Hemispheric Laterality and Memory Bias for Threat in Anxiety Disorders

Michael W. Otto*, Richard J. McNally, Mark H. Pollack, Edith Chen, Jerrold F. Rosenbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors examined auditory perceptual asymmetries and explicit memory biases for threat in patients with panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder relative to healthy control subjects. They did not find a greater explicit memory bias for threat in the anxiety patients. However, explicit memory biases for threat were associated with perceptual asymmetry scores; patients with a greater right-ear (left hemisphere) advantage exhibited an explicit memory bias for threat material, whereas patients with a lower right-ear advantage displayed apparent cognitive avoidance of threat material. Memory for threat words was unrelated to perceptual asymmetry in healthy control subjects. These findings suggest that neuropsychological variables may partly determine the degree to which anxiety patients process threatening stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)828-831
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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