Researchers have used various paradigms to show that attentional biases for substance-related stimuli are an important feature of addictive behaviours. However, it is not clear whether these attentional biases occur at the level of encoding or at later post-attentive processing stages. We examined attentional bias at the level of encoding with the attentional blink paradigm in a sample of non-clinical heavy and light-drinking students. Our results show a diminished attentional blink effect for alcohol-related words compared with soft drink-related words among heavy drinkers. The attentional blink was equally strong for alcohol-related and soft drink-related words among light drinkers. This suggests that alcohol-related information is processed relatively more efficiently in the former group. Even though these results are promising, our study shows that the internal consistency of the attentional blink can be improved.

Additional Metadata
Keywords attentional blink, addiction, alcohol
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269881109106977, hdl.handle.net/1765/122705
Journal Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry: a journal of experimental psychopathology
Citation
Tibboel, H.F., Houwer, J, & Field, M. (2010). Reduced attentional blink for alcohol-related stimuli in heavy social drinkers. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry: a journal of experimental psychopathology. doi:10.1177/0269881109106977