Grange, JA and Rydon-Grange, M (2020) Computational modelling of attentional selectivity in depression reveals perceptual deficits. Psychological Medicine, 52 (5). pp. 904-913. ISSN 0033-2917

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Depression is associated with broad deficits in cognitive control, including in visual selective attention tasks such as the flanker task. Previous computational modelling of depression and flanker task performance showed reduced pre-potent response bias and reduced executive control efficiency in depression. In the current study, we applied two computational models that account for the full dynamics of attentional selectivity.

Across three large-scale online experiments (one exploratory experiment followed by two confirmatory – and pre-registered – experiments; total N = 923), we measured attentional selectivity via the flanker task and obtained measures of depression symptomology as well as anhedonia. We then fit two computational models that account for the dynamics of attentional selectivity: The dual-stage two-phase model, and the shrinking spotlight (SSP) model.

No behavioural measures were related to depression symptomology or anhedonia. However, a parameter of the SSP model that indexes the strength of perceptual input was consistently negatively associated with the magnitude of depression symptomatology.

The findings provide evidence for deficits in perceptual representations in depression. We discuss the implications of this in relation to the hypothesis that perceptual deficits potentially exacerbate control deficits in depression.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript is available from the publisher at;
Uncontrolled Keywords: Depression; Cognitive Control; Cognitive Modelling
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2020 14:35
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 13:06

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