Attentional bias is assumed to be partly responsible for the onset and maintenance of anxiety by major cognitivetheories of emotional disorders. Although much is already known about the therapeutic effects of attentional bias training,only a few studies have examined the mechanism responsible for these effects. In order to test if low-level, cognitiveeffects of attentional bias training depend on attentional control, 73 participants, who completed the STAI-x2 and theACS questionnaires, were randomly assigned to a control (n = 37) or attentional training group (n = 36). The attentionalmanipulation was followed by a search task, during which novel neutral or negative faces could be presented within anarray of all-neutral, all-negative or all-positive faces. It was found that individuals with higher ACS score displayedstronger attentional training effects, i.e., they were less accurate in detecting distinctive negative faces, and this effect wasnot found to be associated with STAI-x2 score. These results show that there is individual variability even in immediate,cognitive effects of attentional bias modification and that special abilities, such as attentional control, might be requiredfor attentional training to be efficient.
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