Automatic visual-spatial perspective taking in alcohol-dependence: a study with happy emotional faces

Journal article


Cox, SA, Maurage, P, O'Connor, R, Chandler, C and Riggs, K (2018). Automatic visual-spatial perspective taking in alcohol-dependence: a study with happy emotional faces. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 190, pp. 42-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.05.025
AuthorsCox, SA, Maurage, P, O'Connor, R, Chandler, C and Riggs, K
Abstract

Background: Understanding the world from another’s perspective is an important and potentially automatic human process which is crucial for efficient social interactions. However, whilst deficits have been repeatedly described for various interpersonal abilities in alcohol-dependence (AD), only one previous study has investigated perspective taking in this pathology. Aim: The aim of the current study was to explore further how AD affects visual-spatial perspective taking (VSPT) by examining the effect of positive emotional stimuli on VSPT in both an AD and non-AD sample. Methods: Reaction times (RT) for simple spatial judgements were measured. Participants made these judgements from their own perspective, but judgements were either congruent or incongruent with the perspective of another agent. The emotion conveyed by that agent (happy or neutral) was manipulated across trials. Results: Compared to baseline, both AD and non-AD groups displayed delayed RTs for spatial judgements when these were incongruent with the perspective of a happy agent (the expected VSPT RT cost, indicating automatic VSPT). The AD, but not the non-AD group, further displayed a VSPT RT cost when the agent expressed a neutral emotion. Conclusion: There was no evidence that automatic VSPT was compromised by AD. However, as in previous research, AD was associated with differences in the processing of emotional stimuli. Future research should explore which ‘real-world’ settings are likely to trigger social confusion and misunderstanding.

KeywordsAlcohol-dependence; perspective taking; social processing; emotion; 11 Medical And Health Sciences; 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences; Substance Abuse
Year2018
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Journal citation190, pp. 42-45
PublisherElsevier
ISSN0376-8716
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.05.025
Publication dates
Print26 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited25 May 2018
Accepted21 May 2018
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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