Attentional bias during public speaking anxiety revealed using event-related potentials

Farah Shahnaz Feroz, Ahmad Rifhan Salman, Muhammad Hairulnizam Mat Ali, Afiq Idzudden Ismail, S. Indra Devi, S. K. Subramaniam


Analysis of brain signals and their properties provides valuable information regarding the underlying neural deficiencies and enables the diagnosis of attention bias related to public speaking anxiety (PSA). Although 25% people around the world suffer from PSA, currently, there exists a lack of standard assessment in diagnosing the severity of attention bias in individuals with PSA. This study aims to distinguish behavioral and neural abnormalities related to attentional bias during PSA by comparing reaction time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) correlates of high (H) PSA and low (L) PSA individuals. 12 individuals suffering from HPSA and 12 individuals with LPSA participated in the modified emotional Stroop experiment. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded with the low cost, 14-channel Emotiv Epoc+. RT showed slower responses, linked to attentional deficits in HPSA individuals. ERP results revealed the P200 emotional Stroop biomarker, found to be linked to attentional bias in HPSA, but not in LPSA individuals. These results revealed significant RT and P200 ERP abnormalities related to attentional bias in HPSA individuals using the low-cost Emotiv Epoc+.


Emotional Stroop; Emotiv; Event-related potentials; P200; Public speaking anxiety; EEG; Attention bias;

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