Autobiographical memory specificity in response to verbal and pictorial cues in clinical depression

Ridout, Nathan, Dritschel, Barbara, Matthews, Keith and O'Carroll, Ronan (2016). Autobiographical memory specificity in response to verbal and pictorial cues in clinical depression. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 51 , pp. 109-115.

Abstract

Background Depressed individuals have been consistently shown to exhibit problems in accessing specific memories of events from their past and instead tend to retrieve categorical summaries of events. The majority of studies examining autobiographical memory changes associated with psychopathology have tended to use word cues, but only one study to date has used images (with PTSD patients). Objective to determine if using images to cue autobiographical memories would reduce the memory specificity deficit exhibited by patients with depression in comparison to healthy controls. Methods Twenty-five clinically depressed patients and twenty-five healthy controls were assessed on two versions of the autobiographical memory test; cued with emotional words and images. Results Depressed patients retrieved significantly fewer specific memories, and a greater number of categorical, than did the controls. Controls retrieved a greater proportion of specific memories to images compared to words, whereas depressed patients retrieved a similar proportion of specific memories to both images and words. Limitations no information about the presence and severity of past trauma was collected. Conclusions results suggest that the overgeneral memory style in depression generalises from verbal to pictorial cues. This is important because retrieval to images may provide a more ecologically valid test of everyday memory experiences than word-cued retrieval.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.01.002
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences > Psychology
Life & Health Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
Life & Health Sciences
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: autobiographical memory test,depression,imagery,overgeneral memory,specificity,Psychiatry and Mental health,Experimental and Cognitive Psychology,Clinical Psychology,Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
Published Date: 2016-06
Authors: Ridout, Nathan ( 0000-0002-7111-2996)
Dritschel, Barbara
Matthews, Keith
O'Carroll, Ronan

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