Is preattentive bias predictive of autonomic reactivity in response to a stressor?
2009 (English)In: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, ISSN 0887-6185, E-ISSN 1873-7897, Vol. 23, no 3, 374-380 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Biased processing of threatening information may play a casual role in the development of anxiety disorders. Even though empirical evidence points to the fact that preattentive bias can predict subjectively experienced distress in response to a stressor, it is still unknown whether it could be useful in predicting the physiological reactivity in response to a stressor. In the present study, the emotional Stroop task was used to measure preattentive bias. Whereas Stroop interference for masked threat words (i.e., preattentive bias) was found to be positively associated with emotional distress (self-reported) in response to a laboratory stressor, this association was reversed when the autonomic reactivity (electrodermal activity) was used as a measure of emotional response to the very same stressor. Also, neither of these effects were a function of pre-existing anxiety levels. The negative association between preattentive bias and autonomic reactivity corresponds to the autonomic inflexibility seen in clinical anxiety (or very high scores of trait anxiety) when exposed to stressful events. Results were discussed in terms of an inability to automatically inhibit the processing of threatening cues that seems to be a vulnerability marker for anxiety.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 23, no 3, 374-380 p.
preattentive bias, emotional vulnerability
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-35338DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2008.12.001ISI: 000264167200011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-35338DiVA: diva2:287073