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Neural Processing of Cognitive Control in an Emotionally Neutral Context in Anxiety Patients

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ICONE-Innsbruck Cognitive Neuroscience, Department for Hearing, Speech and Voice Disorders, Medical University of Innsbruck, Anichstraße 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Department of Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52f, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Conversi
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(5), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11050543
Received: 25 March 2021 / Revised: 21 April 2021 / Accepted: 22 April 2021 / Published: 26 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collection on Clinical Neuroscience)
Impaired cognitive control plays a crucial role in anxiety disorders and is associated with deficient neural mechanisms in the fronto-parietal network. Usually, these deficits were found in tasks with an emotional context. The present study aimed at investigating electrophysiological and vascular signatures from event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in anxiety patients versus healthy controls during an inhibition task integrated in an emotionally neutral context. Neural markers were acquired during the completion of a classical Eriksen flanker task. The focus of data analysis has been the ERPs N200 and P300 and fNIRS activations in addition to task performance. No behavioral or neural group differences were identified. ERP findings showed a larger N2pc and a delayed and reduced P300 for incongruent stimuli. The N2pc modulation suggests the reorienting of attention to salient stimuli, while the P300 indicates longer lasting stimulus evaluation processes due to increased task difficulty. FNIRS did not result in any significant activation potentially suggesting a contribution from deeper brain areas not measurable with fNIRS. The missing group difference in our non-emotional task indicates that no generalized cognitive control deficit but rather a more emotionally driven deficit is present in anxiety patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: event-related brain potentials (ERPs); functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS); N200; P300; flanker task; cognitive control; anxiety disorder event-related brain potentials (ERPs); functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS); N200; P300; flanker task; cognitive control; anxiety disorder
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MDPI and ACS Style

König, N.; Steber, S.; Borowski, A.; Bliem, H.R.; Rossi, S. Neural Processing of Cognitive Control in an Emotionally Neutral Context in Anxiety Patients. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 543. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11050543

AMA Style

König N, Steber S, Borowski A, Bliem HR, Rossi S. Neural Processing of Cognitive Control in an Emotionally Neutral Context in Anxiety Patients. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(5):543. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11050543

Chicago/Turabian Style

König, Nicola, Sarah Steber, Anna Borowski, Harald R. Bliem, and Sonja Rossi. 2021. "Neural Processing of Cognitive Control in an Emotionally Neutral Context in Anxiety Patients" Brain Sciences 11, no. 5: 543. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11050543

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