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Emotion. 2005 Dec;5(4):446-55.

Mood-congruent attentional bias in dysphoria: maintained attention to and impaired disengagement from negative information.

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Ghent University, Department of Psychology, Gent, Belgium.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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