Cognitive Control Processes in Paranoia: The Impact of Threat Induction on Strategic Cognition and Self-Focused Attention.
Summary of "Cognitive Control Processes in Paranoia: The Impact of Threat Induction on Strategic Cognition and Self-Focused Attention."
Background: Current clinical models emphasize certain cognitive processes in the maintenance of distressing paranoia. While a number of these processes have been examined in detail, the role of strategic cognition and self-focused attention remain under-researched. Aims: This study examined the deployment of cognitive strategies and self-focused attention in people with non-clinical paranoia. Method: An experimental design was used to examine the impact of a threat activation task on these processes, in participants with high and low non-clinical paranoia. Twenty-eight people were recruited to each group, and completed measures of anxiety, paranoid cognition, strategic cognition and self-focused attention. Results: The threat activation task was effective in increasing anxiety in people with high and low non-clinical paranoia. The high paranoia group experienced more paranoid cognitions following threat activation. This group also reported greater use of thought suppression, punishment and worry, and less use of social control strategies when under threat. No differences were found between the groups on measures of self-focused attention. Conclusions: This study shows that the threat activation task increased anxiety in people with high non-clinical paranoia, leading to increased paranoid thinking. The use of strategic cognition following threat activation varied dependent on level of non-clinical paranoia. If these differences are replicated in clinical groups, the strategies may be implicated in the maintenance of distressing psychosis, and may therefore be a valuable target for therapeutic intervention.
University of Southampton, UK.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24168825
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1352465813000891
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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.
Capacity that enables an individual to cope with and/or recover from the impact of a neural injury or a psychotic episode.
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A familial disorder inherited as an autosomal dominant trait and characterized by the onset of progressive CHOREA and DEMENTIA in the fourth or fifth decade of life. Common initial manifestations include paranoia; poor impulse control; DEPRESSION; HALLUCINATIONS; and DELUSIONS. Eventually intellectual impairment; loss of fine motor control; ATHETOSIS; and diffuse chorea involving axial and limb musculature develops, leading to a vegetative state within 10-15 years of disease onset. The juvenile variant has a more fulminant course including SEIZURES; ATAXIA; dementia; and chorea. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1060-4)