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Reactive and proactive control adjustments under increased depressive symptoms: insights from the classic and emotional-face Stroop task

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Author(s)

Blair Saunders, Ines Jentzsch

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Abstract

The current research investigated differences in reactive and proactive cognitive control as a function of depressive symptomatology. Three participant groups with varying symptom levels (Beck Depression Inventory–II, BDI–II score) completed both the classic and an emotional-face Stroop task separately under speed and accuracy instructions. All groups made equivalent speed–accuracy trade-offs independent of task, suggesting that proactive adjustments are unaffected by depressive symptoms. Additionally, groups made equivalent reactive control adjustments (Stroop effects, congruency sequence effects) in the classic Stroop task, suggesting that these reactive control adjustments are spared across a wide range of BDI–II scorers. In contrast, the high BDI–II group displayed a selective impairment in the resolution of conflict in the emotional-face Stroop task. Thus, while proactive control and many aspects of reactive control were unaffected by the level of depressive symptoms, specific impairments occurred when current task demands required the trial-to-trial regulation of emotional processing.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-898
Number of pages15
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume67
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • Conflict monitoring, Depression, Proactive control, Reactive control, Control adjustments

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