ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (3): 392-401.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00392

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The feature and neural mechanism of attentional bias among individuals with insecure attachment

MA Yuanxiao; RAN Guangming; CHEN Xu   

  1. (Department of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400700, China)
  • Received:2015-03-05 Online:2016-03-15 Published:2016-03-15
  • Contact: CHEN Xu, E-mail:


The attentional bias of individuals with insecure attachment refers to the fact that individuals with certain traits generate the attention of preference, attached or avoidant, responding to the attachment information, which allows individuals to form a specific cognitive mechanism dealing with the relationships with attachment figures: The avoidant individuals prefer defensive mechanisms and tend to shy away from the attachment information; the anxious individuals are in favor of exaggerated mechanisms, incline to exaggerate the threatening information, pay more attention to the threatening information and thus seek closeness to attachment figures actively. In the study of behaviors, the attentional bias of individuals with insecure attachment mainly reflects on emotional information, spacial allocation, pain sensation and working memory; about the EEG index, it mainly involves P1, N1 and LPP waves, which respectively represent automatic attention processing and controlled attention processing; on the part of brain network, it mainly includes limbic system which is responsible for the assessment of emotion and neural networks which are in charge of emotion management and represented by prefrontal cortex. Future studies should focus on ecological validity of stimuli, inspection on whether attachment system is activated or not, the relationship between automatic processing and controlled processing stages to attentional bias, the molecular genetic mechanism which results in the attentional bias of individuals with insecure attachment and the cross-culture study of attentional bias.

Key words: anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, attentional bias, behavior characteristics, neural mechanism