Decoding of phobic content with multivoxel pattern analysis in patiens with spider phobia
Simon Schwab 1 , Leila M Soravia 1 , Yosuke Morishima 1,2 , Masahito Nakataki 1,3 , Thomas Dierks 1 , Thomas E Nichols 4 , and Andrea Federspiel 1
Dept. of Psychiatric Neurophysiology,
University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern,
Science and Technology Agency, PRESTO, Japan,
of Psychiatry, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima,
of Statistics & WMG, University of Warwick, Coventry,
In the present work we presented spider pictures during
an event-related fMRI experiment to nine patients with
spider phobia. We implemented multivoxel pattern
analysis (MVPA) using the searchlight procedure, and a
Gaussian Naive Bayes classifier to decode brain areas
predicting phobic content. We found significant positive
classification accuracies across subjects in the
cingulate gyrus, the insula, and the postcentral gyrus.
A region in the middle cingulate gyrus demonstrated the
highest mean classification accuarcy across subjects.
Thus, the present study shows that MVPA seems to be a
sensitive approach to find brain areas predicting phobic
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