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    The role of consciousness in attentional control differences in trait anxiety

    Berggren, Nick and Derakhshan, Nazanin (2013) The role of consciousness in attentional control differences in trait anxiety. Cognition & Emotion 27 (5), pp. 923-931. ISSN 0269-9931.

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    Trait anxiety has long been associated with impaired selective attention to task-irrelevant threat stimuli, both when threat is presented consciously and outside of awareness. However recent research has suggested broader deficits in selective attention, with poorer ability to ignore supraliminal non-emotional information in anxiety. Here, we investigated whether anxiety could equally be associated with poorer selective attention for non-emotional stimuli in a subliminal context. Participants performed a simple arrow discrimination task, where prior incompatible or compatible response primes were presented before targets either unmasked (supraliminal) or masked (subliminal). While distractor interference was evident in both conditions, trait anxiety was associated with increased task-irrelevant processing only in the supraliminal condition; group effects were eliminated when primes were masked. Our findings are in line with traditional accounts suggesting that differences in selective attention and cognitive control solely modulate conscious distractor processing.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Anxiety, Attentional control theory, Unconscious processing, Response priming
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2012 15:42
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:01


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