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New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

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Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:

Learning and Memory Consolidation Processes of Attention-Bias Modification in Anxious and Nonanxious Individuals

Rany Abend, Daniel S. Pine, Nathan A. Fox, and Yair Bar-Haim

Attention-bias-modification (ABM) paradigms are a type of computerized cognitive-training intervention that reduces attentional bias toward threatening stimuli. Research on ABM has tended to focus on the attentional changes produced by these programs rather than on the learning and consolidation processes that occur during training. Low- and high-anxiety participants were trained to attend to or avoid threat in two sessions that were completed in succession or separated by a 24-hr break. High-anxiety participants displayed impaired within-session learning — but not impaired consolidation of learning — of avoidance to threat, indicating that ABM paradigms may need to be modified for optimal learning to occur in high-anxiety individuals.

Attachment Style Moderates the Effects of Oxytocin on Social Behaviors and Cognitions During Social Rejection: Applying a Research Domain Criteria Framework to Social Anxiety

Angela Fang, Elizabeth A. Hoge, Markus Heinrichs, and Stefan G. Hofmann

Does attachment style affect the influence of oxytocin on behavior and cognition in socially anxious individuals? Males with social anxiety disorder and with high or low levels of attachment avoidance were given a nasal spray containing a placebo or oxytocin before completing a social-exclusion task and a Posner task. Oxytocin led to increased cooperation in the social-exclusion task in men with low levels of attachment avoidance. It also led to enhanced detection of disgust and neutral faces in the Posner task in men with high levels of attachment avoidance. These results suggest that attachment style moderates the relationship between oxytocin and social behaviors and cognitions in those with social anxiety disorder.

Hypomanic Experience in Young Adults Confers Vulnerability to Intrusive Imagery After Experimental Trauma: Relevance for Bipolar Disorder

Aiysha Malik, Guy M. Goodwin, Laura Hoppitt, and Emily A. Holmes

To test their hypothesis that hypomania (argued to be a bipolar phenotype) is associated with heightened susceptibility to intrusive mental imagery, the authors had participants with high or low levels of hypomanic experience watch a traumatic film. For the next 6 days, the participants used a mobile phone to report any intrusive images of the film they experienced. At the end of the 6-day period, participants came back into the lab and completed an intrusion-provocation task. In support of the author’s hypothesis, those with high levels of hypomanic experience reported having more intrusive images from the film over the 6-day period and more intrusive thoughts in response to the in-lab provocation task than did those with low levels of hypomanic experience.

Come listen to Emily A. Holmes speak as part of the “Mental Imagery: From Functional Mechanisms to Clinical Applications” symposium at the 26th APS Annual Convention in San Francisco, CA, USA.

Regulating the High: Cognitive and Neural Processes Underlying Positive Emotion Regulation in Bipolar I Disorder

Jiyoung Park, Özlem Ayduk, Lisa O’Donnell, Jinsoo Chun, June Gruber, Masoud Kamali, Melvin G. McInnis, Patricia Deldin, and Ethan Kross

The inability to regulate positive emotions is thought to play a role in the onset and maintenance of bipolar I disorder (BD). Despite this, little research has examined the cognitive and neurophysiological mechanisms associated with regulating positive emotions in BD. The brain activity of healthy control participants and participants with BD — both with and without a history of psychosis — was monitored while they reflected on a positive autobiographical memory. Participants with BD and a history of psychosis self-distanced less and displayed stronger neurological signs of emotional reactivity in response to positive memories than did the other two groups, shedding light on the potential neurological and cognitive mechanisms underlying excessive positive emotionality in people with BD.

Come listen to Özlem Ayduk and Ethan Kross speak as part of the 26th APS Annual Convention in San Francisco, CA, USA.