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J Abnorm Psychol. 1995 May;104(2):327-33.

Patterns of perceptual asymmetry in depression and anxiety: implications for neuropsychological models of emotion and psychopathology.

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Department, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 61820, USA.


More than 1,000 university undergraduates were simultaneously classified as either high or low depressed and high or low anxious and given a face-processing task that typically elicits a left hemispatial bias. Depression and anxiety were associated with opposing biases in perceptual asymmetry scores. In particular, high-depressed students had smaller left hemispatial biases than low-depressed students, whereas high-anxious students had larger left hemispatial biases than low-anxious students. The results suggest that depression and anxiety may be associated with different patterns of asymmetric hemispheric function. Because the rate of comorbidity of depression and anxiety in the population is high, these findings confirm the importance of separating anxiety and depression when examining the relationship among patterns of brain activity, emotion, and psychopathology.

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