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The relationship between self-reported animal fear and ERP modulation : Evidence for enhanced processing and fear of harmless invertebrates in snake- and spider-fearful individuals

Mallan, Kimberley M. & Lipp, Ottmar V. (2011) The relationship between self-reported animal fear and ERP modulation : Evidence for enhanced processing and fear of harmless invertebrates in snake- and spider-fearful individuals. Motivation and Emotion, 35(4), pp. 474-483.

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Abstract

The present study used ERPs to compare processing of fear-relevant (FR) animals (snakes and spiders) and non-fear-relevant (NFR) animals similar in appearance (worms and beetles). EEG was recorded from 18 undergraduate participants (10 females) as they completed two animal-viewing tasks that required simple categorization decisions. Participants were divided on a post hoc basis into low snake/spider fear and high snake/spider fear groups. Overall, FR animals were rated higher on fear and elicited a larger LPC. However, individual differences qualified these effects. Participants in the low fear group showed clear differentiation between FR and NFR animals on subjective ratings of fear and LPC modulation. In contrast, participants in the high fear group did not show such differentiation between FR and NFR animals. These findings suggest that the salience of feared-FR animals may generalize on both a behavioural and electro-cortical level to other animals of similar appearance but of a non-harmful nature.

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ID Code: 48696
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: phobia, fear, spider, snake, EEG, ERPs, event related potentials
DOI: 10.1007/s11031-011-9218-9
ISSN: 0146-7239
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology Psychopharmacology Physiological Psychology) (170101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Springer Link
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink. http://www.springerlink.com
Deposited On: 16 Feb 2012 10:29
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2012 10:29

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