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Vestibular stimulation attenuates unrealistic optimism

McKay, Ryan and Tamagni, Corinne and Palla, Antonella and Krummenacher, Peter and Hegemann, Stefan C. A. and Straumann, Dominik and Brugger, Peter. (2013) Vestibular stimulation attenuates unrealistic optimism. Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior, 49 (8). pp. 2272-2275.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/57534/

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Abstract

Unrealistic optimism refers to the pervasive tendency of healthy individuals to underestimate their likelihood of future misfortune, including illness. The phenomenon shares a qualitative resemblance with anosognosia, a neurological disorder characterized by a deficient appreciation of manifest current illness or impairment. Unrealistic optimism and anosognosia have been independently associated with a region of right inferior frontal gyrus, the pars opercularis. Moreover, anosognosia is temporarily abolished by vestibular stimulation, particularly by irrigation of the left (but not right) ear with cold water, a procedure known to activate the right inferior frontal region. We therefore hypothesized that left caloric stimulation would attenuate unrealistic optimism in healthy participants.; Thirty-one healthy right-handed adults underwent cold-water caloric vestibular stimulation of both ears in succession. During each stimulation episode, and at baseline, participants estimated their own relative risk of contracting a series of illnesses in the future.; Compared to baseline, average risk estimates were significantly higher during left-ear stimulation, whereas they remained unchanged during right-ear stimulation. Unrealistic optimism was thus reduced selectively during cold caloric stimulation of the left ear.; Our results point to a unitary mechanism underlying both anosognosia and unrealistic optimism, and suggest that unrealistic optimism is a form of subclinical anosognosia for prospective symptoms.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie (Gaab)
UniBasel Contributors:Krummenacher, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:1973-8102
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 11:55
Deposited On:10 Sep 2020 11:55

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