Journal of Affective Disorders 35 (1995) l-9
An analysis of memory dysfunction in major depression
J.E. Ilsley, A.P.R. Moffoot, R.E. O’Carroll
MRC Brain Metabolism Unit, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Park, Edinburgh EHIO 5HF, UK
Received 24 June 1994; revised 27 February 1995; accepted 27 February 1995
15 patients suffering from DSM-III-R major depression were compared with 15 age-, sex-and intelligence-matched controls on a battery of memory tests, aimed at fractionating memory dysfunction in depression. Patients were unimpaired relative to controls on measures of short-term memory, recognition, semantic memory and implicit memory. There was no evidence of a hedonic bias in recall of positive vs. negatively valenced stimuli, nor was there any correlation between depression severity and level of memory impairment. Psychotic patients did not demonstrate greater memory impairment relative to nonpsychotic depressed patients. As a group, however, depressed patients demonstrated deficits in psychomotor speed and in free recall of material (both immediate and delayed). The selective recall deficit suggests that material has been encoded but that patients are particularly impaired with regard to search and retrieval processes.
Keywords: Neuropsychology; Cognitive; Executive; Implicit; Explicit; Semantic; Hedonic bias
Until relatively recently, it was believed that even severe depression was associated with only minor impairment in cognitive function and, in fact, the differential diagnosis of major depression from dementia of the Alzheimer-type rested largely on this belief. However, recent research has clearly established that memory functioning appears to be impaired in major depression (see review by Robbins et al., 1992) and this is not simply attributable to reductions in motivation (Richards and Ruff, 1989). ‘Memory’, however, is not a unitary function and the aim of the current investigation was to attempt a
detailed fractionation of different aspects of memory dysfunction in major depression in an effort to characterize which aspects of mnemonic function are selectively affected in major depression. We employed currently accepted theoretical divisions into short-and long-term, episodic and semantic, explicit and implicit memory, and positive and negative hedonic bias. Many previous studies have suffered from a limited focus on a particular aspect of memory functioning and many have been analogue studies, using healthy subjects following mood induction techniques or undergraduates who have scored highly on the Beck depression inventory (Beck et al., 1961).
1.1. Short-term memory
Short-term memory acts as a temporary store for newly registered information, has a limited capacity
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.. a study by Elliott and Greene (19921. Johnson and Crockett. 1983). 1989..g. 1992. relates to conceptual knowledge about the real world and is defined by terms. Dean et al.3..2
J. the majority of studies fail to find any impairment in depressives’ performance (e. Calev et al. Glass et al. such as facts. 1992.E. Rush et al. schizophrenia (Duffy and O’Carroll. 1987. Tamlyn et al.4.. Brand et al. that delusions consisted of an inappropriate laying down of new semantic memories.. 1976. 1981. Five out of six studies have demonstrated that. Semantic memory Whereas episodic/declarative memory refers to the ability to remember personally experienced events.. when short-term memory is actually measured. Long-term memory In contrast to short-term memory.... McKenna (1991) attempted to bridge a link between putative dysfunctional semantic memory and clinical symtomatology and proposed that faulty beliefs (delusions) could be equated with the concept of dysfunctional semantic memory. 1988). 1979. For example. 1. 1. The majority of studies that have been carried out in depression have found evidence of impaired recall and recognition for both verbal and visuo-spatial material when there is an interval of minutes or hours between the presentation and memory test (Austin et al. 1991. which was in contrast to age-matched normal controls who showed the opposite pattern. Danion et al.. 1984. Relatively little research has been carried out focusing on semantic memory dysfunction in ‘major depression.. Golinkoff and Sweeney. Hedonic bias A variety of studies have been carried out demonstrating that depressed patients have a tendency to
