INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology

Buenos Aires, Argentina

INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology

Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Yoris A.,University of Buenos Aires | Yoris A.,CONICET | Yoris A.,INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology | Garcia A.M.,University of Buenos Aires | And 21 more authors.
Psychological Medicine | Year: 2017

Background: Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients typically overmonitor their own behavior, as shown by symptoms of excessive doubt and checking. Although this is well established for the patients’ relationship with external stimuli in the environment, no study has explored their monitoring of internal body signals, a process known to be affected in anxiety-related syndromes. Here, we explored this issue through a cardiac interoception task that measures sensing of heartbeats. Our aim was to explore key behavioral and electrophysiological aspects of internal-cue monitoring in OCD, while examining their potential distinctiveness in this condition. Method: We administered a heartbeat detection (HBD) task (with related interoceptive confidence and awareness measures) to three matched groups (OCD patients, panic disorder patients, healthy controls) and recorded ongoing modulations of two task-relevant electrophysiological markers: the heart evoked potential (HEP) and the motor potential (MP). Results: Behaviorally, OCD patients outperformed controls and panic patients in the HBD task. Moreover, they exhibited greater amplitude modulation of both the HEP and the MP during cardiac interoception. However, they evinced poorer confidence and awareness of their interoceptive skills. Conclusions: Convergent behavioral and electrophysiological data showed that overactive monitoring in OCD extends to the sensing of internal bodily signals. Moreover, this pattern discriminated OCD from panic patients, suggesting a condition-distinctive alteration. Our results highlight the potential of exploring interoceptive processes in the OCD spectrum to better characterize the population's cognitive profile. Finally, these findings may lay new bridges between somatic theories of emotion and cognitive models of OCD. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017


Yoris A.,Favaloro University | Yoris A.,INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology | Yoris A.,CONICET | Esteves S.,Favaloro University | And 24 more authors.
Behavioral and Brain Functions | Year: 2015

Background: Interoception refers to the ability to sense body signals. Two interoceptive dimensions have been recently proposed: (a) interoceptive sensitivity (IS) -objective accuracy in detecting internal bodily sensations (e.g., heartbeat, breathing)-; and (b) metacognitive interoception (MI) -explicit beliefs and worries about one's own interoceptive sensitivity and internal sensations. Current models of panic assume a possible influence of interoception on the development of panic attacks. Hypervigilance to body symptoms is one of the most characteristic manifestations of panic disorders. Some explanations propose that patients have abnormal IS, whereas other accounts suggest that misinterpretations or catastrophic beliefs play a pivotal role in the development of their psychopathology. Our goal was to evaluate these theoretical proposals by examining whether patients differed from controls in IS, MI, or both. Twenty-one anxiety disorders patients with panic attacks and 13 healthy controls completed a behavioral measure of IS motor heartbeat detection (HBD) and two questionnaires measuring MI. Findings: Patients did not differ from controls in IS. However, significant differences were found in MI measures. Patients presented increased worries in their beliefs about somatic sensations compared to controls. These results reflect a discrepancy between direct body sensing (IS) and reflexive thoughts about body states (MI). Conclusion: Our findings support the idea that hypervigilance to body symptoms is not necessarily a bottom-up dispositional tendency (where patients are hypersensitive about bodily signals), but rather a metacognitive process related to threatening beliefs about body/somatic sensations. © 2015 Yoris et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


Sedeno L.,University of Buenos Aires | Sedeno L.,Diego Portales University | Sedeno L.,CONICET | Couto B.,University of Buenos Aires | And 32 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder (DD) typically manifests as a disruption of body self-awareness. Interoception - defined as the cognitive processing of body signals - has been extensively considered as a key processing for body self-awareness. In consequence, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether there are systematic differences in interoception between a patient with DD and controls that might explain the disembodiment symptoms suffered in this disease. To assess interoception, we utilized a heartbeat detection task and measures of functional connectivity derived from fMRI networks in interoceptive/exteroceptivo/mind-wandering states. Additionally, we evaluated empathic abilities to test the association between interoception and emotional experience. The results showed patient's impaired performance in the heartbeat detection task when compared to controls. Furthermore, regarding functional connectivity, we found a lower global brain connectivity of the patient relative to controls only in the interoceptive state. He also presented a particular pattern of impairments in affective empathy. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental research that assesses the relationship between interoception and DD combining behavioral and neurobiological measures. Our results suggest that altered neural mechanisms and cognitive processes regarding body signaling might be engaged in DD phenomenology. Moreover, our study contributes experimental data to the comprehension of brain-body interactions and the emergence of self-awareness and emotional feelings. © 2014 Sedeño et al.


