Picard, Delphine; Zarhbouch, Benaissa
A leftward spatial bias in drawing placement was demonstrated by Heller (1991) using the draw-a-person test with right-handed American children. No such bias was observed in left-handed children who are assumed to be less lateralised than their right-handed peers. According to Heller the leftward spatial bias is primarily a reflection of the right hemisphere specialisation for spatial processing. However, an alternative explanation in terms of directional trends may be put forward. In the present study we first confirm Heller's findings of a handedness effect on drawing placement using the draw-a-tree task with a large sample of right- and left-handed French children aged 5-15 years (Exp. 1). We then provide evidence that a similar leftward bias occurs in right-handed Moroccan children aged 7-11 years with opposite script directionality and opposite preferred drawing movement directions (i.e., right-to-left directional trends) to the those of right-handed French children (Exp. 2). Taken together these findings suggest that directionality trends arising from learned cultural habits and motor preferences play little role in determining spatial bias in the centring of a single object drawn on a page. Rather there may be a cerebral origin for drawing single objects slightly on the left side of the graphic space.
Hunt, Edmund R; O'Shea-Wheller, Thomas; Albery, Gregory F; Bridger, Tamsyn H; Gumn, Mike; Franks, Nigel R
Behavioural lateralization in invertebrates is an important field of study because it may provide insights into the early origins of lateralization seen in a diversity of organisms. Here, we present evidence for a leftward turning bias in Temnothorax albipennis ants exploring nest cavities and in branching mazes, where the bias is initially obscured by thigmotaxis (wall-following) behaviour. Forward travel with a consistent turning bias in either direction is an effective nest exploration method, and a simple decision-making heuristic to employ when faced with multiple directional choices. Replication of the same bias at the colony level would also reduce individual predation risk through aggregation effects, and may lead to a faster attainment of a quorum threshold for nest migration. We suggest the turning bias may be the result of an evolutionary interplay between vision, exploration and migration factors, promoted by the ants' eusociality.
James A Schirillo
Full Text Available Portrait painters are experts at examining faces and since emotional content may be expressed differently on each side of the face, consider that Rembrandt biased his male portraits to show their right cheek more often and female portraits to show their left cheek more often. This raises questions regarding the emotional significance of such biased positions. I presented rightward and leftward facing male and female portraits. I measured observers’ pupil size while asking observers to report how (displeasing they found each image. This was a methodological improvement over the type of research initially done by Eckhard Hess who claimed that pupils dilate to pleasant images and constrict to unpleasant images. His work was confounded since his images’ luminances and contrasts across conditions were inconsistent potentially affecting pupil size. To overcome this limitation I presented rightward or leftward facing male and female portraits by Rembrandt to observers in either their original or mirror-reversed position. I found that in viewing male portraits pupil diameter was a function of arousal. That is, larger pupil diameter occurred for images rated both low and high in pleasantness. This was not the case with female portraits. I discuss these findings in regard to the perceived dominance of males and how emotional expressions may be driven by hemispheric laterality.
Nicholls, Michael E R; Roberts, Georgina R
Judgments of relative magnitude between the left and right sides of a stimulus are generally weighted toward the features contained on the left side. This leftward perceptual bias could be the result of, (a) left-to-right scanning biases, (b) pre-motor activation of the right hemisphere, or (c) a left hemispatial attentional bias. The relative merits of these explanations of perceptual asymmetry were investigated. In Experiment 1, English and Hebrew readers made luminance judgements for two left/right mirror-reversed luminance gradients (greyscales task). Despite different reading/scanning habits, both groups exhibited a leftward perceptual bias. English and Hebrew readers also performed a line bisection task. Scanning biases were controlled by asking participants to follow a marker as it moved left-to-right or right-to-left and then stop it as it reached the midpoint of the line. Despite controlling scanning, a leftward bias was observed in both groups. In Experiment 2, peripheral spatial cues were presented prior to the greyscales stimuli. English readers showed a reduction in the leftward bias for right-sided cues as compared to left-sided and neutral cues. Right-side cues presumably overcame a pre-existing leftward attentional bias. In both experiments, pre-motor activation was controlled using bimanual responses. Despite this control, a leftward bias was observed throughout the study. The data support the attentional bias account of leftward perceptual biases over the scanning and pre-motor activation accounts. Whether or not unilateral hemispheric activation provides an adequate account of this attentional bias is discussed.
DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD/2 RPD) performed a v...
DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice
Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention, whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD, 2 RPD) performed a visual search task before and after 1 month of computer training. Before training, all participants showed a significant spatial bias and after training, all participants' spatial bias was eliminated.
R Innes, Bobby; Burt, D Michael; Birch, Yan K; Hausmann, Markus
Left hemiface biases observed within the Emotional Chimeric Face Task (ECFT) support emotional face perception models whereby all expressions are preferentially processed by the right hemisphere. However, previous research using this task has not considered that the visible midline between hemifaces might engage atypical facial emotion processing strategies in upright or inverted conditions, nor controlled for left visual field (thus right hemispheric) visuospatial attention biases. This study used novel emotional chimeric faces (blended at the midline) to examine laterality biases for all basic emotions. Left hemiface biases were demonstrated across all emotional expressions and were reduced, but not reversed, for inverted faces. The ECFT bias in upright faces was significantly increased in participants with a large attention bias. These results support the theory that left hemiface biases reflect a genuine bias in emotional face processing, and this bias can interact with attention processes similarly localized in the right hemisphere.
Full Text Available Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math. Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of math anxiety and 13 with low levels of math anxiety were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of 6 types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, were presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks. Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in math anxiety. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words. These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense math anxiety symptoms.
Rubinsten, Orly; Eidlin, Hili; Wohl, Hadas; Akibli, Orly
Cognitive theory from the field of general anxiety suggests that the tendency to display attentional bias toward negative information results in anxiety. Accordingly, the current study aims to investigate whether attentional bias is involved in math anxiety (MA) as well (i.e., a persistent negative reaction to math). Twenty seven participants (14 with high levels of MA and 13 with low levels of MA) were presented with a novel computerized numerical version of the well established dot probe task. One of six types of prime stimuli, either math related or typically neutral, was presented on one side of a computer screen. The prime was preceded by a probe (either one or two asterisks) that appeared in either the prime or the opposite location. Participants had to discriminate probe identity (one or two asterisks). Math anxious individuals reacted faster when the probe was at the location of the numerical related stimuli. This suggests the existence of attentional bias in MA. That is, for math anxious individuals, the cognitive system selectively favored the processing of emotionally negative information (i.e., math related words). These findings suggest that attentional bias is linked to unduly intense MA symptoms.
Anderson, Brian A
Paying attention to stimuli that predict a reward outcome is important for an organism to survive and thrive. When visual stimuli are associated with tangible, extrinsic rewards such as money or food, these stimuli acquire high attentional priority and come to automatically capture attention. In humans and other primates, however, many behaviors are not motivated directly by such extrinsic rewards, but rather by the social feedback that results from performing those behaviors. In the present study, I examine whether positive social feedback can similarly influence attentional bias. The results show that stimuli previously associated with a high probability of positive social feedback elicit value-driven attentional capture, much like stimuli associated with extrinsic rewards. Unlike with extrinsic rewards, however, such stimuli also influence task-specific motivation. My findings offer a potential mechanism by which social reward shapes the information that we prioritize when perceiving the world around us.
Hutchison, Jennifer; Thomas, Nicole A; Elias, Lorin
It has been reliably shown that light is assumed to come from above. There is also some suggestion that light from the left might be preferred. Leftward lighting biases have been observed across various mediums such as paintings, portraits, photographs, and advertisements. As advertisements are used to persuade the public to purchase products, it was of interest to better understand whether leftward lighting would influence future intention to purchase. Participants gave preference ratings for pairs of advertisements with opposing lighting directions. Attitude towards the advertisement and the brand as well as future purchase intention was then rated. Overall, participants indicated that they preferred advertisements with leftward lighting and were more likely to purchase these products in the future than when the same products were lit from the right. Findings are consistent with previously observed leftward lighting biases and suggest that advertisements with a leftward lighting bias might be more effective.
Knight, Helen C; Smith, Daniel T; Knight, David C; Ellison, Amanda
Attentional control settings have an important role in guiding visual behaviour. Previous work within cognitive psychology has found that the deployment of general attentional control settings can be modulated by training. However, research has not yet established whether long-term modifications of one particular type of attentional control setting can be induced. To address this, we investigated persistent alterations to feature search mode, also known as an attentional bias, towards an arbitrary stimulus in healthy participants. Subjects were biased towards the colour green by an information sheet. Attentional bias was assessed using a change detection task. After an interval of either 1 or 2 weeks, participants were then retested on the same change detection task, tested on a different change detection task where colour was irrelevant, or were biased towards an alternative colour. One experiment included trials in which the distractor stimuli (but never the target stimuli) were green. The key finding was that green stimuli in the second task attracted attention, despite this impairing task performance. Furthermore, inducing a second attentional bias did not override the initial bias toward green objects. The attentional bias also persisted for at least two weeks. It is argued that this persistent attentional bias is mediated by a chronic change to participants' attentional control settings, which is aided by long-term representations involving contextual cueing. We speculate that similar changes to attentional control settings and continuous cueing may relate to attentional biases observed in psychopathologies. Targeting these biases may be a productive approach to treatment.
Kakoschke, Naomi; Kemps, Eva; Tiggemann, Marika
The continual exposure to unhealthy food cues in the environment encourages poor dietary habits, in particular consuming too much fat and sugar, and not enough fruit and vegetables. According to Berridge's (2009) model of food reward, unhealthy eating is a behavioural response to biased attentional processing. The present study used an established attentional bias modification paradigm to discourage the consumption of unhealthy food and instead promote healthy eating. Participants were 146 undergraduate women who were randomly assigned to two groups: one was trained to direct their attention toward pictures of healthy food ('attend healthy' group) and the other toward unhealthy food ('attend unhealthy' group). It was found that participants trained to attend to healthy food cues demonstrated an increased attentional bias for such cues and ate relatively more of the healthy than unhealthy snacks compared to the 'attend unhealthy' group. Theoretically, the results support the postulated link between biased attentional processing and consumption (Berridge, 2009). At a practical level, they offer potential scope for interventions that focus on eating well. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Clarke, Patrick J F; Branson, Sonya; Chen, Nigel T M; Van Bockstaele, Bram; Salemink, Elske; MacLeod, Colin; Notebaert, Lies
Attention bias modification (ABM) procedures have shown promise as a therapeutic intervention, however current ABM procedures have proven inconsistent in their ability to reliably achieve the requisite change in attentional bias needed to produce emotional benefits. This highlights the need to better understand the precise task conditions that facilitate the intended change in attention bias in order to realise the therapeutic potential of ABM procedures. Based on the observation that change in attentional bias occurs largely outside conscious awareness, the aim of the current study was to determine if an ABM procedure delivered under conditions likely to preclude explicit awareness of the experimental contingency, via the addition of a working memory load, would contribute to greater change in attentional bias. Bias change was assessed among 122 participants in response to one of four ABM tasks given by the two experimental factors of ABM training procedure delivered either with or without working memory load, and training direction of either attend-negative or avoid-negative. Findings revealed that avoid-negative ABM procedure under working memory load resulted in significantly greater reductions in attentional bias compared to the equivalent no-load condition. The current findings will require replication with clinical samples to determine the utility of the current task for achieving emotional benefits. These present findings are consistent with the position that the addition of a working memory load may facilitate change in attentional bias in response to an ABM training procedure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Deltomme, Berre; Mertens, G.; Tibboel, Helen; Braem, Senne
We investigated whether stimuli merely instructed to be fear-relevant can bias visual attention, even when the fear relation was never experienced before. Participants performed a dot-probe task with pictures of naturally fear-relevant (snake or spider) or -irrelevant (bird or butterfly) stimuli.
Benwell, Christopher S Y; Harvey, Monika; Gardner, Stephanie; Thut, Gregor
Systematic biases in spatial attention are a common finding. In the general population, a systematic leftward bias is typically observed (pseudoneglect), possibly as a consequence of right hemisphere dominance for visuospatial attention. However, this leftward bias can cross-over to a systematic rightward bias with changes in stimulus and state factors (such as line length and arousal). The processes governing these changes are still unknown. Here we tested models of spatial attention as to their ability to account for these effects. To this end, we experimentally manipulated both stimulus and state factors, while healthy participants performed a computerized version of a landmark task. State was manipulated by time-on-task (>1 h) leading to increased fatigue and a reliable left- to rightward shift in spatial bias. Stimulus was manipulated by presenting either long or short lines which was associated with a shift of subjective midpoint from a reliable leftward bias for long to a more rightward bias for short lines. Importantly, we found time-on-task and line length effects to be additive suggesting a common denominator for line bisection across all conditions, which is in disagreement with models that assume that bisection decisions in long and short lines are governed by distinct processes (Magnitude estimation vs Global/local distinction). Our findings emphasize the dynamic rather than static nature of spatial biases in midline judgement. They are best captured by theories of spatial attention positing that spatial bias is flexibly modulated, and subject to inter-hemispheric balance which can change over time or conditions to accommodate task demands or reflect fatigue. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
D A Baker
Full Text Available Several highly-cited experiments have presented evidence suggesting that neuroimages may unduly bias laypeople's judgments of scientific research. This finding has been especially worrisome to the legal community in which neuroimage techniques may be used to produce evidence of a person's mental state. However, a more recent body of work that has looked directly at the independent impact of neuroimages on layperson decision-making (both in legal and more general arenas, and has failed to find evidence of bias. To help resolve these conflicting findings, this research uses eye tracking technology to provide a measure of attention to different visual representations of neuroscientific data. Finding an effect of neuroimages on the distribution of attention would provide a potential mechanism for the influence of neuroimages on higher-level decisions. In the present experiment, a sample of laypeople viewed a vignette that briefly described a court case in which the defendant's actions might have been explained by a neurological defect. Accompanying these vignettes was either an MRI image of the defendant's brain, or a bar graph depicting levels of brain activity-two competing visualizations that have been the focus of much of the previous research on the neuroimage bias. We found that, while laypeople differentially attended to neuroimagery relative to the bar graph, this did not translate into differential judgments in a way that would support the idea of a neuroimage bias.
Werthmann, Jessica; Field, Matt; Roefs, Anne; Nederkoorn, Chantal; Jansen, Anita
The current study examined experimentally whether a manipulated attention bias for food cues increases craving, chocolate intake and motivation to search for hidden chocolates. To test the effect of attention for food on subsequent chocolate intake, attention for chocolate was experimentally modified by instructing participants to look at chocolate stimuli ("attend chocolate" group) or at non-food stimuli ("attend shoes" group) during a novel attention bias modification task (antisaccade task). Chocolate consumption, changes in craving and search time for hidden chocolates were assessed. Eye-movement recordings were used to monitor the accuracy during the experimental attention modification task as possible moderator of effects. Regression analyses were conducted to test the effect of attention modification and modification accuracy on chocolate intake, craving and motivation to search for hidden chocolates. Results showed that participants with higher accuracy (+1 SD), ate more chocolate when they had to attend to chocolate and ate less chocolate when they had to attend to non-food stimuli. In contrast, for participants with lower accuracy (-1 SD), the results were exactly reversed. No effects of the experimental attention modification on craving or search time for hidden chocolates were found. We used chocolate as food stimuli so it remains unclear how our findings generalize to other types of food. These findings demonstrate further evidence for a link between attention for food and food intake, and provide an indication about the direction of this relationship. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Melvyn Weibin Zhang
Full Text Available Research on attentional bias modification has increased since 2014. A recent meta-analysis demonstrates evidence for bias modification for substance disorders, including alcohol and tobacco use disorders. Several pharmacological trials have shown that pharmacological agents can attenuate and modify such attentional bias. The pharmacological trials that have appeared to date have produced mixed results, which has clinical implications. Developments in Internet and mobile technologies have transformed how attention bias modification is currently being achieved. There remains great potential for further research that examines the efficacy of technology-aided attention bias interventions.
Thoern, Hanna A; Grueschow, Marcus; Ehlert, Ulrike; Ruff, Christian C; Kleim, Birgit
There is extensive evidence for an association between an attentional bias towards emotionally negative stimuli and vulnerability to stress-related psychopathology. Less is known about whether selective attention towards emotionally positive stimuli relates to mental health and stress resilience. The current study used a modified Dot Probe task to investigate if individual differences in attentional biases towards either happy or angry emotional stimuli, or an interaction between these biases, are related to self-reported trait stress resilience. In a nonclinical sample (N = 43), we indexed attentional biases as individual differences in reaction time for stimuli preceded by either happy or angry (compared to neutral) face stimuli. Participants with greater attentional bias towards happy faces (but not angry faces) reported higher trait resilience. However, an attentional bias towards angry stimuli moderated this effect: The attentional bias towards happy faces was only predictive for resilience in those individuals who also endorsed an attentional bias towards angry stimuli. An attentional bias towards positive emotional stimuli may thus be a protective factor contributing to stress resilience, specifically in those individuals who also endorse an attentional bias towards negative emotional stimuli. Our findings therefore suggest a novel target for prevention and treatment interventions addressing stress-related psychopathology.
Luijten, M.; Field, M.; Franken, I.H.A.
Attentional bias in substance-dependent patients is the tendency to automatically direct attention to substance-related cues in the environment. Preclinical models suggest that attentional bias emerges as a consequence of dopaminergic activity evoked by substance-related cues. The aim of the current
Li, Kuei-An; Yeh, Su-Ling
The human visual system can estimate mean size of a set of items effectively; however, little is known about whether information on each visual field contributes equally to the mean size estimation. In this study, we examined whether a left-side bias (LSB)-perceptual judgment tends to depend more heavily on left visual field's inputs-affects mean size estimation. Participants were instructed to estimate the mean size of 16 spots. In half of the trials, the mean size of the spots on the left side was larger than that on the right side (the left-larger condition) and vice versa (the right-larger condition). Our results illustrated an LSB: A larger estimated mean size was found in the left-larger condition than in the right-larger condition (Experiment 1), and the LSB vanished when participants' attention was effectively cued to the right side (Experiment 2b). Furthermore, the magnitude of LSB increased with stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA), when spots on the left side were presented earlier than the right side. In contrast, the LSB vanished and then induced a reversed effect with SOA when spots on the right side were presented earlier (Experiment 3). This study offers the first piece of evidence suggesting that LSB does have a significant influence on mean size estimation of a group of items, which is induced by a leftward attentional bias that enhances the prior entry effect on the left side.
Full Text Available Background: Although poorer cognitive performance has been found to be associated with anxiety, it remains unclear whether neurocognitive function affects biased cognitive processing toward emotional information. We investigated whether general cognitive function evaluated with a standard neuropsychological test predicts biased cognition, focusing on attentional bias toward threat.Methods: One hundred and five healthy young adults completed a dot-probe task measuring attentional bias and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS measuring general cognitive function, which consists of five domains: immediate memory, visuospatial/constructional, language, attention, and delayed memory. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed to examine the relationships between attentional bias and cognitive function. Results: The attentional domain was the best predictor of attentional bias toward threat (β = -0.26, p = 0.006. Within the attentional domain, digit symbol coding was negatively correlated with attentional bias (r = -0.28, p = 0.005.Conclusions: The present study provides the first evidence that general attentional ability, which was assessed with a standard neuropsychological test, affects attentional bias toward threatening information. Individual cognitive profiles might be important for the measurement and modification of cognitive biases.
Hakamata, Yuko; Matsui, Mie; Tagaya, Hirokuni
Background: Although poorer cognitive performance has been found to be associated with anxiety, it remains unclear whether neurocognitive function affects biased cognitive processing toward emotional information. We investigated whether general cognitive function evaluated with a standard neuropsychological test predicts biased cognition, focusing on attentional bias toward threat. Methods: One hundred and five healthy young adults completed a dot-probe task measuring attentional bias and ...
de Voogd, E.L.; Wiers, R.W.; Prins, P.J.M.; Salemink, E.
Background and objectives: An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of
Roberts, Ross; Turnbull, Oliver H
Although the effects of lateral biases in visual attention ("pseudoneglect") have been examined in real-world settings, this phenomenon has yet to be considered within the realm of sporting performance. In the present study, we investigated the effects of pseudoneglect on putting errors in golf. Novice golfers (n = 30) performed 90 putting trials followed by a series of pseudoneglect tasks: requiring participants to bisect lines manually and with a biomechanical bisection tool. All pseudoneglect measures were performed with both the left and right hands. Results demonstrated a leftward bias for all the pseudoneglect tasks, and a rightward bias for putting error. Moreover, the results revealed that individuals who bisected lines to the left on the Bisection Tool (the typical class of pseudoneglect error for humans) with the left hand (the hand that typically produces the greatest pseudoneglect bias) displayed significantly smaller rightward putting errors. Moreover, these individuals also holed more putts. No other pseudoneglect tasks were shown to impact on putting performance. Our findings suggest that lateralized attentional biases have a significant effect on sport performance; they appear to influence a wide range of precision-based sports (e.g. shooting, archery). Findings are also discussed in terms of the processes that are likely to be involved in this effect.
Kemps, Eva; Tiggemann, Marika
In this study, we investigated attentional biases for craving-related food cues. A pictorial dot probe task was used to assess selective attentional processing of one particular highly desired food, namely chocolate, relative to that of other highly desired foods. In Experiment 1, we examined biased processing of chocolate cues in habitual (trait) chocolate cravers, whereas in Experiment 2 we investigated the effect of experimentally induced (state) chocolate cravings on such processing. As predicted, habitual chocolate cravers (Experiment 1) and individuals in whom a craving for chocolate was temporarily induced (Experiment 2) showed speeded detection of probes replacing chocolate-related pictures, demonstrating an attentional bias for chocolate cues. Subsequent examination indicated that in both experiments the observed attentional biases stemmed from difficulty in disengaging attention from chocolate cues rather than from a shift of attention toward such cues. The findings have important theoretical and practical implications.
Waters, Allison M; Forrest, Kylee; Peters, Rosie-Mae; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin
Children of parents with emotional disorders have an increased risk for developing anxiety and depressive disorders. Yet the mechanisms that contribute to this increased risk are poorly understood. The present study aimed to examine attention biases in children as a function of maternal lifetime emotional disorders and maternal attention biases. There were 134 participants, including 38 high-risk children, and their mothers who had lifetime emotional disorders; and 29 low-risk children, and their mothers without lifetime emotional disorders. Mothers and children completed a visual probe task with emotional face pairs presented for 500 ms. Attention bias in children did not significantly differ solely as a function of whether or not their mothers had lifetime emotional disorders. However, attention bias in high-risk children was significantly related to their mothers' attention bias. Specifically, children of mothers with lifetime emotional disorders showed a greater negative attention bias if their mothers had a greater tendency to direct attention away from positive information. This study was cross-sectional in nature, and therefore unable to assess long-term predictive effects. Also, just one exposure duration of 500 ms was utilised. Attention bias for negative information is greater in offspring of mothers who have lifetime emotional disorders and a reduced positive bias, which could be a risk marker for the development of emotional disorders in children.
Hou, Ruihua; Moss-Morris, Rona; Risdale, Anna; Lynch, Jeannette; Jeevaratnam, Preshan; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin
Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fernando, Silvia Carvalho; Griepenstroh, Julia; Urban, Sabine; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas
Emotion regulation dysfunctions marked by negative affectivity are a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD). In addition, patients with BPD show disturbed attentional processes which become particularly apparent in the domain of selective attention when emotional stimuli are presented (negative attentional bias). Assuming that emotion regulation is linked to attentional deployment processes, this study aimed (1) to determine whether a negative attentional bias is established by using film clips of fearful faces and (2) to investigate the association between dysfunctional emotion regulation strategies (emotional suppression) and negative attention bias in BPD. We investigated 18 inpatients with BPD and 18 healthy control participants using the modified version of the fearful face-paradigm to assess the inhibition of emotional stimuli. We also administered self-report emotion regulation questionnaires. Compared to the healthy controls, patients with BPD showed significant longer reaction times during the emotional versus the neutral film stimuli in the modified fearful face-paradigm. With regard to the second hypothesis, we failed to find an association between the negative attentional bias and the habitual use of emotional suppression in BPD. In this study, we could confirm an attentional bias for negative stimuli, using complex, dynamic material. Future studies need to address the impact of confounding variables (e. g. comorbid disorders) on the relationship between maladaptive emotion regulation and selective attentional bias.
Marchetti, Igor; Everaert, Jonas; Dainer-Best, Justin; Loeys, Tom; Beevers, Christopher G; Koster, Ernst H W
Attentional and memory biases are viewed as crucial cognitive processes underlying symptoms of depression. However, it is still unclear whether these two biases are uniquely related to depression or whether they show substantial overlap. We investigated the degree of specificity and overlap of attentional and memory biases for depressotypic stimuli in relation to depression and anxiety by means of meta-analytic commonality analysis. By including four published studies, we considered a pool of 463 healthy and subclinically depressed individuals, different experimental paradigms, and different psychological measures. Memory bias is reliably and strongly related to depression and, specifically, to symptoms of negative mood, worthlessness, feelings of failure, and pessimism. Memory bias for negative information was minimally related to anxiety. Moreover, neither attentional bias nor the overlap between attentional and memory biases were significantly related to depression. Limitations include cross-sectional nature of the study. Our study showed that, across different paradigms and psychological measures, memory bias (and not attentional bias) represents a primary mechanism in depression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Li, Songwei; Tan, Jieqing; Qian, Mingyi; Liu, Xinghua
Using the dot-probe paradigm, it has been shown that high social anxiety is associated with an attentional bias toward negative information. In the present study, individuals with high social anxiety were divided into two groups randomly. One group was the attentional bias training group (Group T), and the other was the control group (Group C). For Group T, 7 days' continuous training of attentional bias was conducted using the dot-probe paradigm to make socially anxious individuals focus more on positive face pictures. The results showed that the training was effective in changing attentional bias in Group T. Scores of the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) in Group T were reduced compared to Group C, while the scores of Social Phobia Scale (SPS) and scores of Negative Evaluation Scale (FNE) showed no difference between the two groups, which suggested a limited reduction of social anxiety.
De Voogd, E L; Wiers, R W; Prins, P J M; Salemink, E
An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of emotional disorders. The current study investigated whether visual search ABM might affect attentional bias and emotional functioning in adolescents. A visual search task was used as a training paradigm; participants (n = 16 adolescents, aged 13-16) had to repeatedly identify the only smiling face in a 4 × 4 matrix of negative emotional faces, while participants in the control condition (n = 16) were randomly allocated to one of three placebo training versions. An assessment version of the task was developed to directly test whether attentional bias changed due to the training. Self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-esteem were measured pre- and post-training. After two sessions of training, the ABM group showed a significant decrease in attentional bias for negative information and self-reported social phobia, while the control group did not. There were no effects of training on depressive mood or self-esteem. No correlation between attentional bias and social phobia was found, which raises questions about the validity of the attentional bias assessment task. Also, the small sample size precludes strong conclusions. Visual search ABM might be beneficial in changing attentional bias and social phobia in adolescents, but further research with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available New indices, calculated on data from the widely used Dot Probe Task, were recently proposed to capture variability in biased attention allocation. We observed that it remains unclear which data pattern is meant to be indicative of dynamic bias and thus to be captured by these indices. Moreover, we hypothesized that the new indices are sensitive to SD differences at the response time (RT level in the absence of bias.Randomly generated datasets were analyzed to assess properties of the Attention Bias Variability (ABV and Trial Level Bias Score (TL-BS indices. Sensitivity to creating differences in 1 RT standard deviation, 2 mean RT, and 3 bias magnitude were assessed. In addition, two possible definitions of dynamic attention bias were explored by creating differences in 4 frequency of bias switching, and 5 bias magnitude in the presence of constant switching.ABV and TL-BS indices were found highly sensitive to increasing SD at the response time level, insensitive to increasing bias, linearly sensitive to increasing bias magnitude in the presence of bias switches, and non-linearly sensitive to increasing the frequency of bias switches. The ABV index was also found responsive to increasing mean response times in the absence of bias.Recently proposed DPT derived variability indices cannot uncouple measurement error from bias variability. Significant group differences may be observed even if there is no bias present in any individual dataset. This renders the new indices in their current form unfit for empirical purposes. Our discussion focuses on fostering debate and ideas for new research to validate the potentially very important notion of biased attention being dynamic.
Schäfer, Judith; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Höfler, Michael; Heinrich, Anke; Zimmermann, Peter; Siegel, Stefan; Schönfeld, Sabine
Attentional processes have been suggested to play a crucial role in resilience defined as positive adaptation facing adversity. However, research is lacking on associations between attentional biases to positive and threat-related stimuli, attentional control and trait resilience. Data stem from the follow-up assessment of a longitudinal study investigating mental health and related factors among German soldiers. Trait resilience was assessed with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and attentional control with the Attentional Control Scale. A subset of n = 198 soldiers also completed a dot probe task with happy, neutral and threatening faces. Attentional control was positively related to trait resilience. Results revealed no associations between both attentional biases and trait resilience. However, there was a negative association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was low and a positive association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was high. No such associations were found for attentional bias to positive stimuli. Generalizability to other populations may be limited since we exclusively focused on male soldiers. Also, the cross-sectional design does not allow for causal conclusions. Findings suggest that attentional processing may promote trait resilience. Future research on preventive interventions should consider these findings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Luo, Xijia; Ikani, Nessa; Barth, Anja; Rengers, Lea; Becker, Eni; Rinck, Mike
Attention Bias Modification (ABM) is used to manipulate attention biases in anxiety disorders. It has been successful in reducing attention biases and anxious symptoms in social anxiety and generalized anxiety, but not yet in specific fears and phobias. We designed a new version of the dot-probe training task, aiming to train fearful participants' attention away from or towards pictures of threatening stimuli. Moreover, we studied whether the training also affected participants' avoidance behavior and their physical arousal upon being confronted with a real threat object. In Experiment 1, students with fear of spiders were trained. We found that the attention manipulation was successful, but the training failed to affect behavior or arousal. In Experiment 2, the same procedure was used on snake-fearful students. Again, attention was trained in the expected directions. Moreover, participants whose attention had been trained away from snakes showed lower physiological arousal upon being confronted with a real snake. The study involved healthy students with normal distribution of the fear of spider/snake. Future research with clinical sample could help with determining the generalizability of the current findings. The effect of ABM on specific phobia is still in question. The finding in the present study suggested the possibility to alter attentional bias with a dot-probe task with general positive stimuli and this training could even affect the behavior while encountering a real threat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ginting, H.; Näring, G.W.B.; Becker, E.S.
This study examined whether in an emotional Stroop task, individuals with coronary heart disease (CHD) would show greater attention towards the threatening words related to their disease than healthy persons, and if such an attentional bias is associated with anxiety. An emotional Stroop task with
Morales, Santiago; Fu, Xiaoxue; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E.
There is growing interest regarding the impact of affect-biased attention on psychopathology. However, most of the research to date lacks a developmental approach. In the present review, we examine the role affect-biased attention plays in shaping socioemotional trajectories within a developmental neuroscience framework. We propose that affect-biased attention, particularly if stable and entrenched, acts as a developmental tether that helps sustain early socioemotional and behavioral profiles over time, placing some individuals on maladaptive developmental trajectories. Although most of the evidence is found in the anxiety literature, we suggest that these relations may operate across multiple domains of interest, including positive affect, externalizing behaviors, drug use, and eating behaviors. We also review the general mechanisms and neural correlates of affect-biased attention, as well as the current evidence for the co-development of attention and affect. Based on the reviewed literature, we propose a model that may help us better understand the nuances of affect-biased attention across development. The model may serve as a strong foundation for ongoing attempts to identify neurocognitive mechanisms and intervene with individuals at risk. Finally, we discuss open issues for future research that may help bridge existing gaps in the literature. PMID:27606972
Full Text Available Social anxiety disorder (SAD and attentional bias are theoretically connected in cognitive behavioral therapeutic models. In fact, there is an emerging field focusing on modifying attentional bias as a stand-alone treatment. However, it is unclear to what degree these attentional biases are present before commencing treatment. The purpose of this study was to measure pre-treatment attentional bias in 153 participants diagnosed with SAD using a home-based Internet version of the dot-probe paradigm. Results showed no significant correlation for attentional bias (towards or away from negative words or faces and the self-rated version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS-SR. However, two positive correlations were found for the secondary measures Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7 and Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9. These indicated that those with elevated levels of anxiety and depression had a higher bias towards negative faces in neutral–negative and positive–negative valence combinations, respectively. The unreliability of the dot-probe paradigm and home-based Internet delivery are discussed to explain the lack of correlations between LSAS-SR and attentional bias. Changes to the dot-probe task are suggested that could improve reliability.
Wójcik, Michał J; Nowicka, Maria M; Kotlewska, Ilona; Nowicka, Anna
The implicit self-recognition process may take place already in the pre-attentive stages of perception. After a silent stimulus has captured attention, it is passed on to the attentive stage where it can affect decision making and responding. Numerous studies show that the presence of self-referential information affects almost every cognitive level. These effects may share a common and fundamental basis in an attentional mechanism, conceptualized as attentional bias: the exaggerated deployment of attentional resources to a salient stimulus. A gold standard in attentional bias research is the dot-probe paradigm. In this task, a prominent stimulus (cue) and a neutral stimulus are presented in different spatial locations, followed by the presentation of a target. In the current study we aimed at investigating whether the self-face captures, holds and biases attention when presented as a task-irrelevant stimulus. In two dot-probe experiments coupled with the event-related potential (ERP) technique we analyzed the following relevant ERPs components: N2pc and SPCN which reflect attentional shifts and the maintenance of attention, respectively. An inter-stimulus interval separating face-cues and probes (800 ms) was introduced only in the first experiment. In line with our predictions, in Experiment 1 the self-face elicited the N2pc and the SPCN component. In Experiment 2 in addition to N2pc, an attentional bias was observed. Our results indicate that unintentional self-face processing disables the top-down control setting to filter out distractors, thus leading to the engagement of attentional resources and visual short-term memory.
Michał J. Wójcik
Full Text Available The implicit self-recognition process may take place already in the pre-attentive stages of perception. After a silent stimulus has captured attention, it is passed on to the attentive stage where it can affect decision making and responding. Numerous studies show that the presence of self-referential information affects almost every cognitive level. These effects may share a common and fundamental basis in an attentional mechanism, conceptualized as attentional bias: the exaggerated deployment of attentional resources to a salient stimulus. A gold standard in attentional bias research is the dot-probe paradigm. In this task, a prominent stimulus (cue and a neutral stimulus are presented in different spatial locations, followed by the presentation of a target. In the current study we aimed at investigating whether the self-face captures, holds and biases attention when presented as a task-irrelevant stimulus. In two dot-probe experiments coupled with the event-related potential (ERP technique we analyzed the following relevant ERPs components: N2pc and SPCN which reflect attentional shifts and the maintenance of attention, respectively. An inter-stimulus interval separating face-cues and probes (800 ms was introduced only in the first experiment. In line with our predictions, in Experiment 1 the self-face elicited the N2pc and the SPCN component. In Experiment 2 in addition to N2pc, an attentional bias was observed. Our results indicate that unintentional self-face processing disables the top-down control setting to filter out distractors, thus leading to the engagement of attentional resources and visual short-term memory.
Bocanegra, Bruno R; Huijding, Jorg; Zeelenberg, René
Previous dot-probe studies indicate that threat-related face cues induce a bias in spatial attention. Independently of spatial attention, a recent psychophysical study suggests that a bilateral fearful face cue improves low spatial-frequency perception (LSF) and impairs high spatial-frequency perception (HSF). Here, we combine these separate lines of research within a single dot-probe paradigm. We found that a bilateral fearful face cue, compared with a bilateral neutral face cue, speeded up responses to LSF targets and slowed down responses to HSF targets. This finding is important, as it shows that emotional cues in dot-probe tasks not only bias where information is preferentially processed (i.e., an attentional bias in spatial location), but also bias what type of information is preferentially processed (i.e., a perceptual bias in spatial frequency). PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
Schofield, Casey A; Inhoff, Albrecht W; Coles, Meredith E
Theoretical models of social phobia implicate preferential attention to social threat in the maintenance of anxiety symptoms, though there has been limited work characterizing the nature of these biases over time. The current study utilized eye-movement data to examine the time-course of visual attention over 1500ms trials of a probe detection task. Nineteen participants with a primary diagnosis of social phobia based on DSM-IV criteria and 20 non-clinical controls completed this task with angry, fearful, and happy face trials. Overt visual attention to the emotional and neutral faces was measured in 50ms segments across the trial. Over time, participants with social phobia attend less to emotional faces and specifically less to happy faces compared to controls. Further, attention to emotional relative to neutral expressions did not vary notably by emotion for participants with social phobia, but control participants showed a pattern after 1000ms in which over time they preferentially attended to happy expressions and avoided negative expressions. Findings highlight the importance of considering attention biases to positive stimuli as well as the pattern of attention between groups. These results suggest that attention "bias" in social phobia may be driven by a relative lack of the biases seen in non-anxious participants. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Domaradzka, Ewa; Bielecki, Maksymilian
Numerous studies have shown that biases in visual attention might be evoked by affective and personally relevant stimuli, for example addiction-related objects. Despite the fact that addiction is often linked to specific products and systematic purchase behaviors, no studies focused directly on the existence of bias evoked by brands. Smokers are characterized by high levels of brand loyalty and everyday contact with cigarette packaging. Using the incentive-salience mechanism as a theoretical framework, we hypothesized that this group might exhibit a bias toward the preferred cigarette brand. In our study, a group of smokers ( N = 40) performed a dot probe task while their eye movements were recorded. In every trial a pair of pictures was presented - each of them showed a single cigarette pack. The visual properties of stimuli were carefully controlled, so branding information was the key factor affecting subjects' reactions. For each participant, we compared gaze behavior related to the preferred vs. other brands. The analyses revealed no attentional bias in the early, orienting phase of the stimulus processing and strong differences in maintenance and disengagement. Participants spent more time looking at the preferred cigarettes and saccades starting at the preferred brand location had longer latencies. In sum, our data shows that attentional bias toward brands might be found in situations not involving choice or decision making. These results provide important insights into the mechanisms of formation and maintenance of attentional biases to stimuli of personal relevance and might serve as a first step toward developing new attitude measurement techniques.
Rinck, M.; Becker, E.S.
Cognitive processes play an important role in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety and depression. Current theories differ, however, in their predictions regarding the occurrence of attentional biases and memory biases in depression and anxiety. To allow for a systematic comparison of disorders
Chen, Nigel T M; Basanovic, Julian; Notebaert, Lies; MacLeod, Colin; Clarke, Patrick J F
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory technique which has garnered recent interest in the potential treatment for emotion-based psychopathology. While accumulating evidence suggests that tDCS may attenuate emotional vulnerability, critically, little is known about underlying mechanisms of this effect. The present study sought to clarify this by examining the possibility that tDCS may affect emotional vulnerability via its capacity to modulate attentional bias towards threatening information. Fifty healthy participants were randomly assigned to receive either anodal tDCS (2 mA/min) stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), or sham. Participants were then eye tracked during a dual-video stressor task designed to elicit emotional reactivity, while providing a concurrent in-vivo measure of attentional bias. Greater attentional bias towards threatening information was associated with greater emotional reactivity to the stressor task. Furthermore, the active tDCS group showed reduced attentional bias to threat, compared to the sham group. Importantly, attentional bias was found to statistically mediate the effect of tDCS on emotional reactivity, while no direct effect of tDCS on emotional reactivity was observed. The findings are consistent with the notion that the effect of tDCS on emotional vulnerability may be mediated by changes in attentional bias, holding implications for the application of tDCS in emotion-based psychopathology. The findings also highlight the utility of in-vivo eye tracking measures in the examination of the mechanisms associated with DLPFC neuromodulation in emotional vulnerability. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zheng, Tingting; Qu, Weina; Zhang, Kan; Ge, Yan
As implicit cognitive processes garner more and more importance, studies in the fields of healthy psychology and organizational safety research have focused on attentional bias, a kind of selective allocation of attentional resources in the early stage of cognitive processing. However, few studies have explored the role of attentional bias on driving behavior. This study assessed drivers' attentional bias towards safety-related words (ABS) using the dot-probe paradigm and self-reported daily driving behaviors. The results revealed significant negative correlations between attentional bias scores and several indicators of dangerous driving. Drivers with fewer dangerous driving behaviors showed greater ABS. We also built a significant linear regression model between ABS and the total DDDI score, as well as ABS and the number of accidents. Finally, we discussed the possible mechanism underlying these associations and several limitations of our study. This study opens up a new topic for the exploration of implicit processes in driving safety research. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cox, W Miles; Fadardi, Javad S; Intriligator, James M; Klinger, Eric
When a person has a goal of drinking alcohol or using another addictive substance, the person appears to be automatically distracted by stimuli related to the goal. Because the attentional bias might propel the person to use the substance, an intervention might help modify it. In this article, we discuss techniques that have been developed to help people overcome their attentional bias for alcohol, smoking-related stimuli, drugs, or unhealthy food. We also discuss how these techniques are being adapted for use on mobile devices. The latter would allow people with an addictive behavior to use the attentional training in privacy and as frequently as needed. The attentional training techniques discussed here appear to have several advantages. They are inexpensive, can be fun to use, and have flexibility in when, where, and how often they are used. The evidence so far also suggests that they are effective.
Kret, Mariska E; Jaasma, Linda; Bionda, Thomas; Wijnen, Jasper G
In social animals, the fast detection of group members' emotional expressions promotes swift and adequate responses, which is crucial for the maintenance of social bonds and ultimately for group survival. The dot-probe task is a well-established paradigm in psychology, measuring emotional attention through reaction times. Humans tend to be biased toward emotional images, especially when the emotion is of a threatening nature. Bonobos have rich, social emotional lives and are known for their soft and friendly character. In the present study, we investigated (i) whether bonobos, similar to humans, have an attentional bias toward emotional scenes compared with conspecifics showing a neutral expression, and (ii) which emotional behaviors attract their attention the most. As predicted, results consistently showed that bonobos' attention was biased toward the location of the emotional versus neutral scene. Interestingly, their attention was grabbed most by images showing conspecifics such as sexual behavior, yawning, or grooming, and not as much-as is often observed in humans-by signs of distress or aggression. The results suggest that protective and affiliative behaviors are pivotal in bonobo society and therefore attract immediate attention in this species.
Cremone, Amanda; Kurdziel, Laura B. F.; Fraticelli-Torres, Ada; McDermott, Jennifer M.; Spencer, Rebecca M. C.
Sleep loss alters processing of emotional stimuli in preschool-aged children. However, the mechanism by which sleep modifies emotional processing in early childhood is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that a nap, compared to an equivalent time spent awake, reduces biases in attention allocation to affective information. Children (n = 43;…
Cousijn, J.; Watson, P.; Koenders, L.; Vingerhoets, W.A.M.; Goudriaan, A.E.; Wiers, R.W.
One of the characteristics of people suffering from addictive behaviors is the tendency to be distracted by drug cues. This attentional bias for drug cues is thought to lead to increased craving and drug use, and may draw individuals into a vicious cycle of drug addiction. In the current study we
Rune Aune Mentzoni
Full Text Available The use of nicotine in the form of "snus" is substantial and increasing in some geographic areas, in particular among young people. It has previously been suggested that addictions may operate through a mechanism of attentional bias, in which stimuli representative of the dependent substance increase in salience, thus increasing the addictive behavior. However, this hypothesis has not been tested for the case of snus. The current experiment used a modified Stroop task and a dot-probe task to investigate whether 40 snus users show an attentional bias towards snus-relevant stimuli, compared to 40 non-snus users. There were no significant differences between the two groups on reaction times or accuracy on either Stroop or dot-probe task, thus failing to show an attentional bias towards snus-relevant stimuli for snus users. This could imply that other mechanisms may contribute to maintenance of snus use than for other addictions. However, this is the first experimental study investigating attentional bias in snus users, and more research is warranted.
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F.; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Long-term memory (LTM) has been shown to bias attention to a previously learned visual target location. Here, we examined whether memory-predicted spatial location can facilitate the detection of a faint pure tone target embedded in real world audio clips (e.g., soundtrack of a restaurant). During an initial familiarization task, participants…
Mastikhina, Liza; Dobson, Keith
The present study replicated Wells and Beevers [(2010). Biased attention and dysphoria: Manipulating selective attention reduces subsequent depressive symptoms. Cognition & Emotion, 24, 719-728] and examined the longitudinal effects of attentional retraining on symptoms of depression. Dysphoric undergraduate psychology students were randomly assigned into either a neutral or control training condition. Training was administered using a dot-probe task that presented participants with pairs of pictures (of sad and neutral content) that were followed by a probe that participants had to respond to. Training took place over four sessions during a two-week period, followed by a final follow-up session two weeks later. Mood was measured at baseline, post-training, and at follow-up. All participants showed a significant reduction in depressive symptoms throughout the study, F(1.7, 73.55) = 21.19, p attentional retraining did not demonstrate any advantage over the control condition. Results were inconsistent with those of Wells and Beevers [(2010). Biased attention and dysphoria: Manipulating selective attention reduces subsequent depressive symptoms. Cognition & Emotion, 24, 719-728]. Implications of the findings on research on attentional retraining in the context of depression are discussed.
Vrijsen, Janna N; Fleurkens, Pascal; Nieuwboer, Wieteke; Rinck, Mike
We investigated if an attentional bias for spiders in spider fearful individuals (SFs) can also be found for moving spiders, rather than static images. In Study 1, 28 SFs and 33 non-anxious controls (NACs) participated in a modified version of the dot probe paradigm: they had to react to a probe that appeared either in the next, previous, or side position of a spider's or a wheel's path. 24 SFs and 29 NACs participated in Study 2, in which a fourth, highly predictable, probe position was added. We expected that moving spiders would capture the attention of SFs. In addition, we tested whether SFs try to predict the movement of the spider to make it less threatening. As expected, SFs showed an attentional bias towards moving spiders. However, both groups reacted fastest to unpredictable movements, indicating that SFs and NACs alike anticipate unpredictable spider movements.
Sylvester, Chad M.; Hudziak, James J.; Gaffrey, Michael S.; Barch, Deanna M.; Luby, Joan L.
Attention biases towards threatening and sad stimuli are associated with pediatric anxiety and depression, respectively. The basic cognitive mechanisms associated with attention biases in youth, however, remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that threat bias (selective attention for threatening versus neutral stimuli) but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. We collected measures of stimulus-driven attention, threat bias, sad bias, and current clinical symptoms in youth with a history of an anxiety disorder and/or depression (ANX/DEP; n=40) as well as healthy controls (HC; n=33). Stimulus-driven attention was measured with a non-emotional spatial orienting task, while threat bias and sad bias were measured at a short time interval (150 ms) with a spatial orienting task using emotional faces and at a longer time interval (500 ms) using a dot-probe task. In ANX/DEP but not HC, early attention bias towards threat was negatively correlated with later attention bias to threat, suggesting that early threat vigilance was associated with later threat avoidance. Across all subjects, stimulus-driven orienting was not correlated with early threat bias but was negatively correlated with later threat bias, indicating that rapid stimulus-driven orienting is linked to later threat avoidance. No parallel relationships were detected for sad bias. Current symptoms of depression but not anxiety were related to decreased stimulus-driven attention. Together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that threat bias but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. These results inform the design of attention bias modification programs that aim to reverse threat biases and reduce symptoms associated with pediatric anxiety and depression. PMID:25702927
Sylvester, Chad M; Hudziak, James J; Gaffrey, Michael S; Barch, Deanna M; Luby, Joan L
Attention biases towards threatening and sad stimuli are associated with pediatric anxiety and depression, respectively. The basic cognitive mechanisms associated with attention biases in youth, however, remain unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that threat bias (selective attention for threatening versus neutral stimuli) but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. We collected measures of stimulus-driven attention, threat bias, sad bias, and current clinical symptoms in youth with a history of an anxiety disorder and/or depression (ANX/DEP; n = 40) as well as healthy controls (HC; n = 33). Stimulus-driven attention was measured with a non-emotional spatial orienting task, while threat bias and sad bias were measured at a short time interval (150 ms) with a spatial orienting task using emotional faces and at a longer time interval (500 ms) using a dot-probe task. In ANX/DEP but not HC, early attention bias towards threat was negatively correlated with later attention bias to threat, suggesting that early threat vigilance was associated with later threat avoidance. Across all subjects, stimulus-driven orienting was not correlated with early threat bias but was negatively correlated with later threat bias, indicating that rapid stimulus-driven orienting is linked to later threat avoidance. No parallel relationships were detected for sad bias. Current symptoms of depression but not anxiety were related to decreased stimulus-driven attention. Together, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that threat bias but not sad bias relies on stimulus-driven attention. These results inform the design of attention bias modification programs that aim to reverse threat biases and reduce symptoms associated with pediatric anxiety and depression.
Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Stokes, Mark G; Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna Christina
In the current study, we tested whether representations in visual STM (VSTM) can be biased via top-down attentional modulation of visual activity in retinotopically specific locations. We manipulated attention using retrospective cues presented during the retention interval of a VSTM task. Retrospective cues triggered activity in a large-scale network implicated in attentional control and led to retinotopically specific modulation of activity in early visual areas V1-V4. Importantly, shifts of attention during VSTM maintenance were associated with changes in functional connectivity between pFC and retinotopic regions within V4. Our findings provide new insights into top-down control mechanisms that modulate VSTM representations for flexible and goal-directed maintenance of the most relevant memoranda.
Lorenza S Colzato
Full Text Available Homosexuals are believed to have a “sixth sense” for recognizing each other, an ability referred to as gaydar. We considered that being a homosexual might rely on systematic practice of processing relatively specific, local perceptual features, which might lead to a corresponding chronic bias of attentional control. This was tested by comparing male and female homosexuals and heterosexuals--brought up in the same country and culture and matched in terms of race, intelligence, sex, mood, age, personality, religious background, educational style, and socio-economic situation--in their efficiency to process global and local features of hierarchically-constructed visual stimuli. Both homosexuals and heterosexuals showed better performance on global features—the standard global precedence effect. However, this effect was significantly reduced in homosexuals, suggesting a relative preference for detail. Findings are taken to demonstrate chronic, generalized biases in attentional control parameters that reflect the selective reward provided by the respective sexual orientation.
Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar; Nieuwenhuis, Sander
Arousal sometimes enhances and sometimes impairs perception and memory. A recent theory attempts to reconcile these findings by proposing that arousal amplifies the competition between stimulus representations, strengthening already strong representations and weakening already weak representations. Here, we report a stringent test of this arousal-biased competition theory in the context of focused visuospatial attention. Participants were required to identify a briefly presented target in the context of multiple distractors, which varied in the degree to which they competed for representation with the target, as revealed by psychophysics. We manipulated arousal using emotionally arousing pictures (Experiment 1), alerting tones (Experiment 2) and white-noise stimulation (Experiment 3), and validated these manipulations with electroencephalography and pupillometry. In none of the experiments did we find evidence that arousal modulated the effect of distractor competition on the accuracy of target identification. Bayesian statistics revealed moderate to strong evidence against arousal-biased competition. Modeling of the psychophysical data based on Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention corroborated the conclusion that arousal does not bias competition in focused visuospatial attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Roberts, Gloria M P; Garavan, Hugh
Conditioned responses to cues associated with drug taking play a pivotal role in a number of theories of drug addiction. This study examined whether attentional biases towards drug-related cues exist in recreational drug users who predominantly used ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Experiment 1 compared 30 ecstasy users, 25 cannabis users, and 30 controls in an attentional distraction task in which neutral, evocative, and ecstasy-related pictures were presented within a coloured border, requiring participants to respond as quickly as possible to the border colour. Experiment 2 employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the attentional distraction task and tested 20 ecstasy users and 20 controls. Experiment 1 revealed significant response speed interference by the ecstasy-related pictures in the ecstasy users only. Experiment 2 revealed increased prefrontal and occipital activity in ecstasy users in all conditions. Activations in response to the ecstasy stimuli in these regions showed an apparent antagonism whereby ecstasy users, relative to controls, showed increased occipital but decreased right prefrontal activation. These results are interpreted to reflect increased visual processing of, and decreased prefrontal control over, the irrelevant but salient ecstasy-related stimuli. These results suggest that right inferior frontal cortex may play an important role in controlling drug-related attentional biases and may thus play an important role in mediating control over drug usage. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Boll, Sabrina; Bartholomaeus, Marie; Peter, Ulrike; Lupke, Ulrike; Gamer, Matthias
Previous studies of social phobia have reported an increased vigilance to social threat cues but also an avoidance of socially relevant stimuli such as eye gaze. The primary aim of this study was to examine attentional mechanisms relevant for perceiving social cues by means of abnormalities in scanning of facial features in patients with social phobia. In two novel experimental paradigms, patients with social phobia and healthy controls matched on age, gender and education were compared regarding their gazing behavior towards facial cues. The first experiment was an emotion classification paradigm which allowed for differentiating reflexive attentional shifts from sustained attention towards diagnostically relevant facial features. In the second experiment, attentional orienting by gaze direction was assessed in a gaze-cueing paradigm in which non-predictive gaze cues shifted attention towards or away from subsequently presented targets. We found that patients as compared to controls reflexively oriented their attention more frequently towards the eyes of emotional faces in the emotion classification paradigm. This initial hypervigilance for the eye region was observed at very early attentional stages when faces were presented for 150ms, and persisted when facial stimuli were shown for 3s. Moreover, a delayed attentional orienting into the direction of eye gaze was observed in individuals with social phobia suggesting a differential time course of eye gaze processing in patients and controls. Our findings suggest that basic mechanisms of early attentional exploration of social cues are biased in social phobia and might contribute to the development and maintenance of the disorder. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Everaert, Jonas; Duyck, Wouter; Koster, Ernst H W
Emotional biases in attention, interpretation, and memory are viewed as important cognitive processes underlying symptoms of depression. To date, there is a limited understanding of the interplay among these processing biases. This study tested the dependence of memory on depression-related biases in attention and interpretation. Subclinically depressed and nondepressed participants completed a computerized version of the scrambled sentences test (measuring interpretation bias) while their eye movements were recorded (measuring attention bias). This task was followed by an incidental free recall test of previously constructed interpretations (measuring memory bias). Path analysis revealed a good fit for the model in which selective orienting of attention was associated with interpretation bias, which in turn was associated with a congruent bias in memory. Also, a good fit was observed for a path model in which biases in the maintenance of attention and interpretation were associated with memory bias. Both path models attained a superior fit compared with path models without the theorized functional relations among processing biases. These findings enhance understanding of how mechanisms of attention and interpretation regulate what is remembered. As such, they offer support for the combined cognitive biases hypothesis or the notion that emotionally biased cognitive processes are not isolated mechanisms but instead influence each other. Implications for theoretical models and emotion regulation across the spectrum of depressive symptoms are discussed.
Full Text Available Recently, researchers have investigated the causal nature of attentional bias for threat (AB in the maintenance of anxiety disorders by experimentally manipulating it. They found that training anxious individuals to attend to nonthreat stimuli reduces AB, which, in turn, reduces anxiety. This effect supports the hypothesis that AB can causally impact the maintenance of anxiety. At a fundamental level, however, uncertainty still abounds regarding the nature of the processes that mediate this effect. In the present paper, we propose that two contrasting approaches may be derived from theoretical accounts of AB. According to a first class of models, called the valence-specific bias models, modifying AB requires the modification of valence-specific attentional selectivity. According to a second class of models, called the attention control models, modifying AB requires the modification of attention control, driven by the recruitment of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. We formulate a series of specific predictions, to provide suggestions to trial these two approaches one against the other. This knowledge is critical for understanding the mechanisms of AB in anxiety disorders, which bares important clinical implications.
