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The Role of Mental Imagery in Depression: Negative Mental Imagery Induces Strong Implicit and Explicit Affect in Depression.

Görgen SM, Joormann J, Hiller W, Witthöft M - Front Psychiatry (2015)

Bottom Line: Mental imagery, seeing with the mind's eyes, can induce stronger positive as well as negative affect compared to verbal processing.Given this emotion-amplifying effect, it appears likely that mental images play an important role in affective disorders.Interestingly, the two groups did not differ in implicitly assessed affect after positive imagery, indicating that depressed individuals might benefit from positive imagery on an implicit or automatic level.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz , Mainz , Germany.

ABSTRACT
Mental imagery, seeing with the mind's eyes, can induce stronger positive as well as negative affect compared to verbal processing. Given this emotion-amplifying effect, it appears likely that mental images play an important role in affective disorders. According to the subcomponents model of depression, depressed mood is maintained by both negative imagery (which amplifies negative mood) and less efficient positive imagery processes. Empirical research on the link between mental imagery and affect in clinical depression, however, is still sparse. This study aimed at testing the role of mental imagery in depression, using a modified version of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) and the self-assessment manikin (SAM) to assess implicit (AMP) and explicit (SAM) affect elicited by mental images, pictures, and verbal processing in clinically depressed participants (n = 32) compared to healthy controls (n = 32). In individuals with a depressive disorder, compared to healthy controls, negative mental images induced stronger negative affect in the explicit as well as implicit measure. Negative mental imagery did not, however, elicit greater increases in explicitly and implicitly assessed negative affect compared to other processing modalities (verbal processing, pictures) in the depressed group. Additionally, a positive imagery deficit in depression was observed in the explicit measure. Interestingly, the two groups did not differ in implicitly assessed affect after positive imagery, indicating that depressed individuals might benefit from positive imagery on an implicit or automatic level. Overall, our findings suggest that mental imagery also plays an important role in depression and confirm the potential of novel treatment approaches for depression, such as the promotion of positive imagery.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Steps of the recruitment and selection process for the depressed and control groups.
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Figure 1: Steps of the recruitment and selection process for the depressed and control groups.

Mentions: Participants were recruited from the Outpatient Clinic for Psychotherapy at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, via press mailing lists, and emails sent to all students and faculty of the university (see Figure 1). People who responded to the advertisement or email were first screened over the phone to determine whether they met basic inclusion and exclusion criteria. The telephone interview included questions of the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV axis I [SCID-I; (37)] to determine whether the person might be eligible for the depressed or control group. Potential participants were invited to the laboratory for a more extensive interview.


The Role of Mental Imagery in Depression: Negative Mental Imagery Induces Strong Implicit and Explicit Affect in Depression.

Görgen SM, Joormann J, Hiller W, Witthöft M - Front Psychiatry (2015)

Steps of the recruitment and selection process for the depressed and control groups.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493655&req=5

Figure 1: Steps of the recruitment and selection process for the depressed and control groups.
Mentions: Participants were recruited from the Outpatient Clinic for Psychotherapy at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, via press mailing lists, and emails sent to all students and faculty of the university (see Figure 1). People who responded to the advertisement or email were first screened over the phone to determine whether they met basic inclusion and exclusion criteria. The telephone interview included questions of the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV axis I [SCID-I; (37)] to determine whether the person might be eligible for the depressed or control group. Potential participants were invited to the laboratory for a more extensive interview.

Bottom Line: Mental imagery, seeing with the mind's eyes, can induce stronger positive as well as negative affect compared to verbal processing.Given this emotion-amplifying effect, it appears likely that mental images play an important role in affective disorders.Interestingly, the two groups did not differ in implicitly assessed affect after positive imagery, indicating that depressed individuals might benefit from positive imagery on an implicit or automatic level.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz , Mainz , Germany.

ABSTRACT
Mental imagery, seeing with the mind's eyes, can induce stronger positive as well as negative affect compared to verbal processing. Given this emotion-amplifying effect, it appears likely that mental images play an important role in affective disorders. According to the subcomponents model of depression, depressed mood is maintained by both negative imagery (which amplifies negative mood) and less efficient positive imagery processes. Empirical research on the link between mental imagery and affect in clinical depression, however, is still sparse. This study aimed at testing the role of mental imagery in depression, using a modified version of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) and the self-assessment manikin (SAM) to assess implicit (AMP) and explicit (SAM) affect elicited by mental images, pictures, and verbal processing in clinically depressed participants (n = 32) compared to healthy controls (n = 32). In individuals with a depressive disorder, compared to healthy controls, negative mental images induced stronger negative affect in the explicit as well as implicit measure. Negative mental imagery did not, however, elicit greater increases in explicitly and implicitly assessed negative affect compared to other processing modalities (verbal processing, pictures) in the depressed group. Additionally, a positive imagery deficit in depression was observed in the explicit measure. Interestingly, the two groups did not differ in implicitly assessed affect after positive imagery, indicating that depressed individuals might benefit from positive imagery on an implicit or automatic level. Overall, our findings suggest that mental imagery also plays an important role in depression and confirm the potential of novel treatment approaches for depression, such as the promotion of positive imagery.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus