This study was supported by the German Research Society (DFG Ri 957/2-1), the National Institute of Mental Health (MH56094), the Palo Alto Research Institute (PAIRE), and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We thank David Rosenfield and Bernhard Dahme for helpful comments, Tana Bliss, Mark Rothkopf, and Alysha Khavarian for their assistance in recruitment and data collection, and Antje Kullowatz, Nino Wessolowski, Chris Burrows, and Barnes McKenzie for their help in data reduction procedures.
Airway response to emotion- and disease-specific films in asthma, blood phobia, and health
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010
Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 121–135, January 2011
How to Cite
Ritz, T., Wilhelm, F. H., Meuret, A. E., Gerlach, A. L. and Roth, W. t. (2011), Airway response to emotion- and disease-specific films in asthma, blood phobia, and health. Psychophysiology, 48: 121–135. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2010.01044.x
- Issue published online: 9 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 21 JUN 2010
- (Received January 15, 2009; Accepted January 11, 2010)
- Blood-injection-injury phobia;
- Respiratory resistance;
- Autonomic nervous system;
- Electrodermal activity
Earlier research found autonomic and airway reactivity in asthma patients when they were exposed to blood-injection-injury (BII) stimuli. We studied oscillatory resistance (Ros) in asthma and BII phobia during emotional and disease-relevant films and examined whether muscle tension counteracts emotion-induced airway constriction. Fifteen asthma patients, 12 BII phobia patients, and 14 healthy controls viewed one set of negative, positive, neutral, BII-related, and asthma-related films with leg muscle tension and a second set without. Ros, ventilation, cardiovascular activity, and skin conductance were measured continuously. Ros was higher during emotional compared to neutral films, particularly during BII material, and responses increased from healthy over asthmatic to BII phobia participants. Leg muscle tension did not abolish Ros increases. Thus, the airways are particularly responsive to BII-relevant stimuli, which could become risk factors for asthma patients.