The effect of alexithymia on attentional bias toward emotional stimuli in depression: An eye-tracking study
Number of pages
SourceFrontiers in Psychiatry, 11, (2021), article 1597
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
PI Group Memory and Emotion
SW OZ BSI KLP
Frontiers in Psychiatry
SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Learning and Plasticity; Radboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Alexithymia - reflecting deficits in cognitive emotion processing - is highly prevalent in individuals with depressive disorders. Subsequently, mixed evidence for attentional bias is found in these individuals. Alexithymia may be a potential influencing factor for attentional bias in depression. In the current study, 83 currently depressed (CD) and 76 never-depressed (ND) controls completed an eye-tracker task consisting of valenced (non)-social pictures. Alexithymia scores were also included as a moderator as both a continuous and categorical measure (so high vs. low alexithymia). No group difference or moderating effect of alexithymia was found on attentional bias. Thus, alexithymic symptoms, included both dimensionally and categorically, may not influence biased attentional processing in depression compared to ND individuals. Thus, it is important to explore other potential explaining factors for the equivocal results found on biased attentional processing of emotional information in depression.
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