The ability to flexible deploy attention during emotion processing is thought to play a crucial role in resilience to stress and healthy emotion regulation. Relatedly, according to cognitive models of anxiety and depression, impairments at this level may play an important role in mood disorders, where there often is exacerbated attention for (negative) emotional information. The present project aims to examine these ideas
using innovative tasks where attention needs to switched flexibly between affective and non-affective features of stimuli (faces). The project will examine (1) the influence of attentional flexibility during emotion processing on emotion regulation and resilience to stress; (2) attentional inflexibility during emotion processing in anxiety and depression; (3) neural mechanisms associated with attentional flexibility during emotion processing in healthy and individuals at risk for mood disorders. Information on this topic helps to further understand the influence of attention on well-being and mood disorders and may provide important new insights into cognitive risk for mood disorders and potential ways to remediate these risk factors.