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Title page for ETD etd-06102009-134500

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Armstrong, Thomas Richard
Author's Email Address thomas.r.armstrong@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-06102009-134500
Title Orienting and maintenance of gaze in contamination-based OCD: biases for disgust and fear cues
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bunmi O. Olatunji Committee Member
David H. Zald Committee Member
Stephen D. Benning Committee Member
  • attention
  • anxiety disorders
  • eye movements
Date of Defense 2009-05-26
Availability unrestricted
The present study examines the extent to which attentional biases in contamination-based obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are specific to disgust or fear cues, as well as the components of attention involved. Eye tracking was used to provide greater sensitivity and specificity than afforded by traditional reaction time measures of attention. Participants high (HCF; n = 23) and low (LCF; n = 25) in symptoms of contamination-based OCD were presented with disgusted, fearful, or happy faces paired with neutral faces for 3 s trials. Evidence of both vigilance and maintenance-based biases for threat was found. The high group oriented attention to fearful faces but not disgusted faces compared to the low group. However, the high group maintained attention on both disgusted and fearful expressions compared to the low group, a pattern consistent across the 3 s trials. The implications of these findings for conceptualizing emotional factors that moderate attentional biases in contamination-based OCD are discussed
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