.e. Watkins et al. This leads on to the specific prediction that psychotic/deluded depressives will have dysfunctional semantic memory systems. Stemberg and Jarvik. The one exception. after studying a list of words containing the word ‘dependent’.2. most commonly using forward digit span. rules and concepts. long-term memory has a very large capacity and holds memories which were acquired a few minutes ago. Denny and Hunt. while depressed subjects perform poorly on explicit tasks (free recall. 1987). cued recall and recognition). The subjective complaint by depressives of poor concentration/short-term memory most distinguishes them from amnesics (Squire and Zouzounis. Some studies have used verbal fluency to assess semantic memory and the majority have claimed normal performance in both medicated and unmedicated depressed patients (Austin et al. a subject is more likely to subsequently complete the word stem ‘dep’ . Implicit memory Implicit memory is demonstrated when previous information that the subject has been exposed to influences ongoing responses.. e. on the other hand.. Flor-Henry and Yeudall. Caine et al. (1984) did report poor performance in depressed patients. to those registered decades ago.. Channon et al. no such impairment on the implicit tasks (word-fragment and word-stem completion) was observed (Bazin et al. Paradoxically.. 1. 1992). 1992. 1994. with dependent when requested to complete the word stem with the first word that comes to mind. 1992). Wolfe et al. (1989) concluded that ‘depressives had a specific deficit in retrieving information meaningfully organized in their semantic memory’. semantic memory. Hertel and Hardin. 1992. Austin et al. 1987) although Caine et al. 1. even when the subjects cannot recall the information or episode itself.. ‘knowing’ that a dog is mammal. 1982. 1990. 1994. found that depressed subjects were impaired on both explicit and implicit memory tasks. i. in contrast to recent work suggesting a selective deficit in semantic memory functioning in another functional disorder..g. 1992. Ilsley et al.. fluency to category (animals) and reported that depressed pa-
tients had a greater difficulty in producing responses to semantic category than when prompted by letter. Calev et al. /Journal
of Affective Disorders 35 (I 995) l-9
and holds information for up to 30 s at a time.. (1989) contrasted verbal fluency to letter (M) vs. Wolfe et al. 1993. Richards and Ruff. Amnesic patients are impaired relative to controls on free recall and recognition memory tests (explicit memory) as would be predicted but showed normal performance on word-fragment completion (implicit memory) (Graf et al. 1989. 1984).5..
66). Lloyd and Lishman (1975) also demonstrated that speed of recall of unpleasant events is also strongly related to depression severity. control=43. /Journal
of Affective Disorders 35 (1995) l-9
selectively recall negative material.l). (1981) demonstrated that.1. 4. Assessments were carried out by the principal author in a single session lasting N 75 min.3L.6F. 6.3L. For example.2). i. Patients were excluded if there was a history of organic brain disease.e.7. however. 2. neutral and negative themes. the preattentive and the elaboration stages. Edinburgh. SEX (D = 9M. The preattentive stage allows attentional capture of information and is reflected in implicit memory tests whereas the elaboration stage involves the association of target information with other information in memory. Depressed subjects will show a selective impairment in explicit memory but not in implicit memory. Patients were recruited from the inpatient wards and day unit at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.7 (SD = 8. Denny and Hunt (1992) and Watkins et al. UK. depressed
patients will preferentially recall negatively valenced material in explicit tasks. The hypotheses of the present study can be summarised as follows. with more severely depressed patients demonstrating the strongest hedonic bias. To reduce the possibility of contamination. x2 = 0.3). Williams et al. no subtests assessing memory were presented between the explicit and implicit measures. P = 0. range = 18-40) and Beck depression inventory (Beck et al. Methods 2 groups of 15 depressed patients and 15 matched controls were recruited for the present study. NART IQ (D = 104. If implicit memory is unaffected in depression.6. C = llM.49.
. The control group was recruited from hospital staff and volunteer staff from the community.7) F = 0. x2 = 0.. Measures of semantic memory will be largely intact in depression.J. F=0. Ilsley et al. albeit nonsignificant..4 (SD = 5. one would predict a mood congruent memory bias in depression to be reflected in explicit but not implicit memory tasks.9. The depressed group consisted of individuals meeting the DSM-III-R criteria for major depressive disorder. in reviewing these studies. The depression rating scales were administered after the cognitive assessments to ensure that responses on the explicit/implicit measures were not influenced by the administration. the evidence to date regarding hedonic bias and explicit/implicit memory is inconclusive. 11 subjects were taking antidepressant medication and 4 subjects were unmedicated. 5. Depressed patients will demonstrate significant impairment in long-term episodic memory.3 (16. range = 21-47). C = 106. a selective impairment on fluency by category may be observed. P= 0. Procedure All subjects were administered the battery of neuropsychological measures and rated for depression severity post-test administration.00). alcohol or drug abuse. 2. when subjects were required to recall a short story containing a mixture of positive. Hedonic bias affecting explicit recall will be demonstrated in depressed patients. In line with this prediction. P = 0.6 (12. 3. (1988) proposed that cognitive processing occurs in 2 stages. There were no significant betweengroup differences in age (depressed mean (SD) = 47.
