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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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    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: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2011 15:04
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:54


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