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Publications in Anxiety by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

November 2, 2023

When we see new people, we rapidly form first impressions. Whereas past research has focused on the role of morphological or emotional cues, we asked whether transient visceral states bias the impressions we form. Across three studies (N = 94 university students), we investigated how fluctuations of bodily states, driven by the interoceptive impact of cardiac signals, influence the perceived trustworthiness of faces. Participants less often chose faces presented in synchrony with their own cardiac systole as more trustworthy than faces presented out of synchrony. Participants also explicitly judged faces presented in synchrony with their cardiac systole as less trustworthy. Finally, the presentation of faces in synchrony with participants’ cardiac diastole did not modulate participants’ perceptions of the faces’ trustworthiness, suggesting that the systolic phase is necessary for such interoceptive effects. These findings highlight the role of phasic interoceptive information in the processing of social information and provide a mechanistic account of the role of visceroception for social perception. © The Author(s) 2022.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Experimental Psychology

NOMIS Researcher(s)

December 1, 2018

Adequate mathematical competencies are currently indispensable in professional and social life. However, mathematics is often associated with stress and frustration and the confrontation with tasks that require mathematical knowledge triggers anxiety in many children. We examined if there is a relationship between math anxiety and changes in brain structure in children with and without developmental dyscalculia. Our findings showed that math anxiety is related to altered brain structure. In particular, the right amygdala volume was reduced in individuals with higher math anxiety. In conclusion, math anxiety not only hinders children in arithmetic development, but it is associated with altered brain structure in areas related to fear processing. This emphasizes the far-reaching outcome emotional factors in mathematical cognition can have and encourages educators and researchers alike to consider math anxiety to prevent detrimental long-term consequences on school achievement and quality of life, especially in children with developmental dyscalculia.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Neurology & Neurosurgery