2. Mean severity of depression as assessed using the 21-item Hamilton depression rating scale (Hamilton. C = 12R.49). 1960) was 26. 1961) 32. depressed subjects recalled 20% fewer positive themes than nondepressed subjects. However. Depressed subjects will show no impairment on short-term memory tasks. was present in that there was a 2-4% advantage for controls on positive words and a 4-6% advantage on depression-related words for depressed subjects. Depressed subjects with psychotic features will be impaired on semantic memory tasks. 1.44) or handedness (D = 12R. Breslow et al. Roediger and McDermott (1992) suggested that an effect. Therefore. and is reflected in explicit tests.9 (lO.19.E. No such mood-congruent memory bias will be present in implicit memory tasks. (1992) have demonstrated that depressed subjects recall significantly more negatively valenced words than positively valenced words on explicit memory tasks but no such bias was evident on implicit memory measures.9 (13. indicating that the sample were severely depressed. or had been treated with ECT within the previous 6 months. P = 1.4F.
E. excluding proper nouns. guilty. insecure. grateful). trusting. Folstein et al. 1975) was employed as a brief global cognitive screening test. oppressed... that is. Following Calev et al. (1989).. to detect the presence of significant generalized cognitive impairment. In addition. Following Denny and Hunt (19921. The first required a response to a letter prompt (m) the other to a semantic category (animal). (1992) and Duffy and O’Carroll (19941. 1982). miserable. number of word stems subsequently correctly completed without prior exposure (numbness. Following Tamlyn et al. There was no time limit and subjects were encouraged to complete all the stems. 1994.+f. confident. Healthy controls rarely make errors.. Wilson et al. assertive. lonely. amenable. Performance on the NART-R has been shown to be unaffected in major depression (Crawford et al. The difference between the number of word stems correctly completed on the 2 tasks (experimental list minus control list) was used as a measure of priming.. amiable. the subjects were given a self-rating task and asked to evaluate the 12 words in the experimental list as to ‘how well the word describes you.2. which were used in the self-rating task.
Implicit learning and subsequent recall 2 lists of 12 words were matched on the basis on their length and frequency of occurrence in written text (using the norms provided by Francis and Kucera. All words had 3-or 4-letter word stems that were unique in this list and for each word there was at least 1 other word (not used in this study) that shared its 3 or 4 letter stem and was higher in word frequency. contented. Episodic/declarative memory The Rivermead behavioural memory test (RBMT. withdrawn. Subjects were not informed that memory for the self-rating items would subsequently be tested and no time limit was given. the ‘silly sentences test’ (Collins and Quillian. the statements were read allowed and the subject responded verbally. The valence of the words was judged by having 10 independent raters rate the words either positive or negative. 1987) were employed as measures of short-term or working memory. The other list acted as a control and was not presented to the subjects and was merely used to assess baseline performance. Semantic memory . Short-term memory The digit span subtests from the Wechsler memory scale (revised) (Wechsler. 1991) was used to provide an estimate of premorbid intellectual level. Wilson et al. exciting). The national adult reading test (revised) (NART-R. A 7-point Likert scale was used ranging from ‘totally’ to ‘not at all’. 2 forms of an oral verbal fluency task were administered. The experimental 1Zword list was presented to the subjects and used in the implicit and explicit task (unlucky. depressed. inferior. 1989). Words were divided so that each list contained 6 positive and 6 negative words. 24 word stems (stems from the 12 words from the experimental list and 12 stems from the control list) were presented and the subjects were instructed to complete the word stems with the first word that came to mind. Ilsley et al. 1992). Subjects were instructed to complete
. with 100% agreement. Tamlyn et al. /Journal
of Affective Disorders
2. This test consists of 50 statements. 1987). inactive. respected. The words were pseudorandomized so there was no more than 2 word stems of the same affective valence presented in order. 1969) was employed as a measure of semantic memory.4
J. The number of errors made and time taken to respond are recorded and both are taken as measures of the integrity of semantic memory. Subjects were required to classify these statements as true or false. The subject had to produce as many words as possible in response to the prompt within 1 min. Nelson and Willison.. 1989) was employed as an ecologically valid measure that provides an objective assessment of a variety of aspects of everyday memory functioning and correlates with observer ratings (Wilson et al. 1985. such as ‘bishops wear clothes’ and ‘prime ministers have feathers’. patients with schizophrenia demonstrate a high error rate and a slowed rate of responding (D&y and O’Carroll. Measures General cognitive function The mini-mental state examination (MMSE. In assessing implicit memory. however. optimistic. Subjects were subsequently given a cued recall task that consisted of 12 word stems from the experimental list only. or is consistent with what is happening in your life right now’. courageous. motivated. fatigued.
