Objectives: We tested a brief computerized mental training intervention grounded in mindfulness principles – Attention Feedback Awareness and Control Training (A-FACT). A-FACT is designed to train meta-awareness of, and thereby greater self-regulatory control over, (biased) attentional processing of emotionally salient information. Methods: We studied N = 58 trait anxious adults (M = 24, SDage = 3.25 years old; 72.4% female), among whom we expect to observe dyscontrol over attentional processing of threatening or anxiety-provoking information. Results: We found that (1) relative to an active placebo condition, participants randomized to A-FACT demonstrated higher levels of meta-awareness of biased attention; (2) relative to active placebo, A-FACT led to greater control of overt (eye movement) attention including reduced overt bias toward threat and degree of trial-to-trial temporal variability of overt attentional processing; and (3) degree of meta-awareness post-training was significantly associated with greater attentional control at post-relative to pre-training. Conclusions: Findings may have implications for mental or cognitive training technologies grounded in mindfulness principles and, more specifically, for the study of meta-awareness, attentional dyscontrol, and mental health.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- Attention bias
- Cognitive bias modification
- Mental training
- Overt attention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Health(social science)
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Applied Psychology