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ERIC Number: EJ954711
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-0211-2159
Foveal vs. Parafoveal Processing in Anxiety: Broadened Spatial Attention for Threat Words
Gutierrez, Aida; Calvo, Manuel G.
Psicologica: International Journal of Methodology and Experimental Psychology, v32 n2 p301-321 2011
We investigated the processing of threat-related, positive, and neutral words in parafoveal and in foveal vision as a function of individual differences in trait anxiety. In a lexical-decision task, word primes were presented for 150 ms either parafoveally (2.2[degrees] away from fixation; Experiment 1) or foveally (at fixation; Experiment 3) followed by a probe word; or a foveal probe word was presented alone (with no prime; Experiment 2). Results showed that parafoveal prime threat words facilitated responses to probe threat words for high-anxiety individuals, in comparison with neutral and positive words, and relative to low-anxiety individuals. In contrast, when the words were presented foveally, there were no differences in resting activation level (i.e., accessibility to single word meanings) or firing thresholds (i.e., foveal priming) as a function of emotional content and anxiety. This reveals a covert attention bias towards threat stimuli in anxiety. (Contains 2 figures, 3 tables and 2 footnotes.)
University of Valencia. Dept. Metodologia, Facultad de Psicologia, Avda. Blasco Ibanez 21, 46010 Valencia, Spain. Tel: +34-96-386-4100; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: State Trait Anxiety Inventory