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    Training working memory to improve attentional control in anxiety: a proof-of-principle study using behavioral and electrophysiological measures

    Sari, B.A. and Koster, E.H.W. and Pourtois, G. and Derakhshan, Nazanin (2016) Training working memory to improve attentional control in anxiety: a proof-of-principle study using behavioral and electrophysiological measures. Biological Psychology 121 (B), pp. 203-212. ISSN 0301-0511.

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    Abstract

    Trait anxiety is associated with impairments in attentional control and processing efficiency (see Berggren & Derakshan, 2013for a review). Working memory training using the adaptive dual n-back task has shown to improve attentional control in subclinical depression with transfer effects at the behavioral and neural level on a working memory task (Owens, Koster, & Derakshan, 2013). Here, we examined the beneficial effects of working memory training on attentional control in pre-selected high trait anxious individuals who underwent a three week daily training intervention using the adaptive dual n-back task. Pre and post outcome measures of attentional control were assessed using a Flanker task that included a stress induction and an emotional Antisaccade task (with angry and neutral faces as target). Resting state EEG (Theta/Beta ratio) was recorded to as a neural marker of trait attentional control. Our results showed that adaptive working memory training improved attentional control with transfer effects on the Flanker task and resting state EEG, but effects of training on the Antisaccade task were less conclusive. Finally, training related gains were associated with lower levels of trait anxiety at post (vs pre) intervention. Our results demonstrate that adaptive working memory training in anxiety can have beneficial effects on attentional control and cognitive performance that may protect against emotional vulnerability in individuals at risk of developing clinical anxiety.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Working memory training, anxiety, attentional control
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2015 11:03
    Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 14:19
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/12985

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