Attachment styles modulate neural markers of threat and imagery when engaging in self-criticism
AffiliationCompassionate Mind Research Group, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
The Centre for Advanced Imaging, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
University of Derby
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AbstractAttachment styles hold important downstream consequences for mental health through their contribution to the emergence of self-criticism. To date, no work has extended our understanding of the influence of attachment styles on self-criticism at a neurobiological level. Herein we investigate the relationship between self-reported attachment styles and neural markers of self-criticism using fMRI. A correlation network analysis revealed lingual gyrus activation during self-criticism, a marker of visual mental imagery, correlated with amygdala activity (threat response). It also identified that secure attachment positively correlated with lingual gyrus activation, whilst avoidant attachment was negatively correlated with lingual gyrus activation. Further, at greater levels of amygdala response, more securely attached individuals showed greater lingual gyrus activation, and more avoidantly attached individuals showed less lingual gyrus activation. Our data provide the first evidence that attachment mechanisms may modulate threat responses and mental imagery when engaging in self-criticism, which have important clinical and broader social implications.
CitationKim, J.J., Kent, K.M., Cunnington, R., Gilbert, P. and Kirby, J.N., (2020). 'Attachment styles modulate neural markers of threat and imagery when engaging in self-criticism'. Scientific Reports, 10(1), pp. 1-10.
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
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