Attenuating the alcohol allure: attentional broadening reduces rapid motivational response to alcohol pictures

Nicole C. Ryerson, Lauren B. Neal, Philip A. Gable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Rationale: Past research has found that exposure to alcohol cues causes a narrowing of attentional scope and enhances the neural responses associated with approach motivation. Objective: The current research sought to determine if a manipulated broadened (global) attentional scope would reduce approach-motivated neural reactivity to alcohol pictures. Methods: In the current study, participants (n = 82) were exposed to alcohol and neutral pictures following either a global or local attentional scope manipulation. Early motivated attentional processing was assessed using the N1 event-related potential (ERP), a neurophysiological marker of rapid motivated attention. Results: A global attentional scope reduced N1 amplitudes to alcohol pictures as compared to a local attentional scope. Self-reported binge drinking related to larger N1 amplitudes to alcohol pictures, but not to neutral pictures. Individuals with greater binge drinking experience demonstrated increased rapid motivated attentional processing to alcohol pictures. Conclusions: These results suggest that enhancing a global (vs. local) attentional scope attenuates rapid motivated attentional processing of alcohol pictures in comparison to neutral pictures. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1254
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology


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