Eye-gaze contingent attention training (ECAT): Examining the causal role of attention regulation in reappraisal and rumination

Alvaro Sanchez-Lopez, Jonas Everaert, Jill Van Put, Rudi De Raedt, Ernst H. W. Koster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This study used a novel eye-gaze contingent attention training (ECAT) to test the prediction that attention regulation is involved in reappraisal and rumination. Sixty-six undergraduates were randomly assigned to either the control or the active training condition of the ECAT. Active ECAT comprised training in allocating attention toward positive words to efficiently create positive interpretations while receiving gaze-contingent feedback. Participants in the control condition freely generated interpretations without receiving gaze-contingent feedback. Active ECAT resulted in: 1) more sustained attention on positive information, in turn predicting greater reappraisal success to down-regulate negative emotions, and 2) larger reductions in state rumination after viewing negative scenes. Our results highlight the importance of considering attention mechanisms in understanding (and treating impaired) emotion regulation processes. These findings provide an important step towards the use of personalized attention training to build resources of resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-125
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume142
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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