ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 5, Issue 2, 191-199, 2014
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Selective Attention to Threat is Specific to Delusions in First-Episode Psychosis

Sarah Bendall(a), Michelle H. Lim(b),(c), Mario Alvarez-Jimenez(a), Carol, A. Hulbert(c), Patrick D. McGorry(a) and Henry J. Jackson(c)
(a) Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, The University of Melbourne
(b) Swinburne University of Technology
(c) Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2014, Pages 191-199

People diagnosed with a psychotic disorder show a selective attention to threat bias. However, it is unknown whether this attentional bias is specifically related to delusions or more generally to psychosis since the absence of the bias has not been established in people with psychosis (without delusions). It is also unknown when this bias develops in the course of psychotic disorder. These issues are investigated in people with first episode psychosis (FEP). The Stroop task was administered to three participant groups: a FEP group with current delusions (n = 31), a FEP group without current delusions (n = 11), and a non-psychiatric control group (n = 25). The FEP with delusions group showed a selective attention to threat words compared to the other groups (p = .02). Selective attention to threat is specifically related to delusions, is present early in the course of psychosis and may be candidate for new cognitive-behavioural therapies to treat medication-resistant delusions.

Table of Contents
 Data Analytic Plan
 Clinical Implications and Future Directions

Correspondence to
Dr Michelle H Lim, Brain and Psychological Sciences Centre, Swinburne University of Technology, PO 218, Hawthorn 3122, Australia

selective attention to threat bias, attentional bias, psychosis, delusions, first-episode psychosis

Received 25 Jan 2013; Revised 1 Nov 2013; Accepted 11 Nov 2013; In Press 11 Jun 2014

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