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Table 2 Studies selected for the review according to author, sample description, type of stimuli, and emotions

From: Facial expressions and eye tracking in individuals with social anxiety disorder: a systematic review

Authors Sample Apparatus Type of stimuli Emotions Method Time Main results
Horley et al. (2003) Clinical SAD patients (n = 15); controls (n = 15) CEDRIC Mark II Photographs Neutral, happy, and sadness Required to look at the fixation point for 1 s, just until the face appeared. Afterward, could freely look at the face 10 s Subjects with SAD: Lack of fixation for sadness and neutral; greater tracking length; tendency to avoid fixation on eyes, nose, and mouth; avoidance of eyes on sad faces
Horley et al. (2004) Clinical SAD patients (n = 22); controls (n = 22) CEDRIC Mark II Photographs Happy, sadness, anger, and neutral Looked freely at faces 10 s Subjects with SAD: Hypervigilance and avoidance of eyes in the case of anger
Garner et al. (2006) Exp. 1: (n = 40) students (control and SAD); Exp. 2: (n = 40) students (control and SAD) Eye Tracker and Gaze Tracker, Applied Science Laboratories, Model 504 Photographs of faces and domestic objects (e.g., chair, lamp, clock) Neutral, happy, and anger Exp. 1: Pair of images (neutral-emotion or neutral-object), subsequently replaced by two points (vertical or horizontal) in the position of one of the faces. Required to indicate the orientation of the points Exp. 2: Before Task 1 were instructed to present a speech to a camera 1.5 s Exp. 1: Subjects with SAD: First fixation and maintenance in the case of emotional faces; longer fixation time on neutral faces than on objects Exp. 2: Subjects with SAD: Shorter fixation latency for emotional faces but with shorter fixation time Both groups: Fixation first and gaze maintained for longer for faces as opposed to objects
Mühlberger et al. (2008) SAD students (n = 12); controls (n = 14) iView X Hi-Speed, SMI Virtual environments with elevator, person, or virtual object (e.g., bookcase) Anger and happy In an elevator with opening doors (on 60 floors) pairs of stimuli (two people with different expressions, one happy person and a bookcase, one angry person and a bookcase) were presented 6 s Subjects with SAD: Initially avoided the faces and avoided maintaining fixation on angry faces
Weiser et al. (2009b) n = 29 female students (separated into 2 groups) iView X Hi-Speed, SMI Virtual photographs Happy, anger, and neutral Explored a pair of faces (neutral-emotion). Afterward, judged the valence and arousal of the face 3 s Subjects with SAD: Hypervigilance in the first fixation in the case of emotions; attentional bias toward happy female faces; modest hypervigilance-avoidance regarding emotions
Weiser et al. (2009a) Students with high levels of SAD (n = 21); low levels of SAD (n = 21); controls (n = 20) iView X Hi-Speed, SMI Virtual photographs Happy, anger, sadness, fear, and neutral Faces presented at the sides of the screen. Required to perform prosaccades or antisaccades toward the faces, then judge the valence and arousal of the face 1 s Subjects with SAD: Antisaccades with more errors in response to all facial expressions Both groups: Correct antisaccades with more time in response to fearful faces
Moukheiber et al. (2010) SAD patients (n = 26); control (n = 24) EyeLink II Male and female photographs Happy, surprise, disgust, sadness, anger, fear, and neutral There was no participant task; subjects were required to hold the head still and, after cross-calibration in the middle of the screen between the pictures, to look at the pictures 10 s Subjects with SAD: Hyperscanning overview and a reduction in fixations and time for the eye region and to specific emotions, most notably anger and disgust. No difference was observed in relation to gaze avoidance according to the correspondence of the sex of the subject and that of the image
Lange et al. (2011) SAD students (n = 22); controls (n = 21) EyeLink V02.01 Photographs Anger, neutral, and happy Explore matrices of neutral-angry or happy-angry faces. Had to judge the matrices as friendly or not 500 ms or 2.5 s Subjects with SAD: Fixation on angry faces. Long presentation time: Quicker deviation if the original fixation was toward anger
Schofield et al. (2013) Clinical SAD patients (n = 19); controls (n = 20) EyeLink 1000 - SR Research Photographs Happy, fear, anger, and neutral Pairs of facial expressions (anger-neutral, fear-neutral, happy-neutral) replaced by a down or up arrow in the position of one of the faces. Required to indicate the arrow type 1.5 s Subjects with SAD: Similar fixation pattern toward emotion and neutral Controls: More fixation toward happy in the last moments of the presentation and less throughout the presentation in relation to negative emotions Two groups: Lower fixation latency for emotional faces
Finch et al. (2016) SAD students (n = 36); controls (n = 37) Tobii T120 eye-tracking system Photographs Anger, neutral, and happy Looked at pairs of facial expressions for 3000 ms in two stages: during the first 500 ms of exposure and during the remaining time 3 s Subjects with SAD: Initial bias toward social threat. In particular, socially anxious participants in the fear of death condition were vigilant in the detection of angry and happy faces
Boll et al. (2016) Clinical SAD patients (n = 22); controls (n = 22) EyeLink 1000 Grayscale photographs Anger, fear, happy, and neutral Exp 1: Rated the emotion of facial stimuli as quickly and accurately as possible Exp 2: Identified the target letter presented next to the facial stimuli as quickly and accurately as possible 150 ms or 3 s Exp 1: Patients with SAD: Hypervigilance in relation to the mouth area regardless of the type of emotional expression. There was no evidence of subsequent avoidance of looking toward the eye. Time difference in looking toward the eye between patients and controls. Exp 2: Patients with SAD were significantly slower than controls in identifying the target letter, but there was no significant difference with respect to the number of correct responses when identifying letters
Kim and Lee (2016) SAD students (n = 22); controls (n = 22) iView X RED-IV, SMI Face-body composites: consistent (same emotion) and inconsistent (different emotion) Anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and happy Looked at the picture and selected the emotional state that best described the presented individual 4 s Individuals with SAD: Hypervigilance without avoidance toward the face for consistent composite face and body images. There was an avoidance of faces without hypervigilance
Lazarov et al. (2016) Students with low levels of SAD (n = 20); students with high levels of SAD (n = 20); clinical SAD patients (n = 20) SMI BeGaze native software Color photographs of 16 male and 16 female actors Unpleasant and neutral expressions Looked freely at each matrix in any way desired until it disappeared. Student groups repeated the session after 1 week 6 s Session 1: All groups spent less fixation time on threatening faces than neutral faces. High SAD and clinical patient group: The fixation time was greater on threat than the low SAD group Session 2: High SAD group exhibited more fixation time on threat than the low SAD group. No significant difference was found in fixation time on neutral faces