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Eye movement evidence for defocused attention in dysphoria - A perceptual span analysis

  • The defocused attention hypothesis (von Hecker and Meiser, 2005) assumes that negative mood broadens attention, whereas the analytical rumination hypothesis (Andrews and Thompson, 2009) suggests a narrowing of the attentional focus with depression. We tested these conflicting hypotheses by directly measuring the perceptual span in groups of dysphoric and control subjects, using eye tracking. In the moving window paradigm, information outside of a variable-width gaze-contingent window was masked during reading of sentences. In measures of sentence reading time and mean fixation duration, dysphoric subjects were more pronouncedly affected than controls by a reduced window size. This difference supports the defocused attention hypothesis and seems hard to reconcile with a narrowing of attentional focus.

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Author:Aneta Brzezicka, Izabela Krejtz, Ulrich von Hecker, Jochen LaubrockORCiDGND
ISSN:0167-8760 (print)
Parent Title (English):International journal of psychophysiology
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Defocused attention; Dysphoria; Eye tracking; Moving window paradigm; Perceptual span
First Page:129
Last Page:133
Funder:Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education [N106 017 31/1344]
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert