The proposed project aims to test the cognitive and neural effects of a cognitive training in a sample of individuals seeking treatment for anxiety, depression, or traumatic stress symptoms. Participants will be randomly assigned to a high dose, low dose, or assessment only condition. Participants will be compared on cognitive performance and brain response during cognitive tasks from baseline to post-treatment.
Enhancing Transdiagnostic Mechanisms of Cognitive Dyscontrol Using Computer-based Training
Mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders are common psychiatric conditions - affecting over 40 million U.S. adults - and are leading causes of disability worldwide. People with these conditions are commonly plagued by difficulty controlling distressing personal thoughts and memories, collectively referred to as repetitive negative thinking symptoms. Models suggest that repetitive negative thinking is driven by executive functioning deficits, such that cognitive resources are insufficient to downregulate unwanted thoughts. Executive functioning deficits could be a promising treatment target but are not typically addressed with existing interventions. The long-term goal advanced by this project is to develop effective, mechanistic cognitive training programs that can improve cognition and reduce symptoms associated with mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders. The objectives of this proposal are first to determine the optimal dose of a cognitive training program designed to improve executive functioning in this population using behavioral and neural outcomes. The central hypothesis is that repeated training exercises will enhance executive functioning and will lead to a reduction of repetitive negative thinking in mood, anxiety, and traumatic stress disorders. The project will randomize participants with depression, anxiety, and/or traumatic stress disorders to one of two doses of cognitive training or a no-treatment control condition. The investigators will examine executive functioning change with cognitive task performance and functional neuroimaging assessments.