed or uncrossed. Performance differences between hand postures reflect the influence of external-spatial codes. In both groups, tactile TOJ-performance markedly decreased when participants crossed their hands and CC-effects were especially large if the visual stimulus was presented at the same side of external space as the task-relevant touch. The absence of group differences was statistically confirmed using Bayesian statistical modeling: adults with ASDs weighted external-spatial codes comparable to typically developed adults during tactile and visual-tactile spatio-temporal tasks. Thus, atypicalities in the spatial coding of touch for children with ASDs appear to reflect a developmental delay rather than a stable characteristic of ASD. Autism Res 2019, 12: 1745-1757. © 2019 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: A touched limb's location can be described twofold, with respect to the body (right hand) or the external world (right side). Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) reportedly rely less than their peers on the external world. Here, adults with and without ASDs completed two tactile localization tasks. Both groups relied to the same degree on external world locations. This opens the possibility that the tendency to relate touch to the external world is typical in individuals with ASDs but emerges with a delay.

4.
Psychol Med ; : 1-11, 2019 Sep 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31551097

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The promise of precision medicine for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) hinges on developing neuroscience-informed individualized interventions. Taking an important step in this direction, we investigated neuroplasticity in response to an ecologically-valid, computer-based social-cognitive training (SCOTT). METHODS: In an active control group design, 48 adults with ASD were randomly assigned to a 3-month SCOTT or non-social computer training. Participants completed behavioral tasks, a functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging session before and after the training period. RESULTS: The SCOTT group showed social-cognitive improvements on close and distant generalization tasks. The improvements scaled with reductions in functional activity and increases in cortical thickness in prefrontal regions. CONCLUSION: In sum, we provide evidence for the sensitivity of neuroscientific methods to reflect training-induced social-cognitive improvements in adults with ASD. These results encourage the use of neuroimaging data to describe and quantify treatment-related changes more broadly.

5.
Brain Behav ; 9(10): e01401, 2019 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31475781

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: The cognitive capacity to change perspective is referred to as theory of mind (ToM). ToM deficits are detectable in a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Since executive abilities are closely associated with ToM skills, we suspected that due to a common neuropsychological basis, ToM deficits exist in treatment-naïve adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: Performance of treatment-naïve adults with ADHD (N = 30) in tasks assessing executive functions (Trail Making Test, Stroop color-word test, and Test Battery for Attentional Performance), empathy skills (Cambridge Behaviour Scale), and ToM (Movie for Assessment of Social Cognition) was compared with that of a healthy control group (N = 30) matched according to basic demographic variables. RESULTS: Compared to healthy controls, treatment-naïve adults with ADHD showed deficits in various executive functions and the ability to empathize (all p < .05). However, no performance differences were found with regard to ToM (all n.s.). CONCLUSIONS: Since studies in juveniles with ADHD often show impaired ToM performance, it is conceivable that ToM deficits may become attenuated due to neuronal development in adolescence. Furthermore, our findings imply that ToM impairments, even when present in adult ADHD, appear to be independent of executive deficits and might be explained by comorbid disorders.

6.
Autism Res ; 12(11): 1680-1692, 2019 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31347301

RESUMO

Progression of pupil dilation (PD) in response to visual stimuli may indicate distinct internal processes. No study has been performed on PD progression during a social cognition task. Here, we describe PD progression during the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) test in n = 23 adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and n = 24 age, IQ and sex-matched neurotypical controls (NTC). The MASC consists of 43 video sequences depicting human social interactions, each followed by a multiple-choice question concerning characters' mental states. PD progression data were extracted by eye tracking and controlled for fixation behavior. Segmenting PD progression during video sequences by principal component analysis, three sequential PD components were unveiled. In ASD compared with NTC, a distinct PD progression was observed with increased constriction amplitude, increased dilation latency, and increased dilation amplitude that correlated with PD progression components. These components predicted social cognition performance. The first and second PD components correlated positively with MASC behavioral performance in ASD but negatively in NTC. These PD components may be interpreted as indicators of sensory-perceptual processing and attention function. In ASD, aberrant sensory-perceptual processing and attention function could contribute to attenuated social cognition performance. This needs to be tested by additional studies combining the respective cognitive tests and the outlined PD progression analysis. Phasic activity of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system is discussed as putatively shared underlying mechanism. Autism Res2019. © 2019 The Authors. Autism Research published by International Society for Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY: In adolescents with autism, we found an altered pupil dilation during watching scenes of human interactions. Early pupil dilation correlated positively with the number of correct answers to questions about the shown human interactions. Our findings suggest that aberrant sensory processing and attention function may contribute to altered social cognition in autism.

7.
J Autism Dev Disord ; 49(9): 3732-3752, 2019 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31161304

RESUMO

Initial studies have presented the Music-based Scale for Autism Diagnostics (MUSAD) as a promising DSM-5-based observational tool to identify autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adults with intellectual disability (ID). The current study is the first to address its clinical utility in a new sample of 124 adults with ID (60.5% diagnosed with ASD). The derived diagnostic algorithm differentiated well between individuals with and without ASD (sensitivity 79%, specificity 74%, area under the curve = 0.81). Inter-rater reliability, assessed by the scorings of four independent experts in 22 consensus cases, was excellent (ICC = 0.92). Substantial correlations with scores from other ASD-specific measures indicated convergent validity. The MUSAD yields accurate and reliable scores, supporting comprehensive ASD diagnostics in adults with ID.


Assuntos
Algoritmos , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/diagnóstico , Deficiência Intelectual/diagnóstico , Música/psicologia , Testes Psicológicos/estatística & dados numéricos , Adulto , Área Sob a Curva , Manual Diagnóstico e Estatístico de Transtornos Mentais , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Sensibilidade e Especificidade
8.
J Abnorm Psychol ; 128(5): 453-464, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31045397

RESUMO

Empathy is regarded as dynamic risk factor of child sexual offending. However, empathy research in the context of child sexual abuse suffers from various problems. First, prior studies failed to differentiate between pedophilic and nonpedophilic sexual offenders. Second, there is no distinction made between cognitive and affective empathy. Third, cognitive and affective empathy toward emotional states of specific age groups (children and adults) has not been adequately addressed. The current study tackles these shortcomings investigating offending and nonoffending pedophiles and multiple aspects of empathy using self-reports and objective behavioral measures. Participants included 85 pedophilic men who committed hands-on child sexual offenses (P+CSO), 72 pedophilic men who never committed hands-on child sexual offenses (P-CSO), and 128 nonoffending teleiophilic male controls (TC). Several affective and cognitive aspects of empathy were assessed using the Multifaceted Empathy Test (MET) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Whereas in self-reports (IRI) P+CSO scored lower than TC (P-CSO intermediate) in cognitive perspective-taking abilities, a performance-based measure (MET) revealed evidence for a better differentiation of emotional states in P-CSO as compared with P+CSO (TC intermediate). In addition, P+CSO and P-CSO showed significantly higher affective resonance while observing children (MET), which was paralleled by higher self-reported levels of personal distress in social situations (IRI). The results indicate evidence for higher general affective empathic resonance to children in pedophilic men but superior cognitive empathy abilities in nonoffending pedophiles only, which may act as a protective factor in the prevention of sexual offending. Together, these findings underline the importance of accounting for multiple facets of empathy when targeting pedophilia and child sexual offending. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).


Assuntos
Abuso Sexual na Infância , Emoções/fisiologia , Empatia/fisiologia , Pedofilia/fisiopatologia , Adulto , Criança , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade
9.
Cogn Emot ; 33(8): 1672-1686, 2019 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30898024

RESUMO

Despite advances in the conceptualisation of facial mimicry, its role in the processing of social information is a matter of debate. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between mimicry and cognitive and emotional empathy. To assess mimicry, facial electromyography was recorded for 70 participants while they completed the Multifaceted Empathy Test, which presents complex context-embedded emotional expressions. As predicted, inter-individual differences in emotional and cognitive empathy were associated with the level of facial mimicry. For positive emotions, the intensity of the mimicry response scaled with the level of state emotional empathy. Mimicry was stronger for the emotional empathy task compared to the cognitive empathy task. The specific empathy condition could be successfully detected from facial muscle activity at the level of single individuals using machine learning techniques. These results support the view that mimicry occurs depending on the social context as a tool to affiliate and it is involved in cognitive as well as emotional empathy.

10.
Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr ; 87(8): 437-443, 2019 Aug.
Artigo em Alemão | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30791059

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: Analysis of the causes of challenging behavior in individuals with intellectual disability (ID). METHODS: The relatedness and the impact of cognitive and emotional functioning on challenging behavior was investigated by correlation and regression analyses in 262 individuals with ID and mental disorders / challenging behavior. RESULTS: Despite the high correlation between ID and emotional development, cognitive-emotional developmental discrepancies were found in every second patient. The severity of challenging behavior was associated with a lower level of emotional development, especially in the area of "aggression regulation". CONCLUSION: The level of emotional development should be ascertained in the context of an assessment of challenging behavior in individuals with ID.


Assuntos
Agressão , Emoções , Deficiência Intelectual/psicologia , Humanos , Transtornos Mentais/psicologia
11.
J Autism Dev Disord ; 49(3): 1154-1168, 2019 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30415320

RESUMO

Many adults with autism spectrum condition (ASC) desire outpatient psychotherapy (PT). This study compared reasons for seeking PT, experiences with PT, and modifications preferred with respect to PT of individuals with ASC to non-autistic individuals with depression (MDD). Furthermore, factors predictive for treatment satisfaction were identified in individuals with ASC. A total of 262 adults with ASC without intellectual impairment and 304 non-autistic controls with MDD were surveyed. In this pilot study both groups predominantly sought treatment for depressiveness. A low level of expertise with autism was the main reason for being declined by therapists and a contributing factor to the overall treatment dissatisfaction of patients with ASC. ASC patients desire adjustments such as written communication, and clearly structured sessions.


Assuntos
Transtorno do Espectro Autista/psicologia , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/terapia , Pacientes Ambulatoriais/psicologia , Preferência do Paciente/psicologia , Satisfação do Paciente , Psicoterapia/métodos , Adulto , Transtorno do Espectro Autista/diagnóstico , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Projetos Piloto , Ajustamento Social , Inquéritos e Questionários , Resultado do Tratamento
12.
Psychol Med ; 49(6): 980-986, 2019 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29947310

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The atypical processing of eye contact is a characteristic hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The severity of these symptoms, however, is thought to lie on a continuum that extends into the typical population. While behavioural evidence shows that differences in social cognitive tasks in typically developed (TD) adults are related to the levels of autistic-like traits, it remains unknown whether such a relation exists for the sensitivity to direct gaze. METHODS: In two experiments, we measured reaction times to detect the faces with direct and averted gaze, suppressed from awareness, i.e. the access to awareness. In experiment 1, we tested N = 19 clinically diagnosed adults with ASD and N = 22 TD matched controls, while in experiment 2, we tested an independent sample of N = 20 TD adults. RESULTS: In line with the literature, experiment 1 showed preferential processing of direct gaze in the TD group but not in the ASD group. Importantly, we found a linear relationship in both experiments between the levels of autistic traits within the groups of TD participants and their sensitivity to direct gaze: with increasing autistic characteristics, there was a decrease in sensitivity to direct gaze. CONCLUSION: These results provide the first evidence that differences in gaze processing and the sensitivity to direct gaze are already present in individuals with subclinical levels of autistic traits. Furthermore, they lend support to the continuum view of the disorder and could potentially help in an earlier diagnosis of individuals at high risk for autism.

13.
Psychoneuroendocrinology ; 99: 28-37, 2019 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30172967

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Early life stress (ELS) affects facial emotion recognition (FER), as well as the underlying brain network. However, there is considerable inter-individual variability in these ELS-caused alterations. As the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is assumed to mediate neural and behavioural sequelae of ELS, the genetic disposition towards HPA axis reactivity might explain differential vulnerabilities. METHODS: An additive genetic profile score (GPS) of HPA axis reactivity was built from 6 SNPs in 3 HPA axis-related genes (FKBP5, CRHR1, NR3C1). We studied two independent samples. As a proof of concept, GPS was tested as a predictor of cortisol increase to a psychosocial challenge (MIST) in a healthy community sample of n = 40. For the main study, a sample of n = 170 completed a video-based FER task and retrospectively reported ELS experiences in the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). RESULTS: GPS positively predicted cortisol increase in the stress challenge over and above covariates. CTQ and genetic profile scores interacted to predict facial emotion recognition, such that ELS had a detrimental effect on emotion processing only in individuals with higher GPS. Post-hoc moderation analyses revealed that, while a less stress-responsive genetic profile was protective against ELS effects, individuals carrying a moderate to high GPS were affected by ELS in their ability to infer emotion from facial expressions. DISCUSSION: These results suggest that a biologically informed genetic profile score can capture the genetic disposition to HPA axis reactivity and moderates the influence of early environmental factors on facial emotion recognition. Further research should investigate the neural mechanisms underlying this moderation. The GPS used here might prove a powerful tool for studying inter-individual differences in vulnerability to early life stress.