Koster, Ernst H W; De Raedt, Rudi; Leyman, Lemke; De Lissnyder, Evi
Recent studies indicate that depression is characterized by mood-congruent attention bias at later stages of information-processing. Moreover, depression has been associated with enhanced recall of negative information. The present study tested the coherence between attention and memory bias in dysphoria. Stable dysphoric (n = 41) and non-dysphoric (n = 41) undergraduates first performed a spatial cueing task that included negative, positive, and neutral words. Words were presented for 250 ms under conditions that allowed or prevented elaborate processing. Memory for the words presented in the cueing task was tested using incidental free recall. Dysphoric individuals exhibited an attention bias for negative words in the condition that allowed elaborate processing, with the attention bias for negative words predicting free recall of negative words. Results demonstrate the coherence of attention and memory bias in dysphoric individuals and provide suggestions on the influence of attention bias on further processing of negative material. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Carr, Katelyn A; Epstein, Leonard H
Reinforcing efficacy of food, or the relationship between food prices and purchasing, is related to obesity status and energy intake in adults. Determining how to allocate resources for food is a decision making process influenced by executive functions. Attention to appetitive cues, as well as working memory capacity, or the ability to flexibly control attention while mentally retaining information, may be important executive functions involved in food purchasing decisions. In two studies, we examined how attention bias to food and working memory capacity are related to reinforcing efficacy of both high energy-dense and low energy-dense foods. The first study examined 48 women of varying body mass index (BMI) and found that the relationship between attentional processes and reinforcing efficacy was moderated by working memory capacity. Those who avoid food cues and had high working memory capacity had the lowest reinforcing efficacy, as compared to those with low working memory capacity. Study 2 systematically replicated the methods of study 1 with assessment of maintained attention in a sample of 48 overweight/obese adults. Results showed the relationship between maintained attention to food cues and reinforcing efficacy was moderated by working memory capacity. Those with a maintained attention to food and high working memory capacity had higher reinforcing efficacy than low working memory capacity individuals. These studies suggest working memory capacity moderated the relationship between different aspects of attention and food reinforcement. Understanding how decision making process are involved in reinforcing efficacy may help to identify future intervention targets. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shen, Bin; Chiu, Meng-Chun; Li, Shuo-Heng; Huang, Guo-Joe; Liu, Ling-Jun; Ho, Ming-Chou
The World Health Organization regards betel quid as a human carcinogen, and DSM-IV and ICD-10 dependence symptoms may develop with heavy use. This study, conducted in central Taiwan, investigated whether betel quid chewers can exhibit overt orienting to selectively respond to the betel quid cues. Twenty-four male chewers' and 23 male nonchewers' eye movements to betel-quid-related pictures and matched pictures were assessed during a visual probe task. The eye movement index showed that betel quid chewers were more likely to initially direct their gaze to the betel quid cues, t(23) = 3.70, p betel quid chewers' attentional bias. The results demonstrated that the betel quid chewers (but not the nonchewers) were more likely to initially direct their gaze to the betel quid cues, and spent more time and were more fixated on them. These findings suggested that when attention is directly measured through the eye tracking technique, this methodology may be more sensitive to detecting attentional biases in betel quid chewers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Burnett, Katherine E; Close, Alex C; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet
A commonly held view in both exogenous and endogenous orienting is that spatial attention is associated with enhanced processing of all stimuli at the attended location. However, we often search for a specific target at a particular location, so an observer should be able to jointly specify the target identity and expected location. Whether attention can bias dimension-specific processes at a particular location is not yet clear. We used a dual task to examine the effects of endogenous spatial cues on the accuracy of perceptual judgments of different dimensions. Participants responded to a motion target and a colour target, presented at the same or different locations. We manipulated a central cue to predict the location of the motion or colour target. While overall performance in the two tasks was comparable, cueing effects were larger for the target whose location was predicted by the cue, implying that when attending a particular location, processing of the likely dimension was preferentially enhanced. Additionally, an asymmetry between the motion and colour tasks was seen; motion was modulated by attention, and colour was not. We conclude that attention has some ability to select a dimension at a particular location, indicating integration of spatial and feature-based attention.
Liu, Ying; Ding, Yi; Lu, Luluzi; Chen, Xu
How attachment style affects emotion processing is tightly connected with individuals' attention bias. This experiment explored avoidant individuals' attentional engagement and attentional disengagement using a cue-target paradigm in fMRI. The experimental group consisted of 17 avoidant participants, while the control group consisted of 16 secure participants; these were identified by the Experiences in Close Relationships inventory and the Relationship Questionnaire. Each reacted to pictures of positive parent-child attachment, negative parent-child attachment, positive romantic attachment, negative romantic attachment, and neutral non-attachment. Behaviorally, avoidant individuals were slower than secure individuals in responding to emotions and their attentional disengagement effect for negative parent-child emotions was stronger than positive ones. fMRI results showed that avoidant compared to secure individuals activated more strongly in the right superior temporal gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, and the left medial frontal gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, supplementary motor area, and cingulate gyrus. They also showed stronger activation in disengaging from positive than negative emotions in the bilateral fusiform and middle occipital gyri. In conclusion, avoidant individuals could detect emotions as effective as secure individuals in attentioal engaging stages. They can disengage from positive emotions with effective cognitive resources and were harder to get rid of negative emotions with insufficient resource.
Fan, Judith E; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B
Holding recently experienced information in mind can help us achieve our current goals. However, such immediate and direct forms of guidance from working memory are less helpful over extended delays or when other related information in long-term memory is useful for reaching these goals. Here we show that information that was encoded in the past but is no longer present or relevant to the task also guides attention. We examined this by associating multiple unique features with novel shapes in visual long-term memory (VLTM), and subsequently testing how memories for these objects biased the deployment of attention. In Experiment 1, VLTM for associated features guided visual search for the shapes, even when these features had never been task-relevant. In Experiment 2, associated features captured attention when presented in isolation during a secondary task that was completely unrelated to the shapes. These findings suggest that long-term memory enables a durable and automatic type of memory-based attentional control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available Compared to previous studies of competition with participants’ direct involvement, the current study for the first time investigated the influence of competitive outcomes on attentional bias from a perspective of an onlooker. Two simple games were employed: the Rock-Paper-Scissors game (Experiment 1 in which the outcome is based on luck, and Arm-wrestling (Experiment 2, in which the outcome is based on the competitors’ strength. After observing one of these games, participants were asked to judge a stimulus presented on either the winner’s or loser’s side of a screen. Both experiments yielded the same results, indicating that the onlookers made much quicker judgments on stimuli presented on the loser’s side than the winner’s side. This suggests the existence of an attention bias for loser-related information once a competition has ended. Our findings provide a new lens through which the influence of competition results on human cognitive processing can be understood.
Ho, Ming-Chou; Li, Shuo-Heng; Yeh, Su-Ling
Previous research (Zeelenberg, Wagenmakers, & Rotteveel, 2006) revealed that emotionally meaningful words were identified significantly better than neutral words, with no difference between positive and negative words. Since in that study only a single target word was displayed at a time, we hypothesized that the equivalent performances for positive and negative words were due to a lack of competition. To test this, in our Experiment 1, we replicated Zeelenberg and colleagues' finding, using emotion-laden Chinese words and the identical data-limited method, which measured the accuracy of a briefly shown target. We then introduced competition in Experiment 2 by simultaneously presenting two words during the target frame, and found evidence for an early attentional bias to negative words. In Experiment 3, we confirmed that the bias in Experiment 2 was not due to the inevitable repetition of stimuli. Taken together, these results support our hypothesis that, in the presence of competition, negative words receive attentional priority and consequently have enhanced perceptual representations.
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Long-term memory (LTM) has been shown to bias attention to a previously learned visual target location. Here, we examined whether memory-predicted spatial location can facilitate the detection of a faint pure tone target embedded in real world audio clips (e.g., soundtrack of a restaurant). During an initial familiarization task, participants heard audio clips, some of which included a lateralized target (p = 50%). On each trial participants indicated whether the target was presented from the left, right, or was absent. Following a 1 hr retention interval, participants were presented with the same audio clips, which now all included a target. In Experiment 1, participants showed memory-based gains in response time and d'. Experiment 2 showed that temporal expectations modulate attention, with greater memory-guided attention effects on performance when temporal context was reinstated from learning (i.e., when timing of the target within audio clips was not changed from initially learned timing). Experiment 3 showed that while conscious recall of target locations was modulated by exposure to target-context associations during learning (i.e., better recall with higher number of learning blocks), the influence of LTM associations on spatial attention was not reduced (i.e., number of learning blocks did not affect memory-guided attention). Both Experiments 2 and 3 showed gains in performance related to target-context associations, even for associations that were not explicitly remembered. Together, these findings indicate that memory for audio clips is acquired quickly and is surprisingly robust; both implicit and explicit LTM for the location of a faint target tone modulated auditory spatial attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Schoenmakers, T.M.; Bruin, de M.; Lux, I.F.M.; Goertz, A.G.; Kerkhof, van D.H.A.T.; Wiers, R.W.
A new training to decrease attentional bias (attentional bias modification training, ABM) was tested in a randomized controlled experimental study with alcohol-dependent patients as an addition to cognitive behavioral therapy. In alcohol dependence, attentional bias has been associated with severity
Yao, Nisha; Yu, Hongyu; Qian, Mingyi; Li, Songwei
Attention bias modification (ABM) is designed to modify threat-related attention bias and thus alleviate anxiety. The current research examined whether consistently directing attention towards targeted goals per se contributes to ABM efficacy. We randomly assigned 68 non-clinical college students with elevated social anxiety to non-valence-specific attend-to-geometrics (AGC), attention modification (AMC), or attention control (ACC) conditions. We assessed subjective, behavioral, and physiological reactivity to a speech task and self-reported social anxiety symptoms. After training, participants in the AMC exhibited an attention avoidance from threat, and those in the AGC responded more rapidly toward targeted geometrics. There was a significant pre- to post-reduction in subjective speech distress across groups, but behavioral and physiological reactivity to speech, as well as self-report social anxiety symptoms, remained unchanged. These results lead to questions concerning effectiveness of ABM training for reducing social anxiety. Further examination of the current ABM protocol is required. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available We conducted a human fear conditioning experiment in which three different color cues were followed by an aversive electric shock on 0, 50, and 100% of the trials, and thus induced low (L, partial (P, and high (H shock expectancy, respectively. The cues differed with respect to the strength of their shock association (L < P < H and the uncertainty of their prediction (L < P > H. During conditioning we measured pupil dilation and ocular fixations to index differences in the attentional processing of the cues. After conditioning, the shock-associated colors were introduced as irrelevant distracters during visual search for a shape target while shocks were no longer administered and we analyzed the cues’ potential to capture and hold overt attention automatically. Our findings suggest that fear conditioning creates an automatic attention bias for the conditioned cues that depends on their correlation with the aversive outcome. This bias was exclusively linked to the strength of the cues’ shock association for the early attentional processing of cues in the visual periphery, but additionally was influenced by the uncertainty of the shock prediction after participants fixated on the cues. These findings are in accord with attentional learning theories that formalize how associative learning shapes automatic attention.
Koenig, Stephan; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald
We conducted a human fear conditioning experiment in which three different color cues were followed by an aversive electric shock on 0, 50, and 100% of the trials, and thus induced low (L), partial (P), and high (H) shock expectancy, respectively. The cues differed with respect to the strength of their shock association (L H). During conditioning we measured pupil dilation and ocular fixations to index differences in the attentional processing of the cues. After conditioning, the shock-associated colors were introduced as irrelevant distracters during visual search for a shape target while shocks were no longer administered and we analyzed the cues’ potential to capture and hold overt attention automatically. Our findings suggest that fear conditioning creates an automatic attention bias for the conditioned cues that depends on their correlation with the aversive outcome. This bias was exclusively linked to the strength of the cues’ shock association for the early attentional processing of cues in the visual periphery, but additionally was influenced by the uncertainty of the shock prediction after participants fixated on the cues. These findings are in accord with attentional learning theories that formalize how associative learning shapes automatic attention. PMID:28588466
Ciaramelli, Elisa; Lin, Olivia; Moscovitch, Morris
The study explores the bottom-up attentional consequences of episodic memory retrieval. Individuals studied words (Experiment 1) or pictures (Experiment 2) presented on the left or on the right of the screen. They then viewed studied and new stimuli in the centre of the screen. One-second after the appearance of each stimulus, participants had to respond to a dot presented on the left or on the right of the screen. The dot could follow a stimulus that had been presented, during the study phase, on the same side as the dot (congruent condition), a stimulus that had been presented on the opposite side (incongruent condition), or a new stimulus (neutral condition). Subjects were faster to respond to the dot in the congruent compared to the incongruent condition, with an overall right visual field advantage in Experiment 1. The memory-driven facilitation effect correlated with subjects' re-experiencing of the encoding context (R responses; Experiment 1), but not with their explicit memory for the side of items' presentation (source memory; Experiment 2). The results indicate that memory contents are attended automatically and can bias the deployment of attention. The degree to which memory and attention interact appears related to subjective but not objective indicators of memory strength.
Goedert, Kelly M; Leblanc, Andrew; Tsai, Sen-Wei; Barrett, Anna M
Proposals that adaptation with left-shifting prisms induces neglect-like symptoms in normal individuals rely on a dissociation between the postadaptation performance of individuals trained with left- versus right-shifting prisms (e.g., Colent, Pisella, & Rossetti, 2000). A potential problem with this evidence is that normal young adults have an a priori leftward bias (e.g., Jewell & McCourt, 2000). In Experiment 1, we compared the line bisection performance of young adults to that of aged adults, who as a group may lack a leftward bias in line bisection. Participants trained with both left- and right-shifting prisms. Consistent with our hypothesis, while young adults demonstrated aftereffects for left, but not right prisms, aged adults demonstrated reliable aftereffects for both prisms. In Experiment 2, we recruited a larger sample of young adults, some of whom were right-biased at baseline. We observed an interaction between baseline bias and prism-shift, consistent with the results of Experiment 1: Left-biased individuals showed a reduced aftereffect when training with right-shifting prisms and right-biased individuals showed a reduced aftereffect when training with left-shifting prisms. These results suggest that previous failures to find generalizable aftereffects with right-shifting prisms may be driven by participants' baseline biases rather than specific effects of the prism itself.
McGrath, Daniel S.; Meitner, Amadeus; Sears, Christopher R.
A growing body of research indicates that gamblers develop an attentional bias for gambling-related stimuli. Compared to research on substance use, however, few studies have examined attentional biases in gamblers using eye-gaze tracking, which has many advantages over other measures of attention. In addition, previous studies of attentional biases in gamblers have not directly matched type of gambler with personally-relevant gambling cues. The present study investigated the specificity of at...
Banich Marie T
Full Text Available Abstract Background We examined whether individual differences in hemispheric utilization can interact with the intrinsic attentional biases of the cerebral hemispheres. Evidence suggests that the hemispheres have competing biases to direct attention contralaterally, with the left hemisphere (LH having a stronger bias than the right hemisphere. There is also evidence that individuals have characteristic biases to utilize one hemisphere more than the other for processing information, which can induce a bias to direct attention to contralateral space. We predicted that LH-biased individuals would display a strong rightward attentional bias, which would create difficulty in selectively attending to target stimuli in the left visual field (LVF as compared to right in the performance of a bilateral flanker task. Results Consistent with our hypothesis, flanker interference effects were found on the N2c event-related brain potential and error rate for LH-biased individuals in the Attend-LVF condition. The error rate effect was correlated with the degree of hemispheric utilization bias for the LH-Bias group. Conclusion We conclude that hemispheric utilization bias can enhance a hemisphere's contralateral attentional bias, at least for individuals with a LH utilization bias. Hemispheric utilization bias may play an important and largely unrecognized role in visuospatial attention.
Folkvord, F.; Anschutz, D.J.; Buijzen, M.A.
Attentional bias theory suggests that an increased motivation to receive or avoid a rewarding substance elevates automatic selective attention toward cues that are related to that specific substance. Until now, no study has examined attentional bias toward food cues in food advertisements, even
Pergamin-Hight, Lee; Naim, Reut; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Bar-Haim, Yair
Despite the established evidence for threat-related attention bias in anxiety, the mechanisms underlying this bias remain unclear. One important unresolved question is whether disorder-congruent threats capture attention to a greater extent than do more general or disorder-incongruent threat stimuli. Evidence for attention bias specificity in anxiety would implicate involvement of previous learning and memory processes in threat-related attention bias, whereas lack of content specificity would point to perturbations in more generic attention processes. Enhanced clarity of mechanism could have clinical implications for the stimuli types used in Attention Bias Modification Treatments (ABMT). Content specificity of threat-related attention bias in anxiety and potential moderators of this effect were investigated. A systematic search identified 37 samples from 29 articles (N=866). Relevant data were extracted based on specific coding rules, and Cohen's d effect size was used to estimate bias specificity effects. The results indicate greater attention bias toward disorder-congruent relative to disorder-incongruent threat stimuli (d=0.28, pattention tasks, or type of disorder-incongruent stimuli. No evidence of publication bias was observed. Implications for threat bias in anxiety and ABMT are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Klein, Barrie P; Paffen, Chris L E; Pas, Susan F Te; Dumoulin, Serge O
Attention is the mechanism through which we select relevant information from our visual environment. We have recently demonstrated that attention attracts receptive fields across the visual hierarchy (Klein, Harvey, & Dumoulin, 2014). We captured this receptive field attraction using an attention
Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Sander, David
Despite an initial focus on negative threatening stimuli, researchers have more recently expanded the investigation of attentional biases toward positive rewarding stimuli. The present meta-analysis systematically compared attentional bias for positive compared with neutral visual stimuli across 243 studies (N = 9,120 healthy participants) that used different types of attentional paradigms and positive stimuli. Factors were tested that, as postulated by several attentional models derived from theories of emotion, might modulate this bias. Overall, results showed a significant, albeit modest (Hedges' g = .258), attentional bias for positive as compared with neutral stimuli. Moderator analyses revealed that the magnitude of this attentional bias varied as a function of arousal and that this bias was significantly larger when the emotional stimulus was relevant to specific concerns (e.g., hunger) of the participants compared with other positive stimuli that were less relevant to the participants' concerns. Moreover, the moderator analyses showed that attentional bias for positive stimuli was larger in paradigms that measure early, rather than late, attentional processing, suggesting that attentional bias for positive stimuli occurs rapidly and involuntarily. Implications for theories of emotion and attention are discussed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Romens, Sarah E.; Pollak, Seth D.
Background: Child maltreatment is associated with heightened risk for depression; however, not all individuals who experience maltreatment develop depression. Previous research indicates that maltreatment contributes to an attention bias for emotional cues, and that depressed individuals show attention bias for sad cues. Method: The present study…
Waters, Allison M.; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P.; Pine, Daniel S.
Attentional bias for angry and happy faces in 7-12 year old children with general anxiety disorder (GAD) is examined. Results suggest that an attentional bias toward threat faces depends on a certain degree of clinical severity and/or the type of anxiety diagnosis in children.
Lochbühler, K.C.; Voogd, H.F.J.M.; Scholte, R.H.J.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
Research has shown that smokers have an attentional bias for pictorial smoking cues. The objective of the present study was to examine whether smokers also have an attentional bias for dynamic smoking cues in contemporary movies and therefore fixate more quickly, more often and for longer periods of
McGrath, Lauren M.; Oates, Joyce M.; Dai, Yael G.; Dodd, Helen F.; Waxler, Jessica; Clements, Caitlin C.; Weill, Sydney; Hoffnagle, Alison; Anderson, Erin; MacRae, Rebecca; Mullett, Jennifer; McDougle, Christopher J.; Pober, Barbara R.; Smoller, Jordan W.
Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) often experience significant anxiety. A promising approach to anxiety intervention has emerged from cognitive studies of attention bias to threat. To investigate the utility of this intervention in WS, this study examined attention bias to happy and angry faces in individuals with WS (N = 46). Results showed…
Duijvenbode, N. van; Didden, H.C.M.; Korzilius, H.P.L.M.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
Background: Problematic drinkers favour the processing of alcohol-related stimuli at the cost of other stimuli and also find it difficult to disengage their attention from these stimuli. This is indicative of an attentional bias towards alcohol. The goal of this study was to examine this bias in
Gibb, Brandon E.; Benas, Jessica S.; Grassia, Marie; McGeary, John
In this study, we examined the roles of specific cognitive (attentional bias) and genetic ("5-HTTLPR") risk factors in the intergenerational transmission of depression. Focusing first on the link between maternal history of major depressive disorder (MDD) and children's attentional biases, we found that children of mothers with a history…
Li, Xiaoming; Tao, Qian; Fang, Ya; Cheng, Chen; Hao, Yangyang; Qi, Jianjun; Li, Yu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Xiaochu
The cognitive mechanism underlying the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving is unknown. The present study explored the mechanism by examining the role of reward sensitivity in attentional bias toward ice cream cues. Forty-nine college students who displayed high level of ice cream craving (HICs) and 46 who displayed low level of ice cream craving (LICs) performed an inattentional blindness (IB) task which was used to assess attentional bias for ice cream. In addition, reward sensitivity and coping style were assessed by the Behavior Inhibition System/Behavior Activation System Scales and Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire. Results showed significant higher identification rate of the critical stimulus in the HICs than LICs, suggesting greater attentional bias for ice cream in the HICs. It was indicated that attentional bias for food cues persisted even under inattentional condition. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between the attentional bias and reward sensitivity after controlling for coping style, and reward sensitivity predicted attentional bias for food cues. The mediation analyses showed that attentional bias mediated the relationship between reward sensitivity and food craving. Those findings suggest that the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving may be attributed to attentional bias for food-related cues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mohammadi, Somayyeh; Dehghani, Mohsen; Khatibi, Ali; Sanderman, Robbert; Hagedoorn, Mariet
Attentional bias to pain among family caregivers of patients with pain may enhance the detection of pain behaviors in patients. However, both relatively high and low levels of attentional bias may increase disagreement between patients and caregivers in reporting pain behaviors. This study aims to
Zvielli, Ariel; Bernstein, Amit; Koster, Ernst H W
The aim of the present study was to question untested assumptions about the nature of the expression of Attentional Bias (AB) towards and away from threat stimuli. We tested the idea that high trait anxious individuals (N = 106; M(SD)age = 23.9(3.2) years; 68% women) show a stable AB towards multiple categories of threatening information using the emotional visual dot probe task. AB with respect to five categories of threat stimuli (i.e., angry faces, attacking dogs, attacking snakes, pointed weapons, violent scenes) was evaluated. In contrast with current theories, we found that 34% of participants expressed AB towards threat stimuli, 20.8% AB away from threat stimuli, and 34% AB towards some categories of threat stimuli and away from others. The multiple observed expressions of AB were not an artifact of a specific criterion AB score cut-off; not specific to certain categories of threat stimuli; not an artifact of differences in within-subject variability in reaction time; nor accounted for by individual differences in anxiety-related variables. Findings are conceptualized as reflecting the understudied dynamics of AB expression, with implications for AB measurement and quantification, etiology, relations, and intervention research.
Vollstadt-Klein S, et al. 2012. Impairment of inhibitory control in response to food - associated cues and attentional bias of obese participants...on the obesity epidemic? Int. J. Eat. Disord. 34:S117-20 104. Yokum S, Ng J, Stice E. 2011. Attentional bias to food images associated with...bias toward high palatable foods versus neutral objects was positively associated with BMI-z. These findings suggest that LOC eating and body weight
Demeyer, Ineke; De Raedt, Rudi
Research suggests that older adults display a positivity bias at the level of information processing. However, because studies investigating attentional bias for emotional information in older adults have produced mixed findings, research identifying inter-individual differences that may explain these inconsistent results is necessary. Therefore, we investigated whether mood, symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety and future time perspective are related to attentional bias in older adults. Thirty-seven healthy older adults and 25 healthy middle-aged adults completed questionnaires to assess mood, symptoms of depression, symptoms of anxiety and future time perspective. Attentional bias towards happy, sad and neutral information was measured using a modified exogenous cueing paradigm with long cue presentations, to measure maintained attention versus avoidance of emotional stimuli. Older adults showed attentional avoidance for all emotional faces, whereas no attentional biases were found in the middle-aged group. Moreover, in the older adult group, avoidance for negative information was related to anxiety. Future time perspective was unrelated to attentional bias. These findings suggest that anxiety may lead to inter-individual differences in attentional bias in older adults, and that avoidance from negative information may be an emotion regulation strategy.
Full Text Available Spatial motor-intentional Aiming bias is a dysfunction in initiation/execution of motor intentional behavior, resulting in hypokinetic and hypometric leftward movements. Aiming bias may contribute to posture, balance and movement problems and uniquely account for disability in post-stroke spatial neglect. Body movement may modify and even worsen Aiming errors, but therapy techniques such as visual scanning training do not take this into account. Here, we evaluated 1 whether instructing neglect patients to move midline body parts improves their ability to explore left space, and 2 whether this has a different impact on different patients. A 68-year-old woman with spatial neglect after a right basal ganglia infarct had difficulty orienting to and identifying left-sided objects. She was prompted with four instructions: look to the left, point with your nose to the left, point with your [right] hand to the left, and stick out your tongue and point it to the left. She oriented leftward dramatically better when pointing with the tongue/nose, than she did when pointing with the hand. We then tested 9 more consecutive patients with spatial neglect using the same instructions. Only four of them made any orienting errors. Only one patient made >50% errors when pointing with the hand, and she did not benefit from pointing with the tongue/nose. We observed that pointing with the tongue could facilitate left-sided orientation in a stroke survivor with spatial neglect. If midline structures are represented more bilaterally, they may be less affected by Aiming bias. Alternatively, moving the body midline may be more permissive for leftward orienting than moving right body parts. We were not able to replicate this effect in another patient; we suspect that the magnitude of this effect may depend upon the degree to which patients have directional akinesia, spatial Where deficits, or cerebellar/frontal cortical lesions. Future research could examine these
Lee, Lewina O.; Knight, Bob G.
Socioemotional selectivity theory suggests that emotion regulation goals motivate older adults to preferentially allocate attention to positive stimuli and away from negative stimuli. This study examined whether anxiety moderates the effect of the positivity bias on attention for threat. We employed the dot probe task to compare subliminal and supraliminal attention for threat in 103 young and 44 older adults. Regardless of anxiety, older but not younger adults demonstrated a vigilant-avoidant response to angry faces. Anxiety influenced older adults’ attention such that anxious individuals demonstrated a vigilant-avoidant reaction to sad faces, but an avoidant-vigilant reaction to negative words. PMID:19739931
van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; de Jong, Peter J; Ostafin, Brian D; Wiers, Reinout W
This study examined whether attentional bias for alcohol stimuli was associated with alcohol use in young adolescents, and whether the frequently demonstrated relationship between reward sensitivity and adolescent alcohol use would be partly mediated by attentional bias for alcohol cues. In addition, this study investigated the potential moderating role of executive control (EC), and tested whether the relationship between alcohol-related attentional bias and alcohol use was especially present in young adolescents with weak EC. Participants were 86 adolescents (mean age=14.86), who completed a Visual Probe Task (VPT) as an index of attentional bias, a flanker-task based Attention Network Task (ANT) as an index of EC, the sensitivity of punishment and sensitivity of reward questionnaire (SPSRQ) as an index of reward sensitivity, and an alcohol use questionnaire. High reward sensitivity, high alcohol-related attentional bias, and weak EC were all related to alcohol use. The relationship between reward sensitivity and alcohol use was not mediated by alcohol-related attentional bias. As hypothesized, attentional bias was only associated with alcohol use in participants with weak EC. Together, the present findings are consistent with the view that high reward sensitivity and low EC may be considered as risk factors for adolescent alcohol use. The independent contribution of reward sensitivity and attentional bias might suggest that adolescents who are highly reward sensitive and display an attentional bias for alcohol cues are at even higher risk for excessive alcohol use and developing alcohol abuse problems. Future research using a longitudinal approach would allow an examination of these risk factors on subsequent alcohol use. Treatment implications are discussed, including the importance of strengthening EC and reducing the rewarding value of alcohol use. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Platt, Belinda; Waters, Allison M; Schulte-Koerne, Gerd; Engelmann, Lina; Salemink, Elske
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in childhood and adolescence. Although data consistently show it is associated with self-reported negative cognitive styles, less is known about the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Cognitive biases in attention, interpretation and memory represent plausible mechanisms and are known to characterise adult depression. We provide the first structured review of studies investigating the nature and causal role of cognitive biases in youth depression. Key questions are (i) do cognitive biases characterise youth depression? (ii) are cognitive biases a vulnerability factor for youth depression? and (iii) do cognitive biases play a causal role in youth depression? We find consistent evidence for positive associations between attention and interpretation biases and youth depression. Stronger biases in youth with an elevated risk of depression support cognitive-vulnerability models. Preliminary evidence from cognitive bias modification paradigms supports a causal role of attention and interpretation biases in youth depression but these paradigms require testing in clinical samples before they can be considered treatment tools. Studies of memory biases in youth samples have produced mixed findings and none have investigated the causal role of memory bias. We identify numerous areas for future research in this emerging field.
Colzato, L.S.; Hooidonk, L.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Harinck, F.; Hommel, B.
Homosexuals are believed to have a "sixth sense" for recognizing each other, an ability referred to as gaydar. We considered that being a homosexual might rely on systematic practice of processing relatively specific, local perceptual features, which might lead to a corresponding chronic bias of
Teunissen, H.A.; Spijkerman, R.; Schoenmakers, T.M.; Vohs, K.D.; Engels, R.C.M.
Attentional bias for alcohol cues increases craving and subsequent alcohol consumption. Override processes can be used to disengage attention from alcohol cues. This requires self-control and implies that depletion of self-control would impair the ability to disengage attention from alcohol cues.
Fernanda Machado Lopes
Full Text Available Introduction: Attentional bias, the tendency that a person has to drive or maintain attention to a specific class of stimuli, may play an important role in the etiology and persistence of mental disorders. Attentional bias modification has been studied as a form of additional treatment related to automatic processing. Objectives: This systematic literature review compared and discussed methods, evidence of success and potential clinical applications of studies about attentional bias modification (ABM using a visual probe task. Methods: The Web of Knowledge, PubMed and PsycInfo were searched using the keywords attentional bias modification, attentional bias manipulation and attentional bias training. We selected empirical studies about ABM training using a visual probe task written in English and published between 2002 and 2014. Results: Fifty-seven studies met inclusion criteria. Most (78% succeeded in training attention in the predicted direction, and in 71% results were generalized to other measures correlated with the symptoms. Conclusions: ABM has potential clinical utility, but to standardize methods and maximize applicability, future studies should include clinical samples and be based on findings of studies about its effectiveness.
Clerkin, Elise M; Magee, Joshua C; Wells, Tony T; Beard, Courtney; Barnett, Nancy P
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. 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. Social Anxiety Control) by 2 (Alcohol ABM vs. Alcohol Control) design. Symptoms of social anxiety, alcohol dependence, and attention bias were assessed across time. Multilevel models estimated the trajectories for each measure within individuals, and tested whether these trajectories differed according to the randomized training conditions. Across time, there were significant or trending decreases in all attention TL-BS parameters (but not traditional attention bias scores) and most symptom measures. However, there were not significant differences in the trajectories of change between any ABM and control conditions for any symptom measures. These findings add to previous evidence questioning the robustness of ABM and point to the need to extend the effects of ABM to samples that are racially diverse and/or have co-occurring psychopathology. The results also illustrate the potential importance of calculating trial-level attention bias scores rather than only including traditional bias scores. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Clerkin, Elise M.; Magee, Joshua C.; Wells, Tony T.; Beard, Courtney; Barnett, Nancy P.
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. Social Anxiety Control) by 2 (Alcohol ABM vs. Alcohol Control) design. Symptoms of social anxiety, alcohol dependence, and attention bias were assessed across time. Results Multilevel models estimated the trajectories for each measure within individuals, and tested whether these trajectories differed according to the randomized training conditions. Across time, there were significant or trending decreases in all attention TL-BS parameters (but not traditional attention bias scores) and most symptom measures. However, there were not significant differences in the trajectories of change between any ABM and control conditions for any symptom measures. Conclusions These findings add to previous evidence questioning the robustness of ABM and point to the need to extend the effects of ABM to samples that are racially diverse and/or have co-occurring psychopathology. The results also illustrate the potential importance of calculating trial-level attention bias scores rather than only including traditional bias scores. PMID:27591918
Ramirez, Jason J; Monti, Peter M; Colwill, Ruth M
The effect of alcohol-cue exposure on eliciting craving has been well documented, and numerous theoretical models assert that craving is a clinically significant construct central to the motivation and maintenance of alcohol-seeking behavior. Furthermore, some theories propose a relationship between craving and attention, such that cue-induced increases in craving bias attention toward alcohol cues, which, in turn, perpetuates craving. This study examined the extent to which alcohol cues induce craving and bias attention toward alcohol cues among underage college-student drinkers. We designed within-subject cue-reactivity and visual-probe tasks to assess in vivo alcohol-cue exposure effects on craving and attentional bias on 39 undergraduate college drinkers (ages 18-20). Participants expressed greater subjective craving to drink alcohol following in vivo cue exposure to a commonly consumed beer compared with water exposure. Furthermore, following alcohol-cue exposure, participants exhibited greater attentional biases toward alcohol cues as measured by a visual-probe task. In addition to the cue-exposure effects on craving and attentional bias, within-subject differences in craving across sessions marginally predicted within-subject differences in attentional bias. Implications for both theory and practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
van den Heuvel, O.A.; Veltman, D.J.; Groenewegen, H.J.; Witter, M.P.; Merkelbach, J.; Cath, D.C.; van Balkom, A.J.; van Oppen, P.; van Dyck, R.
Context: Attentional bias to disease-relevant emotional cues is considered to be pathogenetically relevant in anxiety disorders. Objective: To investigate functional neural correlates and disease specificity of attentional bias across different anxiety disorders. Design: A cognitive and emotional
van den Heuvel, Odile A.; Veltman, Dick J.; Groenewegen, Henk J.; Witter, Menno P.; Merkelbach, Jille; Cath, Danielle C.; van Balkom, Anton J. L. M.; van Oppen, Patricia; van Dyck, Richard
CONTEXT: Attentional bias to disease-relevant emotional cues is considered to be pathogenetically relevant in anxiety disorders. OBJECTIVE: To investigate functional neural correlates and disease specificity of attentional bias across different anxiety disorders. DESIGN: A cognitive and emotional
Zhang, Melvyn; Ying, Jiangbo; Wing, Tracey; Song, Guo; Fung, Daniel S S; Smith, Helen
Background : Opiates, cannabis, and amphetamines are highly abused, and use of these substances are prevalent disorders. Psychological interventions are crucial given that they help individuals maintain abstinence following a lapse or relapse into substance use. Advances in experimental psychology have suggested that automatic attention biases might be responsible for relapse. Prior reviews have provided evidence for the presence of these biases in addictive disorders and the effectiveness of bias modification. However, the prior studies are limited, as they failed to include trials involving participants with these prevalent addictive disorders or have failed to adopt a systematic approach in evidence synthesis. Objectives : The primary aim of this current systematic review is to synthesise the current evidence for attention biases amongst opioid use, cannabis use, and stimulant use disorders. The secondary aim is to determine the efficacy of attention bias modification interventions and other addictions related outcomes. Methods : A search was conducted from November 2017 to January 2018 on PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Science Direct, Cochrane Central, and Scopus. The selection process of the articles was in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines. A qualitative synthesis was undertaken. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Results : Six randomised trials were identified. The evidence synthesized from these trials have provided strong evidence that attentional biases are present in opioid and stimulant use disorders. Evidence synthesis for other secondary outcome measures could not be performed given the heterogeneity in the measures reported and the limited number of trials. The risk of bias assessment for the included trials revealed a high risk of selection and attrition bias. Conclusions : This review demonstrates the potential need for interventions targeting attention
Pérez-Edgar, Koraly; Bar-Haim, Yair; McDermott, Jennifer Martin; Chronis-Tuscano, Andrea; Pine, Daniel S; Fox, Nathan A
Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a temperament characterized in young children by a heightened sensitivity to novelty, social withdrawal, and anxious behaviors. For many children, these social difficulties dissipate over time. For others, patterns of social withdrawal continue into adolescence. Over time, attention biases to threat may influence the stability of BI and its association with social withdrawal, ultimately modulating the risk for anxiety disorders in BI children. However, we know relatively little about the cognitive processes that accompany BI and shape later socio-emotional functioning. We examined the relations among BI in childhood, attention biases to threat in adolescence, and adolescent social withdrawal in a longitudinal study (N = 126, Mean age = 15 years). As has been reported in anxious adults, adolescents who were behaviorally inhibited as toddlers and young children showed heightened attention bias to threat. In addition, attention bias to threat moderated the relation between childhood BI and adolescent social withdrawal.
Heeren, Alexandre; Mogoaşe, Cristina; McNally, Richard J; Schmitz, Anne; Philippot, Pierre
People with anxiety disorders often exhibit an attentional bias for threat. Attention bias modification (ABM) procedure may reduce this bias, thereby diminishing anxiety symptoms. In ABM, participants respond to probes that reliably follow non-threatening stimuli (e.g., neutral faces) such that their attention is directed away from concurrently presented threatening stimuli (e.g., disgust faces). Early studies showed that ABM reduced anxiety more than control procedures lacking any contingency between valenced stimuli and probes. However, recent work suggests that no-contingency training and training toward threat cues can be as effective as ABM in reducing anxiety, implying that any training may increase executive control over attention, thereby helping people inhibit their anxious thoughts. Extending this work, we randomly assigned participants with DSM-IV diagnosed social anxiety disorder to either training toward non-threat (ABM), training toward threat, or no-contingency condition, and we used the attention network task (ANT) to assess all three components of attention. After two training sessions, subjects in all three conditions exhibited indistinguishably significant declines from baseline to post-training in self-report and behavioral measures of anxiety on an impromptu speech task. Moreover, all groups exhibited similarly significant improvements on the alerting and executive (but not orienting) components of attention. Implications for ABM research are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bowler, J.O.; Hoppitt, L.; Illingworth, J.; Dalgleish, T.; Ononaiye, M.; Perez-Olivas, G.; Mackintosh, B.
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 t...
Fox, Elaine; Ridgewell, Anna; Ashwin, Chris
Humans differ in terms of biased attention for emotional stimuli and these biases can confer differential resilience and vulnerability to emotional disorders. Selective processing of positive emotional information, for example, is associated with enhanced sociability and well-being while a bias for negative material is associated with neuroticism and anxiety. A tendency to selectively avoid negative material might also be associated with mental health and well-being. The neurobiological mecha...
Boendermaker, W.J.; Sanchez Maceiras, S.; Boffo, M.; Wiers, R.W.
Objective Young adults often experiment with heavy use of alcohol, which poses severe health risks and increases the chance of developing addiction problems. In clinical patients, cognitive re-training of automatic appetitive processes, such as selective attention towards alcohol (known as
Rennels, Jennifer Lynn; Verba, Stephanie Ann
Predominant experience with females early in development results in infants developing an attractive, female-like facial representation that guides children's attention toward and affective preferences for attractive females. When combined with increased interest in the other sex at puberty, these early emerging biases might help explain the robust prosocial and financial biases men exhibit toward attractive women during adulthood.
Su?rez-Pellicioni, Macarena; N??ez-Pe?a, Maria Isabel; Colom?, ?ngels
Attentional bias towards threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias towards math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present s...
Preciado, Daniel; Munneke, Jaap; Theeuwes, Jan
Attentional selection depends on the interaction between exogenous (stimulus-driven), endogenous (goal-driven), and selection history (experience-driven) factors. While endogenous and exogenous biases have been widely investigated, less is known about their interplay with value-driven attention. The present study investigated the interaction between reward-history and goal-driven biases on perceptual sensitivity (d?) and response time (RT) in a modified cueing paradigm presenting two coloured...
Tian, Qu; Smith, J Carson
Little is known regarding how attention to emotional stimuli is affected during simultaneously performed exercise. Attentional biases to emotional face stimuli were assessed in 34 college students (17 women) using the dot-probe task during counterbalanced conditions of moderate- (heart rate at 45% peak oxygen consumption) and high-intensity exercise (heart rate at 80% peak oxygen consumption) compared with seated rest. The dot-probe task consisted of 1 emotional face (pleasant or unpleasant) paired with a neutral face for 1,000 ms; 256 trials (128 trials for each valence) were presented during each condition. Each condition lasted approximately 10 min. Participants were instructed to perform each trial of the dot-probe task as quickly and accurately as possible during the exercise and rest conditions. During moderate-intensity exercise, participants exhibited significantly greater attentional bias scores to pleasant compared with unpleasant faces (p bias scores to emotional faces did not differ at rest or during high-intensity exercise (p > .05). In addition, the attentional bias to unpleasant faces was significantly reduced during moderate-intensity exercise compared with that during rest (p emotional stimuli and away from unpleasant emotional stimuli. Future work is needed to determine whether acute exercise may be an effective treatment approach to reduce negative bias or enhance positive bias in individuals diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders, or whether attentional bias during exercise predicts adherence to exercise. (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.
Ying, JiangBo; Song, Guo; Fung, Daniel SS; Smith, Helen
Background Automatic processes, such as attentional biases or interpretative biases, have been purported to be responsible for several psychiatric disorders. Recent reviews have highlighted that cognitive biases may be modifiable. Advances in eHealth and mHealth have been harnessed for the delivery of cognitive bias modification. While several studies have evaluated mHealth-based bias modification intervention, no review, to our knowledge, has synthesized the evidence for it. In addition, no review has looked at commercial apps and their functionalities and methods of bias modification. A review is essential in determining whether scientifically validated apps are available commercially and the proportion of commercial apps that have been evaluated scientifically. Objective The objective of this review was primarily to determine the proportion of attention or cognitive bias modification apps that have been evaluated scientifically and secondarily to determine whether the scientifically evaluated apps were commercially available. We also sought to identify commercially available bias modification apps and determine the functionalities of these apps, the methods used for attention or cognitive bias modification, and whether these apps had been evaluated scientifically. Methods To identify apps in the published literature, we searched PubMed, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Scopus for studies published from 2000 to April 17, 2018. The search terms used were “attention bias” OR “cognitive bias” AND “smartphone” OR “smartphone application” OR “smartphone app” OR “mobile phones” OR “mobile application” OR mobile app” OR “personal digital assistant.” To identify commercial apps, we conducted a manual cross-sectional search between September 15 and 25, 2017 in the Apple iTunes and Google Play app stores. The search terms used to identify the apps were “attention bias” and “cognitive bias.” We also conducted a manual search on the apps with
Full Text Available Whether Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD is associated with an increased attentional bias to emotive stimuli remains controversial. Additionally, it is unclear whether comorbid depression modulates abnormal emotional processing in OCD. This study examined attentional bias to OC-relevant scenes using a visual search task. Controls, non-depressed and depressed OCD patients searched for their personally selected positive images amongst their negative distractors, and vice versa. Whilst the OCD groups were slower than healthy individuals in rating the images, there were no group differences in the magnitude of negative bias to concern-related scenes. A second experiment employing a common set of images replicated the results on an additional sample of OCD patients. Although there was a larger bias to negative OC-related images without pre-exposure overall, no group differences in attentional bias were observed. However, OCD patients subsequently rated the images more slowly and more negatively, again suggesting post-attentional processing abnormalities. The results argue against a robust attentional bias in OCD patients, regardless of their depression status and speak to generalized difficulties disengaging from negative valence stimuli. Rather, post-attentional processing abnormalities may account for differences in emotional processing in OCD.
Shank, Lisa M.; Tanofsky-Kraff, Marian; Nelson, Eric E.; Shomaker, Lauren B.; Ranzenhofer, Lisa M.; Hannallah, Louise M.; Field, Sara E.; Vannucci, Anna; Bongiorno, Diana M.; Brady, Sheila M.; Condarco, Tania; Demidowich, Andrew; Kelly, Nichole R.; Cassidy, Omni; Simmons, W. Kyle; Engel, Scott G.; Pine, Daniel S.; Yanovski, Jack A.
Emerging data indicate that adults with binge eating may exhibit an attentional bias toward highly palatable foods, which may promote obesogenic eating patterns and excess weight gain. However, it is unknown to what extent youth with loss of control (LOC) eating display a similar bias. We therefore studied 76 youth (14.5±2.3y; 86.8% female; BMI-z 1.7± .73) with (n=47) and without (n=29) reported LOC eating. Following a breakfast to reduce hunger, youth participated in a computerized visual probe task of sustained attention that assessed reaction time to pairs of pictures consisting of high palatable foods, low palatable foods, and neutral household objects. Although sustained attentional bias did not differ by LOC eating presence and was unrelated to body weight, a two-way interaction between BMI-z and LOC eating was observed (p = .01), such that only among youth with LOC eating, attentional bias toward high palatable foods versus neutral objects was positively associated with BMI-z. These findings suggest that LOC eating and body weight interact in their association with attentional bias to highly palatable foods cues, and may partially explain the mixed literature linking attentional bias to food cues with excess body weight. PMID:25435490
Beard, Courtney; Sawyer, Alice T; Hofmann, Stefan G
Attention bias modification (ABM) protocols aim to modify attentional biases underlying many forms of pathology. Our objective was to conduct an effect size analysis of ABM across a wide range of samples and psychological problems. We conducted a literature search using PubMed, PsycInfo, and author searches to identify randomized studies that examined the effects of ABM on attention and subjective experiences. We identified 37 studies (41 experiments) totaling 2,135 participants who were randomized to training toward neutral, positive, threat, or appetitive stimuli or to a control condition. The effect size estimate for changes in attentional bias was large for the neutral versus threat comparisons (g=1.06), neutral versus appetitive (g=1.41), and neutral versus control comparisons (g=0.80), and small for positive versus control (g=0.24). The effects of ABM on attention bias were moderated by stimulus type (words vs. pictures) and sample characteristics (healthy vs. high symptomatology). Effect sizes of ABM on subjective experiences ranged from 0.03 to 0.60 for postchallenge outcomes, -0.31 to 0.51 for posttreatment, and were moderated by number of training sessions, stimulus type, and stimulus orientation (top/bottom vs. left/right). Fail-safe N calculations suggested that the effect size estimates were robust for the training effects on attentional biases, but not for the effect on subjective experiences. ABM studies using threat stimuli produced significant effects on attention bias across comparison conditions, whereas appetitive stimuli produced changes in attention only when comparing appetitive versus neutral conditions. ABM has a moderate and robust effect on attention bias when using threat stimuli. Further studies are needed to determine whether these effects are also robust when using appetitive stimuli and for affecting subjective experiences. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Bowler, J O; Hoppitt, L; Illingworth, J; Dalgleish, T; Ononaiye, M; Perez-Olivas, G; Mackintosh, B
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. Ninety-seven first year undergraduates who had self-reported anxiety were allocated to one of four groups: attention bias training (n = 24), interpretation bias training (n = 26), control task training (n = 25) and no training (n = 22). Training was computer-based and comprised eight sessions over four weeks. Baseline and follow-up measures of attention and interpretation bias, anxiety and depression were taken. A significant reduction in threat-related attention bias and an increase in positive interpretation bias occurred in the attention bias training group. The interpretation bias training group did not exhibit a significant change in attention bias, only interpretation bias. The effect of attention bias training on interpretation bias was significant as compared with the two control groups. There were no effects on self-report measures. The extent to which interpretive training can modify attentional processing remains unclear. Findings support the idea that attentional training might have broad cognitive consequences, impacting downstream on interpretive bias. However, they do not fully support a common mechanism hypothesis, as interpretive training did not impact on attentional bias. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Brosschot, J.F.; de Ruiter, C.; Kindt, M.
Hypothesized that repressors (Ss high in defensiveness with low trait anxiety) would show cognitive avoidance of threatening information in an attention deployment task, but an attentional bias for the same information in an emotional interference task, while Ss high in anxiety would show a
Passamonti, L. (Luca); M. Luijten (Maartje); Ziauddeen, H.; I. Coyle-Gilchrist (Ian); Rittman, T.; Brain, S.A.E.; Regenthal, R.; I.H.A. Franken (Ingmar); Sahakian, B.J.; Bullmore, E.T.; Robbins, T.W.; Ersche, K.D.
textabstractRationale: Biased attention towards drug-related cues and reduced inhibitory control over the regulation of drug-intake characterize drug addiction. The noradrenaline system has been critically implicated in both attentional and response inhibitory processes and is directly affected by
May, Tamara; Cornish, Kim; Rinehart, Nicole J.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have high levels of anxiety. It is unclear whether they exhibit threat-related attentional biases commensurate with anxiety disorders as manifest in non-ASD populations, such as facilitated attention toward, and difficulties disengaging engaging from, threatening stimuli. Ninety children, 45 cognitively…
Daniel S McGrath
Full Text Available A growing body of research indicates that gamblers develop an attentional bias for gambling-related stimuli. Compared to research on substance use, however, few studies have examined attentional biases in gamblers using eye-gaze tracking, which has many advantages over other measures of attention. In addition, previous studies of attentional biases in gamblers have not directly matched type of gambler with personally-relevant gambling cues. The present study investigated the specificity of attentional biases for individual types of gambling using an eye-gaze tracking paradigm. Three groups of participants (poker players, video lottery terminal/slot machine players, and non-gambling controls took part in one test session in which they viewed 25 sets of four images (poker, VLTs/slot machines, bingo, and board games. Participants' eye fixations were recorded throughout each 8-second presentation of the four images. The results indicated that, as predicted, the two gambling groups preferentially attended to their primary form of gambling, whereas control participants attended to board games more than gambling images. The findings have clinical implications for the treatment of individuals with gambling disorder. Understanding the importance of personally-salient gambling cues will inform the development of effective attentional bias modification treatments for problem gamblers.
McGrath, Daniel S; Meitner, Amadeus; Sears, Christopher R
A growing body of research indicates that gamblers develop an attentional bias for gambling-related stimuli. Compared to research on substance use, however, few studies have examined attentional biases in gamblers using eye-gaze tracking, which has many advantages over other measures of attention. In addition, previous studies of attentional biases in gamblers have not directly matched type of gambler with personally-relevant gambling cues. The present study investigated the specificity of attentional biases for individual types of gambling using an eye-gaze tracking paradigm. Three groups of participants (poker players, video lottery terminal/slot machine players, and non-gambling controls) took part in one test session in which they viewed 25 sets of four images (poker, VLTs/slot machines, bingo, and board games). Participants' eye fixations were recorded throughout each 8-second presentation of the four images. The results indicated that, as predicted, the two gambling groups preferentially attended to their primary form of gambling, whereas control participants attended to board games more than gambling images. The findings have clinical implications for the treatment of individuals with gambling disorder. Understanding the importance of personally-salient gambling cues will inform the development of effective attentional bias modification treatments for problem gamblers.
Lochbuehler, Kirsten; Voogd, Hubert; Scholte, Ron H J; Engels, Rutger C M E
Research has shown that smokers have an attentional bias for pictorial smoking cues. The objective of the present study was to examine whether smokers also have an attentional bias for dynamic smoking cues in contemporary movies and therefore fixate more quickly, more often and for longer periods of time on dynamic smoking cues than non-smokers. By drawing upon established methods for assessing attentional biases for pictorial cues, we aimed to develop a new method for assessing attentional biases for dynamic smoking cues. We examined smokers' and non-smokers' eye movements while watching a movie clip by using eye-tracking technology. The sample consisted of 16 smoking and 17 non-smoking university students. Our results confirm the results of traditional pictorial attentional bias research. Smokers initially directed their gaze more quickly towards smoking-related cues (p = 0.01), focusing on them more often (p = 0.05) and for a longer duration (p = 0.01) compared with non-smokers. Thus, smoking cues in movies directly affect the attention of smokers. These findings indicate that the effects of dynamic smoking cues, in addition to other environmental smoking cues, need to be taken into account in smoking cessation therapies in order to increase successful smoking cessation and to prevent relapses.
Full Text Available Cancer patients with hematopoietic tumors exhibit particularly high rates of anxiety disorders and depression, and often develop negative affect. In addition, psychological problems experienced by cancer patients impair their quality of life. When cancer patients feel anxious, they tend to direct their attention toward stimuli associated with threat in the surrounding environment. If attentional bias occurs in patients with hematopoietic tumors, who are at particular risk of developing negative affect, resolution of the bias could be useful in alleviating their anxiety. The current study examined the association between attentional bias and negative affect in patients with hematopoietic tumors and tested the hypothesis that negative affect would be more severe in those who exhibited greater attentional bias. Twenty-seven patients with hematopoietic tumors participated in the study. Reaction time (RT was measured as the time between the presentation of the threatening and neutral images, and the subject's button press to indicate choice (neutral expressions. Eight combinations of "threatening" expressions with high emotional valence and "neutral" expressions with low emotional valence were presented. The images used to measure attentional bias were taken from the Japanese Female Facial Expression Database and had been rated as expressive of anger, sadness, or neutrality, with predetermined emotional valence. Psychological testing was performed with the Profile of Mood States (POMS. To examine the association between attentional bias and negative affect, we calculated Spearman's rank correlation coefficients for RTs and POMS. Subjects' mean RT was 882.9 (SD = 100.9 ms, and 19 of the 27 subjects exhibited slower RTs relative to healthy individuals. RT was significantly positively correlated with Tension-Anxiety (r = .679, p < .01 and Fatigue (r = .585, p < .01 subscale scores. The results of the study suggested that attentional bias toward
Pishnamazi, Morteza; Tafakhori, Abbas; Loloee, Sogol; Modabbernia, Amirhossein; Aghamollaii, Vajiheh; Bahrami, Bahador; Winston, Joel S
The amygdala is believed to play a major role in orienting attention towards threat-related stimuli. However, behavioral studies on amygdala-damaged patients have given inconsistent results-variously reporting decreased, persisted, and increased attention towards threat. Here we aimed to characterize the impact of developmental amygdala damage on emotion perception and the nature and time-course of spatial attentional bias towards fearful faces. We investigated SF, a 14-year-old with selective bilateral amygdala damage due to Urbach-Wiethe disease (UWD), and ten healthy controls. Participants completed a fear sensitivity questionnaire, facial expression classification task, and dot-probe task with fearful or neutral faces for spatial cueing. Three cue durations were used to assess the time-course of attentional bias. SF expressed significantly lower fear sensitivity, and showed a selective impairment in classifying fearful facial expressions. Despite this impairment in fear recognition, very brief (100 msec) fearful cues could orient SF's spatial attention. In healthy controls, the attentional bias emerged later and persisted longer. SF's attentional bias was due solely to facilitated engagement to fear, while controls showed the typical phenomenon of difficulty in disengaging from fear. Our study is the first to demonstrate the separable effects of amygdala damage on engagement and disengagement of spatial attention. The findings indicate that multiple mechanisms contribute in biasing attention towards fear, which vary in their timing and dependence on amygdala integrity. It seems that the amygdala is not essential for rapid attention to emotion, but probably has a role in assessment of biological relevance. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Jang, Seon-Kyeong; Park, Seon-Cheol; Lee, Seung-Hwan; Cho, Yang Seok; Choi, Kee-Hong
This study assessed bias in selective attention to facial emotions in negative symptoms of schizophrenia and its influence on subsequent memory for facial emotions. Thirty people with schizophrenia who had high and low levels of negative symptoms (n = 15, respectively) and 21 healthy controls completed a visual probe detection task investigating selective attention bias (happy, sad, and angry faces randomly presented for 50, 500, or 1000 ms). A yes/no incidental facial memory task was then completed. Attention bias scores and recognition errors were calculated. Those with high negative symptoms exhibited reduced attention to emotional faces relative to neutral faces; those with low negative symptoms showed the opposite pattern when faces were presented for 500 ms regardless of the valence. Compared to healthy controls, those with high negative symptoms made more errors for happy faces in the memory task. Reduced attention to emotional faces in the probe detection task was significantly associated with less pleasure and motivation and more recognition errors for happy faces in schizophrenia group only. Attention bias away from emotional information relatively early in the attentional process and associated diminished positive memory may relate to pathological mechanisms for negative symptoms.
