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Attentional bias for emotional information in older adults: the role of emotion and future time perspective.

Demeyer I, De Raedt R - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: However, because studies investigating attentional bias for emotional information in older adults have produced mixed findings, research identifying inter-individual differences that may explain these inconsistent results is necessary.Older adults showed attentional avoidance for all emotional faces, whereas no attentional biases were found in the middle-aged group.Moreover, in the older adult group, avoidance for negative information was related to anxiety.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Ineke.Demeyer@UGent.be

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Research suggests that older adults display a positivity bias at the level of information processing. However, because studies investigating attentional bias for emotional information in older adults have produced mixed findings, research identifying inter-individual differences that may explain these inconsistent results is necessary. Therefore, we investigated whether mood, symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety and future time perspective are related to attentional bias in older adults.

Method: Thirty-seven healthy older adults and 25 healthy middle-aged adults completed questionnaires to assess mood, symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety and future time perspective. Attentional bias towards happy, sad and neutral information was measured using a modified exogenous cueing paradigm with long cue presentations, to measure maintained attention versus avoidance of emotional stimuli.

Results: Older adults showed attentional avoidance for all emotional faces, whereas no attentional biases were found in the middle-aged group. Moreover, in the older adult group, avoidance for negative information was related to anxiety. Future time perspective was unrelated to attentional bias.

Discussion: These findings suggest that anxiety may lead to inter-individual differences in attentional bias in older adults, and that avoidance from negative information may be an emotion regulation strategy.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

The Cue Validity Indexes for happy, neutral and sad information in middle-aged and older adults.
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pone-0065429-g001: The Cue Validity Indexes for happy, neutral and sad information in middle-aged and older adults.

Mentions: Using paired samples t-tests, we observed a significant difference between the CVI for both happy, t(36) = 2.39, p<.05, and sad faces, t(36) = 2.46, p<.05, as compared to the CVI for neutral faces in the older adult group. However, there was no difference between the CVI for sad and happy faces (t<1). This effect shows more inhibition of return (faster on invalid as compared to valid trials) for both emotional expressions as compared to neutral expressions (the baseline) as shown in figure 1. Thus, there seems to be more avoidance for all emotional stimuli.


Attentional bias for emotional information in older adults: the role of emotion and future time perspective.

Demeyer I, De Raedt R - PLoS ONE (2013)

The Cue Validity Indexes for happy, neutral and sad information in middle-aged and older adults.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672177&req=5

pone-0065429-g001: The Cue Validity Indexes for happy, neutral and sad information in middle-aged and older adults.
Mentions: Using paired samples t-tests, we observed a significant difference between the CVI for both happy, t(36) = 2.39, p<.05, and sad faces, t(36) = 2.46, p<.05, as compared to the CVI for neutral faces in the older adult group. However, there was no difference between the CVI for sad and happy faces (t<1). This effect shows more inhibition of return (faster on invalid as compared to valid trials) for both emotional expressions as compared to neutral expressions (the baseline) as shown in figure 1. Thus, there seems to be more avoidance for all emotional stimuli.

Bottom Line: However, because studies investigating attentional bias for emotional information in older adults have produced mixed findings, research identifying inter-individual differences that may explain these inconsistent results is necessary.Older adults showed attentional avoidance for all emotional faces, whereas no attentional biases were found in the middle-aged group.Moreover, in the older adult group, avoidance for negative information was related to anxiety.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Ineke.Demeyer@UGent.be

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Research suggests that older adults display a positivity bias at the level of information processing. However, because studies investigating attentional bias for emotional information in older adults have produced mixed findings, research identifying inter-individual differences that may explain these inconsistent results is necessary. Therefore, we investigated whether mood, symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety and future time perspective are related to attentional bias in older adults.

Method: Thirty-seven healthy older adults and 25 healthy middle-aged adults completed questionnaires to assess mood, symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety and future time perspective. Attentional bias towards happy, sad and neutral information was measured using a modified exogenous cueing paradigm with long cue presentations, to measure maintained attention versus avoidance of emotional stimuli.

Results: Older adults showed attentional avoidance for all emotional faces, whereas no attentional biases were found in the middle-aged group. Moreover, in the older adult group, avoidance for negative information was related to anxiety. Future time perspective was unrelated to attentional bias.

Discussion: These findings suggest that anxiety may lead to inter-individual differences in attentional bias in older adults, and that avoidance from negative information may be an emotion regulation strategy.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus