Document Detail

Anxiety modulates the effects of emotion and attention on early vision.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22784014     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
At attended locations emotion and attention interact to benefit contrast sensitivity, a basic visual dimension. Whether there are associated costs at unattended locations is unknown. Furthermore, emotion and attention affect response time, and anxiety modulates these effects. We investigated how trait-anxiety influences the interaction of emotion and attention on contrast sensitivity. On each trial, non-predictive pre-cues (neutral or fearful faces) directed exogenous attention to four contrast-varying, tilted stimuli (Gabor patches). Attention was cued toward the target (valid), a distracter (invalid), or distributed over all locations. Observers discriminated target orientation, and completed self-report measures of anxiety. Effects of fearful expressions were mediated by trait anxiety. Only high-trait-anxious individuals showed decreased target contrast sensitivity after attention was diverted to a distracter by a fearful cue, and anxiety score correlated with degree of impairment across participants. This indicates that increasing anxiety exacerbates threat-related attentional costs to visual perception, hampering processing at non-threat-related locations.
Emma Ferneyhough; Min K Kim; Elizabeth A Phelps; Marisa Carrasco
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2012-07-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cognition & emotion     Volume:  27     ISSN:  1464-0600     ISO Abbreviation:  Cogn Emot     Publication Date:  2013  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-20     Completed Date:  2013-07-08     Revised Date:  2014-01-10    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8710375     Medline TA:  Cogn Emot     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  166-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
Facial Expression
Reaction Time
Grant Support
R01 EY016200/EY/NEI NIH HHS; R01 MH062104/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01-EY016200/EY/NEI NIH HHS; R01-MH062104/MH/NIMH NIH HHS

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