Attention to faces and gaze-following in social anxiety: preliminary evidence from a naturalistic eye-tracking investigation.

Gregory, N. J., Bolderston, H. and Antolin, J. V., 2018. Attention to faces and gaze-following in social anxiety: preliminary evidence from a naturalistic eye-tracking investigation. Cognition & Emotion. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2018.1519497

Abstract

Social attentional biases are a core component of social anxiety disorder, but research has not yet determined their direction due to methodological limitations. Here we present preliminary findings from a novel, dynamic eye-tracking paradigm allowing spatial–temporal measurement of attention and gaze-following, a mechanism previously unexplored in social anxiety. 105 participants took part, with those high (N = 27) and low (N = 25) in social anxiety traits (HSA and LSA respectively) entered into the analyses. Participants watched a video of an emotionally-neutral social scene, where two actors periodically shifted their gaze towards the periphery. HSA participants looked more at the actors’ faces during the initial 2s than the LSA group but there were no group differences in proportion of first fixations to the face or latency to first fixate the face, although HSA individuals’ first fixations to the face were shorter. No further differences in eye movements were found, nor in gaze-following behaviour, although these null effects could potentially result from the relatively small sample. Findings suggest attention is biased towards faces in HSA individuals during initial scene inspection, but that overt gaze-following may be impervious to individual differences in social anxiety. Future research should seek to replicate these effects

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0269-9931
Uncontrolled Keywords:Attentional bias; Social phobia; Social attention; Threat detection; Gaze cueing
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:31208
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:07 Sep 2018 11:05
Last Modified:07 Sep 2018 11:06

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