This application requests five years of support to investigate attentional biases in drug dependent individuals (DDIs), how such biases are related to personality, and how contextual factors influence attentional biases in DDIs. This project applies (translates) basic cognitive science methods and theories of attention, perceptual processes, and learning to further our understanding of the clinical problem of drug dependence. Furthermore, this project seeks to understand and demonstrate the role for contextual factors (hot and cold processing) that may attentuate attentional biases and bolster self-control in DDIs. Knowledge of contextual factors that can bolster self-control would be valuable for prevention efforts in at-risk individuals and for the treatment of drug dependence.
The first aim of this project is to test the hypothesis that DDIs preferentially attend to reward stimuli and that this attentional bias is specifically associated with the personality trait of impulsivity using cognitive science methods and sophisticated eye-gaze tracking instrumentation. Attentional bias will be assessed using visual attention deployment, similarity judgment, and task-shifting protocols, and quantified using traditional measures (e.g., reaction time, gaze time/preference) as well as parameters derived from computational models. Personality will be assessed in three dimensions related to drug abuse, impulsivity, harm avoidance, and excitement seeking. The project also aims to explore the association between drug dependence, harm avoidance, negative affect, and attention to aversive stimuli.
The second aim i s to test the hypotheses that increasing activation of the approach motivational system with a hot processing instructional set will amplify this attentional bias in DDIs and decreasing activation of the approach system (cool processing set) attenuates this attentional bias.
The third aim i s to develop more externally valid laboratory protocols for assessing the cognitive - motivational processes in DDI's. This involves developing and making available to the scientific community a well-characterized and normed set of images that can be used in standard cognitive protocols tapping attention, perceptual organization, decision making and associative/category learning. This project will provide valuable information about the role of attentional biases in drug dependence and how such biases can be manipulated to increase self-control in drug abusers. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
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Lynch, Minda
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Indiana University Bloomington
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Macapagal, Kathryn; Janssen, Erick; Matson, Margaret et al. (2017) The Impact of Gain- and Loss-Framed Messages on Young Adults' Sexual Decision Making: An Experimental Study. Arch Sex Behav 46:385-394
Fukunaga, Rena; Bogg, Tim; Finn, Peter R et al. (2013) Decisions during negatively-framed messages yield smaller risk-aversion-related brain activation in substance-dependent individuals. Psychol Addict Behav 27:1141-52
Macapagal, Kathryn R; Janssen, Erick; Fridberg, Daniel J et al. (2011) The effects of impulsivity, sexual arousability, and abstract intellectual ability on men's and women's go/no-go task performance. Arch Sex Behav 40:995-1006