Mingtian, Zhong; Xiongzhao, Zhu; Jinyao, Yi; Shuqiao, Yao; Atchley, Ruth Ann
The study aimed to utilize behavioral and electrophysiological data to investigate whether depressed patients show an attentional bias in a task that allows for explicit insight into the time course of selective attention processes. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were collected from 24 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 25 never-depressed individuals (ND) during a dot-probe task, using pairs of affectively valenced pictures as cues. Cue presentation time was either 100 ms or 500 ms. When the cue presentation time was 500 ms, bias scores for positive-neutral picture pairs (POS-NEU) were negative for the MDD group and positive for the ND group which means ND individuals were able to successfully select positive information. These behavioral effects were supported by ERP results. In the ND group, at the right parietal-occipital region, P1 amplitude during valid POS-NEU pairs was significantly larger than that during invalid POS-NEU pairs; this pattern did not appear in the MDD group. These results suggest that MDD patients are characterized by a deficit in protection bias, meaning that these participants cannot avoid attending to negative information in their environment, but only when negative stimuli are presented for a sufficient period of time. Attentional bias is modulated by duration of emotional pictures presentation in depression. Copyright © 2010 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J.; Pollak, Seth D.; Grasso, Damion; Voss, Joel; Mian, Nicholas D.; Zobel, Elvira; McCarthy, Kimberly J.; Wakschlag, Lauren S.; Pine, Daniel S.
Background Attention bias towards threat is associated with anxiety in older youth and adults and has been linked with violence exposure. Attention bias may moderate the relationship between violence exposure and anxiety in young children. Capitalizing on measurement advances, the current study examines these relationships at a younger age than previously possible. Methods Young children (mean age 4.7, ±0.8) from a cross-sectional sample oversampled for violence exposure (N = 218) completed the dot-probe task to assess their attention biases. Observed fear/anxiety was characterized with a novel observational paradigm, the Anxiety Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Mother-reported symptoms were assessed with the Preschool-Age Psychiatric Assessment and Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children. Violence exposure was characterized with dimensional scores reflecting probability of membership in two classes derived via latent class analysis from the Conflict Tactics Scales: Abuse and Harsh Parenting. Results Family violence predicted greater child anxiety and trauma symptoms. Attention bias moderated the relationship between violence and anxiety. Conclusions Attention bias towards threat may strengthen the effects of family violence on the development of anxiety, with potentially cascading effects across childhood. Such associations may be most readily detected when using observational measures of childhood anxiety. PMID:26716142
Rozenman, Michelle; Amir, Nader; Weersing, V Robin
This preliminary investigation sought to examine basic interpretive biases, as assessed via performance-based means, in the context of anxious symptomatology, attention, and negative cognition in children and adolescents. At a single assessment, 26 youths diagnosed with primary separation anxiety, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder completed performance-based assessments of interpretation and attention. Youths and parents also completed diagnostic interviews and youths completed a measure of negative self-statements. Components of interpretation (threat-valence judgments and speed of responding) were examined, and interpretation was explored as a correlate of youth anxiety, attention bias, and negative self-statements. Results found percentage of negative interpretations endorsed as the strongest predictor of anxiety symptoms; this index was also correlated with attention bias. Slower rejection of benign interpretations was also associated with youth-reported negative self-statements.This initial investigation provides support for a relationship between interpretation bias and anxiety and preliminary evidence for a relationship between attention and interpretation biases. Continued research dismantling the stages of basic cognition within the chain of information processing may provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying anxiety disorders in youths and lead to continued development and refinement of cognitive interventions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Mana R. Ehlers
Full Text Available Emotionally arousing events are typically better remembered than mundane ones, in part because emotionally relevant aspects of our environment are prioritized in attention. Such biased attentional tuning is itself the result of associative processes through which we learn affective and motivational relevance of cues. We propose that the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA system plays an important role in the genesis of attentional biases through associative learning processes as well as their maintenance. We further propose that individual differences in and disruptions of the LC-NA system underlie the development of maladaptive biases linked to psychopathology. We provide support for the proposed role of the LC-NA system by first reviewing work on attentional biases in development and its link to psychopathology in relation to alterations and individual differences in NA availability. We focus on pharmacological manipulations to demonstrate the effect of a disrupted system as well as the ADRA2b polymorphism as a tool to investigate naturally occurring differences in NA availability. We next review associative learning processes that—modulated by the LC-NA system—result in such implicit attentional biases. Further, we demonstrate how NA may influence aversive and appetitive conditioning linked to anxiety disorders as well as addiction and depression.
Preciado, Daniel; Munneke, Jaap; Theeuwes, Jan
Attentional selection depends on the interaction between exogenous (stimulus-driven), endogenous (goal-driven), and selection history (experience-driven) factors. While endogenous and exogenous biases have been widely investigated, less is known about their interplay with value-driven attention. The present study investigated the interaction between reward-history and goal-driven biases on perceptual sensitivity (d') and response time (RT) in a modified cueing paradigm presenting two coloured cues, followed by sinusoidal gratings. Participants responded to the orientation of one of these gratings. In Experiment 1, one cue signalled reward availability but was otherwise task irrelevant. In Experiment 2, the same cue signalled reward, and indicated the target's most likely location at the opposite side of the display. This design introduced a conflict between reward-driven biases attracting attention and goal-driven biases directing it away. Attentional effects were examined comparing trials in which cue and target appeared at the same versus opposite locations. Two interstimulus interval (ISI) levels were used to probe the time course of attentional effects. Experiment 1 showed performance benefits at the location of the reward-signalling cue and costs at the opposite for both ISIs, indicating value-driven capture. Experiment 2 showed performance benefits only for the long ISI when the target was at the opposite to the reward-associated cue. At the short ISI, only performance costs were observed. These results reveal the time course of these biases, indicating that reward-driven effects influence attention early but can be overcome later by goal-driven control. This suggests that reward-driven biases are integrated as attentional priorities, just as exogenous and endogenous factors.
Ersche, Karen D; Bullmore, Edward T; Craig, Kevin J; Shabbir, Shaila S; Abbott, Sanja; Müller, Ulrich; Ooi, Cinly; Suckling, John; Barnes, Anna; Sahakian, Barbara J; Merlo-Pich, Emilio V; Robbins, Trevor W
There are no effective pharmacotherapies for stimulant dependence but there are many plausible targets for development of novel therapeutics. We hypothesized that dopamine-related targets are relevant for treatment of stimulant dependence, and there will likely be individual differences in response to dopaminergic challenges. To measure behavioral and brain functional markers of drug-related attentional bias in stimulant-dependent individuals studied repeatedly after short-term dosing with dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor antagonist and agonist challenges. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-groups, crossover design using pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical research unit (GlaxoSmithKline) and local community in Cambridge, England. Stimulant-dependent individuals (n = 18) and healthy volunteers (n = 18). Amisulpride (400 mg), pramipexole dihydrochloride (0.5 mg), or placebo were administered in counterbalanced order at each of 3 repeated testing sessions. Attentional bias for stimulant-related words was measured during functional magnetic resonance imaging by a drug-word Stroop paradigm; trait impulsivity and compulsivity of dependence were assessed at baseline by questionnaire. Drug users demonstrated significant attentional bias for drug-related words, which was correlated with greater activation of the left prefrontal and right cerebellar cortex. Attentional bias was greater in people with highly compulsive patterns of stimulant abuse; the effects of dopaminergic challenges on attentional interference and related frontocerebellar activation were different between high- and low-compulsivity subgroups. Greater attentional bias for and greater prefrontal activation by stimulant-related words constitute a candidate neurocognitive marker for dependence. Individual differences in compulsivity of stimulant dependence had significant effects on attentional bias, its brain functional representation, and its short-term modulation
Todd, Jemma; Sharpe, Louise; Johnson, Ameika; Nicholson Perry, Kathryn; Colagiuri, Ben; Dear, Blake F
Individuals with chronic pain demonstrate attentional biases (ABs) towards pain-related stimuli. However, the clinical importance of these biases is yet to be determined and a sound theoretical model for explaining the role of ABs in the development and maintenance of pain is lacking. Within this article, we (1) systematically review prospective and experimental research exploring ABs and pain outcomes in light of current theoretical models and (2) propose a theoretical framework for understanding AB in pain. Across prospective research, an attentional pattern of vigilance-avoidance was observed. Interventions targeting ABs were less consistent; however, there were promising findings among studies that found attentional training effects, particularly for laboratory research. The proposed Threat Interpretation Model suggests a relationship between threat, interpretation, and stimuli in determining attentional processes, which while tentative generates important testable predictions regarding the role of attention in pain and builds on previous theoretical and empirical work in this area.
Doolan, K J; Breslin, G; Hanna, D; Gallagher, A M
The incentive sensitisation model of obesity suggests that modification of the dopaminergic associated reward systems in the brain may result in increased awareness of food-related visual cues present in the current food environment. Having a heightened awareness of these visual food cues may impact on food choices and eating behaviours with those being most aware of or demonstrating greater attention to food-related stimuli potentially being at greater risk of overeating and subsequent weight gain. To date, research related to attentional responses to visual food cues has been both limited and conflicting. Such inconsistent findings may in part be explained by the use of different methodological approaches to measure attentional bias and the impact of other factors such as hunger levels, energy density of visual food cues and individual eating style traits that may influence visual attention to food-related cues outside of weight status alone. This review examines the various methodologies employed to measure attentional bias with a particular focus on the role that attentional processing of food-related visual cues may have in obesity. Based on the findings of this review, it appears that it may be too early to clarify the role visual attention to food-related cues may have in obesity. Results however highlight the importance of considering the most appropriate methodology to use when measuring attentional bias and the characteristics of the study populations targeted while interpreting results to date and in designing future studies.
Gulley, Lauren D; Oppenheimer, Caroline W; Hankin, Benjamin L
Theories of affective learning suggest that early experiences contribute to emotional disorders by influencing the development of processing biases for negative emotional stimuli. Although studies have shown that physically abused children preferentially attend to angry faces, it is unclear whether youth exposed to more typical aspects of negative parenting exhibit the same type of bias. The current studies extend previous research by linking observed negative parenting styles (e.g., authoritarian) and behaviors (e.g., criticism and negative affect) to attention bias for angry faces in both a psychiatrically enriched (ages 11-17 years; N = 60) and a general community (ages 9-15 years; N = 75) sample of youth. In addition, the association between observed negative parenting (e.g., authoritarian style and negative affect) and youth social anxiety was mediated by attention bias for angry faces in the general community sample. Overall, findings provide preliminary support for theories of affective learning and risk for psychopathology among youth.
Judah, Matt R; Grant, DeMond M; Carlisle, Nancy B
Cognitive theories of social anxiety disorder suggest that biased attention plays a key role in maintaining symptoms. These biases include self-focus and attention to socially threatening stimuli in the environment. The goal of this study was to utilize ERPs that are elicited by a change detection task to examine biases in selective attention (i.e., N2pc) and working memory maintenance (i.e., contralateral delay activity; CDA). Additionally, the effect of self-focus was examined using false heart rate feedback. In support of the manipulation, self-focus cues resulted in greater self-reported self-consciousness and task interference, enhanced anterior P2 amplitude and reduced SPN amplitude. Moreover, P2 amplitude for self-focus cues was correlated with reduced task performance for socially anxious subjects only. The difference in P2 amplitude between self-focus and standard cues was correlated with social anxiety independent of depression. As hypothesized, socially anxious participants (n = 20) showed early selection and maintenance of disgust faces relative to neutral faces as indicated by the N2pc and CDA components. Nonanxious controls (n = 22) did not show these biases. During self-focus cues, controls showed marginal evidence of biased selection for disgust faces, whereas socially anxious subjects showed no bias in this condition. Controls showed an ipsilateral delay activity after being cued to attend to one hemifield. Overall, this study supports early and persistent attentional bias for social threat in socially anxious individuals. Furthermore, self-focus may disrupt these biases. These findings and supplementary data are discussed in light of cognitive models of social anxiety disorder, recent empirical findings, and treatment.
Kuckertz, Jennie M; Amir, Nader
Attention bias modification (ABM) was introduced over a decade ago as a computerized method of manipulating attentional bias and has been followed by intense interest in applying ABM for clinical purposes. While meta-analyses support ABM as a method of modifying attentional biases and reducing anxiety symptoms, there have been notable discrepancies in findings published within the last several years. In this review, we comment on recent research that may help explain some of the inconsistencies across ABM studies. More relevant to the future of ABM research, we highlight areas in which continuing research is needed. We suggest that ABM appears to be a promising treatment for anxiety disorders, but relative to other interventions, ABM is in its infancy. Thus, research is needed in order to improve ABM as a clinical treatment and advance the psychological science of ABM.
Reynolds, Gemma; Field, Andy P; Askew, Chris
Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang's (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang's final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field's (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children's cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses. Cognitive and behavioral changes were retested 1 week and 1 month later, and remained elevated. In addition, a visual search task demonstrated that fear-related vicarious learning creates an attentional bias for novel animals, which is moderated by increases in fear beliefs during learning. The findings demonstrate that vicarious learning leads to lasting changes in all 3 of Lang's anxiety response systems and is sufficient to create attentional bias to threat in children. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Schmidt, Ricarda; Lüthold, Patrick; Kittel, Rebekka; Tetzlaff, Anne; Hilbert, Anja
Evidence suggests that adults with binge-eating disorder (BED) are prone of having their attention interfered by food cues, and that food-related attentional biases are associated with calorie intake and eating disorder psychopathology. For adolescents with BED experimental evidence on attentional processing of food cues is lacking. Using eye-tracking and a visual search task, the present study examined visual orienting and disengagement processes of food in youth with BED. Eye-movement data and reaction times were recorded in 25 adolescents (12-20 years) with BED and 25 controls (CG) individually matched for sex, age, body mass index, and socio-economic status. During a free exploration paradigm, the BED group showed a greater gaze duration bias for food images than the CG. Groups did not differ in gaze direction biases. In a visual search task, the BED group showed a greater detection bias for food targets than the CG. Group differences were more pronounced for personally attractive than unattractive food images. Regarding clinical associations, only in the BED group the gaze duration bias for food was associated with increased hunger and lower body mass index, and the detection bias for food targets was associated with greater reward sensitivity. The study provided first evidence of an attentional bias to food in adolescents with BED. However, more research is needed for further specifying disengagement and orienting processes in adolescent BED, including overt and covert attention, and their prospective associations with binge-eating behaviors and associated psychopathology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Werthmann, Jessica; Roefs, Anne; Nederkoorn, Chantal; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P; Jansen, Anita
The aim of the current study was to investigate attention biases for food cues, craving, and overeating in overweight and healthy-weight participants. Specifically, it was tested whether attention allocation processes toward high-fat foods differ between overweight and normal weight individuals and whether selective attention biases for food cues are related to craving and food intake. Eye movements were recorded as a direct index of attention allocation in a sample of 22 overweight/obese and 29 healthy-weight female students during a visual probe task with food pictures. In addition, self-reported craving and actual food intake during a bogus "taste-test" were assessed. Overweight participants showed an approach-avoidance pattern of attention allocation toward high-fat food. Overweight participants directed their first gaze more often toward food pictures than healthy-weight individuals, but subsequently showed reduced maintenance of attention on these pictures. For overweight participants, craving was related to initial orientation toward food. Moreover, overweight participants consumed significantly more snack food than healthy-weight participants. Results emphasize the importance of identifying different attention bias components in overweight individuals with regard to craving and subsequent overeating.
Kagerer, Sabine; Wehrum, Sina; Klucken, Tim; Walter, Bertram; Vaitl, Dieter; Stark, Rudolf
We investigated the impact of sexual stimuli and the influence of sexual motivation on the performance in a dot-probe task and a line-orientation task in a large sample of males and females. All pictures (neutral, erotic) were rated on the dimensions of valence, arousal, disgust, and sexual arousal. Additionally, questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation were employed. The ratings of the sexual stimuli point to a successful picture selection because sexual arousal did not differ between the sexes. The stimuli were equally arousing for men and women. Higher scores in the employed questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation led to higher sexual arousal ratings of the sex pictures. Attentional bias towards sex pictures was observed in both experimental tasks. The attentional biases measured by the dot-probe and the line-orientation task were moderately intercorrelated suggesting attentional bias as a possible marker for a sex-attention trait. Finally, only the sexual sensation seeking score correlated with the attentional biases of the two tasks. Future research is needed to increase the predictive power of these indirect measures of sexual interest. PMID:25238545
Full Text Available We investigated the impact of sexual stimuli and the influence of sexual motivation on the performance in a dot-probe task and a line-orientation task in a large sample of males and females. All pictures (neutral, erotic were rated on the dimensions of valence, arousal, disgust, and sexual arousal. Additionally, questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation were employed. The ratings of the sexual stimuli point to a successful picture selection because sexual arousal did not differ between the sexes. The stimuli were equally arousing for men and women. Higher scores in the employed questionnaires measuring sexual interest/desire/motivation led to higher sexual arousal ratings of the sex pictures. Attentional bias towards sex pictures was observed in both experimental tasks. The attentional biases measured by the dot-probe and the line-orientation task were moderately intercorrelated suggesting attentional bias as a possible marker for a sex-attention trait. Finally, only the sexual sensation seeking score correlated with the attentional biases of the two tasks. Future research is needed to increase the predictive power of these indirect measures of sexual interest.
Daisy J Mechelmans
Full Text Available Compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB is relatively common and has been associated with significant distress and psychosocial impairments. CSB has been conceptualized as either an impulse control disorder or a non-substance 'behavioural' addiction. Substance use disorders are commonly associated with attentional biases to drug cues which are believed to reflect processes of incentive salience. Here we assess male CSB subjects compared to age-matched male healthy controls using a dot probe task to assess attentional bias to sexually explicit cues. We show that compared to healthy volunteers, CSB subjects have enhanced attentional bias to explicit cues but not neutral cues particularly for early stimuli latency. Our findings suggest enhanced attentional bias to explicit cues possibly related to an early orienting attentional response. This finding dovetails with our recent observation that sexually explicit videos were associated with greater activity in a neural network similar to that observed in drug-cue-reactivity studies. Greater desire or wanting rather than liking was further associated with activity in this neural network. These studies together provide support for an incentive motivation theory of addiction underlying the aberrant response towards sexual cues in CSB.
Casper H. van Heck
Full Text Available Little is known regarding inter-individual differences in attentional biases for pain-related information; more knowledge is crucial, since these biases have been associated with differences in pain processing as well as in predicting the risk of postoperative pain. The present study investigated EEG correlates of attentional bias patterns for pain-related information, with specific focus on avoidance- and vigilance-like behavior. Forty-one participants performed a dot-probe task, where neutral and pain-related words were used to create neutral, congruent, incongruent, and double (two pain-related words trials. EEG was recorded, which was used to generate ERP's of the word-processing phase and the post-dot phase. Participants were placed in two subgroups based on the direction of their attentional bias (either positive; toward the pain-related words, or negative; away from pain-related words. Using t-profiles, four latency windows were identified on which the two subgroups differed significantly. These latency windows yield areas which correspond with the P1-N1 domain and the P3b for the word-processing phase, while the post-dot phase latency windows cover the areas of the P200 and the P3b. The two subgroups show differences on congruent, incongruent, and the double trials, but interestingly also on the neutral trials. Most notably, the area in the word-phase associated with the P3b is diminished in the subgroup showing a negative bias. The deflections associated with both early and late attentional components, including the P3B, as well as a positive deflection in the timeframe of proposed response evaluation processes differ significantly between subgroups. In this study we demonstrated that different attentional biases exist in the healthy population, by showing differences in ERP's. We also show differences in processing neutral trials, which suggests there are fundamental differences between these groups in processing words in general.
Boutelle, KN; Monreal, T; Strong, DR; Amir, N
© 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Background and Objectives Binge eating is prevalent and is associated with significant psychiatric and medical comorbidities. To date, the most effective psychological treatments for individuals who binge eat are not effective for all patients and they do not result in significant weight loss. Dual process theories suggest that implicit factors, such as attention bias, may influence behavior, even when the behavior is in opposition to long-term goals. Attent...
Finke, Kathrin; Myers, Nicholas; Bublak, Peter; Sorg, Christian
The common view of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is that of an age-related memory disorder, i.e. declarative memory deficits are the first signs of the disease and associated with progressive brain changes in the medial temporal lobes and the default mode network. However, two findings challenge this view. First, new model-based tools of attention research have revealed that impaired selective attention accompanies memory deficits from early pre-dementia AD stages on. Second, very early distributed lesions of lateral parietal networks may cause these attention deficits by disrupting brain mechanisms underlying attentional biased competition. We suggest that memory and attention impairments might indicate disturbances of a common underlying neurocognitive mechanism. We propose a unifying account of impaired neural interactions within and across brain networks involved in attention and memory inspired by the biased competition principle. We specify this account at two levels of analysis: at the computational level, the selective competition of representations during both perception and memory is biased by AD-induced lesions; at the large-scale brain level, integration within and across intrinsic brain networks, which overlap in parietal and temporal lobes, is disrupted. This account integrates a large amount of previously unrelated findings of changed behaviour and brain networks and favours a brain mechanism-centred view on AD.
Thai, Nhi; Taber-Thomas, Bradley C; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E
Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a biologically-based temperament characterized by vigilance toward threat. Over time, many children with BI increasingly fear social circumstances and display maladaptive social behavior. BI is also one of the strongest individual risk factors for developing social anxiety disorder. Although research has established a link between BI and anxiety, its causal mechanism remains unclear. Attention biases may underlie this relation. The current study examined neural markers of the BI-attention-anxiety link in children ages 9-12 years (N=99, Mean=9.97, SD=0.97). ERP measures were collected as children completed an attention-bias (dot-probe) task with neutral and angry faces. P2 and N2 amplitudes were associated with social anxiety and attention bias, respectively. Specifically, augmented P2 was related to decreased symptoms of social anxiety and moderated the relation between BI and social anxiety, suggesting that increasing attention mobilization may serve as a compensatory mechanism that attenuates social anxiety in individuals with high BI. The BI by N2 interaction found that larger N2 related to threat avoidance with increasing levels of BI, consistent with over-controlled socio-emotional functioning. Lastly, children without BI (BN) showed an augmented P1 to probes replacing angry faces, suggesting maintenance of attentional resources in threat-related contexts. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Gilon Mann, Tal; Hamdan, Sami; Bar-Haim, Yair; Lazarov, Amit; Enoch-Levy, Adi; Dubnov-Raz, Gal; Treasure, Janet; Stein, Daniel
Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) have been shown to display both elevated anxiety and attentional biases in threat processing. In this study, we compared threat-related attention patterns of patients with AN restricting type (AN-R; n = 32), AN binge/purge type (AN-B/P; n = 23), and healthy controls (n = 19). A dot-probe task with either eating disorder-related or general and social anxiety-related words was used to measure attention patterns. Severity of eating disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, and stress were also assessed. Patients with AN-R showed vigilance to both types of threat words, whereas patients with AN-B/P showed avoidance of both threat types. Healthy control participants did not show any attention bias. Attention bias was not associated with any of the demographic, clinical, and psychometric parameters introduced. These findings suggest that there are differential patterns of attention allocation in patients with AN-R and AN-B/P. More research is needed to identify what causes/underlies these differential patterns. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
Notebaert, Lies; Clarke, Patrick J F; Grafton, Ben; MacLeod, Colin
Attentional bias modification (ABM) is a promising therapeutic tool aimed at changing patterns of attentional selectivity associated with heightened anxiety. A number of studies have successfully implemented ABM using the modified dot-probe task. However others have not achieved the attentional change required to achieve emotional benefits, highlighting the need for new ABM methods. The current study compared the effectiveness of a newly developed ABM task against the traditional dot-probe ABM task. The new person-identity-matching (PIM) task presented participants with virtual cards, each depicting a happy and angry person. The task encourages selective attention toward or away from threat by requiring participants to make matching judgements between two cards, based either on the identities of the happy faces, or of the angry faces. Change in attentional bias achieved by both ABM tasks was measured by a dot-probe assessment task. Their impact on emotional vulnerability was assessed by measuring negative emotional reactions to a video stressor. The PIM task succeeded in modifying attentional bias, and exerting an impact on emotional reactivity, whereas this was not the case for the dot-probe task. These results are considered in relation to the potential clinical utility of the current task in comparison to traditional ABM methodologies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Skinner, Ian W; Hübscher, Markus; Moseley, G Lorimer; Lee, Hopin; Wand, Benedict M; Traeger, Adrian C; Gustin, Sylvia M; McAuley, James H
Eyetracking is commonly used to investigate attentional bias. Although some studies have investigated the internal consistency of eyetracking, data are scarce on the test-retest reliability and agreement of eyetracking to investigate attentional bias. This study reports the test-retest reliability, measurement error, and internal consistency of 12 commonly used outcome measures thought to reflect the different components of attentional bias: overall attention, early attention, and late attention. Healthy participants completed a preferential-looking eyetracking task that involved the presentation of threatening (sensory words, general threat words, and affective words) and nonthreatening words. We used intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) to measure test-retest reliability (ICC > .70 indicates adequate reliability). The ICCs(2, 1) ranged from -.31 to .71. Reliability varied according to the outcome measure and threat word category. Sensory words had a lower mean ICC (.08) than either affective words (.32) or general threat words (.29). A longer exposure time was associated with higher test-retest reliability. All of the outcome measures, except second-run dwell time, demonstrated low measurement error ( .93). Recommendations are discussed for improving the reliability of eyetracking tasks in future research.
Passamonti, Luca; Luijten, M; Ziauddeen, H; Coyle-Gilchrist, I T S; Rittman, T; Brain, S A E; Regenthal, R; Franken, I H A; Sahakian, B J; Bullmore, E T; Robbins, T W; Ersche, K D
Biased attention towards drug-related cues and reduced inhibitory control over the regulation of drug-intake characterize drug addiction. The noradrenaline system has been critically implicated in both attentional and response inhibitory processes and is directly affected by drugs such as cocaine. We examined the potentially beneficial effects of the noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine in improving cognitive control during two tasks that used cocaine- and non-cocaine-related stimuli. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, and cross-over psycho-pharmacological design was employed. A single oral dose of atomoxetine (40 mg) was administered to 28 cocaine-dependent individuals (CDIs) and 28 healthy controls. All participants performed a pictorial attentional bias task involving both cocaine- and non-cocaine-related pictures as well as a verbal go/no-go task composed of cocaine- and food-related words. As expected, CDIs showed attentional bias to cocaine-related cues whilst controls did not. More importantly, however, atomoxetine, relative to placebo, significantly attenuated attentional bias in CDIs (F 26 = 6.73, P = 0.01). During the go/no-go task, there was a treatment × trial × group interaction, although this finding only showed a trend towards statistical significance (F 26 = 3.38, P = 0.07). Our findings suggest that atomoxetine reduces attentional bias to drug-related cues in CDIs. This may result from atomoxetine's modulation of the balance between tonic/phasic activity in the locus coeruleus and the possibly parallel enhancement of noradrenergic neurotransmission within the prefrontal cortex. Studying how cognitive enhancers such as atomoxetine influence key neurocognitive indices in cocaine addiction may help to develop reliable biomarkers for patient stratification in future clinical trials.
Oosterhoff, Benjamin; Shook, Natalie J; Ford, Cameron
Considerable evidence suggests that political liberals and conservatives vary in the way they process and respond to valenced (i.e., negative versus positive) information, with conservatives generally displaying greater negativity biases than liberals. Less is known about whether liberals and conservatives differentially prioritize certain forms of negative information over others. Across two studies using eye-tracking methodology, we examined differences in visual attention to negative scenes and facial expressions based on self-reported political ideology. In Study 1, scenes rated high in fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with less attentional engagement (i.e., lower dwell time) of disgust scenes and more attentional engagement toward neutral scenes. Socially conservative political attitudes were not significantly associated with visual attention to fear or sad scenes. In Study 2, images depicting facial expressions of fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with greater attentional engagement with facial expressions depicting disgust and less attentional engagement toward neutral faces. Visual attention to fearful or sad faces was not related to social conservatism. Endorsement of economically conservative political attitudes was not consistently associated with biases in visual attention across both studies. These findings support disease-avoidance models and suggest that social conservatism may be rooted within a greater sensitivity to disgust-related information. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zinchenko, A; Al-Amin, M M; Alam, M M; Mahmud, W; Kabir, N; Reza, H M; Burne, T H J
Attentional bias to affective information and reduced cognitive control may maintain the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and impair cognitive functioning. However, the role of content specificity of affective stimuli (e.g., trauma-related, emotional trauma-unrelated) in the observed attentional bias and cognitive control is less clear, as this has not been tested simultaneously before. Therefore, we examined the content specificity of attentional bias to threat in PTSD. PTSD participants (survivors of a multistory factory collapse, n=30) and matched controls (n=30) performed an Eriksen Flanker task. They identified the direction of a centrally presented target arrow, which was flanked by several task-irrelevant distractor arrows pointed to the same (congruent) or opposite direction (incongruent). Additionally, participants were presented with a picture of a face (neutral, emotional) or building (neutral=normal, emotional=collapsed multistory factory) as a task-irrelevant background image. We found that PTSD participants produced overall larger conflict effects and longer reaction times (RT) to emotional than to neutral stimuli relative to their healthy counterparts. Moreover, PTSD, but not healthy participants showed a stimulus specific dissociation in processing emotional stimuli. Emotional faces elicited longer RTs compared to neutral faces, while emotional buildings elicited faster responses, compared to neutral buildings. PTSD patients show a content-sensitive attentional bias to emotional information and impaired cognitive control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kaiser, D.; Jacob, G.A.; Domes, G.; Arntz, A.
Background: In borderline personality disorder (BPD), attentional bias (AB) to emotional stimuli may be a core component in disorder pathogenesis and maintenance. Sampling: 11 emotional Stroop task (EST) studies with 244 BPD patients, 255 nonpatients (NPs) and 95 clinical controls and 4 visual
Lindblom, Jallu; Peltola, Mikko J.; Vänskä, Mervi; Hietanen, Jari K.; Laakso, Anu; Tiitinen, Aila; Tulppala, Maija; Punamäki, Raija-Leena
The family environment shapes children's social information processing and emotion regulation. Yet, the long-term effects of early family systems have rarely been studied. This study investigated how family system types predict children's attentional biases toward facial expressions at the age of 10 years. The participants were 79 children from…
Fleurkens, P.F.T.; Rinck, M.; Minnen, A. van
The present study investigated specificity of attentional biases for trauma-related stimuli using an Emotional Stroop Task. Participants were 14 women suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who had experienced a sexual trauma and 24 healthy non-traumatized women. They were asked to name
Harrison, Neil R.; McCann, Amy
Attentional bias plays an important role in the development and maintenance of alcohol addiction, and has often been measured with a visual probe task, where reaction times are compared for probes replacing either a substance-related cue or a neutral cue. Systematic low-level differences between image classes are a potential cause of low internal…
Platt, B.; Waters, A.M.; Schulte-Korne, G.; Engelmann, L.; Salemink, E.
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in childhood and adolescence. Although data consistently show it is associated with self-reported negative cognitive styles, less is known about the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Cognitive biases in attention, interpretation and
Perez-Edgar, Koraly; Reeb-Sutherland, Bethany C.; McDermott, Jennifer Martin; White, Lauren K.; Henderson, Heather A.; Degnan, Kathryn A.; Hane, Amie A.; Pine, Daniel S.; Fox, Nathan A.
Behaviorally inhibited children display a temperamental profile characterized by social withdrawal and anxious behaviors. Previous research, focused largely on adolescents, suggests that attention biases to threat may sustain high levels of behavioral inhibition (BI) over time, helping link early temperament to social outcomes. However, no prior…
Jonker, Nienke C; Glashouwer, Klaske A; Ostafin, Brian D; van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; Smink, Frédérique R E; Hoek, Hans W; de Jong, Peter J
More than 80% of obese adolescents will become obese adults, and it is therefore important to enhance insight into characteristics that underlie the development and maintenance of overweight and obesity at a young age. The current study is the first to focus on attentional biases towards rewarding and punishing cues as potentially important factors. Participants were young adolescents (N = 607) who were followed from the age of 13 until the age of 19, and completed a motivational game indexing the attentional bias to general cues of reward and punishment. Additionally, self-reported reward and punishment sensitivity was measured. This study showed that attentional biases to cues that signal reward or punishment and self-reported reward and punishment sensitivity were not related to body mass index or the change in body mass index over six years in adolescents. Thus, attentional bias to cues of reward and cues of punishment, and self-reported reward and punishment sensitivity, do not seem to be crucial factors in the development and maintenance of overweight and obesity in adolescents. Exploratory analyses of the current study suggest that the amount of effort to gain reward and to avoid punishment may play a role in the development and maintenance of overweight and obesity. However, since the effort measure was a construct based on face validity and has not been properly validated, more studies are necessary before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Becker, David Vaughn
Mating motivations can explain attractiveness benefits, but what proximate mechanisms might serve as efficient causes of these biases? There is growing evidence that visual cues of physical attractiveness capture attention and facilitate memory, enhancing salience in ways that could underlie, for example, preferring one job applicant over another. All of these effects beg deeper questions about the meaning of attractiveness.
Becker, Kendra Davis; Fischer, Sarah; Smith, Gregory T; Miller, Joshua D
We tested a theoretical model concerning the role of attentional bias and negative affect in food consumption that offers important advances. We hypothesized that the effects of negative affect manipulations on food consumption vary as a function of trait levels of negative urgency (NU; tendency to act impulsively when distressed), and attentional bias and that the roles of emotional arousal and negative emotional valence differ and should be studied separately. 190 undergraduate women were randomly assigned to either an anger or neutral mood condition. Women in both conditions completed the Food Stroop, in which the presentation of food and neutral words were counterbalanced. After the task, participants were given the opportunity to eat mandarin oranges and/or chocolate candy while the experimenter was out of the room. The type and quantity of food consumed was counted after the participant departed. As hypothesized, the roles of emotional arousal and valence differed and the effect of the induced emotion was moderated by NU. Women high in NU who experienced emotional arousal were more likely to eat candy and consumed more candy than other women. Emotional valence had no effect on candy consumption. Neither increases in emotional arousal or emotional valence influenced attentional bias to food cues. Attentional bias was also unrelated to food consumption. The impact of negative mood inductions on palatable food consumption appears to operate through emotional arousal and not negative emotional valence, and it may operate primarily for women high in NU. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
van Holst, Ruth J.; Lemmens, Jeroen S.; Valkenburg, Patti M.; Peter, Jochen; Veltman, Dick J.; Goudriaan, Anna E.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine whether behavioral tendencies commonly related to addictive behaviors are also related to problematic computer and video game playing in adolescents. The study of attentional bias and response inhibition, characteristic for addictive disorders, is
van Holst, R.J.; Lemmens, J.S.; Valkenburg, P.M.; Peter, J.; Veltman, D.J.; Goudriaan, A.E.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine whether behavioral tendencies commonly related to addictive behaviors are also related to problematic computer and video game playing in adolescents. The study of attentional bias and response inhibition, characteristic for addictive disorders, is
van Holst, R.J.; Lemmens, J.S.; Valkenburg, P.M.; Peter, J.; Veltman, D.J.; Goudriaan, A.E.
Purpose The aim of this study was to examine whether behavioral tendencies commonly related to addictive behaviors are also related to problematic computer and video game playing in adolescents. The study of attentional bias and response inhibition, characteristic for addictive disorders, is
Forbes, Chad E; Leitner, Jordan B
Stereotype threat, a situational pressure individuals experience when they fear confirming a negative group stereotype, engenders a cascade of physiological stress responses, negative appraisals, and performance monitoring processes that tax working memory resources necessary for optimal performance. Less is known, however, about how stereotype threat biases attentional processing in response to performance feedback, and how such attentional biases may undermine performance. Women received feedback on math problems in stereotype threatening compared to stereotype-neutral contexts while continuous EEG activity was recorded. Findings revealed that stereotype threatened women elicited larger midline P100 ERPs, increased phase locking between anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (two regions integral for attentional processes), and increased power in left fusiform gyrus in response to negative feedback compared to positive feedback and women in stereotype-neutral contexts. Increased power in left fusiform gyrus in response to negative feedback predicted underperformance on the math task among stereotype threatened women only. Women in stereotype-neutral contexts exhibited the opposite trend. Findings suggest that in stereotype threatening contexts, neural networks integral for attention and working memory are biased toward negative, stereotype confirming feedback at very early speeds of information processing. This bias, in turn, plays a role in undermining performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Watts, Sarah E.; Weems, Carl F.
The purpose of this study was to examine the linkages among selective attention, memory bias, cognitive errors, and anxiety problems by testing a model of the interrelations among these cognitive variables and childhood anxiety disorder symptoms. A community sample of 81 youth (38 females and 43 males) aged 9-17 years and their parents completed…
Field, Andy P.
Although valenced information about novel animals changes the implicit and explicit fear beliefs of children (Field & Lawson, 2003), how it might lead to anxiety is unknown. One possibility, based on cognitive models of anxiety, is that fear information creates attentional biases similar to those seen in anxiety disorders. Children between 7 and 9…
Chan, Kevin K S; Mak, Winnie W S
As habitual self-stigma can have a tremendous negative impact on people with mental illness, it is of paramount importance to identify its risk factors. The present study aims to examine the potential contributory role of attentional bias in habitual self-stigma. People with mental illness having strong (n = 47) and weak (n = 47) habitual self-stigma completed a computerized emotional Stroop task which included stigma-related, positive, and non-affective words as stimuli. The strong habit group was found to exhibit faster color-naming of stigma-related words (compared to non-affective words), whereas the weak habit group showed no difference in the speed of response to different stimuli. These findings suggest that people with stronger habitual self-stigma may be more able to ignore the semantic meaning of stigma-related words and focus on the color-naming task. Moreover, people with stronger habitual self-stigma may have greater attentional avoidance of stigma-related material. The present study is the first to demonstrate a specific relationship between habitual self-stigma and biased processing of stigma-related information. In order to further determine the role and the nature of attentional bias in habitual self-stigma, future research should employ a broader range of experimental paradigms and measurement techniques to examine stigma-related attentional bias in people with mental illness.
Yu, Ru Qi; Zhao, Jiaying
The environment often is stable, but some aspects may change over time. The challenge for the visual system is to discover and flexibly adapt to the changes. We examined how attention is shifted in the presence of changes in the underlying structure of the environment. In six experiments, observers viewed four simultaneous streams of objects while performing a visual search task. In the first half of each experiment, the stream in the structured location contained regularities, the shapes in the random location were randomized, and gray squares appeared in two neutral locations. In the second half, the stream in the structured or the random location may change. In the first half of all experiments, visual search was facilitated in the structured location, suggesting that attention was consistently biased toward regularities. In the second half, this bias persisted in the structured location when no change occurred (Experiment 1), when the regularities were removed (Experiment 2), or when new regularities embedded in the original or novel stimuli emerged in the previously random location (Experiments 3 and 6). However, visual search was numerically but no longer reliably faster in the structured location when the initial regularities were removed and new regularities were introduced in the previously random location (Experiment 4), or when novel random stimuli appeared in the random location (Experiment 5). This suggests that the attentional bias was weakened. Overall, the results demonstrate that the attentional bias to regularities was persistent but also sensitive to changes in the environment.
Suárez-Pellicioni, Macarena; Núñez-Peña, Maria Isabel; Colomé, Àngels
Attentional bias toward threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias toward math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA) and 20 low math-anxious (LMA) individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related – neutral difference score) than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias toward math-related words in HMA individuals. PMID:26539137
MACARENA eSUÁREZ PELLICIONI
Full Text Available Attentional bias towards threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias towards math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA and 20 low math-anxious (LMA individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related – neutral difference score than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias towards math-related words in HMA individuals.
Pfabigan, Daniela M; Lamplmayr-Kragl, Elisabeth; Pintzinger, Nina M; Sailer, Uta; Tran, Ulrich S
Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women) performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Using the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.
Daniela M. Pfabigan
Full Text Available Attentional processes play an important role in the processing of emotional information. Previous research reported attentional biases during stimulus processing in anxiety and depression. However, sex differences in the processing of emotional stimuli and higher prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among women, compared to men, suggest that attentional biases may also differ between the two sexes. The present study used a modified version of the dot probe task with happy, angry, and neutral facial stimuli to investigate the time course of attentional biases in healthy volunteers. Moreover, associations of attentional biases with alexithymia were examined on the behavioral and physiological level. Event-related potentials were measured while 21 participants (11 women performed the task, utilizing also for the first time a difference wave approach in the analysis to highlight emotion-specific aspects. Women showed overall enhanced probe P1 amplitudes compared to men, in particular after rewarding facial stimuli. Under the difference wave approach, probe P1 amplitudes appeared specifically enhanced with regard to congruently presented happy facial stimuli among women, compared to men. Both methods yielded enhanced probe P1 amplitudes after presentation of the emotional stimulus in the left compared to the right visual hemifield. Probe P1 amplitudes correlated negatively with self-reported alexithymia, most of these correlations were only observable in women. Our results suggest that women orient their attention to a greater extent to facial stimuli than men and corroborate that alexithymia is a correlate of reduced emotional reactivity on a neuronal level. We recommend using a difference wave approach when addressing attentional processes of orientation and disengagement also in future studies.
Full Text Available Objective Although research on muscle dysmorphia (MD, a body dysmorphic disorder subtype, has recently increased, the causes and mechanisms underlying this disorder remain unclear. Results from studies examining disorders associated with body image suggest the involvement of self-schema in biasing attention toward specific body information. The present study examined whether individuals at higher risk of MD also display attentional biases toward specific types of body images. Methods The validated Chinese version of the Muscle Appearance Satisfaction Scale was used to distinguish men at higher and lower risk of MD. Sixty-five adult Chinese men at higher (HRMD, n = 33 and lower risk of MD (LRMD, n = 32 performed a visual probe task. Initially, an image of a bodybuilder with either larger or smaller musculature was presented on one side of a central point, with a neutral image of a car exterior presented on the other side along the horizontal plane for 2,000 ms. The paired images were removed, and a visual target (a dot was displayed in the location of one of the previously shown images. Participants were asked to indicate the location of the target, and their eye movements were recorded during the entire visual presentation. Participant reaction time and three eye movement measurements (gaze direction, first saccade latency, and first fixation duration were recorded for use in determining attentional bias. Results The HRMD group revealed biases in orienting and maintaining their attention on images of bodybuilders with larger musculatures. Participants in this group consequently had a shorter reaction time in identifying the target that appeared at the location in which an image of a bodybuilder with a larger musculature had been previously displayed. They also directed their initial gaze more frequently, had shorter saccade latency, and had longer first fixation duration on images of bodybuilders with larger musculatures (all p < .0001
Jin, Xinhong; Jin, Yahong; Zhou, Shi; Yang, Shun-Nan; Chang, Shuzhi; Li, Hui
Although research on muscle dysmorphia (MD), a body dysmorphic disorder subtype, has recently increased, the causes and mechanisms underlying this disorder remain unclear. Results from studies examining disorders associated with body image suggest the involvement of self-schema in biasing attention toward specific body information. The present study examined whether individuals at higher risk of MD also display attentional biases toward specific types of body images. The validated Chinese version of the Muscle Appearance Satisfaction Scale was used to distinguish men at higher and lower risk of MD. Sixty-five adult Chinese men at higher (HRMD, n = 33) and lower risk of MD (LRMD, n = 32) performed a visual probe task. Initially, an image of a bodybuilder with either larger or smaller musculature was presented on one side of a central point, with a neutral image of a car exterior presented on the other side along the horizontal plane for 2,000 ms. The paired images were removed, and a visual target (a dot) was displayed in the location of one of the previously shown images. Participants were asked to indicate the location of the target, and their eye movements were recorded during the entire visual presentation. Participant reaction time and three eye movement measurements (gaze direction, first saccade latency, and first fixation duration) were recorded for use in determining attentional bias. The HRMD group revealed biases in orienting and maintaining their attention on images of bodybuilders with larger musculatures. Participants in this group consequently had a shorter reaction time in identifying the target that appeared at the location in which an image of a bodybuilder with a larger musculature had been previously displayed. They also directed their initial gaze more frequently, had shorter saccade latency, and had longer first fixation duration on images of bodybuilders with larger musculatures (all p < .0001). In comparison, the LRMD group had
Full Text Available Numerous studies have shown that biases in visual attention might be evoked by affective and personally relevant stimuli, for example addiction-related objects. Despite the fact that addiction is often linked to specific products and systematic purchase behaviors, no studies focused directly on the existence of bias evoked by brands. Smokers are characterized by high levels of brand loyalty and everyday contact with cigarette packaging. Using the incentive-salience mechanism as a theoretical framework, we hypothesized that this group might exhibit a bias toward the preferred cigarette brand. In our study, a group of smokers (N = 40 performed a dot probe task while their eye movements were recorded. In every trial a pair of pictures was presented – each of them showed a single cigarette pack. The visual properties of stimuli were carefully controlled, so branding information was the key factor affecting subjects’ reactions. For each participant, we compared gaze behavior related to the preferred vs. other brands. The analyses revealed no attentional bias in the early, orienting phase of the stimulus processing and strong differences in maintenance and disengagement. Participants spent more time looking at the preferred cigarettes and saccades starting at the preferred brand location had longer latencies. In sum, our data shows that attentional bias toward brands might be found in situations not involving choice or decision making. These results provide important insights into the mechanisms of formation and maintenance of attentional biases to stimuli of personal relevance and might serve as a first step toward developing new attitude measurement techniques.
Domaradzka, Ewa; Bielecki, Maksymilian
Numerous studies have shown that biases in visual attention might be evoked by affective and personally relevant stimuli, for example addiction-related objects. Despite the fact that addiction is often linked to specific products and systematic purchase behaviors, no studies focused directly on the existence of bias evoked by brands. Smokers are characterized by high levels of brand loyalty and everyday contact with cigarette packaging. Using the incentive-salience mechanism as a theoretical framework, we hypothesized that this group might exhibit a bias toward the preferred cigarette brand. In our study, a group of smokers (N = 40) performed a dot probe task while their eye movements were recorded. In every trial a pair of pictures was presented – each of them showed a single cigarette pack. The visual properties of stimuli were carefully controlled, so branding information was the key factor affecting subjects’ reactions. For each participant, we compared gaze behavior related to the preferred vs. other brands. The analyses revealed no attentional bias in the early, orienting phase of the stimulus processing and strong differences in maintenance and disengagement. Participants spent more time looking at the preferred cigarettes and saccades starting at the preferred brand location had longer latencies. In sum, our data shows that attentional bias toward brands might be found in situations not involving choice or decision making. These results provide important insights into the mechanisms of formation and maintenance of attentional biases to stimuli of personal relevance and might serve as a first step toward developing new attitude measurement techniques. PMID:28848479
Caudek, Corrado; Ceccarini, Francesco; Sica, Claudio
The facial dot-probe task is one of the most common experimental paradigms used to assess attentional bias toward emotional information. In recent years, however, the psychometric properties of this paradigm have been questioned. In the present study, attentional bias to emotional face stimuli was measured with dynamic and static images of realistic human faces in 97 college students (63 women) who underwent either a positive or a negative mood-induction prior to the experiment. We controlled the bottom-up salience of the stimuli in order to dissociate the top-down orienting of attention from the effects of the bottom-up physical properties of the stimuli. A Bayesian analysis of our results indicates that 1) the traditional global attentional bias index shows a low reliability, 2) reliability increases dramatically when biased attention is analyzed by extracting a series of bias estimations from trial-to-trial (Zvielli, Bernstein, & Koster, 2015), 3) dynamic expression of emotions strengthens biased attention to emotional information, and 4) mood-congruency facilitates the measurement of biased attention to emotional stimuli. These results highlight the importance of using ecologically valid stimuli in attentional bias research, together with the importance of estimating biased attention at the trial level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Adams, Sally; Attwood, Angela S; Munafò, Marcus R
Nicotine's effects on mood are thought to enhance its addictive potential. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of nicotine on affect regulation have not been reliably demonstrated in human laboratory studies. We investigated the effects of nicotine abstinence (Experiment 1), and nicotine challenge and expectancy (Experiment 2) on attentional bias towards facial emotional stimuli differing in emotional valence. In Experiment 1, 46 nicotine-deprived smokers were randomized to either continue to abstain from smoking or to smoke immediately before testing. In Experiment 2, 96 nicotine-deprived smokers were randomized to smoke a nicotinized or denicotinized cigarette and to be told that the cigarette did or did not contain nicotine. In both experiments participants completed a visual probe task, where positively valenced (happy) and negatively valenced (sad) facial expressions were presented, together with neutral facial expressions. In Experiment 1, there was evidence of an interaction between probe location and abstinence on reaction time, indicating that abstinent smokers showed an attentional bias for neutral stimuli. In Experiment 2, there was evidence of an interaction between probe location, nicotine challenge and expectation on reaction time, indicating that smokers receiving nicotine, but told that they did not receive nicotine, showed an attentional bias for emotional stimuli. Our data suggest that nicotine abstinence appears to disrupt attentional bias towards emotional facial stimuli. These data provide support for nicotine's modulation of attentional bias as a central mechanism for maintaining affect regulation in cigarette smoking. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
van Holst, Ruth J; Lemmens, Jeroen S; Valkenburg, Patti M; Peter, Jochen; Veltman, Dick J; Goudriaan, Anna E
The aim of this study was to examine whether behavioral tendencies commonly related to addictive behaviors are also related to problematic computer and video game playing in adolescents. The study of attentional bias and response inhibition, characteristic for addictive disorders, is relevant to the ongoing discussion on whether problematic gaming should be classified as an addictive disorder. We tested the relation between self-reported levels of problem gaming and two behavioral domains: attentional bias and response inhibition. Ninety-two male adolescents performed two attentional bias tasks (addiction-Stroop, dot-probe) and a behavioral inhibition task (go/no-go). Self-reported problem gaming was measured by the game addiction scale, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fourth edition criteria for pathological gambling and time spent on computer and/or video games. Male adolescents with higher levels of self-reported problem gaming displayed signs of error-related attentional bias to game cues. Higher levels of problem gaming were also related to more errors on response inhibition, but only when game cues were presented. These findings are in line with the findings of attentional bias reported in clinically recognized addictive disorders, such as substance dependence and pathological gambling, and contribute to the discussion on the proposed concept of "Addiction and Related Disorders" (which may include non-substance-related addictive behaviors) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fourth edition. Copyright © 2012 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dounskaia, Natalia; Goble, Jacob A
Previous research has revealed directional biases (preferences to select movements in specific directions) during horizontal arm movements with the use of a free-stroke drawing task. The biases were interpreted as a result of a tendency to generate motion at either the shoulder or elbow (leading joint) and move the other (subordinate) joint predominantly passively to avoid neural effort for control of interaction torque. Here, we examined influence of vision, movement speed, and attention on the directional biases. Participants performed the free-stroke drawing task, producing center-out strokes in randomly selected directions. Movements were performed with and without vision and at comfortable and fast pace. A secondary, cognitive task was used to distract attention. Preferred directions remained the same in all conditions. Bias strength mildly increased without vision, especially during fast movements. Striking increases in bias strength were caused by the secondary task, pointing to additional cognitive load associated with selection of movements in the non-preferred directions. Further analyses demonstrated that the tendency to minimize active interference with interaction torque at the subordinate joint matched directional biases in all conditions. This match supports the explanation of directional biases as a result of a tendency to minimize neural effort for interaction torque control. The cognitive load may enhance this tendency in two ways, directly, by reducing neural capacity for interaction torque control, and indirectly, by decreasing capacity of working memory that stores visited directions. The obtained results suggest strong directional biases during daily activities because natural arm movements usually subserve cognitive tasks.
Dodd, Helen F; Vogt, Julia; Turkileri, Nilgun; Notebaert, Lies
Task relevance affects emotional attention in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate whether the association between anxiety and attention bias is affected by the task relevance of emotion during an attention task. Participants completed two visual search tasks. In the emotion-irrelevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of neutral, middle-aged faces was old or young. Irrelevant to the task, target faces displayed angry, happy, or neutral expressions. In the emotion-relevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of middle-aged neutral faces was happy or angry (target faces also varied in age). Trait anxiety was not associated with attention in the emotion-relevant task. However, in the emotion-irrelevant task, trait anxiety was associated with a bias for angry over happy faces. These findings demonstrate that the task relevance of emotional information affects conclusions about the presence of an anxiety-linked attention bias. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rosenstreich, Eyal; Ruderman, Lital
The practice of mindfulness has been argued to increase attention control and improve memory performance. However, it was recently suggested that the effect of mindfulness on memory may be due to a shift in response-bias, rather than to an increase in memory-sensitivity. The present study examined the mindfulness-attention-memory triad. Participants filled in the five-facets of mindfulness questionnaire, and completed two recognition blocks; in the first attention was full, whereas in the second attention was divided during the encoding of information. It was found that the facet of non-judging (NJ) moderated the impact of attention on memory, such that responses of high NJ participants were less biased and remained constant even when attention was divided. Facets of mindfulness were not associated with memory sensitivity. These findings suggest that mindfulness may affect memory through decision making processes, rather than through directing attentional resources to the encoding of information. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate whether food-related thought suppression results in an attention bias for food cues. Fifty-nine female students took part in the experiment. All completed a modified exogenous cueing task containing pictures of foods and toys with a similar valence (presentation duration: 250 ms and 1050 ms. Half of the participants were instructed to suppress thoughts about food and the other half was given control instructions, prior to completing the exogenous cueing task. No evidence was found for an enhanced cue validity effect for food cues after food-related thought suppression. Hence, the preliminary results do not provide support for the hypothesis that thought suppression is sufficient to yield an attention bias. Since the study was the first to employ an exogenous cueing task to study the attentional processing of food cues, replication is warranted.
Yeomans, Martin R; Javaherian, Shabnam; Tovey, Heather M; Stafford, Lorenzo D
Attentional bias for drug-related cues has been reported with a wide range of drugs, but to date the extent to which caffeine consumers show similar biases for caffeine-related stimuli has not been tested. The present study therefore examined this issue in terms of differences in attentional bias for caffeine-related words in High, Moderate and Non-caffeine consumers using a dot-probe word task following overnight caffeine abstinence. This study was conducted to test whether caffeine consumers show an attentional bias for caffeine-related words, and whether such biases relate to habitual levels of caffeine use. Sixteen High, Moderate and Non-consumers of caffeine were asked to complete a modified dot-probe task in order to measure attentional bias for caffeine-related relative to neutral control word groups. The task was completed following overnight caffeine abstinence, and participants also completed mood and caffeine-craving measures. The High consumer group showed a significant attentional bias for the caffeine-related words, but no such bias was seen in Moderate or Non-consumer groups. As expected, craving for caffeine was strongest in the High consumers and weakest in the Non-consumers. Attentional bias in the High group correlated with self-reported caffeine consumption and with craving for caffeine, but neither effect was significant in the Moderate group. These data confirm that High caffeine consumers show attentional bias for caffeine-related stimuli, consistent with current theories of drug addiction.
