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Bias to negative emotions: A depression state-dependent marker in adolescent major depressive disorder

Maalouf, Fadi T., Clark, Luke, Tavitian, Lucy, Sahakian, Barbara J., Brent, David and Phillips, Mary L. 2012. Bias to negative emotions: A depression state-dependent marker in adolescent major depressive disorder. Psychiatry Research 198 (1) , pp. 28-33. 10.1016/j.psychres.2012.01.030

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The aim of the current research was to examine for the first time the extent to which bias to negative emotions in an inhibitory control paradigm is a state or trait marker in major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents. We administered the affective go/no go task which measures the ability to switch attention to or away from positive or negative emotional stimuli to 40 adolescents with MDD (20 in acute episode (MDDa) and 20 in remission (MDDr)) and 17 healthy controls (HC). MDDa were significantly faster on the shift to negative target blocks as compared to shift to positive target blocks while HC and MDDr displayed the opposite pattern as measured by an "emotional bias index" (EBI=latency (shift to negative targets)-latency (shift to positive targets)). There was also a trend for an effect of group on commission errors, suggesting more impulsive responding by MDDa than both MDDr and HC independently of stimulus valence throughout the task. Negative bias was not associated with depression severity or medication status. In conclusion, bias to negative emotional stimuli appears to be present in the acute stage of MDD and absent in remission suggesting that it is a depression state-specific marker of MDD in adolescents. Latency emerges as a better proxy of negative bias than commission errors and accuracy on this inhibitory control task in adolescents with MDD.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-1781
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2015 11:23

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