Skip to main content


Swipe om te navigeren naar een ander artikel

04-06-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 6/2015

Cognitive Therapy and Research 6/2015

Visual Attention to Threat-Related Faces and Delusion-Proneness: An Eye Tracking Study Using Dynamic Stimuli

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 6/2015
Tobias E. Hillmann, Jürgen Kempkensteffen, Tania M. Lincoln


Visual attention to threat-related facial expressions possibly contributes to delusion formation and maintenance and may serve as a vulnerability marker. The aim of the present study was to examine visual attention to threat-related facial expressions using dynamic stimuli in people with differing levels of delusion-proneness. We expected that threat-relevant facial expressions would attract more foveal attention compared to neutral faces. Additionally, we hypothesized that more delusion-prone individuals would show foveal avoidance and that this avoidance would occur particularly in the visual processing of threat-related faces. In a quasi-experimental design we categorized our sample by the paranoia checklist (PCL) into a high-PCL (n = 25) and low-PCL (n = 30) group. The participants’ task was to view emotional facial expressions in validated film sequences while eye movements were measured. A mixed ANOVA for the number of fixations and equivalent non-parametric tests for fixation time were conducted. Both groups spent significantly more time viewing relevant features in threat-related faces compared to neutral faces. A significant main effect for group indicated fewer fixations in the high-PCL group compared to the low-PCL group for all faces. A significant Group × Affect interaction indicated that the number of fixations differed between the high-PCL group and the low-PCL group depending on whether the faces displayed neutral or threat-related expressions. The findings suggest that higher delusion-proneness is already associated with a deviant style of visually attending to facial expressions even in people who do not have a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia. This style may thus be a vulnerability marker for psychosis.

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

Andere artikelen Uitgave 6/2015

Cognitive Therapy and Research 6/2015 Naar de uitgave