Attentional and behavioural responses of spider fearfuls to virtual spiders
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceCognition & Emotion, 24, 7, (2010), pp. 1199-1206
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
SW OZ BSI SCP
Cognition & Emotion
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment
This study employed an immersed virtual environment (IVE) in the Nijmegen RIVERlab to study spider fearfuls' attentional and motor reactions to virtual spiders. The participants were exposed to virtual spiders while completing an unrelated task, walking freely through a virtual museum. Compared to non-fearful controls, spider fearfuls showed an increase in state anxiety, they spent more time looking at spiders, and they exhibited spontaneous behavioural avoidance of spiders and visually similar objects. The results extend, and to some degree contradict, those of earlier studies with static pictures, and they speak to the usefulness of state-of-the-art IVEs in fundamental anxiety research.
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