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The moderating effect of self-reported state and trait anxiety on the late positive potential to emotional faces in 6-11-year-old children

The moderating effect of self-reported state and trait anxiety on the late positive potential to emotional faces in 6-11-year-old children
The moderating effect of self-reported state and trait anxiety on the late positive potential to emotional faces in 6-11-year-old children

Introduction: The emergence of anxiety during childhood is accompanied by the development of attentional biases to threat. However, the neural mechanisms underlying these biases are poorly understood. In addition, previous research has not examined whether state and trait anxiety are independently associated with threat-related biases. Methods: We compared ERP waveforms during the processing of emotional faces in a population sample of 58 6-11-year-olds who completed self-reported measures of trait and state anxiety and depression. Results: The results showed that the P1 was larger to angry than neutral faces in the left hemisphere, though early components (P1, N170) were not strongly associated with child anxiety or depression. In contrast, Late Positive Potential (LPP) amplitudes to angry (vs. neutral) faces were significantly and positively associated with symptoms of anxiety/depression. In addition, the difference between LPPs for angry (vs. neutral) faces was independently associated with state and trait anxiety symptoms. Discussion: The results showed that neural responses to facial emotion in children with elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression were most evident at later processing stages characterized as evaluative and effortful. The findings support cognitive models of threat perception in anxiety and indicate that trait elements of anxiety and more transitory fluctuations in anxious affect are important in understanding individual variation in the neural response to threat in late childhood.

Anxiety, Children, Depression, Emotion, Faces, LPP
1664-1078
Chronaki, Georgia
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Broyd, Samantha J.
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Garner, Matthew
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Benikos, Nicholas
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Thompson, Margaret J.J.
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Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S.
bc80bf95-6cf9-4c76-a09d-eaaf0b717635
Hadwin, Julie A.
a364caf0-405a-42f3-a04c-4864817393ee
Chronaki, Georgia
6c486b0a-c073-4cca-8abe-2837c067d89a
Broyd, Samantha J.
726bb024-4127-401a-ad70-bfc22b45d01c
Garner, Matthew
3221c5b3-b951-4fec-b456-ec449e4ce072
Benikos, Nicholas
fc863d81-18f4-4ee8-be13-185ad613189d
Thompson, Margaret J.J.
722079c8-80f8-48be-a82d-36a159d43d24
Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S.
bc80bf95-6cf9-4c76-a09d-eaaf0b717635
Hadwin, Julie A.
a364caf0-405a-42f3-a04c-4864817393ee

Chronaki, Georgia, Broyd, Samantha J., Garner, Matthew, Benikos, Nicholas, Thompson, Margaret J.J., Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S. and Hadwin, Julie A. (2018) The moderating effect of self-reported state and trait anxiety on the late positive potential to emotional faces in 6-11-year-old children. Frontiers in Psychology, 9 (FEB), [125]. (doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00125).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Introduction: The emergence of anxiety during childhood is accompanied by the development of attentional biases to threat. However, the neural mechanisms underlying these biases are poorly understood. In addition, previous research has not examined whether state and trait anxiety are independently associated with threat-related biases. Methods: We compared ERP waveforms during the processing of emotional faces in a population sample of 58 6-11-year-olds who completed self-reported measures of trait and state anxiety and depression. Results: The results showed that the P1 was larger to angry than neutral faces in the left hemisphere, though early components (P1, N170) were not strongly associated with child anxiety or depression. In contrast, Late Positive Potential (LPP) amplitudes to angry (vs. neutral) faces were significantly and positively associated with symptoms of anxiety/depression. In addition, the difference between LPPs for angry (vs. neutral) faces was independently associated with state and trait anxiety symptoms. Discussion: The results showed that neural responses to facial emotion in children with elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression were most evident at later processing stages characterized as evaluative and effortful. The findings support cognitive models of threat perception in anxiety and indicate that trait elements of anxiety and more transitory fluctuations in anxious affect are important in understanding individual variation in the neural response to threat in late childhood.

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Accepted/In Press date: 25 January 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 February 2018
Keywords: Anxiety, Children, Depression, Emotion, Faces, LPP

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Local EPrints ID: 418423
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418423
ISSN: 1664-1078
PURE UUID: ae3197f9-1399-4507-96b8-1e279f452e8b

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Date deposited: 08 Mar 2018 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 00:26

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Contributors

Author: Georgia Chronaki
Author: Samantha J. Broyd
Author: Matthew Garner
Author: Nicholas Benikos
Author: Edmund J.S. Sonuga-Barke
Author: Julie A. Hadwin

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