Behavioral and neural stability of attention bias to threat in healthy adolescents

Lauren K. White, Jennifer C. Britton, Stefanie Sequeira, Emily G. Ronkin, Gang Chen, Yair Bar-Haim, Tomer Shechner, Monique Ernst, Nathan A. Fox, Ellen Leibenluft, Daniel S. Pine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Considerable translational research on anxiety examines attention bias to threat and the efficacy of attention training in reducing symptoms. Imaging research on the stability of brain functions engaged by attention bias tasks could inform such research. Perturbed fronto-amygdala function consistently arises in attention bias research on adolescent anxiety. The current report examines the stability of the activation and functional connectivity of these regions on the dot-probe task. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation and connectivity data were acquired with the dot-probe task in 39 healthy youth (f = 18, Mean Age = 13.71 years, SD = 2.31) at two time points, separated by approximately nine weeks. Intraclass-correlations demonstrate good reliability in both neural activation for the ventrolateral PFC and task-specific connectivity for fronto-amygdala circuitry. Behavioral measures showed generally poor test-retest reliability. These findings suggest potential avenues for future brain imaging work by highlighting brain circuitry manifesting stable functioning on the dot-probe attention bias task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-93
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Anxiety
  • Attention bias
  • FMRI
  • Fronto-amygdala connectivity
  • Reliability
  • vlPFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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