Neural correlates of cognitive control in women with a history of sexual violence suggest altered prefrontal cortical activity during cognitive processing
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/9397
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AbstractObjective: Women’s experiences of sexual violence can be not only psychologically and physically traumatizing but may also have lasting effects on brain functions, including cognitive control relating to the inhibition and processing of emotion. Thus, the purpose of this pilot study is to explore underlying neural correlates of sexual violence’s impact on cognitive control in women. Methods: Thirty women (aged 21–30 years) participants underwent a quantitative survey along with an affect-congruent Go-NoGo task. Prefrontal activity was monitored using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, a portable neuroimaging technology. An analysis of variance tested for main effects of the condition (Go versus NoGo), group (sexual violence versus no prior sexual violence), and potential interactions. Results: Fifteen of 30 women reported a history of childhood (n = 5) and/or adult (n = 12) sexual violence. Those with sexual violence histories reported significantly higher depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms, as well as increased impulsivity compared to their peers. Behavioral performance did not differ between the groups; however, functional near-infrared spectroscopy data revealed a significant (group × condition) interaction in Optodes 13 and 16. Women with histories of sexual violence had a significantly lower response during the “NoGo” condition and a heightened response during the “Go” condition, in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Conclusion: These results suggest altered prefrontal cortical activity during cognitive processing in women with a history of sexual violence, showing hypoactivity during response inhibition and hyperactivity to the positive stimuli. These findings have strong translational promise for innovative assessment and prevention of untoward effects among women with sexual violence.
CitationNeural correlates of cognitive control in women with a history of sexual violence suggest altered prefrontal cortical activity during cognitive processing Laura Sinko, Paul Regier, Adrian Curtin, Hasan Ayaz, Anna Rose Childress, and Anne M Teitelman Women's Health 2022 10.1177/17455057221081326
Citation to related workFuture Medicine Ltd.
Has partWomen's Health, Vol. 18
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