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Title: Your face scares me: Effects of Perceptual load and Social Anxiety on processing of threatening and neutral faces
Authors: Theodorou, Marios 
Konstantinou, Nikos 
Panayiotou, Georgia 
Major Field of Science: Medical and Health Sciences
Field Category: Clinical Medicine
Keywords: Adult;Anxiety;Article;Heart rate;Human;Self report;Skin conductance
Issue Date: Mar-2021
Source: PLoS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, no. 3, articl. no. e0248733
Volume: 16
Issue: 3
Journal: PLoS ONE 
Abstract: Social Anxiety Disorder is among the most widely studied psychiatric conditions. However, the role of attentional and emotional processes in the maintenance of the condition is still not well-established. This study addressed the impact of individual differences in Social Anxiety, by examining the effects of perceptual load and stimulus valence when processing faces vs objects, here used as distractors, within a letter-search task. In addition to RT and accuracy on the letter search task, heart rate, and skin conductance during the task and participants' self-report emotional evaluation were assessed to help interpret performance effects. Results suggest that distractor stimuli that are either threatening or faces impair performance of high SA participants. Results demonstrate a hypervigilance for threatening faces in SA but indicate that this happens primarily when cognitive resources are available, that is, under low perceptual load.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0248733
Rights: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Type: Article
Affiliation : University of Cyprus 
Cyprus University of Technology 
Appears in Collections:Άρθρα/Articles

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