Loeber, Sabine; Vollstädt-Klein, Sabine; Wilden, Sophia; Schneider, Sven; Rockenbach, Christine; Dinter, Christina; von der Goltz, Christoph; Hermann, Derik; Wagner, Michael; Winterer, Georg; Kiefer, Falk
Given that previous studies demonstrated that smoking-related cues (like cigarette packages) grab the attention of smokers and thereby contribute to craving and tobacco seeking we investigated how pictorial health warnings presented on cigarette packages affect attention allocation towards cigarette packages. The WHO advises the use of pictorial health warnings on cigarette packages. However, at present no experimental studies are available investigating if pictorial warnings modulate incentive properties of cigarette packages. Fifty-nine tobacco smokers and 55 non-smokers performed a visual dot probe task to assess attention allocation towards cigarette packages with and without health warnings. Smokers were divided a priori in a group of light smokers (smokers (≥20 cigarettes/day; n=20). Psychometric measures on anxiety and nicotine craving were administered. Light smokers showed an attentional bias towards packages without pictorial warnings while no effects were observed in the other groups. In heavy smokers attention allocation towards pictorial health warnings was associated with an increase of craving and anxiety. The results have a potential public health perspective as pictorial health warnings might be an effective strategy to reduce attentional bias towards cigarette packages of light smokers, while counterproductive effects in heavy smokers warrant further investigation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Sanabria, Daniel
Audiovisual links in spatial attention have been reported in many previous studies. However, the effectiveness of auditory spatial cues in biasing the information encoding into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) is still relatively unknown. In this study, we addressed this issue by combining a cuing paradigm with a change detection task in VSWM. Moreover, we manipulated the perceptual organization of the to-be-remembered visual stimuli. We hypothesized that the auditory effect on VSWM would depend on the perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual probe. Results showed, for the first time, a significant auditory attentional bias in VSWM. However, the effect was observed only when the to-be-remembered visual stimuli were organized in two distinctive visual objects. We propose that these results shed new light on audio-visual crossmodal links in spatial attention suggesting that, apart from the spatio-temporal contingency, the likelihood of perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual target can have a large impact on crossmodal attentional biases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Clarke, Patrick J F; Notebaert, Lies; MacLeod, Colin
Attentional bias modification (ABM) represents one of a number of cognitive bias modification techniques which are beginning to show promise as therapeutic interventions for emotional pathology. Numerous studies with both clinical and non-clinical populations have now demonstrated that ABM can reduce emotional vulnerability. However, some recent studies have failed to achieve change in either selective attention or emotional vulnerability using ABM methodologies, including a recent randomised controlled trial by Carlbring et al. Some have sought to represent such absence of evidence as a sound basis not to further pursue ABM as an online intervention. While these findings obviously raise questions about the specific conditions under which ABM procedures will produce therapeutic benefits, we suggest that the failure of some studies to modify selective attention does not challenge the theoretical and empirical basis of ABM. The present paper seeks to put these ABM failures in perspective within the broader context of attentional bias modification research. In doing so it is apparent that the current findings and future prospects of ABM are in fact very promising, suggesting that more research in this area is warranted, not less.
Rodebaugh, Thomas L.; Scullin, Rachel B.; Langer, Julia K.; Dixon, David J.; Huppert, Jonathan D.; Bernstein, Amit; Zvielli, Ariel; Lenze, Eric J.
The use of unreliable measures constitutes a threat to our understanding of psychopathology, because advancement of science using both behavioral and biologically-oriented measures can only be certain if such measurements are reliable. Two pillars of NIMH’s portfolio – the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative for psychopathology and the target engagement initiative in clinical trials – cannot succeed without measures that possess the high reliability necessary for tests involving mediation and selection based on individual differences. We focus on the historical lack of reliability of attentional bias measures as an illustration of how reliability can pose a threat to our understanding. Our own data replicate previous findings of poor reliability for traditionally-used scores, which suggests a serious problem with the ability to test theories regarding attentional bias. This lack of reliability may also suggest problems with the assumption (in both theory and the formula for the scores) that attentional bias is consistent and stable across time. In contrast, measures accounting for attention as a dynamic process in time show good reliability in our data. The field is sorely in need of research reporting findings and reliability for attentional bias scores using multiple methods, including those focusing on dynamic processes over time. We urge researchers to test and report reliability of all measures, considering findings of low reliability not just as a nuisance but as an opportunity to modify and improve upon the underlying theory. Full assessment of reliability of measures will maximize the possibility that RDoC (and psychological science more generally) will succeed. PMID:27322741
Metrik, Jane; Aston, Elizabeth R.; Kahler, Christopher W.; Rohsenow, Damaris J.; McGeary, John E.; Knopik, Valerie S.; MacKillop, James
Background Incentive salience is a multidimensional construct that includes craving, drug value relative to other reinforcers, and implicit motivation such as attentional bias to drug cues. Laboratory cue reactivity (CR) paradigms have been used to evaluate marijuana incentive salience with measures of craving, but not with behavioral economic measures of marijuana demand or implicit attentional processing tasks. Methods This within-subjects study used a new CR paradigm to examine multiple dimensions of marijuana’s incentive salience and to compare CR-induced increases in craving and demand. Frequent marijuana users (N=93, 34% female) underwent exposure to neutral cues then to lit marijuana cigarettes. Craving, marijuana demand via a marijuana purchase task, and heart rate were assessed after each cue set. A modified Stroop task with cannabis and control words was completed after the marijuana cues as a measure of attentional bias. Results Relative to neutral cues, marijuana cues significantly increased subjective craving and demand indices of intensity (i.e., drug consumed at $0) and Omax (i.e., peak drug expenditure). Elasticity significantly decreased following marijuana cues, reflecting sustained purchase despite price increases. Craving was correlated with demand indices (r’s: 0.23–0.30). Marijuana users displayed significant attentional bias for cannabis-related words after marijuana cues. Cue-elicited increases in intensity were associated with greater attentional bias for marijuana words. Conclusions Greater incentive salience indexed by subjective, behavioral economic, and implicit measures was observed after marijuana versus neutral cues, supporting multidimensional assessment. The study highlights the utility of a behavioral economic approach in detecting cue-elicited changes in marijuana incentive salience. PMID:27515723
Fox, Elaine; Ridgewell, Anna; Ashwin, Chris
Humans differ in terms of biased attention for emotional stimuli and these biases can confer differential resilience and vulnerability to emotional disorders. Selective processing of positive emotional information, for example, is associated with enhanced sociability and well-being while a bias for negative material is associated with neuroticism and anxiety. A tendency to selectively avoid negative material might also be associated with mental health and well-being. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying these cognitive phenotypes are currently unknown. Here we show for the first time that allelic variation in the promotor region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) is associated with differential biases for positive and negative affective pictures. Individuals homozygous for the long allele (LL) showed a marked bias to selectively process positive affective material alongside selective avoidance of negative affective material. This potentially protective pattern was absent among individuals carrying the short allele (S or SL). Thus, allelic variation on a common genetic polymorphism was associated with the tendency to selectively process positive or negative information. The current study is important in demonstrating a genotype-related alteration in a well-established processing bias, which is a known risk factor in determining both resilience and vulnerability to emotional disorders.
Pishyareh, Ebrahim; Tehrani-Doost, Mehdi; Mahmoodi-Gharaie, Javad; Khorrami, Anahita; Joudi, Mitra; Ahmadi, Mehrnoosh
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) react explosively and inappropriately to emotional stimuli. It could be hypothesized that these children have some impairment in attending to emotional cues. Based on this hypothesis, we conducted this study to evaluate visual directions of children with ADHD towards paired emotional scenes. Thirty boys between the ages of 6 and 11 years diagnosed with ADHD were compared with 30 age-matched normal boys. All participants were presented paired emotional and neutral scenes in the four following categories: pleasant-neutral; pleasant-unpleasant; unpleasant-neutral; and neutral - neutral. Meanwhile, their visual orientations towards these pictures were evaluated using the eye tracking system. The number and duration of first fixation and duration of first gaze were compared between the two groups using the MANOVA analysis. The performance of each group in different categories was also analyzed using the Friedman test. With regards to duration of first gaze, which is the time taken to fixate on a picture before moving to another picture, ADHD children spent less time on pleasant pictures compared to normal group, while they were looking at pleasant - neutral and unpleasant - pleasant pairs. The duration of first gaze on unpleasant pictures was higher while children with ADHD were looking at unpleasant - neutral pairs (P<0.01). Based on the findings of this study it could be concluded that children with ADHD attend to unpleasant conditions more than normal children which leads to their emotional reactivity.
Luehring-Jones, Peter; Louis, Courtney; Dennis-Tiwary, Tracy A; Erblich, Joel
Attentional bias modification (ABM) techniques for reducing problematic alcohol consumption hold promise as highly accessible and cost-effective treatment approaches. A growing body of literature has examined ABM as a potentially efficacious intervention for reducing drinking and drinking-related cognitions in alcohol-dependent individuals as well as those at-risk of developing problem drinking habits. This study tested the effectiveness of a single session of visual probe-based ABM training in a cohort of 60 non-treatment-seeking young adult drinkers, with a focus on examining mechanisms underlying training efficacy. Participants were randomly assigned to a single session of active ABM training or a sham training condition in a laboratory setting. Measures of implicit drinking-related cognitions (alcohol Stroop and an Implicit Association Task) and attentional bias (AB; alcohol visual probe) were administered, and subjective alcohol craving was reported in response to in vivo alcohol cues. Results showed that active ABM training, relative to sham, resulted in significant differences in measures of implicit alcohol-related cognition, alcohol-related AB, and self-reports of alcohol craving. Mediation analysis showed that reductions in craving were fully mediated by ABM-related reductions in alcohol-Stroop interference scores, suggesting a previously undocumented relationship between the 2 measures. Results document the efficacy of brief ABM to reduce both implicit and explicit processes related to drinking, and highlight the potential intervention-relevance of alcohol-related implicit cognitions in social drinkers. Copyright © 2017 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.
Full Text Available Objective: Children with attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD react explosively and inappropriately to emotional stimuli. It could be hypothesized that these children have some impairment in attending to emotional cues. Based on this hypothesis, we conducted this study to evaluate visual directions of children with ADHD towards paired emotional scenes.Method: thirty boys between the ages of 6 and 11 years diagnosed with ADHD were compared with 30 age-matched normal boys. All participants were presented paired emotional and neutral scenes in the four following categories: pleasant-neutral; pleasant-unpleasant; unpleasant-neutral; and neutral – neutral. Meanwhile, their visual orientations towards these pictures were evaluated using the eye tracking system. The number and duration of first fixation and duration of first gaze were compared between the two groups using the MANOVA analysis. The performance of each group in different categories was also analyzed using the Friedman test.Results: With regards to duration of first gaze, which is the time taken to fixate on a picture before moving to another picture, ADHD children spent less time on pleasant pictures compared to normal group ,while they were looking at pleasant – neutral and unpleasant – pleasant pairs. The duration of first gaze on unpleasant pictures was higher while children with ADHD were looking at unpleasant – neutral pairs (P<0.01.Conclusion: based on the findings of this study it could be concluded that children with ADHD attend to unpleasant conditions more than normal children which leads to their emotional reactivity.
Hou, Ruihua; Moss-Morris, Rona; Bradley, Brendan P; Peveler, Robert; Mogg, Karin
To investigate whether individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) show an attentional bias towards health-threat information. Attentional bias (AB) was assessed in individuals with CFS and healthy controls using a visual probe task which presented health-threat and neutral words and pictures for 500 ms. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess CFS symptoms, depression, anxiety, and social desirability. Compared to a healthy control group, the CFS group showed an enhanced AB towards heath-threat stimuli relative to neutral stimuli. The AB was not influenced by the type of stimulus (pictures vs. words). The finding of an AB towards health-threat information in individuals with CFS is supportive of models of CFS which underlie cognitive behavior therapy.
Szasz, Paul Lucian; Szentagotai, Aurora; Hofmann, Stefan G
The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of different strategies for regulating emotions associated with smoking on subjective, cognitive, and behavioral correlates of smoking. Emotion regulation was manipulated by instructing participants to reappraise (n = 32), accept (n = 31), or suppress (n = 31) their emotions associated with smoking. The dependent measures included subjective reports of craving, negative affect, and attentional biases, as measured by a modified dot-probe task, and persistence during a task to measure distress tolerance. Individuals who were encouraged to reappraise the consequences of smoking showed diminished craving, lower negative affect, had reduced attentional biases for smoking-related cues, and exhibited greater task persistence than those who were instructed to accept and suppress their urge to smoke. These findings suggest that reappraisal techniques are more effective than acceptance or suppression strategies for targeting smoking-related problems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lee, Jeong-Ha; Lee, Jang-Han
This study identified components of attentional bias (e.g. attentional vigilance, attentional avoidance and difficulty with disengagement) that are critical characteristics of survivors of dating violence (DV). Eye movements were recorded to obtain accurate and continuous information regarding attention. DV survivors with high post-traumatic stress symptoms (DV-High PTSS group; n = 20) and low post-traumatic stress symptoms (DV-Low PTSS group; n = 22) and participants who had never experienced DV (NDV group; n = 21) were shown screens displaying emotional (angry, fearful and happy) faces paired with neutral faces and negative (angry and fearful) faces paired with happy faces for 10 s. The results indicate that the DV-High PTSS group spent longer dwelling on angry faces over time compared with the DV-Low PTSS and NDV groups. This result implies that the DV-High PTSS group focused on specific trauma-related stimuli but does not provide evidence of an attentional bias towards threatening stimuli in general.
Tom Joseph Barry
Full Text Available Models of exposure therapy, one of the key components of cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders, suggest that attention may play an important role in the extinction of fear and anxiety. Evidence from cognitive research suggests that individual differences may play a causal role in the onset and maintenance of anxiety disorders and so it is also likely to influence treatment. We review the evidence concerning attention and treatment outcomes in anxiety disorders. The evidence reviewed here suggests that that attention biases assessed at pre-treatment might actually predict improved response to treatment, and in particular that prolonged engagement with threat as measured in tasks such as the dot probe is associated with greater reductions in anxious symptoms following treatment. We examine this research within a fear learning framework, considering the possible role of individual differences in attention in the extinction of fear during exposure. Theoretical, experimental and clinical implications are discussed, particularly with reference to the potential for attention bias modification programs in augmenting treatment, and also with reference to how existing research in this area might inform best practice for clinicians.
Palmer, Matthew A; Brewer, Neil; Horry, Ruth
Prior research has demonstrated a female own-gender bias in face recognition, with females better at recognizing female faces than male faces. We explored the basis for this effect by examining the effect of divided attention during encoding on females' and males' recognition of female and male faces. For female participants, divided attention impaired recognition performance for female faces to a greater extent than male faces in a face recognition paradigm (Study 1; N=113) and an eyewitness identification paradigm (Study 2; N=502). Analysis of remember-know judgments (Study 2) indicated that divided attention at encoding selectively reduced female participants' recollection of female faces at test. For male participants, divided attention selectively reduced recognition performance (and recollection) for male stimuli in Study 2, but had similar effects on recognition of male and female faces in Study 1. Overall, the results suggest that attention at encoding contributes to the female own-gender bias by facilitating the later recollection of female faces. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mason, Liam; Trujillo-Barreto, Nelson J; Bentall, Richard P; El-Deredy, Wael
There is amassing evidence that risky decision-making in bipolar disorder is related to reward-based differences in frontostriatal regions. However, the roles of early attentional and later cognitive processes remain unclear, limiting theoretical understanding and development of targeted interventions. Twenty euthymic bipolar disorder and 19 matched control participants played a Roulette task in which they won and lost money. Event-related potentials and source analysis were used to quantify predominantly sensory-attentional (N1), motivational salience (feedback-related negativities [FRN]), and cognitive appraisal (P300) stages of processing. We predicted that the bipolar disorder group would show increased N1, consistent with increased attentional orienting, and reduced FRN, consistent with a bias to perceive outcomes more favorably. As predicted, the bipolar disorder group showed increased N1 and reduced FRN but no differences in P300. N1 amplitude was additionally associated with real-life risk taking, and N1 source activity was reduced in visual cortex but increased activity in precuneus, frontopolar, and premotor cortex, compared to those of controls. These findings demonstrate an early attentional bias to reward that potentially drives risk taking by priming approach behavior and elevating reward salience in the frontostriatal pathway. Although later cognitive appraisals of these inputs may be relatively intact in remission, interventions targeting attention orienting may also be effective in long-term reduction of relapse. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lin, Ping-I; Hsieh, Cheng-Da; Juan, Chi-Hung; Hossain, Md Monir; Erickson, Craig A; Lee, Yang-Han; Su, Mu-Chun
The goal of the current study is to clarify the relationship between social information processing (e.g., visual attention to cues of hostility, hostility attribution bias, and facial expression emotion labeling) and aggressive tendencies. Thirty adults were recruited in the eye-tracking study that measured various components in social information processing. Baseline aggressive tendencies were measured using the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). Visual attention towards hostile objects was measured as the proportion of eye gaze fixation duration on cues of hostility. Hostility attribution bias was measured with the rating results for emotions of characters in the images. The results show that the eye gaze duration on hostile characters was significantly inversely correlated with the AQ score and less eye contact with an angry face. The eye gaze duration on hostile object was not significantly associated with hostility attribution bias, although hostility attribution bias was significantly positively associated with the AQ score. Our findings suggest that eye gaze fixation time towards non-hostile cues may predict aggressive tendencies.
Rolls, Edmund T
Cognition can influence emotion by biasing neural activity in the first cortical region in which the reward value and subjective pleasantness of stimuli is made explicit in the representation, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The same effect occurs in a second cortical tier for emotion, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Similar effects are found for selective attention, to for example the pleasantness vs. the intensity of stimuli, which modulates representations of reward value and affect in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The mechanisms for the effects of cognition and attention on emotion are top-down biased competition and top-down biased activation. Affective and mood states can in turn influence memory and perception, by backprojected biasing influences. Emotion-related decision systems operate to choose between gene-specified rewards such as taste, touch, and beauty. Reasoning processes capable of planning ahead with multiple steps held in working memory in the explicit system can allow the gene-specified rewards not to be selected, or to be deferred. The stochastic, noisy, dynamics of decision-making systems in the brain may influence whether decisions are made by the selfish-gene-specified reward emotion system, or by the cognitive reasoning system that explicitly calculates reward values that are in the interests of the individual, the phenotype.
Full Text Available Cognition can influence emotion by biasing neural activity in the first cortical region in which the reward value and subjective pleasantness of stimuli is made explicit in the representation, the orbitofrontal cortex. The same effect occurs in a second cortical tier for emotion, the anterior cingulate cortex. Similar effects are found for selective attention, to for example the pleasantness vs the intensity of stimuli, which modulates representations of reward value and affect in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The mechanisms for the effects of cognition and attention on emotion are top-down biased competition and top-down biased activation. Affective and mood states can in turn influence memory and perception, by backprojected biasing influences. Emotion-related decision systems operate to choose between gene-specified rewards such as taste, touch, and beauty. Reasoning processes capable of planning ahead with multiple steps held in working memory in the explicit system can allow the gene-specified rewards not to be selected, or to be deferred. The stochastic, noisy, dynamics of decision-making systems in the brain may influence whether decisions are made by the selfish-gene-specified reward emotion system, or by the cognitive reasoning system that explicitly calculates reward values that are in the interests of the individual, the phenotype.
Pona, Ashleigh A; Jones, Angela C; Masterson, Tracy L; Ben-Porath, Denise D
To investigate attentional and memorial biases towards body shape pictures among female patients with clinical eating disorders and healthy female controls. A visual dot-probe task was used to assess attention towards pictures reflecting either a thin, normal, or obese female body shape. Pictures were presented in pairs; each pair depicted two different body shapes and were presented twice. Participant responses were compared across time and population. Overall, the eating disorder patients responded more slowly than controls, F(1,63) = 20.32, p attentional bias towards the larger of two body shapes, F(1,63) = 4.30, p = .04, and responded more quickly the second time they viewed the picture pairs, F(1,63) = 33.80, p picture pairs, the eating disorder patients had a larger decrease in reaction time (86 ms) than the control sample (33 ms) only when both pictures included extreme body shapes (thin and obese); the decrease in reaction time when one of the pictures included a normal body shape was the same across groups upon second viewing (eating disorder: 37 ms; control: 32 ms), F(1,63) = 9.32, p = .003. These findings suggest that individuals with eating disorders may be biased towards recall of dichotomous and/or extreme body shape images. While it remains unclear whether attentional and/or memorial bias is a risk, maintenance, or causal factor in eating disorders, future studies should employ longitudinal, prospective research designs to address these questions. Level II, comparative study.
Jeromin, Franziska; Nyenhuis, Nele; Barke, Antonia
Background and aims Internet Gaming Disorder is included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5 th edition) as a disorder that merits further research. The diagnostic criteria are based on those for Substance Use Disorder and Gambling Disorder. Excessive gamblers and persons with Substance Use Disorder show attentional biases towards stimuli related to their addictions. We investigated whether excessive Internet gamers show a similar attentional bias, by using two established experimental paradigms. Methods We measured reaction times of excessive Internet gamers and non-gamers (N = 51, 23.7 ± 2.7 years) by using an addiction Stroop with computer-related and neutral words, as well as a visual probe with computer-related and neutral pictures. Mixed design analyses of variance with the between-subjects factor group (gamer/non-gamer) and the within-subjects factor stimulus type (computer-related/neutral) were calculated for the reaction times as well as for valence and familiarity ratings of the stimulus material. Results In the addiction Stroop, an interaction for group × word type was found: Only gamers showed longer reaction times to computer-related words compared to neutral words, thus exhibiting an attentional bias. In the visual probe, no differences in reaction time between computer-related and neutral pictures were found in either group, but the gamers were faster overall. Conclusions An attentional bias towards computer-related stimuli was found in excessive Internet gamers, by using an addiction Stroop but not by using a visual probe. A possible explanation for the discrepancy could lie in the fact that the visual probe may have been too easy for the gamers.
Reynolds, G; Field, AP; Askew, C
Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang's (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang's final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field's (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children's cognitive, behavioral, and physiol...
Chen, Zhuohao; Du, Jinchen; Xiang, Min; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Shuyue
Social exclusion has many effects on individuals, including the increased need to belong and elevated sensitivity to social information. Using a self-reporting method, and an eye-tracking technique, this study explored people's need to belong and attentional bias towards the socio-emotional information (pictures of positive and negative facial expressions compared to those of emotionally-neutral expressions) after experiencing a brief episode of social exclusion. We found that: (1) socially-excluded individuals reported higher negative emotions, lower positive emotions, and stronger need to belong than those who were not socially excluded; (2) compared to a control condition, social exclusion caused a longer response time to probe dots after viewing positive or negative face images; (3) social exclusion resulted in a higher frequency ratio of first attentional fixation on both positive and negative emotional facial pictures (but not on the neutral pictures) than the control condition; (4) in the social exclusion condition, participants showed shorter first fixation latency and longer first fixation duration to positive pictures than neutral ones but this effect was not observed for negative pictures; (5) participants who experienced social exclusion also showed longer gazing duration on the positive pictures than those who did not; although group differences also existed for the negative pictures, the gaze duration bias from both groups showed no difference from chance. This study demonstrated the emotional response to social exclusion as well as characterising multiple eye-movement indicators of attentional bias after experiencing social exclusion.
Sarlo, Michela; Buodo, Giulia; Devigili, Andrea; Munafò, Marianna; Palomba, Daniela
The presence of an attentional bias towards disorder-related stimuli has not been consistently demonstrated in blood phobics. The present study was aimed at investigating whether or not an attentional bias, as measured by event-related potentials (ERPs), could be highlighted in blood phobics by inducing cognitive-emotional sensitization through the repetitive presentation of different disorder-related pictures. The mean amplitudes of the N100, P200, P300 and late positive potentials to picture onset were assessed along with subjective ratings of valence and arousal in 13 blood phobics and 12 healthy controls. Blood phobics, but not controls, showed a linear increase of subjective arousal over time, suggesting that cognitive-emotional sensitization did occur. The analysis of cortical responses showed larger N100 and smaller late positive potentials in phobics than in controls in response to mutilations. These findings suggest that cognitive-emotional sensitization induced an attentional bias in blood phobics during picture viewing, involving early selective encoding and late cognitive avoidance of disorder-related stimuli depicting mutilations. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Carpenter, Gail A; Gaddam, Sai Chaitanya
Memories in Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) networks are based on matched patterns that focus attention on those portions of bottom-up inputs that match active top-down expectations. While this learning strategy has proved successful for both brain models and applications, computational examples show that attention to early critical features may later distort memory representations during online fast learning. For supervised learning, biased ARTMAP (bARTMAP) solves the problem of over-emphasis on early critical features by directing attention away from previously attended features after the system makes a predictive error. Small-scale, hand-computed analog and binary examples illustrate key model dynamics. Two-dimensional simulation examples demonstrate the evolution of bARTMAP memories as they are learned online. Benchmark simulations show that featural biasing also improves performance on large-scale examples. One example, which predicts movie genres and is based, in part, on the Netflix Prize database, was developed for this project. Both first principles and consistent performance improvements on all simulation studies suggest that featural biasing should be incorporated by default in all ARTMAP systems. Benchmark datasets and bARTMAP code are available from the CNS Technology Lab Website: http://techlab.bu.edu/bART/. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
O'Leary-Barrett, Maeve; Pihl, Robert O; Artiges, Eric; Banaschewski, Tobias; Bokde, Arun L W; Büchel, Christian; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Garavan, Hugh; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Mann, Karl; Paillère-Martinot, Marie-Laure; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Poustka, Luise; Rietschel, Marcella; Robbins, Trevor W; Smolka, Michael N; Ströhle, Andreas; Schumann, Gunter; Conrod, Patricia J
To investigate the role of personality factors and attentional biases towards emotional faces, in establishing concurrent and prospective risk for mental disorder diagnosis in adolescence. Data were obtained as part of the IMAGEN study, conducted across 8 European sites, with a community sample of 2257 adolescents. At 14 years, participants completed an emotional variant of the dot-probe task, as well two personality measures, namely the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale and the revised NEO Personality Inventory. At 14 and 16 years, participants and their parents were interviewed to determine symptoms of mental disorders. Personality traits were general and specific risk indicators for mental disorders at 14 years. Increased specificity was obtained when investigating the likelihood of mental disorders over a 2-year period, with the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale showing incremental validity over the NEO Personality Inventory. Attentional biases to emotional faces did not characterise or predict mental disorders examined in the current sample. Personality traits can indicate concurrent and prospective risk for mental disorders in a community youth sample, and identify at-risk youth beyond the impact of baseline symptoms. This study does not support the hypothesis that attentional biases mediate the relationship between personality and psychopathology in a community sample. Task and sample characteristics that contribute to differing results among studies are discussed.
Kuckertz, Jennie M; Schofield, Casey A; Clerkin, Elise M; Primack, Jennifer; Boettcher, Hannah; Weisberg, Risa B; Amir, Nader; Beard, Courtney
In the past decade, a great deal of research has examined the efficacy and mechanisms of attentional bias modification (ABM), a computerized cognitive training intervention for anxiety and other disorders. However, little research has examined how anxious patients perceive ABM, and it is unclear to what extent perceptions of ABM influence outcome. To examine patient perceptions of ABM across two studies, using a mixed methods approach. In the first study, participants completed a traditional ABM program and received a hand-out with minimal information about the purpose of the task. In the second study, participants completed an adaptive ABM program and were provided with more extensive rationale and instructions for changing attentional biases. A number of themes emerged from qualitative data related to perceived symptom changes and mechanisms of action, acceptability, early perceptions of the program, barriers/facilitators to engagement, and responses to adaptive features. Moreover, quantitative data suggested that patients' perceptions of the program predicted symptom reduction as well as change in attentional bias. Our quantitative data suggest that it may be possible to quickly and inexpensively identify some patients who may benefit from current ABM programs, although our qualitative data suggest that ABM needs major modifications before it will be an acceptable and credible treatment more broadly. Although the current study was limited by sample size and design features of the parent trials from which these data originated, our findings may be useful for guiding hypotheses in future studies examining patient perceptions towards ABM.
Sani, Susan Raouf Hadadi; Tabibi, Zahra; Fadardi, Javad Salehi; Stavrinos, Despina
The present study explored whether aggression, emotional regulation, cognitive inhibition, and attentional bias towards emotional stimuli were related to risky driving behavior (driving errors, and driving violations). A total of 117 applicants for taxi driver positions (89% male, M age=36.59years, SD=9.39, age range 24-62years) participated in the study. Measures included the Ahwaz Aggression Inventory, the Difficulties in emotion regulation Questionnaire, the emotional Stroop task, the Go/No-go task, and the Driving Behavior Questionnaire. Correlation and regression analyses showed that aggression and emotional regulation predicted risky driving behavior. Difficulties in emotion regulation, the obstinacy and revengeful component of aggression, attentional bias toward emotional stimuli, and cognitive inhibition predicted driving errors. Aggression was the only significant predictive factor for driving violations. In conclusion, aggression and difficulties in regulating emotions may exacerbate risky driving behaviors. Deficits in cognitive inhibition and attentional bias toward negative emotional stimuli can increase driving errors. Predisposition to aggression has strong effect on making one vulnerable to violation of traffic rules and crashes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zhang, Wei; Tang, Xiaoxiang; He, Xianyou; Lai, Shuxian
Substantial evidence suggests that beauty is associated with the survival and reproduction of organisms. Landscape architecture is composed of a series of natural elements that have significant evolutionary implications. The present study used one pilot material ratings and three experiments to examine the mechanisms of aesthetic appraisals of landscape architecture. The results confirmed that landscape architecture elicited a sense of beauty and captured visual attention more easily than other types of architecture during explicit aesthetic rating task (Experiment 1) and implicit aesthetic perception task (dot-probe paradigm, Experiment 2). Furthermore, the spatial cueing paradigm revealed that response latencies were significantly faster for landscape architecture than non-landscape architecture on valid trials, but there was no significant difference in this contrast on invalid trials at 150-ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA, Experiment 3a). At 500-ms SOA (Experiment 3b), participants responded significantly faster for landscape architecture on valid trials, but reacted significantly slower for landscape architecture on invalid trials. The findings indicated that the beauty of landscape architecture can be perceived implicitly, and only faster orienting of attention, but not delayed disengagement of attention was generated at early stages of the processing of landscape architecture. However, the attentional bias at later stages of attentional processes may be resulted from both faster orienting of attention and delayed disengagement of attention from landscape architecture photographs. PMID:29467696
Zhang, Wei; Tang, Xiaoxiang; He, Xianyou; Lai, Shuxian
Substantial evidence suggests that beauty is associated with the survival and reproduction of organisms. Landscape architecture is composed of a series of natural elements that have significant evolutionary implications. The present study used one pilot material ratings and three experiments to examine the mechanisms of aesthetic appraisals of landscape architecture. The results confirmed that landscape architecture elicited a sense of beauty and captured visual attention more easily than other types of architecture during explicit aesthetic rating task (Experiment 1) and implicit aesthetic perception task (dot-probe paradigm, Experiment 2). Furthermore, the spatial cueing paradigm revealed that response latencies were significantly faster for landscape architecture than non-landscape architecture on valid trials, but there was no significant difference in this contrast on invalid trials at 150-ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA, Experiment 3a). At 500-ms SOA (Experiment 3b), participants responded significantly faster for landscape architecture on valid trials, but reacted significantly slower for landscape architecture on invalid trials. The findings indicated that the beauty of landscape architecture can be perceived implicitly, and only faster orienting of attention, but not delayed disengagement of attention was generated at early stages of the processing of landscape architecture. However, the attentional bias at later stages of attentional processes may be resulted from both faster orienting of attention and delayed disengagement of attention from landscape architecture photographs.
Kim, Youl-Ri; Eom, Jin-Sup; Leppanen, Jenni; Leslie, Monica; Treasure, Janet
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by binge eating and emotional dysregulation including increased negative affectivity (anger, anxiety). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on attentional processes towards anger in patients with BN. The study design consisted of a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover, single dose experiment. Sixty-four women (31 patients with BN and 33 healthy comparisons) completed self-reported measures to evaluate emotional difficulties and were administered a single dose of intranasal oxytocin (40IU) or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task to examine attentional orienting to angry or happy faces. Patients with BN reported higher emotional dysregulation and more difficulties in controlling anger compared to the healthy comparison group. Patients with BN and the healthy women exhibited similar attentional bias to angry faces in the placebo condition. Intranasal oxytocin reduced the attentional bias towards angry faces in both the BN patients and the healthy women. We found that a single dose of oxytocin reduced vigilance towards angry faces in patients with BN as well as healthy women. The results showed that patients with BN are not different from healthy women in terms of vigilance towards threat. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bradley, B P; Field, M; Healy, H; Mogg, K
Research indicates that drug-related cues elicit attention and approach biases in drug users. However, attentional biases are not unique to addiction (e.g., they are also found for emotional information). This study examined whether attentional and approach biases in cigarette smokers are mediated by the motivational salience of cues (relevance to drug-taking), rather than by their affective properties (subjective liking of the cues). Cues included pleasant and unpleasant smoking-related pictures. Attentional biases, approach tendencies and subjective evaluation of the cues were assessed on visual probe, stimulus-response compatibility and rating tasks, respectively. Compared with non-smokers, smokers showed a greater attentional bias for both pleasant and unpleasant smoking-related cues presented for 2000 ms, but not for 200 ms. Smokers showed a greater approach bias for unpleasant cues, although the groups did not differ significantly in approach bias for pleasant smoking-related cues. Smokers rated both pleasant and unpleasant smoking pictures more positively than did non-smokers. Results suggest that a bias to maintain attention on smoking-related cues in young adult smokers is primarily a function of drug-relevance, rather than affective properties, of the cues. In contrast, approach tendencies and pleasantness judgements were influenced by drug use, drug-relevance and the affective properties of the cues.
MacLeod, Colin; Grafton, Ben
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. In contrast, we show how a failure to consistently differentiate between process and procedure has contributed to confusion concerning whether or not attentional bias modification reliably alters anxiety vulnerability and dysfunction. As we demonstrate, such confusion can be avoided by distinguishing the process of attentional bias modification from the procedures that have been employed with the intention of evoking this target process. Such an approach reveals that procedures adopted with the intention of eliciting the attentional bias modification process do not always do so, but that successful evocation of the attentional bias modification process quite reliably alters anxiety symptomatology. We consider some of the specific implications for future research concerning attentional bias modification, while also pointing to the broader implications for experimental psychopathology research in general. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lobben, Marit; D'Ascenzo, Stefania
Embodied cognitive theories predict that linguistic conceptual representations are grounded and continually represented in real world, sensorimotor experiences. However, there is an on-going debate on whether this also holds for abstract concepts. Grammar is the archetype of abstract knowledge, and therefore constitutes a test case against embodied theories of language representation. Former studies have largely focussed on lexical-level embodied representations. In the present study we take the grounding-by-modality idea a step further by using reaction time (RT) data from the linguistic processing of nominal classifiers in Chinese. We take advantage of an independent body of research, which shows that attention in hand space is biased. Specifically, objects near the hand consistently yield shorter RTs as a function of readiness for action on graspable objects within reaching space, and the same biased attention inhibits attentional disengagement. We predicted that this attention bias would equally apply to the graspable object classifier but not to the big object classifier. Chinese speakers (N = 22) judged grammatical congruency of classifier-noun combinations in two conditions: graspable object classifier and big object classifier. We found that RTs for the graspable object classifier were significantly faster in congruent combinations, and significantly slower in incongruent combinations, than the big object classifier. There was no main effect on grammatical violations, but rather an interaction effect of classifier type. Thus, we demonstrate here grammatical category-specific effects pertaining to the semantic content and by extension the visual and tactile modality of acquisition underlying the acquisition of these categories. We conclude that abstract grammatical categories are subjected to the same mechanisms as general cognitive and neurophysiological processes and may therefore be grounded.
Pick, Susannah; Mellers, John D C; Goldstein, Laura H
This study sought to extend knowledge about the previously reported preconscious attentional bias (AB) for facial emotion in patients with dissociative seizures (DS) by exploring whether the finding could be replicated, while controlling for concurrent anxiety, depression, and potentially relevant cognitive impairments. Patients diagnosed with DS (n=38) were compared with healthy controls (n=43) on a pictorial emotional Stroop test, in which backwardly masked emotional faces (angry, happy, neutral) were processed implicitly. The group with DS displayed a significantly greater AB to facial emotion relative to controls; however, the bias was not specific to negative or positive emotions. The group effect could not be explained by performance on standardized cognitive tests or self-reported depression/anxiety. The study provides additional evidence of a disproportionate and automatic allocation of attention to facial affect in patients with DS, including both positive and negative facial expressions. Such a tendency could act as a predisposing factor for developing DS initially, or may contribute to triggering individuals' seizures on an ongoing basis. Psychological interventions such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or AB modification might be suitable approaches to target this bias in clinical practice. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yu, Hongyu; Li, Songwei; Qian, Mingyi; Yang, Peng; Wang, Xiaoling; Lin, Muyu; Yao, Nisha
Although accumulating research demonstrates the association between attentional bias and social anxiety, the bias for positive stimuli has so far not been adequately studied. The aim is to investigate the time-course of attentional bias for positive social words in participants with high and low social anxiety. In a modified dot-probe task, word-pairs of neutral and positive social words were randomly presented for 100, 500, and 1250 milliseconds in a nonclinical sample of students to test their attentional bias. Non-significant interaction of Group × Exposure Duration was found. However, there was a significant main effect of group, with significantly different response latencies between the high social anxiety (HSA) and low social anxiety (LSA) groups in the 100 ms condition, without for 500 or 1250 ms. With respect to attentional bias, the LSA group showed enhanced preferential attention for positive social words to which the HSA group showed avoidance in the 100 ms condition. In the 500 ms condition, preferential attention to positive social words was at trend in the LSA group, relative to the HSA group. Neither group showed attentional bias in the 1250 ms condition. These findings extend recent research about the attention training program and add to the empirical literature suggesting that the initial avoidance of positive stimuli may contribute to maintaining social anxiety.
Müller, Matthias M; Andersen, Søren K; Hindi Attar, Catherine
A central controversy in the field of attention is how the brain deals with emotional distractors and to what extent they capture attentional processing resources reflexively due to their inherent significance for guidance of adaptive behavior and survival. Especially, the time course of competitive interactions in early visual areas and whether masking of briefly presented emotional stimuli can inhibit biasing of processing resources in these areas is currently unknown. We recorded frequency-tagged potentials evoked by a flickering target detection task in the foreground of briefly presented emotional or neutral pictures that were followed by a mask in human subjects. We observed greater competition for processing resources in early visual cortical areas with shortly presented emotional relative to neutral pictures ~275 ms after picture offset. This was paralleled by a reduction of target detection rates in trials with emotional pictures ~400 ms after picture offset. Our finding that briefly presented emotional distractors are able to bias attention well after their offset provides evidence for a rather slow feedback or reentrant neural competition mechanism for emotional distractors that continues after the offset of the emotional stimulus.
Domes, Gregor; Mense, Julia; Vohs, Knut; Habermeyer, Elmar
Offenders with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) may be characterized by a lack in emotional functioning that manifests in irritability and a lack of remorse. The proposed link between ASPD and negative emotionality led to the question of emotional processing anomalies in ASPD. Furthermore, the effect of childhood maltreatment/abuse on emotional processing was tested in the present study. Violent and sexual offenders with ASPD (n=35), without ASPD (n=34), and healthy non-criminal controls (n=24) were compared in an Emotional Stroop Task (EST) using neutral, negative, and violence-related words. Secondary analyses focused on the effect of psychopathic traits and childhood maltreatment. Offenders with ASPD showed a stronger attentional bias to violence-related and negative words as compared to controls. Comparable results were obtained when grouping offenders to high, medium, and low psychopathic subgroups. Offenders with childhood maltreatment specifically showed stronger violence-related attentional bias than non-maltreated offenders. The data suggest that enhanced attention to violence-related stimuli in adult criminal offenders is associated with adverse developmental experiences and delinquency but to a lesser extent with antisocial or psychopathic traits. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hakamata, Yuko; Izawa, Shuhei; Sato, Eisuke; Komi, Shotaro; Murayama, Norio; Moriguchi, Yoshiya; Hanakawa, Takashi; Inoue, Yusuke; Tagaya, Hirokuni
Attentional bias (AB), selective information processing towards threat, can exacerbate anxiety and depression. Despite growing interest, physiological determinants of AB are yet to be understood. We examined whether stress hormone cortisol and its diurnal variation pattern contribute to AB. Eighty-seven healthy young adults underwent assessments for AB, anxious personality traits, depressive symptoms, and attentional function. Salivary cortisol was collected at three time points daily (at awakening, 30 min after awakening, and bedtime) for 2 consecutive days. We performed: (1) multiple regression analysis to examine the relationships between AB and the other measures and (2) analysis of variance (ANOVA) between groups with different cortisol variation patterns for the other measures. Multiple regression analysis revealed that higher cortisol levels at bedtime (pattention and cortisol measurement at three time points daily. We showed that higher cortisol levels at bedtime and blunted cortisol variation are associated with greater AB. Individuals who have higher cortisol levels at diurnal trough might be at risk of clinical anxiety or depression but could also derive more benefits from the attentional-bias-modification program. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cho, Ara; Kwak, Soo-Min; Lee, Jang-Han
The effect of media images has been regarded as a significant variable in the construction or in the activation of body images. Individuals who have a negative body image use avoidance coping strategies to minimize damage to their body image. We identified attentional biases and negative emotional responses following exposure to body stimuli. Female university students were divided into two groups based on their use of avoidance coping strategies (high-level group: high avoidance [HA]; low-group: low avoidance [LA]), and were assigned to two different conditions (exposure to thin body pictures, ET, and exposure to oversized body pictures, EO). Results showed that the HA group paid more attention to slim bodies and reported more negative emotions than the LA group, and that the EO had more negative effects than the ET. We suggest that HAs may attend more to slim bodies as a way of avoiding overweight bodies, influenced by social pressure, and in the search for a compensation of a positive emotional balance. However, attentional bias toward slim bodies can cause an upward comparison process, leading to increased body dissatisfaction, which is the main factor in the development of eating disorders (EDs). Therefore, altering avoidance coping strategies should be considered for people at risk of EDs.
Storbeck, Justin; Watson, Philip
Prior research has suggested that emotion and working memory domains are integrated, such that positive affect enhances verbal working memory, whereas negative affect enhances spatial working memory (Gray, 2004; Storbeck, 2012). Simon (1967) postulated that one feature of emotion and cognition integration would be reciprocal connectedness (i.e., emotion influences cognition and cognition influences emotion). We explored whether affective judgments and attention to affective qualities are biased by the activation of verbal and spatial working memory mind-sets. For all experiments, participants completed a 2-back verbal or spatial working memory task followed by an endorsement task (Experiments 1 & 2), word-pair selection task (Exp. 3), or attentional dot-probe task (Exp. 4). Participants who had an activated verbal, compared with spatial, working memory mind-set were more likely to endorse pictures (Exp. 1) and words (Exp. 2) as being more positive and to select the more positive word pair out of a set of word pairs that went 'together best' (Exp. 3). Additionally, people who completed the verbal working memory task took longer to disengage from positive stimuli, whereas those who completed the spatial working memory task took longer to disengage from negative stimuli (Exp. 4). Interestingly, across the 4 experiments, we observed higher levels of self-reported negative affect for people who completed the spatial working memory task, which was consistent with their endorsement and attentional bias toward negative stimuli. Therefore, emotion and working memory may have a reciprocal connectedness allowing for bidirectional influence.
McNulty, James K; Meltzer, Andrea L; Makhanova, Anastasia; Maner, Jon K
Two longitudinal studies of 233 newlywed couples suggest that automatic attentional and evaluative biases regarding attractive relationship alternatives can help people maintain relationships by avoiding infidelity. Both studies assessed participants' tendency to automatically disengage attention from photos of attractive, opposite sex individuals; one study assessed participants' tendency to devalue those individuals by comparing their attractiveness evaluations to evaluations made by single people, and both studies assessed infidelity and relationship status multiple times for approximately three years. Several sources of devaluation emerged, but only participants' history of short-term sex predicted both biases; having more short-term sexual partners was associated with being slower to disengage attention from attractive alternatives, and, among men, evaluating such individuals more positively. In turn, both processes exerted indirect effects on relationship dissolution by predicting infidelity; being 100 ms faster to disengage attention from attractive alternatives or rating them 2 scale points lower in attractiveness was associated with a decrease in the odds of infidelity of approximately 50%; the effect of devaluation on infidelity was stronger among participants who evidenced steeper declines in marital satisfaction. These associations emerged because unfaithful individuals took longer to disengage attention from attractive alternatives compared with other social targets and did not differ from singles in their evaluations of those alternatives. Among several other predictors of infidelity, partner attractiveness was associated with a decrease in the odds of infidelity among men but not women. These findings suggest a role for basic psychological processes in predicting infidelity, highlight the critical role of automatic processes in relationship functioning, and suggest novel ways to promote relationship success. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA
Pérez-Edgar, Koraly; Bar-Haim, Yair; McDermott, Jennifer Martin; Gorodetsky, Elena; Hodgkinson, Colin A; Goldman, David; Ernst, Monique; Pine, Daniel S; Fox, Nathan A
Both attention biases to threat and a serotonin-transporter gene polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) have been linked to heightened neural activation to threat and the emergence of anxiety. The short allele of 5-HTTLPR may act via its effect on neurotransmitter availability, while attention biases shape broad patterns of cognitive processing. We examined individual differences in attention bias to emotion faces as a function of 5-HTTLPR genotype. Adolescents (N=117) were classified for presumed SLC6A4 expression based on 5-HTTLPR-low (SS, SL(G), or L(G)L(G)), intermediate (SL(A) or L(A)L(G)), or high (L(A)L(A)). Participants completed the dot-probe task, measuring attention biases toward or away from angry and happy faces. Biases for angry faces increased with the genotype-predicted neurotransmission levels (low>intermediate>high). The reverse pattern was evident for happy faces. The data indicate a linear relation between 5-HTTLPR allelic status and attention biases to emotion, demonstrating a genetic mechanism for biased attention using ecologically valid stimuli that target socioemotional adaptation. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kaiser, Deborah; Jacob, Gitta A; Domes, Gregor; Arntz, Arnoud
In borderline personality disorder (BPD), attentional bias (AB) to emotional stimuli may be a core component in disorder pathogenesis and maintenance. 11 emotional Stroop task (EST) studies with 244 BPD patients, 255 nonpatients (NPs) and 95 clinical controls and 4 visual dot-probe task (VDPT) studies with 151 BPD patients or subjects with BPD features and 62 NPs were included. We conducted two separate meta-analyses for AB in BPD. One meta-analysis focused on the EST for generally negative and BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words. The other meta-analysis concentrated on the VDPT for negative and positive facial stimuli. There is evidence for an AB towards generally negative emotional words compared to NPs (standardized mean difference, SMD = 0.311) and to other psychiatric disorders (SMD = 0.374) in the EST studies. Regarding BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words, BPD patients reveal an even stronger AB than NPs (SMD = 0.454). The VDPT studies indicate a tendency towards an AB to positive facial stimuli but not negative stimuli in BPD patients compared to NPs. The findings rather reflect an AB in BPD to generally negative and BPD-specific/personally relevant negative words rather than an AB in BPD towards facial stimuli, and/or a biased allocation of covert attentional resources to negative emotional stimuli in BPD and not a bias in focus of visual attention. Further research regarding the role of childhood traumatization and comorbid anxiety disorders may improve the understanding of these underlying processes. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.
Anna C Nobre
Full Text Available Whereas top-down attentional control is known to bias perceptual functions at many levels of stimulus analysis, its possible influence over memory-related functions remains uncharted. Our experiment combined behavioral measures and event-related potentials (ERPs to test the ability of spatial orienting to bias functions associated with visual short-term memory (VSTM, and to shed light on the neural mechanisms involved. In particular, we investigated whether orienting attention to a spatial location within an array maintained in VSTM could facilitate the search for a specific remembered item. Participants viewed arrays of one, two or four differently colored items, followed by an informative spatial (100% valid or uninformative neutral retro-cue (1500–2500 ms after the array, and later by a probe stimulus (500–1000 ms after the retro-cue. The task was to decide whether the probe stimulus had been present in the array. Behavioral results showed that spatial retro-cues improved both accuracy and response times for making decisions about the presence of the probe item in VSTM, and significantly attenuated performance decrements caused by increasing VSTM load. We also identified a novel ERP component (N3RS specifically associated with searching for an item within VSTM. Paralleling the behavioral results, the amplitude and duration of the N3RS systematically increased with VSTM load in neutral retro-cue trials. When spatial retro-cues were provided, this “retro-search” component was absent. Our findings clearly show that the infl uence of top-down attentional biases extends to mnemonic functions, and, specifically, that searching for items within VSTM can be under flexible voluntary control.
Marks, Katherine R; Alcorn, Joseph L; Stoops, William W; Rush, Craig R
Cigarette smoking in cocaine users is nearly four times higher than the national prevalence and cocaine use increases cigarette smoking. The mechanisms underlying cigarette smoking in cocaine-using individuals need to be identified to promote cigarette and cocaine abstinence. Previous studies have examined the salience of cigarette and cocaine cues separately. The present aim was to determine whether cigarette attentional bias (AB) is higher in cigarettes smokers who smoke cocaine relative to individuals who only smoke cigarettes. Twenty cigarette smokers who smoke cocaine and 20 non-cocaine-using cigarette smokers completed a visual probe task with eye-tracking technology. During this task, the magnitude of cigarette and cocaine AB was assessed through orienting bias, fixation time, and response time. Cocaine users displayed an orienting bias towards cigarette cues. Cocaine users also endorsed a more urgent desire to smoke to relieve negative affect associated with cigarette craving than non-cocaine users (g = 0.6). Neither group displayed a cigarette AB, as measured by fixation time. Cocaine users, but not non-cocaine users, displayed a cocaine AB as measured by orienting bias (g = 2.0) and fixation time (g = 1.2). There were no significant effects for response time data. Cocaine-smoking cigarettes smokers display an initial orienting bias toward cigarette cues, but not sustained cigarette AB. The incentive motivation underlying cigarette smoking also differs. Cocaine smokers report more urgent desire to smoke to relieve negative affect. Identifying differences in motivation to smoke cigarettes may provide new treatment targets for cigarette and cocaine use disorders. These results suggest that cocaine-smoking cigarette smokers display an initial orienting bias towards cigarette cues, but not sustained attention towards cigarette cues, relative to non-cocaine-using smokers. Smoked cocaine users also report a more urgent desire to smoke to relieve negative affect
Ricci, Raffaella; Salatino, Adriana; Siebner, Hartwig R
We report the following case to highlight the possible relevance of biased spatial attention in focal hand dystonia (FHD). Deficient sensorimotor inhibition is a prominent pathophysiological feature of FHD [1,2]. Low-frequency repetitive Trascranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) over contralateral...... premotor cortex (PMC) can reinforce cortical inhibition and improve motor performance and dystonic symptoms in some patients [3,4]. Here we report the case of a 41-year-old right-handed man (23 years of education) with severe task-dependent FHD, affecting the right hand index and middle fingers....
Luque, D., Vadillo, M, A., Gutiérrez-Cobo, M, J., Le Pelley, M, E. (2018). The blocking effect in associative learning involves learned biases in rapid attentional capture. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 522-544. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2016.1262435. The above article is part of the Special Issue on Associative Learning (in honour of Nick Mackintosh) and was inadvertently published in the February 2018 issue of Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. After publication of the Special Issue, an online collection on Associative Learning will be created on SAGE Journals and this paper will be included in that collection. The Publisher apologises for this error.
Xia, Luyao; Cui, Lixia; Zhang, Qin; Dong, Xiaofei; Shi, Guangyuan
There are still some controversies that attentional bias to negative emotions in individuals with high-trait anxiety (HTA), as compare with those with low-trait anxiety (LTA), occurs in the engagement or disengagement facet of attentional selectivity and whether this attentional bias is affected by negative emotional types. In this study, we explored the different attentional selectivity mechanisms for threatening emotions of anger and disgust between individuals with HTA and LTA using the variant attentional-probe paradigm. The results showed that under the engagement condition, the HTA group's attentional bias index of the anger mood was negative and was significantly less than the disgusting mood (positive) and that the P1 was smaller with angry faces as compared with neutral faces, which was separate from the results of the disgusted faces, having a significant difference with neutral faces on P1 component. In the LTA group, under the disengagement condition, the attentional bias index of the disgusting mood was significantly bigger than the attentional bias index of the anger mood. Moreover, the P1 of the disgusted faces was significantly bigger than the P1 of the angry faces. The topographical maps were also made to reveal the different neural underpinnings. The results suggested that there were different mechanisms of selective attentional bias for threatening emotions of anger and disgust in individuals with HTA. HTA individuals were characterized by facilitated attentional engagement with angry faces and impaired attentional engagement with disgusted faces. LTA individuals had different neural underpinnings and had impaired attentional disengagement with disgusted faces.
de Voogd, E. L.; Wiers, R. W.; Prins, P. J. M.; de Jong, P. J.; Boendermaker, W. J.; Zwitser, R. J.; Salemink, E.
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
Zhao, Hui; Yang, Bo; Zhu, Qian; Zhang, Guangqun; Xiao, Yuqin; Guo, Xiao; Huang, Xiu; Zhang, Zhuo
Attentional biases toward substance-related stimuli might play a contributing role in addictive behaviors. This study investigated the selective attention to substance-related stimuli in heroin dependents receiving methadone maintenance therapy. Thirty outpatients receiving methadone maintenance treatment for heroin dependence and 38 healthy controls completed a visual probe task with concurrent eye movement monitoring. The results showed that the heroin group reacted faster to probes associated with substance-related pictures than neutral pictures, and they directed more initial fixations and maintained longer initial fixation durations toward substance-related pictures than neutral pictures. However, attentional bias was not correlated with addiction severity in the heroin group. These findings suggest that attentional bias towards substance-related cues occurs in heroin dependents, although this bias might not be associated with the severity of drug-using behavior.
McIntosh, Roger C; Tartar, Jaime L; Widmayer, Susan; Rosselli, Monica
Deficits in emotional processing may be attributed to HIV disease or comorbid psychiatric disorders. Electrocortical markers of emotional attention, i.e., amplitude of the P2 and late positive potential (LPP), were compared between 26 HIV+ women and 25 healthy controls during an emotional regulation paradigm. HIV+ women showed early attention bias to negative stimuli indexed by greater P2 amplitude. In contrast, compared with the passive viewing of unpleasant images, HIV+ women demonstrated attenuation of the early and late LPP during positive reappraisal. This interaction remained significant after adjusting for individual differences in apathy, anxiety, and depression. Post hoc analyses implicated time since HIV diagnosis with LPP attenuation during positive reappraisal. Advancing HIV disease may disrupt neural generators associated with the cognitive reappraisal of emotions independent of psychiatric function.
Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar
and performance in visual search, much like physical stimulus features. It has been demonstrated that the content of visual memory can guide attention (e.g. Carlisle & Woodman, 2011). This effect can be measured in the response time costs or benefits related to the presence of memorized color in a visual search......Grapheme-color synesthesia affects visual cognition in significant ways. The congruence or incongruence of physical stimuli with synesthetic color affects how quickly and accurately synesthetes respond to stimuli, and the induced color experience may help them memorize achromatic material...... display. Retaining color information in memory biases attention towards that specific color in visual search, apparent by response time costs when a matching distractor is present, but a benefit when the target matches the retained color. We investigated whether a synesthetic color is automatically...
Klaver, Peter; Talsma, Durk
We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory-matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Duque, Almudena; Vázquez, Carmelo
According to cognitive models, attentional biases in depression play key roles in the onset and subsequent maintenance of the disorder. The present study examines the processing of emotional facial expressions (happy, angry, and sad) in depressed and non-depressed adults. Sixteen unmedicated patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 34 never-depressed controls (ND) completed an eye-tracking task to assess different components of visual attention (orienting attention and maintenance of attention) in the processing of emotional faces. Compared to ND, participants with MDD showed a negative attentional bias in attentional maintenance indices (i.e. first fixation duration and total fixation time) for sad faces. This attentional bias was positively associated with the severity of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, the MDD group spent a marginally less amount of time viewing happy faces compared with the ND group. No differences were found between the groups with respect to angry faces and orienting attention indices. The current study is limited by its cross-sectional design. These results support the notion that attentional biases in depression are specific to depression-related information and that they operate in later stages in the deployment of attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Disner, Seth G.; Beevers, Christopher G.; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco
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. Objective/Hypothesis This randomized, sham-controlled proof-of-principle study is the first to test the hypothesis that augmentative LLLT will improve the effects of ABM among adults with elevated symptoms of depression. Methods Fifty-one adult participants with elevated symptoms of depression received ABM before and after laser stimulation and were randomized to one of three conditions: right forehead, left forehead, or sham. Participants repeated LLLT two days later and were assessed for depression symptoms one and two weeks later. Results A significant three-way interaction between LLLT condition, ABM response, and time indicated that right LLLT led to greater symptom improvement among participants whose attention was responsive to ABM (i.e., attention was directed away from negative stimuli). Minimal change in depression was observed in the left and sham LLLT. Conclusions The beneficial effects of ABM on depression symptoms may be enhanced when paired with adjunctive interventions such as right prefrontal LLLT; however, cognitive response to ABM likely moderates the impact of neuroenhancement. The results suggest that larger clinical trials examining the efficacy of using photoneuromodulation to augment cognitive training are warranted. PMID:27267860
Woud, M.L.; Maas, J.; Wiers, R.W.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.
According to theories of addictive behaviors, approach and attentional biases toward smoking-related cues play a crucial role in tobacco dependence. Several studies have investigated these biases by using various paradigms in different sample types. However, this heterogeneity makes it difficult to
Shimi, A; Astle, D E
Despite our visual system receiving irrelevant input that competes with task-relevant signals, we are able to pursue our perceptual goals. Attention enhances our visual processing by biasing the processing of the input that is relevant to the task at hand. The top-down signals enabling these biases are therefore important for regulating lower level sensory mechanisms. In three experiments, we examined whether we apply similar biases to successfully maintain information in visual short-term memory (VSTM). We presented participants with targets alongside distracters and we graded their perceptual similarity to vary the extent to which they competed. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that the more items held in VSTM before the onset of the distracters, the more perceptually distinct the distracters needed to be for participants to retain the target accurately. Experiment 3 extended these behavioral findings by demonstrating that the perceptual similarity between target and distracters exerted a significantly greater effect on occipital alpha amplitudes, depending on the number of items already held in VSTM. The trade-off between VSTM load and target-distracter competition suggests that VSTM and perceptual competition share a partially overlapping mechanism, namely top-down inputs into sensory areas.
Niles, Andrea N; Mesri, Bita; Burklund, Lisa J; Lieberman, Matthew D; Craske, Michelle G
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-established treatment for anxiety disorders, and evidence is accruing for the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Little is known about factors that relate to treatment outcome overall (predictors), or who will thrive in each treatment (moderators). The goal of the current project was to test attentional bias and negative emotional reactivity as moderators and predictors of treatment outcome in a randomized controlled trial comparing CBT and ACT for social phobia. Forty-six patients received 12 sessions of CBT or ACT and were assessed for self-reported and clinician-rated symptoms at baseline, post treatment, 6, and 12 months. Attentional bias significantly moderated the relationship between treatment group and outcome with patients slow to disengage from threatening stimuli showing greater clinician-rated symptom reduction in CBT than in ACT. Negative emotional reactivity, but not positive emotional reactivity, was a significant overall predictor with patients high in negative emotional reactivity showing the greatest self-reported symptom reduction. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wingenfeld, Katja; Bullig, Renate; Mensebach, Christoph; Hartje, Wolfgang; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas
The emotional Stroop task is a widely used method for investigating attentional bias towards stimuli due to mood or affect. In general, standardized stimuli are used, which might not be appropriate when investigating individual contextual frameworks. It was investigated whether words chosen to be related to individuals' personal life events would produce more pronounced Stroop interference (as an indicator of attentional bias) than stimuli without any personal relevance. Twenty-six nonclinical subjects, 20 female and 6 male, participated in the study. Mean age was 36.1 yr. (SD = 18.1). All were recruited by means of local advertising. Stimulus material consisted of four word types: personal words related to negative life events with and without current personal relevance, and negative and neutral words without any personal relevance. Words were presented in three blocks. Analysis of variance showed main effects for word type and blocks, with slower reactions in the personally relevant conditions than in the negative, or neutral conditions, and in response to the first blocks as opposed to the last. These findings indicate that regardless of the word valence, personally relevant stimuli evoke more pronounced Stroop interference than do stimuli without personal relevance.
Full Text Available A long-term romantic relationship can offer many benefits to committed individuals. Thus, humans possess relationship maintenance mechanisms to protect against threats from those who serve as attractive alternatives or intrasexual rivals. Many studies have indicated that romantic love can act as a commitment device to activate these mechanisms. To examine the attentional bias associated with relationship maintenance among 108 college students (49 single and 59 committed females in China, we used a semantic priming procedure to activate mental representations associated with romantic love and then asked participants to complete a dot-probe task for the purpose of making a distinction between the engage and disengage components of attention. No significant engaging effects toward attractive faces were observed among committed females, but the following significant disengaging effects were found: when primed with romantic love, single females showed increased attention toward and difficulty in disengaging from attractive male faces, whereas females already in a committed relationship did not alter their attention, remaining as inattentive to attractive alternatives as they were in the baseline condition. In addition, committed females responded to love priming by exhibiting difficulty in disengaging from attractive rivals. The present findings provide evidence in the Chinese cultural context for the existence of early-stage attentional processes in the domain of relationship maintenance that committed Chinese females protected an ongoing relationship by not only being inattentive to attractive males who could serve as attractive alternatives, but also being more attentive to attractive females who could be potential rivals when mental representations associated with romantic love were primed.
Ma, Yidan; Zhao, Guang; Tu, Shen; Zheng, Yong
A long-term romantic relationship can offer many benefits to committed individuals. Thus, humans possess relationship maintenance mechanisms to protect against threats from those who serve as attractive alternatives or intrasexual rivals. Many studies have indicated that romantic love can act as a commitment device to activate these mechanisms. To examine the attentional bias associated with relationship maintenance among 108 college students (49 single and 59 committed females) in China, we used a semantic priming procedure to activate mental representations associated with romantic love and then asked participants to complete a dot-probe task for the purpose of making a distinction between the engage and disengage components of attention. No significant engaging effects toward attractive faces were observed among committed females, but the following significant disengaging effects were found: when primed with romantic love, single females showed increased attention toward and difficulty in disengaging from attractive male faces, whereas females already in a committed relationship did not alter their attention, remaining as inattentive to attractive alternatives as they were in the baseline condition. In addition, committed females responded to love priming by exhibiting difficulty in disengaging from attractive rivals. The present findings provide evidence in the Chinese cultural context for the existence of early-stage attentional processes in the domain of relationship maintenance that committed Chinese females protected an ongoing relationship by not only being inattentive to attractive males who could serve as attractive alternatives, but also being more attentive to attractive females who could be potential rivals when mental representations associated with romantic love were primed.
Ma, Yidan; Zhao, Guang; Tu, Shen; Zheng, Yong
A long-term romantic relationship can offer many benefits to committed individuals. Thus, humans possess relationship maintenance mechanisms to protect against threats from those who serve as attractive alternatives or intrasexual rivals. Many studies have indicated that romantic love can act as a commitment device to activate these mechanisms. To examine the attentional bias associated with relationship maintenance among 108 college students (49 single and 59 committed females) in China, we used a semantic priming procedure to activate mental representations associated with romantic love and then asked participants to complete a dot-probe task for the purpose of making a distinction between the engage and disengage components of attention. No significant engaging effects toward attractive faces were observed among committed females, but the following significant disengaging effects were found: when primed with romantic love, single females showed increased attention toward and difficulty in disengaging from attractive male faces, whereas females already in a committed relationship did not alter their attention, remaining as inattentive to attractive alternatives as they were in the baseline condition. In addition, committed females responded to love priming by exhibiting difficulty in disengaging from attractive rivals. The present findings provide evidence in the Chinese cultural context for the existence of early-stage attentional processes in the domain of relationship maintenance that committed Chinese females protected an ongoing relationship by not only being inattentive to attractive males who could serve as attractive alternatives, but also being more attentive to attractive females who could be potential rivals when mental representations associated with romantic love were primed. PMID:26309232
Victoria Lynn Harms
Full Text Available Despite an overall body symmetry, human behaviour is full of examples of asymmetry, from writing or gesturing to kissing and cradling. Prior research has revealed that theatre patrons show a bias towards sitting on the right side of a movie theatre. Two competing theories have attempted to explain this seating asymmetry: one posits that expectation of processing demand drives the bias; the other posits that basic motor asymmetries drive the bias. To test these theories we assessed the real-world classroom seating choices of university students using photographs. A bias for students to choose seats on the left side of the classroom was observed, in contrast to the right side bias observed in theatre seating studies. These results provide evidence in support of a processing-expectation bias.
Browning, Michael; Holmes, Emily A; Harmer, Catherine J
A negative bias in the deployment of attention to emotional stimuli is commonly found in both anxiety and depression. Recent work has highlighted that such biases are causally related to emotional vulnerability, suggesting that interventions that ameliorate them may be therapeutic. Here, we review the evidence that attentional bias can be modified using both pharmacological and psychological interventions. We highlight the behavioral and neuroimaging studies that suggest that these interventions impact upon attention via alteration of distinct neural mechanisms. Specifically, pharmacological interventions appear to influence the initial deployment of attention via an effect on the amygdala-based stimulus appraisal system, whereas psychological interventions influence attention at later time points and may alter activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex. Finally, we suggest a conceptual framework that embraces both pharmacological and psychological approaches and consider the possible implications of this work for future research and treatment development.
Zhou, Zhenhe; Cao, Suxia; Li, Hengfen; Li, Youhui
We hypothesized that treatment with escitalopram would improve cognitive bias and contribute to the recovery process for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Many previous studies have established that patients with MDD tend to pay selective attention to negative stimuli. The assessment of the level of cognitive bias is regarded as a crucial dimension of treatment outcomes for MDD. To our knowledge, no prior studies have been reported on the effects of treatment with escitalopram on attentional bias in MDD, employing a dot probe task of facial expression. We studied 25 patients with MDD and 25 controls, and used a dot probe task of facial expression to measure cognitive bias. The patients' psychopathologies were rated using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) at baseline and after 8 weeks of treatment with escitalopram. All participants performed the facial expression dot probe task. The results revealed that the 8 week escitalopram treatment decreased the HAMD scores. The patients with MDD at baseline exhibited an attentional bias towards negative faces, however, no significant bias toward either negative or happy faces were observed in the controls. After the 8 week escitalopram treatment, no significant bias toward negative faces was observed in the patient group. In conclusion, patients with MDD pay more attention to negative facial expressions, and treatment with escitalopram improves this attentional bias toward negative facial expressions. This is the first study, to our knowledge, on the effects of treatment with escitalopram on attentional bias in patients with MDD that has employed a dot probe task of facial expression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hanson, Catherine; Caglar, Leyla Roskan; Hanson, Stephen José
Category learning performance is influenced by both the nature of the category's structure and the way category features are processed during learning. Shepard (1964, 1987) showed that stimuli can have structures with features that are statistically uncorrelated (separable) or statistically correlated (integral) within categories. Humans find it much easier to learn categories having separable features, especially when attention to only a subset of relevant features is required, and harder to learn categories having integral features, which require consideration of all of the available features and integration of all the relevant category features satisfying the category rule (Garner, 1974). In contrast to humans, a single hidden layer backpropagation (BP) neural network has been shown to learn both separable and integral categories equally easily, independent of the category rule (Kruschke, 1993). This "failure" to replicate human category performance appeared to be strong evidence that connectionist networks were incapable of modeling human attentional bias. We tested the presumed limitations of attentional bias in networks in two ways: (1) by having networks learn categories with exemplars that have high feature complexity in contrast to the low dimensional stimuli previously used, and (2) by investigating whether a Deep Learning (DL) network, which has demonstrated humanlike performance in many different kinds of tasks (language translation, autonomous driving, etc.), would display human-like attentional bias during category learning. We were able to show a number of interesting results. First, we replicated the failure of BP to differentially process integral and separable category structures when low dimensional stimuli are used (Garner, 1974; Kruschke, 1993). Second, we show that using the same low dimensional stimuli, Deep Learning (DL), unlike BP but similar to humans, learns separable category structures more quickly than integral category structures
Full Text Available Category learning performance is influenced by both the nature of the category's structure and the way category features are processed during learning. Shepard (1964, 1987 showed that stimuli can have structures with features that are statistically uncorrelated (separable or statistically correlated (integral within categories. Humans find it much easier to learn categories having separable features, especially when attention to only a subset of relevant features is required, and harder to learn categories having integral features, which require consideration of all of the available features and integration of all the relevant category features satisfying the category rule (Garner, 1974. In contrast to humans, a single hidden layer backpropagation (BP neural network has been shown to learn both separable and integral categories equally easily, independent of the category rule (Kruschke, 1993. This “failure” to replicate human category performance appeared to be strong evidence that connectionist networks were incapable of modeling human attentional bias. We tested the presumed limitations of attentional bias in networks in two ways: (1 by having networks learn categories with exemplars that have high feature complexity in contrast to the low dimensional stimuli previously used, and (2 by investigating whether a Deep Learning (DL network, which has demonstrated humanlike performance in many different kinds of tasks (language translation, autonomous driving, etc., would display human-like attentional bias during category learning. We were able to show a number of interesting results. First, we replicated the failure of BP to differentially process integral and separable category structures when low dimensional stimuli are used (Garner, 1974; Kruschke, 1993. Second, we show that using the same low dimensional stimuli, Deep Learning (DL, unlike BP but similar to humans, learns separable category structures more quickly than integral category
Byrow, Yulisha; Peters, Lorna
Attention biases figure prominently in CBT models of social anxiety and are thought to maintain symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Studies have shown that individual differences in pre-treatment attention biases predict cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) outcome. However, these findings have been inconsistent as to whether vigilance towards threat predicts better or poorer treatment outcome. Adult attachment style is an individual characteristic that may influence the relationship between attention bias and SAD. This study investigates the relationship between attention biases and CBT treatment outcome for SAD. Furthermore, we examined the influence of adult attachment style on this relationship. Participants with a primary diagnosis of SAD completed a passive viewing (measuring vigilance towards threat) and a novel difficulty to disengage (measuring difficulty to disengage attention) eye-tracking task prior to attending 12 CBT group sessions targeting SAD. Symptom severity was measured at pre- and post-treatment. Regression analyses were conducted on a sample of 50 participants. Greater vigilance for threat than avoidance of threat at pre-treatment predicted poorer treatment outcomes. Greater difficulty disengaging from happy faces, compared to neutral faces, predicted poorer treatment outcomes. Attachment style did not moderate these relationships. The associations between attention biases and specific components of CBT treatment were not examined. The novel findings regarding difficulty to disengage attention require replication. The findings have implications for the theoretical models of SAD and for the treatment of SAD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wabnitz, Pascal; Martens, Ulla; Neuner, Frank
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with heightened sensitivity to threat cues, typically represented by emotional facial expressions. To examine if this bias can be transferred to a general hypersensitivity or whether it is specific to disorder relevant cues, we investigated electrophysiological correlates of emotional word processing (alpha activity and event-related potentials) in 20 healthy participants and 20 participants with SAD. The experimental task was a silent reading of neutral, positive, physically threatening and socially threatening words (the latter were abusive swear words) while responding to a randomly presented dot. Subsequently, all participants were asked to recall as many words as possible during an unexpected recall test. Participants with SAD showed blunted sensory processing followed by a rapid processing of emotional words during early stages (early posterior negativity - EPN). At later stages, all participants showed enhanced processing of negative (physically and socially threatening) compared to neutral and positive words (N400). Moreover, at later processing stages alpha activity was increased specifically for negative words in participants with SAD but not in healthy controls. Recall of emotional words for all subjects was best for socially threatening words, followed by negative and positive words irrespective of social anxiety. The present findings indicate that SAD is associated with abnormalities in emotional word processing characterised by early hypervigilance to emotional cues followed by cognitive avoidance at later processing stages. Most importantly, the specificity of these attentional biases seems to change as a function of time with a general emotional bias at early and a more specific bias at later processing stages.
Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji
Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain's reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias, gaze
Ikeda, Akitsu; Miyamoto, Jun J.; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Moriyama, Keiji
Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the exposure to food stimuli sensitizes the brain’s reward circuits and enhances attentional bias toward food. Therefore, reducing attentional bias to food could possibly be beneficial in preventing impulsive eating. The importance of chewing has been increasingly implicated as one of the methods for reducing appetite, however, no studies to investigate the effect of chewing on attentional bias to food. In this study, we investigated whether chewing stimulation (i.e., chewing tasteless gum) reduces attentional bias to food as well as an actual feeding (i.e., ingesting a standardized meal) does. We measured reaction time, gaze direction and gaze duration to assess attentional bias toward food images in pairs of food and non-food images that were presented in a visual probe task (Experiment 1, n = 21) and/or eye-tracking task (Experiment 2, n = 20). We also measured appetite ratings using visual analog scale. In addition, we conducted a control study in which the same number of participants performed the identical tasks to Experiments 1 and 2, but the participants did not perform sham feeding with gum-chewing/actual feeding between tasks and they took a rest. Two-way ANOVA revealed that after actual feeding, subjective ratings of hunger, preoccupation with food, and desire to eat significantly decreased, whereas fullness significantly increased. Sham feeding showed the same trends, but to a lesser degree. Results of the visual probe task in Experiment 1 showed that both sham feeding and actual feeding reduced reaction time bias significantly. Eye-tracking data showed that both sham and actual feeding resulted in significant reduction in gaze direction bias, indexing initial attentional orientation. Gaze duration bias was unaffected. In both control experiments, one-way ANOVAs showed no significant differences between immediately before and after the resting state for any of the appetite ratings, reaction time bias
Toh, Wei Lin; Castle, David J; Rossell, Susan L
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterised by repetitive behaviours and/or mental acts occurring in response to preoccupations with perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance. This study aimed to examine attentional biases in BDD via the emotional Stroop task with two modifications: i) incorporating an eye-tracking paradigm, and ii) employing an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) control group. Twenty-one BDD, 19 OCD and 21 HC participants, who were age-, sex-, and IQ-matched, were included. A card version of the emotional Stroop task was employed based on seven 10-word lists: (i) BDD-positive, (ii) BDD-negative, (iii) OCD-checking, (iv) OCD-washing, (v) general positive, (vi) general threat, and (vii) neutral (as baseline). Participants were asked to read aloud words and word colours consecutively, thereby yielding accuracy and latency scores. Eye-tracking parameters were also measured. Participants with BDD exhibited significant Stroop interference for BDD-negative words relative to HC participants, as shown by extended colour-naming latencies. In contrast, the OCD group did not exhibit Stroop interference for OCD-related nor general threat words. Only mild eye-tracking anomalies were uncovered in clinical groups. Inspection of individual scanning styles and fixation heat maps however revealed that viewing strategies adopted by clinical groups were generally disorganised, with avoidance of certain disorder-relevant words and considerable visual attention devoted to non-salient card regions. The operation of attentional biases to negative disorder-specific words was corroborated in BDD. Future replication studies using other paradigms are vital, given potential ambiguities inherent in emotional Stroop task interpretation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zhang, Yan; Kong, Fanchang; Han, Li; Najam Ul Hasan, Abbasi; Chen, Hong
The Chinese Wenchuan earthquake, which happened on the 28th of May in 2008, may leave deep invisible scars in individuals. China has a large number of children and adolescents, who tend to be most vulnerable because they are in an early stage of human development and possible post-traumatic psychological distress may have a life-long consequence. Trauma survivors without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have received little attention in previous studies, especially in event-related potential (ERP) studies. We compared the attention bias to threat stimuli between the earthquake-exposed group and the control group in a masked version of the dot probe task. The target probe presented at the same space location consistent with earthquake-related words was the congruent trial, while in the space location of neutral words was the incongruent trial. Thirteen earthquake-exposed middle school students without PTSD and 13 matched controls were included in this investigation. The earthquake-exposed group showed significantly faster RTs to congruent trials than to incongruent trials. The earthquake-exposed group produced significantly shorter C1 and P1 latencies and larger C1, P1 and P2 amplitudes than the control group. In particular, enhanced P1 amplitude to threat stimuli was observed in the earthquake-exposed group. These findings are in agreement with the prediction that earthquake-exposed survivors have an attention bias to threat stimuli. The traumatic event had a much greater effect on earthquake-exposed survivors even if they showed no PTSD symptoms than individuals in the controls. These results will provide neurobiological evidences for effective intervention and prevention to post-traumatic mental problems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gobin, Christina M; Banks, Jonathan B; Fins, Ana I; Tartar, Jaime L
Poor sleep quality has been demonstrated to diminish cognitive performance, impair psychosocial functioning and alter the perception of stress. At present, however, there is little understanding of how sleep quality affects emotion processing. The aim of the present study was to determine the extent to which sleep quality, measured through the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, influences affective symptoms as well as the interaction between stress and performance on an emotional memory test and sustained attention task. To that end, 154 undergraduate students (mean age: 21.27 years, standard deviation = 4.03) completed a series of measures, including the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, the Sustained Attention to Response Task, an emotion picture recognition task and affective symptom questionnaires following either a control or physical stress manipulation, the cold pressor test. As sleep quality and psychosocial functioning differ among chronotypes, we also included chronotype and time of day as variables of interest to ensure that the effects of sleep quality on the emotional and non-emotional tasks were not attributed to these related factors. We found that poor sleep quality is related to greater depressive symptoms, anxiety and mood disturbances. While an overall relationship between global Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index score and emotion and attention measures was not supported, poor sleep quality, as an independent component, was associated with better memory for negative stimuli and a deficit in sustained attention to non-emotional stimuli. Importantly, these effects were not sensitive to stress, chronotype or time of day. Combined, these results suggest that individuals with poor sleep quality show an increase in affective symptomatology as well as a negative cognitive bias with a concomitant decrease in sustained attention to non-emotional stimuli. © 2015 European Sleep Research Society.
Scrimin, Sara; Moscardino, Ughetta; Altoè, Gianmarco; Mason, Lucia
Background: Previous research indicates that children can display different attention allocation patterns in response to threat. However, data are lacking on the possible existence of an attentional bias in response to academic stressors, and whether variables related to school well-being (SWB) and students' individual characteristics may…
Dong, Y.; Beuckelaer, A. de; Yu, L.; Zhou, R
Protocols for measuring attentional bias to threat in test-anxiety, a special form of trait-anxiety, are rarely found in the literature. In our eye-tracking study, we introduced a new protocol, and studied the time-course of attention to test-related pictures with varying threat levels in 22 high
Full Text Available The attention of drug-dependent persons tends to be captured by stimuli associated with drug consumption. This involuntary cognitive process is considered as attentional bias (AB. AB has been hypothesized to have causal effects on drug abuse and drug relapse, but its underlying neural mechanisms are still unclear. This study investigated the neural basis of AB in abstinent heroin addicts (AHAs, combining event-related potential (ERP analysis and source localization techniques. Electroencephalography data were collected in 21 abstinent heroin addicts and 24 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs during a dot-probe task. In the task, a pair of drug-related image and neutral image was presented randomly in left and right side of the cross fixation, followed by a dot probe replacing one of the images. Behaviorally, AHAs had shorter reaction times (RTs for the congruent condition compared to the incongruent condition, whereas this was not the case in the HCs. This finding demonstrated the presence of AB towards drug cues in AHAs. Furthermore, the image-evoked ERPs in AHAs had significant shorter P1 latency compared to HCs, as well as larger N1, N2, and P2 amplitude, suggesting that drug-related stimuli might capture attention early and overall require more attentional resources in AHAs. The target-related P3 had significantly shorter latency and lower amplitude in the congruent than incongruent condition in AHAs compared to HCs. Moreover, source localization of ERP components revealed increased activity for AHAs as compared to HCs in the dorsal posterior cingulate cortex (dPCC, superior parietal lobule and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG for image-elicited responses, and decreased activity in the occipital and the medial parietal lobes for target-elicited responses. Overall, the results of our study confirmed that AHAs may exhibit AB in drug-related contexts, and suggested that the bias might be related to an abnormal neural activity, both in
Hauschildt, Marit; Wittekind, Charlotte; Moritz, Steffen; Kellner, Michael; Jelinek, Lena
An attentional bias for trauma-related verbal cues was frequently demonstrated in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using variants of the emotional Stroop task (EST). However, the mechanisms underlying the Stroop-effect are ill-defined and it is yet unclear how the findings apply to different paradigms and stimulus modalities. To address these open questions, for the first time a spatial-cuing task with pictorial cues of different emotional valence was administered to trauma-exposed individuals with and without PTSD, and non-trauma-exposed controls. Groups did not show different response profiles across affective conditions. However, a group effect was evident when comparing depressed with non-depressed individuals: Those with depression showed delayed attending towards trauma-related cues and faster attending away from negative cues. In correlational analyses, attentional avoidance was associated with both depression and PTSD symptom severity. These findings highlight the need for research on trauma populations and anxiety in general to pay closer attention to depression as an important confound in the study of emotional information processing. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zmigrod, Sharon; Zmigrod, Leor; Hommel, Bernhard
While recent studies have investigated how processes underlying human creativity are affected by particular visual-attentional states, we tested the impact of more stable attention-related preferences. These were assessed by means of Navon's global-local task, in which participants respond to the global or local features of large letters constructed from smaller letters. Three standard measures were derived from this task: the sizes of the global precedence effect, the global interference effect (i.e., the impact of incongruent letters at the global level on local processing), and the local interference effect (i.e., the impact of incongruent letters at the local level on global processing). These measures were correlated with performance in a convergent-thinking creativity task (the Remote Associates Task), a divergent-thinking creativity task (the Alternate Uses Task), and a measure of fluid intelligence (Raven's matrices). Flexibility in divergent thinking was predicted by the local interference effect while convergent thinking was predicted by intelligence only. We conclude that a stronger attentional bias to visual information about the "bigger picture" promotes cognitive flexibility in searching for multiple solutions.
Ma, Ili; Mies, Gabry W; Lambregts-Rommelse, Nanda N J; Buitelaar, Jan K; Cillessen, Antonius H N; Scheres, Anouk
Interference control refers to the ability to selectively attend to certain information while ignoring distracting information. This ability can vary as a function of distractor relevance. Distractors that are particularly relevant to an individual may attract more attention than less relevant distractors. This is referred to as attention bias. Weak interference control and altered reward sensitivity are both important features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, interference control is typically studied in isolation. This study integrates both. Youths (aged 9 to 17 years) with ADHD (n = 37, 25 boys) and typically-developing controls (n = 38, 20 boys) completed a Stroop task using appetitive words and matched neutral words to assess whether appetitive distractors diminished interference control more in youths with ADHD than controls. In order to test for specificity, aversive words were also included. As expected, appetitive words disrupted interference control but this effect was not stronger for youths with ADHD than the controls. Aversive words, on the other hand, facilitated interference control. Dimensional analyses revealed that this facilitation effect increased substantially as a function of ADHD symptom severity. Possible mechanisms for this effect include up-regulation of interference control as a function of induced negative mood, or as a function of increased effort. In conclusion, appetitive words do not lead to worse interference control in youths with ADHD compared with controls. Interference control was modulated in a valence-specific manner, concurrent with mood-induced effects on cognitive control.
Steinmetz, Nicholas A.; Moore, Tirin; Knudsen, Eric I.
Distinct networks in the forebrain and the midbrain coordinate to control spatial attention. The critical involvement of the superior colliculus (SC)—the central structure in the midbrain network—in visuospatial attention has been shown by four seminal, published studies in monkeys (Macaca mulatta) performing multialternative tasks. However, due to the lack of a mechanistic framework for interpreting behavioral data in such tasks, the nature of the SC's contribution to attention remains unclear. Here we present and validate a novel decision framework for analyzing behavioral data in multialternative attention tasks. We apply this framework to re-examine the behavioral evidence from these published studies. Our model is a multidimensional extension to signal detection theory that distinguishes between two major classes of attentional mechanisms: those that alter the quality of sensory information or “sensitivity,” and those that alter the selective gating of sensory information or “choice bias.” Model-based simulations and model-based analyses of data from these published studies revealed a converging pattern of results that indicated that choice-bias changes, rather than sensitivity changes, were the primary outcome of SC manipulation. Our results suggest that the SC contributes to attentional performance predominantly by generating a spatial choice bias for stimuli at a selected location, and that this bias operates downstream of forebrain mechanisms that enhance sensitivity. The findings lead to a testable mechanistic framework of how the midbrain and forebrain networks interact to control spatial attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Attention involves the selection of the most relevant information for differential sensory processing and decision making. While the mechanisms by which attention alters sensory encoding (sensitivity control) are well studied, the mechanisms by which attention alters decisional weighting of sensory evidence (choice-bias
Gibb, Brandon E; Johnson, Ashley L; Benas, Jessica S; Uhrlass, Dorothy J; Knopik, Valerie S; McGeary, John E
Theorists have proposed that negative experiences in childhood may contribute to the development of experience-specific information-processing biases, including attentional biases. There are also clear genetic influences on cognitive processes, with evidence that polymorphisms in specific candidate genes may moderate the impact of environmental stress on attentional biases (e.g., a functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene; 5-HTTLPR). In the current study, we tested a gene×environment (G×E) model of risk for attentional biases. We hypothesised that children whose mothers exhibit high levels of expressed emotion criticism (EE-Crit) would display attentional biases specifically for angry, but not happy or sad, faces, and that this link would be stronger among children carrying one or two copies of the 5-HTTLPR short allele than among those homozygous for the long allele. Results generally supported these hypotheses, though we found that carriers of the 5-HTTLPR short allele who also had a critical mother exhibited attentional avoidance of angry faces rather than preferential attention.
Pile, Victoria; Robinson, Sally; Topor, Marta; Hedderly, Tammy; Lau, Jennifer Y F
Many individuals with Tourette syndrome and chronic tic disorders (TS/CTDs) report poor social functioning and comorbid social anxiety. Yet limited research has investigated the role of cognitive factors that highlight social threats in youth with TS/CTD, and whether these biases underlie tic severity and co-occurring social anxiety. This study examined whether selective attention to social threat is enhanced young people with TS/CTDs compared to healthy controls, and whether attention biases are associated with tic severity and social anxiety. Twenty seven young people with TS/CTDs and 25 matched control participants completed an experimental measure of attention bias toward/away from threat stimuli. A clinician-rated interview measuring tic severity/impairment (YGTSS Total Score) and questionnaire measures of social anxiety were completed by participants and their parents. Young people with TS/CTD showed an attention bias to social threat words (relative to benign words) compared to controls but no such bias for social threat faces. Attention bias for social threat words was associated with increasing YGTSS Total Score and parent-reported social anxiety in the TS/CTDs group. Mediation analysis revealed a significant indirect path between YGTSS Total Score and social anxiety, via attention to social threat. Tentatively, these associations appeared to be driven by impairment rather than tic severity scores. Preliminary data suggests that youth with TS/CTD have enhanced attention to threat, compared to controls, and this is associated with impairment and social anxiety. Attention to threat could offer a cognitive mechanism connecting impairment and social anxiety, and so be a valuable trans-diagnostic treatment target.
Melles, Reinhilde J; Dewitte, Marieke D; Ter Kuile, Moniek M; Peters, Madelon M L; de Jong, Peter J
Current information processing models propose that heightened attention bias for sex-related threats (eg, pain) and lowered automatic incentive processes ("wanting") may play an important role in the impairment of sexual arousal and the development of sexual dysfunctions such as genitopelvic pain/penetration disorder (GPPPD). Differential threat and incentive processing may also help explain the stronger persistence of coital avoidance in women with vaginismus compared to women with dyspareunia. As the first aim, we tested if women with GPPPD show (1) heightened attention for pain and sex, and (2) heightened threat and lower incentive associations with sexual penetration. Second, we examined whether the stronger persistence of coital avoidance in vaginismus vs dyspareunia might be explained by a stronger attentional bias or more dysfunctional automatic threat/incentive associations. Women with lifelong vaginismus (n = 37), dyspareunia (n = 29), and a no-symptoms comparison group (n = 51) completed a visual search task to assess attentional bias, and single target implicit-association tests to measure automatic sex-threat and sex-wanting associations. There were no group differences in attentional bias or automatic associations. Correlational analysis showed that slowed detection of sex stimuli and stronger automatic threat associations were related to lowered sexual arousal. The findings do not corroborate the view that attentional bias for pain or sex contributes to coital pain, or that differences in coital avoidance may be explained by differences in attentional bias or automatic threat/incentive associations. However, the correlational findings are consistent with the view that automatic threat associations and impaired attention for sex stimuli may interfere with the generation of sexual arousal. Copyright © 2016 International Society for Sexual Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Martin, Joanna; Walters, Raymond K; Demontis, Ditte
BACKGROUND: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) shows substantial heritability and is two to seven times more common in male individuals than in female individuals. We examined two putative genetic mechanisms underlying this sex bias: sex-specific heterogeneity and higher burden of risk...... disorder and congenital malformations), potentially indicating some clinical and etiological heterogeneity. Polygenic risk score analysis did not support a higher burden of ADHD common risk variants in female cases (odds ratio [confidence interval] = 1.02 [0.98-1.06], p = .28). In contrast, epidemiological...... using two methods suggested near complete sharing of common variant effects across sexes, with rg estimates close to 1. Analyses of population data, however, indicated that female individuals with ADHD may be at especially high risk for certain comorbid developmental conditions (i.e., autism spectrum...
Lazarov, Amit; Abend, Rany; Seidner, Shiran; Pine, Daniel S; Bar-Haim, Yair
Current attention bias modification (ABM) procedures are designed to implicitly train attention away from threatening stimuli with the hope of reducing stress reactivity and anxiety symptoms. However, the mechanisms underlying effective ABM delivery are not well understood, with awareness of the training contingency suggested as one possible factor contributing to ABM efficacy. Here, 45 high-anxious participants were trained to divert attention away from threat in two ABM sessions. They were randomly assigned to one of three training protocols: an implicit protocol, comprising two standard implicit ABM training sessions; an explicit protocol, comprising two sessions with explicit instruction as to the attention training contingency; and an implicit-explicit protocol, in which participants were not informed of the training contingency in the first ABM session and informed of it at the start of the second session. We examined learning processes and stress reactivity following a stress-induction task. Results indicate that relative to implicit instructions, explicit instructions led to stronger learning during the first training session. Following rest, the explicit and implicit groups exhibited consolidation-related improvement in performance, whereas no such improvement was noted for the implicit-explicit group. Finally, although stress reactivity was reduced after training, contingency awareness did not yield a differential effect on stress reactivity measured using both self-reports and skin conductance, within and across sessions. These results suggest that explicit ABM administration leads to greater initial learning during the training protocol while not differing from standard implicit administration in terms of off-line learning and stress reactivity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available Recent research has shown high rates of comorbidity between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD and difficulties regarding differential diagnosis. Unlike those in Western countries, the Japanese ADHD prevalence rate is lower relative to that of ASD. This inconsistency could have occurred because of cultural diversities among professionals such as physicians. However, little is known about attitudes toward ADHD and ASD in non-Western cultural contexts. We conducted two experiments to identify biases in ASD and ADHD assessment. In Study 1, we examined attitudes toward these disorders in medical doctors and mental health professionals, using a web-based questionnaire. In Study 2, medical doctors and clinical psychologists assessed four fictional cases based on criteria for ADHD, ASD, oppositional defiant disorder, and disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED. Diagnosis of ASD was considered more difficult relative to that of ADHD. Most participants assessed the fictional DSED case as ASD, rather than DSED or ADHD. The results provide evidence that Japanese professionals are more likely to attribute children’s behavioral problems to ASD, relative to other disorders. Therefore, Japanese therapists could be more sensitive to and likely to diagnose ASD, relative to therapists in other countries. These findings suggest that cultural biases could influence clinicians’ diagnosis of ADHD and ASD.
Gazit, Sivan; Elkana, Odelia; Dawidowicz, Liraz; Yeshayahu, Liel; Biran, Iftah
Conversion disorder (CD) is a largely enigmatic disorder, one that requires a thorough ruling-out process. Prior research suggests that metaphors and conceptualization are rooted in physical experience, and that we interpret our affective world through metaphors. Spatial metaphors (interaction of affect and vertical space) are a prominent example of the grounding of metaphors. This is a relatively unpaved direction of research of CD. The present pilot study sought to explore this view by investigating the "healthy is up, sick is down" spatial metaphors (e.g., "fell ill" and "top shape") in patients with CD, examining the correlation between the processing of bodily-related words, CD, and vertical space. We hypothesized that patients with CD, who experience their bodies as ill, will demonstrate a downwards bias when processing bodily-related words; corresponding to the "healthy is up, sick is down" spatial metaphor. A total of 8 female patients (ages M-38.13 SD-10.44) and 42 female controls (ages M-36.4 SD-14.57) performed a visual attention task. Participants were asked to identify a spatial probe at the top or the bottom of a screen, following either a bodily related (e.g., arm) or non-bodily related (e.g., clock) prime word. As predicted, when processing bodily-related words, patients with CD demonstrated a downwards attention bias. Moreover, the higher the patient's level of somatization, the faster the patient detected lower (vs upper) spatial targets. This study suggests that the changed health paradigm of patients with CD is grounded in sensorimotor perception. Further research could propose new diagnostic and treatment options for CD. Copyright © 2017 The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Roebuck, Andrew J; Dubnyk, Aurora J B; Cochran, David; Mandryk, Regan L; Howland, John G; Harms, Victoria
Research in asymmetrical visuospatial attention has identified a leftward bias in the general population across a variety of measures including visual attention and line-bisection tasks. In addition, increases in rightward collisions, or bumping, during visuospatial navigation tasks have been demonstrated in real world and virtual environments. However, little research has investigated these biases beyond the laboratory. The present study uses a semi-naturalistic approach and the online video game streaming service Twitch to examine navigational errors and assaults as skilled action video game players (n = 60) compete in Counter Strike: Global Offensive. This study showed a significant rightward bias in both fatal assaults and navigational errors. Analysis using the in-game ranking system as a measure of skill failed to show a relationship between bias and skill. These results suggest that a leftward visuospatial bias may exist in skilled players during online video game play. However, the present study was unable to account for some factors such as environmental symmetry and player handedness. In conclusion, video game streaming is a promising method for behavioural research in the future, however further study is required before one can determine whether these results are an artefact of the method applied, or representative of a genuine rightward bias.
Full Text Available Valentin Flaudias,1,2 Georges Brousse,1,2 Ingrid De Chazeron,1,2 François Planche,2 Julien Brun,2 Pierre-Michel Llorca1,2 1Clermont Université, EA 7280 NPsy-Sydo, Clermont-Ferrand, France; 2Pôle Psychiatrie B, CHU Gabriel-Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France Background and objectives: Previous studies in alcohol-dependent patients have shown an attentional bias (AB under related substance cues, which can lead to relapse. This AB can be evaluated by the alcohol Stroop test (AST. The AST is a modified Stroop task in which participants have to name the color of an alcohol-related word or a neutral word. AB is the response-time difference between these two types of words. The goal of the current study was to examine modification of AB during specialized hospitalization for alcohol dependence, with the suppression of a training bias that could be present in within-subject design. Methods: Individuals with alcohol-dependence disorders (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition and admitted for withdrawal in the addiction unit of the University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand (test group, n = 42 and persons with no alcohol or psychiatric disorder (control group, n = 16, recruited among colleagues and friends of the staff, performed the AST. A subgroup of the test group performed the AST in admission (admission group, n = 19, and another subgroup undertook the test immediately before discharge (discharge group, n = 23. Results: Results showed an AB only for patients seen at admission (F[1,55] = 3.283, P = 0.075. Moreover, we observed that the AB in the admission group (mean = 34 ms, standard deviation [SD] = 70.06 was greater than the AB in the control group (mean = 23 ms, SD = 93.42, itself greater than the AB in the discharge group (mean = −12 ms, SD = 93.55 (t = −1.71; P = 0.09. Conclusion: Although the results are preliminary, the present study provides evidence for changes in the AB during alcohol-addiction treatment
Markant, Julie; Oakes, Lisa M; Amso, Dima
During the first year of life, infants maintain their ability to discriminate faces from their own race but become less able to differentiate other-race faces. Though this is likely due to daily experience with own-race faces, the mechanisms linking repeated exposure to optimal face processing remain unclear. One possibility is that frequent experience with own-race faces generates a selective attention bias to these faces. Selective attention elicits enhancement of attended information and suppression of distraction to improve visual processing of attended objects. Thus attention biases to own-race faces may boost processing and discrimination of these faces relative to other-race faces. We used a spatial cueing task to bias attention to own- or other-race faces among Caucasian 9-month-old infants. Infants discriminated faces in the focus of the attention bias, regardless of race, indicating that infants remained sensitive to differences among other-race faces. Instead, efficacy of face discrimination reflected the extent of attention engagement. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Li, Zhicheng; Gu, Ruolei; Zeng, Xiangli; Zhong, Weifang; Qi, Min; Cen, Jintian
Tinnitus refers to the auditory perception of sound in the absence of external sound or electric stimuli. The influence of tinnitus on cognitive processing is at the cutting edge of ongoing tinnitus research. In this study, we adopted an objective indicator of attentional processing, i.e. the mismatch negativity (MMN), to assess the attentional bias in patients with decompensated tinnitus. Three kinds of pure tones, D1 (8,000 Hz), S (8,500 Hz) and D2 (9,000 Hz), were used to induce event-related potentials (ERPs) in the normal ear. Employing the oddball paradigm, the task was divided into two blocks in which D1 and D2 were set as deviation stimuli, respectively. Only D2 induced a significant MMN in the tinnitus group, while neither D1 nor D2 was able to induce MMN in the control group. In addition, the ERPs in the left hemisphere, which were recorded within the time window of 90-150 ms (ERP 90-150 ms), were significantly higher than those in the right hemisphere in the tinnitus group, while no significant difference was observed in the control group. Lastly, the amplitude of ERP 90-150 ms in the tinnitus group was significantly higher than that in the control group. These findings suggest that patients with decompensated tinnitus showed automatic processing of acoustic stimuli, thereby indicating that these patients allocated more cognitive resources to acoustic stimulus processing. We suggest that the difficulty in disengaging or facilitated attention of patients might underlie this phenomenon. The limitations of the current study are discussed. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Verwoerd, Johan; Wessel, Ineke; de Jong, Peter J.
Two experiments examined whether exposure to a trauma-film induced an attentional bias (AB) for intrinsically neutral (visual) reminders of the film. In experiment 1, half of the participants (n = 33) completed a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task after presentation of a trauma film,
Research with children has shown that vicarious learning can result in changes to 2 of Lang’s (1968) 3 anxiety response systems: subjective report and behavioral avoidance. The current study extended this research by exploring the effect of vicarious learning on physiological responses (Lang’s final response system) and attentional bias. The study used Askew and Field’s (2007) vicarious learning procedure and demonstrated fear-related increases in children’s cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses. Cognitive and behavioral changes were retested 1 week and 1 month later, and remained elevated. In addition, a visual search task demonstrated that fear-related vicarious learning creates an attentional bias for novel animals, which is moderated by increases in fear beliefs during learning. The findings demonstrate that vicarious learning leads to lasting changes in all 3 of Lang’s anxiety response systems and is sufficient to create attentional bias to threat in children. PMID:25151521
Charlotte Elisabeth Wittekind
Full Text Available Using variants of the emotional Stroop task (EST, a large number of studies demonstrated attentional biases in individuals with PTSD across different types of trauma. However, the specificity and robustness of the emotional Stroop effect in PTSD were questioned recently. In particular, the paradigm cannot disentangle underlying cognitive mechanisms. Transgenerational studies provide evidence that consequences of trauma are not limited to the traumatized people, but extend to close relatives, especially the children. To further investigate attentional biases in PTSD and to shed light on the underlying cognitive mechanism(s, a spatial-cueing paradigm with pictures of different emotional valence (neutral, anxiety, depression, trauma was administered to individuals displaced as children during World War II with (n = 22 and without PTSD (n = 26 as well as to nontraumatized controls (n = 22. To assess whether parental PTSD is associated with biased information processing in children, each one adult offspring was also included in the study. PTSD was not associated with attentional biases for trauma-related stimuli. There was no evidence for a transgenerational transmission of biased information processing. However, when samples were regrouped based on current depression, a reduced inhibition of return (IOR effect emerged for depression-related cues. IOR refers to the phenomenon that with longer intervals between cue and target the validity effect is reversed: uncued locations are associated with shorter and cued locations with longer RTs. The results diverge from EST studies and demonstrate that findings on attentional biases yield equivocal results across different paradigms. Attentional biases for trauma-related material may only appear for verbal but not for visual stimuli in an elderly population with childhood trauma with PTSD. Future studies should more closely investigate whether findings from younger trauma populations also manifest in older
Woud, Marcella L.; Maas, Joyce; Wiers, Reinout W.; Becker, Eni S.; Rinck, Mike
According to theories of addictive behaviors, approach and attentional biases toward smoking-related cues play a crucial role in tobacco dependence. Several studies have investigated these biases by using various paradigms in different sample types. However, this heterogeneity makes it difficult to compare and evaluate the results. The present study aimed to address this problem, via (i) a structural comparison of different measures of approach-avoidance and a measure of smoking-related attentional biases, and (ii) using within one study different representative samples in the context of tobacco dependence. Three measures of approach-avoidance were employed: an Approach Avoidance Task (AAT), a Stimulus Response Compatibility Task (SRC), and a Single Target Implicit Association Test (ST-IAT). To assess attentional biases, a modified Stroop task including smoking-related words was administered. The study included four groups: n = 58 smokers, n = 57 non-smokers, n = 52 cravers, and n = 54 ex-smokers. We expected to find strong tobacco-related approach biases and attentional biases in smokers and cravers. However, the general pattern of results did not confirm these expectations. Approach responses assessed during the AAT and SRC did not differ between groups. Moreover, the Stroop did not show the expected interference effect. For the ST-IAT, cravers had stronger approach associations toward smoking-related cues, whereas non-smokers showed stronger avoidance associations. However, no such differences in approach-avoidance associations were found in smokers and ex-smokers. To conclude, these data do not provide evidence for a strong role of implicit approach and attentional biases toward smoking-related cues in tobacco dependency. PMID:26955359
Dong, Yunying; De Beuckelaer, Alain; Yu, Liang; Zhou, Renlai
Protocols for measuring attentional bias to threat in test-anxiety, a special form of trait-anxiety, are rarely found in the literature. In our eye-tracking study, we introduced a new protocol, and studied the time-course of attention to test-related pictures with varying threat levels in 22 high test-anxious (HTA) and 22 low test-anxious (LTA) subjects. To determine whether attentional bias to test-related pictures is due to test-anxiety and not to state-anxiety, we also included a third group of 22 subjects with high state-anxiety but low test-anxiety (HSA). The subjects completed a free viewing task (FVT) in which high threat-neutral (HT-N) and low threat-neutral (LT-N) picture pairs were presented for 3 s. The results demonstrated that: (1) HTA subjects showed initial orienting to LT pictures, early attentional engagement with HT pictures later on and avoidance of HT pictures at the very end; (2) LTA subjects showed initial orienting to HT pictures and maintenance of attention on them later on; while (3) HSA subjects showed an initial orientation towards LT pictures and maintenance of attention on LT and HT pictures later on. These results suggest that, (high) test-anxiety is also prone to attentional bias towards test-related threat stimuli. Implications for future research are discussed.
Kurt P. Schulz
Full Text Available Affect recognition deficits found in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD across the lifespan may bias the development of cognitive control processes implicated in the pathophysiology of the disorder. This study aimed to determine the mechanism through which facial expressions influence cognitive control in young adults diagnosed with ADHD in childhood. Fourteen probands with childhood ADHD and 14 comparison subjects with no history of ADHD were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a face emotion go/no-go task. Event-related analyses contrasted activation and functional connectivity for cognitive control collapsed over face valence and tested for variations in activation for response execution and inhibition as a function of face valence. Probands with childhood ADHD made fewer correct responses and inhibitions overall than comparison subjects, but demonstrated comparable effects of face emotion on response execution and inhibition. The two groups showed similar frontotemporal activation for cognitive control collapsed across face valence, but differed in the functional connectivity of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, with fewer interactions with the subgenual cingulate cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, and putamen in probands than in comparison subjects. Further, valence-dependent activation for response execution was seen in the amygdala, ventral striatum, subgenual cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex in comparison subjects but not in probands. The findings point to functional anomalies in limbic networks for both the valence-dependent biasing of cognitive control and the valence-independent cognitive control of face emotion processing in probands with childhood ADHD. This limbic dysfunction could impact cognitive control in emotional contexts and may contribute to the social and emotional problems associated with ADHD.
Schulz, Kurt P; Bédard, Anne-Claude V; Fan, Jin; Clerkin, Suzanne M; Dima, Danai; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Halperin, Jeffrey M
Affect recognition deficits found in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) across the lifespan may bias the development of cognitive control processes implicated in the pathophysiology of the disorder. This study aimed to determine the mechanism through which facial expressions influence cognitive control in young adults diagnosed with ADHD in childhood. Fourteen probands with childhood ADHD and 14 comparison subjects with no history of ADHD were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a face emotion go/no-go task. Event-related analyses contrasted activation and functional connectivity for cognitive control collapsed over face valence and tested for variations in activation for response execution and inhibition as a function of face valence. Probands with childhood ADHD made fewer correct responses and inhibitions overall than comparison subjects, but demonstrated comparable effects of face emotion on response execution and inhibition. The two groups showed similar frontotemporal activation for cognitive control collapsed across face valence, but differed in the functional connectivity of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, with fewer interactions with the subgenual cingulate cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, and putamen in probands than in comparison subjects. Further, valence-dependent activation for response execution was seen in the amygdala, ventral striatum, subgenual cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex in comparison subjects but not in probands. The findings point to functional anomalies in limbic networks for both the valence-dependent biasing of cognitive control and the valence-independent cognitive control of face emotion processing in probands with childhood ADHD. This limbic dysfunction could impact cognitive control in emotional contexts and may contribute to the social and emotional problems associated with ADHD.
Sharbanee, Jason M; Stritzke, Werner G K; Wiers, Reinout W; MacLeod, Colin
To assess whether alcohol-related biases in selective-attention and action tendency uniquely or concurrently predict the ability to regulate alcohol consumption. Two groups of undergraduate social drinkers (total n = 55) who differed in their ability to regulate their alcohol consumption completed a novel Selective-Attention/Action-Tendency Task (SA/ATT), which assessed separately alcohol-related biases in selective attention and action tendency. University of Western Australia, Australia. Dysregulated drinking was operationalized as a self-reported high level of alcohol consumption on the Alcohol Consumption Questionnaire, and a high desire to reduce consumption on the Brief Readiness to Change Algorithm. Selective attention and action tendency were assessed using the SA/ATT, working memory was assessed using the operation-span task and participant characteristics were assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale (SOCRATES). Results indicated that (i) there was no significant association between alcohol-related biases in selective attention and action tendency, r = 0.16, P = 0.274, and (ii) biases towards alcohol, in both selective attention, β = 1.01, odds ratio = 2.74, P = 0.022, and action tendency, β = 1.24, odds ratio = 3.45, P = 0.015, predicted independent variance in dysregulated-drinker status. Biases in selective attention and action tendency appear to be distinct mechanisms that contribute independently to difficulty regulating alcohol consumption. Treatment components that could be combined to target both mechanisms could enhance treatment outcomes for alcohol-use disorders. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.
Boffo, Marilisa; Willemen, Ronny; Pronk, Thomas; Wiers, Reinout W; Dom, Geert
Disordered gamblers have phenotypical and pathological similarities to those with substance use disorders (SUD), including exaggerated automatic cognitive processing of motivationally salient gambling cues in the environment (i.e., attentional and approach bias). Cognitive bias modification (CBM) is a family of computerised interventions that have proved effective in successfully re-training these automatic cognitive biases in SUD. CBM interventions can, in principle, be administered online, thus showing potential of being a low-cost, low-threshold addition to conventional treatments. This paper presents the design of a pilot randomised controlled trial exploring the effectiveness of two web-based CBM interventions targeting attentional and approach bias towards gambling cues in a sample of Dutch and Belgian problematic and pathological gamblers. Participants (N = 182) are community-recruited adults experiencing gambling problems, who have gambled at least twice in the past 6 months and are motivated to change their gambling behaviour. After a baseline assessment session, participants are randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions (attentional or approach bias training, or the placebo version of the two trainings) and complete six sessions of training. At baseline and before each training session, participants receive automated personalised feedback on their gambling motives and reasons to quit or reduce gambling. The post-intervention, 1-month, and 3-month follow-up assessments will examine changes in gambling behaviour, with frequency and expenditure as primary outcomes, and depressive symptoms and gambling-related attentional and approach biases as secondary outcomes. Secondary analyses will explore possible moderators (interference control capacity and trait impulsivity) and mediators (change in cognitive bias) of training effects on the primary outcomes. This study is the first to explore the effectiveness of an online CBM intervention for
Barclay, Nicola L; Ellis, Jason G
Contradictory evidence exists relating to the presence of an attention bias to sleep-related stimuli in poor sleepers/insomnia using the emotional Stroop task (EST). These inconsistencies may be due to methodological issues related to the affective valence of the sleep-related stimuli. Thus, individuals may attend differentially to sleep-related stimuli not because of their 'sleep' properties, but their negativity. The current study addresses this by controlling the affective valence of sleep-related words. A total of 107 participants [mean age = 33.22 years, standard deviation (SD) = 12.31 years; 61.7% female] were recruited during an evening event at the Newcastle Science Festival. Participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and a computerized EST containing 20 non-affective sleep-related, 20 neutral and 20 negatively valenced threat words. Good and poor sleepers were categorized using the PSQI. There were no significant differences between groups on response latency to sleep-related words (t(105) = -0.30, P = 0.76). However, the interaction between good versus poor sleepers and word-type on response latency was significant (F(2,210) = 3.06, P sleep-related words (mean = 723.35, SD = 172.55) compared to threat words (mean = 694.63, SD = 162.17) than good sleepers (mean = 713.20, SD = 166.32; and mean = 716.65, SD = 181.14). The results demonstrate the presence of an attention bias towards sleep-related stimuli compared to threat stimuli in poor sleepers. Accordingly, poor sleepers may be consumed by stimuli relevant to their specific difficulties, as well as being more highly attuned to negative cues that signal anxious states. Thus, the present research suggests that there are two opposing forces at play: one which facilitates performance (non-specific threats) and one which hinders performance (personally relevant threats). © 2013 European Sleep Research Society.
