Alcohol attentional bias: drinking salience or cognitive impairment?
- 577 Downloads
This study evaluated whether alcohol attentional bias is an artifact of excessive drinkers’ impaired cognitive functioning, which adversely affects their performance on the classic Stroop test (a measure of inhibitory control) and the Shipley Institute of Living Scale (SILS; a measure of verbal and abstraction ability). Both tests measure aspects of executive cognitive functioning (ECF).
Social drinkers (N=87) and alcohol-dependent drinkers (N=47) completed a measure of alcohol consumption, classic and alcohol-related Stroop tests, and the SILS.
A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) showed that the dependent drinkers were poorer on the cognitive measures (SILS scores and classic Stroop interference) and had greater alcohol attentional bias than the social drinkers. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) in which the cognitive measures were controlled showed that the dependent drinkers’ greater alcohol attentional bias was not an artifact of their poorer cognitive performance.
The results are discussed in terms of cognitive–motivational models, which suggest that excessive drinking sensitizes alcohol abusers’ attentional responsiveness to alcohol-related stimuli to a degree that exceeds the adverse effects of alcohol on their general cognitive functioning.
KeywordsAlcohol abuse Attentional bias Stroop paradigm Executive cognitive functioning Cognitive bias Current concern
- Ardouin C, Pillon B, Peiffer E, Bejjani P, Limousin P, Damier P, Arnulf I, Benabid AL, Agid Y, Pollak P (1999) Bilateral subthalamic or pallidal stimulation for Parkinson’s disease affects neither memory nor executive functions: a consecutive series of 62 patients. Ann Neurol 46(2):217–223CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Baayen HR, Piepenbrock R, van Rijn H (1993) The CELEX lexical database (CD-ROM). Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PAGoogle Scholar
- Cedrus Corporation (1999) SuperLab Pro SKD (version 2.1) [software]. Cedrus Corporation, San Pedro, CA, USAGoogle Scholar
- Cox WM (2000) Alcohol Use Questionnaire. Unpublished questionnaire. University of Wales, BangorGoogle Scholar
- Cox WM, Klinger E (1990) Incentive motivation, affective change, and alcohol use: a model. In: Cox WM (ed) Why people drink: parameters of alcohol as a reinforcer. Gardner, New York, pp 291–314Google Scholar
- Cox WM, Klinger E (2004) A motivational model of alcohol use: Determinants of use and change. In: Cox WM, Klinger E (eds) Handbook of motivational counseling: concepts, approaches, and assessment. Wiley, Chichester, UK, pp 121–138Google Scholar
- Cox WM, Fadardi JS, Pothos EM (2005) The alcohol-Stroop test: theoretical considerations and procedural recommendations. Psychol Bull (in press)Google Scholar
- Dao-Castellana MH, Samson Y, Legault F, Martinot JL, Aubin HJ, Crouzel C, Feldman L, Barrucand D, Rancurel G, Feline A, Syrota A (1998) Frontal dysfunction in neurologically normal chronic alcoholic subjects: metabolic and neuropsychological findings. Psychol Med 28(5):1039–1048CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Heather N, Peters Timothy J, Stockwell T (2001) International handbook of alcohol dependence and problems. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
- Klinger E (1977). Meaning and void: inner experience and the incentives in people’s lives. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
- Klinger E (1987). Current concerns and disengagement from incentives. In: Halisch F, Kuhl J (eds) Motivation, attention, and volition. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, pp 337–347Google Scholar
- Klinger E (1996) The contents of thoughts: interference as the downside of adaptive normal mechanisms in thought flow. In: Sarason IG, Sarason BR, Pierce GR (eds) Cognitive interference: theories, methods, and findings. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp 3–23Google Scholar
- Klinger E, Cox WM (2004) Motivation and the theory of current concerns. In: Cox WM, Klinger E (eds) Handbook of motivational counseling: concepts, approaches, and assessment. Wiley, Chichester, UK, pp 3–27Google Scholar
- Kucera H, Francis WN (1967) Computational analysis of present-day American English. Brown University Press, Providence, RIGoogle Scholar
- Mantere T, Tupala E, Hall H, Sarkioja T, Rasanen P, Bergstrom K, Callaway J, Tiihonen J (2002) Serotonin transporter distribution and density in the cerebral cortex of alcoholic and nonalcoholic comparison subjects: a whole-hemisphere autoradiography study. Am J Psychiatry 159(4):599–606CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Noel X, Sferrazza R, Van Der Linden M, Paternot J, Verhas M, Hanak C, Pelc I, Verbanck P (2002) Contribution of frontal cerebral blood flow measured by 99 mTc-bicisate SPECT and executive function deficits to predicting treatment outcome in alcohol-dependent patients. Alcohol Alcohol 37(4):347–354PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Selzer ML (1971) The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test: the quest for a new diagnostic instrument. Am J Psychiatry 127(12):89–94Google Scholar
- Wells A, Matthews G (1999) The cognitive science of attention and emotion. In: Dalgleish T, Power MJ (eds) Handbook of cognition and emotion. Wiley, Chichester, UKGoogle Scholar
- Wiers RW, Cox WM, Field M, Fadardi JW, Palfai T, Schoenmakers T et al (2005) The search for new ways to change implicit alcohol-related cognitions in heavy drinkers. Alcohol Clin Exp Res (in press)Google Scholar
- Zachary RA (2000) Shipley Institute of Living Scale: revised manual. Western Psychological Services, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar