Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 334–342 | Cite as

Coherence Between Attentional and Memory Biases in Sad and Formerly Depressed Individuals

  • Janna N. Vrijsen
  • Iris van Oostrom
  • Linda Isaac
  • Eni S. Becker
  • Anne Speckens
Original Article


Cognitive theories assume a uniform processing bias across different samples, but the empirical support for this claim is rather weak and inconsistent. Therefore, coherence between biases across different cognitive domains in a sample of 133 non-depressed (Study 1) and a sample of 266 formerly depressed individuals (Study 2) was examined. In both studies, individuals were selected after a successful sad mood induction procedure. A Dot Probe task, an Emotional Stroop task and a self-referential Incidental Learning and Free Recall task were administered to all participants. Principle component analyses indicated coherence between attentional and memory bias in non-depressed, while in formerly depressed individuals distinct components for attentional biases and for memory bias were uncovered. The data suggest that in formerly depressed individuals, self-referent processing during encoding may be related to memory bias, whereas in non-depressed individuals memory bias may be related to both attentional bias and self-referent processing.


Depression Attentional bias Memory bias Imagery Coherence 



We would like to thank the participants for their time and effort and the Behavioural Science Institute for its support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janna N. Vrijsen
    • 1
  • Iris van Oostrom
    • 1
  • Linda Isaac
    • 2
    • 3
  • Eni S. Becker
    • 4
  • Anne Speckens
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryRadboud University Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Veterans Affairs Palo Alto HealthCare SystemPalo AltoUSA
  4. 4.Behavioural Science InstituteRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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