Contract grant sponsor: NIMH.
ATTENTION BIAS OF ANXIOUS YOUTH DURING EXTENDED EXPOSURE OF EMOTIONAL FACE PAIRS: AN EYE-TRACKING STUDY
Article first published online: 19 JUL 2012
Published 2012. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Depression and Anxiety
Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 14–21, January 2013
How to Cite
Shechner, T., Jarcho, J. M., Britton, J. C., Leibenluft, E., Pine, D. S. and Nelson, E. E. (2013), ATTENTION BIAS OF ANXIOUS YOUTH DURING EXTENDED EXPOSURE OF EMOTIONAL FACE PAIRS: AN EYE-TRACKING STUDY. Depress. Anxiety, 30: 14–21. doi: 10.1002/da.21986
- Issue published online: 8 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 19 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 7 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 29 NOV 2011
- eye tracking
Previous studies demonstrate that anxiety is characterized by biased attention toward threats, typically measured by differences in motor reaction time to threat and neutral cues. Using eye-tracking methodology, the current study measured attention biases in anxious and nonanxious youth, using unrestricted free viewing of angry, happy, and neutral faces.
Eighteen anxious and 15 nonanxious youth (8–17 years old) passively viewed angry-neutral and happy-neutral face pairs for 10 s while their eye movements were recorded.
Anxious youth displayed a greater attention bias toward angry faces than nonanxious youth, and this bias occurred in the earliest phases of stimulus presentation. Specifically, anxious youth were more likely to direct their first fixation to angry faces, and they made faster fixations to angry than neutral faces.
Consistent with findings from earlier, reaction-time studies, the current study shows that anxious youth, like anxious adults, exhibit biased orienting to threat-related stimuli. This study adds to the existing literature by documenting that threat biases in eye-tracking patterns are manifest at initial attention orienting.