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I see happy people: attention bias towards happy but not angry facial expressions in Williams syndrome

Dodd, H. F. and Porter, M. A. (2010) I see happy people: attention bias towards happy but not angry facial expressions in Williams syndrome. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 15 (6). pp. 549-567. ISSN 1464-0619

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/13546801003737157

Abstract/Summary

Introduction: Observations of behaviour and research using eye-tracking technology have shown that individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) pay an unusual amount of attention to other people’s faces. The present research examines whether this attention to faces is moderated by the valence of emotional expression. Method: Sixteen participants with WS aged between 13 and 29 years (Mean=19 years 9 months) completed a dot-probe task in which pairs of faces displaying happy, angry and neutral expressions were presented. The performance of the WS group was compared to two groups of typically developing control participants, individually matched to the participants in the WS group on either chronological age or mental age. General mental age was assessed in the WS group using the Woodcock Johnson Test of Cognitive Ability Revised (WJ-COG-R; Woodcock & Johnson, 1989; 1990). Results: Compared to both control groups, the WS group exhibited a greater attention bias for happy faces. In contrast, no between-group differences in bias for angry faces were obtained. Conclusions: The results are discussed in relation to recent neuroimaging findings and the hypersocial behaviour that is characteristic of the WS population.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Anxiety and Depression in Young People (AnDY)
ID Code:33959
Uncontrolled Keywords:Williams syndrome; anxiety; social; happy; faces; attentional bias; cognitive bias
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Publisher Statement:This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Cognitive Neuropsychiatry in 2011 [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13546801003737157

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