Reduced Processing of Facial and Postural Cues in Social Anxiety: Insights from ElectrophysiologyReportar como inadecuado

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Social anxiety is characterized by fear of evaluative interpersonal situations. Many studies have investigated the perception of emotional faces in socially anxious individuals and have reported biases in the processing of threatening faces. However, faces are not the only stimuli carrying an interpersonal evaluative load. The present study investigated the processing of emotional body postures in social anxiety. Participants with high and low social anxiety completed an attention-shifting paradigm using neutral, angry and happy faces and postures as cues. We investigated early visual processes through the P100 component, attentional fixation on the P2, structural encoding mirrored by the N170, and attentional orientation towards stimuli to detect with the P100 locked on target occurrence. Results showed a global reduction of P100 and P200 responses to faces and postures in socially anxious participants as compared to non-anxious participants, with a direct correlation between self-reported social anxiety levels and P100 and P200 amplitudes. Structural encoding of cues and target processing were not modulated by social anxiety, but socially anxious participants were slower to detect the targets. These results suggest a reduced processing of social postural and facial cues in social anxiety.

Autor: Mandy Rossignol , Sophie-Alexandra Fisch, Pierre Maurage, Frédéric Joassin, Pierre Philippot



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