Cognitive load and autonomic response patterns under negative priming demand in Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder.
Previous studies have yielded evidence for cognitive processing abnormalities and alterations of autonomic functioning in Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder (DPRD). However multimodal neuroimaging and psychophysiology studies have not yet been conducted to test for functional and effective connectivity under cognitive stress in DPRD patients. DPRD and non-referred control (NC) subjects underwent a combined Stroop/Negative Priming task, and the neural correlates of Stroop Interference Effect, Negative Priming Effect, error rates, cognitive load span, and average amplitude of skin conductance responses were ascertained for both groups. Evoked hemodynamic responses for basic Stroop/Negative Priming activations were compared. For basic Stroop to neutral contrast, DPRD patients differed in the location (inferior vs superior lobule) of the parietal region involved, but showed similar activations in the left frontal region. In addition, DPRD patients also co-activated the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC BA9) and PCC (BA31), which were also found to be the main between-group difference regions. These regions furthermore showed connectivity with frequency of depersonalization states. Evoked hemodynamic responses drawn from ROIs indicated significant between-group differences in 30-40% of time points. Brain-behaviour correlations differed mainly in laterality yet only slightly in regions. A reversal of autonomic patterning became evident in DPRD patients for cognitive load spans, indicating less effective arousal suppression under cognitive stress: DPRD patients showed positive associations of cognitive load with autonomic responses, whereas controls exhibit respective inverse association. Overall, the results of the present study show only minor executive cognitive peculiarities, but further support the notion of abnormalities in autonomic functioning in DPRD patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder; Stroop word-colour interference; cognitive load; correlation image analysis; effective connectivity; electrodermal activity; evoked hemodynamic responses; functional connectivity; functional magnetic resonance imaging; negative priming
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