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Online Short Courses

Memory bias for emotional facial expressions in major depression

Author(s): N. Ridout, A. J. Astell, I. C. Reid, T. Glen, R. E. O'Carroll

Sixteen clinically depressed patients and sixteen healthy controls were presented with a set of emotional facial expressions and were asked to identify the emotion portrayed by each face. They were subsequently given a recognition memory test for these faces. There was no difference between the groups in terms of their ability to identify emotion from faces. All participants identified emotional expressions more accurately than neutral expressions, with happy expressions being identified most accurately. During the recognition memory phase the depressed patients demonstrated superior memory for sad expressions, and inferior memory for happy expressions, relative to neutral expressions. Conversely, the controls demonstrated superior memory for happy expressions, and inferior memory for sad expressions, relative to neutral expressions. These results are discussed in terms of the cognitive model of depression proposed by Williams, Watts, MacLeod, and Mathews (1997).

Full version: Available here

Click the link to go to an external website with the full version of the paper

ISBN: 0269-9931
Publication Year: 2003
Periodical: Cognition & Emotion
Periodical Number: 1
Volume: 17
Pages: 101-122
Author Address: