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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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Peak velocity data.Mean peak velocities for erroneous antisaccades in response to positive, neutral and threat stimuli for high and low anxious participants. Error bars represent the standard error.
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pone-0086474-g003: Peak velocity data.Mean peak velocities for erroneous antisaccades in response to positive, neutral and threat stimuli for high and low anxious participants. Error bars represent the standard error.

Mentions: To examine for compensatory efforts in response to erroneous antisaccades, a group (high vs. low) by valence (positive vs. neutral vs. threat) mixed design ANOVA was run on peak velocity. Some participants did not make erroneous antisaccades in response to all positive, neutral and threat stimuli, and were therefore not able to be included. The analysis was conducted on the remaining 17 low and 13 high anxious participants. A main effect of valence was found, F(2,56) = 4.93, p = .011, partial η2 = .15. Pairwise comparisons using Bonferroni adjustments confirmed that participants showed slower peak velocities for threat compared neutral stimuli, Mdiff = 38.56, SEdiff = 14.87, p = .045. Interestingly, a possible group by valence interaction emerged at trend level, F(2,56) = 2.43, p = .098, partial η2 = .08. Exploratory follow-up pairwise comparisons were conducted using Bonferroni adjustments. High anxious participants were found to show significantly reduced peak velocity for threat compared to neutral stimuli, Mdiff = 66.21, SEdiff = 22.39, p = .019. However, no differences were evident in low anxious participants, largest Mdiff = 10.92, SEdiff = 19.58, p = 1.000. Figure 3 illustrates this interaction trend. Peak velocity descriptive statistics are detailed in Table 2.


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

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

Peak velocity data.Mean peak velocities for erroneous antisaccades in response to 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-g003: Peak velocity data.Mean peak velocities for erroneous antisaccades in response to positive, neutral and threat stimuli for high and low anxious participants. Error bars represent the standard error.
Mentions: To examine for compensatory efforts in response to erroneous antisaccades, a group (high vs. low) by valence (positive vs. neutral vs. threat) mixed design ANOVA was run on peak velocity. Some participants did not make erroneous antisaccades in response to all positive, neutral and threat stimuli, and were therefore not able to be included. The analysis was conducted on the remaining 17 low and 13 high anxious participants. A main effect of valence was found, F(2,56) = 4.93, p = .011, partial η2 = .15. Pairwise comparisons using Bonferroni adjustments confirmed that participants showed slower peak velocities for threat compared neutral stimuli, Mdiff = 38.56, SEdiff = 14.87, p = .045. Interestingly, a possible group by valence interaction emerged at trend level, F(2,56) = 2.43, p = .098, partial η2 = .08. Exploratory follow-up pairwise comparisons were conducted using Bonferroni adjustments. High anxious participants were found to show significantly reduced peak velocity for threat compared to neutral stimuli, Mdiff = 66.21, SEdiff = 22.39, p = .019. However, no differences were evident in low anxious participants, largest Mdiff = 10.92, SEdiff = 19.58, p = 1.000. Figure 3 illustrates this interaction trend. Peak velocity descriptive statistics are detailed in Table 2.

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