Silly sentences 9.09 0. /Journal
of Affective Disorders 3.1 (1.5) Control 21. Self-rating task (implicit learning) 5. therefore.28 2. DSST 7. Verbal fluency 3. Hamilton
Table 1 Performance of depressed and control subjects on episodic (overall h4ANOVA. digits forward.82
All data were analysed using SPSS on the Apple Macintosh (Version 4.3 (1.9) 7.1) 2.1 (5.8) F 2.37) Depressed RBMT DF DB EXP pas EXP neg 19.21 0.3 (2. Patients were subdivided into psychotic and nonpsychotic subtypes based on evidence of hallucination or delusions on the Hamilton rating scale at time of assessment.61. BDI 12. EXP pos. The data for the episodic memory tasks were grouped together for analysis (Table 1).1 (2.4) 2. the cognitive tests were clustered into
RBMT.5 (2. To provide some protection against this. Classification was based on 1 or more of the following criteria.
Order of presentation of measures The order of presentation for all subjects was as
functional domains. Neither the overall MANOVA or any of the univariate comparisons achieved statistical significance.5 (1. P = 0.0).9 (3. scoring 3 and above on Hamilton item 2.91. DB. depressed patients vs.
.J. a paper-and-pencil coding task. scoring 4 on item 15 and scoring 3 on item 20. episodic memory.
The digit symbol substitution test (DSST) from the Wechsler adult intelligence scale (revised) (WAIS-R. As a large number of comparisons of test scores. A between-group analysis of the separate RBMT subscales was. Wechsler. explicit recall of negatively valenced words. controls were performed..7 (2. this raised the possibility of some of those comparisons achieving statistical significance by chance.14. 1981).8) 3. i.61.7) 2. EXP neg. this would justify inspection of the subsequent univariate comparisons. Assessment of psychosis A structured clinical interview guide for the Hamilton depression rating scale (Williams. depressed mean 26. depression would be associated with poorer performance relative to controls. Independent t tests were carried out on individual measures of global cognitive functioning and psychomotor speed.07.5 (1995) l-9
the stem with words they had seen in the previous rating task.96 3. 1. Word-stem completion -cued recall (measure of explicit memory) 10. and a MANOVA was used to compare the data from each cluster. Results The 2 groups did not differ on level of overall cognitive functioning as assessed by the mini-mental state examination. it was determined in advance that if the MANOVA was significant at the 10% level or below.05 P 0.5 (1. the RBMT profile score is an amalgam of an individuals performance on both immediate and delayed recognition and recall. Rivermead behavioural memory test. However. Word-stem completion (measure of implicit memory) 8.08 0. was used to assess complex psychomotor speed. digits backward. 1988) was used in the present study.5) 8. carried out to determine whether the groups differed on any of the component
follows. NART 11. Digit span 6.34 0. t = 1.
3. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used to test the associations between depression severity and level of memory impairment. Mini-mental state 2. F = 1.5 (1. control mean 28.E. RBMT 4. DF. semantic memory and implicit memory.4) 6.16 0. explicit recall of positively valenced words.e. P = 0. As experimental predictions were unidirectional.14 0.2) 7. Ilsley et al. There was no time limit and subjects were encouraged to complete all the stems.9 (1.