Full Text Available BackgroundIn the present study, we explored the possibility of the stability of attention bias and memory bias in currently remitted individuals with unipolar depression compared to currently depressed individuals with unipolar depression and never-depressed individuals. MethodsThe Emotional Stroop and autobiographical memory task were administered on 10 participants, who were currently depressed, currently remitted with unipolar depression, or never-depressed. In the emotional Stroop task (EST, the respondent’s task was to indicate the color of the ink of the positive, negative, and neutral words by selecting one of a series of colored blocks. In the autobiographical memory task (AMT, participants were presented with positive, negative, and neutral cue words. For each word, they were asked to report specific events from their life. ResultsBoth the attention bias and memory bias exist in both the clinical groups. In EST, both currently depressed and currently remitted groups were slower to respond to negative words compared to neutral words. Unlike EST, in AMT both currently depressed and currently remitted groups were slower to respond to positive words compared to neutral words. Interestingly, the capacity to generate specific events for negative events was higher in both currently depressed and currently remitted groups. They were over-general in their memories of positive events. Importantly, the never-depressed group was specific in their memories of both positive and negative events of their life. ConclusionsOur findings provide evidence for the stable existence of attention and memory bias in currently remitted individuals. This study has implications for the cognitive behavior therapy for depression to include modules to resolve the attention and memory bias toward negative thought and content, and to build strategies to overcome such biases.
van Hooff, Johanna C.; Crawford, Helen; van Vugt, Mark
To examine the time course and automaticity of our attention bias towards attractive opposite sex faces, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 20 males and 20 females while they carried out a covert orienting task. Faces that were high, low or average in attractiveness, were presented in focus of attention, but were unrelated to task goals. Across the entire sample larger P2 amplitudes were found in response to both attractive and unattractive opposite sex faces, presumably refle...
Full Text Available The present study sought to investigate the association between selective attentional processing of body images, rumination, and eating disorder symptoms in young women. Seventy-three undergraduate female students (ages 17-24 completed a modified dot-probe task to assess whether young women showed a differential attentional bias pattern towards thin and non-thin female bodies. Participants also completed self-report measures of eating disorder pathology. It was found that increased reports of dietary restraint and body dissatisfaction were associated with both greater attentional bias towards thin bodies and avoidance of non-thin bodies (as compared to neutral images, although the former relationship was stronger than the latter. The results suggest attentional vigilance to thin-ideal images plays a greater role in the potential development and/or maintenance of eating disorder symptoms, at least in a university sample of young women. Results also revealed that eating disorder-specific rumination mediated the relationship between attentional bias to thin ideal images and eating disorder symptoms. These findings build on existing research and theories, for example the impaired disengagement model of rumination, and have potential clinical applications such as specifically targeting ruminative and/or attentional processes in the prevention and/or treatment of eating disorder symptoms.
Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz
How does motivation interact with cognitive control during challenging behavioral conditions? Here, we investigated the interactions between motivation and cognition during a response conflict task and tested a specific model of the effect of reward on cognitive processing. Behaviorally, participants exhibited reduced conflict during the reward versus no-reward condition. Brain imaging results revealed that a group of subcortical and fronto-parietal regions was robustly influenced by reward at cue processing and, importantly, that cue-related responses in fronto-parietal attentional regions were predictive of reduced conflict-related signals in the medial pFC (MPFC)/ACC during the upcoming target phase. Path analysis revealed that the relationship between cue responses in the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and interference-related responses in the MPFC during the subsequent target phase was mediated via signals in the left fusiform gyrus, which we linked to distractor-related processing. Finally, reward increased functional connectivity between the right IPS and both bilateral putamen and bilateral nucleus accumbens during the cue phase, a relationship that covaried with across-individual sensitivity to reward in the case of the right nucleus accumbens. Taken together, our findings are consistent with a model in which motivationally salient cues are employed to upregulate top-down control processes that bias the selection of visual information, thereby leading to more efficient stimulus processing during conflict conditions.
Lichtenstein-Vidne, L; Okon-Singer, H; Cohen, N; Todder, D; Aue, T; Nemets, B; Henik, A
Both anxiety and major depression disorder (MDD) were reported to involve a maladaptive selective attention mechanism, associated with bias toward negative stimuli. Previous studies investigated attentional bias using distractors that required processing as part of task settings, and therefore, in our view, these distractors should be regarded as task-relevant. Here, we applied a unique task that used peripheral distractors that presented emotional and spatial information simultaneously. Notably, the emotional information was not associated in any way to the task, and thus was task-irrelevant. The spatial information, however, was task-relevant as it corresponded with task instructions. Corroborating previous findings, anxious patients showed attentional bias toward negative information. MDD patients showed no indication of this bias. Spatial information influenced all groups similarly. These results indicate that anxiety, but not MDD, is associated with an inherent negative information bias, further illustrating that the two closely related disorders are characterized by different processing patterns. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
García-Blanco, Ana; Salmerón, Ladislao; Perea, Manuel; Livianos, Lorenzo
Attentional biases toward emotional information may represent vulnerability and maintenance factors in bipolar disorder (BD). The present experimental study examined the processing of emotional information in BD patients using the eye-tracking technology. Bipolar patients in their different states (euthymia, mania, depression) simultaneously viewed four pictures with different emotional valence (happy, neutral, sad, threatening) for 20s while their eye movements were monitored. A group of healthy individuals served as the control. The data revealed the following: (i) a decrease in attention to happy images in BD patients in their depressive episodes compared to healthy individuals, and (ii) an increase in attention to threatening images in BD patients (regardless of their episode) relative to the healthy controls. These biases appeared in the late stages of information processing and were sustained over the 20s interval. Thus, the present findings reveal that attentional biases toward emotional information can be a key feature of BD, in that: (i) an anhedonic lack of sensitivity to positive stimuli during the bipolar depressive episode may be considered a maintaining factor of this clinical state, and (ii) the trait-bias toward threat, even in asymptomatic patients, may reflect a marker of vulnerability in BD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Folkvord, F.; Anschutz, D.J.; Wiers, R.W.H.J.; Buijzen, M.A.
This study examined the potential moderating role of attentional bias (i.e., gaze duration, number of fixations, latency of initial fixation) in the effect of advergames promoting energy-dense snacks on children's snack intake. A randomized between-subject design was conducted with 92 children who
Watabe, Yuko; Owens, Julie S.; Serrano, Verenea; Evans, Steven W.
Previous literature suggests that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit a positive bias (PB), defined as an over-estimation of one's own ability as compared with actual ability. However, it is possible that the larger discrepancy (i.e., PB) in children with ADHD is accounted for by lower competence levels rather…
Melles, Reinhilde J.; Dewitte, Marieke D.; ter Kuile, Moniek M.; Peters, Madelon M.L.; Jong, de Peter J.
Introduction Current information processing models propose that heightened attention bias for sex-related threats (eg, pain) and lowered automatic incentive processes (“wanting”) may play an important role in the impairment of sexual arousal and the development of sexual dysfunctions such as
van Hooff, J.C.; Crawford, H.; van Vugt, M.
To examine the time course and automaticity of our attention bias towards attractive opposite sex faces, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 20 males and 20 females while they carried out a covert orienting task. Faces that were high, low or average in attractiveness, were presented
Smeets, Elke; Roefs, Anne; Jansen, Anita
In the present study, the causal influence of chocolate craving on attentional bias for chocolate-related information was examined by experimentally inducing chocolate craving in a sample of high trait chocolate cravers vs. low trait chocolate cravers. A sample of 35 high trait chocoholics and 33 low trait chocolate cravers were randomly assigned to either the exposure condition in which craving was manipulated or the non-exposure condition. To measure attentional bias, a pictorial version of the visual search paradigm [Smeets, E., Roefs, A., van Furth, E., & Jansen, A. (2008). Attentional bias for body and food in eating disorders: increased distraction, speeded detection, or both? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 46, 229-238] was used, assessing two components: distraction and detection. It was found that experimentally induced chocolate craving led to increased distraction by chocolate pictures in the high trait chocolate cravers, in comparison to the low trait chocolate cravers. Moreover, this measure of distraction correlated strongly with self-reported craving, but only in the chocoholics and in the exposure condition. In the non-exposure condition, high trait chocolate cravers showed speeded detection of chocolate pictures relative to non-chocoholics, but this component did not correlate with self-reported craving. It is concluded that experimentally induced craving for chocolate causes a bias in, specifically the increased distraction component of attention in high trait chocolate cravers.
Spiders are among the most common targets of fears and phobias in the world. In visual search tasks, adults detect their presence more rapidly than other kinds of stimuli. Reported here is an investigation of whether young children share this attentional bias for the detection of spiders. In a series of experiments, preschoolers and adults were…
Full Text Available Body image distortion is highly prevalent among overweight individuals. Whilst there is evidence that body-dissatisfied women and those suffering from disordered eating show a negative attentional bias towards their own unattractive body parts and others' attractive body parts, little is known about visual attention patterns in the area of obesity and with respect to males. Since eating disorders and obesity share common features in terms of distorted body image and body dissatisfaction, the aim of this study was to examine whether overweight men and women show a similar attentional bias.We analyzed eye movements in 30 overweight individuals (18 females and 28 normal-weight individuals (16 females with respect to the participants' own pictures as well as gender- and BMI-matched control pictures (front and back view. Additionally, we assessed body image and disordered eating using validated questionnaires.The overweight sample rated their own body as less attractive and showed a more disturbed body image. Contrary to our assumptions, they focused significantly longer on attractive compared to unattractive regions of both their own and the control body. For one's own body, this was more pronounced for women. A higher weight status and more frequent body checking predicted attentional bias towards attractive body parts. We found that overweight adults exhibit an unexpected and stable pattern of selective attention, with a distinctive focus on their own attractive body regions despite higher levels of body dissatisfaction. This positive attentional bias may either be an indicator of a more pronounced pattern of attentional avoidance or a self-enhancing strategy. Further research is warranted to clarify these results.
Warschburger, Petra; Calvano, Claudia; Richter, Eike M; Engbert, Ralf
Body image distortion is highly prevalent among overweight individuals. Whilst there is evidence that body-dissatisfied women and those suffering from disordered eating show a negative attentional bias towards their own unattractive body parts and others' attractive body parts, little is known about visual attention patterns in the area of obesity and with respect to males. Since eating disorders and obesity share common features in terms of distorted body image and body dissatisfaction, the aim of this study was to examine whether overweight men and women show a similar attentional bias. We analyzed eye movements in 30 overweight individuals (18 females) and 28 normal-weight individuals (16 females) with respect to the participants' own pictures as well as gender- and BMI-matched control pictures (front and back view). Additionally, we assessed body image and disordered eating using validated questionnaires. The overweight sample rated their own body as less attractive and showed a more disturbed body image. Contrary to our assumptions, they focused significantly longer on attractive compared to unattractive regions of both their own and the control body. For one's own body, this was more pronounced for women. A higher weight status and more frequent body checking predicted attentional bias towards attractive body parts. We found that overweight adults exhibit an unexpected and stable pattern of selective attention, with a distinctive focus on their own attractive body regions despite higher levels of body dissatisfaction. This positive attentional bias may either be an indicator of a more pronounced pattern of attentional avoidance or a self-enhancing strategy. Further research is warranted to clarify these results.
Full Text Available The aim of the study was to determine the effectiveness of Attentional Bias Modification (ABM and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT on the reduction of pain intensityin patients with chronic pain. This study was a quasiexperimental pretest-posttest design with control group. All patients who referred to physiotherapy clinics for pain during 2015 were participated in the study. They completed the Brief Pain Inventory-short form (BPI-SF for assessing severity of pain. Attentional bias was evaluated using computerized Dot-Probe task. The patients with chronic pain were screened by diagnostic criteria of DSM-V; neurologic diagnosis, and interview. 36 people were selected and randomly divided to three groups computer-based ABM, CBT, and control (12 cases in each group. Group A was trained in 8 sessions-each 15 minutes with the modified computerized Dot-Probe task for attentional bias modification. Group B was trained in 11 sessions-each 45 minutes with CBT program of Turk and Ferry for the chronic pain treatment. And Placebo program was administered for group C in which they completed 8 classic DotProbe sessions. In the end, for the posttest (T2 the participants were tested to identify the changes in biased attention to the emotional stimuli using classing Dot-Probe tasks, and BPI questionnaire to evaluate the changes of severity of pain. Data were analyzed using one-way variance analysis(ANOVA. On the BPI-SF, CBT more reduced the pain intensitythan computer-based ABM.In addition ABM treatment is more effective in reduction of attentional bias.Both of treatments are effective but CBT is more effective than ABM in reduction of pain intensity.
Jasper, Fabian; Witthöft, Michael
Cognitive-behavioral models of health anxiety stress the importance of selective attention not only towards internal but also towards external health threat related stimuli. Yet, little is known about the time course of this attentional bias. The current study investigates threat related attentional bias in participants with varying degrees of health anxiety. Attentional bias was assessed using a visual dot-probe task with health-threat and neutral pictures at two exposure durations, 175ms and 500ms. A baseline condition was added to the dot-probe task to dissociate indices of vigilance towards threat and difficulties to disengage from threat. Substantial positive correlations of health anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, and absorption with difficulties to disengage from threat were detected at 500ms exposure time. At an early stage (i.e., at 175ms exposure time), we found significant positive correlations of health anxiety and absorption with orientation towards threat. Results suggest a vigilance avoidance pattern of selective attention associated with pictorial illness related stimuli in health anxiety. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Werthmann, Jessica; Jansen, Anita; Roefs, Anne
Living in an 'obesogenic' environment poses a serious challenge for weight maintenance. However, many people are able to maintain a healthy weight indicating that not everybody is equally susceptible to the temptations of this food environment. The way in which someone perceives and reacts to food cues, that is, cognitive processes, could underlie differences in susceptibility. An attention bias for food could be such a cognitive factor that contributes to overeating. However, an attention bias for food has also been implicated with restrained eating and eating-disorder symptomatology. The primary aim of the present review was to determine whether an attention bias for food is specifically related to obesity while also reviewing evidence for attention biases in eating-disorder patients, restrained eaters and healthy-weight individuals. Another aim was to systematically examine how selective attention for food relates (causally) to eating behaviour. Current empirical evidence on attention bias for food within obese samples, eating-disorder patients, and, even though to a lesser extent, in restrained eaters is contradictory. However, present experimental studies provide relatively consistent evidence that an attention bias for food contributes to subsequent food intake. This review highlights the need to distinguish not only between different (temporal) attention bias components, but also to take different motivations (craving v. worry) and their impact on attentional processing into account. Overall, the current state of research suggests that biased attention could be one important cognitive mechanism by which the food environment tempts us into overeating.
Edalati, Hanie; Walsh, Zach; Kosson, David S
Numerous studies have identified differences in the identification of emotional displays between psychopaths and non-psychopaths; however, results have been equivocal regarding the nature of these differences. The present study investigated an alternative approach to examining the association between psychopathy and emotion processing by examining attentional bias to emotional faces; we used a modified dot-probe task to measure attentional bias toward emotional faces in comparison with neutral faces, among a sample of male jail inmates assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Results indicated a positive association between psychopathy and attention toward happy versus neutral faces, and that this association was attributable to Factor 1 of the psychopathy construct. © The Author(s) 2015.
Full Text Available Previous studies indicated that empty time intervals are better discriminated in the auditory than in the visual modality, and when delimited by signals delivered from the same (intramodal intervals rather than from different sensory modalities (intermodal intervals. The present electrophysiological study was conducted to determine the mechanisms which modulated the performances in inter- and intramodal conditions. Participants were asked to categorise as short or long empty intervals marked by auditory (A and/or visual (V signals (intramodal intervals: AA, VV; intermodal intervals: AV, VA. Behavioural data revealed that the performances were higher for the AA intervals than for the three other intervals and lower for inter- compared to intramodal intervals. Electrophysiological results indicated that the CNV amplitude recorded at fronto-central electrodes increased significantly until the end of the presentation of the long intervals in the AA conditions, while no significant change in the time course of this component was observed for the other three modalities of presentation. They also indicated that the N1 and P2 amplitudes recorded after the presentation of the signals which delimited the beginning of the intervals were higher for the inter- (AV/VA compared to the intramodal intervals (AA/VV. The time course of the CNV revealed that the high performances observed with AA intervals would be related to the effectiveness of the neural mechanisms underlying the processing of the ongoing interval. The greater amplitude of the N1 and P2 components during the intermodal intervals suggests that the weak performances observed in these conditions would be caused by an attentional bias induced by the cognitive load and the necessity to switch between modalities.
Dennis-Tiwary, Tracy A; Denefrio, Samantha; Gelber, Shari
Stress and anxiety during pregnancy are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, but there is an unmet need for low-barrier treatments that target stress and anxiety. One such treatment approach, attention bias modification training (ABMT), targets the anxiety-related threat bias, a disruption in attention to and neural processing of threat-related information. It remains unclear, however, whether reducing treatment barriers via mobile delivery of ABMT is effective and whether ABMT efficacy varies depending on individual differences in neural processing of threat. The present study tested whether mobile, gamified ABMT reduced prenatal threat bias, anxiety and stress, and whether ABMT efficacy varied with individual differences in neural responses to threat. Participants were 29 women in their 19th-29th week of pregnancy, randomized to four weeks of an ABMT or placebo training (PT) version of the mobile app using a double-blind design. Self-report of anxiety, depression, and stress were obtained; salivary cortisol was collected at home and in lab in response to stressors to index biological stress reactivity. Threat bias was measured using a computerized attention assay during which EEG was recorded to generate event-related potentials (ERPs) to threat cues. Results showed lower levels of lab cortisol following ABMT versus PT. Although the main effect of ABMT on subjective anxiety was not significant, the magnitude of cortisol reduction was correlated with lower levels of subjective anxiety and threat bias. Those receiving ABMT also reported less anxiety when showing smaller ERPs to threat (P1, P2) prior to training, but, conversely reported more anxiety when showing larger ERPs to threat. Use of gamified, mobile ABMT reduced biobehavioral indices of prenatal stress and anxiety, but effects on anxiety varied with individual differences in cortisol response and neurocognitive indices of early attention to threat. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights
Full Text Available Infants demonstrate an attentional bias toward fearful facial expressions that emerges in the first year of life. The current study investigated whether this attentional bias is influenced by experience with particular face types. Six-month-old (n = 33 and 9-month-old (n = 31 Caucasian infants' spontaneous preference for fearful facial expressions when expressed by own-race (Caucasian or other-race (East Asian faces was examined. Six-month-old infants showed a preference for fearful expressions when expressed by own-race faces, but not when expressed by other-race faces. Nine-month-old infants showed a preference for fearful expressions when expressed by both own-race faces and other-race faces. These results suggest that how infants deploy their attention to different emotional expressions is shaped by experience: Attentional biases might initially be restricted to faces with which infants have the most experience, and later be extended to faces with which they have less experience.
Full Text Available Strong bottom-up impulses and weak top-down control may interactively lead to overeating and, consequently, weight gain. In the present study, female university freshmen were tested at the start of the first semester and again at the start of the second semester. Attentional bias toward high- or low-calorie food-cues was assessed using a dot-probe paradigm and participants completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale . Attentional bias and motor impulsivity interactively predicted change in body mass index: motor impulsivity positively predicted weight gain only when participants showed an attentional bias toward high-calorie food-cues. Attentional and non-planning impulsivity were unrelated to weight change. Results support findings showing that weight gain is prospectively predicted by a combination of weak top-down control (i.e. high impulsivity and strong bottom-up impulses (i.e. high automatic motivational drive toward high-calorie food stimuli. They also highlight the fact that only specific aspects of impulsivity are relevant in eating and weight regulation.
Urech, Antoine; Krieger, Tobias; Chesham, Alvin; Mast, Fred W; Berger, Thomas
Attention bias modification (ABM) programs have been considered as a promising new approach for the treatment of various disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD). However, previous studies yielded ambiguous results regarding the efficacy of ABM in SAD. The present proof-of-concept study investigates the feasibility of a newly developed virtual reality (VR)-based dot-probe training paradigm. It was designed to facilitate attentional disengagement from threatening stimuli in socially anxious individuals (N = 15). The following outcomes were examined: (a) self-reports of enjoyment, motivation, flow, and presence; (b) attentional bias for social stimuli; and (c) social anxiety symptoms. Results showed that ABM training is associated with high scores in enjoyment, motivation, flow, and presence. Furthermore, significant improvements in terms of attention bias and social anxiety symptoms were observed from pre- to follow-up assessment. The study suggests that VR is a feasible and presumably a promising new medium for ABM trainings. Controlled studies will need to be carried out.
Full Text Available Attention bias modification (ABM programs have been considered as a promising new approach for the treatment of various disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD. However, previous studies yielded ambiguous results regarding the efficacy of ABM in SAD. The present proof-of-concept study investigates the feasibility of a newly developed virtual reality (VR-based dot-probe training paradigm. It was designed to facilitate attentional disengagement from threatening stimuli in socially anxious individuals (N=15. The following outcomes were examined: (a self-reports of enjoyment, motivation, flow and presence, (b attentional bias for social stimuli, and (c social anxiety symptoms. Results showed that ABM training is associated with high scores in enjoyment, motivation, flow and presence. Furthermore, significant improvements in terms of attention bias and social anxiety symptoms were observed from pre- to follow-up assessment. The study suggests that VR is a feasible and presumably a promising new medium for ABM trainings. Controlled studies will need to be carried out.
Dehghani, Mohsen; Mohammadi, Somayyeh; Sharpe, Louise; Khatibi, Ali
Expecting pain can be perceived as a threat may involve recruitment of cognitive strategies (such as attentional avoidance) which might help the person to reduce distress. The ecological validity of the paradigms aiming to study the attentional biases toward or away from threatening stimuli by manipulating the perception of threat in experimental settings has been questioned. Therefore, the current study aims to investigate the attentional bias toward or away from the threat when a confrontation with a real threatening and painful condition would be expected (i.e., dental treatment). One hundred and twenty-seven patients referred to three dentistry clinics for a dental treatment (experiment participants) and 30 individuals with no dental complaints (control participants) completed this study. Patients were randomly allocated to a high pain expectancy (HPE: n = 65) or a low pain expectancy (LPE: n = 62) expectancy condition. All participants completed questionnaires of distress, fear of pain, and fear of dental pain. Furthermore, they participated in a dot-probe task that assessed their attention to painful faces, dental pictures, and happy faces. In addition, before the treatment, participants reported their anticipated pain intensity and after the treatment, they reported the pain intensity that they perceived during the treatment using two separate visual analog scales. Patients in the HPE group showed a bias away from dental pictures compared to LPE and control group participants. HPE group patients also reported greater pain intensity during the treatment compared to LPE patients. Greater attentional bias away from dental pictures among HPE patients was associated with higher levels of fear of pain, fear of dental pain, and stress. Avoidance of highly salient threatening images can be seen as an unhelpful emotion-regulation strategy that individuals use to manage their fears. However, in this study, avoidance was associated with poorer outcomes.
Full Text Available Expecting pain can be perceived as a threat may involve recruitment of cognitive strategies (such as attentional avoidance which might help the person to reduce distress. The ecological validity of the paradigms aiming to study the attentional biases toward or away from threatening stimuli by manipulating the perception of threat in experimental settings has been questioned. Therefore, the current study aims to investigate the attentional bias toward or away from the threat when a confrontation with a real threatening and painful condition would be expected (i.e., dental treatment. One hundred and twenty-seven patients referred to three dentistry clinics for a dental treatment (experiment participants and 30 individuals with no dental complaints (control participants completed this study. Patients were randomly allocated to a high pain expectancy (HPE: n = 65 or a low pain expectancy (LPE: n = 62 expectancy condition. All participants completed questionnaires of distress, fear of pain, and fear of dental pain. Furthermore, they participated in a dot-probe task that assessed their attention to painful faces, dental pictures, and happy faces. In addition, before the treatment, participants reported their anticipated pain intensity and after the treatment, they reported the pain intensity that they perceived during the treatment using two separate visual analog scales. Patients in the HPE group showed a bias away from dental pictures compared to LPE and control group participants. HPE group patients also reported greater pain intensity during the treatment compared to LPE patients. Greater attentional bias away from dental pictures among HPE patients was associated with higher levels of fear of pain, fear of dental pain, and stress. Avoidance of highly salient threatening images can be seen as an unhelpful emotion-regulation strategy that individuals use to manage their fears. However, in this study, avoidance was associated with poorer outcomes.
Heitmann, J.; van Hemel-Ruiter, M.E.; Vermeulen, K.M.; Ostafin, B.D.; MacLeod, C.; Wiers, R.W.; DeFuentes-Merillas, L.; Fledderus, M.; Markus, W.; de Jong, P.J.
Background The automatic tendency to attend to and focus on substance-related cues in the environment (attentional bias), has been found to contribute to the persistence of addiction. Attentional bias modification (ABM) interventions might, therefore, contribute to treatment outcome and the
Michalka, Samantha W; Kong, Lingqiang; Rosen, Maya L; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Somers, David C
The frontal lobes control wide-ranging cognitive functions; however, functional subdivisions of human frontal cortex are only coarsely mapped. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals two distinct visual-biased attention regions in lateral frontal cortex, superior precentral sulcus (sPCS) and inferior precentral sulcus (iPCS), anatomically interdigitated with two auditory-biased attention regions, transverse gyrus intersecting precentral sulcus (tgPCS) and caudal inferior frontal sulcus (cIFS). Intrinsic functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that sPCS and iPCS fall within a broad visual-attention network, while tgPCS and cIFS fall within a broad auditory-attention network. Interestingly, we observe that spatial and temporal short-term memory (STM), respectively, recruit visual and auditory attention networks in the frontal lobe, independent of sensory modality. These findings not only demonstrate that both sensory modality and information domain influence frontal lobe functional organization, they also demonstrate that spatial processing co-localizes with visual processing and that temporal processing co-localizes with auditory processing in lateral frontal cortex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Michalka, Samantha W.; Kong, Lingqiang; Rosen, Maya L.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.; Somers, David C.
Summary The frontal lobes control wide-ranging cognitive functions; however, functional subdivisions of human frontal cortex are only coarsely mapped. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals two distinct visual-biased attention regions in lateral frontal cortex, superior precentral sulcus (sPCS) and inferior precentral sulcus (iPCS), anatomically interdigitated with two auditory-biased attention regions, transverse gyrus intersecting precentral sulcus (tgPCS) and caudal inferior frontal sulcus (cIFS). Intrinsic functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that sPCS and iPCS fall within a broad visual-attention network, while tgPCS and cIFS fall within a broad auditory-attention network. Interestingly, we observe that spatial and temporal short-term memory (STM), respectively, recruit visual and auditory attention networks in the frontal lobe, independent of sensory modality. These findings not only demonstrate that both sensory modality and information domain influence frontal lobe functional organization, they also demonstrate that spatial processing co-localizes with visual processing and that temporal processing co-localizes with auditory processing in lateral frontal cortex. PMID:26291168
Carretié, Luis; Kessel, Dominique; García-Rubio, María J; Giménez-Fernández, Tamara; Hoyos, Sandra; Hernández-Lorca, María
Exogenous attention is a set of mechanisms that allow us to detect and reorient toward salient events-such as appetitive or aversive-that appear out of the current focus of attention. The nature of these mechanisms, particularly the involvement of the parvocellular and magnocellular visual processing systems, was explored. Thirty-four participants performed a demanding digit categorization task while salient (spiders or S) and neutral (wheels or W) stimuli were presented as distractors under two figure-ground formats: heterochromatic/isoluminant (exclusively processed by the parvocellular system, Par trials) and isochromatic/heteroluminant (preferentially processed by the magnocellular system, Mag trials). This resulted in four conditions: SPar, SMag, WPar, and WMag. Behavioral (RTs and error rates in the task) and electrophysiological (ERPs) indices of exogenous attention were analyzed. Behavior showed greater attentional capture by SMag than by SPar distractors and enhanced modulation of SMag capture as fear of spiders reported by participants increased. ERPs reflected a sequence from magnocellular dominant (P1p, ≃120 msec) to both magnocellular and parvocellular processing (N2p and P2a, ≃200 msec). Importantly, amplitudes in one N2p subcomponent were greater to SMag than to SPar and WMag distractors, indicating greater magnocellular sensitivity to saliency. Taking together, results support a magnocellular bias in exogenous attention toward distractors of any nature during initial processing, a bias that remains in later stages when biologically salient distractors are present.
Van Rensburg, Kate Janse; Taylor, Adrian; Hodgson, Tim
Attentional bias towards smoking-related cues is increased during abstinence and can predict relapse after quitting. Exercise has been found to reduce cigarette cravings and desire to smoke during temporary abstinence and attenuate increased cravings in response to smoking cues. To assess the acute effects of exercise on attentional bias to smoking-related cues during temporary abstinence from smoking. In a randomized cross-over design, on separate days regular smokers (n = 20) undertook 15 minutes of exercise (moderate intensity stationary cycling) or passive seating following 15 hours of nicotine abstinence. Attentional bias was measured at baseline and post-treatment. The percentage of dwell time and direction of initial fixation was assessed during the passive viewing of a series of paired smoking and neutral images using an Eyelink II eye-tracking system. Self-reported desire to smoke was recorded at baseline, mid- and post-treatment and post-eye-tracking task. There was a significant condition x time interaction for desire to smoke, F((1,18)) = 10.67, P = 0.004, eta(2) = 0.36, with significantly lower desire to smoke at mid- and post-treatment following the exercise condition. The percentage of dwell time and direction of initial fixations towards smoking images were also reduced significantly following the exercise condition compared with the passive control. Findings support previous research that acute exercise reduces desire to smoke. This is the first study to show that exercise appears to also influence the salience and attentional biases towards cigarettes.
Reports an error in "Unreliability as a threat to understanding psychopathology: The cautionary tale of attentional bias" by Thomas L. Rodebaugh, Rachel B. Scullin, Julia K. Langer, David J. Dixon, Jonathan D. Huppert, Amit Bernstein, Ariel Zvielli and Eric J. Lenze ( Journal of Abnormal Psychology , 2016[Aug], Vol 125, 840-851). There was an error in the Author Note concerning the support of the MacBrain Face Stimulus Set. The correct statement is provided. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-30117-001.) The use of unreliable measures constitutes a threat to our understanding of psychopathology, because advancement of science using both behavioral and biologically oriented measures can only be certain if such measurements are reliable. Two pillars of the National Institute of Mental Health's portfolio-the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative for psychopathology and the target engagement initiative in clinical trials-cannot succeed without measures that possess the high reliability necessary for tests involving mediation and selection based on individual differences. We focus on the historical lack of reliability of attentional bias measures as an illustration of how reliability can pose a threat to our understanding. Our own data replicate previous findings of poor reliability for traditionally used scores, which suggests a serious problem with the ability to test theories regarding attentional bias. This lack of reliability may also suggest problems with the assumption (in both theory and the formula for the scores) that attentional bias is consistent and stable across time. In contrast, measures accounting for attention as a dynamic process in time show good reliability in our data. The field is sorely in need of research reporting findings and reliability for attentional bias scores using multiple methods, including those focusing on dynamic processes over time. We urge researchers to test and report reliability of
Morales, Santiago; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly E; Buss, Kristin A
Fearful temperament, mostly studied as behavioral inhibition (BI), has been extensively associated with social withdrawal in childhood and the later emergence of anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety disorder (SAD). Recent studies have characterized a distinct type of fearful temperament marked by high levels of fear in low threat situations - labeled dysregulated fear. Dysregulated fear has been related to SAD over and above risks associated with BI. However, the mechanism by which dysregulated fear is related to SAD has not been studied. Cognitive mechanisms, such as attentional bias towards threat, may be a possible conduit. We examined differences in attentional bias towards threat in six-year-olds who displayed a pattern of dysregulated fear at age two (N = 23) compared with children who did not display dysregulated fear (N = 33). Moreover, we examined the concurrent relation between attentional bias and social withdrawal. Results indicated that children characterized by dysregulated fear showed a significant bias away from threat, and that this bias was significantly different from the children without dysregulated fear, who showed no significant bias. Moreover, attentional bias towards threat was positively related to social withdrawal only for the dysregulated fear group. These results are discussed in consideration of the existing knowledge of attentional bias to threat in the developmental and pediatric anxiety literatures, as well as recent studies that find important heterogeneity in attentional bias.
Full Text Available Aim: The purpose of this study was to compare the attention bias about tempting incentives related to opium materials in treated, addicted and normal people. Duration of consumption and treating were also considered. Method: In this causal-comparative study population was all addicted people who were referred to the rehabilitation offices, addiction treatment clinic, rebirthing centers and Narcotics Anonymous of East Azerbaijan. This study consisted of five groups of men, including addicted to opium materials which are divided into two groups namely: long consumption period and people with short consumption period, also, treated people including long term treated and short term treated, and a normal control group. Altogether, 103 selected people were studied. Sample groups were similar in terms of age, education, and sex. For measuring attention bias towards tempting stimuli related opiates, a words recognition test was used. This test included three subtests and one recognition test. The recognition scores for the three categories of words were measured. Results: The findings indicated that there was a difference in attention against opium material incentives between control group and the mild and severe consumers groups. Also there were significant differences between treated people with the short time distance and control group, and control group had less temptation and biases in comparison to the other groups. Finally, those who have mild consumption are threatened more in comparison with the control group. Conclusion: The findings have applied implications.
Schepers, Robbie; Markus, C Rob
Stress is often found to increase the preference and intake of high caloric foods. This effect is known as emotional eating and is influenced by cognitive as well as biological stress vulnerabilities. An S-allele of the 5-HTTLPR gene has been linked to decreased (brain) serotonin efficiency, leading to decreased stress resilience and increased risks for negative affect and eating related disturbances. Recently it has been proposed that a cognitive ruminative thinking style can further exacerbate the effect of this gene by prolonging the already increased stress response, thereby potentially increasing the risk of compensating by overeating high palatable foods. This study was aimed at investigating whether there is an increased risk for emotional eating in high ruminative S/S-allele carriers reflected by an increased attention bias for high caloric foods during stress. From a large (N=827) DNA database, participants (N=100) were selected based on genotype (S/S or L/L) and ruminative thinking style and performed an eye-tracking visual food-picture probe task before and after acute stress exposure. A significant Genotype x Rumination x Stress-interaction was found on attention bias for savory food; indicating that a stress-induced attention bias for specifically high-caloric foods is moderated by a gene x cognitive risk factor. Both a genetic (5-HTTLPR) and cognitive (ruminative thinking) stress vulnerability may mutually increase the risk for stress-related abnormal eating patterns. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kätsyri, Jari; Kinnunen, Teemu; Kusumoto, Kenta; Oittinen, Pirkko; Ravaja, Niklas
Television viewers' attention is increasingly more often divided between television and "second screens", for example when viewing television broadcasts and following their related social media discussion on a tablet computer. The attentional costs of such multitasking may vary depending on the ebb and flow of the social media channel, such as its emotional contents. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that negative social media messages would draw more attention than similar positive messages. Specifically, news broadcasts were presented in isolation and with simultaneous positive or negative Twitter messages on a tablet to 38 participants in a controlled experiment. Recognition memory, gaze tracking, cardiac responses, and self-reports were used as attentional indices. The presence of any tweets on the tablet decreased attention to the news broadcasts. As expected, negative tweets drew longer viewing times and elicited more attention to themselves than positive tweets. Negative tweets did not, however, decrease attention to the news broadcasts. Taken together, the present results demonstrate a negativity bias exists for social media messages in media multitasking; however, this effect does not amplify the overall detrimental effects of media multitasking.
Full Text Available Television viewers' attention is increasingly more often divided between television and "second screens", for example when viewing television broadcasts and following their related social media discussion on a tablet computer. The attentional costs of such multitasking may vary depending on the ebb and flow of the social media channel, such as its emotional contents. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that negative social media messages would draw more attention than similar positive messages. Specifically, news broadcasts were presented in isolation and with simultaneous positive or negative Twitter messages on a tablet to 38 participants in a controlled experiment. Recognition memory, gaze tracking, cardiac responses, and self-reports were used as attentional indices. The presence of any tweets on the tablet decreased attention to the news broadcasts. As expected, negative tweets drew longer viewing times and elicited more attention to themselves than positive tweets. Negative tweets did not, however, decrease attention to the news broadcasts. Taken together, the present results demonstrate a negativity bias exists for social media messages in media multitasking; however, this effect does not amplify the overall detrimental effects of media multitasking.
Werthmann, Jessica; Renner, Fritz; Roefs, Anne; Huibers, Marcus J H; Plumanns, Lana; Krott, Nora; Jansen, Anita
Emotional eating is associated with overeating and the development of obesity. Yet, empirical evidence for individual (trait) differences in emotional eating and cognitive mechanisms that contribute to eating during sad mood remain equivocal. The aim of this study was to test if attention bias for food moderates the effect of self-reported emotional eating during sad mood (vs neutral mood) on actual food intake. It was expected that emotional eating is predictive of elevated attention for food and higher food intake after an experimentally induced sad mood and that attentional maintenance on food predicts food intake during a sad versus a neutral mood. Participants (N = 85) were randomly assigned to one of the two experimental mood induction conditions (sad/neutral). Attentional biases for high caloric foods were measured by eye tracking during a visual probe task with pictorial food and neutral stimuli. Self-reported emotional eating was assessed with the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ) and ad libitum food intake was tested by a disguised food offer. Hierarchical multivariate regression modeling showed that self-reported emotional eating did not account for changes in attention allocation for food or food intake in either condition. Yet, attention maintenance on food cues was significantly related to increased intake specifically in the neutral condition, but not in the sad mood condition. The current findings show that self-reported emotional eating (based on the DEBQ) might not validly predict who overeats when sad, at least not in a laboratory setting with healthy women. Results further suggest that attention maintenance on food relates to eating motivation when in a neutral affective state, and might therefore be a cognitive mechanism contributing to increased food intake in general, but maybe not during sad mood. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tan, Amanda W Y; Hemelrijk, Charlotte K; Malaivijitnond, Suchinda; Gumert, Michael D
Examining how animals direct social learning during skill acquisition under natural conditions, generates data for examining hypotheses regarding how transmission biases influence cultural change in animal populations. We studied a population of macaques on Koram Island, Thailand, and examined model-based biases during interactions by unskilled individuals with tool-using group members. We first compared the prevalence of interactions (watching, obtaining food, object exploration) and proximity to tool users during interactions, in developing individuals (infants, juveniles) versus mature non-learners (adolescents, adults), to provide evidence that developing individuals are actively seeking information about tool use from social partners. All infants and juveniles, but only 49% of mature individuals carried out interacted with tool users. Macaques predominantly obtained food by scrounging or stealing, suggesting maximizing scrounging opportunities motivates interactions with tool users. However, while interactions by adults was limited to obtaining food, young macaques and particularly infants also watched tool users and explored objects, indicating additional interest in tool use itself. We then ran matrix correlations to identify interaction biases, and what attributes of tool users influenced these. Biases correlated with social affiliation, but macaques also preferentially targeted tool users that potentially increase scrounging and learning opportunities. Results suggest that social structure may constrain social learning, but the motivation to bias interactions towards tool users to maximize feeding opportunities may also socially modulate learning by facilitating close proximity to better tool users, and further interest in tool-use actions and materials, especially during development.
Liu, Yanling; Lan, Haiying; Teng, Zhaojun; Guo, Cheng; Yao, Dezhong
Previous research has been inconsistent on whether violent video games exert positive and/or negative effects on cognition. In particular, attentional bias in facial affect processing after violent video game exposure continues to be controversial. The aim of the present study was to investigate attentional bias in facial recognition after short term exposure to violent video games and to characterize the neural correlates of this effect. In order to accomplish this, participants were exposed to either neutral or violent video games for 25 min and then event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during two emotional search tasks. The first search task assessed attentional facilitation, in which participants were required to identify an emotional face from a crowd of neutral faces. In contrast, the second task measured disengagement, in which participants were required to identify a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces. Our results found a significant presence of the ERP component, N2pc, during the facilitation task; however, no differences were observed between the two video game groups. This finding does not support a link between attentional facilitation and violent video game exposure. Comparatively, during the disengagement task, N2pc responses were not observed when participants viewed happy faces following violent video game exposure; however, a weak N2pc response was observed after neutral video game exposure. These results provided only inconsistent support for the disengagement hypothesis, suggesting that participants found it difficult to separate a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces.
Full Text Available Previous research has been inconsistent on whether violent video games exert positive and/or negative effects on cognition. In particular, attentional bias in facial affect processing after violent video game exposure continues to be controversial. The aim of the present study was to investigate attentional bias in facial recognition after short term exposure to violent video games and to characterize the neural correlates of this effect. In order to accomplish this, participants were exposed to either neutral or violent video games for 25 min and then event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded during two emotional search tasks. The first search task assessed attentional facilitation, in which participants were required to identify an emotional face from a crowd of neutral faces. In contrast, the second task measured disengagement, in which participants were required to identify a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces. Our results found a significant presence of the ERP component, N2pc, during the facilitation task; however, no differences were observed between the two video game groups. This finding does not support a link between attentional facilitation and violent video game exposure. Comparatively, during the disengagement task, N2pc responses were not observed when participants viewed happy faces following violent video game exposure; however, a weak N2pc response was observed after neutral video game exposure. These results provided only inconsistent support for the disengagement hypothesis, suggesting that participants found it difficult to separate a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces.
Folkvord, Frans; Anschütz, Doeschka J; Wiers, Reinout W; Buijzen, Moniek
This study examined the potential moderating role of attentional bias (i.e., gaze duration, number of fixations, latency of initial fixation) in the effect of advergames promoting energy-dense snacks on children's snack intake. A randomized between-subject design was conducted with 92 children who played an advergame that promoted either energy-dense snacks or nonfood products. Eye movements and reaction times to food and nonfood cues were recorded to assess attentional bias during playtime using eye-tracking methods. Children could eat freely after playing the game. The results showed that playing an advergame containing food cues increased total intake. Furthermore, children with a higher gaze duration for the food cues ate more of the advertised snacks. In addition, children with a faster latency of initial fixation to the food cues ate more in total and ate more of the advertised snacks. The number of fixations on the food cues did not increase actual snack intake. Food advertisements are designed to grab attention, and this study shows that the extent to which a child's attention is directed to a food cue increases the effect of the advertisement. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Liu, Yanling; Lan, Haiying; Teng, Zhaojun; Guo, Cheng; Yao, Dezhong
Previous research has been inconsistent on whether violent video games exert positive and/or negative effects on cognition. In particular, attentional bias in facial affect processing after violent video game exposure continues to be controversial. The aim of the present study was to investigate attentional bias in facial recognition after short term exposure to violent video games and to characterize the neural correlates of this effect. In order to accomplish this, participants were exposed to either neutral or violent video games for 25 min and then event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during two emotional search tasks. The first search task assessed attentional facilitation, in which participants were required to identify an emotional face from a crowd of neutral faces. In contrast, the second task measured disengagement, in which participants were required to identify a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces. Our results found a significant presence of the ERP component, N2pc, during the facilitation task; however, no differences were observed between the two video game groups. This finding does not support a link between attentional facilitation and violent video game exposure. Comparatively, during the disengagement task, N2pc responses were not observed when participants viewed happy faces following violent video game exposure; however, a weak N2pc response was observed after neutral video game exposure. These results provided only inconsistent support for the disengagement hypothesis, suggesting that participants found it difficult to separate a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces. PMID:28249033
Jeromin, Franziska; Rief, Winfrief; Barke, Antonia
Background and aims People with substance abuse and pathological gamblers show an attentional bias. In a laboratory setting, we found an attentional bias using an addiction Stroop in adults with Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD). We aimed at investigating this effect using two web-based experiments. Methods Study 1: Gamers with IGD, casual gamers, and non-gamers (N = 81, 28.1 ± 7.8 years) completed a web-based addiction Stroop with a fully randomized word order. They saw computer-related and neutral words in four colors and indicated the word color via keypress. Study 2: Gamers with IGD, casual gamers, and non-gamers (N = 87, 23.4 ± 5.1 years) completed a web-based addiction Stroop and a classical Stroop (incongruent color and neutral words), which both had a block design. We expected that in both studies, only the gamers with IGD would react more slowly to computer-related words in the addiction Stroop. All groups were expected to react more slowly to incongruent color words in the classical Stroop. Results In neither study did the gamers with IGD differ in their reaction times to computer-related words compared to neutral words. In Study 2, all groups reacted more slowly to incongruent color words than to neutral words confirming the validity of the online reaction time assessment. Discussion Gamers with IGD did not show a significant attentional bias. IGD may differ from substance abuse and pathological gambling in this respect; alternatively experimenting on the Internet may have introduced error variance that made it harder to detect a bias.
Macatee, Richard J; Albanese, Brian J; Schmidt, Norman B; Cougle, Jesse R
Cognitive theories of anxiety psychopathology cite biased attention towards threat as a central vulnerability and maintaining factor. However, many studies have found threat bias indices to have poor reliability and have failed to observe the theorized relationship between threat bias and anxiety symptoms; this may be due to the non-unitary nature of threat bias and the influence of state-level variables on its expression. Accumulating data suggests that state anxious mood is important for the robust expression of threat bias and for relations to emerge between threat bias and symptoms, though this possibility has not been experimentally tested. Eye-tracking was used to assess multiple forms of threat bias (i.e., early vigilance, sustained attention, facilitated engagement, delayed disengagement) thought to be related to anxiety. A non-clinical sample (N = 165) was recruited to test the hypothesis that biased attention towards threat, but not dysphoric or positive emotional stimuli, during an anxious mood induction, but not at a pre-stress baseline, would prospectively predict greater worry symptoms on days in which more naturalistic stressors occurred. Results revealed the hypothesized moderation effect for sustained attention towards threat after the mood induction but not at baseline, though sustained attention towards dysphoric stimuli also moderated the effect of stressors on worry. Worry-relevant sustained attention towards negative emotional stimuli may be a partially mood-context dependent phenomenon. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Colzato, Lorenza S; van der Wel, Pauline; Sellaro, Roberta; Hommel, Bernhard
Recent studies show that a single bout of meditation can impact information processing. We were interested to see whether this impact extends to attentional focusing and the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults underwent brief single bouts of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing a global-local task. While the size of the global-precedence effect (reflecting attentional focusing) was unaffected by type of meditation, the congruency effect (indicating the failure to suppress task-irrelevant information) was considerably larger after OMM than after FAM. Our findings suggest that engaging in particular kinds of meditation creates particular cognitive-control states that bias the individual processing style toward either goal-persistence or cognitive flexibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Abstract Through a content analysis of 8,800 news items and six months of front pages of three Brazilian newspapers, all dealing with corruption and political transgression, the present article documents the remarkable bias of media coverage toward corruption scandals. Said bias is examined as an informational phenomenon, arising from key systemic and commercial factors of Brazil’s news media: an information cascade of news on corruption formed, destabilizing the governing coalition and legitimizing the impeachment process of Dilma Rousseff. As this process gained momentum, questions of accountability were disregarded by the media, with harmful effects for democracy.
Klein, Anke M; van Niekerk, Rianne; Ten Brink, Giovanni; Rapee, Ronald M; Hudson, Jennifer L; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike
Cognitive theories suggest that cognitive biases may be related and together influence the anxiety response. However, little is known about the interrelations of cognitive bias tasks and whether they allow for an improved prediction of fear-related behavior in addition to self-reports. This study simultaneously addressed several types of cognitive biases in children, to investigate attention bias, interpretation bias, memory bias and fear-related associations, their interrelations and the prediction of behavior. Eighty-one children varying in their levels of spider fear completed the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children and performed two Emotional Stroop tasks, a Free Recall task, an interpretation task including size and distance indication, an Affective Priming Task, and a Behavioral Assessment Test. We found an attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations, but no evidence for a memory bias. The biases showed little overlap. Attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations predicted unique variance in avoidance of spiders. Interpretation bias and fear-related associations remained significant predictors, even when self-reported fear was included as a predictor. Children were not seeking help for their spider fear and were not tested on clinical levels of spider phobia. This is the first study to find evidence that different cognitive biases each predict unique variance in avoidance behavior. Furthermore, it is also the first study in which we found evidence for a relation between fear of spiders and size and distance indication. We showed that this bias is distinct from other cognitive biases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
van Hooff, Johanna C; Crawford, Helen; van Vugt, Mark
To examine the time course and automaticity of our attention bias towards attractive opposite sex faces, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 20 males and 20 females while they carried out a covert orienting task. Faces that were high, low or average in attractiveness, were presented in focus of attention, but were unrelated to task goals. Across the entire sample larger P2 amplitudes were found in response to both attractive and unattractive opposite sex faces, presumably reflecting early implicit selective attention to distinctive faces. In male but not female participants this was followed by an increased late slow wave for the attractive faces, signifying heightened processing linked to motivated attention. This latter finding is consistent with sexual strategy theory, which suggests that men and women have evolved to pursue different mating strategies with men being more attentive to cues such as facial beauty. In general, our ERP results suggest that, in addition to threat-related stimuli, other evolutionary-relevant information is also prioritized by our attention systems.
Gulley, Lauren D.; Oppenheimer, Caroline W.; Hankin, Benjamin L.
Theories of affective learning suggest that early experiences contribute to emotional disorders by influencing the development of processing biases for negative emotional stimuli. Although studies have shown that physically abused children preferentially attend to angry faces, it is unclear whether youth exposed to more typical aspects of negative…
Shimi, Andria; Scerif, Gaia
What cognitive processes influence how well we maintain information in visual short-term memory (VSTM)? We used a developmentally informed design to delve into the interplay of top-down spatial biases with the nature of the internal memory codes, motivated by documented changes for both factors over childhood. Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and…
Michael, George Andrew; Bacon, Elisabeth; Offerlin-Meyer, Isabelle
There is a general consensus that benzodiazepines affect attentional processes, yet only few studies have tried to investigate these impairments in detail. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of a single dose of Lorazepam on performance in a target cancellation task with important time constraints. We measured correct target detections and correct distractor rejections, misses and false positives. The results show that Lorazepam produces multiple kinds of shifts in performance, which suggests that it impairs multipLe processes: (a) the evolution of performance over time was not the same between the placebo and the Lorazepam groups, with the Lorazepam affecting performance quite early after the beginning of the test. This is suggestive of a depletion of attentional resources during sequential attentional processing; (b) Lorazepam affected differently target and distractor processing, with target detection being the most impaired; (c) misses were more frequent under Lorazepam than under placebo, but no such difference was observed as far as false positives were concerned. Signal detection analyses showed that Lorazepam (d) decreased perceptual discrimination, and (e) reliably increased response bias. Our results bring new insights on the multiple effects of Lorazepam on selective attention which, when combined, may have deleterious effects on human performance.
Naudts, Kris H; Azevedo, Ruben T; David, Anthony S; van Heeringen, Kees; Gibbs, Ayana A
Individual differences in emotional processing are likely to contribute to vulnerability and resilience to emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Genetic variation is known to contribute to these differences but they remain incompletely understood. The serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and α2B-adrenergic autoreceptor (ADRA2B) insertion/deletion polymorphisms impact on two separate but interacting monaminergic signalling mechanisms that have been implicated in both emotional processing and emotional disorders. Recent studies suggest that the 5-HTTLPR s allele is associated with a negative attentional bias and an increased risk of emotional disorders. However, such complex behavioural traits are likely to exhibit polygenicity, including epistasis. This study examined the contribution of the 5-HTTLPR and ADRA2B insertion/deletion polymorphisms to attentional biases for aversive information in 94 healthy male volunteers and found evidence of a significant epistatic effect (pbias for aversive information was attenuated by possession of the ADRA2B deletion variant whereas in the absence of the s allele, the bias was enhanced. These data identify a cognitive mechanism linking genotype-dependent serotonergic and noradrenergic signalling that is likely to have implications for the development of cognitive markers for depression/anxiety as well as therapeutic drug effects and personalized approaches to treatment.
Boettcher, Johanna; Leek, Linda; Matson, Lisa; Holmes, Emily A.; Browning, Michael; MacLeod, Colin; Andersson, Gerhard; Carlbring, Per
Biases in attention processes are thought to play a crucial role in the aetiology and maintenance of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). The goal of the present study was to examine the efficacy of a programme intended to train attention towards positive cues and a programme intended to train attention towards negative cues. In a randomised, controlled, double-blind design, the impact of these two training conditions on both selective attention and social anxiety were compared to that of a control training condition. A modified dot probe task was used, and delivered via the internet. A total of 129 individuals, diagnosed with SAD, were randomly assigned to one of these three conditions and took part in a 14-day programme with daily training/control sessions. Participants in all three groups did not on average display an attentional bias prior to the training. Critically, results on change in attention bias implied that significantly differential change in selective attention to threat was not detected in the three conditions. However, symptoms of social anxiety reduced significantly from pre- to follow-up-assessment in all three conditions (dwithin = 0.63–1.24), with the procedure intended to train attention towards threat cues producing, relative to the control condition, a significantly greater reduction of social fears. There were no significant differences in social anxiety outcome between the training condition intended to induce attentional bias towards positive cues and the control condition. To our knowledge, this is the first RCT where a condition intended to induce attention bias to negative cues yielded greater emotional benefits than a control condition. Intriguingly, changes in symptoms are unlikely to be by the mechanism of change in attention processes since there was no change detected in bias per se. Implications of this finding for future research on attention bias modification in social anxiety are discussed. Trial Registration Clinical
Boettcher, Johanna; Leek, Linda; Matson, Lisa; Holmes, Emily A; Browning, Michael; MacLeod, Colin; Andersson, Gerhard; Carlbring, Per
Biases in attention processes are thought to play a crucial role in the aetiology and maintenance of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). The goal of the present study was to examine the efficacy of a programme intended to train attention towards positive cues and a programme intended to train attention towards negative cues. In a randomised, controlled, double-blind design, the impact of these two training conditions on both selective attention and social anxiety were compared to that of a control training condition. A modified dot probe task was used, and delivered via the internet. A total of 129 individuals, diagnosed with SAD, were randomly assigned to one of these three conditions and took part in a 14-day programme with daily training/control sessions. Participants in all three groups did not on average display an attentional bias prior to the training. Critically, results on change in attention bias implied that significantly differential change in selective attention to threat was not detected in the three conditions. However, symptoms of social anxiety reduced significantly from pre- to follow-up-assessment in all three conditions (dwithin = 0.63-1.24), with the procedure intended to train attention towards threat cues producing, relative to the control condition, a significantly greater reduction of social fears. There were no significant differences in social anxiety outcome between the training condition intended to induce attentional bias towards positive cues and the control condition. To our knowledge, this is the first RCT where a condition intended to induce attention bias to negative cues yielded greater emotional benefits than a control condition. Intriguingly, changes in symptoms are unlikely to be by the mechanism of change in attention processes since there was no change detected in bias per se. Implications of this finding for future research on attention bias modification in social anxiety are discussed. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01463137.
Full Text Available Biases in attention processes are thought to play a crucial role in the aetiology and maintenance of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD. The goal of the present study was to examine the efficacy of a programme intended to train attention towards positive cues and a programme intended to train attention towards negative cues. In a randomised, controlled, double-blind design, the impact of these two training conditions on both selective attention and social anxiety were compared to that of a control training condition. A modified dot probe task was used, and delivered via the internet. A total of 129 individuals, diagnosed with SAD, were randomly assigned to one of these three conditions and took part in a 14-day programme with daily training/control sessions. Participants in all three groups did not on average display an attentional bias prior to the training. Critically, results on change in attention bias implied that significantly differential change in selective attention to threat was not detected in the three conditions. However, symptoms of social anxiety reduced significantly from pre- to follow-up-assessment in all three conditions (dwithin = 0.63-1.24, with the procedure intended to train attention towards threat cues producing, relative to the control condition, a significantly greater reduction of social fears. There were no significant differences in social anxiety outcome between the training condition intended to induce attentional bias towards positive cues and the control condition. To our knowledge, this is the first RCT where a condition intended to induce attention bias to negative cues yielded greater emotional benefits than a control condition. Intriguingly, changes in symptoms are unlikely to be by the mechanism of change in attention processes since there was no change detected in bias per se. Implications of this finding for future research on attention bias modification in social anxiety are discussed
Knight, Marisa; Seymour, Travis L; Gaunt, Joshua T; Baker, Christopher; Nesmith, Kathryn; Mather, Mara
Previous findings reveal that older adults favor positive over negative stimuli in both memory and attention (for a review, see Mather & Carstensen, 2005). This study used eye tracking to investigate the role of cognitive control in older adults' selective visual attention. Younger and older adults viewed emotional-neutral and emotional-emotional pairs of faces and pictures while their gaze patterns were recorded under full or divided attention conditions. Replicating previous eye-tracking findings, older adults allocated less of their visual attention to negative stimuli in negative-neutral stimulus pairings in the full attention condition than younger adults did. However, as predicted by a cognitive-control-based account of the positivity effect in older adults' information processing tendencies (Mather & Knight, 2005), older adults' tendency to avoid negative stimuli was reversed in the divided attention condition. Compared with younger adults, older adults' limited attentional resources were more likely to be drawn to negative stimuli when they were distracted. These findings indicate that emotional goals can have unintended consequences when cognitive control mechanisms are not fully available.
