The Open UniversitySkip to content

Anxiety and the deployment of visual attention over time

Barnard, P. J.; Ramponi, C.; Battye, G. and Mackintosh, B. (2005). Anxiety and the deployment of visual attention over time. Visual Cognition, 12(1) pp. 181–211.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Two studies investigated the effects of anxiety on the time course of attention to threatening material. A rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm required report of words belonging to a prespecified semantic category with a distractor placed at varying positions preceding the target. Where there was little resemblance in meaning between distractors and targets, threat distractors briefly captured the attention of high state anxious individuals but only after a delay. Where distractors resembled the meaning of the targets, attention was captured more immediately, but processing of threat-related material was concentrated at different points in time as a function of both the degree of semantic resemblance between distractors and target, and state anxiety. The extent to which distractors are salient to the experimental task influences attentional capture and the temporal course of processing. The methodological implications of these results are discussed together with a new hypothesis about the effects of state anxiety on attention.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2005 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1350-6285
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 18430
Depositing User: Colin Smith
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2009 13:33
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 13:23
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU