The study investigated biases for negative information in component processes of visual attention (initial shift vs. maintenance of gaze) in dysphoric and nondysphoric individuals. Eye movements were recorded while participants viewed a series of picture pairs depicting negative, positive, and neutral scenes (each pair presented for 3 s). Biases in initial orienting were assessed from the direction and latency of the initial shift in gaze, whereas biases in the maintenance of attention were assessed from the duration of gaze on the picture that was initially fixated. Results indicated that the dysphoric group showed a significantly greater bias to maintain gaze longer on negative pictures, relative to control pictures, compared with the nondysphoric group. There was no evidence of a dysphoria-related bias in initial shift of orienting to negative cues. Results are consistent with a depression-related bias that operates in the maintenance of attention on negative material
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