Background: Research has suggested that depression is characterized by maintained attention for negative information. Methods: In this study, we examined whether maintained attention for emotional words influenced the attentional blink in a sample of stable dysphoric (n 5 14) and non-dysphoric (n 5 14) undergraduates. In a rapid serial visual presentation of white words, two green target words (T1, T2) had to be identified. If attention is maintained at negative information, T2 identification should be hampered by presenting a negative word at T1. Results: Results supported the hypothesis that negative words as T1 hampered the identification of T2 words if T2 was presented within 300 ms. Conclusions: These results improve our understanding of the nature of attentional bias in dysphoria.

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Depression and Anxiety
Department of Psychology

Koster, E.H., De Raedt, R., Verschuere, B., Tibboel, H.F., & de Jong, P. (2009). Negative information enhances the attentional blink in dysphoria. Depression and Anxiety. doi:10.1002/da.20420