Neuroimaging in cockroach phobiaan experimental study

  1. Francisco Rivero 1
  2. Manuel Herrero Fernández 1
  3. Conrado Manuel Viña Lorenzo 1
  4. Yolanda Beatriz Álvarez Pérez 2
  5. Wenceslao Peñate Castro 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna

    Universidad de La Laguna

    San Cristobal de La Laguna, España


International journal of clinical and health psychology

ISSN: 1697-2600

Ano de publicación: 2017

Volume: 17

Número: 3

Páxinas: 207-215

Tipo: Artigo

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijchp.2017.06.002 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openAcceso aberto editor


In this study we explored the neuroimaging characteristics of persons with specific small animal (cockroach) phobia to determine whether there are differences in cerebral activity between persons with and without cockroach phobia under conditions of phobic and non-phobic stimulation. Method: 24 adult persons (12 with phobia) were studied. The diagnosis of phobia was obtained with a structured interview and questionnaires. All participants were exposed to a 3D video presentation during an fMRI session. Results: The phobic group showed significant differential activations that were congruent with a dual route model of fear processing through the thalamus-amygdala (route I) and the thalamus-sensory and association cortex-entorhinal cortex-hippocampus-subiculum-amygdala (route II). Apart from this dual route, we also found differential activations in the globus pallidum, parahippocampal gyrus, insula, pars orbitalis, triangularis and opercularis of the frontal cortex, and cerebellum. Respect to non-phobic group, no activations were found in the insula or the anterior cingulate cortex. Conclusions: There seems to be a dual route depending on how persons with phobia to cockroaches process phobic stimuli. This double processing can have implications for the psychological treatment of specific phobias.

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