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Exploring The Socially Anxious Brain: Cognitive Neuroscience, Functional Connectivity and Neuropsychiatry
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. (-)
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a prevalent psychiatric condition, which causes considerablesuffering. The disorder has for long been studied in neuroscience, although the clinical impact ofresearch results have so far been insignificant. In the first part of this essay, the basic understanding ofSAD within cognitive neuroscience is provided. Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI) have revealed that SAD is primarily related to dysfunctions in, and between, threat processing,emotional regulatory, attentional and perceptual neural systems - implicating regions such as theamygdala, insula, prefrontal, parietal and occipital lobes in the disorder . To this background follows apresentation and discussion about more recent research on SAD using a neuroimaging method knownas functional connectivity. Here, I find that the functional connectivity research, although problematicin many regards, extends the cognitive neuroscientific view on SAD. This by suggesting that thedisorder is related to abnormalities in functional connectivity between several of the above-mentionedregions and within brain networks such as the default mode network. Finally, I explore the potential offunctional connectivity as a tool for the diagnosis of SAD and for predicting individual patients'treatment responses. Studies on these topics, while sparse, indicate that functional connectivitymeasures can make both accurate classifications of SAD and predictions of treatment outcomes on thelevel of individuals. However, there is not sufficient empirical evidence to suggest that functionalconnectivity measures are superior to other neuroimaging measures in these contexts. Moreover, thereare substantial challenges that need to be surmounted before neuroimaging measures can have clinicalviability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 55
Keyword [en]
social anxiety disorder, cognitive neuroscience, social phobia, resting-state functional connectivity, neurodiagnostics, treatment outcome prediction
Keyword [sv]
social ångest, social fobi, kognitiv neurovetenskap, neuropsykiatri, neurodiagnostik
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14182OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14182DiVA, id: diva2:1145872
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Consciousness Studies - Philosophy and Neuropsychology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-10-18 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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