Previous studies in currently depressed individuals suggest attentional biases pertain specifically to sad/dysphoric stimuli, while threat-related stimuli elicit attentional biases in currently anxious individuals (Gotlib et al., 2004). This study examined attentional bias to OC-relevant scenes using a visual search task. We thank Martine Ruiter for her helpful ideas and for her assistance in the initial process of data-reduction and especially Prof. M.S. The funding was given to the NESDA consortium. Video abstract from Dr LeMoult on her recently published paper "Attentional bias training in girls at risk for depression". Visualization, The aim of this study was to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms in the maintenance of depression. In this study, we tested the robustness of these earlier findings by comparing a large group of rMDD to never-depressed individuals with regard to their AB for positive and negative adjectives, as well as for general threat words. Less negative AB scores were indicative of a weaker inhibition of return effect (see [55]). For the correct trials and missing pairs in calculating TL-BS per stimulus type per presentation time, see S3 Appendix. Part of the participants used medication such as antidepressants (AD). than never depressed individuals [23]. The traditional AB scores were calculated using the formula suggested by Mogg et al.,[53]: Attentional bias score (AB score) = (median RT invalid emotional cue–median RT valid emotional cue)–(median RT invalid neutral cue–median RT valid neutral cue). Conceptualization, This topic continues to inspire the development of new tasks and training paradigms that have … Post-stroke depression increases the likelihood of adverse physical symptoms. At shorter presentation times of the cues (100–300 ms), faster responding is generally found on validly cued trials compared to invalidly cued trials, a finding that is referred to as the “cue validity” or cue facilitation effect. Attentional biases may explain an individual's failure to consider alternative possibilities when occupied with an existing train of thought. Data curation, One way to test further the relevance of this finding would be to examine if AB for general threat stimuli may heighten the chance of recurrence and might heighten the probability of the development of (comorbid) anxiety disorders. Project administration, Depression is a common and severe mental disorder. Conceptualization, Department of Clinical Psychology & Experimental Psychopathology, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands,, Editor: Mariska E. Kret, Leiden University, NETHERLANDS, Received: April 14, 2017; Accepted: September 20, 2018; Published: October 31, 2018. Yes In the process of translating we had to make pragmatic choices which might have been suboptimal; more generally the current task was not optimally suited to examine the relevance of TL-BS indices. The current findings cast some doubt on the robustness of these earlier findings. Yes Trial types (e.g., a positive valid trial with 500 ms presentation time) with 40% errors or more were also excluded. [30]to examine the temporal dynamics of AB. 5.13), p = .07, 95% CI [-0.84; 23.67], d = 0.23); indicating that the mixed MDD/AD group tended to show higher (less negative) AB-threat scores than the comparison group (see also Table 4). In addition, for both presentation times the mixed MDD/AD group showed more variability in AB scores for general threat words than the comparison group which may be interpreted as further evidence for a heightened sensitivity for threat stimuli (cf. Writing – review & editing, Affiliation Cues were 16 generally threatening words, 16 neutral words, 16 negative adjectives, and 16 positive adjectives (see Table 1). This study was designed to examine selective processing of emotional information in depression. According to cognitive models of depression, selective attentional biases (ABs) for mood-congruent information are core vulnerability factors of depression maintenance. After this process, participants were asked to sign the consent form. Depressed and healthy participants demonstrated no such effect. The process of AB might not only be specific for diagnoses but could also play a transdiagnostic role in psychopathology. Each trial started with the presentation of the fixation cross and the two placeholders for 500 ms. Next, a word cue was presented in the left or right placeholder, for 500 ms (short presentation time) or 1250 ms (long presentation time). Because of the recurrent nature of depression and its severe consequences, it is of great importance to improve our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the development, maintenance, and recurrence of depression. A disorder was considered current if participants suffered from it in the past month. The assessments at baseline and follow-up were largely similar; they lasted between 3 and 5 hours and were conducted on one day. To the extent that these factors do not exert their influence via attentional bias, this may have reduced the sensitivity of the current study to find between group differences in AB. Stimuli were presented on a black background. This study aimed to examine the impact of oxytocin on attentional processes to social faces representing anger, disgust, and happiness in patients with anorexia nervosa. Given the stimulus onset asynchrony used in the current study (500 and 1250 ms), negative cue validity effects were to be expected. No, Is the Subject Area "Reaction time" applicable to this article? We just published a new paper on attentional bias modification and social anxiety. There was converging evidence indicating that individuals with mixed MDD/AD showed an AB for general threat words that reflected a vigilance-avoidance pattern. Attentional bias toward threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. For TL-BS Variability Positive 1250 ms, the mean difference between the comparison group and the mixed MDD/AD group was 0.87 (s.e. Thus, although our findings did not provide straightforward support for the usefulness of TL-BS as an index of the temporal dynamics in AB that might have superior power over traditional AB indices on negative adjectives to differentiate between groups, it cannot be seen as a critical challenge to the relevance of indices that take temporal dynamics into account. This study aims to clarify the presence of these ABs among individuals with clinical and subclinical depression. Cognitive Bias Modification can help Boost Your Mood, Reduce Stress and Break Addiction. Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, Roles The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. In these trials, instead of a word cue, a digit appeared for 100 ms at the location of the fixation cross. Data curation, There was a non-significant trend for AB Threat 500 ms (F (3, 853) = 2.32, p = .07, partial η2 = .008). For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click To test whether differences in AB would be most pronounced when stimuli would be presented for a longer duration as was found in previous analogue research (e.g., [24]), we also included trials with 1250 ms presentation time. Yes For the positive adjectives the between subject tests indicated a significant difference between groups for Positive Towards 500 ms F (3,734) = 3.74, p = .01, partial η2 = .01; Positive Towards 1250 ms F (3,734) = 3.04, p = .02, partial η2 = .01, and for Positive Away 1250 ms F (3,734) = 6.21, p < .001, partial η2 = .02. However, it is notable that negative facial expressions include sadness, surprise, anger, etc. Given that depressed patients tend to also score high on anxiety questionnaires, it can often not be ruled out that any observed AB is mainly driven by anxiety rather than depression levels. All in all, the findings do not corroborate the view that an AB towards negative or away from positive adjectives is critically involved in currently depressed individuals. For both short and long presentation times, participants were generally faster on invalid than on valid trials. Funding: The infrastructure for the NESDA study ( has been funded through the Geestkracht program of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (Zon-Mw, grant number 10-000-1002; and participating universities (VU University Medical Center, Leiden University Medical Center, University Medical Center Groningen). Methods Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and non-depressed control subjects completed an eye-tracking task to assess attention of processing negative, positive and neutral facial expressions. However, data are available upon request via the NESDA Data Access Committee ( Within the current ECT there were differential lags between the various TL-BSs rendering it problematic to calculate TL-BS Variability in exactly the same way as Zvielli et al. The number of trial types among which pairings have to be made is increased considerably from 3 in the dot probe task to 8 in the currently analyzed ECT. Writing – review & editing, Affiliation See S1 Appendix for the stimulus words per stimulus type. Writing – review & editing, Affiliations For TL-BS Variability Threat 500 ms the mixed MDD/AD group showed significantly more variability than the comparison group with a mean difference of 0.88 (s.e. After that, the ECT and questionnaires were completed. 0.52), p = .96, 95% CI [-1.47; 1.01], d = 0.07) nor the rMDD group (mean difference 0.18 (s.e. Resources, ADs were generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, and agoraphobia. For Threat 500 ms F (3,871) = 5.16, p = .002, partial η2 = .01 and for Threat 1250 ms F (3,871) = 4.85, p = .002, partial η2 = .009 there was a significant difference between groups. © 2020 The Author(s). Previously depressed individuals and dysphoric individuals spent less time looking at positive images than never-depressed persons. In a complementary approach, to test the temporal dynamics of the stimulus specificity of AB between the groups for the different stimuli types, we subjected (absolute) mean TL-BS scores and (absolute) peak TL-BS scores, and TL-BS Variability to similar MANOVA’s with TL-BS indices as dependent factor and Group (Comparison, rMDD, MDD, and MDD/AD) as fixed factor. The attentional bias describes our tendency to focus on certain elements while ignoring others. Depression is associated with an increased focus on negative interpretations of events and negative biases in attention and memory. Is the Subject Area "Depression" applicable to this article? Next to the ECT there were two other cognitive performance measures: A computerized working memory task (N-back) and an Implicit Association Task assessing self-anxious and self-depressed associations (for details see [35]and the website Participants received written study information at home to read before they were invited to the face-to-face interview. This study found no consistent evidence for AB towards negative adjectives or away from positive adjectives in strictly defined clinical groups of MDD participants with or without a comorbid AD. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether negative attentional biases are trainable and causally linked to changes in important characteristics of depression, namely self-esteem. In addition, we included positive stimuli to test whether AB in MDD is not only characterized by enhanced attention for negative information but also an attenuated bias for positive information. [55]), this AB may reflect a heightened sensitivity for negative adjectives. For TL-BS Mean Threat 500 ms Towards, the mixed MDD/AD group showed significantly higher scores than the comparison group with a mean difference of 1.05 (s.e. Fifth, we translated the TL-BS from a VPT using 3 categories to this ECT using 4 categories of stimuli. Participants also completed trait and state psychological measures and provided saliva samples for cortisol analysis. We investigated both stimulus specificity and time course of AB in these groups, adopting a cross-sectional design. Biased attention has been studied in clinically as well as subclinically depressed samples.

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