Depression and implicit memory: Understanding mood congruent memory bias

Elaine S. Barry, Mary J. Naus, Lynn P. Rehm

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The present paper reviews the depression and implicit memory literature, emphasizing studies addressing possible mood congruent implicit memory biases in depression. Although some of these studies seem to indicate the presence of mood congruent biases in implicit memory, others fail to show this effect. Although the studies differ on a variety of dimensions (participant population, sample size, implicit memory task, depressive status, etc.), a thorough review of the literature suggests that these are not the most important considerations in understanding the presence or absence of mood congruent memory biases in depression. Rather, the cognitive framework of Transfer Appropriate Processing is used as a tool to organize and explain these findings. In particular, the role of perceptual and conceptual cognitive processes by depressed participants performing implicit memory tasks are examined in the context of perceptual and conceptual task demands. Examining unconscious influences on emotion could have important implications for understanding and treating depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-414
Number of pages28
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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