Cognitive-behavioral models of social anxiety propose that self-focused attention (SFA) and other-focused attention (OFA) are central to social fear, but few studies have simultaneously investigated both in social situations. We investigated brain activity changes following manipulation of SFA and OFA during speech tasks using near-infrared spectroscopy and eye-tracking. The 39 healthy participants performed speech tasks in SFA, OFA, and control conditions. Greater oxy-Hb responses in the right frontopolar area and the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for condition SFA versus control were related to the subjective measurements of SFA, and activity in the frontopolar area was positively correlated with eye movements that avoided displays of negative gestures by an audience. In the OFA condition, greater oxy-Hb responses in the left superior temporal gyrus for condition OFA versus control were related to those of OFA, although no significant eye movement pattern was observed. In sum, SFA and OFA could be captured as pretty independent attentional processes and SFA might have more effects in social fear in the present experimental setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Clinical Psychology