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J Abnorm Psychol. 2004 May;113(2):315-23.

Suppression of attentional bias in PTSD.

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Mental Health Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112-1262, USA.


Sixty combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder performed an emotional Stroop task under 1 of 4 contextual conditions designed to test theoretical explanations for an attentional bias suppression effect. Results revealed that when the emotional Stroop task was performed under conditions involving a future threat of either watching a combat video or giving a speech, attentional bias was inhibited. There was limited support for the prediction that the suppression effect was strongest when stressor content matched word content on the Stroop. In contrast to participants in the threat conditions, veterans who believed that they would receive additional compensation for speeded color naming or who believed that they would have no other experimental demands were slower when color naming combat-threat words. Potential theoretical explanations of the findings are discussed.

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