March 1986

Effortful and Automatic Cognitive Processes in Depression

Author Affiliations

From the Biological Psychiatry Branch (Drs Roy-Byrne, Bierer, and Post) and the Laboratory of Psychology (Dr Weingartner and Ms Thompson), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1986;43(3):265-267. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1986.01800030083008

• Ten patients with major depression and ten age- and sexmatched normal controls were presented with two contrasting cognitive tasks: one required sustained effort and information processing, and the other required only superficial information processing that could be accomplished automatically, with little effort. Depressed patients performed more poorly only on the effort-demanding cognitive task.