Event-related potentials of attentional bias in the facial dot-probe task: a systematic review

Robert D Torrence, Lucy Troup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


The dot-probe task is a common task to assess attentional bias toward different stimuli and how groups differ (e.g., attentional bias in anxiety disorders). However, measuring reaction time has been suggested to be unreliable. Neuroimaging methods such as fMRI were shown to be more reliable in assessing attentional bias, but fMRI has poor temporal resolution and therefore cannot assess timing of attention. ERPs have been used to examine the time course of attentional bias. Although ERP research may be more reliable than reaction time, there have been inconsistencies in the literature. This review systematically searched for articles that used the dot-probe task with facial expressions and measured neural correlates with ERP. We found that some of the inconsistencies might be the cause of methodological differences (e.g., timing of stimuli), differences in emotional expression, and/or sample differences (e.g., sex, age, etc.). Suggestions on how future research could address the issues presented in this review were discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date20 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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