Cognitive Control, Cognitive Biases and Emotion Regulation in Depression: A New Proposal for an Integrative Interplay Model

Frontiers in Psychology 12 (2021)
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Abstract

Research traditions on cognition and depression focus on relatively unconnected aspects of cognitive functioning. On one hand, the neuropsychological perspective has concentrated on cognitive control difficulties as a prominent feature of this condition. On the other hand, the clinical psychology perspective has focused on cognitive biases and repetitive negative patterns of thinking for emotional information. A review of the literature from both fields reveals that difficulties are more evident for mood-congruent materials, suggesting that cognitive control difficulties interact with cognitive biases to hinder cognitive switching, working memory updating, and inhibition of irrelevant information. Connecting research from these two traditions, we propose a novel integrative cognitive model of depression in which the interplay between mood-congruent cognitive control difficulties, cognitive biases, and rumination may ultimately lead to ineffective emotion-regulation strategies to downregulate negative mood and upregulate positive mood.

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