ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 5, Issue 1, 83-96, 2014
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Social Anxiety Disorder and Global/Local Performance on a Visuospatial Processing Task

Authors
Meghan W. Cody(a),(c), Elise M. Clerkin(b), Elizabeth S. Stevens(c), Melissa L. Gasser(c), Michelle L. Pasciuti(c), and Bethany A. Teachman(c)
(a) Department of Psychology, University of Memphis; Memphis, TN
(b) Department of Psychology, Miami University; Oxford, OH
(c) Department of Psychology, University of Virginia; Charlottesville, VA

Volume 5, Issue 1, 2014, Pages 83-96
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.035013

Abstract
Few research studies have examined differences in processing "big-picture," global stimuli versus detailed, local stimuli in individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Similarly, little is known about the impact of a social stressor on cognitive functioning in SAD. This study explores differences in memory for global and local visuospatial information between participants with SAD (n = 37) and non-anxious control participants (n = 40) using the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test. Half of the participants were exposed to a social stressor (anticipating giving a speech) while they completed the task. Two scoring subscales were used to distinguish between reproduction of global elements and local features on Copy, Immediate Recall, and Delayed Recall trials. Results indicated that participants with SAD who were not exposed to the social stressor performed more poorly at reproducing local elements on the Copy trial, compared to participants in the SAD-stressor present group and both control groups. Additionally, control participants, but not those with SAD, demonstrated improvement in memory for global elements from Immediate to Delayed Recall trials. These results suggest that trait social anxiety impairs consolidation of global visuospatial information over time, and interacts with the presence of a state stressor to affect reproduction of details.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Method
 Participants
 Social Stressor
 Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test
 Anxiety Measures
 Procedure
  Visit 1.
  Visit 2.
 Data Analyses
Results
 Sample Characteristics
 Effects of Social Stressor Condition on Self-Reported Anticipatory Anxiety
 Trait Social Anxiety and State Stressor Effects on Overall RCFT Performance
 Trait Social Anxiety and State Stressor Effects on Global and Local Processing
Discussion
 Limitations and Conclusions
Acknowledgements
References

Correspondence to
Meghan Cody at the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis; 400 Innovation Drive; Memphis, TN 38152; USA.

Keywords
Social Anxiety Disorder, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, global/local processing, memory, attention

Dates
Received 8 Feb 2013; Revised 9 Aug 2013; Accepted 12 Aug 2013; In Press 30 Mar 2014







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