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Title: Defensive responses to threat in chronic facial pain
Author: Sambo, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 8873
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Aims: State anxiety is defined as an acute response to a threatening situation. On the other hand, trait anxiety refers to a relatively enduring tendency to experience anxious reactions. This review paper aimed to examine the association between state and trait anxiety and defensive responses to threat in healthy individuals. Methods: A systematic search of the literature published in English in the past 20 years was conducted. The main inclusion criteria were: the use of quantitative procedures to manipulate and/or measure anxiety, and the use of the eye-blink reflex as a measure of defensive responses. Results: The literature search identified 31 relevant articles. The review of the studies revealed a positive association between state anxiety and the eye-blink magnitude in the context of external threat stimuli, and weak or no effects for interoceptive threats. There was also some indication that high trait anxiety may be linked to increased defensive responses to stimuli that are not very threatening. Conclusions: These results are consistent with the function of the eye-blink reflex of protecting the eye from external danger, such as an approaching object. The findings are also in agreement with the notion that appropriate levels of anxiety may improve the ability to detect danger and protect oneself from it, while long-lasting anxiety may be maladaptive, leading to ineffective defensive responses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available