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Attention bias modification

Rebecca B Price, Meredith Wallace, Jennie M Kuckertz, Nader Amir, Simona Graur, Logan Cummings, Paul Popa, Per Carlbring, Yair Bar-Haim
Computer-based approaches, such as Attention Bias Modification (ABM), could help improve access to care for anxiety. Study-level meta-analyses of ABM have produced conflicting findings and leave critical questions unresolved regarding ABM's mechanisms of action and clinical potential. We pooled patient-level datasets from randomized controlled trials of children and adults with high-anxiety. Attentional bias (AB) towards threat, the target mechanism of ABM, was tested as an outcome and a mechanistic mediator and moderator of anxiety reduction...
September 20, 2016: Clinical Psychology Review
Gina R A Ferrari, Martin Möbius, Amras van Opdorp, Eni S Becker, Mike Rinck
To address shortcomings of purely reaction-time based attentional bias modification (ABM) paradigms, we developed an ABM task that is controlled by eye-tracking. This task allows to assess and train both disengagement from negative pictures and maintained attention to positive pictures. As a proof-of-principle study with an unselected student sample, this positive training (PT; N = 44) was compared to a negative training (NT; N = 42), which reinforced the opposite attentional pattern. Importantly, training trials were completed only if participants performed the correct gaze patterns...
2016: Cognitive Therapy and Research
R Nicholas Carleton, Michelle J N Teale Sapach, Chris Oriet, Daniel M LeBouthillier
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) models posit vigilance for external social threat cues and exacerbated self-focused attention as key in disorder development and maintenance. Evidence indicates a modified dot-probe protocol may reduce symptoms of SAD; however, the efficacy when compared to a standard protocol and long-term maintenance of treatment gains remains unclear. Furthermore, the efficacy of such protocols on SAD-related constructs remains relatively unknown. The current investigation clarified these associations using a randomized control trial replicating and extending previous research...
August 15, 2016: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Timo Brockmeyer, Ulrike Schmidt, Hans-Christoph Friederich
BACKGROUND: The core symptoms of bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) are recurrent episodes of binge eating. Despite negative psychological and physical consequences, BN/BED patients show uncontrollable approach tendencies towards food. This cognitive bias occurs at an early stage of information processing. Cognitive bias modification (CBM) directly targets such biases and has been shown to be effective in treating several mental disorders. In alcohol addiction, automatic action tendencies towards alcohol cues and relapse rates were successfully reduced by a specific form of CBM, termed approach bias modification...
September 26, 2016: Trials
Alicia M Hughes, Rola Gordon, Trudie Chalder, Colette R Hirsch, Rona Moss-Morris
BACKGROUND: There is an abundance of research into cognitive processing biases in clinical psychology including the potential for applying cognitive bias modification techniques to assess the causal role of biases in maintaining anxiety and depression. Within the health psychology field, there is burgeoning interest in applying these experimental methods to assess potential cognitive biases in relation to physical health conditions and health-related behaviours. Experimental research in these areas could inform theoretical development by enabling measurement of implicit cognitive processes that may underlie unhelpful illness beliefs and help drive health-related behaviours...
November 2016: British Journal of Health Psychology
J O Bowler, L Hoppitt, J Illingworth, T Dalgleish, M Ononaiye, G Perez-Olivas, B Mackintosh
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: It is well established that attention bias and interpretation bias each have a key role in the development and continuation of anxiety. How the biases may interact with one another in anxiety is, however, poorly understood. Using cognitive bias modification techniques, the present study examined whether training a more positive interpretation bias or attention bias resulted in transfer of effects to the untrained cognitive domain. Differences in anxiety reactivity to a real-world stressor were also assessed...
August 26, 2016: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Karin Mogg, Brendan P Bradley
Anxiety disorders are common and difficult to treat. Some cognitive models of anxiety propose that attention bias to threat causes and maintains anxiety. This view led to the development of a computer-delivered treatment: attention bias modification (ABM) which predominantly trains attention avoidance of threat. However, meta-analyses indicate disappointing effectiveness of ABM-threat-avoidance training in reducing anxiety. This article considers how ABM may be improved, based on a review of key ideas from models of anxiety, attention and cognitive control...
