Cognitive Bias Modification


Research on information-processing biases in anxiety disorders has long been a focus of our work.  As some work suggests that biases in attention, interpretation, and memory may causally constitute to the maintenance and perhaps the etiology of these syndromes, investigators have increasingly modified cognitive paradigms, converting them into methods for reducing these biases and perhaps helping clients overcome their anxiety disorders. Our lab has been conducting experiments on one form of cognitive bias modification (CBM): attention bias modification (ABM).  We have conducted studies on people with sub-clinical spider phobia and on people with social anxiety.  In addition to testing people in our laboratory, we have also put these protocols on smartphones, delivering the ABM intervention remotely.  Finally, recent work concerns research on methods to reduce rumination via working memory bias modification and by aerobic exercise.

Related Articles:

McNally, R. J. (2019). Attentional bias for threat: Crisis or opportunity?Clinical Psychology Review, 69, 4-13.

Reese, H. E., McNally, R. J., Najmi, S., & Amir, N. (2010). Attention training for reducing spider fear in spider-fearful individuals. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24, 657-662.

Heeren, A., Reese, H. E., McNally, R. J., & Philippot, P. (2012). Attention training toward and away from threat in social  phobia: Effects on subjective, behavioral, and physiological measures of anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50, 30-39.

Enock, P. M., & McNally, R. J. (2013). How mobile apps and other  Web-based interventions can transform psychological treatment and the treatment development cycle. the Behavior Therapist, 36, 56,58,60,62-66.

McNally, R. J., Enock, P. E., Tsai, C., & Tousian, M. (2013).  Attention bias modification for reducing speech anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 882-888.

Enock, P. M., Hofmann, S. G., & McNally, R. J. (2014). Attention bias modification training via smartphone to reduce social anxiety: A randomized, controlled multi-session experiment. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 38, 200-216.

Heeren, A., Mogoase, C., McNally, R. J., Schmitz, A., & Philippot, P. (2015). Does attention bias modification improve attentional control? A double-blind randomized experiment with individuals with social anxiety disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 29, 35-42.

Heeren, A., Mogoaşe, C., Philippot, P., & McNally, R. J. (2015). Attention bias modification for social anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 40, 76-90.

Robinaugh, D. J., Crane, M. E., Enock, P. M., & McNally, R. J. (2016). Training the removal of negative information from working memory: A preliminary investigation of a working memory bias modification task. Cognition and Emotion, 30, 570-581.