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    Impact of acute psychosocial stress on attentional control in humans: a study of evoked potentials and pupillary response
    (Elsevier, 2023-07-25) Rojas, Felipe; Artigas, Claudio; Wainstein, Gabriel; Arriagada, M; Soto, Daniel; Dagnino, Alexis; Silva, Jaime; Lopez, Vladimir; Morales Sepúlveda, Juan Pablo
    Psychosocial stress has increased considerably in our modern lifestyle, affecting global mental health. Deficits in attentional control are cardinal features of stress disorders and pathological anxiety. Studies suggest that changes in the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system could underlie the effects of stress on top-down attentional control. However, the impact of psychosocial stress on attentional processes and its underlying neural mechanisms are poorly understood. This study aims to investigate the effect of psychosocial stress on attentional processing and brain signatures. Evoked potentials and pupillary activity related to the oddball auditory paradigm were recorded before and after applying the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST). Electrocardiogram (ECG), salivary cortisol, and subjective anxiety/stress levels were measured at different experimental periods. The control group experienced the same physical and cognitive effort but without the psychosocial stress component. The results showed that stressed subjects exhibited decreased P3a and P3b amplitude, pupil phasic response, and correct responses. On the other hand, they displayed an increase in Mismatch Negativity (MMN). N1 amplitude after MIST only decreased in the control group. We found that differences in P3b amplitude between the first and second oddball were significantly correlated with pupillary dilation and salivary cortisol levels. Our results suggest that under social-evaluative threat, basal activity of the coeruleus-norepinephrine system increases, enhancing alertness and decreasing voluntary attentional resources for the cognitive task. These findings contribute to understanding the neurobiological basis of attentional changes in pathologies associated with chronic psychosocial stress.
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    The impact of loneliness and social adaptation on depressive symptoms: Behavioral and brain measures evidence from a brain health perspective
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2023-03-13) Franco-O´Byrne, Daniel; Gonzalez-Gomez, Raul; Morales Sepúlveda, Juan Pablo; Vergara, Mayte; Ibáñez, Agustín; Huepe, David
    IntroductionEarly detection of depression is a cost-effective way to prevent adverse outcomes on brain physiology, cognition, and health. Here we propose that loneliness and social adaptation are key factors that can anticipate depressive symptoms.MethodsWe analyzed data from two separate samples to evaluate the associations between loneliness, social adaptation, depressive symptoms, and their neural correlates.ResultsFor both samples, hierarchical regression models on self-reported data showed that loneliness and social adaptation have negative and positive effects on depressive symptoms. Moreover, social adaptation reduces the impact of loneliness on depressive symptoms. Structural connectivity analysis showed that depressive symptoms, loneliness, and social adaptation share a common neural substrate. Furthermore, functional connectivity analysis demonstrated that only social adaptation was associated with connectivity in parietal areas.DiscussionAltogether, our results suggest that loneliness is a strong risk factor for depressive symptoms while social adaptation acts as a buffer against the ill effects of loneliness. At the neuroanatomical level, loneliness and depression may affect the integrity of white matter structures known to be associated to emotion dysregulation and cognitive impairment. On the other hand, socio-adaptive processes may protect against the harmful effects of loneliness and depression. Structural and functional correlates of social adaptation could indicate a protective role through long and short-term effects, respectively. These findings may aid approaches to preserve brain health via social participation and adaptive social behavior.
