Temporal dynamics of anxiety-related attentional bias: is affective context a missing piece of the puzzle?

Cognition and Emotion 32 (6):1329-1338 (2017)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTPrevious research has demonstrated that anxious individuals attend to negative emotional information at the expense of other information. This is commonly referred to as attentional bias. The field has historically conceived of this process as relatively static; however, research by [Zvielli, A., Bernstein, A., & Koster, E. H. W.. Dynamics of attentional bias to threat in anxious adults: Bias towards and/or away? PLoS ONE, 9, e104025; Zvielli, A., Bernstein, A., & Koster, E. H. W.. Temporal dynamics of attentional bias. Clinical Psychological Science, 3, 772–788.], and others, challenges this assumption by demonstrating considerable temporal variability in attentional bias amongst anxious individuals. Still, the mechanisms driving these temporal dynamics are less well known. Using a modified dot-probe task, the present study examined the impact of two relevant contextual variables- affective valence and trial repetition. Affective context was instantiated by the presentation of...

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