SenseCam, imagery and bias in memory for wellbeing.
Murphy FC., Barnard PJ., Terry KA., Carthery-Goulart MT., Holmes EA.
Identifying and modifying the negative interpretation bias that characterises depression is central to successful treatment. While accumulating evidence indicates that mental imagery is particularly effective in the modification of emotional bias, this research typically incorporates static and unrelated ambiguous stimuli. SenseCam technology, and the resulting video-like footage, offers an opportunity to produce training stimuli that are dynamic and self-relevant. Here participants experienced several ambiguous tasks and subsequently viewed SenseCam footage of the same tasks, paired with negative or positive captions. Participants were trained to use mental imagery to inter-relate SenseCam footage and captions. Participants reported increased levels of happy mood, reduced levels of sad mood, and increased task enjoyment following SenseCam review with positive versus negative captions. This shift in emotional bias was also evident at 24-hour follow-up, as participants recollected greater task enjoyment for those tasks previously paired with positive captions. Mental imagery appears to play an important role in this process. These preliminary results indicate that in healthy volunteers, SenseCam can be used within a bias modification paradigm to shift mood and memory for wellbeing associated with performing everyday activities. Further refinements are necessary before similar methods can be applied to individuals suffering from subclinical and clinical depression.