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ISBN 9783843907873

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978-3-8439-0787-3, Reihe Psychologie

Aiste Jusyte
Threat is What I See: Biasing Effects of Subliminal Threat on Early Perceptual Processing of Facial Affect in Clinical and Non-clinical Populations

129 Seiten, Dissertation Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (2012), Hardcover, A5

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

Emotional stimuli represent a category of signals that are relevant for survival. This relevance is reflected in the prioritization of threatening over neutral information, which has been demonstrated for inherently threatening stimuli and stimuli with acquired affective significance. While this may be useful in certain situations, an exaggerated sensitivity to threat can become maladaptive and provide the basis for anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders have been shown to be associated with an attentional bias toward threatening stimuli which may be a result of an enhanced processing of threat in early perceptual processing stages. Socially anxious individuals have been shown to exhibit alterations in the processing of facial affect, especially expressions signalling threat. An enhanced unaware processing of threatening cues has been suggested an important mechanism which may give rise to anxious conscious cognition and behavior. The objective of the present thesis was to investigate abnormalities in the perceptual processing of threatening facial cues associated with the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders.