Eye tracking and attentional bias for depressive internet memes in depression

Akram, Umair, Ellis, Jason, Cau, Glhenda, Hershaw, Frayer, Rajenthran, Ashlieen, Lowe, Mollie, Trommelen, Carissa and Drabble, Jennifer (2020) Eye tracking and attentional bias for depressive internet memes in depression. Experimental Brain Research. ISSN 0014-4819 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-020-06001-8


Previous research highlights the potential benefits of engaging with depressive internet memes for those experiencing symptoms of depression. This study aimed to determine whether: compared to non-depressed controls, individuals experiencing depressive symptoms were quicker to orient and maintain overall attention for internet memes depicting depressive content relative to neutral memes. N = 21 individuals were grouped based on the severity of reported depression symptoms using the PhQ-9. Specifically, a score of:  ≤ 4 denoted the control group; and  ≥ 15 the depressive symptoms group. Participants viewed a series of meme pairs depicting depressive and neutral memes for periods of 4000 ms. Data for the first fixation onset and duration, total fixation count and total fixation and gaze duration of eye-movements were recorded. A significant group x meme-type interaction indicated that participants with depressive symptoms displayed significantly more fixations on depressive rather than neutral memes. These outcomes provide suggestive evidence for the notion that depressive symptoms are associated with an attentional bias towards socio-emotionally salient stimuli.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Attentional bias, Depression, Depressive memes, Internet memes, Selective attention
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2021 10:14
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 10:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45127

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