Presentation Eva Gilboa-Schechtman.
5 février 2009, 10h
Attentional control in social anxiety and depression :Attentional biases have been at the cornerstone of cognitive theories regarding emotional disorders. These theories seek to identify cognitive profiles for phobias, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and major depression. While attentional biases in both phobias and SAD have been observed in a large number of empirical studies through the use of a variety of experimental tasks, depression has been linked to biased processing on only a few attentional tasks. Moreover, most of these tasks have been criticized as flawed measures of attention. In this presentation I attempt to systematize some of the widely used attentional tasks, highlighting the difference between tasks related to orienting and those related to executive control. Based on evolutionary consideration and on available evidence, I argue that while phobias are linked to enhanced orientation to threat cues, SAD and depression are linked to biased performance on executive tasks involving interpersonal cues. I will conclude by discussing the implications of this argument for the maintenance and treatment of emotional disorders.