Mogg, Karin and Bradley, Brendan P.
Attentional bias in generalized anxiety disorder versus depressive disorder
Cognitive Therapy and Research, 29, (1), . (doi:10.1007/s10608-005-1646-y).
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This review evaluates evidence of attentional biases in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depressive disorder from studies using modified Stroop and visual probe tasks. There appears to be fairly consistent evidence for an attentional bias for external negative cues in GAD, and for the involvement of non-conscious processes in this bias. By contrast, in clinical depression, the evidence for an attentional bias is less robust, despite depressive disorder being commonly associated with high levels of co-morbid anxiety. Where an attentional bias has been found in depressed patients, it seems to occur mainly for self-relevant negative information which is presented under conditions that allow or encourage elaborative processing. Possible explanations for this discrepant pattern of results, and their theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.
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