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Biased saccadic responses to emotional stimuli in anxiety: an antisaccade study.

Chen NT, Clarke PJ, Watson TL, Macleod C, Guastella AJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: High and low trait anxious participants completed an emotional variant of an antisaccade task, in which they were required to prosaccade towards, or antisaccade away from a positive, neutral or threat stimulus, while eye movements were recorded.While low anxious participants were found to be slower to saccade in response to positive stimuli, irrespectively of whether a pro- or antisaccade was required, such a bias was absent in high anxious individuals.The findings further highlight the relevance of considering saccade peak velocity in the assessment of anxiety-linked attentional processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Research suggests that anxiety is maintained by an attentional bias to threat, and a growing base of evidence suggests that anxiety may additionally be associated with the deficient attentional processing of positive stimuli. The present study sought to examine whether such anxiety-linked attentional biases were associated with either stimulus driven or attentional control mechanisms of attentional selectivity. High and low trait anxious participants completed an emotional variant of an antisaccade task, in which they were required to prosaccade towards, or antisaccade away from a positive, neutral or threat stimulus, while eye movements were recorded. While low anxious participants were found to be slower to saccade in response to positive stimuli, irrespectively of whether a pro- or antisaccade was required, such a bias was absent in high anxious individuals. Analysis of erroneous antisaccades further revealed at trend level, that anxiety was associated with reduced peak velocity in response to threat. The findings suggest that anxiety is associated with the aberrant processing of positive stimuli, and greater compensatory efforts in the inhibition of threat. The findings further highlight the relevance of considering saccade peak velocity in the assessment of anxiety-linked attentional processing.

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Saccade latency data.Mean saccade latencies for positive, neutral and threat stimuli for high and low anxious participants. Error bars represent the standard error.
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pone-0086474-g002: Saccade latency data.Mean saccade latencies for positive, neutral and threat stimuli for high and low anxious participants. Error bars represent the standard error.

Mentions: To assess differences in mean saccade latency of correct responses, a group (high vs. low) by saccade (pro- vs. antisaccade) by valence (positive vs. neutral vs. threat) mixed design ANOVA was conducted. A main effect of saccade was evident, F(1,53) = 363.44, p<.001, partial η2 = .87, indicating that prosaccades were faster compared to antisaccades (M = 130.69, SD = 20.27). Importantly, a group by valence interaction was significant, F(2,106) = 4.27, p = .016, partial η2 = .08, illustrated in Figure 2. Pairwise comparisons using Bonferroni adjustments were used to further clarify this interaction. Within-subjects comparisons confirmed that low anxious participants were slower to saccade either toward or away from positive stimuli compared to threat, Mdiff = 4.57, SEdiff = 1.60, p = .018. However, high anxious participants showed no difference, largest Mdiff = −3.00, SEdiff = 1.93, p = .377. No other within-subject effects were significant, largest F(2,106) = 1.14, p = .324. No between-subject Bonferroni adjusted pairwise comparisons were significant, largest Mdiff = 10.92, SEdiff = 6.69, p = .109.


Biased saccadic responses to emotional stimuli in anxiety: an antisaccade study.

Chen NT, Clarke PJ, Watson TL, Macleod C, Guastella AJ - PLoS ONE (2014)

Saccade latency data.Mean saccade latencies for positive, neutral and threat stimuli for high and low anxious participants. Error bars represent the standard error.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3921140&req=5

pone-0086474-g002: Saccade latency data.Mean saccade latencies for positive, neutral and threat stimuli for high and low anxious participants. Error bars represent the standard error.
Mentions: To assess differences in mean saccade latency of correct responses, a group (high vs. low) by saccade (pro- vs. antisaccade) by valence (positive vs. neutral vs. threat) mixed design ANOVA was conducted. A main effect of saccade was evident, F(1,53) = 363.44, p<.001, partial η2 = .87, indicating that prosaccades were faster compared to antisaccades (M = 130.69, SD = 20.27). Importantly, a group by valence interaction was significant, F(2,106) = 4.27, p = .016, partial η2 = .08, illustrated in Figure 2. Pairwise comparisons using Bonferroni adjustments were used to further clarify this interaction. Within-subjects comparisons confirmed that low anxious participants were slower to saccade either toward or away from positive stimuli compared to threat, Mdiff = 4.57, SEdiff = 1.60, p = .018. However, high anxious participants showed no difference, largest Mdiff = −3.00, SEdiff = 1.93, p = .377. No other within-subject effects were significant, largest F(2,106) = 1.14, p = .324. No between-subject Bonferroni adjusted pairwise comparisons were significant, largest Mdiff = 10.92, SEdiff = 6.69, p = .109.

Bottom Line: High and low trait anxious participants completed an emotional variant of an antisaccade task, in which they were required to prosaccade towards, or antisaccade away from a positive, neutral or threat stimulus, while eye movements were recorded.While low anxious participants were found to be slower to saccade in response to positive stimuli, irrespectively of whether a pro- or antisaccade was required, such a bias was absent in high anxious individuals.The findings further highlight the relevance of considering saccade peak velocity in the assessment of anxiety-linked attentional processing.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Research suggests that anxiety is maintained by an attentional bias to threat, and a growing base of evidence suggests that anxiety may additionally be associated with the deficient attentional processing of positive stimuli. The present study sought to examine whether such anxiety-linked attentional biases were associated with either stimulus driven or attentional control mechanisms of attentional selectivity. High and low trait anxious participants completed an emotional variant of an antisaccade task, in which they were required to prosaccade towards, or antisaccade away from a positive, neutral or threat stimulus, while eye movements were recorded. While low anxious participants were found to be slower to saccade in response to positive stimuli, irrespectively of whether a pro- or antisaccade was required, such a bias was absent in high anxious individuals. Analysis of erroneous antisaccades further revealed at trend level, that anxiety was associated with reduced peak velocity in response to threat. The findings suggest that anxiety is associated with the aberrant processing of positive stimuli, and greater compensatory efforts in the inhibition of threat. The findings further highlight the relevance of considering saccade peak velocity in the assessment of anxiety-linked attentional processing.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus