This symptom provocation study on spider phobia investigated sources of late event-related potentials (ERPs) using sLORETA (standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography). Twenty-five phobic female patients and 20 non-phobic controls were confronted with phobia-relevant, generally fear-inducing, disgust-inducing and affectively neutral pictures while an electroencephalogram was recorded. Mean amplitudes of ERPs were extracted in the time windows 340-500 ms (P300) and 550-770 ms (late positive potential, LPP). Phobics showed enhanced P300 and LPP amplitudes in response to spider pictures relative to controls. Sources were mainly located in areas engaged in visuo-attentional processing (occipital and parietal regions, ventral visual pathway). Moreover, there were sources in areas which are crucial for emotional processing and the representations of aversive bodily states (cingulate cortex, insula). Further sources were located in premotor areas reflecting the priming of flight behaviour. Our findings are in good accordance with existing brain imaging studies and underline that source localization is a useful alternative for identifying phobia-relevant cortical regions. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Scharmüller, W., Leutgeb, V., Schäfer, A., Köchel, A., & Schienle, A. (2011). Source localization of late electrocortical positivity during symptom provocation in spider phobia: An sLORETA study. Brain Research, 1397, 10–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2011.04.018