1. Department of Psychiatry, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China;
2. Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China;
3. Department of Psychiatry, Second Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
Background and Objectives The line bisection error to the left of the true center has been interpreted as a relative right hemisphere activation, which might relate to the subject's emotional state. Considering that patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or treatment-resistant depression (TRD) often have negative emotions, we hypothesized that these patients would bisect lines significantly leftward. Methods We tried the line bisection task in the right-handed healthy volunteers (n = 56), GAD (n = 47) and TRD outpatients (n = 52). Subjects also completed the Zuckerman - Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire, the Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scales, and the Plutchik-van Praag Depression Inventory. Results GAD patients scored highest on the Neuroticism-Anxiety trait, TRD patients scored highest on depression, and both patients scored lower on the Sociability trait. Patients with GAD also bisected lines significantly leftward compared to the healthy subjects. The Frequency of the bisection error was negatively correlated with Disinhibition-Seeking in the healthy subjects, and with Total sensation-seeking and Experience-Seeking in GAD patients, while the Magnitude of the line bisection error was negatively correlated with depression in TRD patients. Conclusions The study suggests a stronger right hemispheric activation, a weaker left activation, or both in the GAD, instead of TRD patients.
Keywords: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, hemispheric activation, line bisection, treatment-resistant depression