Attentional training has been used to modify attentional bias patterns in anxious individuals. This study examined the effect of attentional training on anxious archers' information processing using electrophysiological indices. Eighteen experienced archers with relatively high levels of competitive anxiety were assigned to either a training group or a control group. The training group received a 6-week attentional training protocol that was designed to switch attention away from threats, whereas the control group participated in a placebo training. The results revealed a smaller P1 difference wave for the training group in the posttest compared with pretest, whereas no change in N1 amplitude was found after training. The P1 difference wave finding suggests that more similar visual attentional resources were invested in probes replacing positive cues compared with probes replacing threatening cues after attentional bias training. In particular, archers who accepted training deployed similar attention resources to threatening and positive stimuli but those who accepted sham training avoided attention from threatening stimuli.
International Journal of Psychophysiology, 98(3), p.448-454