Cognition and depression: Current status and future directions

Ian H. Gotlib, Jutta Joormann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

988 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cognitive theories of depression posit that people's thoughts, inferences, attitudes, and interpretations, and the way in which they attend to and recall information, can increase their risk for depression. Three mechanisms have been implicated in the relation between biased cognitive processing and the dysregulation of emotion in depression: inhibitory processes and deficits in working memory, ruminative responses to negative mood states and negative life events, and the inability to use positive and rewarding stimuli to regulate negative mood. In this review, we present a contemporary characterization of depressive cognition and discuss how different cognitive processes are related not only to each other, but also to emotion dysregulation, the hallmark feature of depression. We conclude that depression is characterized by increased elaboration of negative information, by difficulties disengaging from negative material, and by deficits in cognitive control when processing negative information. We discuss treatment implications of these conclusions and argue that the study of cognitive aspects of depression must be broadened by investigating neural and genetic factors that are related to cognitive dysfunction in this disorder. Such integrative investigations should help us gain a more comprehensive understanding of how cognitive and biological factors interact to affect the onset, maintenance, and course of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-312
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Clinical Psychology
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 27 2010

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Cognition
Depression
Emotions
Biological Factors
Direction compound
Automatic Data Processing
Short-Term Memory
Maintenance

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • Information-processing biases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Cognition and depression : Current status and future directions. / Gotlib, Ian H.; Joormann, Jutta.

In: Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 6, 27.04.2010, p. 285-312.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gotlib, Ian H. ; Joormann, Jutta. / Cognition and depression : Current status and future directions. In: Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 2010 ; Vol. 6. pp. 285-312.
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