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Abstract #1361

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

1 Dept. of Psychiatric Neurophysiology, University Hospital of Psychiatry, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 2 Japan Science and Technology Agency, PRESTO, Japan, 3 Department of Psychiatry, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan, 4 Department of Statistics & WMG, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom

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 content.

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