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Stuck in a negative me: fMRI study on the role of disturbed self-views in social feedback processing in borderline personality disorder

  • Charlotte C. van Schie (a1) (a2), Chui-De Chiu (a3), Serge A. R. B. Rombouts (a1) (a2) (a4), Willem J. Heiser (a1) (a5) and Bernet M. Elzinga (a1) (a2)...

Abstract

Background

Interpersonal difficulties in borderline personality disorder (BPD) could be related to the disturbed self-views of BPD patients. This study investigates affective and neural responses to positive and negative social feedback (SF) of BPD patients compared with healthy (HC) and low self-esteem (LSE) controls and how this relates to individual self-views.

Methods

BPD (N = 26), HC (N = 32), and LSE (N = 22) performed a SF task in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. Participants received 15 negative, intermediate and positive evaluative feedback words putatively given by another participant and rated their mood and applicability of the words to the self.

Results

BPD had more negative self-views than HC and felt worse after negative feedback. Applicability of feedback was a less strong determinant of mood in BPD than HC. Increased precuneus activation was observed in HC to negative compared with positive feedback, whereas in BPD, this was similarly low for both valences. HC showed increased temporoparietal junction (TPJ) activation to positive v. negative feedback, while BPD showed more TPJ activation to negative feedback. The LSE group showed a different pattern of results suggesting that LSE cannot explain these findings in BPD.

Conclusions

The negative self-views that BPD have, may obstruct critically examining negative feedback, resulting in lower mood. Moreover, where HC focus on the positive feedback (based on TPJ activation), BPD seem to focus more on negative feedback, potentially maintaining negative self-views. Better balanced self-views may make BPD better equipped to deal with potential negative feedback and more open to positive interactions.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Charlotte C. van Schie, E-mail: c.c.van.schie@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

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Stuck in a negative me: fMRI study on the role of disturbed self-views in social feedback processing in borderline personality disorder

  • Charlotte C. van Schie (a1) (a2), Chui-De Chiu (a3), Serge A. R. B. Rombouts (a1) (a2) (a4), Willem J. Heiser (a1) (a5) and Bernet M. Elzinga (a1) (a2)...

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