Dynamic fearful expressions enhance gaze-triggered attention orienting in high and low anxiety individuals

Shota Uono1, Wataru Sato1, Motomi Toichi1
1Kyoto University, Japan
Cite this article:  Uono, S., Sato, W., & Toichi, M. (2009). Dynamic fearful expressions enhance gaze-triggered attention orienting in high and low anxiety individuals. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 37(10), 1313-1326.

Volume 37 Issue 10 | e1948 | Published: November 2009 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.10.1313

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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.

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