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      Lending a hand: social regulation of the neural response to threat.

      Psychological Science

      psychology, Stress, Psychological, Spouses, Social Support, Social Behavior, Personal Satisfaction, Marriage, Male, statistics & numerical data, methods, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Humans, Female, physiology, Emotions, Electric Stimulation, Cues, Brain Mapping, anatomy & histology, Brain, Adult

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          Abstract

          Social contact promotes enhanced health and well-being, likely as a function of the social regulation of emotional responding in the face of various life stressors. For this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, 16 married women were subjected to the threat of electric shock while holding their husband's hand, the hand of an anonymous male experimenter, or no hand at all. Results indicated a pervasive attenuation of activation in the neural systems supporting emotional and behavioral threat responses when the women held their husband's hand. A more limited attenuation of activation in these systems occurred when they held the hand of a stranger. Most strikingly, the effects of spousal hand-holding on neural threat responses varied as a function of marital quality, with higher marital quality predicting less threat-related neural activation in the right anterior insula, superior frontal gyrus, and hypothalamus during spousal, but not stranger, hand-holding.

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          Most cited references 34

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          AFNI: software for analysis and visualization of functional magnetic resonance neuroimages.

           C. R. Cox (1996)
          A package of computer programs for analysis and visualization of three-dimensional human brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) results is described. The software can color overlay neural activation maps onto higher resolution anatomical scans. Slices in each cardinal plane can be viewed simultaneously. Manual placement of markers on anatomical landmarks allows transformation of anatomical and functional scans into stereotaxic (Talairach-Tournoux) coordinates. The techniques for automatically generating transformed functional data sets from manually labeled anatomical data sets are described. Facilities are provided for several types of statistical analyses of multiple 3D functional data sets. The programs are written in ANSI C and Motif 1.2 to run on Unix workstations.
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            Measuring Dyadic Adjustment: New Scales for Assessing the Quality of Marriage and Similar Dyads

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              Social relationships and health

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01832.x
                17201784

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