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Age-related changes in attentional control across adolescence: how does this impact emotion regulation capacities?

Cohen Kadosh K, Heathcote LC, Lau JY - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: Moreover, we found that across all groups, adolescents with higher trait anxiety exhibited attentional avoidance of all faces, which facilitated relatively better performance on the primary task.These differences in reaction time emerged in the context of comparable accuracy level in the primary task across age-groups.This may affect learning about the environment and the acquisition of behavioral response patterns in the social world.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford Oxford, UK.

ABSTRACT
This study set out to establish the novel use of the go/no-go Overlap task for investigating the role of attentional control capacities in the processing of emotional expressions across different age-groups within adolescence: at the onset of adolescence (11-12 year-olds) and toward the end of adolescence (17-18 year-olds). We also looked at how attentional control in the processing of fearful, happy, and neutral expressions relates to individual differences in trait anxiety in these adolescent groups. We were able to show that younger adolescents, but not older adolescents had more difficulties with attention control in the presence of all faces, but particularly in the presence of fearful faces. Moreover, we found that across all groups, adolescents with higher trait anxiety exhibited attentional avoidance of all faces, which facilitated relatively better performance on the primary task. These differences in reaction time emerged in the context of comparable accuracy level in the primary task across age-groups. Our results contribute to our understanding of how attentional control abilities to faces but in particular fearful expressions may mature across adolescence. This may affect learning about the environment and the acquisition of behavioral response patterns in the social world.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean accuracy rates (in percent) for the go trials in both age groups. Error bars indicate 1 SE of the mean. None of the main effects, or the interaction was significant.
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Figure 3: Mean accuracy rates (in percent) for the go trials in both age groups. Error bars indicate 1 SE of the mean. None of the main effects, or the interaction was significant.

Mentions: We then analyzed the accuracy rates for the go and no-go trials, using the same ANCOVA design as for the reaction times above. For the go trials, none of the main effects, or the interactions were significant [all Fs < 1.2, all ps = > 0.307] (see Table 1, Figure 3). Moreover, trait anxiety did not correlate with the accuracy rates for go-trials (all rs < 0.136, all ps > 0.299). Thus, there were no age group or anxiety differences as a function of task performance—and performance across emotional expressions was consistent. We also found that across all participants, RTs and accuracy rates for the go trials were not correlated, thus excluding the possibility of a speed-accuracy trade-off [rs(60) = 0.120, p = 0.362].


Age-related changes in attentional control across adolescence: how does this impact emotion regulation capacities?

Cohen Kadosh K, Heathcote LC, Lau JY - Front Psychol (2014)

Mean accuracy rates (in percent) for the go trials in both age groups. Error bars indicate 1 SE of the mean. None of the main effects, or the interaction was significant.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3921606&req=5

Figure 3: Mean accuracy rates (in percent) for the go trials in both age groups. Error bars indicate 1 SE of the mean. None of the main effects, or the interaction was significant.
Mentions: We then analyzed the accuracy rates for the go and no-go trials, using the same ANCOVA design as for the reaction times above. For the go trials, none of the main effects, or the interactions were significant [all Fs < 1.2, all ps = > 0.307] (see Table 1, Figure 3). Moreover, trait anxiety did not correlate with the accuracy rates for go-trials (all rs < 0.136, all ps > 0.299). Thus, there were no age group or anxiety differences as a function of task performance—and performance across emotional expressions was consistent. We also found that across all participants, RTs and accuracy rates for the go trials were not correlated, thus excluding the possibility of a speed-accuracy trade-off [rs(60) = 0.120, p = 0.362].

Bottom Line: Moreover, we found that across all groups, adolescents with higher trait anxiety exhibited attentional avoidance of all faces, which facilitated relatively better performance on the primary task.These differences in reaction time emerged in the context of comparable accuracy level in the primary task across age-groups.This may affect learning about the environment and the acquisition of behavioral response patterns in the social world.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford Oxford, UK.

ABSTRACT
This study set out to establish the novel use of the go/no-go Overlap task for investigating the role of attentional control capacities in the processing of emotional expressions across different age-groups within adolescence: at the onset of adolescence (11-12 year-olds) and toward the end of adolescence (17-18 year-olds). We also looked at how attentional control in the processing of fearful, happy, and neutral expressions relates to individual differences in trait anxiety in these adolescent groups. We were able to show that younger adolescents, but not older adolescents had more difficulties with attention control in the presence of all faces, but particularly in the presence of fearful faces. Moreover, we found that across all groups, adolescents with higher trait anxiety exhibited attentional avoidance of all faces, which facilitated relatively better performance on the primary task. These differences in reaction time emerged in the context of comparable accuracy level in the primary task across age-groups. Our results contribute to our understanding of how attentional control abilities to faces but in particular fearful expressions may mature across adolescence. This may affect learning about the environment and the acquisition of behavioral response patterns in the social world.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus