Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 348–357 | Cite as

Emotional Interference in Working Memory is Related to Rumination

  • Evi De Lissnyder
  • Ernst H. W. Koster
  • Rudi De Raedt
Original Article


Impairments in the executive control function of working memory may underlie moodcongruent attentional and memory biases in depression. Given that the capacity to control and manipulate information held in working memory has been implicated in depressive symptoms and rumination, the present study investigated shifting capacity between internal emotional and nonemotional information in working memory. For this purpose, the Internal Shift Task (IST) was administered to a sample of dysphoric (N = 20) and non-dysphoric undergraduates (N = 20). The main finding was that depressive symptoms in general were not related to impairments in shifting. Interestingly, rumination was related to internal shifting impairments that were most pronounced when negative information was held in working memory. These findings concerning the relation between rumination and shifting impairments are discussed in relation to cognitive vulnerability for depression.


Depression Rumination Working memory Cognitive control Switching 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evi De Lissnyder
    • 1
  • Ernst H. W. Koster
    • 1
  • Rudi De Raedt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Clinical and Health PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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