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Attentional Bias Modification in Virtual Reality: A VR-Based Dot-Probe Task With 2D and 3D Stimuli
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Clinical psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2318-6576
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2019 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 10, article id 2526Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Attentional bias modification (ABM) aims to reduce anxiety by attenuating bias toward threatening information. The current study incorporated virtual reality (VR) technology and three-dimensional stimuli with a dot-probe task to evaluate the effects of a VR-based ABM training on attentional bias and anxiety symptoms.

Methods: A total of 100 participants were randomized to four training groups. Attentional bias was assessed at pre- and post-training, and anxiety symptoms were assessed at pre-training, post-training, 1-week follow-up, and 3-months follow-up.

Results: Change in anxiety did not correlate with change in bias (p = 0.24). A repeated-measures ANOVA showed no significant difference in bias from pre- to post-ABM (p = 0.144), or between groups (p = 0.976). For anxiety symptoms, a linear mixed-effects model analysis revealed a significant effect of time. Participants showed reduction in anxiety score at each successive assessment (p < 0.001). However, no other significant main effect or interactions were found. A clinically significant change analysis revealed that 9% of participants were classified as ‘recovered’ at 3-months follow-up.

Conclusion: A single session of VR-based ABM did not change attentional bias. The significant reduction in anxiety was not specific to active training, and the majority of participants remained clinically unchanged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 10, article id 2526
Keywords [en]
attentional bias, attentional bias modification, social anxiety, virtual reality, dot-probe, attentional training
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176364DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02526OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176364DiVA, id: diva2:1374928
Note

This study was in part funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (P15-0795:1).

Available from: 2019-12-03 Created: 2019-12-03 Last updated: 2020-01-30Bibliographically approved

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