August 7, 2016: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Elise M Clerkin, Joshua C Magee, Tony T Wells, Courtney Beard, Nancy P Barnett
OBJECTIVE: Attention biases may be an important treatment target for both alcohol dependence and social anxiety. This is the first ABM trial to investigate two (vs. one) targets of attention bias within a sample with co-occurring symptoms of social anxiety and alcohol dependence. Additionally, we used trial-level bias scores (TL-BS) to capture the phenomena of attention bias in a more ecologically valid, dynamic way compared to traditional attention bias scores. METHOD: Adult participants (N = 86; 41% Female; 52% African American; 40% White) with elevated social anxiety symptoms and alcohol dependence were randomly assigned to an 8-session training condition in this 2 (Social Anxiety ABM vs...
August 18, 2016: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Marie Louise Reinholdt-Dunne, Sarah Ege
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is considered the treatment of choice for paediatric anxiety disorders, yet there remains substantial room for improvement in treatment outcomes. This paper examines whether theory and research into the role of information-processing in the underlying psychopathology of paediatric anxiety disorders indicate possibilities for improving treatment response. Using a critical review of recent theoretical, empirical and academic literature, the paper examines the role of information-processing biases in paediatric anxiety disorders, the extent to which CBT targets information-processing biases, and possibilities for improving treatment response...
September 1, 2016: Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review
E L de Voogd, R W Wiers, P J M Prins, P J de Jong, W J Boendermaker, R J Zwitser, E Salemink
Based on information processing models of anxiety and depression, we investigated the efficacy of multiple sessions of online attentional bias modification training to reduce attentional bias and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and to increase emotional resilience in youth. Unselected adolescents (N = 340, age: 11-18 years) were randomly allocated to eight sessions of a dot-probe, or a visual search-based attentional training, or one of two corresponding placebo control conditions. Cognitive and emotional measures were assessed pre- and post-training; emotional outcome measures also at three, six and twelve months follow-up...
August 24, 2016: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Iman Elfeddali, Hein de Vries, Catherine Bolman, Thomas Pronk, Reinout W Wiers
OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of a multiple-sessions Web-based Attentional Bias Modification (ABM) self-help intervention in 434 smokers who made a quit-attempt. METHOD: Respondents were randomized to receive 6 sessions of ABM- or placebo-training in a period of 2 weeks. Smoking-related cognitions (e.g., self-efficacy and intention to quit) and cognitive biases (i.e., attentional and approach bias) for smoking-cues were assessed before training (pretest). Primary outcome-variable was continued abstinence, 6 months after baseline...
August 2016: Health Psychology: Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Matt Field, Jessica Werthmann, Ingmar Franken, Wilhelm Hofmann, Lee Hogarth, Anne Roefs
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this article is to critically evaluate the following claims derived from contemporary theoretical models of attentional bias (AB) for food- and drug-related stimuli: (a) AB is a characteristic feature of obesity and addiction, (b) AB predicts future behavior, (c) AB exerts a causal influence on consummatory behavior, and (d) AB reflects appetitive motivational processes. METHOD: A focused discussion of the relevant literature is presented...
August 2016: Health Psychology: Official Journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Victoria Manning, Petra K Staiger, Kate Hall, Joshua B B Garfield, Gabriella Flaks, Daniel Leung, Laura K Hughes, Jarrad A G Lum, Dan I Lubman, Antonio Verdejo-Garcia
BACKGROUND: Relapse is common in alcohol-dependent individuals and can be triggered by alcohol-related cues in the environment. It has been suggested that these individuals develop cognitive biases, in which cues automatically capture attention and elicit an approach action tendency that promotes alcohol seeking. The study aim was to examine whether cognitive bias modification (CBM) training targeting approach bias could be delivered during residential alcohol detoxification and improve treatment outcomes...
September 2016: Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
Colin MacLeod, Ben Grafton
In this review of research concerning anxiety-linked attentional bias, we seek to illustrate a general principle that we contend applies across the breadth of experimental psychopathology. Specifically, we highlight how maintenance of a clear distinction between process and procedure serves to enhance the advancement of knowledge and understanding, while failure to maintain this distinction can foster confusion and misconception. We show how such clear differentiation has permitted the continuous refinement of assessment procedures, in ways that have led to growing confidence in the existence of the putative attentional bias process of interest, and also increasing understanding of its nature...
