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The impact of depression heterogeneity on cognitive control in major depressive disorder


Quinn, CR and Harris, A and Felmingham, KL and Boyce, P and Kemp, A, The impact of depression heterogeneity on cognitive control in major depressive disorder, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46, (11) pp. 1079-1088. ISSN 0004-8674 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists

DOI: doi:10.1177/0004867412461383


Objective: Depressed patients display a variety of deficits in neuropsychological function, and contradictory findings in the literature may be due to disorder heterogeneity. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of severity, subtype and symptoms on cognitive control.

Methods: Neuropsychological function across a range of cognitive control tasks was examined in melancholic (n = 65) and non-melancholic depressed patients (n = 59) relative to controls (n = 124). The relationship between subtype (melancholia vs non-melancholia) and anxiety was also examined.

Results: Melancholia was characterised by attention and working memory deficits typically associated with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, while non-melancholia was characterised by verbal memory recall deficits indicative of left frontal lobe and medial temporal lobe function. The severity of anxious arousal and psychomotor disturbance contributed to cognitive impairment more than the severity of depression symptoms and anxious apprehension.

Conclusions: Findings highlight a differential impact of depression subtype and severity, and suggest that anxious arousal and psychomotor disturbance may contribute to poorer performance on neuropsychological tasks associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex function.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cognitive control, depression, executive function, neuropsychology
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:83599
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2013-03-19
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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