This CoGBIAS project focuses on biases in individual’s processing of ‘positive or negative’ information. Biases in, for instance, attention orienting, information interpretation, and memory for valenced information, are associated with vulnerability for mood and anxiety disorders. However, biases affect every individual. They may be thought of as the ‘filters and short-cuts’ that enable us to deal efficiently with the wealth of information we receive from our surroundings. The aim of this project is to unravel relations among (normal) biases in different information processing domains, to assess whether specific biases are associated with certain genetic factors, and to learn how information processing interacts with stress, and with major and everyday life events. By studying biases in healthy individuals, we learn about the processes that may lead to the development of unhealthy biased information processing associated with mood and anxiety disorders.

A large part of the project is to collect genetic data, assess performance on a range of behavioural (computer)tasks, and index various psychological constructs and life events among 400 healthy volunteers (starting October 2014). Separate smaller projects are aimed at developing and testing computerized tasks to measure or modify specific biases in information processing.

 

Get involved

If you are interested in participating, would like to receive more information, or have any other inquiries, please contact the coordinating researcher Anne-Wil Kruijt by email anne-wil.kruijt@psy.ox.ac.uk