November 2016: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Lee Pergamin-Hight, Daniel S Pine, Nathan A Fox, Yair Bar-Haim
BACKGROUND: Attention bias modification treatment (ABMT) targets threat-related attention biases in anxiety disorders. Most clinical trials of ABMT have focused on adults or small samples of youth. The current randomized controlled trial (RCT) examines ABMT efficacy in youth with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and tests possible moderators of treatment outcomes. METHOD: Sixty-seven youth with SAD were randomly assigned to ABMT or attention control training (ACT) conditions...
July 20, 2016: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
Amanda Fitzgerald, Caroline Rawdon, Barbara Dooley
The current study aimed to examine the efficacy of attention bias modification (ABM) training to reduce social anxiety in a community-based sample of adolescents 15-18 years. The study used a single-blind, parallel group, randomized controlled trial design (Clinical Trials ID: NCT02270671). Participants were screened in second-level schools using a social anxiety questionnaire. 130 participants scoring ≥24 on the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C) were randomized to the ABM training (n = 66)/placebo (n = 64) group, 120 of which completed pre-, post-, and 12-week follow-up data collection including threat bias, anxiety, and depression measures...
September 2016: Behaviour Research and Therapy
I Wald, E Fruchter, K Ginat, E Stolin, D Dagan, P D Bliese, P J Quartana, M L Sipos, D S Pine, Y Bar-Haim
BACKGROUND: Efficacy of pre-trauma prevention for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has not yet been established in a randomized controlled trial. Attention bias modification training (ABMT), a computerized intervention, is thought to mitigate stress-related symptoms by targeting disruptions in threat monitoring. We examined the efficacy of ABMT delivered before combat in mitigating risk for PTSD following combat. METHOD: We conducted a double-blind, four-arm randomized controlled trial of 719 infantry soldiers to compare the efficacy of eight sessions of ABMT (n = 179), four sessions of ABMT (n = 184), four sessions of attention control training (ACT; n = 180), or no-training control (n = 176)...
September 2016: Psychological Medicine
J O Bowler, K J Bartholomew, I Kellar, B Mackintosh, L Hoppitt, A P Bayliss
BACKGROUND: Noxious attentional bias is thought to confer vulnerability to pain, suggesting that modifying the bias could reduce pain outcomes. Herein is presented a randomized controlled trial to test the effects of retraining the dot probe attentional bias at short versus long stimulus durations towards neutral stimuli, and away from threat stimuli, on acute pain experience, in comparison with a placebo control group. METHODS: Eighty-one pain-free volunteers, blinded to condition, were randomized to complete either one of two neutral bias modification programs in which words were presented for 500 ms (ABM-500; n = 28) or 1250 ms (ABM-1250; n = 26), or to a sham training program that included both stimulus durations (ABM-Placebo; n = 27)...
June 28, 2016: European Journal of Pain: EJP
Jemma Todd, Louise Sharpe, Ben Colagiuri
There is growing evidence to support attentional bias modification (ABM) techniques such as the modified dot-probe task within the pain literature. Such techniques can help to inform theoretical models of pain by identifying the causal role of attentional bias constructs. The aim of this research was to explore the effects of dot-probe ABM that trains individuals towards (+) or away from (-) sensory (S) and affective (A) pain words, on attentional biases, interpretation biases, and pain outcomes. Healthy undergraduate students (N = 106) completed questionnaires, an attentional bias dot-probe task, and an interpretation bias task before and after ABM, one of four ABM versions that differed in training direction (S+A+, S-A+, S+A-, S-A-), and pain outcomes using the cold pressor task...
August 2016: Behaviour Research and Therapy
Seth G Disner, Christopher G Beevers, Francisco Gonzalez-Lima
BACKGROUND: Low-level light therapy (LLLT) with transcranial laser is a non-invasive form of neuroenhancement shown to regulate neuronal metabolism and cognition. Attention bias modification (ABM) is a cognitive intervention designed to improve depression by decreasing negative attentional bias, but to date its efficacy has been inconclusive. Adjunctive neuroenhancement to augment clinical effectiveness has shown promise, particularly for individuals who respond positively to the primary intervention...
September 2016: Brain Stimulation
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