New Form of Brain-Training May Help Prevent Relapse After Alcohol Treatment

A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry has shown that it may be possible to dampen the workings of the subconscious brain to prevent alcohol relapse. Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM), a new form of computerized brain-training, is focused on training the brain to automatically avoid alcohol cues, with findings showing that early relapse was reduced by 17 percent after four sessions of CBM, compared to those who received a “control” (placebo) version of the task. The study has resulted in researchers developing a CBM smartphone app called “SWiPE”, where people can upload alcoholic beverages or brands they wish to train their subconscious brain to avoid, while at the same time ‘approaching’ images of more positive, healthy activities they want to do more of.

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