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Kühn, Simone; Schmiedek, Florian; Brose, Annette; Schott, Björn H.; Lindenberger, Ulman; Lövden, Martin:

The neural representation of intrusive thoughts

In: Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 8 (2013) 6 , 688-693

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Document type
3a. Beiträge in begutachteten Zeitschriften; Aufsatz (keine besondere Kategorie)

Beeinflussung, Denken, Hirnforschung, Junger Erwachsener, Längsschnittuntersuchung, Neurowissenschaften, Senior, Sprachgebrauch

Based on the philosophical notion that language embodies thought we investigated whether a habitual tendency for intrusive thought that younger and older participants report over a period of 100 sessions, spread out over about 6 months, is associated with brain regions related to language production. In favour of this hypothesis, we found that individual differences in habitual intrusive thoughts are correlated with activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, Brocas area) as well as the cingulate cortex (CC) during a two-choice reaction-time task in fMRI. Participants who habitually tended to experience intrusive thoughts showed greater activity during task-free (baseline) compared to task periods in brain regions involved in language production. Task performance was unrelated to individual differences in intrusive thoughts. We conclude that intrusive thoughts may be represented in a language-like format and that individuals reporting a habitually higher tendency for intrusive thoughts may have stronger and more habitual inner speech processes.

Education and Human Development