Pathology-congruent biases as biomarkers for psychopathology

Abram Davidov, Tracy L. Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Examination of emotional dysregu-lation and associated biases in psychiatric disorders may yield promising biomarkers of psychopathology. Psychiatric disorders are associated with altered attentional bias (tendency to orient attention to preferred stimuli) and interpretational bias (tendency to assign specific meaning to ambiguous stimuli). Biases seen in these disorders tend to be “pathology-congruent,” with preferential attention to stimuli that align with symptoms and con-cerns of a specific disorder. These biases have been predictive of clinical outcomes and may, therefore, support their utility as biomarkers of treatment response. This review discusses the clinical relevance of pathology-congruent biases of depression (pro-pensity for negative information), anxiety (over-awareness of threat), and addictive disorders (height-ened awareness and preference of addiction cues). Further, this review briefly highlights attention bias modification, a therapy designed specifically to address these biases. The potential for use of biases as biomarkers of treatment response, treatment targets, and differential disease indicators is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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