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    The neurocognitive impact of loneliness and social networks on social adaptation
    (Springer Nature, 2023-07-25) Franco-O'Byrne, Daniel; Morales Sepúlveda, Juan Pablo; González-Gómez, Raul; Ibáñez, Agustín; Huepe-Artigas, Daniela; Matus, Cristian; Manen, Ruth; Fittipadi, Sol; Huepe, David
    Social adaptation arises from the interaction between the individual and the social environment. However, little empirical evidence exists regarding the relationship between social contact and social adaptation. We propose that loneliness and social networks are key factors explaining social adaptation. Sixty-four healthy subjects with no history of psychiatric conditions participated in this study. All participants completed self-report questionnaires about loneliness, social network, and social adaptation. On a separate day, subjects underwent a resting state fMRI recording session. A hierarchical regression model on self-report data revealed that loneliness and social network were negatively and positively associated with social adaptation. Functional connectivity (FC) analysis showed that loneliness was associated with decreased FC between the fronto-amygdalar and fronto-parietal regions. In contrast, the social network was positively associated with FC between the fronto-temporo-parietal network. Finally, an integrative path model examined the combined effects of behavioral and brain predictors of social adaptation. The model revealed that social networks mediated the effects of loneliness on social adaptation. Further, loneliness-related abnormal brain FC (previously shown to be associated with difficulties in cognitive control, emotion regulation, and sociocognitive processes) emerged as the strongest predictor of poor social adaptation. Findings offer insights into the brain indicators of social adaptation and highlight the role of social networks as a buffer against the maladaptive effects of loneliness. These findings can inform interventions aimed at minimizing loneliness and promoting social adaptation and are especially relevant due to the high prevalence of loneliness around the globe. These findings also serve the study of social adaptation since they provide potential neurocognitive factors that could influence social adaptation.
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    Aportes de la Psicología integral de la persona para la comprensión de la afectividad humana
    (Universidad del Norte Santo Tomás de Aquino, 2022-06-28) Rojas Saffie, Juan Pablo
    Tras una breve consideración de las principales concepciones de la Psicología contemporánea acerca de la afectividad humana, se presenta a la Psicología integral de la persona como un meta-modelo capaz de iluminar y poner orden en el conocimiento actual acerca de los afectos. En concreto, se proponen seis aportes a la comprensión de la vida afectiva, a partir de la consideración de (1) la relación de los grados de vida humana con la afectividad, (2) la relación de la afectividad con el resto de las potencias del alma, (3) la relación de los afectos entre sí, (4) la relación de los afectos con la realidad, (5) la relación de los afectos, en especial del amor-pondus, con el conjunto de la personalidad y (6) la relación de los afectos con la dimensión moral.
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    Etiology of gender incongruence and its levels of evidence: A scoping review protocol
    (Public Library of Science, 2023-03-13) Rojas Saffie, Juan Pablo; Eyzaguirre Baüerle, Nicolás
    Introduction Gender Incongruence refers to the discordance between biological sex and gender identity. Although it is possible to find literature reviews about the etiology of Gender Incongruence, almost all of these correspond to non-systematic narrative reviews, so they do not make explicit the methodology used in the collection and analysis of sources, even less its levels of evidence. In order to remedy this, we will conduct a scoping review to answer the question: what are the factors associated with gender incongruence and what level of evidence is there for each factor in the scientific literature? Methods and analysis We will conduct a scoping review according to the methodology specified in the JBI Manual for Evidence Synthesis (Chapter 11) and the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR). Four databases will be reviewed to identify papers that match our search criteria, followed by a screening of titles and abstracts, the complete reading of those articles that have not been excluded, and the coding of these using the data extraction instrument developed for this research (see S1 Appendix). Data extracted will be analyzed in terms of frequency counts of factors, types of factors and levels of evidence for each factor. Results will be presented in tabular or diagrammatic forms supported by a narrative summary. Findings The present review will help to map the factors associated with incongruence between biological sex and gender identity, specifying their levels of evidence. This evidence-based knowledge will be useful for clinicians evaluating gender incongruence, especially given that international guidelines recommend careful assessment of factors that may interfere with the clarity of gender identity development and decision making.
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    Digital use of standardised assessment tools for children and adolescents: can available paper-based questionnaires be used free of charge in electronic format?
    (BMC, 2022-06-03) Cottin, Marianne; Blum, Kathrin; Konjufca, Jon; Quevedo, Yamil; Kaaya, Sylvia; Behn, Alex; Schmeck, Klaus; Sharp, Carla; Zimmermann, Ronan
    Question: Most adolescents live in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), and about 10% of them face mental problems. The mental health provision gap in low- and middle-income countries could be addressed by evidence- based practices, however costs are implementational barriers. Digitalization can improve the accessibility of these tools and constitutes a chance for LMIC to use them more easily at a low cost. We reviewed free and brief evidence- based mental health assessment tools available for digital use to assess psychopathology across different domains in youth. Methods: For the current study, instruments from a recent review on paper-based instruments were re-used. Addi- tionally, a systematic search was conducted to add instruments for the personality disorder domain. We searched and classified the copyright and license terms available from the internet in terms of free usage and deliverability in a digital format. In the case that this information was insufficient, we contacted the authors. Results: In total, we evaluated 109 instruments. Of these instruments, 53 were free and digitally usable covering 11 mental health domains. However, retrieving information on copyright and license terms was very difficult. Conclusions: Free and digitally adaptable instruments are available, supporting the strategy of using instruments digitally to increase access. The instrument’s authors support this initiative, however, the lack of copyright information and the difficulties in contacting the authors and licence holders are barriers to using this strategy in LMIC. A compre- hensive, online instrument repository for clinical practice would be an appropriate next step to make the instruments more accessible and reduce implementation barriers.
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    Population-attributable risk of adverse childhood experiences for high suicide risk, psychiatric admissions, and recurrent depression, in depressed outpatients
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021) Gloger, Sergio; Martínez, Pablo; Behn, Alex; Chacón, M. Victoria; Cottin, Marianne; Diez de Medina, Dante; Vöhringer, Paul A.
    Background:To assess whether linear effects or threshold effects best describe theassociation between early adverse stress (EAS) and complex and severe depression (i.e.,depression with treatment resistance, psychotic symptoms, and/or suicidal ideation), andto examine the attributable risk of complex and severe depression associated with EAS.Methods:A cross‐sectional study was conducted using deidentified clinical data (ondemographics, presence of complex and severe depression, and exposure to seventypes of EAS) from 1,013 adults who were seen in an outpatient mental health clinicin Santiago, Chile, for a major depressive episode. Multivariate logistic regressionswere fitted to estimate odds ratios (ORs), using a bootstrap approach to compute95% bias‐corrected confidence intervals (95% BC CIs). A detailed examination ofthe cumulative risk score and calculations of the attributable risk was conducted.Results:Exposure to at least five EASs was reported by 3.6% of the sample. In themultivariate logistic regression models, there was a marked increase in the odds ofhaving complex and severe depression associated with exposure to at least fiveEASs (OR = 4.24; 95% BC CI: 1.25 to 9.09), according to a threshold effect. Theattributable risk of complex and severe depression associated with exposure to atleast one EAS was 36.8% (95% BC CI: 17.7 to 55.9).Conclusions:High levels of EAS distinctively contribute to complex clinical pre-sentations of depression in adulthood. Patients with complex clinical presentationsof depression and history of EAS should need a differentiated treatment approach,particularly those having high levels of EAS.
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    “What if we get sick?”: Spanish adaptation and validation of the fear of illness and virus evaluation scale (FIVE) in a non-clinical sample exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-03-11) Cottin, Marianne; Hernández, Cristóbal; Núñez, Catalina; Labbé, Nicolás; Quevedo, Yamil; Davanzo, Antonella; Behn, Alex
    Distinct sources of stress have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, fear is expected to generate significant psychological burden on individuals and influence on either unsafe behavior that may hinder recovery efforts or virus-mitigating behaviors. However, little is known about the properties of measures to capture them in research and clinical settings. To resolve this gap, we evaluated the psychometric properties of a novel measure of fear of illness and viruses and tested its predictive value for future development of distress. We extracted a random sample of 450 Chilean adult participants from a large cross-sectional survey panel and invited to participate in this intensive longitudinal study for 35 days. Of these, 163 ended up enrolling in the study after the demanding nature of the measurement schedule was clearly explained to them. For this final sample, we calculated different Confirmatory Factor Analyses (CFA) to evaluate the preliminary proposed structure for the instrument. Complementarily, we conducted a content analysis of the items to qualitatively extract its latent structure, which was also subject to empirical test via CFA. Results indicated that the original structure did not fit the data well; however, the new proposed structure based on the content analysis did. Overall, the modified instrument showed good reliability through all subscales both by its internal consistency with Cronbach's alphas ranging from 0.814 to 0.913, and with test-retest correlations ranging from 0.715 to 0.804. Regarding its convergent validity, individuals who scored higher in fears tended to also score higher in depressive and posttraumatic stress symptoms at baseline. Furthermore, higher fears at baseline predicted a higher score in posttraumatic stress symptomatology 7 days later. These results provide evidence for the validity, reliability, and predictive performance of the scale. As the scale is free and multidimensional potentially not circumscribed to COVID-19, it might work as a step toward understanding the psychological impact of current and future pandemics, or further life-threatening health situations of similar characteristics. Limitations, practical implications, and future directions for research are discussed.
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    Directoras y directores escolares frente a la Ley de Inclusión escolar en Chile: entre compromiso, conformismo y resistencia.
    (Facultad de Educación. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2021) Salas, Natalia; Rojas Fabris, María Teresa; Rodríguez, José Ignacio
    El artículo comunica los resultados de una investigación realizada en Chile sobre las disposiciones de directoras y directores frente a la Ley de Inclusión Escolar, regulación que promueve la desegregación escolar y que comenzó en 2016. Considerando el enfoque del liderazgo inclusivo y de justicia social, el estudio se construyó a partir de una encuesta en línea a 157 directoras/es de cuatro ciudades. Dado su carácter exploratorio, se siguió un diseño cuantitativo no experimental con un alcance descriptivo. Los resultados muestran que las y los directores comparten los principios de esta política, pero prevén que tendrán problemas por la falta de capacitación de las y los profesores y por las tensiones que supone implementar políticas de inclusión en un sistema escolar que mide la calidad a partir de pruebas estandarizadas. Se propone que las y los directores manifiestan compromiso con los principios de la política, pero a la vez un conformismo y resistencia con sus implicancias más específicas, pues no aprecian que esta modifique las lógicas de funcionamiento de sus escuelas
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    Two sides of the same coin: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence as cognitive reserve predictors of social cognition and executive functions among vulnerable elderly people
    (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-11) Salas, Natalia; Escobar, Josefina; Huepe, David
    The concept of cognitive reserve –CR– postulates two forms that prevent cognitive impairment: neural reserve and neural compensation. Both have been primarily linked to the protective role played by genetic factors, educational level, occupation or socioeconomic status. Though it is true that it has been related to executive functions, so far very little attention has been paid to its predictive capacity with other variables more related to social cognition and psychosocial adaptation. Considering socially vulnerable contexts with reduced cultural capital and educational levels, the neural reserve function would be the most relevant and best predictor of aspects related to social cognition and executive functions. We suggest that variables such as fluid and crystallized intelligence influence social cognition and executive functions. This study included a sample of 27 participants over 60 years old from varied contexts of social vulnerability. The procedure included data collection using various cognitive measures. Results show that elderly people with high intelligence—mainly fluid intelligence—have better executive functions, emotional recognition and theory of mind. These results focus on cognitive reserve and its importance because they show that elderly people in vulnerable contexts who strengthen these aspects protect themselves against the deterioration of cognitive skills. This study is the first preliminary research to present a relationship between cognitive reserve and social cognition factors in elderly subjects. Fluid intelligence functions as a highly related factor to protect the performance of executive functions, along with other social-cognitive factors relevant to facilitating the conditions of social adaptation.