Remoteness and Valence of Autobiographical Memory in Depression
We examined whether major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with a tendency to recall more remote, specific autobiographical memories, particularly in the context of positive memories. To this end, individuals with MDD (n = 26) and healthy controls (n = 54) completed the Autobiographical Memory Test. Consistent with the hypothesis, remoteness of specific memories in the MDD group, but not the control group, depended on valence. Compared to the control group, the MDD group recalled more remote positive events. Additionally, the MDD group’s positive specific memories were significantly more remote than their negative specific memories. Retrieving remote positive memories might impair mood regulation and maintain an individual’s negative mood and perpetuate depression.
KeywordsDepression Autobiographical memory Memory remoteness Valence effect
This study is not funded.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Dahyeon Kim, Lira Yoon, and Jutta Joormann declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
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