Higher levels of depression are associated with reduced global bias in visual processing

De Fockert, J. W. and Cooper, Andrew. 2014. Higher levels of depression are associated with reduced global bias in visual processing. Cognition & Emotion, 28(3), pp. 541-549. ISSN 0269-9931 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Negative moods have been associated with a tendency to prioritise local details in visual processing. The current study investigated the relation between depression and visual processing using the Navon task, a standard task of local and global processing. In the Navon task, global stimuli are presented that are made up of many local parts, and participants are instructed to report the identity of either a global or a local target shape. Participants with a low self-reported level of depression showed evidence of the expected global processing bias, and were significantly faster at responding to the global, compared with the local level. By contrast, no such difference was observed in participants with high levels of depression. The reduction of the global bias associated with high levels of depression was only observed in the overall speed of responses to global (versus local) targets, and not in the level of interference produced by the global (versus local) distractors. These results are in line with recent findings of a dissociation between local/global processing bias and interference from local/global distractors, and support the claim that depression is associated with a reduction in the tendency to prioritise global-level processing.

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Date Deposited:

02 Sep 2013 08:45

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 14:58

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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