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ERIC Number: EJ855355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Impaired Spatial Navigation in Pediatric Anxiety
Mueller, Sven C.; Temple, Veronica; Cornwell, Brian; Grillon, Christian; Pine, Daniel S.; Ernst, Monique
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v50 n10 p1227-1234 Oct 2009
Background: Previous theories implicate hippocampal dysfunction in anxiety disorders. Most of the data supporting these theories stem from animal research, particularly lesion studies. The generalization of findings from rodent models to human function is hampered by fundamental inter-species differences. The present work uses a task of spatial orientation, which is known to rely on hippocampal function. Deficits in spatial navigation in anxious children suggest that the hippocampal network involved in spatial orientation is also implicated in anxiety disorders. Methods: Thirty-four treatment-naive children with an anxiety disorder (mean 11.00 years [plus or minus] 2.54) are compared to 35 healthy age- and IQ-matched healthy children (mean 11.95 years [plus or minus] 2.36) on a virtual, computer-based equivalent of the Morris Water Maze task. Results: Results indicate that children with anxiety disorder exhibit overall impaired performance relative to the comparison group. Anxious children made more heading direction errors and had worse accuracy in completing trials relative to controls. Conclusions: The results present novel evidence that spatial orientation deficits occur in pediatric anxiety.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A