Attention Bias to Emotional Faces Varies by IQ and Anxiety in Williams Syndrome.

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TitleAttention Bias to Emotional Faces Varies by IQ and Anxiety in Williams Syndrome.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMcGrath, LM, Oates, JM, Dai, YG, Dodd, HF, Waxler, J, Clements, CC, Weill, S, Hoffnagle, A, Anderson, E, MacRae, R, Mullett, J, McDougle, CJ, Pober, BR, Smoller, JW
JournalJ Autism Dev Disord
Date Published2016 06
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Anger, Anxiety, Attentional Bias, Child, Emotions, Facial Expression, Female, Happiness, Humans, Intelligence, Male, Middle Aged, Williams Syndrome, Young Adult

Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) often experience significant anxiety. A promising approach to anxiety intervention has emerged from cognitive studies of attention bias to threat. To investigate the utility of this intervention in WS, this study examined attention bias to happy and angry faces in individuals with WS (N = 46). Results showed a significant difference in attention bias patterns as a function of IQ and anxiety. Individuals with higher IQ or higher anxiety showed a significant bias toward angry, but not happy faces, whereas individuals with lower IQ or lower anxiety showed the opposite pattern. These results suggest that attention bias interventions to modify a threat bias may be most effectively targeted to anxious individuals with WS with relatively high IQ.

Alternate JournalJ Autism Dev Disord
PubMed ID26886469
PubMed Central IDPMC4860354
Grant ListK24 MH094614 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
T32 MH016259 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
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