Date of Graduation

Summer 2021

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Carly Yadon

Keywords

sensory processing, sensory gating, electroencephalography, anxiety, self-report, Sensory Gating Inventory, Highly Sensitive Person Scale, Adult Sensory Processing Scale

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Cognition and Perception

Abstract

Auditory sensory gating, a type of sensory processing, is a physiological mechanism that allows the brain to filter out and respond less to redundant sensory information. Poor sensory gating has been found in clinical groups such as Alzheimer’s dementia (Jessen et al., 2001), bipolar I disorder (Lijffijt et al., 2009), schizophrenia (Patterson et al., 2008), and other anxiety-related psychopathologies such as panic disorder (Ghisolfi et al., 2006), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Orr et al., 2002), and obsessive-compulsive-disorder (OCD) (Hashimoto, 2007). Research is limited regarding effects of chronic worry and anxiety on sensory gating ability. This study will explore the relationship between anxiety and self-reported sensory gating ability. Questionnaires were administered in the form of a confidential online survey accessed through the SONA System, linked to Qualtrics. Participants completed the Sensory Gating Inventory (SGI), Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS), Adult Sensory Processing Scale (ASPS), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Y2 Form (STAI-Y2), General Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD7), along with a demographic questionnaire. This exploratory study provided evidence that anxiety and sensory processing are closely related. Results suggest individuals who report more sensory processing difficulties also experience more symptoms of anxiety.

Copyright

© Elizabeth R. Troutwine

Open Access

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