Will they like me? Neural and behavioral responses to social-evaluative peer feedback in socially and non-socially anxious females

Melle J.W. van der Molen*, Anita Harrewijn, P. Michiel Westenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study examined neural and behavioral responses to social-evaluative feedback processing in social anxiety. Twenty-two non-socially and 17 socially anxious females (mean age = 19.57 years) participated in a Social Judgment Paradigm in which they received peer acceptance/rejection feedback that was either congruent or incongruent with their prior predictions. Results indicated that socially anxious participants believed they would receive less social acceptance feedback than non-socially anxious participants. EEG results demonstrated that unexpected social rejection feedback elicited a significant increase in theta (4–8 Hz) power relative to other feedback conditions. This theta response was only observed in non-socially anxious individuals. Together, results corroborate cognitive-behavioral studies demonstrating a negative expectancy bias in socially anxiety with respect to social evaluation. Furthermore, the present findings highlight a functional role for theta oscillatory dynamics in processing cues that convey social-evaluative threat, and this social threat-monitoring mechanism seems less sensitive in socially anxious females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-28
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume135
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

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