From cognitive targets to symptom reduction: Overview of attention and interpretation bias modification research

Chelsea Dyan Gober*, Amit Lazarov, Yair Bar-Haim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cognitive bias modification (CBM) is a class of mechanised psychological interventions designed to target specific aberrant cognitive processes considered key in the aetiology and/or maintenance of specific psychiatric disorders. In this review, we outline a multistage translational process that allows tracking progress in CBM research. This process involves four steps: (1) the identification of reliable cognitive targets and establishing their association with specific disorders; (2) clinical translations designed to rectify the identified cognitive targets; (3) verification of effective target engagement and (4) testing of clinical utility in randomised controlled trials. Through the prism of this multistage process, we review progress in clinical CBM research in two cognitive domains: attention and interpretation; in six psychiatric conditions: anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictive disorders, eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The review highlights achievement as well as shortcomings of the CBM approach en route to becoming a recognised evidence-supported therapy for these disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalEvidence-Based Mental Health
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • anxiety disorders
  • depression & mood disorders
  • eating disorders
  • substance misuse

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