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Impact of a brief auditory attention training on a modified colour-word Stroop task in a high anxiety and worry sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

B. A. Fernie, M. M. Spada, R.G. Brown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-316
Number of pages14
JournalJournal Of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2019
Accepted/In press22 Apr 2019
E-pub ahead of print9 May 2019


King's Authors


Poor attentional control leads to attentional biases that are implicated in psychological distress. Attention Training Technique (ATT) is an auditory intervention designed to strengthen attentional control. Research indicates that ATT alleviates anxiety and depressive symptoms. This study is a randomised control trial with repeated measures that tested if a lab-based, single-exposure of ATT strengthened attentional control. Forty-six nonclinical, high anxiety/worry participants received either ATT or a sham control intervention. Attentional control was assessed using the standard and a modified version of the colour-word Stroop task. The modified version incorporated tactile interference to increase perceptual load. A series of mixed effects models, simple contrasts, and z-tests were used to evaluate if cross-modal interference worsened, and whether ATT was beneficial to, attentional control. Tactile interference increased reaction times but, when Stroop interference was controlled for, this was only true on incongruent trials. The impact of ATT was greatest under high perceptual load.

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