Specificity and overlap of attention and memory biases in depression.
J Affect Disord. 2018 Jan 01;225:404-412
Authors: Marchetti I, Everaert J, Dainer-Best J, Loeys T, Beevers CG, Koster EHW
BACKGROUND: Attentional and memory biases are viewed as crucial cognitive processes underlying symptoms of depression. However, it is still unclear whether these two biases are uniquely related to depression or whether they show substantial overlap.
METHODS: We investigated the degree of specificity and overlap of attentional and memory biases for depressotypic stimuli in relation to depression and anxiety by means of meta-analytic commonality analysis. By including four published studies, we considered a pool of 463 healthy and subclinically depressed individuals, different experimental paradigms, and different psychological measures.
RESULTS: Memory bias is reliably and strongly related to depression and, specifically, to symptoms of negative mood, worthlessness, feelings of failure, and pessimism. Memory bias for negative information was minimally related to anxiety. Moreover, neither attentional bias nor the overlap between attentional and memory biases were significantly related to depression.
LIMITATIONS: Limitations include cross-sectional nature of the study.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that, across different paradigms and psychological measures, memory bias (and not attentional bias) represents a primary mechanism in depression.
PMID: 28850855 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]