There were no significant differences between the groups in word-stem completion (priming) from either positive or negative words (MANOVA.9). depressed = 49..36 0. recognition for both faces and pictures was intact.37.2).34.4) (0.6 (0.lt3.51.6 (35.2) 4.30 0.01.22 8.9) 2. F = 0.5 (1.0) 4.05 0. number of errors or mean time taken to complete the task (MANOVA.5) (3. again. implicit memory. fluency letter M. a correlational analysis of depressed subjects’ performance on long-term episodic tasks with depression severity was carried out.05). In an attempt to test the hypothesis that increasing severity of depression is associated with greater memory impairment.7 (0. nonpsychotic (n = 7) 49.99).27 (1. SST number correct.5 (0. psychotic = 41. Depressed subjects were not impaired on a variety of other mnemonic functions.66). No statistically significant correlations were observed between severity of depression and task performance.21.4). Discussion
The aim of the present study was to further characterize the nature of the memory deficit in major depression.7 (5.1 (14.4). t = 3. depressed = 16.8 (0.71).7 (0. depressed = 11.51.8 (0.0)
1.4).4) (0. The study also failed to find any evidence of a moodcongruent bias in either implicit or explicit memory. F = 2. P < 0.83). recognition and semantic memory.06) Depressed Recognition Pictures Faces Recall Story (immediate) Story (delayed) Route (immediate) Route (delayed) Message (immedite) Message (delayed) RBMT.49 0. short-term memory.71. Priming (positive). P = 0. F = 0. P = 0.6). SST number correct.4 (0. psychotic = 17.5 (3.48 4.e. (animals). P = 0. psychotic or not psychotic on the basis of presence or absence of delusions and hallucinations. depressed = 44. psychotic = 12.3).5 (17. no statistical significant correlations were observed between the severity of depression and performance on any of the immediate and delayed recognition or recall subtests.9 4.25 0.3) (0. nonpsychotic = 9. control = 38.1 (4.87 0.0 (0. Rivermead Control F P
9. As predicted. Ilsley et al. principally. depressed = 0.30. P = 0.6). nonpsychotic = 47.61.6) 9.03 0.00 0. As mentioned previously.5).
subtests (Table 2). nonpsychotic = 14. /Journal
of Affective Disorders35 (1995) l-9
Performance of depressed and control subjects on RBMT subtests (overall MANOVA.3 (24. the RBMT profile score is an amalgamation of different types of episodic tests so a further correlational analysis of the individual RBMT subtests with depression severity was carried out and. vs.5 (6.40 (0.3). patients suffering from major depression demonstrated significantly impaired psychomotor speed as evidenced by their DSST score: depressed mean = 37.031. control = 0. category fluency (5.3 (5.
. A MANOVA was carried out to compare depressed subjects with or without psychosis on the semantic memory measures.8 8. There were no significant between-group differences on the 2 verbal fluency tasks or on the measures from the silly sentences task.04 5.3 (12.6 (5. very well-matched controls.83).8 4. control = 49. with selective deficits in immediate and delayed recall that are not present in any of the recognition tasks.4) 7.4 (10.3 (1.6) 2.000 1.9 2.0 (6.09
0.2) (0. The study attempted to address some of the criticisms of previous research in depression by using severely ill patients who fulfilled DSM-III-R criteria for major depression.6) 4. some suggestion of a differential impairment. F = 0.E.03
memory test.9 3. priming (negative). depressed = 0. therefore.5). category fluency
(animals).6) 5.01 1.40 (0. None of the comparisons achieved statistical significance (MANOVA.6) 4.
4. The clearest effects to emerge from the study were that depressed subjects demonstrated psychomotor slowing and evidence of a selective impairment in free recall.67 (1.5).0 (3. The depressed patients were subdivided into 2 groups.3 (1.7). there was no correlation between depression severity and hedonic bias on the explicit or the implicit memory tasks. controls = 54. control = 0. Inspection of the univariate comparisons revealed that both immediate and delayed recall of story and message were significantly impaired in depressed subjects.6 (0.5) behavioural
10. psychotic (n = 8) 49.6 Table 2
J. i.6 (5.12 5. verbal fluency letter M. There is. SST reaction time.0). SST reaction time. however. control = 19.6).0 control = 13. Similarly.
