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January 1981

Cognitive Processes in Depression

Author Affiliations

From the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(1):42-47. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780260044004

• During depressive episodes, patients show both qualitative and quantitative changes in how information is processed. Depressed patients appear to use weak or incomplete encoding strategies to organize and transform events to be remembered. This makes these events less memorable. If the depressed patient is provided organization and structure, then learningmemory deficits are not apparent. Disruptions in arousal-activation in depression can account for these cognitive impairments.