Extensive research has demonstrated the effects of threat-related attentional bias on anxiety and stress-related disorders. This review summarizes recent findings from clinical affective neuroscience. It takes a multilevel analysis approach by presenting behavioral and neural findings from studies conducted in laboratories, clinical settings, and real-life situations. Building on recent findings, we propose a new working model linking individual tendencies to attend or avoid threats with the level of danger in a given context. Namely, adaptive or pathological response is determined by threat-monitoring flexibility and plasticity in an ever-changing environment. The review culminates by describing the potential therapeutic value of attention-bias modification in the treatment of anxiety and stress-related disorders.
- attention bias
- attention-bias modification