Sensory Hyperreactivity and Chemical Sensitivity, Tilia
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Latest update: 2011-02-27

Attention bias and sensitization in chemical sensitivity

Authors: Andersson L, Bende M, Millqvist E, Nordin S

Journal: J Psychosom Res. 2009 May;66(5):407-16

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether persons with self-reported chemical sensitivity (CS) have an attention bias and enhanced sensitization to chemical exposure.
METHODS: Chemosomatosensory, olfactory, and auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 21 CS subjects and 17 controls in attend and ignore conditions. Reaction times (RTs) and magnitude estimations of perceived intensity were collected in the attend condition. ERPs were averaged over attention conditions and during the first/second part of the testing.
RESULTS: ERP patterns indicated that CS subjects did not habituate to the same extent as the controls and had difficulties ignoring the chemical exposure. CS subjects had faster overall RT, and the perceived intensities for the chemosomatosensory stimuli did not decrease with time in the CS group, which was the case for the controls.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicating attention bias and enhanced sensitization in CS suggest alterations in central, cognitive responses to chemical exposure.

PMID: 19379957 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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