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This project investigates whether a cognitive intervention that is explicitly designed to promote positive affect increases cognitive function in a sample of older adults.  Cognitive Bias Modification using mental imagery (CBM-I), in which people repeatedly generate positive imagery in response to ambiguous cues, has been shown to boost positive mood in healthy volunteers (Holmes et al, 2006), dysphoric participants (Pictet et al, 2011) and people with depression (Lang et al 2012).  Although the effect of this intervention in older adults has not yet been investigated, it is predicted that 4 weeks of CBM using positive mental imagery will boost mood in older adults and this will have the secondary effect of improving cognitive function.

If you are interested in taking part in this research, please click here.

Researchers:  Dr Susannah Murphy, Professor Emily Holmes, Professor Kia Nobre, Erin Drazich, Clare O'Donoghue

Funding: NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre


Holmes EA, Mathews A, Dalgleish T, Mackintosh B. Positive interpretation training: effects of mental 
imagery versus verbal training on positive mood. Behav Ther. 2006
Pictet A, Coughtrey AE, Mathews A, Holmes EA. Fishing for happiness: the effects of generating
positive imagery on mood and behaviour. Behav Res Ther. 2011 Dec;49(12):885-91.
Lang TJ, Blackwell SE, Harmer CJ, Davison P, Holmes EA. Cognitive Bias Modification Using
Mental Imagery for Depression: Developing a Novel Computerized Intervention to Change Negative
Thinking Styles. European Journal of Personality 26(2) 145-157