Approach Bias Retraining to Augment Smoking Cessation

Approach Bias Retraining to Augment Smoking Cessation

Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Standard smoking cessation care (cognitive behavioral therapy and nicotine replacement therapy), is effective in approximately 20% of the cases, clearly indicating there is substantial room for improvement. Current work suggests that despite standard interventions, continued substance abuse may result from addictive behaviors governed partly through automatic processes that exert their influence outside conscious control. This is important from a treatment perspective, as we should develop treatments to target implicit processes. Among a number of promising targets for intervention, cognitive biases are important to address as they have been implicated as maintenance factors for addiction. Approach bias, defined as the automatically activated action tendency to approach smoking-related stimuli, is a relatively novel cognitive bias and has been related to failed smoking cessation. A recently developed task for approach bias assessment is the Approach Bias Retraining (ABR), a computerized joystick task increasingly used to measure automatic approach tendencies in addiction research. This clinical trial will evaluate a smoking cessation intervention that integrates standard care with approach bias retraining. Results will provide novel information regarding the potential benefits of engaging implicit cognitive biases as a means to augment traditional smoking cessation therapy. This study has the potential to help individuals attempting to quit smoking and, ultimately, provide unique information about the importance of targeting implicit processes to complement standard care.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Behavioral - Approach Bias Retraining

The Approach Avoidance Task (AAT) used for this experiment is an implicit, computerized paradigm in which participants respond to visually presented pictures on a computer screen displaying either 1) smoking-related images or 2) positive images, by pulling a joystick either towards their body (approach movement) or pushing it away from their body (avoidance movement). By pulling the joystick towards their body, the picture grows in size; by pushing the joystick away, the picture shrinks and then more on

Behavioral - SHAM Training

SHAM Training

Approach Bias Retraining to Augment Smoking Cessation