Body-related and nonsomatic words were presented tachistoscopically to 15 panic patients and 15 healthy controls at each participant's threshold for correctly identifying 50% of neutral words. Behavioral (proportion of words correctly recognized) and electrocortical (event-related brain potentials [ERPs]) measures were registered. Panic patients recognized more body- related than nonsomatic words, and body-related as compared with nonsomatic words elicited, in these patients, significantly larger P300 amplitudes and enhanced positive slow waves (600 to 800 ms after stimulus presentation). In healthy controls, the number of correct recognized words and the ERPs were not differentially affected by the 2 word types. These results are grossly consistent with cognitive models of panic disorders, assuming that certain bodily sensations are perceived and processed in an affective manner that differentiates panic patients from healthy controls.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology