Sleep-related attentional bias in insomnia: time to examine moderating factors?

Akram, U., Barclay, N. L. and Milkins, B. (2018) Sleep-related attentional bias in insomnia: time to examine moderating factors? Frontiers in Psychology, 9 (2573). ISSN 1664-1078

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Sleep-related attentional bias in insomnia: time to examine moderating factors?
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Prominent cognitive models of insomnia have emphasized the notion that the disorder is in part maintained by an attentional bias for sleep related “threat” cues which may be internal (i.e., bodily sensations) or external (i.e., environmental) in nature (Harvey, 2002; Espie et al., 2006). To support this proposition, a growing number of studies have examined the presence of a sleep-related attentional bias for words and images using experimental tasks including the dot-probe, flicker, Posner, emotional Stroop, and eye-tracking paradigms (see Harris et al., 2015 for a review). Many of these studies have provided encouraging evidence for the presence of such a bias in insomnia. However, the evidence base advocating the presence of such a bias remains mixed with a number of studies yielding no statistically significant effects. While a recent review (Harris et al., 2015) cautiously suggests biased attention for sleep-related threat information to be a likely feature of insomnia, the authors highlight the need to understand the specificity of this bias and its relationship with mechanisms believed to underpin the disorder (e.g., sleep preoccupation). Furthermore, whilst it is possible that the mixed evidence may stem from methodological differences relating to the task or population used, the possible moderating influence of these factors on the relationship between attentional bias for sleep-related threat information and insomnia have only recently been examined (e.g., Zheng et al., 2018). With this in mind, we propose candidate factors that may play a crucial role in addressing moderating questions such as “when,” “for whom” and “under which” conditions are sleep-related attentional biases evident in individuals characterized by insomnia.

Keywords:Insomnia, Attentional Bias
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:52590
Deposited On:21 Dec 2022 16:01

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