The neural correlates of impaired inhibitory control in anxiety.
Ansari TL., Derakshan N.
According to Attentional Control Theory (Eysenck et al., 2007) anxiety impairs the inhibition function of working memory by increasing the influence of stimulus-driven processes over efficient top-down control. We investigated the neural correlates of impaired inhibitory control in anxiety using an antisaccade task. Low- and high-anxious participants performed anti- and prosaccade tasks and electrophysiological activity was recorded. Consistent with previous research high-anxious individuals had longer antisaccade latencies in response to the to-be-inhibited target, compared with low-anxious individuals. Central to our predictions, high-anxious individuals showed lower ERP activity, at frontocentral and central recording sites, than low anxious individuals, in the period immediately prior to onset of the to-be-inhibited target on correct antisaccade trials. Our findings indicate that anxiety interferes with the efficient recruitment of top-down mechanisms required for the suppression of prepotent responses. Implications are discussed within current models of attentional control in anxiety (Bishop, 2009; Eysenck et al., 2007).