Boendermaker, W. J.; Sanchez Maceiras, S.; Boffo, M.; Wiers, R. W.
BACKGROUND: Young adults often experiment with heavy use of alcohol, which poses severe health risks and increases the chance of developing addiction problems. In clinical patients, cognitive retraining of automatic appetitive processes, such as selective attention toward alcohol (known as
Finke, Kathrin; Myers, Nicholas; Bublak, Peter; Sorg, Christian
The common view of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is that of an age-related memory disorder, i.e. declarative memory deficits are the first signs of the disease and associated with progressive brain changes in the medial temporal lobes and the default mode network. However, two findings challenge this view. First, new model-based tools of attention research have revealed that impaired selective attention accompanies memory deficits from early pre-dementia AD stages on. Second, very early distribute...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Computerized cognitive bias modification for social anxiety disorder has in several well conducted trials shown great promise with as many as 72% no longer fulfilling diagnostic criteria after a 4 week training program. To test if the same program can be transferred from a clinical setting to an internet delivered home based treatment the authors conducted a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Methods After a diagnostic interview 79 participants were randomized to one of two attention training programs using a probe detection task. In the active condition the participant was trained to direct attention away from threat, whereas in the placebo condition the probe appeared with equal frequency in the position of the threatening and neutral faces. Results Results were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis, including all randomized participants. Immediate and 4-month follow-up results revealed a significant time effect on all measured dimensions (social anxiety scales, general anxiety and depression levels, quality of life. However, there were no time x group interactions. The lack of differences in the two groups was also mirrored by the infinitesimal between group effect size both at post test and at 4-month follow-up. Conclusion We conclude that computerized attention bias modification may need to be altered before dissemination for the Internet. Trial registration ISRCTN01715124
Freijy, Tanya; Mullan, Barbara; Sharpe, Louise
The primary aim of this study was to extend previous research on food-related attentional biases by examining biases towards pictorial versus word stimuli, and foods of high versus low calorific value. It was expected that participants would demonstrate greater biases to pictures over words, and to high-calorie over low-calorie foods. A secondary aim was to examine associations between BMI, dietary restraint, external eating and attentional biases. It was expected that high scores on these individual difference variables would be associated with a bias towards high-calorie stimuli. Undergraduates (N = 99) completed a dot probe task including matched word and pictorial food stimuli in a controlled setting. Questionnaires assessing eating behaviour were administered, and height and weight were measured. Contrary to predictions, there were no main effects for stimuli type (pictures vs words) or calorific value (high vs low). There was, however, a significant interaction effect suggesting a bias towards high-calorie pictures, but away from high-calorie words; and a bias towards low-calorie words, but away from low-calorie pictures. No associations between attentional bias and any of the individual difference variables were found. The presence of a stimulus type by calorific value interaction demonstrates the importance of stimuli type in the dot probe task, and may help to explain inconsistencies in prior research. Further research is needed to clarify associations between attentional bias and BMI, restraint, and external eating. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dennis, Tracy A; O'Toole, Laura
Interest in the use of mobile technology to deliver mental health services has grown in light of the economic and practical barriers to treatment. Yet, research on alternative delivery strategies that are more affordable, accessible, and engaging is in its infancy. Attention bias modification training (ABMT), has potential to reduce treatment barriers as a mobile intervention for stress and anxiety, but the degree to which ABMT can be embedded in a mobile gaming format and its potential for transfer of benefits is unknown. The present study examined effects of a gamified ABMT mobile application in highly trait anxious participants ( N = 78). A single session of the active compared to placebo training reduced subjective anxiety and observed stress reactivity. Critically, the long (45 minutes) but not short (25 minutes) active training condition reduced the core cognitive process implicated in ABMT (threat bias) as measured by an untrained, gold-standard protocol.
Milosavljevic, Bosiljka; Shephard, Elizabeth; Happé, Francesca G.; Johnson, Mark H.; Charman, Tony
Anxiety and threat bias were examined in 6-8-year-old children at familial-risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and low-risk (LR, n = 37) controls. The high-risk (HR) group was divided into those who met diagnostic criteria for ASD (HR-ASD, n = 15) and those who did not (HR-non ASD, n = 24). The HR-ASD group had highest levels of…
Brian A. Anderson
Full Text Available Evidence for impaired attention to social stimuli in autism has been mixed. The role of social feedback in shaping attention to other, non-social stimuli that are predictive of such feedback has not been examined in the context of autism. In the present study, participants searched for a color-defined target during a training phase, with the color of the target predicting the emotional reaction of a face that appeared after each trial. Then, participants performed visual search for a shape-defined target while trying to ignore the color of stimuli. On a subset of trials, one of the non-targets was rendered in the color of a former target from training. Autistic traits were measured for each participant using the Autism Quotient (AQ. Our findings replicate robust attentional capture by stimuli learned to predict valenced social feedback. There was no evidence that autistic traits are associated with blunted attention to predictors of social outcomes. Consistent with an emerging body of literature, our findings cast doubt on strong versions of the claim that autistic traits can be explained by a blunted influence of social information on the attention system. We extend these findings to non-social stimuli that predict socially relevant information.
Allen, Thomas J.; Sherman, Jeffrey W.; Conrey, Frederica R.; Stroessner, Steven J.
In two experiments, we investigated the relationships among stereotype strength, processing capacity, and the allocation of attention to stereotype-consistent versus stereotype-inconsistent information describing a target person. The results of both experiments showed that, with full capacity, greater stereotype strength was associated with increased attention toward stereotype-consistent versus stereotype-inconsistent information. However, when capacity was diminished, greater stereotype strength was associated with increased attention toward inconsistent versus consistent information. Thus, strong stereotypes may act as self-confirming filters when processing capacity is plentiful, but as efficient information gathering devices that maximize the acquisition of novel (disconfirming) information when capacity is depleted. Implications for models of stereotyping and stereotype change are discussed. PMID:20161043
Dye, Matthew W G; Seymour, Jenessa L; Hauser, Peter C
Deafness results in cross-modal plasticity, whereby visual functions are altered as a consequence of a lack of hearing. Here, we present a reanalysis of data originally reported by Dye et al. (PLoS One 4(5):e5640, 2009) with the aim of testing additional hypotheses concerning the spatial redistribution of visual attention due to deafness and the use of a visuogestural language (American Sign Language). By looking at the spatial distribution of errors made by deaf and hearing participants performing a visuospatial selective attention task, we sought to determine whether there was evidence for (1) a shift in the hemispheric lateralization of visual selective function as a result of deafness, and (2) a shift toward attending to the inferior visual field in users of a signed language. While no evidence was found for or against a shift in lateralization of visual selective attention as a result of deafness, a shift in the allocation of attention from the superior toward the inferior visual field was inferred in native signers of American Sign Language, possibly reflecting an adaptation to the perceptual demands imposed by a visuogestural language.
Payne, Lisa; Rogers, Chad S; Wingfield, Arthur; Sekuler, Robert
Auditory selective attention makes it possible to pick out one speech stream that is embedded in a multispeaker environment. We adapted a cued dichotic listening task to examine suppression of a speech stream lateralized to the nonattended ear, and to evaluate the effects of attention on the right ear's well-known advantage in the perception of linguistic stimuli. After being cued to attend to input from either their left or right ear, participants heard two different four-word streams presented simultaneously to the separate ears. Following each dichotic presentation, participants judged whether a spoken probe word had been in the attended ear's stream. We used EEG signals to track participants' spatial lateralization of auditory attention, which is marked by interhemispheric differences in EEG alpha (8-14 Hz) power. A right-ear advantage (REA) was evident in faster response times and greater sensitivity in distinguishing attended from unattended words. Consistent with the REA, we found strongest parietal and right frontotemporal alpha modulation during the attend-right condition. These findings provide evidence for a link between selective attention and the REA during directed dichotic listening. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Nathan, Pradeep J; O'Neill, Barry V; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P; Beaver, John; Bani, Massimo; Merlo-Pich, Emilio; Fletcher, Paul C; Swirski, Bridget; Koch, Annelize; Dodds, Chris M; Bullmore, Edward T
The mesolimbic dopamine system plays a critical role in the reinforcing effects of rewards. Evidence from pre-clinical studies suggests that D₃ receptor antagonists may attenuate the motivational impact of rewarding cues. In this study we examined the acute effects of the D₃ receptor antagonist GSK598809 on attentional bias to rewarding food cues in overweight to obese individuals (n=26, BMI mean=32.7±3.7, range 27-40 kg/m²) who reported binge and emotional eating. We also determined whether individual differences in restrained eating style modulated the effects of GSK598809 on attentional bias. The study utilized a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design with each participant tested following acute administration of placebo and GSK598809 (175 mg). Attentional bias was assessed by the visual probe task and modified Stroop task using food-related words. Overall GSK598809 had no effects on attentional bias in either the visual probe or food Stroop tasks. However, the effect of GSK598809 on both visual probe and food Stroop attentional bias scores was inversely correlated with a measure of eating restraint allowing the identification of two subpopulations, low- and high-restrained eaters. Low-restrained eaters had a significant attentional bias towards food cues in both tasks under placebo, and this was attenuated by GSK598809. In contrast, high-restrained eaters showed no attentional bias to food cues following either placebo or GSK598809. These findings suggest that excessive attentional bias to food cues generated by individual differences in eating traits can be modulated by D₃ receptor antagonists, warranting further investigation with measures of eating behaviour and weight loss.
Montagner, Rachel; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P; Pine, Daniel S; Czykiel, Marcelo S; Miguel, Euripedes Constantino; Rohde, Luis A; Manfro, Gisele G; Salum, Giovanni A
Previous studies suggested that threat biases underlie familial risk for emotional disorders in children. However, major questions remain concerning the moderating role of the offspring gender and the type of parental emotional disorder on this association. This study addresses these questions in a large sample of boys and girls. Participants were 6-12 years old (at screening) typically developing children participating in the High Risk Cohort Study for Psychiatric Disorders (n = 1280; 606 girls, 674 boys). Children were stratified according to maternal emotional disorder (none; mood disorder; anxiety disorder; comorbid anxiety/mood disorder) and gender. Attention biases were assessed using a dot-probe paradigm with threat, happy and neutral faces. A significant gender-by-parental emotional disorder interaction predicted threat bias, independent of anxiety and depression symptoms in children. Daughters of mothers with an emotional disorder showed increased attention to threat compared with daughters of disorder-free mothers, irrespective of the type of maternal emotion disorder. In contrast, attention bias to threat in boys only occurred in mothers with a non-comorbid mood disorder. No group differences were found for biases for happy-face cues. Gender and type of maternal emotional disorder predict attention bias in disorder-free children. This highlights the need for longitudinal research to clarify whether this pattern of threat-attention bias in children relates to the risk of developing anxiety and mood disorders later in life.
Jiang, Zhaocai; Zhao, Xiuxin; Li, Cancan
The aim of this study was to examine the relationships of personality types (i.e., self-control, BAS/BIS) and online shopping addiction (OSA) behavior and to investigate whether high-OSA tendency individuals display attentional biases toward online shopping-related (OS-related) stimuli as well as the links between attentional bias and personality types. The study included 98 college students divided into three groups (i.e., high-, medium- and low-OSA) according to their OSA behavior. The personality types (i.e., self-control, BAS/BIS) and OSA behavior were investigated by questionnaires. The attentional bias was evaluated by the OS-related Stroop and dot-probe task (DPT) paradigms. OSA was positively predicted by time spent on online shopping per day and average consumption for online shopping monthly, and negatively by self-control. High-OSA individuals displayed significant attentional biases toward OS-related stimuli in the Stroop, but not DPT paradigm. Moreover, the attentional bias toward OSA-related stimuli in high-OSA individuals was negatively correlated with self-control. These findings demonstrated the critical role of self-control in OSA behavior and attentional bias to OS-related stimuli in high-OSA individuals, indicating that more importance should be attached to self-control for the clinical intervention of online shopping addiction in future studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Koenig, Stephan; Nauroth, Peter; Lucke, Sara; Lachnit, Harald; Gollwitzer, Mario; Uengoer, Metin
The present study explores the notion of an out-group fear learning bias that is characterized by facilitated fear acquisition toward harm-doing out-group members. Participants were conditioned with two in-group and two out-group faces as conditioned stimuli. During acquisition, one in-group and one out-group face was paired with an aversive shock whereas the other in-group and out-group face was presented without shock. Psychophysiological measures of fear conditioning (skin conductance and pupil size) and explicit and implicit liking exhibited increased differential responding to out-group faces compared to in-group faces. However, the results did not clearly indicate that harm-doing out-group members were more readily associated with fear than harm-doing in-group members. In contrast, the out-group face not paired with shock decreased conditioned fear and disliking at least to the same extent that the shock-associated out-group face increased these measures. Based on these results, we suggest an account of the out-group fear learning bias that relates to an attentional bias to process in-group information. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available To investigate whether posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS are related to attentional bias towards cancer-related stimuli among parents of children recently diagnosed with cancer.Sixty-two parents completed questionnaires measuring PTSS, depression, and anxiety and the emotional Stroop task via the Internet. The emotional Stroop task included cancer-related words, cardiovascular disease-related words, and neutral words.Participants were split in two groups based on the median of PTSS: High-PTSS and Low-PTSS. There was a significant interaction between word-type and group and a planned contrast test of this interaction indicated that the High-PTSS group had longer response latencies on cancer-related words compared to the other word-type and group combinations.Findings suggest that PTSS are related to attentional bias towards cancer-related stimuli among parents of children recently diagnosed with cancer. Implications of this finding for the understanding of PTSS in this population, future research, and clinical practice are discussed.
San Martín, René; Appelbaum, Lawrence G; Huettel, Scott A; Woldorff, Marty G
Adaptive choice behavior depends critically on identifying and learning from outcome-predicting cues. We hypothesized that attention may be preferentially directed toward certain outcome-predicting cues. We studied this possibility by analyzing event-related potential (ERP) responses in humans during a probabilistic decision-making task. Participants viewed pairs of outcome-predicting visual cues and then chose to wager either a small (i.e., loss-minimizing) or large (i.e., gain-maximizing) amount of money. The cues were bilaterally presented, which allowed us to extract the relative neural responses to each cue by using a contralateral-versus-ipsilateral ERP contrast. We found an early lateralized ERP response, whose features matched the attention-shift-related N2pc component and whose amplitude scaled with the learned reward-predicting value of the cues as predicted by an attention-for-reward model. Consistently, we found a double dissociation involving the N2pc. Across participants, gain-maximization positively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable gain-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional bias toward such cues. Conversely, loss-minimization was negatively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable loss-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional avoidance toward such stimuli. These results indicate that learned stimulus-reward associations can influence rapid attention allocation, and that differences in this process are associated with individual differences in economic decision-making performance. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Full Text Available Previous research indicates that body image disturbance is transmitted from mother to daughter via modeling of maternal body-related behaviors and attitudes (indirect transmission and via maternal body-related feedback (direct transmission. So far, the transmission of body-related attentional biases, which according to cognitive-behavioral theories play a prominent role in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, has not been analyzed. The current eye-tracking study applied the concepts of direct and indirect transmission to body-related attentional biases by examining body-related viewing patterns on self- and other-pictures within mother-daughter dyads.Eye movements of N = 82 participants (n = 41 healthy female adolescents, mean age 15.82 years, SD = 1.80, and their mothers, mean age 47.78 years, SD = 4.52 were recorded while looking at whole-body pictures of themselves and a control peer. Based on fixations on self-defined attractive and unattractive body areas, visual attention bias scores were calculated for mothers and daughters, representing the pattern of body-related attention allocation. Based on mothers' fixations on their own daughter's and the adolescent peer's body, a second visual attention bias score was calculated, reflecting the mothers' viewing pattern on their own daughter.Analysis of variance revealed an attentional bias for self-defined unattractive body areas in adolescents. The girls' visual attention bias score correlated significantly with their mothers' bias score, indicating indirect transmission, and with their mothers' second bias score, indicating direct transmission. Moreover, the girls' bias score correlated significantly with negative body-related feedback from their mothers.Female adolescents show a deficit-oriented attentional bias for one's own and a peer's body. The correlated body-related attention patterns imply that attentional biases might be transmitted directly and indirectly from mothers
Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar
Grapheme-color synesthesia affects visual cognition in significant ways. The congruence or incongruence of physical stimuli with synesthetic color affects how quickly and accurately synesthetes respond to stimuli, and the induced color experience may help them memorize achromatic material and performance in visual search, much like physical stimulus features. It has been demonstrated that the content of visual memory can guide attention (e.g. Carlisle & Woodman, 2011). This effect can be ...
Richard-Devantoy, Stéphane; Ding, Yang; Turecki, Gustavo; Jollant, Fabrice
Previous studies using a modified Stroop test suggested that suicide attempters, in contrast to depressed patients with no suicidal history, display a particular attentional bias toward suicide-related cues. However, negative results have also been reported. In the present study, we collected new data and pooled them as part of a meta-analysis intended to shed further light on this question. We conducted 1) a cross-sectional study comparing performance on the modified Stroop task for suicide-related, positively-valenced and negatively-valenced words in 33 suicide attempters and 46 patient controls with a history of mood disorders; 2) a systematic review and a meta-analysis of studies comparing performance on the modified Stroop task among patients with vs. without a history of suicidal acts in mood disorders. The cross-sectional study showed no significant difference in interference scores for any type of words between suicide attempters and patient controls. A meta-analysis of four studies, including 233 suicide attempters and 768 patient controls, showed a significant but small attentional bias toward suicide-related words (Hedges'g=0.22, 95%CI [0.06-0.38], Z=2.73, p=0.006), but not negatively-valenced words (Hedges'g=0.06, 95%CI [-0.09-0.22], Z=0.77, p=0.4) in suicide attempters compared to patient controls. Positively-valenced words and healthy controls could not be assessed in the meta-analysis. Our data support a selective information-processing bias among suicide attempters. Indirect evidence suggests that this effect would be state-related and may be a cognitive component of the suicidal crisis. However, we could not conclude about the clinical utility of this Stroop version at this stage. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Research in both infants and adults demonstrated that attachment expectations are associated with the attentional processing of attachment-related information. However, this research suffered from methodological issues and has not been validated across ages. Employing a more ecologically valid paradigm to measure attentional processes by virtue of eye tracking, the current study tested the defensive exclusion hypothesis in late childhood. According to this hypothesis, insecurely attached children are assumed to defensively exclude attachment-related information. We hypothesized that securely attached children process attachment- related neutral and emotional information in a more open manner compared to insecurely attached children. Sixty-two children (59.7% girls, 8-12 years completed two different tasks, while eye movements were recorded: task one presented an array of neutral faces including mother and unfamiliar women and task two presented the same with happy and angry faces. Results indicated that more securely attached children looked longer at mother's face regardless of the emotional expression. Also, they tend to have more maintained attention to mother's neutral face. Furthermore, more attachment avoidance was related to a reduced total viewing time of mother's neutral, happy, and angry face. Attachment anxiety was not consistently related to the processing of mother's face. Findings support the theoretical assumption that securely attached children have an open manner of processing all attachment-related information.
Mehl, Nora; Bergmann, Sarah; Klein, Annette M; Daum, Moritz; von Klitzing, Kai; Horstmann, Annette
Impaired self-regulation, especially in food-specific situations, has been linked to childhood obesity. These deficits may be acquired during the development of obesity rather than being a prerequisite thereof. The current study, hence, focused on an at-risk population versus controls. Normal-weight children of obese and normal-weight parents were tested regarding attentional flexibility, emotion regulation, and inhibitory control. A sample of 50 preschoolers of obese parents (n=25) or normal-weight parents (n=25) participated in this study. Through eye-tracking, attentional bias for food cues was measured during a visual probe task using food and toy images. Emotion regulation was assessed during a distress-evoking task, and inhibitory control was examined through a delay-of-gratification task. Both tasks are standardized and were conducted in non-food contexts. Results showed no significant group differences in overall attentional bias to food images over toy images. However, children of normal-weight parents showed a preference for toy images. Regarding emotion regulation, children in the risk group expressed significantly less overall emotional distress. In addition, less gaze aversion and bodily sadness could be observed in this group. No differences were found for inhibitory control. Findings suggest that general deficits in self-regulation are not yet present in normal-weight children at risk for obesity. Instead, they might develop as a by-product of unhealthy weight gain. Results indicate, however, that children of obese parents are less emotionally expressive compared with children of normal-weight parents. Furthermore, children of normal-weight parents appeared to be more interested in toy images than in food images. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Martín-Arévalo, Elisa; Laube, Inga; Koun, Eric; Farnè, Alessandro; Reilly, Karen T; Pisella, Laure
Neglect patients typically show a rightward attentional orienting bias and a strong disengagement deficit, such that they are especially slow in responding to left-sided targets after right-sided cues (Posner et al., 1984). Prism adaptation (PA) can reduce diverse debilitating neglect symptoms and it has been hypothesized that PA's effects are so generalized that they might be mediated by attentional mechanisms (Pisella et al., 2006; Redding and Wallace, 2006). In neglect patients, performance on spatial attention tasks improves after rightward-deviating PA (Jacquin-Courtois et al., 2013). In contrast, in healthy subjects, although there is evidence that leftward-deviating PA induces neglect-like performance on some visuospatial tasks, behavioral studies of spatial attention tasks have mostly yielded negative results (Morris et al., 2004; Bultitude et al., 2013). We hypothesized that these negative behavioral findings might reflect the limitations of behavioral measures in healthy subjects. Here we exploited the sensitivity of event-related potentials to test the hypothesis that electrophysiological markers of attentional processes in the healthy human brain are affected by PA. Leftward-deviating PA generated asymmetries in attentional orienting (reflected in the cue-locked N1) and in attentional disengagement for invalidly cued left targets (reflected in the target-locked P1). This is the first electrophysiological demonstration that leftward-deviating PA in healthy subjects mimics attentional patterns typically seen in neglect patients. Significance statement: Prism adaptation (PA) is a promising tool for ameliorating many deficits in neglect patients and inducing neglect-like behavior in healthy subjects. The mechanisms underlying PA's effects are poorly understood but one hypothesis suggests that it acts by modulating attention. To date, however, there has been no successful demonstration of attentional modulation in healthy subjects. We provide the first
Lochbuehler, Kirsten; Wileyto, E Paul; Tang, Kathy Z; Mercincavage, Melissa; Cappella, Joseph N; Strasser, Andrew A
The similarity of e-cigarettes to tobacco cigarettes with regard to shape and usage raises the question of whether e-cigarette cues have the same incentive motivational properties as tobacco cigarette cues. The objective of the present study was to examine whether e-cigarette cues capture and hold smokers' and former smokers' attention and whether the attentional focus is associated with subsequent craving for tobacco cigarettes. It was also examined whether device type (cigalike or mod) moderated this relationship. Participants (46 current daily smokers, 38 former smokers, 48 non-smokers) were randomly assigned to a device type condition in which their eye-movements were assessed while completing a visual probe task. Craving was assessed before and after the task. Smokers, but not former or non-smokers, maintained their gaze longer on e-cigarette than on neutral pictures ( p = 0.004). No difference in dwell time was found between device type. None of the smoking status groups showed faster initial fixations or faster reaction times to e-cigarette compared with neutral cues. Baseline craving was associated with dwell time on e-cigarette cues ( p = 0.004). Longer dwell time on e-cigarette cues was associated with more favorable attitudes towards e-cigarettes. These findings indicate that e-cigarette cues may contribute to craving for tobacco cigarettes and suggest the potential regulation of e-cigarette marketing.
Ross, Elliott D; Shayya, Luay; Champlain, Amanda; Monnot, Marilee; Prodan, Calin I
Most clinical research assumes that modulation of facial expressions is lateralized predominantly across the right-left hemiface. However, social psychological research suggests that facial expressions are organized predominantly across the upper-lower face. Because humans learn to cognitively control facial expression for social purposes, the lower face may display a false emotion, typically a smile, to enable approach behavior. In contrast, the upper face may leak a person's true feeling state by producing a brief facial blend of emotion, i.e. a different emotion on the upper versus lower face. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that upper facial emotions are processed preferentially by the right hemisphere under conditions of directed attention if facial blends of emotion are presented tachistoscopically to the mid left and right visual fields. This paper explores how facial blends are processed within the four visual quadrants. The results, combined with our previous research, demonstrate that lower more so than upper facial emotions are perceived best when presented to the viewer's left and right visual fields just above the horizontal axis. Upper facial emotions are perceived best when presented to the viewer's left visual field just above the horizontal axis under conditions of directed attention. Thus, by gazing at a person's left ear, which also avoids the social stigma of eye-to-eye contact, one's ability to decode facial expressions should be enhanced. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Hindi Attar, Catherine; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M
Selective attention to a primary task can be biased by the occurrence of emotional distractors that involuntary attract attention due to their intrinsic stimulus significance. What is largely unknown is the time course and magnitude of competitive interactions between a to-be-attended foreground task and emotional distractors. We used pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that were either presented in intact or phase-scrambled form. Pictures were superimposed by a flickering display of moving random dots, which constituted the primary task and enabled us to record steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) as a continuous measure of attentional resource allocation directed to the task. Subjects were required to attend to the dots and to detect short intervals of coherent motion while ignoring the background pictures. We found that pleasant and unpleasant relative to neutral pictures more strongly influenced task-related processing as reflected in a significant decrease in SSVEP amplitudes and target detection rates, both covering a time window of several hundred milliseconds. Strikingly, the effect of semantic relative to phase-scrambled pictures on task-related activity was much larger, emerged earlier and lasted longer in time compared to the specific effect of emotion. The observed differences in size and duration of time courses of semantic and emotional picture processing strengthen the assumption of separate functional mechanisms for both processes rather than a general boosting of neural activity in favor of emotional stimulus processing. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Foerster, Rebecca M; Schneider, Werner X
Many everyday tasks involve successive visual-search episodes with changing targets. Converging evidence suggests that these targets are retained in visual working memory (VWM) and bias attention from there. It is unknown whether all or only search-relevant features of a VWM template bias attention during search. Bias signals might be configured exclusively to task-relevant features so that only search-relevant features bias attention. Alternatively, VWM might maintain objects in the form of bound features. Then, all template features will bias attention in an object-based manner, so that biasing effects are ranked by feature relevance. Here, we investigated whether search-irrelevant VWM template features bias attention. Participants had to saccade to a target opposite a distractor. A colored cue depicted the target prior to each search trial. The target was predefined only by its identity, while its color was irrelevant. When target and cue matched not only in identity (search-relevant) but also in color (search-irrelevant), saccades went more often and faster directly to the target than without any color match (Experiment 1). When introducing a cue-distractor color match (Experiment 2), direct target saccades were most likely when target and cue matched in the search-irrelevant color and least likely in case of a cue-distractor color match. When cue and target were never colored the same (Experiment 3), cue-colored distractors still captured the eyes more often than different-colored distractors despite color being search-irrelevant. As participants were informed about the misleading color, the result argues against a strategical and voluntary usage of color. Instead, search-irrelevant features biased attention obligatorily arguing for involuntary top-down control by object-based VWM templates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gibb, Brandon E.; Johnson, Ashley L.; Benas, Jessica S.; Uhrlass, Dorothy J.; Knopik, Valerie S.; McGeary, John E.
Theorists have proposed that negative experiences in childhood may contribute to the development of experience-specific information-processing biases, including attentional biases. There are also clear genetic influences on cognitive processes, with evidence that polymorphisms in specific candidate genes may moderate the impact of environmental stress on attentional biases (e.g., a functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene [5-HTTLPR]). In the current study, we tested a gene × environment (G × E) model of risk for attentional biases. We hypothesized that children whose mothers exhibit high levels of expressed emotion criticism (EE-Crit) would display attentional biases specifically for angry, but not happy or sad, faces, and that this link would be stronger among children carrying one or two copies of the 5-HTTLPR short allele than among those homozygous for the long allele. Results generally supported these hypotheses, though we found that carriers of the 5-HTTLPR short allele who also had a critical mother exhibited attentional avoidance of angry faces rather than preferential attention. PMID:21895572
Waters, Allison M; Kershaw, Rachel
Anxious children show attention biases towards and away from threat stimuli. Moreover, threat avoidance compared to vigilance predicts a poorer outcome from exposure-based treatments, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), yet the mechanisms underlying this differential response are unclear. Pavlovian fear conditioning is a widely accepted theory to explain the acquisition and extinction of fear, including exposure-based treatments, such as CBT. In typical fear conditioning experiments, anxious children have shown larger physiological responses to an aversive unconditional stimulus (i.e., US on CS+ trials) and to non-reinforced stimuli (CS-) during fear acquisition and to both CSs during fear extinction compared to non-anxious peers. This study examined whether threat avoidance compared to threat vigilance was related to differences in fear acquisition and extinction in anxious children. Thirty-four clinically-anxious children completed a visual probe task including angry-neutral face pairs to determine the direction of threat attention bias as well as a discriminant conditioning and extinction task in which a geometric shape CS+ was paired with an aversive tone US, while the CS- geometric shape was always presented alone during acquisition trials. Both CSs were presented alone during extinction trials. Fear acquisition and extinction were indexed by skin conductance responses (SCR) and subjective measures. Children were classified as threat vigilant (N = 18) and threat avoidant (n = 16) based on the direction of threat attention bias on the visual probe task. During acquisition, threat avoidant relative to threat vigilant anxious children displayed larger orienting SCRs to both CSs during the first block of trials and larger third interval SCRs to the US on CS+ trials as well as on CS- trials. During extinction, threat avoidant anxious children showed delayed extinction of SCRs to both the CS+ and CS- and reported higher subjective anxiety ratings after
Castellanos, E H; Charboneau, E; Dietrich, M S; Park, S; Bradley, B P; Mogg, K; Cowan, R L
The major aim of this study was to investigate whether the motivational salience of food cues (as reflected by their attention-grabbing properties) differs between obese and normal-weight subjects in a manner consistent with altered reward system function in obesity. A total of 18 obese and 18 normal-weight, otherwise healthy, adult women between the ages of 18 and 35 participated in an eye-tracking paradigm in combination with a visual probe task. Eye movements and reaction time to food and non-food images were recorded during both fasted and fed conditions in a counterbalanced design. Eating behavior and hunger level were assessed by self-report measures. Obese individuals had higher scores than normal-weight individuals on self-report measures of responsiveness to external food cues and vulnerability to disruptions in control of eating behavior. Both obese and normal-weight individuals demonstrated increased gaze duration for food compared to non-food images in the fasted condition. In the fed condition, however, despite reduced hunger in both groups, obese individuals maintained the increased attention to food images, whereas normal-weight individuals had similar gaze duration for food and non-food images. Additionally, obese individuals had preferential orienting toward food images at the onset of each image. Obese and normal-weight individuals did not differ in reaction time measures in the fasted or fed condition. Food cue incentive salience is elevated equally in normal-weight and obese individuals during fasting. Obese individuals retain incentive salience for food cues despite feeding and decreased self-report of hunger. Sensitization to food cues in the environment and their dysregulation in obese individuals may play a role in the development and/or maintenance of obesity.
MacMahon, Kenneth M A; Broomfield, Niall M; Espie, Colin A
Cognitive models of primary insomnia (PI) suggest attention bias as a maintaining process. This study used a hallmark measure of attention bias, the dot-probe task, to determine whether attention bias to sleep-related stimuli is present in individuals with PI. Control groups of good sleepers (GS) and individuals with delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), a sleep disorder with no presumed cognitive pathway and, hence, no predicted association with attention bias, were included. A between-groups (PI, DSPS, GS) design was employed. Participants completed a dot-probe task with stimuli comprising sleep-related and neutral words, balanced for length and frequency of usage. It was predicted a priori that PI would show greater attention bias to sleep stimuli compared with GS and DSPS groups. No difference between GS and DSPS was predicted. Sixty-three individuals completed the study (PI = 21; DSPS = 22; GS = 20), with those in PI and DSPS classified by International Classification of Sleep Disorders criteria according to self-report sleep diaries and actigraphy. GS scored Sleep Quality Index, reported being good sleepers, and met no criteria for a current or previous sleep disorder. N/A. As predicted, PI showed increased vigilance for sleep-related stimuli relative to GS and DSPS. No differences between GS and those with DSPS were found. The PI group showed shorter response latencies relative to the GS and DSPS groups. Results support an association between attention bias and PI. Further work must determine whether or not attention bias is a causal factor. Speeded responses in the PI group suggest heightened arousal, indicating that physiologic factors may play a related role.
Full Text Available The neuropeptide oxytocin plays a critical role in social behavior and emotion regulation in mammals. The aim of this study was to explore how nasal oxytocin administration affects gazing behavior during emotional perception in domestic dogs. Looking patterns of dogs, as a measure of voluntary attention, were recorded during the viewing of human facial expression photographs. The pupil diameters of dogs were also measured as a physiological index of emotional arousal. In a placebo-controlled within-subjects experimental design, 43 dogs, after having received either oxytocin or placebo (saline nasal spray treatment, were presented with pictures of unfamiliar male human faces displaying either a happy or an angry expression. We found that, depending on the facial expression, the dogs’ gaze patterns were affected selectively by oxytocin treatment. After receiving oxytocin, dogs fixated less often on the eye regions of angry faces and revisited (glanced back at more often the eye regions of smiling (happy faces than after the placebo treatment. Furthermore, following the oxytocin treatment dogs fixated and revisited the eyes of happy faces significantly more often than the eyes of angry faces. The analysis of dogs’ pupil diameters during viewing of human facial expressions indicated that oxytocin may also have a modulatory effect on dogs’ emotional arousal. While subjects’ pupil sizes were significantly larger when viewing angry faces than happy faces in the control (placebo treatment condition, oxytocin treatment not only eliminated this effect but caused an opposite pupil response. Overall, these findings suggest that nasal oxytocin administration selectively changes the allocation of attention and emotional arousal in domestic dogs. Oxytocin has the potential to decrease vigilance toward threatening social stimuli and increase the salience of positive social stimuli thus making eye gaze of friendly human faces more salient for dogs. Our
Lagattuta, Kristin Hansen; Sayfan, Liat
Four- to 10-year-olds and adults (N = 265) responded to eight scenarios presented on an eye tracker. Each trial involved a character who encounters a perpetrator who had previously enacted positive (P), negative (N), or both types of actions toward him or her in varying sequences (NN, PP, PN, and NP). Participants predicted the character's thoughts about the likelihood of future events, emotion type and intensity, and decision to approach or avoid. All ages made more positive forecasts for PP > NP > PN > NN trials, with differentiation by past experience widening with age. Age-related increases in weighting the most recent past event also appeared in eye gaze. Individual differences in biased visual attention correlated with verbal judgments. Findings contribute to research on risk assessment, person perception, and heuristics in judgment and decision making. © 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Phillips, Kristy; Wright, Bradley J; Kent, Stephen
To determine if cognitive processing, and subjective and physiological responses to stress and relaxation differed between an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) group and control group. How these variables relate to the severity of IBS symptoms was also determined. Twenty-one IBS participants and 20 controls provided cognitive (attention and processing), subjective (perceived stress and vigour), and physiological (heart rate, blood pressure, and skin conductance) data during a relaxation and stress phase. Logistic regression analyses determined which variables are related to the IBS group and hierarchical linear regression assessed how the variables are related to the severity of IBS symptoms. Subjective and cognitive factors (drowsiness at baseline, total vigour, and reduced Stroop colour-naming accuracy for negative words) are significantly related to IBS, χ2 (3, N=41)=23.67, pself-schema, as well as perceived low vigour were important in categorising IBS. Low subjective vigour and reduced physiological reactivity to both relaxation and stress conditions were associated with IBS severity, suggestive of illness-related allostatic load. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
LaPointe, Mitchell R P; Cullen, Rachael; Baltaretu, Bianca; Campos, Melissa; Michalski, Natalie; Sri Satgunarajah, Suja; Cadieux, Michelle L; Pachai, Matthew V; Shore, David I
Animate objects have been shown to elicit attentional priority in a change detection task. This benefit has been seen for both human and nonhuman animals compared with inanimate objects. One explanation for these results has been based on the importance animate objects have served over the course of our species' history. In the present set of experiments, we present stimuli, which could be perceived as animate, but with which our distant ancestors would have had no experience, and natural selection could have no direct pressure on their prioritization. In the first experiment, we compared LEGO® "people" with LEGO "nonpeople" in a change detection task. In a second experiment, we attempt to control the heterogeneity of the nonanimate objects by using LEGO blocks, matched in size and colour to LEGO people. In the third experiment, we occlude the faces of the LEGO people to control for facial pattern recognition. In the final 2 experiments, we attempt to obscure high-level categorical information processing of the stimuli by inverting and blurring the scenes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Levi Bolin, B; Alcorn, Joseph L; Lile, Joshua A; Rush, Craig R; Rayapati, Abner O; Hays, Lon R; Stoops, William W
Disrupted glutamate homeostasis is thought to contribute to cocaine-use disorder, in particular, by enhancing the incentive salience of cocaine stimuli. n-Acetylcysteine might be useful in cocaine-use disorder by normalizing glutamate function. In prior studies, n-acetylcysteine blocked the reinstatement of cocaine seeking in laboratory animals and reduced the salience of cocaine stimuli and delayed relapse in humans. The present study determined the ability of maintenance on n-acetylcysteine (0 or 2400mg/day, counterbalanced) to reduce the incentive salience of cocaine stimuli, as measured by an attentional bias task, and attenuate intranasal cocaine self-administration (0, 30, and 60mg). Fourteen individuals (N=14) who met criteria for cocaine abuse or dependence completed this within-subjects, double-blind, crossover-design study. Cocaine-cue attentional bias was greatest following administration of 0mg cocaine during placebo maintenance, and was attenuated by n-acetylcysteine. Cocaine maintained responding during placebo and n-acetylcysteine maintenance, but the reinforcing effects of cocaine were significantly attenuated across both maintenance conditions in participants maintained on n-acetylcysteine first compared to participants maintained on placebo first. These results collectively suggest that a reduction in the incentive salience of cocaine-related stimuli during n-acetylcysteine maintenance may be accompanied by reductions in cocaine self-administration. These results are in agreement with, and link, prior preclinical and clinical trial results suggesting that n-acetylcysteine might be useful for preventing cocaine relapse by attenuating the incentive salience of cocaine cues. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Koopman, K E; Roefs, A; Elbers, D C E; Fliers, E; Booij, J; Serlie, M J; la Fleur, S E
In rodents, the striatal dopamine (DA) system and the (hypo)thalamic serotonin (5-HT) system are involved in the regulation of feeding behavior. In lean humans, little is known about the relationship between these brain neurotransmitter systems and feeding. We studied the relationship between striatal DA transporters (DAT) and diencephalic 5-HT transporters (SERT), behavioral tasks and questionnaires, and food intake. We measured striatal DAT and diencephalic SERT binding with [123I]FP-CIT SPECT in 36 lean male subjects. Visual attention bias for food (detection speed and distraction time) and degree of impulsivity were measured using response-latency-based computer tasks. Craving and emotional eating were assessed with questionnaires and ratings of hunger by means of VAS scores. Food intake was assessed through a self-reported online diet journal. Striatal DAT and diencephalic SERT binding negatively correlated with food detection speed (p = 0.008, r = -0.50 and p = 0.002, r = -0.57, respectively), but not with food distraction time, ratings of hunger, craving or impulsivity. Striatal DAT and diencephalic SERT binding did not correlate with free choice food intake, whereas food detection speed positively correlated with total caloric intake (p = 0.001, r = 0.60), protein intake (p = 0.01, r = 0.44), carbohydrate intake (p = 0.03, r = 0.39) and fat intake (p = 0.06, r = 0.35). These results indicate a role for the central 5-HT and DA system in the regulation of visual attention bias for food, which contributes to the motivation to eat, in non-obese, healthy humans. In addition, this study confirms that food detection speed, measured with the latency-based computer task, positively correlates with total food and macronutrient intake.
Sarah M. Sass
Full Text Available Anxiety is characterized by attentional biases to threat, but findings are inconsistent for depression. To address this inconsistency, the present study systematically assessed the role of co-occurring anxiety in attentional bias in depression. In addition, the role of emotional valence, arousal, and gender was explored. Ninety-two nonpatients completed the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ; Meyer et al., 1990; Molina & Borkovec, 1994 and portions of the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ; Watson, Clark, et al., 1995; Watson, Weber, et al., 1995. Individuals reporting high levels of depression and low levels of anxiety (depression only, high levels of depression and anxiety (combined, or low levels of both (control completed an emotion-word Stroop task during event-related brain potential (ERP recording. Pleasant and unpleasant words were matched on emotional arousal level. An attentional bias was not evident in the depression-only group. Women in the combined group had larger N200 amplitude for pleasant than unpleasant stimuli, and the combined group as a whole had larger right-lateralized P300 amplitude for pleasant than unpleasant stimuli, consistent with an early and later attentional bias that is specific to unpleasant valence in the combined group. Men in the control group had larger N200 amplitude for pleasant than unpleasant stimuli, consistent with an early attentional bias that is specific to pleasant valence. The present study indicates that the nature and time course of attention prompted by emotional valence and not arousal differentiates depression with and without anxiety, with some evidence of gender moderating early effects. Overall, results suggest that co-occurring anxiety is more important than previously acknowledged in demonstrating evidence of attentional biases in depression.
Ashley, Victoria; Honzel, Nikki; Larsen, Jary; Justus, Timothy; Swick, Diane
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves debilitating symptoms that can disrupt cognitive functioning. The emotional Stroop has been commonly used to examine the impact of PTSD on attentional control, but no published study has yet used it with Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans, and only one previous study has compared groups on habituation to trauma-related words. We administered the emotional Stroop, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the PTSD Checklist (PCL) to 30 veterans with PTSD, 30 military controls, and 30 civilian controls. Stroop word types included Combat, Matched-neutral, Neutral, Positive and Negative. Compared to controls, veterans with PTSD were disproportionately slower in responding to Combat words. They were also slower and less accurate overall, did not show interference on Negative or Positive words relative to Neutral, and showed a trend for delayed but successful habituation to Combat words. Higher PCL and BDI scores also correlated with larger interference effects. Because of its specificity in detecting attentional biases to trauma-related words, the emotional Stroop task may serve as a useful pre- and post task with intervention studies of PTSD patients.
Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V
The ability to focus one's attention on important environmental stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli is fundamental to human cognition and intellectual function. Attention is inextricably linked to perception, learning and memory, and executive function; however, it is often impaired in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Accordingly, attention is considered as an important therapeutic target in these disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most common behavioral paradigms of attention that have been used in animals (particularly rodents) and to review the literature where these tasks have been employed to elucidate neurobiological substrates of attention as well as to evaluate novel pharmacological agents for their potential as treatments for disorders of attention. These paradigms include two tasks of sustained attention that were developed as rodent analogues of the human Continuous Performance Task (CPT), the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) and the more recently introduced Five-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT), and the Signal Detection Task (SDT) which was designed to emphasize temporal components of attention.
Bultitude, Janet H.
Hemispatial neglect (‘neglect’) is a disabling condition that can follow damage to the right side of the brain, in which patients show difficulty in responding to or orienting towards objects and events that occur on the left side of space. Symptoms of neglect can manifest in both space- and object-based frames of reference. Although patients can show a combination of these two forms of neglect, they are considered separable and have distinct neurological bases. In recent years considerable evidence has emerged to demonstrate that spatial symptoms of neglect can be reduced by an intervention called prism adaptation. Patients point towards objects viewed through prismatic lenses that shift the visual image to the right. Approximately five minutes of repeated pointing results in a leftward recalibration of pointing and improved performance on standard clinical tests for neglect. The understanding of prism adaptation has also been advanced through studies of healthy participants, in whom adaptation to leftward prismatic shifts results in temporary neglect-like performance. Here we examined the effect of prism adaptation on the performance of healthy participants who completed a computerised test of space- and object-based attention. Participants underwent adaptation to leftward- or rightward-shifting prisms, or performed neutral pointing according to a between-groups design. Significant pointing after-effects were found for both prism groups, indicating successful adaptation. In addition, the results of the computerised test revealed larger reaction-time costs associated with shifts of attention between two objects compared to shifts of attention within the same object, replicating previous work. However there were no differences in the performance of the three groups, indicating that prism adaptation did not influence space- or object-based attention for this task. When combined with existing literature, the results are consistent with the proposal that prism
Emily S. Kappenman
Full Text Available The dot-probe task is often considered a gold standard in the field for investigating attentional bias to threat. However, serious issues with the task have been raised. Specifically, a number of studies have demonstrated that the traditional reaction time measure of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task has poor internal reliability and poor test-retest reliability. In addition, although threatening stimuli capture attention in other paradigms, attentional bias to threat has not usually been found in typical research participants in the dot-probe task. However, when attention is measured in the dot-probe task with the N2pc component of the event-related potential (ERP waveform, substantial attentional orienting to threat is observed, and the internal reliability is moderate. To provide a rigorous comparison of the reliability of this N2pc measure and the conventional behavioral measure, as well as to examine the relationship of these measures to anxiety, the present study examined the N2pc in conjunction with reaction time in the dot-probe task in a large sample of participants (N = 96. As in previous studies, reaction time showed no bias to threatening images across the sample and exhibited poor internal reliability. Moreover, this measure did not relate to trait anxiety. By contrast, the N2pc revealed a significant initial shift of attention to threat, and this measure was internally reliable. However, the N2pc was not correlated with trait anxiety, indicating that it does not provide a meaningful index of individual differences in anxiety in the dot-probe task. Together, these results indicate a serious need to develop new tasks and methods to more reliably investigate attentional bias to threat and its relationship to anxiety in both clinical and non-clinical populations.
Uusberg, Helen; Peet, Krista; Uusberg, Andero; Akkermann, Kirsti
Appearance-related attention biases are thought to contribute to body image disturbances. We investigated how preoccupation with body image is associated with attention biases to body size, focusing on the role of social comparison processes and automaticity. Thirty-six women varying on self-reported preoccupation compared their actual body size to size-modified images of either themselves or a figure-matched peer. Amplification of earlier (N170, P2) and later (P3, LPP) ERP components recorded under low vs. high concurrent working memory load were analyzed. Women with high preoccupation exhibited an earlier bias to larger bodies of both self and peer. During later processing stages, they exhibited a stronger bias to enlarged as well as reduced self-images and a lack of sensitivity to size-modifications of the peer-image. Working memory load did not affect these biases systematically. Current findings suggest that preoccupation with body image involves an earlier attention bias to weight increase cues and later over-engagement with own figure. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Aviram-Friedman, Roni; Astbury, Nerys; Ochner, Christopher N; Contento, Isobel; Geliebter, Allan
To refine the biobehavioral markers of binge eating disorder (BED). We conducted fMRI brain scans using images of high energy processed food (HEPF), low energy unprocessed food (LEUF), or non-foods (NF) in 42 adults (obese with BED [obese -BED; n=13] and obese with no BED [obese non-BED; n=29]) selected via ads. Two blood oxygenated level dependent (BOLD) signal contrast maps were examined: food versus nonfood, and HEPF versus LEUF. In addition, score differences on the disinhibition scale were correlated with BOLD signals. food versus nonfood showed greater BOLD activity for BED in emotional, motivational and somatosensory brain areas: insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), Brodmann areas (BA) 19 & 32, inferior parietal lobule (IPL), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and lingual, postcentral, middle temporal and cuneate gyri (p≤0.005; k≥88). HEPF versus LEUF showed greater BOLD activity for BED in inhibitory brain regions: BA 6, middle and superior frontal gyri (pFood images elicited neural activity indicating attention bias (cuneate & PCG), emotion dysregulation (BA 19 & 32), and disinhibition (MFG, BA6 & SFG) in obese with BED. These may help tailor a treatment for the obesity with BED phenotype. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Nuijten, Mascha; Blanken, Peter; van den Brink, Wim; Goudriaan, Anna E.; Hendriks, Vincent M.
High impulsivity and attentional bias are common in cocaine-dependent patients and predict poor treatment outcomes. The pharmacological agent modafinil is studied for its cognitive-enhancing capacities and may therefore improve clinical outcomes in crack-cocaine dependent patients. In this study, we
Quinn, Paul C.; Doran, Matthew M.; Reiss, Jason E.; Hoffman, James E.
Previous looking time studies have shown that infants use the heads of cat and dog images to form category representations for these animal classes. The present research used an eye-tracking procedure to determine the time course of attention to the head and whether it reflects a preexisting bias or online learning. Six- to 7-month-olds were…
Freeth, M.; Ropar, D.; Chapman, P.; Mitchell, P.
The reported experiments aimed to investigate whether a person and his or her gaze direction presented in the context of a naturalistic scene cause perception, memory, and attention to be biased in typically developing adolescents and high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A novel computerized image manipulation program…
Cole, Claire E; Zapp, Daniel J; Fettig, Nicole B; Pérez-Edgar, Koraly
Early temperamental sensitivity may form the basis for the later development of socioemotional maladjustment. In particular, temperamental negative affect places children at risk for the development of anxiety. However, not all children who show negative affect go on to develop anxiety or extreme social withdrawal. Recent research indicates that reactive control, in the form of attention to threat, may serve as a bridge between early temperament and the development of later social difficulties. In addition, variation in effortful control may also modulate this trajectory. Children (mean age=5.57 years) were assessed for attention bias to threatening and pleasant faces using a dot-probe paradigm. Attention bias to threatening (but not happy) faces moderated the direct positive relation between negative affect and social withdrawal. Children with threat biases showed a significant link between negative affect and social withdrawal, whereas children who avoided threat did not. In contrast, effortful control did not moderate the relation between negative affect and social withdrawal. Rather, there was a direct negative relation between effortful control and social withdrawal. The findings from this short report indicate that the relations among temperament, attention bias, and social withdrawal appears early in life and point to early emerging specificity in reactive and regulatory functioning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
van Hemel-Ruiter, M.E.; Wiers, R.W.; Brook, F.G.; de Jong, P.J.
BACKGROUND: Research in adults shows that substance dependent individuals demonstrate attentional bias (AB) for substance-related stimuli. This study investigated the role of AB in adolescents diagnosed with alcohol, cannabis, amphetamine or GHB dependency on entering therapy and six months later,
Van Damme, Stefaan; Gallace, Alberto; Spence, Charles; Crombez, Geert; Moseley, G Lorimer
Threatening stimuli are thought to bias spatial attention toward the location from which the threat is presented. Although this effect is well-established in the visual domain, little is known regarding whether tactile attention is similarly affected by threatening pictures. We hypothesised that tactile attention might be more affected by cues implying physical threat to a person's bodily tissues than by cues implying general threat. In the present study, participants made temporal order judgments (TOJs) concerning which of a pair of tactile (or auditory) stimuli, one presented to either hand, at a range of inter-stimulus intervals, had been presented first. A picture (showing physical threat, general threat, or no threat) was presented in front of one or the other hand shortly before the tactile stimuli. The results revealed that tactile attention was biased toward the side on which the picture was presented, and that this effect was significantly larger for physical threat pictures than for general threat or neutral pictures. By contrast, the bias in auditory attention toward the side of the picture was significantly larger for general threat pictures than for physical threat pictures or neutral pictures. These findings therefore demonstrate a modality-specific effect of physically threatening cues on the processing of tactile stimuli, and of generally threatening cues on auditory information processing. These results demonstrate that the processing of tactile information from the body part closest to the threatening stimulus is prioritized over tactile information from elsewhere on the body.
Neumann, Markus F; End, Albert; Luttmann, Stefanie; Schweinberger, Stefan R; Wiese, Holger
Participants are more accurate at remembering faces from their own relative to a different age group (the own-age bias, or OAB). A recent socio-cognitive account has suggested that differential allocation of attention to old versus young faces underlies this phenomenon. Critically, empirical evidence for a direct relationship between attention to own- versus other-age faces and the OAB in memory is lacking. To fill this gap, we tested the roles of attention in three different experimental paradigms, and additionally analyzed event-related brain potentials (ERPs). In Experiment 1, we compared the learning of old and young faces during focused versus divided attention, but revealed similar OABs in subsequent memory for both attention conditions. Similarly, manipulating attention during learning did not differentially affect the ERPs elicited by young versus old faces. In Experiment 2, we examined the repetition effects from task-irrelevant old and young faces presented under varying attentional loads on the N250r ERP component as an index of face recognition. Independent of load, the N250r effects were comparable for both age categories. Finally, in Experiment 3 we measured the N2pc as an index of attentional selection of old versus young target faces in a visual search task. The N2pc was not significantly different for the young versus the old target search conditions, suggesting similar orientations of attention to either face age group. Overall, we propose that the OAB in memory is largely unrelated to early attentional processes. Our findings therefore contrast with the predictions from socio-cognitive accounts on own-group biases in recognition memory, and are more easily reconciled with expertise-based models.
Witthöft, M; Borgmann, E; White, A; Dyer, A
Disturbed body perception is a common characteristic of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childhood sexual abuse (CSA). We examined the extent to which biased information processing of body related stimuli was related to CSA. Patients with PTSD after CSA (PTSD group; n = 61) were compared to healthy controls (HC group; n = 30). The PTSD group was subdivided into patients with comorbid Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD; PTSD+ group) and patients without BPD (PTSD-group). We used an emotional Stroop task (EST) with body-related words to assess biased information processing. Only patients in the PTSD+ group but not in the PTSD-group showed a significantly stronger attentional bias to body related words compared to the HC group (p = .009). Recruitment in in-patient setting might have led to a non-representative sample of PTSD patients. The PTSD patients were not characterized regarding anything other than the mentioned mental disorders. Potentially, the body related words may have been associated with offenders' body areas, but not with the patients. We found that patients with PTSD and comorbid BPD had a stronger attentional bias towards body related stimuli in comparison to other groups. This suggests that the observed attentional bias is a product of CSA combined with the emotion regulation difficulties characteristic of BPD. Future studies should test whether directly targeting body-related abnormalities in information processing can improve existing treatments for patients with CSA and BPD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Thomas, Nicole A; Burkitt, Jennifer A; Patrick, Regan E; Elias, Lorin J
People tend to display the left cheek when posing for a portrait; however, this effect does not appear to generalise to advertising. The amount of body visible in the image and the sex of the poser might also contribute to the posing bias. Portraits also exhibit lateral lighting biases, with most images being lit from the left. This effect might also be present in advertisements. A total of 2801 full-page advertisements were sampled and coded for posing direction, lighting direction, sex of model, and amount of body showing. Images of females showed an overall leftward posing bias, but the biases in males depended on the amount of body visible. Males demonstrated rightward posing biases for head-only images. Overall, images tended to be lit from the top left corner. The two factors of posing and lighting biases appear to influence one another. Leftward-lit images had more leftward poses than rightward, while the opposite occurred for rightward-lit images. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the posing biases in advertisements are dependent on the amount of body showing in the image, and that biases in lighting direction interact with these posing biases.
