Sleep-related attentional bias for tired faces in insomnia: evidence from a dot-probe paradigm

Akram, U., Beattie, L., Ypsilanti, A., Reidy, J., Robson, A., Chapman, A. J. and Barclay, N. L. (2018) Sleep-related attentional bias for tired faces in insomnia: evidence from a dot-probe paradigm. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 103, pp. 18-23. (doi:10.1016/j.brat.2018.01.007) (PMID:29407198)

Akram, U., Beattie, L., Ypsilanti, A., Reidy, J., Robson, A., Chapman, A. J. and Barclay, N. L. (2018) Sleep-related attentional bias for tired faces in insomnia: evidence from a dot-probe paradigm. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 103, pp. 18-23. (doi:10.1016/j.brat.2018.01.007) (PMID:29407198)

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Abstract

People with insomnia often display an attentional bias for sleep-specific stimuli. However, prior studies have mostly utilized sleep-related words and images, and research is yet to examine whether people with insomnia display an attentional bias for sleep-specific (i.e. tired appearing) facial stimuli. This study aimed to examine whether individuals with insomnia present an attentional bias for sleep-specific faces depicting tiredness compared to normal-sleepers. Additionally, we aimed to determine whether the presence of an attentional bias was characterized by vigilance or disengagement. Forty-one individuals who meet the DSM-5 criteria for Insomnia Disorder and 41 normal-sleepers completed a dot-probe task comprising of neutral and sleep-specific tired faces. The results demonstrated that vigilance and disengagement scores differed significantly between the insomnia and normal-sleeper groups. Specifically, individuals with insomnia displayed difficulty in both orienting to and disengaging attention from tired faces compared to normal-sleepers. Using tired facial stimuli, the current study provides novel evidence that insomnia is characterized by a sleep-related attentional bias. These outcomes support cognitive models of insomnia by suggesting that individuals with insomnia monitor tiredness in their social environment.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics at Sheffield Hallam University.
Keywords:Attention, cognitive bias, disengagement, faces, insomnia, tiredness, vigilance.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Beattie, Dr Louise
Authors: Akram, U., Beattie, L., Ypsilanti, A., Reidy, J., Robson, A., Chapman, A. J., and Barclay, N. L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Behaviour Research and Therapy
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0005-7967
ISSN (Online):1873-622X
Published Online:03 February 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Behaviour Research and Therapy 103: 18-23
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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