Torralva T.,INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology | Torralva T.,Diego Portales University | Torralva T.,University of Buenos Aires | Gleichgerrcht E.,INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology | And 12 more authors.
Psychiatry Research | Year: 2013

The relationship between decision making and theory of mind (TOM) has been hardly investigated in patients with Asperger Syndrome (AS). Here, we show that the AS group (n=25) exhibited deficits on a complex TOM task, yet were unimpaired in a decision-making test. No association was found between these two domains. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Lichtensztejn M.,INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology | Lichtensztejn M.,University of Buenos Aires | Lichtensztejn M.,Diego Portales University | Macchi P.,INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology | And 4 more authors.
Music Therapy Perspectives | Year: 2014

A disorder of consciousness resulting from a brain injury can cause the loss or reduction of a wide spectrum of functions and abilities. Music therapy can provide significant information for a differential diagnosis between a minimally conscious state and a vegetative state in an interdisciplinary assessment. Through a specific approach and personalized interventions, the music therapist can facilitate a patient's purposeful responses. There is a diverse body of research on the links between music and brain function. The processing of musical elements and structures is considered a highly demanding task for the brain, as multiple brain functions occur simultaneously in a highly organized and coordinated process. The purpose of this article is to contribute to the existing literature on differential diagnosis between vegetative state and minimally conscious state through a case report and analysis of music therapy interventions based on clinical improvisation. The article aims to explore how music may be employed as part of a comprehensive, multimodal approach to differential diagnosis and how musical interventions may provide data to determine the potential for rehabilitation of patients with disorders of consciousness. © the American Music Therapy Association 2014. All rights reserved.


PubMed | INECO Institute of Cognitive Neurology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: World journal of psychiatry | Year: 2014

To explore the way in which Latin American psychiatrists approach the screening of vascular risk factors in patients receiving antipsychotic medication.This was a descriptive, cross sectional study that surveyed Latin-American physicians to evaluate differences between groups divided in three main sections. The first section included demographic and professional data. The second section asked about the available medical resources: weighing scales, sphygmomanometer and measuring tape. Finally, the third section aimed at looking into the attitudes towards cardiovascular prevention. The latter was also divided into two subsections. In the first one, the questions were about weight, blood pressure and waist perimeter. In the second subsection the questions asked about the proportion of patients: (1) that suffered from overweight and/or obesity; (2) whose lipids and glycemia were controlled by the physician; (3) that were questioned by, and received information from the physician about smoking; and (4) that received recommendations from the physician to engage in regular physical activity. The participants were physicians, users of the medical website Intramed. The visitors were recruited by a banner that invited them to voluntarily access an online self-reported structured questionnaire with multiple options.We surveyed 1185 general physicians and 792 psychiatrists. Regarding basic medical resources, a significantly higher proportion of general physicians claimed to have weighing scales ((2) = 404.9; P < 0.001), sphygmomanometers ((2) = 419.3; P < 0.001), and measuring tapes ((2) = 336.5; P < 0.001). While general physicians measured overweight and metabolic indexes in the general population in a higher proportion than in patients treated with antipsychotics (Z = -11.91; P < 0.001), psychiatrists claimed to measure them in patients medicated with antipsychotics in a higher proportion than in the general population (Z = -3.26; P < 0.001). Also general physicians tended to evaluate smoking habits in the general population more than psychiatrists (Z = -7.02; P < 0.001), but psychiatrists evaluated smoking habits in patients medicated with antipsychotics more than general physicians did (Z = -2.25; P = 0.024). General physicians showed a significantly higher tendency to control blood pressure ((2) = 334.987; P < 0.001), weight ((2) = 435.636; P < 0.001) and waist perimeter ((2) = 96.52; P < 0.001) themselves and they did so in all patients. General physicians suggested physical activity to all patients more frequently (Z = -2.23; P = 0.026), but psychiatrists recommended physical activity to patients medicated with antipsychotics more frequently (Z = -7.53; P < 0.001).Psychiatrists usually check vascular risk factors in their patients, especially in those taking antipsychotics. General practitioners check them routinely without paying special attention to this population.

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