Heitmann, Janika; van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; Vermeulen, Karin M; Ostafin, Brian D; MacLeod, Colin; Wiers, Reinout W; DeFuentes-Merillas, Laura; Fledderus, Martine; Markus, Wiebren; de Jong, Peter J
The automatic tendency to attend to and focus on substance-related cues in the environment (attentional bias), has been found to contribute to the persistence of addiction. Attentional bias modification (ABM) interventions might, therefore, contribute to treatment outcome and the reduction of relapse rates. Based on some promising research findings, we designed a study to test the clinical relevance of ABM as an add-on component of regular intervention for alcohol and cannabis patients. The current protocol describes a study which will investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a newly developed home-delivered, multi-session, internet-based ABM (iABM) intervention as an add-on to treatment as usual (TAU). TAU consists of cognitive behavioural therapy-based treatment according to the Dutch guidelines for the treatment of addiction. Participants (N = 213) will be outpatients from specialized addiction care institutions diagnosed with alcohol or cannabis dependency who will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: TAU + iABM; TAU + placebo condition; TAU-only. Primary outcome measures are substance use, craving, and rates of relapse. Changes in attentional bias will be measured to investigate whether changes in primary outcome measures can be attributed to the modification of attentional bias. Indices of cost-effectiveness and secondary physical and psychological complaints (depression, anxiety, and stress) are assessed as secondary outcome measures. This randomized control trial will be the first to investigate whether a home-delivered, multi-session iABM intervention is (cost-) effective in reducing relapse rates in alcohol and cannabis dependency as an add-on to TAU, compared with an active and a waiting list control group. If proven effective, this ABM intervention could be easily implemented as a home-delivered component of current TAU. Netherlands Trial Register, NTR5497 , registered on 18th September 2015.
Çek, Demet; Sánchez, Alvaro; Timpano, Kiara R
Attention bias to threat (e.g., disgust faces) is a cognitive vulnerability factor for social anxiety occurring in early stages of information processing. Few studies have investigated the relationship between social anxiety and attention biases, in conjunction with emotional and cognitive responses to a social stressor. Elucidating these links would shed light on maintenance factors of social anxiety and could help identify malleable treatment targets. This study examined the associations between social anxiety level, attention bias to disgust (AB-disgust), subjective emotional and physiological reactivity to a social stressor, and subsequent post-event processing (PEP). We tested a mediational model where social anxiety level indirectly predicted subsequent PEP via its association with AB-disgust and immediate subjective emotional reactivity to social stress. Fifty-five undergraduates (45% female) completed a passive viewing task. Eye movements were tracked during the presentation of social stimuli (e.g., disgust faces) and used to calculate AB-disgust. Next, participants gave an impromptu speech in front of a video camera and watched a neutral video, followed by the completion of a PEP measure. Although there was no association between AB-disgust and physiological reactivity to the stressor, AB-disgust was significantly associated with greater subjective emotional reactivity from baseline to the speech. Analyses supported a partial mediation model where AB-disgust and subjective emotional reactivity to a social stressor partially accounted for the link between social anxiety levels and PEP. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Janet H. Bultitude
Full Text Available Hemispatial neglect (‘neglect’ is a disabling condition that can follow damage to the right side of the brain, in which patients show difficulty in responding to or orienting towards objects and events that occur on the left side of space. Symptoms of neglect can manifest in both space- and object-based frames of reference. Although patients can show a combination of these two forms of neglect, they are considered separable and have distinct neurological bases. In recent years considerable evidence has emerged to demonstrate that spatial symptoms of neglect can be reduced by an intervention called prism adaptation. Patients point towards objects viewed through prismatic lenses that shift the visual image to the right. Approximately five minutes of repeated pointing results in a leftward recalibration of pointing and improved performance on standard clinical tests for neglect. The understanding of prism adaptation has also been advanced through studies of healthy participants, in whom adaptation to leftward prismatic shifts results in temporary neglect-like performance. Here we examined the effect of prism adaptation on the performance of healthy participants who completed a computerised test of space- and object-based attention. Participants underwent adaptation to leftward- or rightward-shifting prisms, or performed neutral pointing according to a between-groups design. Significant pointing after-effects were found for both prism groups, indicating successful adaptation. In addition, the results of the computerised test revealed larger reaction-time costs associated with shifts of attention between two objects compared to shifts of attention within the same object, replicating previous work. However there were no differences in the performance of the three groups, indicating that prism adaptation did not influence space- or object-based attention for this task. When combined with existing literature, the results are consistent with the
Jiang, Ying-Ping; Liu, Hao; Xu, Ping; Wang, Yan; Lu, Guang-Hua
To study the changes of cognitive attention-related brain function in the heroin addicts before and after electro-acupuncture (EA) intervention for exploring the concerned neuro-mechanism of addictive relapse and the central action role of EA intervention. Adopting event-related potential (ERP) technique, the ERP at 64 electrode spots in 10 heroin addicts (test group) were recorded before and after EA intervention with dot-probe experimental form during implementing cognitive task on positive emotional clue (PEC), negative emotional clues (NEC), and heroin-related clue (HRC). The P200 amplitude components on the selected observation points (Fz, Cz, and Pz) were analyzed and compared with those obtained from 10 healthy subjects as the control. Before EA, the ERP of attention on HRC in the test group was higher than that on PEC and NEC (Pattention on HRC at Cz and Pz was significantly lowered (P PEC > HRC, but in the control group, it showed PEC > HRC at all three observation points and PEC > NEC at Pz. Heroin addicts show attention bias to HRC, which could be significantly reduced by EA intervention, illustrating that EA could effectively inhibit the attention bias to heroin and so might have potential for lowering the relapse rate.
Liang, Chi-Wen; Hsu, Wen-Yau
This study investigated the differential effects of two attention bias modification (ABM) with different stimulus durations. Seventy-two undergraduates with subclinical social anxiety were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: an ABM condition with either a 100-ms or a 500-ms stimulus duration (ABM-100/ ABM-500) or an attention placebo (AP) condition with either a 100-ms or a 500-ms stimulus duration (AP-100/ AP-500). Participants completed the pre-assessments, eight attentional training sessions, and post-assessments. A modified Posner paradigm was used to assess changes in attentional processing. After completion of attentional training, the ABM-100 group significantly speeded up their responses to 100-ms invalid trials, regardless of the word type. The ABM-100 group also exhibited significant reduced latencies to 500-ms invalid social threat trials and a marginally significant reduced latencies to 500-ms invalid neutral trials. The ABM-500 group showed significant reduced latencies to 500-ms invalid social threat trials. Both ABMs significantly reduced participants' fear of negative evaluations and interactional anxiousness relative to their comparative AP. The effects on social anxiety did not differ between the two ABMs. This study suggests that although both ABMs using short and long stimulus durations reduce some aspects of social anxiety, they influence participants' attentional disengagement in different ways. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available People with anxiety disorders show an attentional bias for threat (AB, and Attention Bias Modification (ABM procedures have been found to reduce this bias. However, the underlying processes accounting for this effect remain poorly understood. One explanation suggests that ABM requires the modification of attention control, driven by the recruitment of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC. In the present double-blind study, we examined whether modifying left DLPFC activation influences the effect of ABM on AB. We used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS to directly modulate cortical excitability of the left DLPFC during an ABM procedure designed to reduce AB to threat. Anodal tDCS increases excitability, whereas cathodal tDCS decreases it. We randomly assigned highly trait-anxious individuals to one of three conditions: 1 ABM combined with cathodal tDCS, 2 ABM combined with anodal tDCS, or 3 ABM combined with sham tDCS. We assessed the effects of these manipulations on both reaction times and eye-movements on a task indexing AB. Results indicate that combining ABM and anodal tDCS over the left DLPFC reduces the total duration that participants' gaze remains fixated on threat, as assessed using eye-tracking measurement. However, in contrast to previous studies, there were no changes in AB from baseline to post-training for participants that received ABM without tDCS. As the tendency to maintain attention to threat is known to play an important role in the maintenance of anxiety, the present findings suggest that anodal tDCS over the left DLPFC may be considered as a promising tool to reduce the maintenance of gaze to threat. Implications for future translational research combining ABM and tDCS are discussed.
Gotlib, Ian H.; Traill, Saskia K.; Montoya, Rebecca L.; Joormann, Jutta; Chang, Kiki
Background: Although children of bipolar parents are at heightened risk for developing emotional disorders, the processes underlying this vulnerability are not well understood. This study examined biases in the processing of emotional stimuli as a potential vulnerability marker of bipolar disorder. Methods: Sixteen children of bipolar parents who…
Redel, P; Bublak, P; Sorg, C; Kurz, A; Förstl, H; Müller, H J; Schneider, W X; Perneczky, R; Finke, K
Visual selective attention was assessed with a partial-report task in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy elderly controls. Based on Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA), two parameters were derived: top-down control of attentional selection, representing task-related attentional weighting for prioritizing relevant visual objects, and spatial distribution of attentional weights across the left and the right hemifield. Compared with controls, MCI patients showed significantly reduced top-down controlled selection, which was further deteriorated in AD subjects. Moreover, attentional weighting was significantly unbalanced across hemifields in MCI and tended to be more lateralized in AD. Across MCI and AD patients, carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (ApoE4) displayed a leftward spatial bias, which was the more pronounced the younger the ApoE4-positive patients and the earlier disease onset. These results indicate that impaired top-down control may be linked to early dysfunction of fronto-parietal networks. An early temporo-parietal interhemispheric asymmetry might cause a pathological spatial bias which is associated with ApoE4 genotype and may therefore function as early cognitive marker of upcoming AD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dorrian, Jillian; McLean, Benjamin; Banks, Siobhan; Loetscher, Tobias
There is evidence that a decrease in alertness is associated with a rightward shift of attention. Alertness fluctuates throughout the day and peak times differ between individuals. Some individuals feel most alert in the morning; others in the evening. Our aim was to investigate the influence of morningness/eveningness and time of testing on spatial attention. It was predicted that attention would shift rightwards when individuals were tested at their non-optimal time as compared to tests at peak times. A crowdsourcing internet marketplace, Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) was used to collect data. Given questions surrounding the quality of data drawn from such virtual environments, this study also investigated the sensitivity of data to demonstrate known effects from the literature. Five-hundred and thirty right-handed participants took part between 6 am and 11 pm. Participants answered demographic questions, completed a question from the Horne and Östberg Morningness/Eveningness Scale, and performed a spatial attentional task (landmark task). For the landmark task, participants indicated whether the left or right segment of each of 72 pre-bisected lines was longer (longer side counterbalanced). Response bias was calculated by subtracting the 'number of left responses' from the 'number of right responses', and dividing by the number of trials. Negative values indicate a leftward attentional bias, and positive values a rightward bias. Well-supported relationships between variables were reflected in the dataset. Controlling for age, there was a significant interaction between morningness/eveningness and time of testing (morning=6 am-2.30 pm, evening=2.30 pm-11 pm) (pattention from peak to off-peak times of testing for those identifying as morning types, but not evening types. Findings support the utility of crowdsourcing internet marketplaces as data collection vehicles for research. Results also suggest that the deployment of spatial attention is modulated by an
Duerksen, Kari N; Friedrich, Trista E; Elias, Lorin J
People tend to exhibit a leftward bias in posing. Various studies suggest that posing to the left portrays a stronger emotion, whereas posing to the right portrays a more neutral emotion. Religions such as Christianity emphasize the role of strong emotions in religious experience, whereas religions such as Buddhism emphasize the calming of emotions as being important. In the present study, we investigated if the emphasis on emotionality of a religion influences the depiction of their religious figures. Specifically, we coded 484 paintings of Jesus and Buddha from online art databases for whether the deity exhibited a left bias, right bias, or central face presentation. The posing biases were analysed to discover whether paintings of Jesus would more frequently depict a leftward bias than paintings of Buddha. Jesus is more commonly depicted with a leftward bias than Buddha, and Buddha is more commonly depicted with a central face presentation than Jesus. These findings support the idea that the amount of emotionality that is to be conveyed in artwork influences the whether the subject is posed with a leftward bias.
Full Text Available Background: Interpretation of observational studies on associations between prefrontal cognitive functioning and hormone levels across the female menstrual cycle is complicated due to small sample sizes and poor replicability.Methods: This observational multisite study comprised data of n = 88 menstruating women from Hannover, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, assessed during a first cycle and n = 68 re-assessed during a second cycle to rule out practice effects and false-positive chance findings. We assessed visuospatial working memory, attention, cognitive bias and hormone levels at four consecutive time-points across both cycles. In addition to inter-individual differences we examined intra-individual change over time (i.e., within-subject effects.Results: Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone did not relate to inter-individual differences in cognitive functioning. There was a significant negative association between intra-individual change in progesterone and change in working memory from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase during the first cycle, but that association did not replicate in the second cycle. Intra-individual change in testosterone related negatively to change in cognitive bias from menstrual to pre-ovulatory as well as from pre-ovulatory to mid-luteal phase in the first cycle, but these associations did not replicate in the second cycle.Conclusions: There is no consistent association between women's hormone levels, in particular estrogen and progesterone, and attention, working memory and cognitive bias. That is, anecdotal findings observed during the first cycle did not replicate in the second cycle, suggesting that these are false-positives attributable to random variation and systematic biases such as practice effects. Due to methodological limitations, positive findings in the published literature must be interpreted with reservation.
Kamboj, Sunjeev K; Massey-Chase, Rachel; Rodney, Lydia; Das, Ravi; Almahdi, Basil; Curran, H Valerie; Morgan, Celia J A
The effects of D-cycloserine (DCS) in animal models of anxiety disorders and addiction indicate a role for N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in extinction learning. Exposure/response prevention treatments for anxiety disorders in humans are enhanced by DCS, suggesting a promising co-therapy regime, mediated by NMDA receptors. Exposure/response prevention may also be effective in problematic drinkers, and DCS might enhance habituation to cues in these individuals. Since heavy drinkers show ostensible conditioned responses to alcohol cues, habituation following exposure/response prevention should be evident in these drinkers, with DCS enhancing this effect. The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of DCS on exposure/response prevention in heavy drinkers. In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, heavy social drinkers recruited from the community received either DCS (125 mg; n = 19) or placebo (n = 17) 1 h prior to each of two sessions of exposure/response prevention. Cue reactivity and attentional bias were assessed during these two sessions and at a third follow-up session. Between-session drinking behaviour was recorded. Robust cue reactivity and attentional bias to alcohol cues was evident, as expected of heavy drinkers. Within- and between-session habituation of cue reactivity, as well as a reduction in attentional bias to alcohol cues over time was found. However, there was no evidence of greater habituation in the DCS group. Subtle stimulant effects (increased subjective contentedness and euphoria) which were unrelated to exposure/response prevention were found following DCS. DCS does not appear to enhance habituation of alcohol cue reactivity in heavy non-dependent drinkers. Its utility in enhancing treatments based on exposure/response prevention in dependent drinkers or drug users remains open.
Trost, Zina; Van Ryckeghem, Dimitri; Scott, Whitney; Guck, Adam; Vervoort, Tine
The current study examined the relationship between perceived injustice and attentional bias (AB) toward pain among individuals with chronic low back pain asked to perform and appraise the pain and difficulty of a standardized set of common physical activities. A pictorial dot-probe task assessed AB toward pain stimuli (ie, pain faces cueing pain), after which participants performed the physical tasks. Participants also rated face stimuli in terms of pain, sadness, and anger expression. As hypothesized, perceived injustice was positively associated with AB toward pain stimuli; additionally, perceived injustice and AB were positively associated with appraisals of pain and difficulty. Counter to expectations, AB did not mediate the relationship between perceived injustice and task appraisals, suggesting that AB is insufficient to explain this relationship. Exploratory analyses indicated that participants with higher levels of perceived injustice rated stimulus faces as sadder and angrier; no such differences emerged for pain ratings. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between perceived injustice and AB toward pain, as well as perceived injustice and in vivo appraisals of common physical activity. Results extend existing literature and suggest that attentional and potential interpretive bias should be considered in future research. This article identifies significant associations between perceived injustice, biased attention to pain, and appraisals of common physical activities among individuals with chronic low back pain. These findings suggest targets for intervention as well as directions for future research regarding individuals with high perceptions of injustice related to pain. Copyright Â© 2016 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Berggren, Nick; Richards, Anne; Taylor, Joseph; Derakshan, Nazanin
Trait anxiety is associated with deficits in attentional control, particularly in the ability to inhibit prepotent responses. Here, we investigated this effect while varying the level of cognitive load in a modified antisaccade task that employed emotional facial expressions (neutral, happy, and angry) as targets. Load was manipulated using a secondary auditory task requiring recognition of tones (low load), or recognition of specific tone pitch (high load). Results showed that load increased antisaccade latencies on trials where gaze toward face stimuli should be inhibited. This effect was exacerbated for high anxious individuals. Emotional expression also modulated task performance on antisaccade trials for both high and low anxious participants under low cognitive load, but did not influence performance under high load. Collectively, results (1) suggest that individuals reporting high levels of anxiety are particularly vulnerable to the effects of cognitive load on inhibition, and (2) support recent evidence that loading cognitive processes can reduce emotional influences on attention and cognition. PMID:23717273
Gilbert, David G; Sugai, Chihiro; Zuo, Yantao; Rabinovich, Norka E; McClernon, F Joseph; Froeliger, Brett
Aversive and smoking-related stimuli are related to smoking urges and relapse and can be potent distractors of selective attention. It has been suggested that the beneficial effect of nicotine replacement therapy may be mediated partly by the ability of nicotine to reduce distraction by such stimuli and thereby to facilitate attention to task-relevant stimuli. The present study tested the hypothesis that nicotine reduces distraction by aversive and smoking-related stimuli as indexed by the parietal P3b brain response to a task-relevant target digit. We assessed the effect of nicotine on distraction by emotionally negative, positive, neutral, and smoking-related pictures immediately preceding target digits during a rapid visual information processing task in 16 smokers in a double-blind, counterbalanced, within-subjects design. The study included two experimental sessions. After overnight smoking deprivation (12+ hr), active nicotine patches were applied to participants during one of the sessions and placebo patches were applied during the other session. Nicotine enhanced P3b responses associated with target digits immediately subsequent to negative emotional pictures bilaterally and subsequent to smoking-related pictures only in the right hemisphere. No effects of nicotine were observed for P3bs subsequent to positive and neutral distractor pictures. Another measure of attention, contingent negative variation amplitude in anticipation of the target digits also was increased by nicotine, especially in the left hemisphere and at posterior sites. Together, these findings suggest that nicotine reduces the distraction by emotionally negative and smoking-related stimuli and promotes attention to task-related stimuli by modulating somewhat lateralized and task-specific neural networks.
Ashley, Victoria; Honzel, Nikki; Larsen, Jary; Justus, Timothy; Swick, Diane
Background Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves debilitating symptoms that can disrupt cognitive functioning. The emotional Stroop has been commonly used to examine the impact of PTSD on attentional control, but no published study has yet used it with Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans, and only one previous study has compared groups on habituation to trauma-related words. Methods We administered the emotional Stroop, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the PTSD Checklist (PCL) ...
Firk, Christine; Markus, C Rob
Polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) may be associated with increased vulnerability to acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) and depression vulnerability especially following stressful life events. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of ATD in subjects with different 5-HTTLPR profiles before and after stress exposure on affective and cognitive-attentional changes. Eighteen subjects with homozygotic short alleles (S'/S') and 17 subjects with homozygotic long alleles (L'/L') of the 5-HTTLPR participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design to measure the effects of ATD on mood, memory, and attention before and after acute stress exposure. ATD lowered mood in all subjects independent of genotype. In S'/S' genotypes, mild acute stress increased depressive mood and in L'/L' genotypes increased feelings of vigor. Furthermore, S'/S' genotypes differed from L'/L' genotypes on measures of attention independent of treatment and memory following ATD. Polymorphisms of the 5-HTTLPR differentially affect responses to mild stress and ATD, suggesting greater vulnerability of S'/S' carriers to serotonergic manipulations and supporting increased depression vulnerability.
Kelly, Philip A; Viding, Essi; Puetz, Vanessa B; Palmer, Amy L; Mechelli, Andrea; Pingault, Jean-Baptiste; Samuel, Sophie; McCrory, Eamon J
While maltreatment is known to impact social and emotional functioning, threat processing, and neural structure, the potentially dimorphic influence of sex on these outcomes remains relatively understudied. We investigated sex differences across these domains in a large community sample of children aged 10 to 14 years (n = 122) comprising 62 children with verified maltreatment experience and 60 well-matched nonmaltreated peers. The maltreated group relative to the nonmaltreated comparison group exhibited poorer social and emotional functioning (more peer problems and heightened emotional reactivity). Cognitively, they displayed a pattern of attentional avoidance of threat in a visual dot-probe task. Similar patterns were observed in males and females in these domains. Reduced gray matter volume was found to characterize the maltreated group in the medial orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral middle temporal lobes, and bilateral supramarginal gyrus; sex differences were observed only in the supramarginal gyrus. In addition, a disordinal interaction between maltreatment exposure and sex was found in the postcentral gyrus. Finally, attentional avoidance to threat mediated the relationship between maltreatment and emotional reactivity, and medial orbitofrontal cortex gray matter volume mediated the relationship between maltreatment and peer functioning. Similar mediation patterns were observed across sexes. This study highlights the utility of combining multiple levels of analysis when studying the "latent vulnerability" engendered by childhood maltreatment and yields tentative findings regarding a neural basis of sex differences in long-term outcomes for maltreated children.
Platz, Thomas; Schüttauf, Johannes; Aschenbach, Julia; Mengdehl, Christine; Lotze, Martin
The study sought to alter visual spatial attention in young healthy subjects by a neuronavigated inhibitory rTMS protocol (cTBS-600) to right brain areas thought to be involved in visual attentional processes, i.e. the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and the posterior middle frontal gyrus (pMFG), and to test the reversibility of effects by an additional consecutive cTBS to the homologue left brain cortical areas. Healthy subjects showed a leftward bias of the egocentric perspective for both visual-perceptive and visual-exploratory tasks specifically for items presented in the left hemifield. cTBS to the right TPJ, and less systematically to the right pMFG reduced this bias for visuo-spatial and exploratory visuo-motor behaviour. Further, a consecutive cTBS to the left TPJ changed the bias again towards the left for a visual-perceptive task. The evidence supports the notion of an involvement of the right TPJ (and pMFG) in spatial visual attention. The observations further indicate that inhibitory non-invasive brain stimulation (cTBS) to the left TPJ has a potential for reversing a rightward bias of spatial attention when the right TPJ is dysfunctional. Accordingly, the findings could have implications for therapeutic rTMS development for right brain damaged patients with visual neglect.
Full Text Available The present study aimed to investigate the processes through which individuals with social anxiety attend to and interpret compound emotional expressions of the face and body. Incongruent face-body compound images that combined an angry face (or body with a fearful, sad, or happy body (or face were presented to a social anxiety group (SA; n=22 and a healthy control group (HC; n=22. The participants were instructed to interpret the emotional state of the image, and their eye-movements and behavioral responses were measured. The results revealed that both group showed longer scanpath length during the recognition of compound images which combined angry face with angry, fearful, sadness, or happy body. The SA group also showed longer scanpath length in congruent face-body compound images of fear and sad. Additionally, the SA group fixated for a shorter period of time on the face and longer on the body than the HC group. Regarding emotion interpretation, the SA group was more likely to interpret the emotional state of incongruent face-body compound images based on the body than the HC group. These findings provide a preliminary observation that individuals with social anxiety showed different attentional bias pattern by congruency of face-body compound images and that it might have biased their interpretations of the emotional states.
Jabben, Nienke; Arts, Baer; Jongen, Ellen M M; Smulders, Fren T Y; van Os, Jim; Krabbendam, Lydia
Research in cognitive processes and attitudes in bipolar disorder is scarce and has provided mixed findings, possibly due to differences in current mood state. It is unclear whether alterations in cognitive processes and attitudes are only related to the depressive mood states of bipolar patients or also represent a vulnerability marker for the development of future (depressive) episodes. This was investigated in the current study. Both implicit (attentional bias for emotional words) and explicit (dysfunctional attitudes and personality characteristics) measures of cognitive processes and attitudes were assessed in 77 bipolar patients with varying levels of depressive symptoms (depressed=17, euthymic n=60), their healthy first-degree relatives (n=39) and a healthy control group (n=61). Analyses of variance were used to investigate differences between groups. Mildly depressed patients with bipolar disorder demonstrated an attentional bias away from positive emotional words and showed increased dysfunctional attitudes and higher levels of neuroticism. Euthymic patients were largely comparable to healthy controls and only differed from controls in higher levels of neuroticism. Relatives were similar to controls on all measures, although they significantly differed from bipolar patients in displaying less neuroticism and more extraversion. No firm conclusions regarding causality can be drawn from the associations that were found between cognitive processes and attitudes and the evolution of mood symptoms in bipolar disorder. Alterations in cognitive processes and attitudes in bipolar patients appear to be mostly related to the expression of mood symptomatology rather than to the vulnerability for bipolar disorder. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Aim: Addiction to opium can be resulted to different effects. Current research designed in order to comprise if neuro-psychological functions among Amphetamine consumers and normal people. Method: Research design was causal-comparative design which performed in consumers and normal people. Research population was all opium consumers of Bahar city. Addict group included of 33 Amphetamine consumers who were referred to Baharestan addiction withdrawal center by snowball sampling. The comparison group included 39 normal people that matched with addict group with consideration of age, sex, education. All samples were studied by technical management of center and by using of perceptual diagnostic tests. Wisconsin cards, reaction time tests (simple, diagnostic, and selective and attention bias (Stroop was used. Results: the results of the research indicated that Amphetamine consumers were significantly different with normal people in consideration of error number, but there wasn’t significant difference on error in Wisconsin test. In reaction time Amphetamine consumers had least reaction time and highest number of errors, in three states. In simple trial there weren’t significant difference, but two groups were significant different in selective and diagnostic trial on time and number of errors. Also, there wasn’t significant difference on attention bias with consideration of error, but there was significant difference with consideration of time. Conclusion: on the basis of results it can be claimed Amphetamine consumption can be affected on neuro-cognitive functions. Identifying and understanding of these factors can be useful in better understanding of problem, and can be led to different therapeutic treatment.
David, Oana A; Capris, David; Jarda, Alexandra
Parenting programs are currently treatment of choice for behavioral disorders in children and one of their main components is reducing the negativity bias in the child-parent dyad. The Rational Positive Parenting Program (rPPP) is a program with a special focus on parent emotion-regulation functional reappraisal strategies, which has recently received consistent support for reducing child externalizing and internalizing disorders. In the last years, online interventions were proliferated and the Attention Bias Modification (ABM) becoming a promising implicit therapeutic intervention based on attention deployment emotion-regulation strategy, or adjunctive module to usual treatments, with results in multiple domains, varying from pain to self-esteem and emotional disorders (e.g., anxiety). We conducted two studies to investigate (1) the efficacy of the ABM procedures applied to parents and (2) the efficacy of the online version of the rPPP augmented with an ABM module. A total of 42 parents of children aged 2-12 years old participated in the first study, being allocated either to the ABM training or wait-list. Positive results were reported by the parents participating in the ABM group for own distress, satisfaction, positive interactions with the child, and child's strengths. In the second study, 53 parents and their children were allocated either in the rPPP group or in the rPPP + ABM group. Results show that ABM training can boost the effects of the rPPP on the strengths of children reported by the parents after the intervention. Findings are discussed in the light of limited research on using online tools for coaching effective emotion-regulation strategies for parents.
van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; Wiers, Reinout W; Brook, Frank G; de Jong, Peter J
Research in adults shows that substance dependent individuals demonstrate attentional bias (AB) for substance-related stimuli. This study investigated the role of AB in adolescents diagnosed with alcohol, cannabis, amphetamine or GHB dependency on entering therapy and six months later, and the role of executive control (EC) as a moderator of the relationship between problem severity and AB. Seventy-eight young substance-dependent (SD) patients (mean age=19.5), and 64 healthy controls (HC; mean age=19.0) were tested. Thirty-eight SD patients took part at 6-month follow-up (FU). AB was indexed by a visual probe task, EC by the attention network task, problem severity by the short alcohol (or drug) use disorder identification test and the severity of dependence questionnaire. SD patients demonstrated an AB for substance stimuli presented for 500 ms and 1250 ms, with the latter related to severity of dependence. There was a nonsignificant tendency indicating that EC was higher in HC than SD participants, but EC did not moderate the relationship between AB and dependency. Substance use, dependency, EC and AB remained unchanged in the 6 month FU period. Young SD patients showed a stronger relatively early as well as maintained AB toward substance cues. A stronger maintained attention was related to higher severity of dependence. Further, there were some indications that EC might play a role in adolescent substance use. The finding that at FU AB and problem severity were not decreased, and EC was not increased underlines the persistent character of addiction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available It can be difficult to identify those at risk of suicide because suicidal thoughts are often internalized and not shared with others. Yet to prevent suicide attempts it is crucial to identify suicidal thoughts and actions at an early stage. Past studies have suggested that deficits in attentional control are associated with suicide, with the argument that individuals are unable to inhibit negative thoughts and direct resources away from negative information. The current study aimed to investigate the association of suicidal behavior with neurological and behavioral markers, measuring attentional bias and inhibition in two Stroop tasks. Fifty-four participants responded to the color of color words in a standard Stroop task and the color of positive, negative, and neutral words in an emotional Stroop task. Electroencephalographic (EEG activity was recorded from frontal areas during each task and at resting. Participants were separated into a low-risk and high-risk group according to their self-reported suicidal behavior. Participants in the high-risk group showed slower response times in the color Stroop and reduced accuracy to incongruent trials, but faster response times in the emotional Stroop task. Response times to the word “suicide” were significantly slower for the high-risk group. This indicates an attentional bias toward specific negative stimuli and difficulties inhibiting information for those with high levels of suicidal behavior. In the emotional Stroop task the high-risk group showed reduced activity in leftward frontal areas, suggesting limitations in the ability to regulate emotional processing via the left frontal regions. The findings support the argument that deficits in attentional control are related to suicidal behavior. The research also suggests that under certain conditions frontal asymmetry may be associated with suicidal behavior.
Thompson, Catherine; Ong, Elsie Li Chen
It can be difficult to identify those at risk of suicide because suicidal thoughts are often internalized and not shared with others. Yet to prevent suicide attempts it is crucial to identify suicidal thoughts and actions at an early stage. Past studies have suggested that deficits in attentional control are associated with suicide, with the argument that individuals are unable to inhibit negative thoughts and direct resources away from negative information. The current study aimed to investigate the association of suicidal behavior with neurological and behavioral markers, measuring attentional bias and inhibition in two Stroop tasks. Fifty-four participants responded to the color of color words in a standard Stroop task and the color of positive, negative, and neutral words in an emotional Stroop task. Electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was recorded from frontal areas during each task and at resting. Participants were separated into a low-risk and high-risk group according to their self-reported suicidal behavior. Participants in the high-risk group showed slower response times in the color Stroop and reduced accuracy to incongruent trials, but faster response times in the emotional Stroop task. Response times to the word “suicide” were significantly slower for the high-risk group. This indicates an attentional bias toward specific negative stimuli and difficulties inhibiting information for those with high levels of suicidal behavior. In the emotional Stroop task the high-risk group showed reduced activity in leftward frontal areas, suggesting limitations in the ability to regulate emotional processing via the left frontal regions. The findings support the argument that deficits in attentional control are related to suicidal behavior. The research also suggests that under certain conditions frontal asymmetry may be associated with suicidal behavior. PMID:29593586
Bogon, Johanna; Finke, Kathrin; Stenneken, Prisca
There is an ongoing debate whether an impairment of visual attentional functions constitutes an additional or even an isolated deficit of developmental dyslexia (DD). Especially performance in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel has been reported to be impaired in DD. We review studies that used parameter-based assessment for identifying and quantifying impaired aspect(s) of visual attention that underlie this multi-element processing deficit in DD. These studies used the mathematical framework provided by the “theory of visual attention” (Bundesen, 1990) to derive quantitative measures of general attentional resources and attentional weighting aspects on the basis of behavioral performance in whole- and partial-report tasks. Based on parameter estimates in children and adults with DD, the reviewed studies support a slowed perceptual processing speed as an underlying primary deficit in DD. Moreover, a reduction in visual short term memory storage capacity seems to present a modulating component, contributing to difficulties in written language processing. Furthermore, comparing the spatial distributions of attentional weights in children and adults suggests that having limited reading and writing skills might impair the development of a slight leftward bias, that is typical for unimpaired adult readers. PMID:25360129
Full Text Available There is an ongoing debate whether an impairment of visual attentional functions constitutes an additional or even an isolated deficit of developmental dyslexia (DD. Especially performance in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel has been reported to be impaired in DD. We review studies that used parameter-based assessment for identifying and quantifying impaired aspect(s of visual attention that underlie this multi-element-processing deficit in DD. These studies used the mathematical framework provided by the ‘theory of visual attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990 to derive quantitative measures of general attentional resources and attentional weighting aspects on the basis of behavioral performance in whole- and partial-report tasks. Based on parameter estimates in children and adults with DD, the reviewed studies support a slowed perceptual processing speed as an underlying primary deficit in DD. Moreover, a reduction in visual short term memory storage capacity seems to present a modulating component, contributing to difficulties in written language processing. Furthermore, comparing the spatial distributions of attentional weights in children and adults suggest that having limited reading and writing skills might impair the development of a slight leftward bias, that is typical for unimpaired adult readers.
Lowe, Robyn; Menzies, Ross; Packman, Ann; O'Brian, Sue; Jones, Mark; Onslow, Mark
Background: Many adults who stutter presenting for speech treatment experience social anxiety disorder. The presence of mental health disorders in adults who stutter has been implicated in a failure to maintain speech treatment benefits. Contemporary theories of social anxiety disorder propose that the condition is maintained by negative…
Oh, Hwajung; Taylor, Adrian H
Poor self-regulation of high energy snacking has been linked to weight gain. Physical activity can acutely reduce chocolate consumption and cravings but the effects on attentional bias (AB) are unknown. The study aimed to test the effects of exercise among normal and overweight/obese individuals during temporary and longer abstinence. Participants were 20 normal and 21 overweight regular female chocolate eaters (after 24 h abstinence), and 17 females (after ≥1 week abstinence during Lent). They were randomly assigned to engage in 15 min brisk walking or rest, on separate days. AB was assessed using an adapted dot probe task pre and post-treatment at each session, with chocolate/neutral paired images presented for 200 ms (initial AB; IAB) or 1000 ms (maintained AB; MAB). Chocolate craving was assessed pre, during, immediately after, and 5 min and 10 min after treatment, using a 0-100 visual analogue score. Three-way mixed ANOVAs revealed that there was no significant interaction effect between group (i.e., BMI status, or abstinence status) and condition × time for craving and AB to chocolate cues. Fully repeated 2-way ANOVAS revealed a significant condition × time interaction for IAB (F(1,57)=6.39) and chocolate craving (F(2.34,133.19)=14.44). After exercise IAB (t(57)=2.78, pchocolate cues, relative to control, irrespective of BMI or abstinence period. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Mellet, Emmanuel; Jobard, Gaël; Crivello, Fabrice; Joliot, Marc; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie
Cerebral lateralization for language production and spatial attention and their relationships with manual preference strength (MPS) were assessed in a sample of 293 healthy volunteers, including 151 left-handers, using fMRI during covert sentence production (PROD) and line bisection judgment (LBJ) tasks, as compared to high- and low-level reference tasks. At the group level, we found the expected complementary hemispheric specialization (HS) with leftward asymmetries for PROD within frontal and temporal regions and rightward asymmetries for LBJ within frontal and posterior occipito-parieto-temporal regions. Individual hemispheric (HLI) and regional (frontal and occipital) lateralization indices (LI) were then calculated on the activation maps for PROD and LBJ. We found a correlation between the degree of rightward cerebral asymmetry and the leftward behavioral attentional bias recorded during LBJ task. This correlation was found when LBJ-LI was computed over the hemispheres, in the frontal lobes, but not in the occipital lobes. We then investigated whether language production and spatial attention cerebral lateralization relate to each other, and whether manual preference was a variable that impacted the complementary HS of these functions. No correlation was found between spatial and language LIs in the majority of our sample of participants, including right-handers with a strong right-hand preference (sRH, n=97) and mixed-handers (MH, n=97), indicating that these functions lateralized independently. By contrast, in the group of left-handers with a strong left-hand preference (sLH, n= 99), a negative correlation was found between language and spatial lateralization. This negative correlation was found when LBJ-LI and PROD-LI were computed over the hemispheres, in the frontal lobes and between the occipital lobes for LBJ and the frontal lobes for PROD. These findings underline the importance to include sLH in the study sample to reveal the underlying mechanisms of
Rettie, Hannah C; Hogan, Lee M; Cox, W Miles
This study assessed relationships between clients' attentional bias (AB) for different types of stimuli and their treatment outcomes. Alcohol AB during detoxification has previously been shown to predict relapse, but further research was needed to clarify this relationship. The current study determined whether AB for recovery-related words would also predict treatment outcome. Participants were 45 clients undergoing alcohol detoxification, and a control group of 36 staff members. They rated words for personal relevance in four categories (alcohol-related, neutral, positive change-related, and negative change-related). Participants completed an individualized Stroop task containing their chosen words. They were also assessed on readiness-to-change, difficulties with emotion regulation, drinking problems, anxiety, and depression. Clients were interviewed at a three-month follow-up to determine their treatment outcome. As predicted, questionnaire measures did not predict clients' treatment outcome (p > .05). A logistic regression model indicated that the best predictor of treatment outcome was AB for positive change-related words (p = .048), with successful individuals having less AB for these words than for the other word categories. Although this finding was unexpected, it was supported by significant relationships between positive change-related interference scores and continuous measures of drinking at follow-up [i.e. number of units drunk (p = .039) and number of drinking days (p = .018)]. The results suggest that positive change-related words are a better predictor of treatment outcome than are either alcohol-related words or negative change-related words. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Applying a precisely timed pulse of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS over the right posterior parietal cortex (PPC can produce temporary visuo-spatial neglect-like effects. Although the TMS is applied over PPC, it is not clear what other brain regions are involved. We applied TMS within a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI scanner to investigate brain activity during TMS induction of neglect-like bias in three healthy volunteers, while they performed a line bisection judgment task (i.e. the landmark task. Single-pulse TMS at 115% of motor threshold was applied 150 ms after the visual stimulus onset. Participants completed two different TMS/fMRI sessions while performing this task: one session while single-pulse TMS was intermittently and time-locked applied to the right PPC and a control session with TMS positioned over the vertex. Perceptual rightward bias was observed when TMS was delivered over the right PPC. During neglect-like behavior, the fMRI maps showed decreased neural activity within parieto-frontal areas which are often lesioned or dysfunctional in patients with left neglect. Vertex TMS induced behavioral effects compatible with leftward response bias and increased BOLD signal in the left caudate (a site which has been linked to response bias. These results are discussed in relation to recent findings on neural networks subserving attention in space.
Rieger, Elizabeth; Dolan, Ashleigh; Thomas, Brittany; Bell, Jason
Interpersonal dysfunction and weight/shape-based self-worth have been implicated as key constructs for eating disorders, although the relationship between these two concepts is under-researched. This study investigated the moderating role of weight/shape-based self-worth in terms of the impact of interpersonal rejection on attentional bias regarding thin-ideal and non-thin images. Participants were 94 females without an eating disorder, who were exposed to either interpersonal rejection or acceptance (using the Cyberball paradigm), and subsequently assessed in terms of their attentional biases regarding thin-ideal and non-thin images. Results revealed that weight/shape-based self-worth moderated the relationship between interpersonal rejection/acceptance and attentional biases for thin-ideal (but not non-thin) images. Specifically, participants with a greater tendency to base their self-worth on weight/shape demonstrated reduced avoidance of thin-ideal images when rejected relative to those who were accepted. The findings support the role of interpersonal rejection in eliciting attentional disturbances among those with higher body weight/shape-based self-worth. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Klein, A.M.; van Niekerk, R.; ten Brink, G.; Rapee, R.M.; Hudson, J.L.; Bögels, S.M.; Becker, E.S.; Rinck, M.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Cognitive theories suggest that cognitive biases may be related and together influence the anxiety response. However, little is known about the interrelations of cognitive bias tasks and whether they allow for an improved prediction of fear-related behavior in addition to
Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Jobard, Gael; Hay, Julien; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie; Karnath, Hans-Otto; Mellet, Emmanuel
The objective of this study was to validate a line bisection judgement (LBJ) task for use in investigating the lateralized cerebral bases of spatial attention in a sample of 51 right-handed healthy participants. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the participants performed a LBJ task that was compared to a visuomotor control task during which the participants made similar saccadic and motoric responses. Cerebral lateralization was determined using a voxel-based functional asymmetry analysis and a hemispheric functional lateralization index (HFLI) computed from fMRI contrast images. Behavioural attentional deviation biases were assessed during the LBJ task and a "paper and pencil" symbol cancellation task (SCT). Individual visuospatial skills were also evaluated. The results showed that both the LBJ and SCT tasks elicited leftward spatial biases in healthy subjects, although the biases were not correlated, which indicated their independence. Neuroimaging results showed that the LBJ task elicited a right hemispheric lateralization, with rightward asymmetries found in a large posterior occipito-parietal area, the posterior calcarine sulcus (V1p) and the temporo-occipital junction (TOJ) and in the inferior frontal gyrus, the anterior insula and the superior medial frontal gyrus. The comparison of the LBJ asymmetry map to the lesion map of neglect patients who suffer line bisection deviation demonstrated maximum overlap in a network that included the middle occipital gyrus (MOG), the TOJ, the anterior insula and the inferior frontal region, likely subtending spatial LBJ bias. Finally, the LBJ task-related cerebral lateralization was specifically correlated with the LBJ spatial bias but not with the SCT bias or with the visuospatial skills of the participants. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the LBJ task is adequate for investigating spatial lateralization in healthy subjects and is suitable for determining the factors underlying the
Ranzini, Mariagrazia; Carbè, Katia; Gevers, Wim
Number interval bisection consists of estimating the mid-number within a pair (1-9=>5). Healthy adults and right-brain damage patients can show biased performance in this task, underestimating and overestimating the mid-number, respectively. The role of visuospatial attention during this task, and its interplay with other cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory) is still object of debate. In this study we explored the relation between visuospatial attention and individual differences in working memory and executive functions during number interval bisection. To manipulate the deployment of visuospatial attention, healthy participants tracked a dot moving to the left or moving to the right while bisecting numerical intervals. We also collected information concerning verbal and visuospatial short-term memory span, and concerning verbal and visuospatial fluency scores. Beside replicating what is typically observed in this task (e.g., underestimation bias), a correlation was observed between verbal short-term memory and bisection bias, and an interesting relation between performance in the number interval bisection, verbal short-term memory, and visuospatial attention. Specifically, performance of those participants with low verbal span was affected by the direction of the moving dot, underestimating at a larger extent when the dot moved leftward than rightward. Finally, it was also observed that participants' verbal fluency ability contributed in the generation of biases in the numerical task. The finding of the involvement of abilities belonging to the verbal domain contributes to unveil the multi-componential nature of number interval bisection. Considering the debate on the nature of number interval bisection and its use in the clinical assessment of deficits following brain damage, this finding may be interesting also from a clinical perspective. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Filippopulos, Filipp M; Grafenstein, Jessica; Straube, Andreas; Eggert, Thomas
In natural life pain automatically draws attention towards the painful body part suggesting that it interacts with different attentional mechanisms such as visual attention. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) patients who typically report on chronic distally located pain of one extremity may suffer from so-called neglect-like symptoms, which have also been linked to attentional mechanisms. The purpose of the study was to further evaluate how continuous pain conditions influence visual attention. Saccade latencies were recorded in two experiments using a common visual attention paradigm whereby orientating saccades to cued or uncued lateral visual targets had to be performed. In the first experiment saccade latencies of healthy subjects were measured under two conditions: one in which continuous experimental pain stimulation was applied to the index finger to imitate a continuous pain situation, and one without pain stimulation. In the second experiment saccade latencies of patients suffering from CRPS were compared to controls. The results showed that neither the continuous experimental pain stimulation during the experiment nor the chronic pain in CRPS led to an unilateral increase of saccade latencies or to a unilateral increase of the cue effect on latency. The results show that unilateral, continuously applied pain stimuli or chronic pain have no or only very limited influence on visual attention. Differently from patients with visual neglect, patients with CRPS did not show strong side asymmetries of saccade latencies or of cue effects on saccade latencies. Thus, neglect-like clinical symptoms of CRPS patients do not involve the allocation of visual attention.
Harris, Lauren Julius; Cárdenas, Rodrigo A; Stewart, Nathaniel D; Almerigi, Jason B
Most adults, especially women, hold infants and dolls but not books or packages on the left side. One reason may be that attention is more often leftward in response to infants, unlike emotionally neutral objects like books and packages. Women's stronger bias may reflect greater responsiveness to infants. Previously, we tested the attention hypothesis by comparing women's side-of-hold of a doll, book, and package with direction-of-attention on the Chimeric Faces Test (CFT) [Harris, L. J., Cárdenas, R. A., Spradlin, Jr., M. P., & Almerigi, J. B. (2010). Why are infants held on the left? A test of the attention hypothesis with a doll, a book, and a bag. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 15(5), 548-571. doi: 10.1080/13576500903064018 ]. Only the doll was held more often to the left, and only for the doll were side-of-hold and CFT scores related, with left-holders showing a stronger left-attention bias than right-holders. In the current study, we tested men and women with a doll and the CFT along with a vase as a neutral object and a "non-emotional" chimeric test. Again, only the doll was held more often to the left, but now, although both chimeric tests showed left-attention biases, scores were unrelated to side-of-hold. Nor were there sex differences. The results support left-hold selectivity but not the attention hypothesis, with or without the element of emotion. They also raise questions about the contribution of sex-of-holder. We conclude with suggestions for addressing these issues.
Ferguson, Christopher J
This article responds to five comments on my "Angry Birds" meta-analysis of video game influences on children (Ferguson, 2015, this issue). Given ongoing debates on video game influences, comments varied from the supportive to the self-proclaimed "angry," yet hopefully they and this response will contribute to constructive discussion as the field moves forward. In this reply, I address some misconceptions in the comments and present data that challenge the assumption that standardized regression coefficients are invariably unsuitable for meta-analysis or that bivariate correlations are invariably suitable for meta-analysis. The suitability of any data should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and data indicates that the coefficients included in the "Angry Birds" meta-analysis did not distort results. Study selection, effect size extraction, and interpretation improved upon problematic issues in other recent meta-analyses. Further evidence is also provided to support the contention that publication bias remains problematic in video game literature. Sources of acrimony among scholars are explored as are areas of agreement. Ultimately, debates will only be resolved through a commitment to newer, more rigorous methods and open science. © The Author(s) 2015.
Donfrancesco, Renato; Di Trani, Michela; Porfirio, Maria Cristina; Giana, Grazia; Miano, Silvia; Andriola, Elda
Some clinical studies on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been found to overlap those of studies on personality, particularly those on the Novelty Seeking trait (NS) as measured by the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI). The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential role of NS in clinical research on ADHD. We enroled 146 ADHD children (125 boys; mean age=9.61, S.D.=2.50) and 223 age- and gender-matched control children (178 boys; mean age=9.41, S.D.=2.30). All the parents filled in the JTCI for the evaluation of personality according to Cloninger׳s model. An exploratory factor analysis differentiated the NS items that concern "Impulsivity" (NS1) from those that concern other features (NS2). Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVAs) revealed significant differences between ADHD children and non-ADHD children in temperamental dimensions: the scores of ADHD children were higher than those of non-ADHD children in Total NS, NS1-Impulsivity and NS2. Our results show that the NS dimension of the JTCI in ADHD children is higher than in non-ADHD children, even when a correction is made for impulsivity items. This finding suggests that the NS trait plays a central role in ADHD diagnosis even when items referred to impulsivity are removed from the NS scale. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Levy, David M; Peart, Sandra J
We wish to deal with investigator bias in a statistical context. We sketch how a textbook solution to the problem of "outliers" which avoids one sort of investigator bias, creates the temptation for another sort. We write down a model of the approbation seeking statistician who is tempted by sympathy for client to violate the disciplinary standards. We give a simple account of one context in which we might expect investigator bias to flourish. Finally, we offer tentative suggestions to deal with the problem of investigator bias which follow from our account. As we have given a very sparse and stylized account of investigator bias, we ask what might be done to overcome this limitation.
Attention and inhibition are of vital importance in everyday functioning. Problems of attention and inhibition are central to disorders such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Both bias and disengagement key components of visuospatial attention. Bias refers to neuronal signals that
Institute (NHLBI) guidelines (164), healthy weight is defined as having 16 a BMI of 18.5 -24.9 kg/m2, overweight is defined as BMI of25 -29.9 kg/m2...review, overweight and obese refer to the NHLBI guidelines , 25 - 29.9 kg/m2 and~ 30 kg/m2 respectively. Prevalence Overweight and obesity are no...dyslipidemia. Obesity is also associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis , and some cancers, and excess
English, Michael C.; Maybery, Murray T.; Visser, Troy A.
Neurotypical individuals display a leftward attentional bias, called pseudoneglect, for physical space (e.g. landmark task) and mental representations of space (e.g. mental number line bisection). However, leftward bias is reduced in autistic individuals viewing faces, and neurotypical individuals with autistic traits viewing "greyscale"…
I read with interest the comment by Mark Wilson in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics regarding bias and conflicts of interest in medical journals. Wilson targets one journal (the New England Journal of Medicine: NEJM) and one particular "scandal" to make his point that journals' decisions on publication are biased by commercial conflicts of interest (CoIs). It is interesting that he chooses the NEJM which, by his own admission, had one of the strictest CoI policies and had published widely on this topic. The feeling is that if the NEJM can be guilty, they can all be guilty.
Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric
In these years digital media and wireless networks are introduced in upper secondary schools in Denmark. This implies new “attentional objects” like updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter within instant reach of the pupils and teachers. Also it implies new kinds of attention (awareness) like when...... pupils try to listen to the teacher and simultaneously participate in online games. To this new social setting the teachers has reacted with either prohibition or unconcern. What has not been realised is that the introduction of new media profoundly challenges the way attention hitherto has functioned...... as a psychic prerequisite for the social interaction between pupils and teachers. New kinds of “split attention” arise and new kinds of social mediation (regulation and “use”) of psychic attention become necessary if teaching in the new digital medium milieu shall be beneficial. In this paper we qualify...
Josse Delfgaauw; Michiel Souverijn
markdownabstract__Abstract__ When verifiable performance measures are imperfect, organizations often resort to subjective performance pay. This may give supervisors the power to direct employees towards tasks that mainly benefit the supervisor rather than the organization. We cast a principal-supervisor-agent model in a multitask setting, where the supervisor has an intrinsic preference towards specific tasks. We show that subjective performance pay based on evaluation by a biased supervisor ...
Engsted, Tom; Pedersen, Thomas Quistgaard
We analyze the properties of various methods for bias-correcting parameter estimates in both stationary and non-stationary vector autoregressive models. First, we show that two analytical bias formulas from the existing literature are in fact identical. Next, based on a detailed simulation study......, we show that when the model is stationary this simple bias formula compares very favorably to bootstrap bias-correction, both in terms of bias and mean squared error. In non-stationary models, the analytical bias formula performs noticeably worse than bootstrapping. Both methods yield a notable...... improvement over ordinary least squares. We pay special attention to the risk of pushing an otherwise stationary model into the non-stationary region of the parameter space when correcting for bias. Finally, we consider a recently proposed reduced-bias weighted least squares estimator, and we find...
Vreeswijk, Jacob Dirk; Thomas, Tom; van Berkum, Eric C.; van Arem, Bart
Travel time is probably one of the most studied attributes in route choice. Recently, perception of travel time received more attention as several studies have shown its importance in explaining route choice behavior. In particular, travel time estimates by travelers appear to be biased against
Despite increased attention in the area of hate crime research in the past 20 years, sexual orientation bias crimes have rarely been singled out for study. When these types of crimes are looked at, the studies are typically descriptive in nature. This article seeks to increase our knowledge of sexual orientation bias by answering the question:…
Girelli, Luisa; Marinelli, Chiara Valeria; Grossi, Giuseppe; Arduino, Lisa S
Increasing evidence supports the contribution of both biological and cultural factors to visuospatial processing. The present study adds to the literature by exploring the interplay of perceptual and linguistic mechanisms in determining visuospatial asymmetries in adults (Experiment 1) and children (Experiment 2). In particular, pre-schoolers (3 and 5 year-olds), school-aged children (8 year-old), and adult participants were required to bisect different types of stimuli, that is, lines, words, and figure strings. In accordance with the literature, results yielded a leftward bias for lines and words and a rightward bias for figure strings, in adult participants. More critically, different biases were found for lines, words, and figure strings in children as a function of age, reflecting the impact of both cultural and biological factors on the processing of different visuospatial materials. Specifically, an adult-like pattern of results emerged only in the older group of children (8 year-old), but not in pre-schoolers. Results are discussed in terms of literacy, reading habits exposure, and biological maturation.
La Scaleia, Barbara; Zago, Myrka; Moscatelli, Alessandro; Lacquaniti, Francesco; Viviani, Paolo
We expand the anecdotic report by Johansson that back-and-forth linear harmonic motions appear uniform. Six experiments explore the role of shape and spatial orientation of the trajectory of a point-light target in the perceptual judgment of uniform motion. In Experiment 1, the target oscillated back-and-forth along a circular arc around an invisible pivot. The imaginary segment from the pivot to the midpoint of the trajectory could be oriented vertically downward (consistent with an upright pendulum), horizontally leftward, or vertically upward (upside-down). In Experiments 2 to 5, the target moved uni-directionally. The effect of suppressing the alternation of movement directions was tested with curvilinear (Experiment 2 and 3) or rectilinear (Experiment 4 and 5) paths. Experiment 6 replicated the upright condition of Experiment 1, but participants were asked to hold the gaze on a fixation point. When some features of the trajectory evoked the motion of either a simple pendulum or a mass-spring system, observers identified as uniform the kinematic profiles close to harmonic motion. The bias towards harmonic motion was most consistent in the upright orientation of Experiment 1 and 6. The bias disappeared when the stimuli were incompatible with both pendulum and mass-spring models (Experiments 3 to 5). The results are compatible with the hypothesis that the perception of dynamic stimuli is biased by the laws of motion obeyed by natural events, so that only natural motions appear uniform. PMID:24667578
Barbara La Scaleia
Full Text Available We expand the anecdotic report by Johansson that back-and-forth linear harmonic motions appear uniform. Six experiments explore the role of shape and spatial orientation of the trajectory of a point-light target in the perceptual judgment of uniform motion. In Experiment 1, the target oscillated back-and-forth along a circular arc around an invisible pivot. The imaginary segment from the pivot to the midpoint of the trajectory could be oriented vertically downward (consistent with an upright pendulum, horizontally leftward, or vertically upward (upside-down. In Experiments 2 to 5, the target moved uni-directionally. The effect of suppressing the alternation of movement directions was tested with curvilinear (Experiment 2 and 3 or rectilinear (Experiment 4 and 5 paths. Experiment 6 replicated the upright condition of Experiment 1, but participants were asked to hold the gaze on a fixation point. When some features of the trajectory evoked the motion of either a simple pendulum or a mass-spring system, observers identified as uniform the kinematic profiles close to harmonic motion. The bias towards harmonic motion was most consistent in the upright orientation of Experiment 1 and 6. The bias disappeared when the stimuli were incompatible with both pendulum and mass-spring models (Experiments 3 to 5. The results are compatible with the hypothesis that the perception of dynamic stimuli is biased by the laws of motion obeyed by natural events, so that only natural motions appear uniform.