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Dynamic Fearful Expressions Enhance Gaze-Triggered Attention Orienting in High and Low Anxiety Individuals

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Abstract:

In previous studies using static stimuli it has been shown that gaze-triggered attention orienting is facilitated by fearful expressions, moderated by high anxiety. However, uncertainty remains regarding the effect of anxiety on responses to dynamic stimuli. We investigated this using dynamic fearful and neutral gaze as cues. Participants detected a peripheral target following the cue. Anxiety levels were measured after experiment (Experiment 1) or between anxiety manipulation and experiment (Experiment 2). We found a reaction time advantage for fearful vs. neutral gazes in both high and low state/trait anxiety participants. The results showed that dynamic fearful expressions facilitate gaze-triggered attention orienting, without moderation by high anxiety.

Keywords: ANXIETY; ATTENTION ORIENTING; DYNAMIC FACIAL EXPRESSION; FEARFUL GAZE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.10.1313

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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