Assuntos
Inteligência Emocional/genética , Reconhecimento Facial/fisiologia , Estresse Psicológico/genética , Adolescente , Adulto , Experiências Adversas da Infância , Emoções/fisiologia , Expressão Facial , Feminino , Perfil Genético , Humanos , Hidrocortisona/análise , Sistema Hipotálamo-Hipofisário/metabolismo , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Sistema Hipófise-Suprarrenal/metabolismo , Polimorfismo de Nucleotídeo Único/genética , Receptores de Hormônio Liberador da Corticotropina/genética , Receptores de Glucocorticoides/genética , Proteínas de Ligação a Tacrolimo/genética
14.
J Pers Disord ; : 1-18, 2018 Sep 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30179580

RESUMO

Relationship dysfunction is a key criterion of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Nevertheless, little is known about the characteristics of romantic relationship functioning in BPD. In this study, couples in which the women were diagnosed with BPD (BPD couples) and healthy control couples (HC) were compared in their perceived relationship characteristics (e.g., relationship quality) and interpersonal experience variables (e.g., attachment). The hypothesis was tested that insecure attachment styles account for group differences in relationship characteristics. Variables were measured by self-report. Romantic relationships were appraised as more negative and conflictual by both members of BPD couples compared to HC. The perception of women with BPD was often more negative than that of their male partners, indicating potential biases in BPD patients' relationship evaluation. Insecure attachment styles only partially explained group differences in relationship characteristics, showing that attachment style is one, but not the only predictor of decreased relationship functioning in BPD couples.

15.
Auton Neurosci ; 214: 9-14, 2018 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30104144

RESUMO

The capacity to represent the emotional and mental states of others is referred to by the concept of empathy. Empathy further differentiates into an emotional and a cognitive subcomponent, which in turn is known to require a tacit perspective-taking process. However, whether the empathizer by himself needs to enter an affective state as a necessary precondition for emotional empathy remains a matter of debate. If empathy would require a vicarious emotional reaction, specific physiological markers of affective responding should be detectable in the empathizing person. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between self-reported empathy and psychophysiological responses in young, healthy participants. We assessed emotional and cognitive empathy with the Multifaceted Empathy Test on the one hand and the corresponding heart rate and skin conductance responses (SCR), affective startle modulation and heart rate variability on the other. We found a negative relationship between SCR and self-reported emotional empathy: higher SCR to emotional stimuli predicted lower empathy ratings. We conclude that physiological arousal is not necessary and might even diminish empathy for others.


Assuntos
Nível de Alerta/fisiologia , Empatia/fisiologia , Adolescente , Adulto , Eletrocardiografia , Eletromiografia , Feminino , Resposta Galvânica da Pele/fisiologia , Frequência Cardíaca/fisiologia , Humanos , Masculino , Rememoração Mental/fisiologia , Escalas de Graduação Psiquiátrica , Reflexo de Sobressalto , Autorrelato , Aprendizagem Espacial/fisiologia , Adulto Jovem
17.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci ; 13(4): 367-380, 2018 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29462481

RESUMO

Empathy is crucial for successful interpersonal interactions, and it is impaired in many psychiatric and neurological disorders. Action-perception matching, or action simulation mechanisms, has been suggested to facilitate empathy by supporting the simulation of perceived experience in others. However, this remains unclear, and the involvement of the action simulation circuit in cognitive empathy (the ability to adopt another's perspective) vs emotional empathy (the capacity to share and react affectively to another's emotional experience) has not been quantitatively compared. Presently, healthy adults completed a classic cognitive empathy task (false belief), an emotional empathy task and an action simulation button-pressing task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Conjunction analyses revealed common recruitment of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), thought to be critical for action-perception matching, during both action simulation and emotional, but not cognitive, empathy. Furthermore, activation was significantly greater in action simulation regions in the left IFG during emotional vs cognitive empathy, and activity in this region was positively correlated with mean feeling ratings during the emotional empathy task. These findings provide evidence for greater involvement of action simulation mechanisms in emotional than cognitive empathy. Thus, the action simulation circuit may be an important target for delineating the pathophysiology of disorders featuring emotional empathy impairments.

18.
J Occup Health Psychol ; 23(1): 141-150, 2018 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27977228

RESUMO

One major source of mental health problems in health professionals are personally demanding encounters at work. Thus, a crucial prevention focus is the development of emotional and social skills necessary to effectively manage interactions with clients, colleagues, and supervisors. The aim of our pre-post intervention field study was to evaluate an employee training in nonviolent communication (NVC) within a public health organization. A training group participated in a 3-day NVC training and completed questionnaires before and 3 months after training. Changes in NVC skills, empathic distress, empathy, and social stressors at work were compared with data from a control group without training. Additionally, we observed NVC-trained participants' communication behavior immediately before and after the intervention. We found a promotion of communication skills in training participants as evidenced by increased emotion verbalization behavior and enhanced use of NVC at work. Empathic distress declined, and an increase of social stressors at work was prevented by enhanced emotion verbalization. The findings demonstrate that NVC training can be an effective means to foster emotional and interpersonal skills and to prevent empathic distress and social stressors at work in individuals working in socioemotionally challenging settings. Possible causal mechanisms explaining the training effects are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record


Assuntos
Pessoal de Saúde/psicologia , Promoção da Saúde/métodos , Relações Interprofissionais , Estresse Ocupacional/prevenção & controle , Habilidades Sociais , Adulto , Análise de Variância , Cognição , Comunicação , Empatia , Feminino , Alemanha , Humanos , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Relações Profissional-Paciente , Inquéritos e Questionários , Adulto Jovem
19.
Psychol Trauma ; 10(3): 309-318, 2018 May.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28691837

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: Childhood maltreatment, that is neglect and abuse, are associated with difficulties in adult relationship functioning. We tested whether childhood maltreatment changes the presence of a relationship protective mechanism, called motivated inaccuracy. It describes a decrease in romantic couples' empathic accuracy, (EA), that is, their correct understanding of the partners' thoughts and feelings, in situations that pose a potential threat to the stability of the relationship. With this, couples seem to protect their relationship stability from their partners' potentially destabilizing mental contents. METHOD: Romantic couples were videotaped while discussing (a) their favorite film-genre (neutral/positive), (b) their most relevant fear of the past year (personally threatening), and (c) a reason that might lead to a break-up in their relationship (relationship-threatening). EA was measured by the overlap between participants' judgments of their partners' feelings and the partners' self-rated actual feeling, using a continuous video rating of the interactions. Childhood neglect and abuse were retrospectively assessed by a questionnaire. RESULTS: Overall, participants decreased their EA for each other in the relationship-threatening versus personally threatening conversation, replicating motivated inaccuracy. However, when individuals with high levels of reported childhood neglect felt threatened by the relationship-threatening condition, they did not show this relationship protective mechanism, that is, they showed maintained EA scores. Abuse in childhood did not influence the presence of motivated inaccuracy. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood neglect might influence adult romantic relationship functioning by leading to a lack of motivated inaccuracy during relationship-threatening situations. An altered threat coping strategy might cause the inability to protect oneself from relationship-threatening information. (PsycINFO Database Record


Assuntos
Sobreviventes Adultos de Maus-Tratos Infantis/psicologia , Empatia , Parceiros Sexuais/psicologia , Percepção Social , Teoria da Mente , Adaptação Psicológica , Adulto , Comunicação , Medo/psicologia , Feminino , Humanos , Relações Interpessoais , Julgamento , Masculino , Estudos Retrospectivos
20.
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol ; 21(4): 333-344, 2018 04 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29087534

RESUMO

Background: The empathogen 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is the prototypical prosocial club drug inducing emotional openness to others. It has recently been shown that acutely applied 3,4-MDMA in fact enhances emotional empathy and prosocial behavior, while it simultaneously decreases cognitive empathy. However, the long-term effects of 3,4-MDMA use on socio-cognitive functions and social interactions have not been investigated yet. Therefore, we examined emotional and cognitive empathy, social decision-making, and oxytocin plasma levels in chronic 3,4-MDMA users. Methods: We tested 38 regular but recently abstinent 3,4-MDMA users and 56 3,4-MDMA-naïve controls with the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition, the Multifaceted Empathy Test, and the Distribution Game and the Dictator Game. Drug use was objectively quantified by 6-month hair analyses. Furthermore, oxytocin plasma levels were determined in smaller subgroups (24 3,4-MDMA users, 9 controls). Results: 3,4-MDMA users showed superior cognitive empathy compared with controls in the Multifaceted Empathy Test (Cohen's d=.39) and in the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (d=.50), but they did not differ from controls in emotional empathy. Moreover, 3,4-MDMA users acted less self-serving in the Distribution Game. However, within 3,4-MDMA users, multiple regression analyses showed that higher 3,4-MDMA concentrations in hair were associated with lower cognitive empathy (ßMDMA=-.34, t=-2.12, P<.05). Oxytocin plasma concentrations did not significantly differ between both groups. Conclusions: We conclude that people with high cognitive empathy abilities and pronounced social motivations might be more prone to 3,4-MDMA consumption. In contrast, long-term 3,4-MDMA use might nevertheless have a detrimental effect on cognitive empathy capacity.


Assuntos
Tomada de Decisões/efeitos dos fármacos , Empatia/efeitos dos fármacos , Relações Interpessoais , N-Metil-3,4-Metilenodioxianfetamina/farmacologia , Neurotransmissores/farmacologia , Ocitocina/sangue , Comportamento Social , Percepção Social , Adulto , Feminino , Humanos , Masculino , Adulto Jovem
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