Attention Bias Modification for Anxiety and Phobias: Current Status and Future Directions
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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.
KeywordsAttention bias modification Attentional bias Anxiety Mechanisms
This project was supported by grants R01 MH087623-04 and R34 MH073004-01 from the National Institutes of Health awarded to Dr. Amir.
Compliance with Ethics Guidelines
Conflict of Interest
Nader Amir has received grant R01 MH087623-04 from the National Institutes of Health and is the co-founder of a company that markets anxiety relief products.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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