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Near space and its relation to claustrophobic fear

Lourenco, S.F. and Longo, Matthew R. and Pathman, T. (2011) Near space and its relation to claustrophobic fear. Cognition 119 (3), pp. 448-453. ISSN 0010-0277.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2011.02.009

Abstract

It is well established that the near space immediately surrounding the body (also known as peripersonal space) is represented differently than the space farther away. When bisecting horizontal lines, for example, neurologically-healthy adults show a slight leftward bias (known as pseudoneglect) in near space; this attentional bias, however, transitions rightward in far space. Recent research has used the rate at which this shift occurs to quantify the extent (i.e., size) of near space, showing consistent individual differences that relate to arm length. Here we examined whether the size of near space relates to individual differences in claustrophobic fear, as measured by reported anxiety of enclosed spaces and physically restrictive situations. Trait feelings of claustrophobic fear predicted the size of near space, even after accounting for the relation to arm length. Specifically, people with larger near spaces reported higher rates of claustrophobic fear than people with smaller near spaces. These results are consistent with a defensive function of near space representation and suggest that an over-projection of near space may play an important role in the etiology of claustrophobia.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Spatial perception, near/peripersonal space, pseudoneglect, claustrophobia, individual differences
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2011 15:04
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:20
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3192

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