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Anxiety modulates the degree of attentive resources required to process emotional faces

Fox, E and Russo, R and Georgiou, GA (2005) 'Anxiety modulates the degree of attentive resources required to process emotional faces.' Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 5 (4). 396 - 404. ISSN 1530-7026

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Abstract

The present study contributes to the ongoing debate over the extent to which attentive resources are required for emotion perception. Although fearful facial expressions are strong competitors for attention, we predict that the magnitude of this effect may be modulated by anxiety. To test this hypothesis, healthy volunteers who varied in their self-reported levels of trait and state anxiety underwent an attentional blink task. Both fearful and happy facial expressions were subject to a strong attentional blink effect for low-anxious individuals. For those reporting high anxiety, a blink occurred for both fearful and happy facial expressions, but the magnitude of the attentional blink was significantly reduced for the fearful expressions. This supports the proposals that emotion perception is not fully automatic and that anxiety is related to a reduced ability to inhibit the processing of threat-related stimuli. Thus, individual differences in self-reported anxiety are an important determinant of the attentional control of emotional processing. Copyright 2005 Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2015 15:39
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 10:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13088

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