Attention to novelty in behaviorally inhibited adolescents moderates risk for anxiety

Bethany C. Reeb-Sutherland, Ross E. Vanderwert, Kathryn A. Degnan, Peter J. Marshall, Koraly Pérez-Edgar, Andrea Chronis-Tuscano, Daniel S. Pine, Nathan A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Individual differences in specific components of attention contribute to behavioral reactivity and regulation. Children with the temperament of behavioral inhibition (BI) provide a good context for considering the manner in which certain components of attention shape behavior. Infants and children characterized as behaviorally inhibited manifest signs of heightened orienting to novelty. The current study considers whether this attention profile moderates risk for clinical anxiety disorders among adolescents with a history of BI. Methods: Participants were assessed at multiple time points for BI, beginning in early childhood. At adolescence, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a three-stimulus auditory novelty oddball task, which employed frequent standard and infrequent deviant tones as well as a set of complex, novel sounds. Clinical diagnosis was carried out using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL). P3 and mismatch negativity (MMN) components were examined at midline frontal, central, and parietal electrode sites. Results: Individuals who displayed high levels of BI during childhood and increased P3 amplitude to novelty in adolescence were more likely to have a history of anxiety disorders compared to behaviorally inhibited adolescents with lower P3 amplitudes. Groups did not differ on measures of MMN. Conclusions: Increased neural responses to novelty moderate risk for anxiety disorders amongst individuals with a history of BI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1365-1372
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Attention to novelty in behaviorally inhibited adolescents moderates risk for anxiety'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this