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Anxiety and selective attention to angry faces: an antisaccade study

Reinholdt-Dunne, M.L., Mogg, K., Benson, V., Bradley, B. P., Hardin, M.G., Liversedge, S.P., Pine, D.S. and Ernst, M. (2012) Anxiety and selective attention to angry faces: an antisaccade study Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 24, (1), pp. 54-65. (doi:10.1080/20445911.2011.560111).

Record type: Article


Cognitive models of anxiety propose that anxiety is associated with an attentional bias for threat, which increases vulnerability to emotional distress and is difficult to control. The study aim was to investigate relationships between the effects of threatening information, anxiety, and attention control on eye movements. High and low trait anxious individuals performed antisaccade and prosaccade tasks with angry, fearful, happy, and neutral faces. Results indicated that high-anxious participants showed a greater antisaccade cost for angry than neutral faces (i.e., relatively slower to look away from angry faces), compared with low-anxious individuals. This bias was not found for fearful or happy faces. The bias for angry faces was not related to individual differences in attention control assessed on self-report and behavioral measures. Findings support the view that anxiety is associated with difficulty in using cognitive control resources to inhibit attentional orienting to angry faces, and that attention control is multi-faceted.

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Accepted/In Press date: 23 November 2010
Published date: January 2012
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience


Local EPrints ID: 168045
ISSN: 2044-5911
PURE UUID: b45ab179-7448-4cd6-bb22-dfc6bbd83bcd

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Date deposited: 24 Nov 2010 12:59
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:23

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Author: M.L. Reinholdt-Dunne
Author: K. Mogg
Author: V. Benson
Author: B. P. Bradley
Author: M.G. Hardin
Author: S.P. Liversedge
Author: D.S. Pine
Author: M. Ernst

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