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Varna Hall - Marinela

General Psychological Processes and Neuroscience

Iftah Yovel, Ayşegül Kart, Adi Dayan Riva, Sirma Boykova Speaker

10:30 Assessing Anxiety Sensitivity Non-Directly Using the Questionnaire-Based Implicit Association Test (qIAT)

Iftah Yovel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ariela Friedman, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Gidi Aviram, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Psychology Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


10:45 Relation of Metacognitions and Avoidance in Agoraphobia

Ayşegül Kart, Bakırköy Mazhar Osman Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Education and Research Hospital
Mehmet Hakan Türkçapar, Hasan Kalyoncu University

11:00 You Are What You Do: Response Conflict and Enhanced Action Tendencies in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Adi Dayan Riva, Ben Gurion University in the Negev

11:15 Combined application of cognitive behavioral therapy and EEG feedback (neurotherapy) - case presentations

Sirma Boykova, CBT and Neuro Training Center, Varna
Slavena Bolova, CBT and Neuro Training Center, Varna

11:30 Discussion

Abstracts:

1)Assessing Anxiety Sensitivity Non-Directly Using the Questionnaire-Based Implicit Association Test (qIAT)

Iftah Yovel, Ariela Friedman, Gidi Aviram, Psychology Department, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Introduction:
Anxiety sensitivity (AS; fear related to experiences of anxiety) is a well researched transdiagnostic risk factor, particularly germane to anxiety disorders. To date, AS has been typically measured by self-report questionnaires. However, self-report methods are prone to biases related to inaccurate or incomplete self-knowledge and to a variety of self-presentational strategies. This limitation may be particularly relevant in therapy outcome studies, where clients might be motivated to exaggerate their symptoms due to secondary gains, or alternatively feel pressured to report a higher degree of improvement. Reaction-time (RT)-based Implicit assessment methods such as the implicit association test (IAT; Greenwald et al, 1998) can access self-knowledge in a relatively automatic manner and provide incremental information to standard self-reports in research and clinical contexts. Until recently, however, the scope of implicit assessment has been restricted due to limitations of existing RT-based implicit measures (e.g., the use of single words as stimuli).

Methods:
In the present study, we examined a novel method of implicitly assessing AS, using the Questionnaire-Based Implicit Association Test (qIAT; Yovel & Friedman, 2013). The qIAT is an implicit RT-based method that is similar to the IAT, but it also resembles the assessment procedures of self-report questionnaires. Most importantly, the qIAT uses full sentences (e.g., ordinary questionnaires’ items) rather than single words as stimuli, and it therefore clearly assesses intended constructs, rather than mere associations. To examine the reliability, convergent and discriminant validity of the implicit assessment of AS, participants (N = 132) completed self-report measures of three different constructs: AS, Need for Closure (NFC) and Aggressive Humor (AGH), as well as the AS-qIAT.

Results:
The split-half reliability (Spearman-Brown corrected) of the AS-qIAT was 0.90. Supporting the convergence and discriminant validity of implicit measurement of AS, the correlation between the explicit and implicit scores of AS was significant, r = .41, p < .001, and it was significantly larger (p's < .05) than the correlations of the AS implicit scores with the two other scales, NFC (r = .18) and AGH (r = .14).

Conclusions:
Taken together, these findings open the door for the implicit measurement of AS, as well as additional complex constructs formerly assessed exclusively by self-report scales, in a wide variety of clinical contexts.

 

2) Relation of Metacognitions and Avoidance in Agoraphobia

Ayşegül Kart,MD, Psychiatrist, Bakırköy Mazhar Osman Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Education and Research Hospital ; Mehmet Hakan Türkçapar, Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Psychology, Hasan Kalyoncu University, Istanbul/Turkey

Introduction:
Agoraphobia is defined as a marked fear or anxiety and avoidance of a wide range of situations. Recently, in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) agoraphobia is diagnosed independently of panic disorder and in clinical samples prevelance of agoraphobia without panic attacks is low. Thus, there’s few data about agoraphobia without panic disorder in the literature. In this study we aimed to study relationship of avoidance and metacognition in agoraphobia

Method:
77 agoraphobic patients (69% women, 31% men) completed Mobility Inventory for Agoraphobia (MIA) and Metacognitions Questionnaire (MCQ)

Results:
There were statistically strong correlations between total and cognitive confidence, positive beliefs about worry, cognitive self-consciousness, negative beliefs about uncontrollability of thoughts and danger, beliefs about need to control thoughts subscales of MCQ and avoidance alone (p< 0,001 in all correlations) and avoidance accompanied subscales (p<0,001, p<0,001, p=0,002, p<0,001, p<0,001, p=0,003, respectively) of MIA

Discussion:
Dysfunctional metacognitions might be a vulnerability factor for occurrence and maintenance of anxiety disorders. In this study, there was not any significant difference according to metacognitive beliefs between avoidance alone and accompanied in Agoraphobia. The lack of a control group was our limitation.

Conclusion:
For a better recognition of Agoraphobia, further studies are needed.

3) You Are What You Do: Response Conflict and Enhanced Action Tendencies in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Adi Dayan Riva, Ben Gurion University in the Negev

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by recurrent and intrusive thoughts and/or behaviors. OCD symptoms are often triggered by external stimuli. It has therefore been suggested that difficulty inhibiting responses to stimuli associated with strong action tendencies may underlie symptoms. The current study examined at the brain electrophysiological level, whether such stimuli, associated with a strong automatic response, are associated with enhanced action response tendencies in OCD participants relative to healthy controls. The event-related potential (ERP) component of the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) was used as a measure of action tendencies. ERPs were recorded while 38 participants with OCD and 38 healthy controls performed a variation of the Stroop task using colored arrows. Results showed that the OCD group presented greater LRP amplitudes over bilateral fronto-parietal areas than the control group. This LRP effect was found in the incongruent trials. Results support the hypothesis that stronger readiness for action characterizes OCD, especially when there is a need to suppress a dominant response tendency. These findings were found to be specific to OCD, and were not associated with anxiety and depression symptoms. These findings support the notion of stronger habitual behavior and embodiment tendencies in OCD, which may serve as a preliminary step towards altering the focus of OCD treatment leaning further towards action focused approaches.

4) Combined application of cognitive behavioral therapy and EEG feedback (neurotherapy) - case presentations

Sirma Boykova, CBT and Neuro Training Center, Varna
Slavena Bolova, CBT and Neuro Training Center, Varna

Biofeedback therapy, and EEG feedback in particular, has undergone rapid development in the last two decades. The method has been successfully applied both alone and in combination with other therapeutic approaches for prevention and treatment of a wide range of psychiatric, psychosomatic, and neurological disorders.

The concept of parallel application of cognitive behavioral therapy and neurotherapy is relatively new. However, studies have shown that the combined application considerably enhances the effectiveness of both therapies.

The parallel work through both approaches allows for a more complete and clearer picture of the patient’s condition as far as the diagnosis is concerned, and helps to refine the direction of therapeutic work. It supports the therapist in the psychoeducational part by allowing for a demonstration of various psychosomatic dependencies. It also allows for a follow-up, in real time, of the changes in the patient’s condition and objectifies the results of therapy.

In this report we will show the results of the combined application of cognitive behavioral therapy and EEG feedback therapy in three cases with different clinical pictures.