Skip to main content


Swipe om te navigeren naar een ander artikel

11-10-2019 | Original Article

Attentional avoidance of threatening stimuli

Psychological Research
Mark K. Britton, Brian A. Anderson
Belangrijke opmerkingen

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Aversive conditioning has been shown to influence the control of attention, such that aversively conditioned stimuli receive elevated priority. Although aversively conditioned but task-irrelevant distractors are known to capture attention during speeded search in rapid orienting tasks, it is unclear whether this bias extends to situations where orienting can be more deliberate. We demonstrate that punishment, via electric shock, does not give rise to oculomotor capture by shock-associated stimuli during a foraging task; rather, such aversively conditioned stimuli are actively avoided when searching through a display. On the other hand, even during a foraging task, we found some evidence for a covert attentional bias to threat. Our findings indicate that the previously described effects of aversive conditioning on visual search may not generalize beyond the initial glance and can be suppressed when conditions allow for more deliberate search strategies. More generally, our findings reveal that sustained attentional avoidance of aversively conditioned stimuli is possible during active search.

Log in om toegang te krijgen

Met onderstaand(e) abonnement(en) heeft u direct toegang:

BSL Psychologie Totaal

Met BSL Psychologie Totaal blijf je als professional steeds op de hoogte van de nieuwste ontwikkelingen binnen jouw vak. Met het online abonnement heb je toegang tot een groot aantal boeken, protocollen, vaktijdschriften en e-learnings op het gebied van psychologie en psychiatrie. Zo kun je op je gemak en wanneer het jou het beste uitkomt verdiepen in jouw vakgebied.

Over dit artikel