ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (11): 1853-1862.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01853

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The current status and controversy of inhibitory control deficits in anxiety: A perspective from attentional control theory

WEI Hua1, ZHOU Renlai1,2()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science of Ministry of Education, Research Center for Learning Science, School of Biological Sciences & Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China;
    2 Department of Psychology, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2018-12-14 Online:2019-10-31 Published:2019-09-23
  • Contact: ZHOU Renlai


According to attentional control theory, anxiety could impair the inhibitory control. Although this hypothesis has been supported by numerous behavioral and neurophysiological evidences, there is considerable controversy on whether the high anxiety individual increases or decreases the top-down attentional resources in order to accomplish the inhibitory control task. This problem may be caused by a variety of factors. The theoretical interpretation itself has obvious deficiencies. Moreover, multiple extraneous variables results in lower reliability and validity of the empirical research results. To resolve this controversy, future research should try to explore the relationship between anxiety level, attentional control level and inhibitory control.

Key words: anxiety, inhibitory control deficit, attentional control theory, attentional control

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