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THE DEPRESSIVE INTERLOCK: THE VICIOUS CIRCLE OF INFORMATION- PROCESSING BIASES J. EVEREART & E.H.W. KOSTER
Attention, interpretation and memory biases are cognitive mechanisms involved in the etiology of depression. An upsurge of studies examining interactions between these cognitive vulnerability factors is augmenting our understanding of emotionally disordered functioning. In this article, we provide an overview of the most important findings of this research with their clinical implications. We start by providing an overview of cognitive biases in depression. We then describe how attentional biases regulate the emotional content of interpretations and memories, how emotional memory associations in turn guide attention, and how cognitive biases combine to predict future depressive symptoms. We conclude with the clinical implications of this research and propose several ways in which research can be advanced to gain a comprehensive understanding of vulnerability to depression.


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Negatieve vertekeningen in aandacht, interpretatie en geheugen vormen kwetsbaarheidsfactoren voor depressie. Recent legt onderzoek zich toe op het bestuderen van de wisselwerking tussen deze mechanismen. Jonas Everaert en Ernst Koster bespreken hoe aandachtvertekeningen de emotionele inhoud van interpretaties en herinneringen beïnvloeden, hoe emotionele associaties in het geheugen aandacht sturen, en hoe combinaties van dergelijke cognitieve vertekeningen depressiesymptomen voorspellen.

Stel je voor: je bevindt je in een sollicitatiegesprek voor een felbegeerde baan. Terwijl je op de vragen van de commissieleden antwoordt, merk je dat het ene commissielid glimlacht en knikkend luistert en een ander commissielid fronsend naar achteren leunt. Afhankelijk van waar je aandacht naartoe wordt getrokken, zal je andere interpretaties als aannemelijk beschouwen. Indien aandacht zich selectief richt op het glimlachende commissielid zullen interpretaties als ‘ik maak een goede indruk en heb kans op de baan’ waarschijnlijk zijn. Terwijl interpretaties als ‘ik maak er helemaal niets van en kan het wel vergeten’ eerder geloofwaardig zijn wanneer aandacht zich selectief richt op het fronsende commissielid. De ervaren emoties zullen bijgevolg zeer verschillend zijn. Zo zijn aandachtsprocessen eveneens bepalend voor hoe de ervaring van het sollicitatiegesprek in het geheugen zal worden opgeslagen en herinnerd zal worden als een positieve of negatieve gebeurtenis.

Dit voorbeeld illustreert dat aandacht, interpretatie en geheugen nauw gerelateerd zijn aan allerlei emoties. Hoe emotionele vertekeningen in

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