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

Authors: Gregory, N., Bolderston, H. and Antolin, J.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/31208/

Journal: Cognition & Emotion

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISSN: 0269-9931

DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2018.1519497

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Gregory, N.J., Bolderston, H. and Antolin, J.V.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/31208/

Journal: Cogn Emot

Volume: 33

Issue: 5

Pages: 931-942

eISSN: 1464-0600

DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2018.1519497

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.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Gregory, N.J., Bolderston, H. and Antolin, J.V.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/31208/

Journal: Cognition and Emotion

Volume: 33

Issue: 5

Pages: 931-942

eISSN: 1464-0600

ISSN: 0269-9931

DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2018.1519497

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. 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.

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