Suppression of attentional bias in PTSD

Joseph I. Constans, Michael S. McCloskey, Jennifer J. Vasterling, Kevin Brailey, Andrew Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-323
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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