Home > psychology > Major depression associated with impaired processing of emotion in music?

Major depression associated with impaired processing of emotion in music?

Previous studies have found that the processing of faces and voices is negatively biased in major depression. Naranjo and colleagues were the first to investigate possible effects of major depression on the recognition of emotion in music. According to the authors:

as music is not directly linked to interpersonal communication, comparing a musical task with a facial and a vocal one will allow us to determine whether the impaired processing of emotional stimuli in depression is limited to interpersonal contexts

23 depressed patients and 23 matched healthy controls participated in this study. Their affective information processing was assessed through musical, vocal and facial emotion recognition tasks. Depressed participants were found to be impaired in all tasks. More specifically:

Depressed participants were less accurate in their recognition of peaceful and happy musical excerpts, for neutral and surprised voices and fearful, neutral and angry faces (whether displayed briefly or for a longer period). The depressed participants rated the intensity of the emotion higher than the control group for sad and frightening musical excerpts, and for the negative emotions of sadness, anger and fear in vocal and facial stimuli. However the depressed participants rated the peaceful musical excerpts less intense than the control group. Neutral voices and faces were frequently interpreted by depressed participants as expressing a negative emotion

These results show that there is a general emotional processing impairment in depressed participants. However, it’s hard to say that this impairment is due to the disorder itself. It could possibly be attributed to the anti-depressant medication all the participants were taking – previous research on this topic suggests that blunting of emotion is one of the effects of medication in healthy participants (Fu et al., 2004).

ResearchBlogging.orgNaranjo, C., Kornreich, C., Campanella, S., Noel, X., Vandriette, Y., Gillain, B., de Longueville, X., Delatte, B., Verbanck, P., & Constant, E. (2010). Major depression is associated with impaired processing of emotion in music as well as in facial and vocal stimuli Journal of Affective Disorders : 10.1016/j.jad.2010.06.039


(pic from here)

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  1. 02/08/2010 at 19:33

    Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed the report. I’ve already bookmark

    this article.

  2. 03/10/2010 at 01:48

    Music can be a powerful for good mental health when used properly. I have learned by experience that we cannot depend on medication alone. Medication will not fix use; we must change the way we see life. We must change our attitude about life itself. We must forgive ourselves, and others. We must accept ours lives as is. And most of all develop an attitude of gratitude.

    Apply opposite reaction doing the things we do not want to do. And we must work daily on changing negative thinking to the positive. Recovery from a life of depression is a daily battle.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    Read my post “My Demon of Major Depression” at http://athensmentalhealth.org/blog/?p=287

  1. 24/07/2010 at 00:54
  2. 24/07/2010 at 04:31

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