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.
"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. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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).
"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. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
"Future studies incorporating stimulus ratings or idiographic stimuli are needed to garner more concrete interpretations of these effects. Despite this interpretational ambiguity, the attention biases observed here are consistent with previous studies demonstrating attention biases in response to self-relevant information in anxiety and depression (Koster et al., 2005; Hope, Rapee, Heimberg, & Dombeck, 1990). While some research has begun to examine the neurobiological correlates of narcissism (Schulze et al., 2013), future research utilizing neurophysiological methods to examine cognitive and affective processes in narcissism may strengthen and extend the current findings. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Narcissistic personality disorder is associated with distinguishing traits including self-enhancement, arrogance, and intense reactivity to ego threat. Theoretical accounts of narcissism suggest these heterogeneous behaviors reflect a defensive motivational style that functions to both uphold and protect the self-concept. However, the notion that narcissism can be characterized by grandiose and vulnerable dimensions raises the possibility that these diverse behaviors represent distinct expressions of narcissistic defensiveness. The present study examined whether both dimensions exhibit a general defensive style marked by selective attention to evaluative stimuli or are differentially associated with selective attention to positive and negative information, respectively. Using a dot probe task consisting of valenced and neutral trait adjectives, we evaluated these hypotheses in a group of male offenders. Results indicated that vulnerable narcissism was associated with attention biases for both positive and negative stimuli, though the dimension was further distinguished by disengagement difficulties and a greater recognition memory bias in response to negative words. Conversely, grandiose narcissism was associated with increased accuracy when attending to positive stimuli and directing attention away from negative stimuli. Overall, these findings suggest narcissistic individuals share motivated selective attention in response to evaluative stimuli, while simultaneously highlighting important phenotypic differences between grandiose and vulnerable dimensions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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