Anxiety and the neural processing of threat in faces

Christopher Sewell*, Romina Palermo, Carmen Atkinson, Genevieve McArthur

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    This study examined the relationship between social anxiety and the neural processing of threat in faces.Twenty-one adultswith different levels of society anxiety were tested for their event-related potential responses to unattended threatening and nonthreatening faces, presented upright and upside-down, at three points in time: 160-210ms (vertex positive potential), 300-350ms (N3) and 440^ 500ms (P3). Social anxiety was signi¢cantly correlated with the size of P3 to upright angry faces but not happy faces.This supports the theory that anxiety diverts attention towards goal-irrelevant threat cues, and suggests that this threat-related shift in attention starts to affect the processing of faces at 440-500ms. NeuroReport 19:1339-1343

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1339-1343
    Number of pages5
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2008


    • anxiety
    • emotion
    • event-related potentials
    • faces


    Dive into the research topics of 'Anxiety and the neural processing of threat in faces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this