Social situations that lead to perceived scrutiny by peers can increase symptoms of anxiety. For individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD), public speaking can be particularly challenging. In a recent study, participants were assessed with MRIs while watching videos of themselves delivering a speech. All participants had increased neural activity when watching themselves being scrutinized, but those with SAD had significant decreased activity in the brain region responsible for negative emotional regulation. This finding suggests that the threat associated with SAD did not come from the social situation or public speaking itself, but rather the possibility of scrutiny from others, providing new insight into the underlying mechanisms at play with SAD.
Read the entire article here: Cognitive Emotion Regulation Deficits Found in People with Social Anxiety