Participants completed a passive-viewing eye-tracking task assessing selective attention for positive, dysphoric, threatening, and neutral stimuli in addition to providing medication information and self-report measures of depression and anxiety severity.
Both depressed subjects currently taking antidepressants and nondepressed comparison subjects showed greater total gaze duration and more fixations for positive stimuli compared with unmedicated depressed subjects. Depressed subjects taking an antidepressant also had fewer fixations for dysphoric stimuli than did depressed subjects not on medication.
“These results are consistent with previous work and indicate a robust effect for antidepressants on positive information processing,” the researchers concluded. “They also provide further evidence for modification of information processing as a potential mechanism of action for antidepressant medication.”
To read more about the use of antidepressants, see The Evidence-Based Guide to Antidepressant Medications from American Psychiatric Publishing.
(Image: Mark Carrel/shutterstock.com)