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Research series: How, when and why does targeted cognitive training work to promote behavioral and emotional health?

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Explor­ing Tar­get­ed Cog­ni­tive Train­ing for Clin­i­cal Dis­or­ders (Asso­ci­a­tion for Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence):

Research on the treat­ment of men­tal dis­or­ders often cen­ters on under­stand­ing which treat­ments work. But know­ing that a treat­ment is effec­tive doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly tell us why the treat­ment works. A bet­ter under­stand­ing of the pre­cise mech­a­nisms that con­tribute to behav­ioral and emo­tion­al dis­or­ders, and of how treat­ments effect change, can help enhance cur­rent treat­ments and spur the devel­op­ment of new inter­ven­tion and pre­ven­tion approach­es…

We now have a few hun­dred evi­dence-based treat­ments, but our under­stand­ing of the mech­a­nisms of action remains to be elab­o­rat­ed, with very few excep­tions,” writes jour­nal edi­tor Alan Kazdin.”The series that Lisa Onken has devel­oped pro­vides stud­ies that approach under­stand­ing dis­or­ders, treat­ments, and mech­a­nisms in dif­fer­ent ways. The diver­si­ty of the research shows the range of options avail­able and need­ed to under­stand clin­i­cal dys­func­tion, treat­ment effects, and their inter­re­la­tions.”

Tak­en togeth­er, says Onken, the research pre­sent­ed in the spe­cial series “is both sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly mean­ing­ful, by pro­vid­ing knowl­edge about mech­a­nisms, and at the same time espe­cial­ly prac­ti­cal, by lay­ing the foun­da­tion for devel­op­ing inter­ven­tions that have the poten­tial for rel­a­tive­ly easy imple­men­ta­tion.”

The spe­cial series,  pub­lished in the Jan­u­ary 2015 issue of Clin­i­cal Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence (requires sub­scrip­tion), includes:

  • Cog­ni­tive Train­ing: Tar­get­ing Cog­ni­tive Process­es in the Devel­op­ment of Behav­ioral Inter­ven­tions
  • Alter­ing the Cog­ni­tive-Affec­tive Dys­func­tions of Psy­cho­path­ic and Exter­nal­iz­ing Offend­er Sub­types With Cog­ni­tive Reme­di­a­tion
  • The Atten­tion­al Bias Mod­i­fi­ca­tion Approach to Anx­i­ety Inter­ven­tion
  • Indi­vid­ual Dif­fer­ences in Response to Pre­dic­tion Bias Train­ing
  • Pos­i­tive Imagery-Based Cog­ni­tive Bias Mod­i­fi­ca­tion as a Web-Based Treat­ment Tool for Depressed Adults: A Ran­dom­ized Con­trolled Tri­al­Can Cog­ni­tive Bias Mod­i­fi­ca­tion of Inter­pre­ta­tions Train­ing Alter Mood States in Chil­dren and Ado­les­cents? A Reanaly­sis of Data From Six Stud­ies
  • Cog­ni­tive Bias Mod­i­fi­ca­tion for Inter­pre­ta­tion in Major Depres­sion: Effects on Mem­o­ry and Stress Reac­tiv­i­ty
  • Ther­a­peu­tic Oppor­tu­ni­ties for Self-Con­trol Repair in Addic­tion and Relat­ed Dis­or­ders: Change and the Lim­its of Change in Trans-Dis­ease Process­es

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