Perhaps a known fact but it gets scientific fillip for the first time that the ability to remember information declines when people undergo depression.
The link between depressed mood and memory deficit was not observed in a laboratory setting earlier, the researchers said and pointed out their study finding which showed that individuals with depressed mood lost 12 percent reduction in memory compared to individuals without any depressed mood.
“When depressive thoughts are present, people with depressed mood are unable to remove their attention from this information, leading to deficits in their memory,” said lead author Nicholas Hubbard from University of Texas at Dallas.
The study was conducted on 157 undergraduate students and 60 of them were classified as having depressed mood and 97 as having non-depressed mood.
Participants with and without depressed mood were asked to respond ‘True’ or ‘False’ to a sentence featuring either depressive thoughts (e.g., “I am sad,” “People don’t like me”) or neutral information (e.g. “Most people agree that Monday is the worst day of the week”), and then remember a string of numbers at the end.
People with depressed mood forgot more numbers than people without depressed mood when they responded to the sentence featuring negative information, but remembered just as many numbers when they responded to neutral information.
The study appeared online in the journal Cognition and Emotion.