Selective Processing of Sleep-Related Words in Psychophysiological Insomnia: A Novel Eye-Tracking Study

Woods, H. , Ross, K., Scheepers, C., Biello, S. and Espie, C. (2010) Selective Processing of Sleep-Related Words in Psychophysiological Insomnia: A Novel Eye-Tracking Study. In: 20th Congress of the European Sleep Research Society, Lisbon, Portugal, 14-18 Sept 2010, p. 286. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2010.00868.x)

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to move forward from: ‘‘snapshot’’ cognitive probe studies used to establish selective attention in insomnia and understand processing of salient sleep words over time within the context of approach and avoidance. Methods: The novel methodology to insomnia research, eye tracking, was used to monitor the eye movements of individuals with psychophysiological insomnia (PI) and good sleepers (GS) to sleep positive, sleep negative and neutral words over a three second period. Results: The data shows that individuals with insomnia are less accurate [F(1.39) = 4.6, P < .05], take longer to fixate on the target word [F(1.39) = 5.0, P < .05] and take longer to move from distractor to target word [F(1.39) = 3.9, P < .05]. There is a trend towards significance suggestive of faster processing of positive sleep words compared to sleep negative or neutral words [F(2.78) = 2.9, P = .07]. Conclusions: Irrespective of word salience, the PI would appear to show detrimental processing overall compared to GS. Interesting questions arise within this context of whether this is an artefact of fatigue or there is indeed a processing impairment. The trend toward faster processing of sleep positive words would suggest that there is a possible selective processing impairment.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Espie, Professor Colin and Cleland Woods, Heather
Authors: Woods, H., Ross, K., Scheepers, C., Biello, S., and Espie, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Published Online:31 August 2010
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