Trying to stop thinking unwanted, often repetitive thoughts is a familiar experience. However, being aware of such attempts implies that the thought has already reached consciousness. Can we preempt an unwanted thought from coming to mind in the first place?
Congratulations to the PhD candidate Bushra Masalha, Prof. Nilly Mor and Dr. Shiri Ben-David, who were awarded a grant by the Israel Cancer Association along with collaborators Prof. Nazanin Derakshan from Birkbeck University of London, UK and Dr. Adi Nitzan-Luques from Hadassah medical center.
The aim of the research is to delineate factors that predict psychopathology among children with cancer and their parents. In line with central theories of emotional disorders, they focus on cognitive biases in processing threat-related information, and specifically biased attention and memory. To investigate whether these biases contribute to the maintenance of emotional difficulties beyond the immediate effects of illness, they also assess children in remission and their parents. Thus, three groups of children and their parents are assessed: children in the active phase of cancer treatment, children in remission, and healthy controls. Identifying links between cognitive biases and psychopathology might help in applying strategies of psychological interventions that could modify such biases and contribute to the well-being of these children and their parents.