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Title: The role of attentional resources in facial expression processing among individuals with high trait anxiety: an event-related potential study.
Authors: Gallant, Jennifer
Keywords: Anxiety;Emotional facial expression processing;Happy faces;Fearful faces;Neutral faces;Attentional resources;Event-related potentials (ERPs);Rapid Serial Visual Presentation;Vigilance-avoidance
Issue Date: 24-Mar-2017
Abstract: Previous research highlights a relationship between anxiety and emotional facial expression processing, particularly for fear, but the nature of this relationship remains unclear. The current study aimed to understand a possible underlying factor of this relationship—specifically, the role of attentional resources was explored using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants (N=67) were asked to identify target happy, fearful or neutral faces in a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation while ERPs and accuracy were recorded. Results suggest that such processing is largely affected by the degree of attentional resources available and by anxiety level, and are in line with the vigilance-avoidance hypothesis. Individuals with high anxiety showed an early perceptual bias to fearful faces followed by later cognitive avoidance, especially when attentional resources were limited. Results are discussed in terms of clinical interventions which might focus particularly on high pressure situations to anticipate and regulate this sensitivity to threat in highly anxious individuals.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses
Psychology / Psychologie - Master's theses

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