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Trait anxiety modulates the electrophysiological indices of rapid spatial orienting towards angry faces

Fox, E. and Derakhshan, Nazanin and Shoker, L. (2008) Trait anxiety modulates the electrophysiological indices of rapid spatial orienting towards angry faces. NeuroReport 19 (3), pp. 259-263. ISSN 0959-4965.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f53d2a

Abstract

We investigated the electrophysiological markers of attentional bias for threat in anxiety. Low-anxiety and high-anxiety individuals performed a spatial-cueing task, in which an emotional facial expression (angry or happy) was presented alongside a neutral expression. Results revealed that angry expressions elicited an enhanced N2pc component, but that this was true only for those reporting high levels of trait anxiety. These results confirm the early capture of spatial attention by threat-related stimuli, and demonstrate that this early bias is modulated by trait anxiety. Enhanced P1 amplitudes to targets after presentations of angry expressions were also found; however, this effect was not modulated by trait anxiety levels. Our findings indicate that individual differences in temperament are an important determinant of the early neural response to threat.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2011 15:27
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2375

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