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Recollection deficits in dysphoric mood: An effect of schematic models and executive mode?

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Depression and dysphoric mood states are often accompanied by quantitative or qualitative shifts in performance across a range of retention tasks. This study focuses on the recollection of both autobiographical events and word lists in dysphoric states. Recollection occurs when people are aware of some contextual detail allied to the encoding experience. This study establishes the presence of a recollection deficit in dysphoria in two distinct paradigms. In both autobiographical recall and in recognition memory, recollection in a dysphoric group was at lower levels than recollection in matched controls. The study examines the hypothesis that the extent of recollection is influenced by two factors: (1) the degree of differentiation of schematic mental models; and (2) the executive mode that predominates when memory tasks are carried out, with the latter assumed to be altered by rumination. The relationship between responses based on recollection and alternative mnemonic responses could be predicted by measures of these two factors. The results are discussed in terms of the Interacting Cognitive Subsystems model (Teasdale & Barnard, 1993) and the perspective it offers on the relationship between meaning systems and executive functions (Barnard, 1999).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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