Article

Categorical and dimensional reports of experienced affect to emotion-inducing pictures in depression

Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 2EF, United Kingdom.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.86). 11/2004; 113(4):654-60. DOI: 10.1037/0021-843X.113.4.654
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Self-reported affect to positive and negative emotional pictures was contrasted in people with major depressive disorder (MDD) and never-depressed control participants (n = 25 in each group). The results revealed significant differences in response to positive images (reduced arousal, less pleasant valence, decreased happiness, increased sadness) in MDD but no clear group differences in response to negative stimuli. Extending earlier findings of reduced responsiveness to positive, but not negative, stimuli in MDD (D. M. Sloan, M. E. Strauss, S. W. Quirk, & M. Satajovik, 1997; D. M. Sloan, M. E. Strauss, & K. L. Wisner, 2001), the data indicate that blunted response to positive stimuli is found when both categorical and dimensional ratings are elicited. Further, the data replicate earlier findings of elevated sadness reports to positive stimuli (J. Rottenberg, K. L. Kasch, J. J. Gross, & I. H. Gotlib, 2002), which may reflect broader difficulties in regulating emotions in MDD.

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Available from: Rhodri Cusack, Jul 29, 2015
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    • "depression is associated with similar or reduced responses to negative stimuli compared to people without depression (Allen, Trinder, & Brennan, 1999; Berenbaum & Oltmanns, 1992; Dunn, Dalgleish, Lawrence, Cusack, & Ogilvie, 2004; Gehricke & Shapiro, 2000; Sloan, Strauss, Quirk, & Sajatovic, 1997; Sloan, Strauss, & Wisner, 2001). In addition, studies have found that depression is associated with reduced responses to positive stimuli (Allen et al., 1999; Berenbaum & Oltmanns, 1992; Dunn et al., 2004; Katsikitis & Pilowsky, 1991; Rottenberg, 2005; Rottenberg, Kasch, Gross, & Gotlib, 2002; Shestyuk, Deldin, Brand, & Deveney, 2005; Sloan et al., 1997, 2001). In short, these studies suggest, somewhat counterintuitively, that depression is associated with an overall dampening of both positive and negative emotion responses. "
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    ABSTRACT: The current studies were designed to investigate if the emotion context insensitivity hypothesis (ECI; Rottenberg & Gotlib, 2004) is applicable across the time course of emotion. Recent affective science research has pointed to the importance of considering anticipation and maintenance of emotion. In the current studies, we assessed emotion responses among college students with depression symptoms in anticipation of, during, and after an emotional picture using the emotion modulated startle paradigm. People with and without depression symptoms did not differ in blink magnitude in anticipation of emotional pictures suggesting that some anticipatory processes may not be impaired by depression symptoms. In contrast, individuals with depression symptoms did not exhibit blink magnitudes that varied by valence, either during viewing or after the pictures were removed from view. These findings suggest that ECI is relevant not only for those diagnosed with major depressive disorder, but also for people with depression symptoms that may not cross the diagnostic threshold. These data also point to the importance of considering the time course of emotion to better understand emotional deficits in individuals with differing levels of depression symptoms. Identifying where emotion goes awry across the time course of emotion can help inform treatment development.
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    • "Second, anhedonia, or reduced capacity to experience pleasure or PA from events or activities that are normally rated as interesting or pleasant, is a core symptom of depression. There is experimental evidence showing lower levels of PA in depressed patients (Clark et al, 1994), decreased reward sensitivity toward positive stimuli (Sloan et al, 1997; Dunn et al, 2004; Shankman et al, 2007), and altered reward-related decision making (Forbes et al, 2007). Taken together, the findings suggest that depressed individuals show altered Stress-Sensitivity together with a diminished ability to make use of natural rewards generating positive emotions. "
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    • "A number of studies have found that individuals with depression exhibit deficits not only in responses to positively valenced stimuli, but to negatively valenced stimuli or events as well (Kaviani et al., 2004; Peeters, Nicolson, Berkhof, Delespaul, & deVries, 2003; Rottenberg et al., 2002). Other research has found no differences in responses to unpleasant stimuli in depressed people compared with controls (Dunn et al., 2004; Sloan et al., 2001). Thus, although deficits in responses to positive stimuli in depression seem robust, responses to negatively valenced stimuli have been found to be more variable . "
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