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Attentional bias in euthymic bipolar I disorder


Little is known about the nature of the relation between information-processing biases and affective traits in bipolar disorder. The present study was designed to investigate whether attentional biases are evident in persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder when they are in a positive mood state, and whether biases are related to indices of emotion regulation and to prior history of mood episodes. Ninety adults diagnosed with bipolar I disorder and 81 controls with no lifetime mood disorder underwent a positive mood induction and then completed an emotion face dot-probe task; participants in the bipolar disorder group also completed a self-report measure of responses to positive affect. Attentional bias was not related to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or to symptom severity. Consistent with hypotheses, analyses within the bipolar group indicated that greater dampening of positive affect related to significantly less attention paid to the positively valenced faces. Discussion focuses on the potential role of affective traits in shaping attentional bias in bipolar disorder.

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