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Impaired social functioning is a hallmark characteristic of several mental disorders including those characterized by paranoid ideation (P) and social anxiety (SA). Social deficits have been related to impaired social cognition.
To investigate the neurofunctional basis of social cognition in people with subclinical P and SA.
13 healthy participants with high paranoid ideation; 12 healthy participants with high social anxiety. Procedures and Instruments: Paranoid Thoughts Scale, Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Cardiff Anomalous Perceptions Scale. Brain response to social stimuli was investigated with two event-related fMRI experiments with implicit processing of facial. expressions of happiness and anger in two different intensities, and with faces expressing no emotion.
People with P recruit differentially and positively the Left Lingual (p < 0,05 FWEcorr), and close to significant (p < 0,06 FWEcorr) the Right Caudate when processing neutral faces. People with SA only showed significant positive differences (p < 0,05 FWEcorr) in the Right Inferior frontal gyrus when processing anger stimuli at 100%. When comparing both groups, we did not find significant differences.
The preliminary results indicate a stronger recruitment of emotional and visual areas in P subjects when processing neutral faces and a stronger recruitment of cognitive processing areas in SA subjects when processing angry faces.
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