. Calev et al. The majority of the patients in the present study were on stable doses of antidepressant medication. Denny and Hunt. depressed subjects were intact on recognition but showed deficits in recall. 1993). therefore. 1989) this sample of depressed patients failed to show any such impairments.. A detailed analyses of RBMT subtests. invoked the concept of ‘a failure of effort demanding cognitive processes’. 1992). 1994. depressive delusions tend to be integrated in comparison to the disintegrated delusions of schizophrenia (Blackburn and Davidson. however. 1992. therefore. depressed subjects failed to show any deficit in semantic memory. Such a pattern suggests information that has been encoded but depressives show a selective impairment in the search and scanning process required for active recall of material. When the depressed subjects were differentiated according to evidence of psychotic features.. However. The equal levels of priming observed in the 2 groups is consistent with much of the literature showing the same levels of priming in implicit tasks in chronically depressed subjects and matched controls (Bazin et al. therefore.. /Journal
of Affective Disorders 35 (I 995) l-9
On a global measure of episodic/declarative memory (RBMT profile score). Additionally. in commenting on their observation of explicit memory impairment with implicit memory preservation in depression. perhaps reducing any difference that may have been observed in the subsequent implicit and explicit memory task. (1992) presented each word individu-
. Ilsley et al. we failed to find a differential effect of semantic memory tasks as a function of psychoses. Could the recall deficits observed be simply attributable to medication rather than depression? Thompson (1991) has recently reviewed the effects of antidepressant drugs upon cognitive function and. 1990). who observed memory deficits in depressed patients independent of experimentally manipulated task difficulty. there were no differences in implicit memory between the 2 groups. 1991. prolonged antidepressant treatment is associated with improvement in cognitive function as depressive symptoms remit. It is interesting to note that Danion et al.. The potentially confounding effects of medication need to addressed. psychotic individuals were no more impaired than nonpsychotic depressed patients on the measures of semantic memory.. Perhaps the most damaging evidence against the ‘cognitive effort’ model of memory impairment in depression is provided by Golinkoff and Sweeney (1989). However. resulted in limited processing of the material to be rated. 1990. depressed subjects demonstrating impairments on immediate and delayed recall of a story. consistent with the general consensus of literature. These preliminary results. It is possible that semantic memory dysfunction may prove to be more related to a disintegrated delusional symptom. revealed important group differences. It is conceivable that the relatively short time spent by the subjects in the present study during the self-rating task.J.
studies carried out on drug-free depressives have reported recall deficits in line with those observed in the present study (e. Calev et al. in the present study. 105). The results are. and immediate and delayed memory for delivering a message. Hertel and Hardin.. These authors concluded ‘the poorer performance of depressed patients on memory tests reflects basic memory impairments rather than a general inability to allocate cognitive effort to more demanding tasks’ (p. (1991). (1989) interpret their observation of worst performance on category fluency in terms of ‘cognitive effort’ deficits in depression. independent of the brain structures important for declarative memory (Hamann and Squire. appear to go against McKenna’s (1991) hypothesis that delusions consist of an inappropriate laying down of new semantic memories. 1992). Watkins et al.E. in contrast to studies that have reported impaired performance on word fluency to category (Caine et al. this profile of memory performance is exactly that observed in the classic amnesic syndrome (Parkin and Leng.g. In this study. 1984. 1993). Danion et al. Austin et al. Similarly. in general. As predicted. there was no significant differences between the depressed and control sample. However. The results of the depressed subjects’ performance on word fluency in the current study again fail to support this cognitive effort hypothesis. Watkins et al. Neuropsychologists do not usually interpret a Korsakoff’s patient’s poor performance on explicit memory tasks with preserved implicit test performance as a failure of ‘cognitive effort’. rather it is assumed that implicit memory is a dissociable function. in contrast to previous studies. As predicted. depressed subjects were not impaired on explicit recall on the cued stem completion task. However.
