Behavioral and psychophysiological correlates of self‐presentation in temperamentally shy children
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We examined temporal changes in behavior, regional brain electrical activity (EEG), heart rate, cardiac vagal tone, the startle eyeblink response, and salivary cortisol during a task designed to elicit self-presentation anxiety in a group of 7-year-olds, some of whom were classified as temperamentally shy. We found that temperamentally shy children displayed a significantly greater increase in anxious behavior, a greater increase in right, but not left, frontal EEG activity, and a greater increase in heart rate as the task became more demanding compared with their nonshy counterparts. However, the results failed to reveal any significant group differences on the startle eyeblink and salivary cortisol measures. The present findings extend our prior work, in which we found distinct patterns of psychophysiological activity on baseline measures, to differences on psychophysiological measures collected concurrently during a socially evaluative situation in temperamentally shy children.
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