Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: Antidepressants that increase serotonin or norepinephrine in the brain are effective in treating depression, but there is no neuropsychological account of how these changes relieve depressive states. Cognitive theories suggest that biases in information processing lead depressed patients to make unrealistically negative judgments about themselves and the world. METHOD: A single dose of the noradrenergic antidepressant reboxetine or placebo was administered to 24 healthy volunteers. Effects on emotional processing were assessed through facial expression recognition, emotional categorization, and emotional memory. RESULTS: On the three measures, reboxetine biased perception toward positive, rather than negative, information in the absence of changes in nonemotional performance or mood. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that a single dose of an antidepressant can increase the processing of positively valenced material in nondepressed volunteers. Antidepressants may therefore work in a manner similar to that of psychological treatments that aim to redress negative biases in information processing.

Original publication

DOI

10.1176/appi.ajp.160.5.990

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Psychiatry

Publication Date

05/2003

Volume

160

Pages

990 - 992

Keywords

Adrenergic Uptake Inhibitors, Adult, Affect, Depressive Disorder, Discrimination (Psychology), Double-Blind Method, Emotions, Facial Expression, Female, Happiness, Humans, Male, Memory, Middle Aged, Models, Biological, Models, Psychological, Morpholines, Negativism, Neuropharmacology, Neuropsychological Tests, Personality