New York, Jan 7 (IANS) The ability to remember information declines when people are in depressive mood, new research shows.
Although reported widely, this link between depressed mood and memory deficit was not observed in a laboratory setting earlier, the researchers pointed out.
The new study found that individuals with depressed mood show as much as a 12 percent reduction in memory compared to individuals without depressed mood.
“When depressive thoughts are present, people with depressed mood are unable to remove their attention from this information, leading to deficits in their memory,” explained the study’s lead author Nicholas Hubbard from University of Texas at Dallas.
The study included 157 undergraduate students. Of them, 60 participants were classified as having depressed mood and 97 as having non-depressed mood.
Participants with and without depressed mood were asked to respond ‘True’ or ‘False’ to a sentence featuring either depressive thoughts (e.g., “I am sad,” “People don’t like me”) or neutral information (e.g. “Most people agree that Monday is the worst day of the week”), and then remember a string of numbers at the end.
People with depressed mood forgot more numbers than people without depressed mood when they responded to the sentence featuring negative information, but remembered just as many numbers when they responded to neutral information.
The study appeared online in the journal Cognition and Emotion.