Mood-Congruent Attentional Bias in Dysphoria: Maintained Attention to and Impaired Disengagement From Negative Information.

Ghent University, Department of Psychology, Gent, Belgium.
Emotion (Impact Factor: 3.88). 01/2006; 5(4):446-55. DOI: 10.1037/1528-3542.5.4.446
Source: PubMed


Attentional bias to negative information has been proposed to be a cognitive vulnerability factor for the development of depression. In 2 experiments, the authors examined mood-congruent attentional bias in dysphoria. In both experiments, dysphoric and nondysphoric participants performed an attentional task with negative, positive, and neutral word cues preceding a target. Targets appeared either at the same or at the opposite location of the cue. Overall, results indicate that dysphoric participants show maintained attention for negative words at longer stimulus presentations, which is probably caused by impaired attentional disengagement from negative words. Furthermore, nondysphoric participants maintain their attention more strongly to positive words. These results are discussed in relation to recent developments in the pathogenesis and treatment of depression.

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    • "This study is the first to demonstrate a positive association between negative attention biases and symptoms of depression in an unselected adolescent sample. This overall finding is in line with previous studies of attention biases in clinically depressed (Eizenman et al., 2003; Gotlib et al., 2004a; Gotlib et al., 2004b; Gupta & Kar, 2012; Joormann & Gotlib, 2007; Leyman et al., 2007; Rinck & Becker, 2005; Suslow, Junghanns & Arolt, 2001) and dysphoric (Bradley et al., 1998; Ellenbogen et al., 2002; Koster et al., 2005; Shane & Peterson, 2007) adults. Furthermore, it extends a study of adolescents which found an association between attention bias and negative affect (Lonigan & Vasey, 2009) and supports an adolescent extension of cognitive theories, in which depression is associated with attention (albeit weakly) as well as elaborative (e.g., memory and interpretive) biases (Beck, 1967; Mathews & MacLeod, 2005; Williams et al., 1997). "
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescence is a vulnerable time for the onset of depression. Recent evidence from adult studies suggests not only that negative attention biases are correlated with symptoms of depression, but that reducing negative attention biases through training can in turn reduce symptomology. The role and plasticity of attention biases in adolescent depression, however, remains unclear. This study examines the association between symptoms of depression and attention biases, and whether such biases are modifiable, in a community sample of adolescents. We report data from 105 adolescents aged 13–17 who completed a dot-probe measure of attention bias before and after a single session of visual search-based cognitive bias modification training. This is the first study to find a significant association between negative attention biases and increased symptoms of depression in a community sample of adolescents. Contrary to expectations, we were unable to manipulate attention biases using a previously successful cognitive bias modification task. There were no significant effects of the training on positive affect and only modest effects of the training, identified in post-hoc analyses, were observed on negative affect. Our data replicate those from the adult literature, which suggest that adolescent depression is a disorder associated with negative attention biases, although we were unable to modify attention biases in our study. We identify numerous parameters of our methodology which may explain these null training effects, and which could be addressed in future cognitive bias modification studies of adolescent depression.
    PeerJ 10/2015; 3(7):e1372. DOI:10.7717/peerj.1372 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    • "Two stimulus durations were used to assess attention disengagement from stimuli presented briefly and for more prolonged durations. Biases for the latter are typically associated with depression (Koster et al., 2005). After cue offset, a probe (either ‫ء‬ or ‫ءء‬ ) appeared immediately on the left or right side of visual field and remained on the screen until the participant responded. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cognitive theories of depression posit that selective attention for negative information contributes to the maintenance of depression. The current study experimentally tested this idea by randomly assigning adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to 4 weeks of computer-based attention bias modification designed to reduce negative attention bias or 4 weeks of placebo attention training. Findings indicate that compared to placebo training, attention bias modification reduced negative attention bias and increased resting-state connectivity within a neural circuit (i.e., middle frontal gyrus and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) that supports control over emotional information. Further, pre- to post-training change in negative attention bias was significantly correlated with depression symptom change only in the active training condition. Exploratory analyses indicated that pre- to post-training changes in resting state connectivity within a circuit associated with sustained attention to visual information (i.e., precuenus and middle frontal gyrus) contributed to symptom improvement in the placebo condition. Importantly, depression symptoms did not change differentially between the training groups-overall, a 40% decrease in symptoms was observed across attention training conditions. Findings suggest that negative attention bias is associated with the maintenance of depression; however, deficits in general attentional control may also maintain depression symptoms, as evidenced by resting state connectivity and depression symptom improvement in the placebo training condition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 04/2015; 124(3). DOI:10.1037/abn0000049 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition to cognitive impairments, individuals with MDD attend more to negative information, and remember negative information more accurately than controls (Watkins et al., 1996; Koster et al., 2005). The underlying electrophysiological activity related to these mood-congruent biases can also be examined using ERPs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rates of major depressive disorder (MDD) following traumatic brain injury (TBI) are estimated to be between 20% and 45%, a higher prevalence than that seen in the general population. These increased rates may be due to specific changes in brain function following TBI. Event related potentials (ERPs) are well suited for measuring the electrophysiological differences between groups in areas of cognitive processing impaired in both MDD and TBI, such as response inhibition. The current study presented an emotional Go/Nogo task (with schematic emotional faces as stimuli) to participants with TBI, participants with MDD, and participants with both TBI and MDD (TBI-MDD). Topographical distribution of activity and global field power comparisons were made across stimulus-locked epochs between these groups and healthy controls. The results indicated that ERPs were not altered by TBI alone. Both MDD and TBI-MDD groups showed similar alterations in topographical distribution and global field power in the N2 window, as well as late epoch alterations. The MDD and TBI-MDD groups showed significantly less fronto-central negativity during the N2 window in Nogo trials compared with the control group. The MDD and TBI-MDD groups also showed significantly less global field power in Nogo trials than Go trials during the N2 window while the control group showed the opposite pattern. The MDD and TBI-MDD groups showed no mood-congruent bias in behavioural or ERP measures. The results suggest that TBI-MDD displays similar electrophysiological changes to those found in the MDD group without TBI.
    Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 12/2014; 224(3). DOI:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.09.008 · 2.42 Impact Factor
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