Specificity of attentional bias in panic disorder acid social phobia

Emanuel Maidenberg*, Edith Chen, Michelle Craske, Paul Bohn, Alexander Bystritsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Anxious individuals have an attentional bias for threatening information. However, the specificity of this attentional bias among patients with different anxiety disorders remains unclear. The primary goal of this study was to compare Stroop response times to a range of emotionally positive and threatening words in patients with different anxiety disorders and nonanxious controls. Patients with panic disorder (n = 15), social phobia (n = 15), and control subjects (n = 15) participated in a computerized Stroop color-naming task of positive and threatening words related to panic, social concerns, general concerns, as well as neutral words. When compared to others, patients with panic disorder exhibited longer response times to all threatening word types, whereas patients with social phobia demonstrated longer response times to social-threat words only. These findings suggest that patients with panic disorder may possess a broader fear network and thus display more generalized attentional bias to threat than socially anxious patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-541
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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