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. (2010) 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).


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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.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/20445911.2011.560111
ISSNs: 2044-5911 (print)
Related URLs:
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience
ePrint ID: 168045
Date :
Date Event
23 November 2010Accepted/In Press
January 2012Published
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2010 12:59
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 03:34
Further Information:Google Scholar

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