New research has found a computerized attention-control training program significantly reduced combat veterans’ preoccupation with — or avoidance of — threat and attendant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
By contrast, another type of computerized training, called attention bias modification, which has proven helpful in treating anxiety disorders, did not reduce PTSD symptoms.
While attention bias modification trains attention either away from or toward threat, attention-control training teaches participants that threatening stimuli are irrelevant to performing their task, the researchers explained. This type of training requires them to attend equally to threatening and neutral stimuli.
The study determined that this reduced symptoms by reducing attention bias variability.