Cogn. N. and Davidson. (1994) The dissociation of explicit and implicit memory in depressed patients. Goodwin for his helpful criticisms and N. Baker. Jolles. Kocsis. Psychol.-M. Preliminary findings. Gen.-A.. J. and Chazan. perhaps suggesting that this is not as robust and replicable a phenomenon as is widely believed.E. This result is consistent with that reported by Davis (1979) and Golinkoff and Sweeney (1989). and Singer.M. Bazin.. (1984) Cognitive function and the dexamethasone suppression test. S. 33-36. The present study failed to find a simple correlation between mood severity and memory impairment. Ilsley et al.L.E.S. 561-571. 239-245. J.H.. Res. Bazin et al. Perruchet. J. R. 227-230. A. recognition and semantic memory functioning was indistinguishable from that of well-matched control subjects.K. (1992) Affective valence and memory in depression: dissociation of recall and fragment completion. who also found group differences in recall as a function of depression. Parker. Ward. J. Arch. J. J. and Belkin. and Keen. Murray. How do we account for this difference between the 2 recall tasks? One important factor is that in the RBMT. and Robertson. I. J. Denny. potentially increasing the salience of the word. free recall (both immediate and delayed) was selectively impaired. J. M. Gen. Ther.E. (1993) Working memory in clinical depression: an experimental study.. (1969) Retrieval time from semantic memory. B. Sutherland. Disord. Affect. It is possible that such a mode of presentation results in more elaborative processing than the presentation format used in the present study.
We would like to thank all the patients who participated in this study. Schlienger. J. Oxford.M.. Arch. however. A. Short-term. (1981) Contributions of the depressive perspective to memory function in depression. G. Br. Boghos. However. and Yerevanian. Besson. (1979) Self-reference and the encoding of personal information in depression. depression severity was not correlated with performance. Psychiatry 48.R. Breslow. Med. L. Psychiatry 141. Grange. 24. Am. D. E. 9. thus. Psychol. (1990) Cognitive Therapy for Depression and Anxiety. Neuropsychol. P. G. K.D. (1992) Recall and recognition memory deficits in depression.. we observed no such differences between the groups on their active recall of the words used in the self-rating test.E. 28. C. 707-711.L. J. Zimmermann.. and Feline. D.N. 240-247. stable bipolar and manic patients. A. 67-73. Affect. M.R. (1989) Retrieval from semantic memory using meaningful and meaningless constructs by depressed. Channon. as predicted. De Bonis.. 87-91. Med.. 77-86. However. J. Learn.
Austin. Int.. K. C. Depressed patients may have particular difficulty in organising the cognitive operations necessary for successful search and retrieval. and Quillian. C.D. and Erbaugh. H..B. 313-314.O. Am. Psychiatry 4. Psychol. D. Verb.M. A.M. M. Davis.. Collins... the material was explicitly learned for subsequent recall whereas in the self-rating task the learning was implicit. Dean. Previous studies have reported depressed subjects recalling significantly less positive than negative words in explicit tests but similar numbers of negative and positive words in implicit tests (Denny and Hunt. J. M. Interestingly..A. and Hunt. Verb. Blackburn. Blackwell.. J. Calev. M. It is interesting to note that. Clin. (19611 An inventory for measuring depression. UK. Br. I. J. (1987) Cognitive aspects of schizophrenia and primary affective depression.P. Brearley for expert secretarial assistance. the current study also failed to support a mood-congruent memory bias in explicit memory. Disord. and Goodwin. (1987) Estimation of premorbid intellectual status in depression. 575-580. Beck. Caine. Psychiatry 138. the limited number of words used in this study may have rendered the explicit cued recall task insensitive in detecting subtle deficits in depression. Abnorm. and Seretny.-P. Additionally. Psychol..W. J. and Gispen-de Wied. Gray. Behav.M.. 1992). There was no evidence of a mood-congruent memory bias in implicit memory.. J. 21-30. Nigal. M. Ross. Watkins et al. P.M. J. A. Psychol. O’Carroll. R. E. 23. M. 25.. Ebmeier. while we observed recall deficits on the RBMT subtests. Danion.. 116-118. 97-110. R. 8. (1992) Cognitive function in major depression.M. J.-L. Willard-Schroeder. in contrast to that hypothesized. S.8
J..R. (1991) Explicit memory and repetition priming in depression. K. 101. We have observed a dissociation of mnemonic functioning in major depression. 26. Clin.T. 3. Brand. /Journal
of Affective Disorders 35 (1995) l-9
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