Beyond Traditional Clinical Measurements for Screening Fears and Phobias


The utilization of eye movements is a usual technique of measuring attentional and emotional response in laboratory. But, when it comes to clinical observe, it is seldom applied. 2 studies were conducted to look at whether or not extraocular and intraocular movements can be used as indices of attentional bias and autonomic activation. In the first study, a free-viewing task, combined with subliminal exposure, showed that prime-fear people tend to orient additional their attention toward the visual space where threat-stimuli (snakes) were presented. The findings counsel a reflexive overt attentional orienting bias for subliminal snakes compared with subliminal management stimuli. The differentiation between participants with high and low concern of snakes steered that a disposition to worry snakes affects the initial ocular saccades. In the second study, participants were instructed to discriminate a sign that was randomly displayed at the center of the display while subliminal pictures were peripherally presented. The results revealed larger pupil dilation for threatening stimuli subliminally presented; once more, high-fear individuals showed larger pupillary dilations, independently of the stimulus category. Our results are in keeping with the belief that a predisposition to worry is relevant for extraocular and intraocular movements when exposed to threat stimuli. These findings suggest that eye measurements, combined with subliminal exposure techniques, could be a reliable and nonintrusive aid tool for use for the assessment and treatment of fear and phobias.

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