Attentional networks and visuospatial working memory capacity in social anxiety

Cognition and Emotion:1-9 (2016)
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Abstract

Social anxiety is associated with attentional bias and working memory for emotional stimuli; however, the ways in which social anxiety affects cognitive functions involving non-emotional stimuli remains unclear. The present study focused on the role of attentional networks and visuospatial working memory capacity for non-emotional stimuli in the context of social anxiety. One hundred and seventeen undergraduates completed questionnaires on social anxiety. They then performed an attentional network test and a change detection task to measure visuospatial WMC. Orienting network and visuospatial WMC were positively correlated with social anxiety. A multiple regression analysis showed significant positive associations of alerting, orienting, and visuospatial WMC with social anxiety. Alerting, orienting networks, and high visuospatial WMC for non-emotional stimuli may predict degree of social anxiety.

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