Mood regulation and cognitive reactivity in depression vulnerability

Timo Brockmeyer*, Nils Pfeiffer, Martin Grosse Holtforth, Johannes Zimmermann, Annette Kammerer, Hans Christoph Friederich, Hinrich Bents

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


There is substantial evidence supporting the hypothesis that cognitive reactivity is an important variable in the etiology of depression. However, there is a lack of studies examining possible mechanisms that underlie cognitive reactivity. The present study tested whether two specific mood regulation processes differentially appear in vulnerable and non-vulnerable individuals, and whether they can account for differences in cognitive reactivity. In a cross-sectional experimental design, 20 formerly-depressed individuals (FD) were compared with 20 never-depressed individuals (ND). In an autobiographical memory task both groups differed concerning the use of positively and negatively toned emotion words: FD retrieved fewer positive emotion words than ND in the second phase of this task. Furthermore, FD with a high cognitive reactivity retrieved more negatively toned emotion words. In the ND group there was a different pattern: Subjects with a high cognitive reactivity retrieved less positively toned emotion words. Two different cognitive processes seem to account for cognitive reactivity in individuals who are at high versus low risk for depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-642
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Cognitive reactivity
  • Depression
  • Emotion regulation
  • Mood regulation
  • Vulnerability


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