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Attentional control deficits in trait anxiety: why you see them and why you don’t

Berggren, Nick and Derakhshan, Nazanin (2013) Attentional control deficits in trait anxiety: why you see them and why you don’t. Biological Psychology 92 (3), pp. 440-446. ISSN 0301-0511.

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Attentional Control Theory (ACT; [Eysenck et al., 2007] and [Derakshan and Eysenck, 2009]) posits that trait anxiety interferes with the inhibition, shifting and updating processes of working memory. Consequently, high anxious individuals are predicted to perform worse on cognitively demanding tasks requiring efficient cognitive processing. Whilst a growing number of studies have provided support for this view, the possible underlying mechanisms of this deficiency are far less understood. In particular, there is conflicting neuroscientific evidence with some work showing associations between anxiety and increased neural activity over frontal areas, while others reportreduced activity. We review recent evidence that hashelped elucidate the cognitive hallmarks of trait anxiety, and suggest how previous discrepancies can be accommodated within ACT's prediction that reduced cognitive efficiency may be ameliorated by strategies such as compensatory effort. Finally, we discuss if ACT's distinction on efficiency and effectiveness can be applied to threat-related processing,often shown to additively override attentional control in anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): anxiety, attentional control, processing efficiency
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2012 09:45
Last Modified: 19 May 2014 13:07

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