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I don’t know where to look: the impact of intolerance of uncertainty on saccades towards non-predictive emotional face distractors

Morriss, J., McSorley, E. and Van Reekum, C. (2017) I don’t know where to look: the impact of intolerance of uncertainty on saccades towards non-predictive emotional face distractors. Cognition and Emotion. ISSN 0269-9931

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2017.1370418

Abstract/Summary

Attentional bias to uncertain threat is associated with anxiety disorders. Here we examine the extent to which emotional face distractors (happy, angry and neutral) and individual differences in intolerance of uncertainty (IU), impact saccades in two versions of the “follow a cross” task. In both versions of the follow the cross task, the probability of receiving an emotional face distractor was 66.7%. To increase perceived uncertainty regarding the location of the face distractors, in one of the tasks additional non-predictive cues were presented before the onset of the face distractors and target. We did not find IU to impact saccades towards non-cued face distractors. However, we found IU, over Trait Anxiety, to impact saccades towards non-predictive cueing of face distractors. Under these conditions, IU individuals’ eyes were pulled towards angry face distractors and away from happy face distractors overall, and the speed of this deviation of the eyes was determined by the combination of the cue and emotion of the face. Overall, these results suggest a specific role of IU on attentional bias to threat during uncertainty. These findings highlight the potential of intolerance of uncertainty-based mechanisms to help understand anxiety disorder pathology and inform potential treatment targets.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:72179
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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