Research: COURSE-CHOI and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 268

Abstract

COURSE-CHOI and COLLEAGUES, 1. Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX, UK; 2. Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX, UK.  n.derakhshan@bbk.ac.uk .

Background

Worry is the principle characteristic of generalized anxiety disorder, and has been linked to deficient attentional control, a main function of working memory (WM).

Methodology

Adaptive WM training and mindfulness meditation practice (MMP) have both shown potential to increase attentional control. The present study hence investigates the individual and combined effects of MMP and a dual adaptive n-back task on a non-clinical, randomized sample of high worriers. 60 participants were tested before and after seven days of training. Assessment included self-report questionnaires, as well as performance tasks measuring attentional control and working memory capacity.

Results

Combined training resulted in continued reduction in worry in the week after training, highlighting the potential of utilizing n-back training as an adjunct to established clinical treatment. Engagement with WM training correlated with immediate improvements in attentional control and resilience, with worry decreasing over time.

Conclusion

Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.

References

Course-Choi J1, Saville H1, Derakshan N2. The effects of adaptive working memory training and mindfulness meditation training on processing efficiency and worry in high worriers. Behav Res Ther. 89:1-13. Feb 2017. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2016.11.002 . Epub Nov 10 2016.

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