Monday, June 22, 2020

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Potential Tool to Reduce Sexual Arousal in cases of hypersexuality

Schecklmann M, Sakreida K, Oblinger B, et al. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Potential Tool to Reduce Sexual Arousal: A Proof of Concept Study. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX–XXX.

Background: Hypersexuality and hyposexuality occur frequently, often in a variety of psychiatric disorders, and are difficult to treat. While there is meta-analytic evidence for the significant effect of non-invasive brain stimulation on drug and food craving, no study has investigated the potential of this technique to modulate sexual behavior.

Aim: Here, we tested the hypothesis that a single session of high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would reduce sexual arousal.

Methods: We employed a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled crossover study design. 19 healthy male participants received high-frequency rTMS over the left DLPFC, high-frequency rTMS over the right DLPFC, and sham rTMS (each 10 Hz; 110% resting motor threshold; 60 trains with 50 pulses) in randomized and counterbalanced order with a 1-week interval between stimulation sessions to avoid carryover effects. Participants were exposed to neutral and sexual cues before and after each intervention and rated their sexual arousal after each block of cue presentation.

Main Outcome Measure: Efficacy of the respective intervention was operationalized by the change of subjective sexual arousal according to a rating scale.

Results: rTMS of the right DLPFC significantly reduced subjective sexual arousal (t18 = 2.282, P = .035). In contrast, neither sham rTMS nor rTMS of the left DLPFC affected sexual arousal (P > .389). Greater rTMS-induced reduction of subjective sexual arousal was observed in participants with higher trait-based dyadic sexual desire within the last 12 months (r = −0.417, P = .038).

Clinical Implication: Non-invasive brain stimulation might hold potential for influencing hypersexual behavior.

Strength & Limitation: This was a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled crossover study with subjective but no physiological measures of sexual arousal.

Conclusion: The results indicate that 1 session of high-frequency rTMS (10 Hz) of the right DLPFC could significantly reduce subjective sexual arousal induced by visual stimuli in healthy subjects. On this basis, future studies with larger sample sizes and more stimulation sessions are needed to explore the therapeutic potential of rTMS in hypersexual behavior.

Key Words: Dorsolateral Prefrontal CortexHypersexualNeuromodulationSexual ArousalRepetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Pathological lying exists in a small percentage of people, for whom it causes significant distress, impaired functioning, and danger; it has a prevalence of 8%–13%

Pathological Lying: Theoretical and Empirical Support for a Diagnostic Entity. Drew A. Curtis and Christian L. Hart. Psychiatric Research & Clinical Practice, Jun 22 2020.

.  Pathological lying exists in a small percentage of people, for whom it causes significant distress, impaired functioning, and danger.
.  Pathological lying, distinct from normative lying and prolific lying, has a prevalence of 8%–13%.
.  Evidence supports establishing pathological as a diagnostic entity.

Objective: Pathological lying, originally called “pseudologia phantastica,” has an established history within clinical practice and literature, although it has not been recognized as a psychological disorder within major nosological systems. With the movement in psychological sciences toward theory-driven, empirically supported diagnoses, the current study sought to empirically test whether pathological lying aligned with nosological definitions and could be defined as a diagnostic entity.

Methods: A total of 807 people were recruited (January to October of 2019) from various mental health forums, social media, and a university. Of those recruited, 623 completed the study. Participants responded to a lie frequency prompt, questionnaires about lying behavior, the Lying in Everyday Situations Scale, the Distress Questionnaire-5, and demographic questions.

Results: Of the participants, 13% indicated that they self-identified or that others had identified them as pathological liars (telling numerous lies each day for longer than 6 months). People who identified as pathological liars reported greater distress, impaired functioning, and more danger than people not considered pathological liars. Pathological lying seemed to be compulsive, with lies growing from an initial lie, and done for no apparent reason.

Conclusions: The evidence supports establishment of pathological lying as a distinct diagnostic entity. A definition of pathological lying, etiological considerations, and recommendations for future research and practice are presented.

Negativity bias, positivity bias, and valence asymmetries: Explaining the differential processing of positive and negative information

Negativity bias, positivity bias, and valence asymmetries: Explaining the differential processing of positive and negative information. Christian Unkelbach, Hans Alves, Alex Koch. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, June 2020.

Abstract: Distinguishing between “good” and “bad” is a fundamental task for all organisms. However, people seem to process positive and negative information differentially, described in the literature as instances of negativity bias, positivity bias, or valence asymmetries. We provide an overview of these processing differences and their explanations. First, we review negativity advantages: People attend more to negative information, recall it more, and weigh it more heavily, relative to positive information. Second, we review positivity advantages: People process positive information faster, have broader associations from it, and show stronger congruency effects, relative to negative information. We then discuss existing explanations for these differential effects in terms of phylogenetic pressures, correlates of valence, diagnosticity, mobilization-minimization, and top-down vs. bottom-up processing. Finally, we suggest the differential similarity of positive and negative information as a unifying explanation. We delineate why positive information should be more alike relative to negative information, and how differential similarity translates to the observed processing differences. Then we show how the similarity explanation leads to novel predictions and how it solves old puzzles. Similarity thereby provides an explanatory construct for both positivity and negativity advantages, allowing precise quantitative predictions for valence asymmetries beyond the mere classification of “good” and “bad.”

Keywords: Negativity biasPositivity biasValence asymmetriesInformation ecologySocial cognition

In the XIX century most laws enacted in the USA were special bills that granted favors to specific individuals/groups/localities; their ban gave rise to the modern regulatory state & interest-group politics

Economic Crisis, General Laws, and the Mid-Nineteenth-Century Transformation of American Political Economy. Naomi R. Lamoreaux, John Joseph Wallis. NBER Working Paper No. 27400, June 2020.

Abstract: Before the middle of the nineteenth century most laws enacted in the United States were special bills that granted favors to specific individuals, groups, or localities. This fundamentally inegalitarian system provided political elites with important tools that they could use to reward supporters, and as a result, they were only willing to modify it under very special circumstances. In the early 1840s, however, a major fiscal crisis forced a number of states to default on their bonded debt, unleashing a political earthquake that swept this system away. Starting with Indiana in 1851, states revised their constitutions to ban the most common types of special legislation and, at the same time, mandate that all laws be general in their application. These provisions dramatically changed the way government and the economy worked and interacted, giving rise to the modern regulatory state, interest-group politics, and a more dynamic form of capitalism.

Gender Discrepancies in Perceptions of the Bodies of Female Fashion Models: Men do not find the ultra-thin body ideal for women as attractive as women believe men do

Gender Discrepancies in Perceptions of the Bodies of Female Fashion Models. Sarah N. Johnson & Renee Engeln. Sex Roles, Jun 22 2020.

Abstract: For over 30 years, researchers and journalists have made the claim that men do not prefer the level of thinness typically embodied by female fashion models, along with the secondary claim that women overestimate the extent to which men find these ultra-thin bodies attractive. The current studies examined men’s and women’s perceptions of the bodies of fashion models shown in media images, as well as how each gender believed the other would perceive the models’ bodies. In Study 1, 548 U.S. college students rated the body size and attractiveness of 13 images of models from women’s fashion magazines. Respondents also indicated how they thought the other gender would rate the models on these dimensions. In Study 2, 707 men and women recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk completed the same rating task. Overall, both men and women overestimated how ideal the other gender would find the models’ bodies (both in terms of thinness and attractiveness). This misperception was strongest when women estimated how men would react to the models’ bodies. Results were consistent with previous studies suggesting that men do not find the ultra-thin body ideal for women as attractive as women believe men do. These gender-based misconceptions may contribute to the negative effects of viewing ultra-thin media images on women’s body image.