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Colloquium: Basic assumption and possible underlying processes in Attentional Bias Modification

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Basic assumption and possible underlying processes in Attentional Bias Modification Other events...
Dr Bram Van Bockstaele obtained his master’s degree in theoretical and experimental psychology at Ghent University in 2007. After his studies, he completed his PhD as a member of the Learning and Implicit Processes Lab at Ghent University, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Geert Crombez and in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Jan De Houwer and Dr. Bruno Verschuere (now at the University of Amsterdam). In January 2014, he started a two-year appointment at the University of Amsterdam. As a post-doctoral researcher in affect regulation, he collaborates closely with Prof. Dr. Reinout Wiers, Prof. Dr. Susan Bögels, and Dr. Elske Salemink. Most of his research concerns the relation between attentional bias for threat and fear and anxiety. More specifically, through the use of ABM, he examines whether attentional bias for threat is a cause of fear and anxiety. Although there are some encouraging findings in this field, his research has also revealed that there are certain limitations to ABM.

Attentional bias towards threat, or the automatic allocation of attention to threatening stimuli in the environment, has been argued to be causally involved in the development and maintenance of anxiety and anxiety disorders. In line with this idea, some clinical studies have demonstrated that attentional bias modification (ABM) can lead to changes in anxiety. Most ABM studies to date have used the dot probe task to both measure and train attentional bias. One of the basic assumptions using this paradigm is that ABM leads to robust changes in attentional bias. Therefore, if ABM causes a robust change in attentional bias, these training effects should generalize to other measures of attention besides the dot probe task. In this talk, I will present the results of two studies in which we assessed the generalization of ABM to different measures of attentional bias. In addition, I will also go into detail on a possible underlying mechanism that may link changes in attentional and interpretation bias to changes in anxiety. In a collaboration between the UWA and the University of Amsterdam, we will investigate whether cognitive bias modification (CBM) leads to improved emotion regulation skills (i.e., all of the conscious and non-conscious strategies we use to increase, maintain, or decrease emotional responses). Although research lines on CBM and emotion regulation have thus far developed independently, early attention and appraisal processes are thought to be crucially involved in emotion regulation. Therefore, in this project, we aim to investigate whether inducing changes in attentional and interpretation bias translates to changes in emotion regulation strategies, and thus investigate whether improved emotion regulation lies at the heart of the effectiveness of cognitive bias modification approaches to anxiety.
Speaker(s) Dr Bram Van Bockstaele
Location The University of Western Australia, Simmonds Lecture Theatre, G01, General Purpose Building 3
Contact David Badcock <[email protected]> : 64883243
Start Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:00
End Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:00
Submitted by Admin Psy <[email protected]>
Last Updated Tue, 10 Feb 2015 16:27
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