JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Untangling attention bias modification from emotion: A double-blind randomized experiment with individuals with social anxiety disorder

Alexandre Heeren, Charlotte Coussement, Richard J McNally
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 2016, 50: 61-7
26048065

BACKGROUND: Uncertainty abounds regarding the putative mechanisms of attention bias modification (ABM). Although early studies showed that ABM reduced anxiety proneness more than control procedures lacking a contingency between cues and probes, recent work suggests that the latter performed just as well as the former did. In this experiment, we investigated a non-emotional mechanism that may play a role in ABM.

METHODS: We randomly assigned 62 individuals with a DSM-IV diagnosis of social anxiety disorder to a single-session of a non-emotional contingency training, non-emotional no-contingency training, or control condition controlling for potential practice effects. Working memory capacity and anxiety reactivity to a speech challenge were assessed before and after training.

RESULTS: Consistent with the hypothesis of a practice effect, the three groups likewise reported indistinguishably significant improvement in self-report and behavioral measures of speech anxiety as well as in working memory. Repeating the speech task twice may have had anxiolytic benefits.

LIMITATIONS: The temporal separation between baseline and post-training assessment as well as the scope of the training sessions could be extended.

CONCLUSIONS: The current findings are at odds with the hypothesis that the presence of visuospatial contingency between non-emotional cues and probes produces anxiolytic benefits. They also show the importance of including a credible additional condition controlling for practice effects.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
26048065
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"