Anxiety-linked attentional bias: backward glances and future glimpses

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This brief reflection considers some of the important developments in anxiety-linked attentional bias research that have marked the three decades since the launch of Cognition and Emotion, and also identifies several challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I suggest that the steady increase in our capacity to distinguish differing facets of attentional bias and alternative dimensions of anxiety vulnerability, together with the advent of attentional bias modification techniques that can illuminate causality, has enriched theoretical understanding and created the exciting potential for clinical translation. In order to fully capitalise on this potential, I propose that researchers should address the challenge of enhancing the psychometric properties of our assessment measures, and developing training procedures that not only modify attentional bias more effectively, but that motivate sustained patient engagement. I end with some personal advice to young investigators developing their research careers within this stimulating and rewarding field of scientific inquiry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


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