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  • br The Breadth of affect biased attention The proposed

    2018-11-09


    The Breadth of affect-biased attention The proposed model accounts for the fact that while a perceptual sensitivity to particular cues may be normative and adaptive, displaying a large and fixed attention bias may be associated with psychopathology. For instance, in the anxiety literature, a perceptual sensitivity is considered an evolution-based safety mechanism. However, there is growing evidence that a pronounced bias in this purchase Nanaomycin A attention mechanism may lay the foundation for anxiety. Our work has focused on the temperamental trait of behavioral inhibition (BI). BI is chacterized in infancy by increased sensitivity towards novelty, social withdrawal and reticence in childhood (Kagan et al., 1984), and a four-fold increased risk for anxiety in adolescence (Chronis-Tuscano et al., 2009; Clauss and Blackford, 2012; Pérez-Edgar and Fox, 2005). Over the last three decades, multiple labs have documented strong similarities between BI and social anxiety across social (e.g., fewer friends and experience more social rejection) (Chen et al., 2006; Pedersen et al., 2007; Rubin et al., 2009), cognitive/behavioral (e.g., error-monitoring and decision-making) (Lahat et al., 2014; Lamm et al., 2014; McDermott et al., 2009), and neural (e.g., limbic, striatal, and PFC aberrations) (Fu et al., 2015; Guyer et al., 2006, 2012; Jarcho et al., 2013, 2014; Pérez-Edgar et al., 2007; Pérez-Edgar et al., 2014a; Schwartz et al., 2011, 2003) levels of functioning, even in the absence of disorder among BI participants (Caouette and Guyer, 2014; Henderson et al., 2015). Within BI, most studies fail to find a zero-order relation between temperament and attention bias (except, Pérez-Edgar et al., 2010a). Rather, affect-biased attention seems to act as a moderator to social withdrawal and anxiety, such that early temperament is associated with patterns of socioemotional maladjustment only if also accompanied by attention bias (Cole et al., 2016; Morales et al., 2015; Pérez-Edgar et al., 2010a; Pérez-Edgar et al., 2011; White et al., in press). Thus, the data suggest that individual differences in affect-biased attention associated with risks might be rooted in normative patterns of attention. That is, patterns of attention bias to threat act as risk factors only when coupled with secondary markers of risk. For example, LoBue and Pérez-Edgar (2014) found that their sample of young children (4–7 years) displayed heightened attention towards both social (angry faces) and non-social (snakes) threats in line with normative patterns. However, temperamentally fearful children manifested a potentiated bias only to social threat (angry faces), relative to non-fearful peers. Likewise, studies with older children (9–12 years) have found an increased (Waters et al., 2008b; Waters and Lipp, 2008a) and longer lasting (Kindt et al., 2000) bias towards phylogenetically threatening stimuli (i.e., snakes or spiders) for children who feared that specific stimuli. Moreover, this pattern of individual differences emerging from normative patterns of attention may be evident early in life (e.g., Peltola et al., 2015; Pérez-Edgar et al., 2010c), suggesting that early appearing differences in attention orienting and control may work to bias development by shaping interactions with, and interpretations of, emotionally-salient components of the environment. A pivotal meta-analysis (Bar-Haim et al., 2007) found that attention bias towards threat was present in all the anxiety-related disorders considered (PTSD, GAD, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, simple phobia, and anxiety with comorbid mood disorders) and that there was no difference in the magnitude of the effect for these disorders. This suggests that attention patterns (e.g., attention bias towards threat) are not specific to a type of anxiety. Instead, they act as a general anxiety risk mechanism. Although Bar-Haim et al. (2007) found that this relation was present across development, recent meta-analyses (Dudeney et al., 2015) and reviews (Roy et al., 2015) of attention bias to threat in anxious children (4–18 years) find that there is equivocal support for the presence and direction of the attention bias in this age group. Compared to the adult literature, the effect size for bias in children was smaller, needed longer stimulus presentation times to emerge, and increased with age. However, in both the adult and child literature, this evidence comes from just one domain of functioning (i.e., internalizing behaviors), in which attentional patterns are evaluated with threat-related cues that are thought to trigger socioemotional withdrawal when encountered. Stronger evidence for affect-biased attention as a domain-general mechanism would come from studies in which affect-biased attention plays a role in disorders or behavior patterns marked by bias towards appetitive cues that signal approach.