Combining attentional bias modification with dorsolateral prefrontal rTMS does not attenuate maladaptive attentional processing
Number of pages
SourceScientific Reports, 9, (2019), article 1168
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Memory & Emotion
SW OZ BSI KLP
SW OZ BSI SCP
PI Group Decision Neuroscience
Subject130 000 Cognitive Neurology & Memory; 140 000 Decision neuroscience; All institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Behaviour Change and Well-being; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
High frequency repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms and improve cognitive biases such as attentional bias. One promising technique that may complement rTMS treatment is attentional bias modification (ABM) training, given the similarity in modulating attentional bias and affecting neuronal activity. We tested whether the combination of rTMS treatment and ABM training in a single session would attenuate maladaptive attentional processing and improve mood in participants with subclinical depressive symptoms. To this end, 122 healthy participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups, receiving either a single rTMS treatment, a single ABM treatment, a combination of rTMS and ABM or a sham treatment. Of these 122 participants, 72 showed a heightened BDI-II score (between 9 and 25) and were included in our main analyses. In our subclinical (>=9 and <=25 BDI-II) sample, a single combination treatment of rTMS and ABM training induced no significant changes in attentional bias, attentional control or mood, nor did rTMS alone affect attentional bias systematically. We discuss these null findings in light of the task specifics and relate them to the ongoing discussion on ABM training in depression.
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