Analysis shows that online cognitive behavioral therapy reduces symptoms in cases of mild, moderate or severe depression In a sweeping new study, Indiana University psychologists have found... Read more
Researchers have found an effective target in the brain for electrical stimulation to improve mood in people suffering from depression. As reported in the journal Current Biology on November... Read more
Machine learning, also known as artificial intelligence, could be a useful tool for predicting how well people at high risk of psychosis or with recent onset depression will function sociall... Read more
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 4.4 percent of the population of the United States will have bipolar disorder at one point in their lives. Another 16.2 million,... Read more
Findings may yield new therapies for depression and anxiety among millions of patients Engineers and physicians at USC and the University of California, San Francisco have discovered how moo... Read more
Neural network learns speech patterns that predict depression in clinical interviews To diagnose depression, clinicians interview patients, asking specific questions — about, say, past menta... Read more
Commercial antidepressants typically take two to four weeks to have a significant effect on a depressed patient. They are also ineffective in many cases. Finding new drugs for depression tha... Read more
Stimulating the brain’s caudate nucleus generates a negative outlook that clouds decision-making. Many patients with neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression experience negat... Read more
A new study by experimental psychologists from the University of Bristol has examined whether cognitive bias modification (CBM) for facial interpretation, a digital health intervention that changes our perception for emotional expressions from negative to positive, might be useful in treating depression.
The study, published recently in the journal Royal Society Open Science, also contributes to ongoing discussion over the viability of CBM in the clinic.
Have you ever walked away from a social interaction feeling uncomfortable or anxious? Maybe you felt the person you were talking to disliked you, or perhaps they said something negative and it was all you could remember about the interaction.
We all occasionally focus on the negative rather than the positive, and sometimes ruminate over a negative event, but a consistent tendency to perceive even ambiguous or neutral words, faces, and interactions as negative (a negative bias), may play a causal role in the onset and rate of relapse in depression.
A growing field of psychological interventions known as cognitive bias modification (CBM) propose that by modifying these negative biases it may be possible to intervene prior to the onset of depression.
Given that access to proven psychological and pharmacological treatments for mood disorders is limited, and that in countries like the UK public treatment for depression is affected by long waiting lists, high costs, and low overall response rates, there is a need for effective treatments which are inexpensive, and both quick and easy to deliver.
But following early excitement from promising CBM findings, considerable problems have been identified, not limited to publication bias (positive findings are more likely to be published) and small therapeutic effects.
The study, testing a new CBM paradigm, questions these previous positive findings.
The study’s lead author, Sarah Peters, who is a PhD student at the University of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology and Biomedical Research Centre, said: “We wanted to test a novel CBM paradigm which has previously shown robust bias modification effects, but for which the impact on mood and mood-relevant measures was unclear.”
Peters and her colleagues at the University of Bristol and University College London ran a proof of principle trial in a non-patient population.
She further explained: “We do these to test potential new interventions before we offer them to individuals seeking treatment. Even if we show that a task is shifting your bias and we think that’s relevant to mood disorders, what matters is whether it impacts mood-related outcomes and shows clinical utility.”
The authors had two specific aims. Firstly, they aimed to replicate previous findings to confirm that the intervention could indeed shift the emotional interpretation of faces; could they make their participants see negative faces as more positive. Secondly, they were interested in whether this shift in interpretation would impact on clinically-relevant outcomes such as self-reported mood symptoms.
Among these were self-report questionnaires of depressive and anxious symptoms and the interpretation of ambiguous scenarios and daily stressful events.
The cognitive tasks included a dot probe task to measure selective attention towards negative (versus neutral) emotional words, a motivation for rewards task which has been shown to measure anhedonia (the loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities), and a measure of stress-reactivity (whereby individuals complete a simple task under two conditions: safe and under stress). This final task was included because it is thought that the negative biases they were interested in modifying are more pronounced when an individual is under stress.
While the intervention successfully shifted the interpretation of facial expressions (from negative to positive), there was only inconclusive evidence of improved mood and the CBM procedure failed to impact most measures.
There was some evidence that daily stressful events were perceived as less stressful by those in the intervention group post-CBM, weaker evidence for reduced feelings of pleasure in the intervention group, and some exploratory evidence for greater improvements seen by individuals with higher anxiety at baseline.
Peters added: “Overall, it’s unlikely that this procedure in its current design will impact on clinically-relevant symptoms. However, the small effects observed still warrant future study in larger and clinical samples. Given the large impact and cost of mood disorders on the one hand, and the relatively low cost of providing CBM training on the other, clarifying whether even small effects exist is likely worthwhile.”
Even if this procedure fails to result in clinical improvement, documenting and understanding the different steps in going from basic scientific experimentation to intervening in clinical samples is crucial for both the scientific field and the general public to know.
Additionally, the negative findings shown in this study offer a useful contribution to the field of CBM research. It is common for new clinical interventions to initially appear promising (as a result of early study methodologies and publication bias for positive results), but it’s only over time that more robust studies are conducted and question these early findings.
In a body of research where positive results prevail and negative results remain unpublished, studies which are methodologically sound and question this status are necessary and informative.
The Latest on: Cognitive bias modification
- Reduce Anxiety by Shifting Focus to Positive Cues on July 21, 2018 at 8:58 am
They found that a brief 5-10 minutes intervention of Cognitive Bias Modification (or CBM) training is enough to reverse a default neural response, a supposed hardwiring that creates a negativity bias ... […]
- Could cognitive interventions be useful in treating depression? on December 18, 2017 at 2:34 am
A new study by experimental psychologists from the University of Bristol has examined whether cognitive bias modification (CBM) for facial interpretation, a digital health intervention that changes ou... […]
- Could cognitive interventions be useful in treating depression? on December 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm
(2017)’s CBM for facial interpretation training. Credit: University of Bristol A new study by experimental psychologists from the University of Bristol has examined whether cognitive bias modification ... […]
- A New Kind Of Treatment May Change How We Think About Depression on June 5, 2015 at 5:01 am
Making matters worse, when he tried to stop taking his medication, he only felt dizzy. But after participating in a clinical trial for cognitive bias modification-interpretation — a treatment similar ... […]
- Current Opinion in Psychiatry: on September 24, 2014 at 4:59 pm
Purpose of review: To review recent research on the therapeutic impact of cognitive bias modification (CBM) procedures, designed to train direct change in the patterns of attentional and interpretive ... […]
- The effect of cognitive bias modification for interpretation on avoidance of pain during an acute experimental pain task on February 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm
Summary Inducing pain-related interpretation biases increased avoidance compared to inducing benign interpretations. The induced bias mediated the relationship between group and avoidance of the painf... […]
- Web-based cognitive bias modification for problem drinkers: protocol of a randomised controlled trial with a 2x2x2 factorial design on April 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm
The automatic tendency to attend to, positively evaluate and approach alcohol related stimuli has been found to play a causal role in problematic alcohol use and can be retrained by computerised Cogni... […]
- Cognitive bias modification: A new approach to treating emotional disorders on May 28, 2012 at 3:39 am
(Medical Xpress) -- A new approach to preventing and treating anxiety and depression may be used to improve the emotional health of fly-in fly-out workers and people living in bushfire-prone areas. Th... […]
- UWA leads world in new approach to treating emotional disorders on May 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm
The new approach, known as cognitive bias modification (CBM), has been developed by researchers involved in a world-leading study at The University of Western Australia. Led by Winthrop Professor Coli... […]
- Cognitive Bias Modification: An Intervention Approach Worth Attending To on October 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm
People with emotional disorders display biased patterns of cognition, operating to favor the processing of emotionally negative information (1). A particularly robust finding is that anxiety disorders ... […]
via Google News and Bing News
Create a picture of how you are feeling on this particular day, said the first exercise in the art therapy. After ten treatments the patients who suffered from severe or moderately severe de... Read more
A potential new antidepressant and antianxiety treatment with a unique mechanism of action has been developed by scientists at the University of Bath. The compound has shown significant pote... Read more
Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a ‘reset’ of their brain activity. The findings come from a study in which re... Read more
Sleep deprivation – typically administered in controlled, inpatient settings – rapidly reduces symptoms of depression in roughly half of depression patients, according the first meta-analysi... Read more
When you’re feeling blue, your photos turn bluer, too. And more gray and dark as well, with fewer faces shown. In other words, just like people can signal their sadness by body languag... Read more