Poster D8, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Somatic symptoms and exogenous attention: an ERP study investigating modality specificity
Bettina Forster1, Maayan Karlinski1, Alexander Jones2; 1City, University of London, 2Middlesex University, London
Theoretical accounts of medically unexplained symptoms have suggested changes in tactile attentional mechanisms during orienting, information filtering or higher perceptual processing. We investigated attentional ERP correlates during orienting (cue-target interval) and stimulus selection (post-target interval) of a tactile and a visual exogenous attention task in a group that scored high compared to a group of participants that scored low on the somtoform disorder questionnaire (SDQ-20; Nijenhuis et al., 1996). Behavioural results showed participants responded faster on validly cued trials in the tactile attention task only, and no group differences in either task. Lateralized ERP components present during the cue-target interval showed no group differences in either task suggesting similar spatial, attentional orienting. Post-target processing showed earlier attentional modulations in the low compared to the high group. Importantly, we found evidence for delayed attentional selection in the high group in both the tactile and the visual tasks. This suggests that somatic symptoms are not based on changes to modality specific, tactile attentional mechanisms but rather on, in general, delayed attentional selection.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Spatial