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Bodily Maps of Emotion in Major Depressive Disorder

  • Background: Emotions play a central role in mental disorder and especially in depression. They are sensed in the body, and it has recently been shown in healthy participants that these sensations can be differentiated between emotions. The aim of the current study was to assess bodily sensations for basic emotions induced by emotion eliciting pictures in depression. Methods: 30 healthy controls (HC), 30 individuals suffering from Major depressive disorder (MDD) without medication use (MDDnm) and 30 individuals with MDD with medication use (MDDm) were shown emotional and neutral pictures and were asked to paint areas in an empty body silhouette where they felt an increase or decrease in activation. Body sensation maps were then calculated and statistical pattern recognition applied. Results Results indicated statistically separable activation patterns for all three groups. MDDnm showed less overall activation than HCs, especially in sadness and fear, while MDDm showed stronger deactivation for all emotions than the other two groups. Conclusions: We could show that emotion experience was associated with bodily sensations that are weaker in depression than in healthy controls and that antidepressant medication was correlated with an increased feeling of bodily deactivation. Results give insights into the relevance for clinicians to acknowledge bodily sensations in the treatment of depression.

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Author:Naomi Lyons, Alexa Strasser, Bernard Beitz, Tobias Teismann, Thomas Ostermann, Laura Anderle, Johannes Michalak
Parent Title (German):Cognitive Therapy and Research
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/04/19
Year of first Publication:2020
Publishing Institution:Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen Bocholt Recklinghausen
Release Date:2021/04/19
Tag:BSM; Bodily sensation maps; Emotion induction; IAPS; Medication; Replication
GND Keyword:Arzneimittel; Depression
Departments / faculties:Fachbereiche / Informatik und Kommunikation
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen

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