The time-course of attention to emotional faces in social phobia

Amanda L. Gamble*, Ronald M. Rapee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    74 Citations (Scopus)


    This study investigated the time-course of attentional bias in socially phobic (SP) and non-phobic (NP) adults. Participants viewed angry and happy faces paired with neutral faces (i.e., face-face pairs) and angry, happy and neutral faces paired with household objects (i.e., face-object pairs) for 5000 ms. Eye movement (EM) was measured throughout to assess biases in early and sustained attention. Attentional bias occurred only for face-face pairs. SP adults were vigilant for angry faces relative to neutral faces in the first 500 ms of the 5000 ms exposure, relative to NP adults. SP adults were also vigilant for happy faces over 500 ms, although there were no group-based differences in attention to happy-neutral face pairs. There were no group differences in attention to faces throughout the remainder of the exposure. Results suggest that social phobia is characterised by early vigilance for social cues with no bias in subsequent processing. Crown

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-44
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


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