Copyright ©The Author(s) 2017.
World J Psychiatr. Sep 22, 2017; 7(3): 133-147
Published online Sep 22, 2017. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v7.i3.133
Table 1 Eye-tracking differences across DSM diagnoses
Eye tracker information pertinent to differential diagnosisAnxietyGeneralized anxiety disorderDepressionPhobiaSADPost-traumatic stress disorderObsessive compulsive disorderAttention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Attentional Bias (the tendency to attend to certain stimuli at the expense of others)Tend to focus on threatening stimuli. Selectively attend to more threatening stimuliTend to focus on mood-congruent stimuli (e.g., SAD, negative)Tend to avoid feared stimuliMore sensitive to faces showing emotion over neutral facesTend to focus on threatening stimuliTend to focus on aversive stimuli
Orienting Bias (faster detection of certain stimuli)Faster detection of threatening stimuliFaster detection of threatening stimuli. Orientation to threatening faces before neutral facesSlower to detect threatening stimuli (compared to anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder)Faster orientation to feared stimulusFaster detection of threatening stimuli
Frequency of eye movementsHigher frequency of eye-movementsHigher frequency of eye-movementsSlower frequency of eye movements than in anxiety or generalized anxiety disorderMore fixations during a visual search task than anxiety and nonclinical populationsHigher frequency of eye movements
Engagement/disengagement of stimuliAfter detecting feared stimulus, quick disengagement with the stimulusTakes longer to disengage from a threatening facial expression than other expressionsDo not show the same type of disengagement as people with a phobias
Stimulus avoidanceLack of interest in positive stimuli - focus instead on mood-congruent stimuliAfter detecting feared stimulus - quick disengagement and avoidance of feared stimulusAvoidance of eye-contact and faces in general, even if faces are pleasant. Correlation between severity of SAD and the amount of gaze avoidance
Fixations, saccades, and pupil dilationMake less fixations (closer to nonclinical populations) than people with obsessive compulsive disorder during a visual search taskLonger fixations on mood-congruent stimuli than those who have anxietyGreater pupil dilation in general than nonclinical populationsLonger and more frequent fixations towards aversive stimuli. Deficits in goal-oriented visual tasks (higher error rates, inaccurate eye movements for the specific task)Premature saccades occur more frequently than in nonclinical populations. Higher error rates on anti-saccades tasks than non-clinical populations