Project Title

Attentional threat bias and evoked response potentials

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Tim Martin

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Attentional threat bias is the tendency of some people to respond more quickly to a target that is cued by a threatening word rather than by a non-threatening word. People with higher attentional threat bias have a greater risk for developing an anxiety disorder than the general population. In our experiment, we investigated the relationship between evoked response potentials and attentional threat bias (ATB) with the use of the ATB paradigm. The ATB paradigm uses two cues, one threatening word, and one non-threatening word. The target is an arrow which faces either left or right and appears under the threatening word or non-threatening word after the cue. The cue does not predict where the target will appear and does not indicate where the participant’s attention should subsequently lie. We initially looked at the evoked responses to the cues. We correlated the slope of the contingent negative variation (CNV) with the ATB and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and did not find any statistically significant correlations. However, we are continuing to investigate other electrophysiological correlates of the ATB and STAI.

Keywords: attentional threat bias, anxiety, evoked response potential, contingent negative variation, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, electrophysiological

Project Type

Poster

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Attentional threat bias and evoked response potentials

Attentional threat bias is the tendency of some people to respond more quickly to a target that is cued by a threatening word rather than by a non-threatening word. People with higher attentional threat bias have a greater risk for developing an anxiety disorder than the general population. In our experiment, we investigated the relationship between evoked response potentials and attentional threat bias (ATB) with the use of the ATB paradigm. The ATB paradigm uses two cues, one threatening word, and one non-threatening word. The target is an arrow which faces either left or right and appears under the threatening word or non-threatening word after the cue. The cue does not predict where the target will appear and does not indicate where the participant’s attention should subsequently lie. We initially looked at the evoked responses to the cues. We correlated the slope of the contingent negative variation (CNV) with the ATB and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and did not find any statistically significant correlations. However, we are continuing to investigate other electrophysiological correlates of the ATB and STAI.

Keywords: attentional threat bias, anxiety, evoked response potential, contingent negative variation, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, electrophysiological