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The hollow-mask illusion is an optical illusion where a concave face is perceived as convex. It has been demonstrated that individuals with schizophrenia and anxiety are less susceptible to the illusion than controls. Previous research has shown that the P300 and P600 event-related potentials (ERPs) are affected in individuals with schizophrenia. Here, we examined whether individual differences in neuroticism and anxiety scores, traits that have been suggested to be risk factors for schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, affect ERPs of healthy participants while they view concave faces. Our results confirm that the participants were susceptible to the illusion, misperceiving concave faces as convex. We additionally demonstrate significant interactions of the concave condition with state anxiety in central and parietal electrodes for P300 and parietal areas for P600, but not with neuroticism and trait anxiety. The state anxiety interactions were driven by low-state anxiety participants showing lower amplitudes for concave faces compared to convex. The P300 and P600 amplitudes were smaller when a concave face activated a convex face memory representation, since the stimulus did not match the active representation. The opposite pattern was evident in high-state anxiety participants in regard to state anxiety interaction and the hollow-mask illusion, demonstrating larger P300 and P600 amplitudes to concave faces suggesting impaired late information processing in this group. This could be explained by impaired allocation of attentional resources in high-state anxiety leading to hyperarousal to concave faces that are unexpected mismatches to standard memory representations, as opposed to expected convex faces.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
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