The Effects of Withdrawal Treatment on Attentional Biases towards Drug Cues in Opioid Addiction
Wu, Haijing, 1990-
To investigate attentional biases in drug addiction, the Emotional Blink of Attention paradigm was used to study opioid-dependent patients undergoing inpatient withdrawal treatment at the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital. In multiple trials, participants identified a target photo which appeared in an RSVP stream 200 or 800 msec after an erotic, neutral, or opioid-related (pill) distractor photo. Patients generally performed worse at the task than controls, which may reflect cognitive impairment from withdrawal symptoms. Patients exhibited an attentional blink after the presentation of pill distractors which, although greater than that shown by controls, was not differentially greater relative to their overall poorer performance. Task accuracy for pill distractors at lag 2 was modulated by the implementation of treatment in patients, whereas accuracy remained consistent across time in controls. Interestingly, task accuracy for pill distractors at lag 8 did not improve in patients, which may suggest prolonged problems disengaging from drug stimuli even after treatment.