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Effects of SSRI Antidepressants on Attentional Bias toward Emotional Scenes in First-Episode Depressive Patients: Evidence from an Eye-Tracking Study

Psychiatry Investigation 2020년 17권 9호 p.871 ~ 879
Zhang Lei, Yu Fengqiong, Hu Qian, Qiao Yuxi, Xuan Rongrong, Ji Gongjun, Zhu Chunyan, Cai Chunlan, Wang Kai,
소속 상세정보
 ( Zhang Lei ) - Anhui Medical University Chaohu Clinical Medical College Department of Medical Psychology
 ( Yu Fengqiong ) - Anhui Medical University Chaohu Clinical Medical College Department of Medical Psychology
 ( Hu Qian ) - Anhui Medical University Chaohu Clinical Medical College Department of Medical Psychology
 ( Qiao Yuxi ) - Anhui Medical University Chaohu Clinical Medical College Department of Medical Psychology
 ( Xuan Rongrong ) - Anhui Medical University Chaohu Clinical Medical College Department of Medical Psychology
 ( Ji Gongjun ) - Anhui Medical University Chaohu Clinical Medical College Department of Medical Psychology
 ( Zhu Chunyan ) - Anhui Medical University Chaohu Clinical Medical College Department of Medical Psychology
 ( Cai Chunlan ) - Anhui Mental Health Center
 ( Wang Kai ) - Anhui Medical University First Affiliated Hospital Department of Neurology

Abstract


Objective: Attentional biases toward emotional scenes may represent vulnerability and maintenance factors in depression. Antidepressant therapy may improve cognitive function and reduce depression, and is considered as the mechanism of action of antidepressants. Therefore, we conducted an eye-tracking test to examine whether selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants can reduce negative attentional biases and elicit clinical responses in depression.

Methods: Twenty first-episode depressive patients freely viewed three types of pictures that depicted different emotional scenes (i.e., positive-control, neutral-control, and negative-control) for 4,000 ms while their eye movements were monitored. The attentional bias to different emotional scenes was assessed before and after eight weeks of SSRI treatment using the eye-tracking method. The control group included a group of healthy individuals.

Results: The results revealed that first-episode depressive patients oriented their gaze more frequently to negative images and less to happy images, compared to controls. Importantly, the attentional bias in depressive patients was regulated after eight weeks of SSRI treatment. Patients showed an increased tendency to fixate on positive images and a decreased tendency to focus on negative images.

Conclusion: This suggests that SSRI antidepressants decrease vulnerability to negative images, while having an effect on attention in respect to positive images.

키워드

Attentional bias; Depression; SSRI; Emotion; Eye-tracking

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